Category: culture

  • We Will All Become Old Men

    When we are young we will: Think we can own the world Want to destroy institutions Fall in love with love Join radical movements But when we grow old, we will change. We will talk about what’s been lost Enjoy convenience Want things a certain way Protect what we have built Are all of these […]

  • Everyone will judge you (but no one cares)

    “No one is really judging you; they’re too busy wondering if you’re judging them.” I was very easily embarrassed as a child, so this is the kind of thing my mother used to say often. When she talked to strangers, I pretended I didn’t know her, and she’d remind me again not to be so […]

  • Young = Flexible = Growth = Life

    Culture is liberated by delivery technology, but is restricted by business. The web is a delivery technology. So is the US Postal Service. So are text messages, and so is language. All of culture passes through these methods. It cannot exist without them. Culture is restricted by business models. The album is not the ideal […]

  • Cop Bots vs Robber Bots

    A simple metaphor for an important phenomenon. I’ll explain. Cop bots are the enforcers. Google is an organizing algorithm but, more importantly, it’s also an exclusion robot. It says “you’re in,” and “you’re out.” It has to be very good at this, or it makes no money, and the robot gets shut down. Spammers are […]

  • Cultural Transparency ÷ Risk = Upward Mobility

    These are just notes. Some of the links may be incomplete but the basis, I think, is strong. Theory: The more you can find out about your culture, the more you’re capable of moving upward. This is buffered by risk, which prevents people from acting based on potential repercussions. Huge mouthful, I know. Let’s break […]

  • Your Memory is Obsolete

    Quick, who are the 5 main actors in The Usual Suspects? Kevin Spacey Benicio del Toro ??? ??? ??? When was the last time you had an argument about what actors were in what movie? Do they still happen with your friends? They don’t happen as much with mine. We have smartphones, so the web […]

  • The Elbow Thing

    So of course I’m on a plane this morning and the guy next to me is doing the elbow thing. You know what I’m talking about. He’s leaning into the armrest with his elbow and it’s clearly touching mine, but he doesn’t care. I, on the other hand, am deeply disturbed. I always wondered how […]

  • Why Women Will Take Over the World

    I’m pretty sure women will be taking over the world someday. Think about it. How are men better than women, and how are women better than men? If we work from stereotype: Men are stronger Men have more mathematically-oriented minds These two things above can be taken care of by machines and/or society. Anything heavy […]

  • The Filter Ladder

    What is the filter ladder? I came up with this concept while talking to a Harvard professor I met at the airport the other day. He asked how I dealt with information overload and, as I explained it to him, I realized that his filters were higher than mine. In other words, I was willing […]

  • Do You Read the Manual?

    If you’re like me, you’ve been plagued with computer problems your whole life– just not yours. I bought my parents a Mac Mini a few years back. It was a stop-loss mechanism to help me spend more time with them. It worked. Now I hang out and have supper instead of fixing their computer problems– […]