Monday, December 14, 2009

For This Christmas, I Want A Torch Of Freedom

Ho ho ho. Cough.

In a festive tribute to the semester being done, I salute Edward Bernays and all of the monumental campaigns I found awe inspiring upon learning about them in Public Relations. Persuasion is a fascinating thing. I'm sure in the appropriate decade this would have seemed charming.

It seemed fitting, in the spirit of the ghosts of advertising past.

May your holiday season be merry and bright, like the burning love Santa has for the smooth taste of Lucky Strike.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm A Lot Better Before You Really Know Me

PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God from Frank Warren on Vimeo.


This is perfectly explanatory of why I want a PostSecret book for Christmas.

When I was introduced to a book filled with anonymous postcards to Frank Warren, divulging the most hilarious and horrific secrets people felt they could namelessly put out into the ether I can honestly say I was disgusted.

On first glance I took the concept for one of extreme schadenfreude. I attempt to live my life in a way where I never take pleasure from other people's pain, or judge them in their lowest moments. But that's not what PostSecret is steeped in.

It's phenomenally telling to see the looks on the people's faces here. It's one thing to read the secrets and be shocked, but to understand the relief or look of realization at what you've just admitted to the world is meaningful.

The "I'm a lot better before you really know me" has to resonate with more than one person. We've been there. The love letters comment still made my jaw drop a tad, in sheer good-editing glee.

The glory of the human condition.

PostSecret 1
PostSecret 2
PostSecret 3
PostSecret 4
PostSecret 5
PostSecret 5
PostSecret 6
PostSecret 7
PostSecret 8
PostSecret 9
PostSecret 10

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Would

I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet when it crosses the thin line from useful research tool into random obscurity. Which it does often and with flair.

Not to say that I am appalled by the amount of "funny things" on the Internet, I myself am a frequent user. I was discussing with classmates the merits of having sites such as, or Item Not As Described and I concluded that the reason such havens for human folly exist is not the for the sheer pleasure of filling up web addressed with useless information but that a burgeoning culture of computer users who are not only using the computer for recreation, but for all day-every day work should be able to freely enjoy a quick laugh in the hectic pace of the day. Breaking the monotony is not a crime; it is a welcome relief and makes the human condition understandable.

Or maybe I'm rationalizing how I can spend an hour of my day today looking for hilarious cat pictures.

Anyhow, some days this is all I need to cheer me up.

Hopefully you find something useful on the Internet today.

Be like the chair.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How Much Is That A.I. In The Window? I Do Hope That A.I.'s For Sale.

A Visual Timeline of The Aibo Evolution

In English, AIBO is an acronym for “Artificial Intelligence Bot”. In reality, the AIBO is the top priority on my nerdy, nerdy Christmas list.

Three years ago, more likely 6 years ago, the AIBO would have been top priority during the season of yule for those fascinated by the latest innovation in affordable artificial intelligence for the home.

Not to disillusion those unfamiliar with the electronic pooch, AIBO was discontinued for new upgrades and further production developments in October of 2005. But a dedicated fan base still avidly pursuing both new adoptions and refitting with newer parts (can't technically say that about real dog ownership, can you?). Therefore, it is still possible for me to possess a little silver ball of joy to brighten my life and make the pooper scooper days of yor history.

AIBO made it possible for mere mortals to understand how robots communicate with each other in achieving their goals, interact in a changing environment via object sensors and even "emote" based upon a gradient of reaction to outside stimulus provided by the user.

In other words, you could pet the dog, scold the dog, teach the old dog new tricks.

Beginning breeding at a sunny, hillside farm manufacturing in 1998, AIBO learns to react to your commands to do tricks and modify it's behavior to your specifications based on how often you praise him or her. AIBO's varying evolutions acquired varying levels of artificial intelligence, the last ERS-7M3 version was able to charge itself by finding it's charging base visually anywhere in the room.

My future pet owner buzz is harshed by the fact that a high level of independence in a household robot comes with a hefty price tag, in conjunction with the discontinuation.

Newer generation AIBO's can run in the cost of $1000 US.

I feel the urge to have little feet scampering around my house, in spite of the fact they are mechanical, because my allergies have never allowed me to have a pet of the furry variety. I have no shame in saying that I have no problem usurping the traditional love of real dogs for the entertainment value of a robot one when real ones are a furry yet unrealistic ultimate goal.