Selective Social Networking:
We live in the age of real time events. Within seconds events can be broadcast on the largest distribution platform in the world. This technological phenomenon has opened up endless possibilities to inform and save humanity. It has also opened up a false sense of contribution.
Lets go back in the day in our way back time machine to understand this better. At the turn of the last century during the grandiose days of the industrial revolution, people had books.
Yes, people had books (wiping eyes). “What’s that you ask?” Well, it was a way for people to communicate thoughts and ideas without being in the room or shouting it from a soapbox or pulpit.
Back then people wrote books about the great society. Charles Dickens and Mark Twain come to mind as some of the greatest. Picasso and Van Gogh were for those that loved expression through pictures and images.
What you had then was what was called, Armchair Philosophy: an approach to providing new developments in a field that does not involve the collection of new information but, rather, a careful analysis or synthesis of existent scholarship. Depending on context, the armchair approach may be considered deficient or unproductive. For example, anthropologists typically consider ethnographic fieldwork (a qualitative research design aimed at exploring cultural phenomena) to be a necessary part of anthropological research and consider the armchair approach to be antiquated.
People made assumptions about things people and cultures in the vaunted 20th century. Things we now find ridiculous;
1. Women can’t vote.
2. A Blackman or a woman can’t be president.
3. Minorities can’t play sports.
4. Gay people should not marry.
5. We need guns to protect us.
6. People that are poor, it is their own fault.
7. Cigarettes and alcohol are cool.
These are all things that the collective conscience of America has changed or we are well on our way to changing.
It this new world order of the digital revolution what assumptions are we making?
Once apron a time it was said, “Everyone has at least one good book in them.” Today everyone has a Facebook page or a Twitter account. As a result people regularly give their opinions. Some of them are innocent, for instance;
1. Ice Cream is the best.
2. I love this restaurant.
3. My girlfriend is amazing
4. Try my favorite movie or new band.
Conjecture can be a beautiful thing but there is a reason it is not admissible in a court of law. The waters get murky when you start projecting opinions about socio-political strife.
Yes, modern war is tragic, terrorism is frightening but to post thoughts relating to being shocked and amazed at the fact that people will hurt people is ridiculous. People have hurt people since the dawn of time. The difference now is that we can understand why if we choose to do so.
Once again going back in time any informed person with a few history classes will tell you, western society has been famous for causing socio-economic instability in the world. Great profit has been made from exploiting other cultures. Those cultures live in fear of the western military and the weapons they strategically give to puppet dictatorships that oppress their own people. Drones is the latest way the West keeps its presence felt in the developing world.
The rest of the world is angry as developed countries move further into a digital age that does not include developing, as they struggle to become buoyant in the industrial age. America sprinted past the industrial age a generation and a half ago.
Many people do not have equal access and tools. This is often and surprisingly forgotten in western culture. Many times westerners think poor people only want water and for their children not to die. They never think about the fact that all children become adults and dream beyond the stars. Before the internet developing countries wanted what westerners had. They fantasied about lifestyles that were not true. Westerners on the other hand day dreamed of exotic foods, safari and a inspirational encounter with a local. With the growth of the digital age developing countries are one click away from watching Snookie or Buckwilde on MTV and saying, “No Thank you, I will stay here and fix my own backyard.” As a result there is a greater sense on individual pride caused by the internet. Americans click into a world that they want to stay the same. Stay quaint and in the past, pure and uncorrupted by the modern world. Reality is not so kind to this paradigm. We all move forward together.
On the internet You can read about your self and your culture all day long if you wish. You do not need to wait for people to tell you. We all feel smarter because of what we read, stream and download.
Social media has created enlightenment for all. People can now see themselves as themselves. They have information that makes them feel more informed and stronger. They also have information that can lead them down a dark path as well. The digital age is about information both good a bad. You can learn how to make a bomb in a pressure cooker on-line.
Terroristic acts are directly correlated with the amount of military occupation in a country. Countries that the West occupies tend to strike back at the West. As America has withdrawn from some of these territories (Iran and Iraq for example), terroristic acts have declined.
In America the enemy seems to be more and more form within. There are people that exist that do not want socio-political structures to adjust to accommodate a diverse paradigm. These possibly may be some of the same people that do not think about the industrialization of Africa and Latin America too. They see them as vacation spots and cheap labor.
Killing people is wrong whether it be today, yesterday or a 100 or 200 years ago. Killing is never a justification for a political platform. Be it your own people or others. We as humanity pay for every life lost. A girl in Afghanistan, a young person in Israel or a little boy in Boston. We must honor those that have suffered and learn from the experience. People will not automatically do what is right if they feel cheated and oppressed in their past.
Instead of asking why do people hurt people maybe we should Tweet and post, “What can I do to help people come to a greater understanding?” That is not about posting but using your Faceboo for action.
Don’t ignore the anger and hope it goes away or dismiss it as not your own. Listen to the cries and try to understand. Use the reach of technology to extent yourself into other communities. Tweeting and posting to your filtered friends that you are outraged about unnecessary death and destruction is to say, “I don’t support what has gone on but I have no desire to extend myself into those disadvantaged communities to ask why.”
Recently in the Boston Marathon Massacre of 2013, President Obama initially addressed the situation by saying we want to know who did this and why? He did not call it an act of terrorism. He did say the perpetrators will feel the full weight of justice. Justice is for all. It rights wrongs in the past present and future. Tweet that and post it to your Facebook.
Western culture has a responsibility to all that need understanding. America is a country created and founded on the back of the abused and underclass. This underclass is every bit African, Latin, Asian and European (never forget the Irish and the Italians who helped build our cities 100 years ago). America owes a sympathetic ear to the abused and underclass today. It is not about us it is about them. In spite of the fact that they lash out we must come to a higher level of understanding. We can do that everyday in our world of social networking. Extending oneself into uncommon social networking portals is a good start. Try to make friends with people you don’t know and who don’t look like you.
Think of social networking as one big high school dance. You can hang with your friends or venture out to talk to that kid standing by himself. That is the kid who could become your best friend and you learn something from. If you ignore him or bully him that could become the kid that causes the next tragedy because he feel neglected and not heard.
According to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, “For every person online there are two who are not.” Schmidt looks at the numbers this way, 38% of all people are on line currently. Buy the end of the decade everyone will be online in his estimation. This type of overly optimistic attitude has made Google a leader in the digital revolution but this aggressive pie in the sky attitude falls short in the revolution of humanity. Countries in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe will not all be online come 2020. Why?
People fight for food in Africa in regions where natural resources have taken precedence over life. Areas in South America like Africa and Southeast Asia have been splintered by over 300 years of colonialism. Many cultures, tribes and sects hate each other in these regions because they were divided and conquered by those that now offer Wireless Internet.
Political structures that kept these countries from developing in the 20th century have had a rippling effect in today’s world. There literally in some of these places have no one to turn on the light. Why you ask again? These area for generations in some cases hundreds of years have been used for natural resources and political currency. That is even before a close look is made at the monetary value these areas have contributed to the so called modern world. If you take away the natural resources of Africa and Latin America the lights go out. If you take away the cheap labor force in Latin America and Southeast Asia the modernization of the middle class never happens. If Eastern Europe had been free in the 20th century and not controlled first by Nazi Germany and then The Soviet Union, Communism and Hitler never get a foothold in the political landscape.
No global vice grip reach of Communism, no China, no Vietnam and no North Korea. The point is all of this information is available on-line but people need access to it. Processing the past helps for better informed perceptions and hope for the future.
About a third of the world is online. It is time for those that have access to mingle a little more and figure out how to get more people into the party. Grassroots programs to get more people on-line is a good start. It is time to create nonexistent web infrastructures everywhere on the planet. We can then start to make new friends.
So put on the name tag and mingle at the party. Go meet someone new. Don’t always block people you don’t know just ask them who they are first. They just might become you new best friend.
One friend at a time we can eliminate tragedies such as the ones that have happened in Boston and all over the world almost everyday. Be outraged about young people who die anywhere in the world under similar circumstances and post their stories.
Log on and be friendly not accusatory or full of assumptions. Accusations not allowed. Then maybe we can all just get along. So if we get to about 50% of all people are on-line by 2020 we will be heading in the right and realistic direction. Hopefully the vast majority of that growth will be in developing countries.
More internet, more communication less conflict.
Business Before Pleasure:
It’s not the 20th century anymore. The economy and the world has changed. Who’s made it these days? No one fool! Those days are over. There are only people who are making it. Who are these people that are making it.
Are we concerned about who is not? Well maybe but lets talk about them later.
Ok those that are making it. Yes Banks seem to be holding their own but they don’t count, they get bailed out by the government. Car companies and financial institutions are off our list too. They get help. Would it not be nice if the government showed up on your door step and said, “You have been selected for financial support for your business.”
Not gonna happen. That would make us a socialist society. But hey wait a minute I said, The government helps out banks, car companies and financial institutions? Yes I did say that but I guess that is a matter we should take up with our democratic government.
Confusing yes. American hypocrisy at its best, no doubt. This is the landscape of making it in the 21st century.
“Be About Your Business” - Hip Hop term
You business is to make enough money to make your business run. You will get no help from the government.
Here we go!
Oil companies are doing quite well. They benefited greatly from the Bush years in America. As you know Bush was from Texas and was committed to the continued relationship with fosil fuel.
Sports is huge and off the charts. Pornography is at a all time high since embracing the internet. Just of note porn is number one and sports in number two on the internet charts. The pleasure principle runs high in the world of downloading and streaming in a bad economy.
Some are born into money. Most of us are not. Trust fund babies are in short supply these days. Maybe I should have joined the military out of high school? Oh wait scratch that the military is all about combat these days. Besides there is that whole philosophical issue now that would make it hard to sleep at night.
These days people are dog walking, babysitting, cleaning, and naked butlering, to make enough money to pay their bills. Putting food on their table blows these days. Yikes that did not come out right. Moving on.
Ok here is my point if you are not Kanye, Jay-Z, Donald Trump, Oprah, Steve Forbes or a reasonable facsimile listen up.
When you got no money in an economy with no money remember three things;
1. Do not sell out. I repeat do not sell out. The impulse when all is bad is to cash in your chips. When you come from nothing you will do anything to have somethings sometimes. You gotta be strong. Don’t cave. In the end you will win if you hold on to what you got.
If you are a music artist it can mean the end of the line if you sell out. You make that big pop album and then you are never heard from again or you are compartmentalized into a sideshow or Vegas act.
Facebook was worth more when it was not traded on the open market. Sorry Mark Zuckerburg but selling out may have put a lot of money in your pocket but it just may have hurt your brand.
BET (Black Entertainment Television) was sold by Robert Johnson in 2003 for 3 billion dollars to Viacom. Johnson instantly became the richest blackman in America until his wife since 1969 divorced him and took his billions. The following year Viacom made a bid for Univision that exceeded 12 billion. What a difference a year makes.
The lesson here is, “If someone shows up on your doorstep and says you are worth 3 billion don’t sell, put more time into your valuable business. Lazy people sell out. Hard working people in the long run are worth more and keep their wives.
Berry Gordy sold Motown at the dawn of the Hip Hop era to Polygram and Polygram sold it to Seagrams (yes the wine cooler people). Motown was the biggest selling record company of the 1960’s. What if Gordy had kept Motown? If he had Motown would have become the gold standard for all modern media. Vision of the future counts when you are not selling out. If you have no vision sell, sell, sell.
If you have vision don’t sell, what you do it buy? Buy? Yes buy? How? How do you buy if you don’t have any money.
Money is just a value of equity. Equity comes in many forms; sweat, leverage, relationships, knowledge and technology being some the best classifications.
It might sound counterintuitive to buy when the economy is bad, but that is not the case. The worse things are, the more you want to put into the market. The reason behind this is that in a recession, the price of services and talent drops along with everything else. This means that you can get very solid investments in very reputable companies and people for significantly less than you would normally have to pay. Even a few hundred or few thousand dollars put in the right places can reap benefits later on.
When things are bad go in house with your services. Look for people who make and program websites. People who shoot video come cheap when the market is slow. You can get a musician for a song. Writers write for food and computer experts will work just to keep a roof over their heads. In a bad economy you can build a company of media and digital experts.
Networking is free. Sell these new services you have to offer to others. The savvy business people will be on your doorstep begging to work with you. Businesses that can’t pay must trade something of equal value. A piece of the action is nice but leverage is better. Action is only good if you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the client is reasonable to work with.
Continue to buy in to new technology. Always get the latest version of a relevant platform and keep current with industry trends. Stay on top of new browser and application technology. New cameras and programing language is must. New ways of delivering content (music, video ect.) is a must.
By staying on top you can pout yourself in the position to smell blood in the water when losers fail and strike when the time is right. If you take a measured, legal and analytical perspective you will loose.
“Play The Game Or The Game Plays You.”
If you do not know what short selling is, now is the time to find out. Short selling is a method for making money by betting on industries ands trends to lose money rather than gain it. It is an interesting way to earn money in a weak economy. You can actually make a very profitable living by betting on the losers.
The music industry is not dead. It is not on life support. I has been chopped down to size to reflect today’s new market space. Gasoline is high and music is not on CD and controlled by large corporations. Since 2001 the music industry has been cut in half on revenue. The entire industry makes half of what it use to. Hip Hop is not dean but it is in decline. It now only represents 5% of the total market. This is reflected in the number of collaborations that exist in the market. Hip Hop also exists in a antiquated business paradigm. If a brotha tries to sell you a CD while standing on a corner he is behind the curve. The meer fact he is not a she put him off the mark. If he does not even bother to get your email address or Facebook page and put you on his online newsletter he is not the artist to spend your money on. Paper money is dead. Don’t even get me started if Hip Hop artist only makes cash transactions. Virtual money is the only real currency that moves units.
Rock is no better. It encompasses about 5% of the market as well. They don’t stand on street corners selling records. They just try to sell them to their friends after a show in a hole in the wall venue in the same town they went to high school in. Long hair and attitude won’t cut it in a cutthroat market.
So there is blood in the water and you are the shark starting to circle. Time to go in for the kill. To take a chunk out of these genres the first rule of thumb is to not deal with the artist. Thats right no hanging with the band. Your client is the press agents, managers, PR people and record label (if they have one). You want to do their branding and promotions. Putting on a great money making event is better than a cool music video. You want to build their websites and social networking platforms. Let the losers make the videos and smoke and drink with the rockstars. You have business before pleasure.
So who is making all the money in the record business? Well the answer may surprise you.
Country music is 25% of the industry and adult contemporary is 20%. The hybrid Americana is a rising genre but at times it fails into the same traps as the rock and Hip Hop artists. If you wanna make money leave your ego at home. Country and Adult Contemporary sell hard copies (CD) and fill venues. They have loyal followings of people 8-80 years old.
So where are the hipsters that cash in? Well they are not in America. You gotta go overseas for that. Great bands and breakthrough Hip Hop acts are in Europe. Dance music pounds the floor from Brazil to Korea these days. You can catch some hot new R&B in China. Wanna see the 90’s Hip Hop group Arrested Development live, well you will have to go to Sydney or Tokyo.
So the idea is this get with the winners and exploit the losers and you can navigate the current state of things.
Put your movies on your own web channel or network. Make your videos in volume. Videos today are like looking for hit records. If you make music make a lot of it and build a library. Flip your music back into TV and film. Attach your music to other great concepts like gaming.
Throw events for everything. The world is a fairground of great ideas and concepts that people want to celebrate. It’s about time. It took about 100 years and the entire 20th century to get to this point. Technology destroyed innovation and now it is saving it. What come around goes around.
If you keep a cool head, there is no such thing as a bad economy. Low market prices and genres that lose money are opportunities. Stay smart, buy reliable talent and sell losers, Don’t panic and don’t sell out – unless of course you plan on short selling. You will one day be very glad you did.
The era of compartmentalization and demographics is over. Free markets, psychographics, free ideas, creativity, technology and innovation are the dawn of a new day. Make business first and the pleasure will follow. This is the century of progress.
Change: Within Vs. Without
For a millennium, scholars and theologians or the wise old woman down the street (you know grandma) have told us change comes from within. Is that really true?
What is change?
Change (definition): The process of becoming different.
Different? Different in a sense of identity, belief systems, physical embodiment and methodology. That is the challenge today for everyone. Corporate CEO, Hip Hop artist alike. We all need to change. Our diet, our attitudes and how we get things done. Welcome to the dawn of the age of Aquarius.
Artist: The 5th Dimension
Genre: Psychadellic Soul
Change is a positively and negatively charged event simultaneously. It is never neutrally charged. Change is a commitment. Change is never ending. If you change once you can change a thousand times. Change can be for the better or for the worse. Some of the most infamous criminal minds of all time changed for the worse. Whether its Hitler of Lex Luther change is a choice, usually based on a set of extenuating circumstances that have happened to an individual. It all depends on how they decide to react to things outside of their control.
Good people that become great react to external stimuli with a vengeance against evil and bad energy. The change for the better of themselves but mostly they do it for the betterment of others and a higher order bigger than them. The bad guys usually change to get more for themselves. They make it all about them. That is how you can tell who is bad and who is good. If they talk about the importance of others they are good. If they consistently talk about how they can get their’s (ghetto slang for being selfish).
Bad politicians talk about what they can do for their party not the people. Talking about change can get you elected but one person can not institute change. Change is a movement with many fighting for the same cause. Talking about change is a battle cry not a war.
So it seems to be that change is an external phenomenon not an internal reorganization of matter. You don’t turn good or bad you respond to your surroundings. This response may be based on your perception of what you can acquire in your environment. Social standing plays a big part. Realistically the idea that any of us can have what we want in an untruth. The only way change occurs is when society as a whole says people are free to move as they wish and believe what they will.
If you were born a slave in the 19th century the probability that you would reach your dreams was remote. Yes Frederick Douglass was a self taught escaped slave who helped to negotiate the release of African-Americans but he was the exception not the rule. Most African-Americans at that time did not have the means or the will to create that kind of change. Douglass also used deception of his slave owners as a vehicle for his freedom.
Fast forward 150 years and you have illegal immigrants in America. How can they create change if they are not counted as Americans. They live in the USA and work at the bottom of the food chain but moving up is problematic without a social security number. Amnesty for sons and daughters of these people effects change because they can contribute and vote. Those that join the military get citizenship and can effect change by risking their lives to protect American interest.
Sometimes you can get to change by deception of the stays quo or selling yourself to the system in control
A poor kid is exposed to gang life. The guys in the gang make money and don’t worry about education. The kid sees his uneducated family struggle and he attends an inferior school. As a result changing into a gang member has an appeal. With no substantial parental guidance in place this scenario is a forgone conclusion.
Same kid same situation but a loving family and a solid educational system the probability of him changing into a gang member decreases.
If not a gang then their is the choice of selling to the system. Sports specifically basketball and football are a reasonable choice for a life change when there are few options. If you are poor six foot six and can jump and run fast sports is a great alternative choice to gangs and inferior schools. LaBron James is the most talented basketball player on Earth and he does not know his father and his mother was 15 years when she had him.
Great talent + no parents = NBA
A rich kid with great education through boarding school. Very little contact with quality parents can create disaster when you are rich too. Lack of exposure to all types of people can lead to poor decision making when operating from a position of power. The rich kid grows up, becomes a CEO of a manufacturing plant that dumps waste into a river. Killing and changing the environment is no concern of his. His winter home in Malibu burning in a fire has greater value.
There is also the Wall Street rich guy who hustles little old ladies out of their life savings. His impact is actually a greater negative draw on society than the gang member. The evil rich CEO can change the lives of thousands and millions for the negative. The gang member is no better but statistically his effect is less impactful. His is one of emotion and terror. The myth is; the evil underclass is uncontrollable. The horrors of the past are haunting us in the modern world. Through the creative use of media the gang member is feared and in many cases the CEO is cleared. Why?
Status. Perception is nine tenths of the law.
With the external environment, good and bad locations and areas determine society’s perception. Benefit of the doubt rests with what is your zip code. Are you from a good neighborhood or bad? Did you go to a good school? Who are you parents?
What does all of this mean?
Change comes from without and who you are is not determined by where you come from but how you treat others. What you give back makes you famous. What you withhold for yourself makes you infamous.
What you see in your everyday lives and how you interact to it determines change for you and the external stimuli you are effecting.
The classic example is a homeless person begs you for money. How you react determines change or no change at all. Sometimes giving a homeless person money can effect change sometimes it keeps things in a perpetual dysfunctional state. Before you give away your money you must ask yourself is this person hustling me or is this person being honest. The first thing you must do to effect change is get off of your high and mighty perch and be among the people. Everyone must be equal to institute positive change. Negative change is created through hierarchy. If you give money away because you feel sorry for a homeless person and you still think you are better because you are on your way to your expensive car, chances are you have just been hustled. If you look at the situation and a matter of unfair circumstances. If you see it as you could easily be that homeless person then chances are you just may effect change for the better. That person who receives your give just may perceive you as caring about them and that can inspire them to uplift themselves.
You don’t make people change buy showing them. You don’t make change by telling them you make change by loving them and treating them as equals (inspire of your Americanized social programing of, “People who are different are less.”)
People who have less just may have more than you.
They exist at the threshold of change everyday. Everyday their lives operate as this is the day to make a change. This is the day to take control. Some do some don’t for a varied number of reasons (mental health, socio-economic standing, self-esteem act.).
Most people that give money to the homeless are rarely thinking that this could be the day that I make a change in my life. The homeless are faced with this everyday. The so-called successful person is blind to it because they have constructed a life that they perceive as stable and what they are suppose to do or what is expected. Conversely the homeless may just be a manifestation of people who have had difficulty fitting into society. They don’t do what is expected and as a result are cast off into the social abyss (homeless). These individuals can not always fathom what is going on they are just trying to live through it. In many cases that is what happens when you don’t fit in. You loose your sense of home.
So is home actually having a home or is home where your heart is?
In other cultures it is in the heart. Developing countries are developing countries because they have be left behind. Many formally colonized cultures were occupied for hundreds of years and their occupiers never built an infrastructure. Why? Because building that infrastructure did not benefit them. It only seemingly exacted change for the oppressed. This is no different in America. The Ghetto is the ghetto and rural areas are the way they are because the status quo believe there is no reason to change these environments. They can just selectively take the chosen and talented ones and leave the rest to fend for themselves. With these areas contained by laws, society moves on and misses the opportunity for change which leads to evolution. Change has to be viewed as beneficial to all in order for it to occur.
External pressure + Change = Evolution
These external pressures force people to react. Some react with compliance. Others react and become motivated rebels for a greater good. Even others take to a life of taking from others and finally some just become dust in the wind.
Those that are motivated + Those in need = Change
So change has no price tag. You can be the little lady down the street that feeds the homeless or the big time rich guy with the foundation and effect change. You do it by doing, not by thinking (Republicans) or talking (Democrats) about it. Project housing or a tin shanty hut, everyday is the day to change. Give, it hurts you change.
Living in the world thinking you are the best means nothing, you must execute and demonstrate it. Sustainability in success only happens when your vision reaches beyond your own realm.
Change is out there but you have to go get it. It will not show up on your door step as a check with your name on it. Stand up get out there and make change. You will feel good about it and you will change.
Make Real Things That Make a Difference, the choice is yours. In life you can go get it or wait for it to come to you. In the past it could come to you. The economy was robust and budgets were big. People spent money on things just to take a chance. Spending on trends is not so easy anymore. Money people want proof of concept. Web hits and Facebook friends are always a good start. Risk management is the new order of today. People want to put in less and get more. The reality of the current global economy is dictates otherwise (reverse) but that does not seem to stop the system at hand.
The content business (music, film, TV, internet) wants you to pay to play. This means you pay to make it, they will look at it, you pay to distribute it and if they love it they will put you in their system. They will put you on.
That system consists of their contacts and connections. The system can take you to the next level but it comes with a price. You give them more than half (profits). The other price is the older you are the more you pay upfront to get it done. Younger is better if you want the man to foot the bill. Usher paid for Justin Bieber because The Bieb’s was a little kid. However you want to slice it the industry values youth. They see more endless possibilities in children. Marketing, merchandise, a greater cut of the profits and the all mighty control. Britney, Christina Agulera, Avril Levine, PINK! ect. were all young and hot and got great deals. Once they turned into adults for most of these performers the heat was less intense. When the end it near it is fast and hard. Ask any of the Spice Girls.
So here is the point. Are you young? Hot? Sexy? Are you outgoing and willing to be trendy? Will you work with a army of advisors and know it all lip service people? If the answer is yes plug yourself into the current version of Hollywood. If the answer is no, it is time to game plan.
Game plan? What the hell is that? Well it has very little to do with what you want to do. It has a whole helluva a lot to do with what you need to do.
Marketing is 50% of the game now. Yes 50% and it will be forever ever Amen now. Unless you make apps no one will buy into your bull$h1t. Proof of concept? Still don’t get it? Think about it this way.
If you are a band, play out with your music as much as possible. Also play in the markets that support live music. Playing live music in a soft live music market is a waste of time. Also know your market. Know who buys and who does not. Build relationships with your audience through email and social networking. Don’t try to sell your CD’s on the street. Give them away on the street and get the Facebook friendship, like or Twitter follow. It will mean more in the long run. Street sales mean nothing because they can not be tracked. You must be able to track your consumer base.
Make the music that you are passionate about and go find that audience. If they are in you backyard great! If they are in Japan, go man go to Tokyo!!
If you are a filmmaker, no one will pay for your idea! I repeat no one will pay for your idea. No one cares about your idea especially if it’s about you and you are not famous. Sorry that is the game in America. No one wants to be preached to either. People don’t like preaching in conversation and they sure as hell don’t like it in their entertainment content. News and information content go into this category as well. People want two things, solutions and entertainment. Make your content. Don’t wait for your big payday. Put your money where your mouth is. Develop your own campaign. The same effort you put into creating the idea you must put into developing the marketing. If you suck at marketing find someone who is good. Make your film. Get a screening room and screen your film. Don’t wait for a festival to do it for you. March to the beat of your own drum. Get out there and get it done.
And this is advice for all involved, if you feel the need to give away your secrets you are done, your genre is done and you might as well go home. Secrets revealed is a career that has run its last race. If you are going to give away secrets, get paid to do it.
Give away secrets = life support
You don’t ask Paul McCartney how he sings, “Let It Be,” and you don’t ask Marvin Gaye how he knows what is going on.
No one needs to know how you do it. People will cheapen your brand or surpass it if you are not careful. Mystic since the dawn of time has been the primary tool for staying on top. Tell a few lies and tell no secrets.
Be authentic be yourself and be real. But does that not conflict with the last statement of, “Tell few lies and tell no secrets.” Why yes it does. Think of making it in this business as like dating. Reveal very little in the beginning. Make your date happy and spring the real you on them later when you have them relaxed and are disarming them. Whisper sweet nothings that matter to them and the world around you.
Produce content that can make a difference. Find something that you are passionate about that can transform others. Turn your pain into a career. Turn happiness into profit. Joy and pain, sunshine and rain. Emotional connection. Make them laugh and cry. It is a formula as old as content creation itself. What was good for Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplin is good for you.
The reality of today’s marketplace is pretty simple. Make what you feel do what you do. Find your audience and showcase to them. Start small think small and you will grow to be big. Look at what the world needs today and supply it.
Negativity is dead. No more indifferent Alternative Rock and degenerative Hip Hop. Movies where people kill for no reason are boring. Skateboarders crashing and hurting themselves is no longer for the internet. They show that crap on TV now.
Music then means something and films that say something. Making video that you can pass along and share with pride with anyone will sustain your career and turn you into a legend. Pimps, hoes, gangsters and burnt out rockers need not apply. Oh one more thing, don’t tell people how you do it. Save that for your speaking tour. Reality is serious so you should be too.
The Hunger Game:
Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
~Author : Eleanor Roosevelt
For generations science fiction has always portrayed the future as a place where older people become expendable. The younger you are the better. Older people are isolated or killed off(Logan’s Run 1976 movie, 1960’s book)? Even the current Justin Timberlake film (In Time, 2011) advocates getting rid of people by 25 years old.
In contrast to this the current Hollywood blockbuster Hunger Games is enjoying an astounding run. 130 million to open with no end in sight. But the kids get eliminated not the adults. What’s the deal?
Maybe a change of tide here? In a bad economy mixed with a 25 year digital technology boom, the world has flipped the script.
“Don’t trust anyone over 30,” was the battle cry of Timothy Leary and a generation. Today the opposite is true. Can you really trust anybody under 30? Other than social networking what industry do youth really dominate? Leary also said, “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.”
These days if you turn on you get drug tested. If you tune in you are morally obligated to not drop out. You can no longer criticize the world and then walk away and go live in a tent on public property (insert your Occupy protester here).
The point is not that old people know everything and young people know nothing, the point is experience wins the day in this new age. How can you ever expect to understand the bad economy, war, environmental issues, the racial divide, alternative lifestyle and politics unless you have miles on the meter.
The answers to these problems are not found in statistics or the internet, they are found in conversations with humankind.
Suddenly the old person sitting next to you on the plane, bus or train does not seem so crotchety. How did this great divide ever happen? One word people and that word is sex!
Yes sex. It is no coincidence that the the sexual revolution coincided with the civil and political revolution in America in the 1960’s and 70’s. People sexualized everything; walking, talking, dancing, dressing and social interaction. Being hot has been the norm since the mini skirt met teen dance show and the Kennedy era. With Studio 54, Madonna, The Spice Girls, The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and JWOW, there is no end in sight.
Society now gives us permission to get with whoever we want when we want it, we actually need more. Young people are sexy, old people are not. Hence, only a young person you can trust because the messenger of the truth must be good looking (Insert Tim Tebow here). In the age of the disingenuous celebrity that tune has been played out like a Spice Girls tune. What good is hot when Aston and Demi can’t stay together and they were supporters of ending sex trafficking. The issues are now bigger than a good look. We need help and it is older people.
Older people live longer now, have more money and though exercise and diet have a greater and more sustainable lifestyle.
Things are not over at 40. They are just beginning. At 40 you get a clue. If not the wheels will come off at 50. Pressure makes people get things done in an industrialized society. Young people in America literally have too much time and too many choices. If you don’t believe me ask the stoner rock generation of the early 70’s or the disco drug fueled dance freaks of the late 70’s. Hmmm, maybe the poorly dressed synth pop generation of the 80’s. Now don’t forget the dissidents of alternative rock and hip hop of the 90’s. For good measure throw the extacy taking ravers of the 2000’s and toss them in the party too.
These days the hipsters are those who were wearing retro clothes when they were the latest fashion craze and new. Today there is more collective insight into, “What’s Next Culture,” on CBS rather than MTV. Ironically they are owned by the same company. So some really old guy is making a fortune off the chaos between the middle aged and youth culture.
Yikes! The bad guy is not your parents it’s your grand parents? The Svengali is geriatric, has hair in their ears and is 70? The enemy is some greaser or beatnik who listened to Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis, Motown and the Beatles. No way!!!
Youth is being put to death by the ruling viagra taking, plastic surgery class. Bad uninspired pop music, The Jersey Shore, endless reality series and movies about movies and TV shows that have already been made. The constant focus on one dead teen rather than the hundreds and thousands that die month to month and year to year.
The mass death scene in The Hunger Games says it all about the year 2012. We get our young to kill our young for entertainment. “If you give them a little hope people will operate under your will. If you give them too much hope they will rebel.”
We no longer have enough hope because we have too many options and answers via the internet.
Little resources + hope = rebellion
Many resources + hope = Complaining
Youth does not speculate, they fact find and google. As a result they never get curious enough to experience the answer for ourselves. Want to know about Native Americans? Google it. Gone are the days of actually paying a visit to a reservation. What do you miss? The emotional experience. It was not until you go to a Native American reservation that you can truly understand the tragedy of their genocide. Tears can not be downloaded and until you have cried for yourself and others you have not lived.
It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.
I have full cause of weeping, but this heart shall break into a hundred thousand flaws or ere I’ll weep.
Youth may be the victim of its own advanced intelligence. Does youth smell the roses? Sure they do but they just may spend too much time in their own garden. Youth no longer concerns itself with what people look like but they over emphasize the dynamic of everyone who thinks, walks, talks and acts like them. In the future it is easier to round up people based on content of characteristics rather than color of skin. In the computer content driven age hipsters may just be playing right into the hands of the establishment.
Word to the wise. To know is to ask somebody who has been there.
Follow You Vs. Follow Me
Chief or Indian. Follower or leader? In the digital age is it better to be hunted or the hunter?
All the popular people have a ton of followers. Twitter peeps with a lot of followers are cool right? They are in the know, right? They know what’s up…rriiigghhhtt??
Well actually maybe not. So Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian are the sh$! Because millions follow. Hmmm??? What wisdom and insight do they impart?
How do you find wisdom? Well you go out and seek it grasshopper (Kung Fu, 1970’s television series). You go on a walk about. You read. You travel. You go on holiday. You go to school. You listen to wise people. You follow.
Yes you follow. You seek people concepts and ideas, then you follow them. Think of it like a religion or finding a college. Maybe even finding the right shoes. You try on a bunch and see which ones you like that fit that function the best for you.
So this being said Twitter ultimately is not about how many people are following Kim Kardashian. She currently has 14,033,380 followers and she follows 173 people. What does this mean? Well she is very popular, but she knows very little. Kim is famous because of a sex tape with a guy who became famous because his sister was famous and he dated the late Whitney Houston. How stupid is that?
Do the math. Kim’s intellectual Twitter Index is .00001233
That means she pays little attention to others.
The number of people following divided by the number of people of followers equals the Twitter Index.
Mine (@Fr3deR1cK) is .679487. That means I am a very curious person and I follow more people than follow me. Does that make me a loser? Only with the posers my online friends.
I am constantly using Twitter as a way to absorb new intel and data. Kim just wants you to tell her how pretty she is or buy her shoes. By following people on my Twitter I have learned about political movements, great places to shop and insight into my universe. Kim is one of the most popular people on the planet and you tell me she only communicates with 173 people? What is she doing?
Justin Bieber has followers 18,485,602 and is following 121,148 people. Thats a little better at least Justin looks around on his Twitter. Sometimes. Justin is famous because he figured out first how to get a record deal via You Tube. He clocks in at .00655364. He’s also really cute and visually transgendered. But he will grow up and get facial hair and wrinkles someday. For the rest of us hopefully soon.
An ideal score is the product of 1. If you can have as many followers as you follow you are always learning new things and people are learning things from you.
A quick look. As Of March 16, 2012
Person Followers Following PCT.
JLo 5,138,179 112 .0000218
Anderson Cooper 2,286,260 69 .00003018
Russell Simmons 1,400,436 318 .00022707
Barack Obama 13,039,550 681,032 .05222818
Mitt Romney 378,345 241 .00063698
Martha Stewart 2,480,124 7,998 .00322484
Tyler Perry (FP) 760,636 83 .00010912
Jeremy Lin 659,672 124 .00018797
Jay-Z (FP) 699,183 8 .00001144
Katy Perry 16,145,937 82 .00000508
Diana Nyad 12,514 6,892 .55074317
FP = Fan Page
In our chart above the original big butt hottie JLo, Anderson Cooper, Russell Simmons, Jay-Z and Katy Perry are all slacken’ on their pimpin’. A lot of people follow them but they see the need not to follow anyone they don’t know. Gee, how will they ever get to know new people. I guess they only meet people they are personally introduced to that can do something for them. Obama Vs. Romney is obvious The current President reaches out more and as a result has more support. Mitt needs to Tweet. Martha Stewart could do better. Imagine her following people she likes. Martha would get more follows and create follows for others. That my friends translates into a dollar value. Coca-Cola could pay Martha to follow them. Legendary Olympic swimmer Diana Nyad is the bomb. She is in her 60’s still swims and knows the value of following interesting people. She follows me and I follow her. Basketball sensation Jeremy Lin needs to pick up the pace. If he followed more his follower count would quadruple as fast as he can split a defense and score. He also has the advantage of a nation of a billion people in China who are basketball crazy. Tyler Perry needs to get with the program. a loyal Twitter following and him following others could create endorsement deals and expand his loyal audience base. But least he is switched on Twitter.
The top network news anchor Brian Williams has no Twitter and the biggest male star in Hollywood George Clooney has no Twitter. However, he does have several Twitter pages dedicated in his honor. All of these pages score high in the followers to following index. The only Brian Williams on Twitter is the midwest account manager for Dealerslink.com.
Rush Linbaugh like Clooney and Williams has no page. Rush still scores high in being talked about on Twitter. Clooney is talked about as well. Rush is talked about for being a jerk and Clooney for being a good guy. Brian rarely hits the radar. Brian needs to tweet.
Here is an interesting one. Arthur Prior. Their Twitter page reflects a strong association with Wrestlemania and they are followed by Kendra Wilkerson (Playboy model).
Person Followers Following PCT.
Arthur Prior 214 1,112 5.1962616
Kendra Wilkinson 1,796,600 143 .00007959
So why is Kendra following Arthur. Who knows but Arthur’s Twitter index is high and it caught Kendra’s curiosity. Arthur likes Wrestlemania and hot babes. Kendra is a hot babe and pop famous. There is a cause and effect relationship when it comes to psychographics (what people have in common). Following people on Twitter opens you up to finding people who like what you like. Finding people who like what you like opens you up to a greater level of opportunity than someone who is just popular. Sustainability is the bedfellow of seeking new information.
Being the captain of the football team or the head cheerleader has traditionally had its longterm drawbacks. Being popular has a shelf life if you do not build a sustainable and or relevant foundation. The magic of high school stays in high school. The magic of being followed stays on Twitter. The magic of following on Twitter expands your universe and more magic happens. Would you not want to be the person who flew under the radar in high school and made it big, rather than the high school heartthrob who peeked in life their senior year? It’s your call, it’s your life and it’s your Twitter page.
Yes Kim someday another girl will have a better butt and Justin someday a cuter kid that can sing will come along. Hope you two hotties are reaching out on your Twitter by then. Hope it just might be too late, for you.
BARRIERS TO ENTRY
In theories of competition in economics, barriers to entry, also known as barrier to entry, are obstacles that make it difficult to enter a given market. The term can refer to hindrances a firm faces in trying to enter a market or industry - such as government regulation, or a large, established firm taking advantage of economies of scale - or those an individual faces in trying to gain entrance to a profession - such as education or licensing requirements. Because barriers to entry protect incumbent firms and restrict competition in a market, they can contribute to distortionary prices. The existence of monopolies or market power is often aided by barriers to entry.
In theories of competition in economics, barriers to entry, also known as barrier to entry, are obstacles that make it difficult to enter a given market. The term can refer to hindrances a firm faces in trying to enter a market or industry - such as government regulation, or a large, established firm taking advantage of economies of scale - or those an individual faces in trying to gain entrance to a profession - such as education or licensing requirements.
Because barriers to entry protect incumbent firms and restrict competition in a market, they can contribute to distortionary prices. The existence of monopolies or market power is often aided by barriers to entry.
Barriers To Entry in Life:
To be valued as a commodity you must have a portfolio that reflects that your barriers to entry are high. Thats just how it works. The system holds you back. If you overcome the obstacles you get a shot. Movers, shakers and key influencers make this valued judgement about you before they commit. Without it they circle you like vultures waiting for a piece of you they can pick off and call their own. They don’t want to go to party that just anybody can get into. If it looks easy it must not be real or sustainable. Is this a truism? No but it is the way people think.
For example in the world of stocks LinkedIN is a more valued stock than Groupon. Why? LinkedIN had barriers to entry. It competes with Facebook for market share. Groupon had no competition in getting into the market. No barrier with consumer interest to overcome. Investors invest in LinkedIN not Groupon. Their feeling is that Groupon is a trend and LinkedIN is a potential standard. Don’t believe in this just look at the histories of Myspace and Facebook. Myspace had no carries to entry. It was the first kid on the block. Facebook had to compete with Myspace to succeed. The rest is history. Learning from others mistakes may be the true key to success. Learning from your own may just be overrated.
Right or wrong success in life works the same way. People love a great story.
“She was the wife of an abusive husband and she overcame a dysfunctional household and is now a big time executive.
“He grew up in the projects selling drugs and now he runs a successful company.”
“He was born with one leg and he runs marathons.”
Generally the person who has it all and gets more is overlooked. Unless however they make it super big.
Donald Trump: Son of a real estate mogal.
Ted Turner: Son of a billboard tycoon.
John F. Kennedy: Son of a politician and millionaire moonshiner.
Barriers of entry untimely, mythology and perception.
Aretha Franklin: Daughter of a pastor. Grew up with a good solid middle class life. Perception of the era gave her a barrier of entry. She was black from Detroit and that was enough for the general market.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Son of a pastor. He lived on the richest street in Atlanta for blacks. He was a kid who had it all, but because of his era was perceived as an underdog and got the benefit of the doubt.
Jay-Z: He is legend because he once sold drugs and no runs a multi-million dollar operation.
Justin Bieber: Raised by a single mom with a drug addicted father. Put his music on You Tube and becomes a pop sensation. Are there other young singers with more talent? Yes, how many have his back story and are white singing black music.
Jeremy Lin: The New York Knicks back court sensation is the first high profile Asian-American to become a media darling. People love the fact he has come a tough stereotypical road to success more than his skill set.
J-Lo: A poor kid from the block in New York City.
Image is everything and a good backstory is king. This is why being yourself is important. That being said you must also be careful. Sometimes who you really are can work against you.
Lets say you are a minority from a middle class setting. You can be wildly talented but people just don’t take you seriously. You are losing out in credibility to other minorities who are coming from backgrounds that are more challenged on a survival level. Why? People think you already have it all. You walk the walk and talk the talk so they think you do not need help. If anything you may be perceived ironically as a threat. Some people (conservative and liberal) have a problem with people being equal to them. Yes they will give money to Africa or stay out of your way but they only like you if you are little less and more needy than them. You are on their time.
How do you combat this? Awareness. For those that are worthy you must make them aware of your unique struggle. Maybe you did not grow up in the ghetto but you have had other obstacles and barriers to entry, i.e.: institutionalized bias, being the first minority or people who just won’t take you seriously. Strange as it may seem, the people that are holding you down just may be your greatest barriers to entry. Some of these people may even call you their friend or say they like you.
These barriers do build character. They can make you more resilient and special. If you can survive them you can survive anything. Just be wary you don’t want people to try and steal your unique power.
You are the girl who grew up seemingly with it all (no one does, no matter how rich). People always called you daddy’s little girl. You are pretty and your hair is long. People have put you in the cheerleader box and won’t let you out. You want to be a doctor but the world looks at you and says, “Yeah right.” What do you do? Do you cut your hair and wear less makeup to get street cred? No! You shake what your mama gave ya and you make it known that you have obstacles like everybody. You let your light shine and let your story be told.
What does all of this transparency to your barriers create with people? It creates a solid paradigm of reality. Those that get stand get you join your team. Those that don’t call you weird and run away. Be proud of who you are. If someone treats you the wrong way because of the way you are, acknowledge it for what it is. Don’t sugar coat it as and example of the other person has a insecurity or you lie to yourself and say it does not hurt. All insults hurt always. The only insult that does not hurt is the one that you don’t give. When unjustly hurt fire back!
Blow the doors off with it. “That person does not like me because I am different,” or “That person has a problem with me because I pose a threat to their world.” If this makes some people back away from you then life is doing you a favor. I guarantee every person that ever steps out of your life was never going to do anything for your life in the first place. “You can book that!” Or I guess these days you say, “Upload that!”
Ice T, Ice Cube P. Diddy, Dr. Dre’ and many other rappers throughout the past 40 years have been middle class people who created an alter ego and persona to succeed. As a result few have had sustainability. It is problematic to live your life as someone else.
Reality = Sustainability
“Keepin’ it real,” has been the battle cry of Hip Hop since the late 80’s and the emergence of gangsta rap. Gangsta rappers unlike early 80’s rappers and early 90’s and underground rappers had to essentially proclaim their value to be valued. Gangsta rap just may be the Groupon of Hip Hop.
“Me thinks he doth protest too much.”
-William Shakespeare - Hamlet
Whitney Houston is dead not because she was addicted to drugs. Houston may have passed because all she really wanted to do was sing gospel and sing in her mothers cabaret group.
Michael Jackson may be gone because the only thing he really wanted to do was make music and make people happy (including his family). If you want to make your father happy and you never live up to his expectations you are riding on a slippery slope. Joe Jackson’s barriers to entry were too high and Michael never got off the ride.
We can keep going; Amy Whinehouse, Tupac Shakur, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Sam Cooke, John F. Kennedy Jr. This list could go on and on of people who avoided their barriers of entry, crashed and burned. There are countless others who have never made it because they could not embrace who they really are. You must accept the challenges in life and embrace them. Fair or not. By doing so you strengthen your spiritual core.
The greatest moment of your life is the one you are living right now.
KEEPING ON THE SUPER HERO SUIT
We are all underdogs when it comes to our destiny. Who we really are requires work. We all have the potential to be a super hero, we just must decide to answer the call.
What is a super hero?
Definition: Someone who manifests a super-ability or superpower and generally acts heroically-is brave and self-sacrificing.
1 : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
2 : an illustrious warrior.
3 : a person admired for their achievements and noble qualities.
4 : one who shows great courage.
5 : the principal character in a dramatic moment.
6 : the central figure in an event, period, or movement.
The strong man is not the good wrestler; the strong man is only the one who controls himself when he is angry.
-Mohammed (Founder of Islam)
Most situations in life require you to make a fundamental decision.
1. Keep the super hero suit on?
2. Take the super hero suit off?
There is no other outcome. There is no other choice. You make this decision every time you come in contact with another human being. You must ask yourself, “Do I keep the super hero suit on or off?” This determines the outcome of events evolving around you.
“You have two decisions to make each day. You can get better or you can get worse but you will not stay the same.”
-Joe Paterno (Football Coach)
The challenge is to rise to the occasion. In the wake of making decisions and dealing with obstacles and conflict visualize yourself as a super hero. “What would Superman do, what would Wonder Woman do?”
Super heros are calm, cool and collected at all times. They understand the big picture there is always a moral driven value system bigger than themselves. A super hero stands for something.
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
-John F. Kennedy
Super heros are not who people expect them to be, they are who they need to be.
One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
When your boss gives you a ridiculous time line, you put on the super suit to save the day. You don’t whine about the unfavorable task you have been given. You juggle family and career. You put on the super suit.
You want to impress in that critical job interview. You work hard to get the career of your dreams. You meet the person of your dreams. Your family is in crisis. Your best friend needs you. Having the courage to take a chance or to love. Standing up for yourself without fear of not being liked. You stand for justice for all not just for your peeps. Face the challenges of life and do not worry about public opinion.
“If half the people love you and half the people hate you, you are doing the right thing.”
-Bill VanDerKoot (Filmmaker)
Don’t kid yourself. You will have enemies and haters. You will have many Lex Luthers, Jokers and Catwomen in your journey. You will be forced to fight because they will find you. They can’t move on unless they feel as if they have defeated you. Remember you are the super hero and you must come out on top. There is no running with the super hero suit on.
“You can please some of the people some of the time, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
-Abraham Lincoln (16th President Of The United States)
Superheroes are compelling and on the same continuum as regular everybody else. They’re like you, me and the Jack or Jill down the street, but with something extra. People will always ponder what it would be like to a super hero. As people look on they will want to be you. That will manifest itself as love and hate.
To be a super hero you must believe in something bigger than yourself. You are never to big to assist the less fortunate.
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.”
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
You must be able to control and face your fear and emotions. You need this skill to perform at the highest level. You must know your enemies and be willing to engage to reach your desired outcome. You must also know when to sidestep them because you have bigger fish to fry.
Perfection is not always required but you need to come through when it is. Perfection is only needed during dynamic transformational moments when universal change is on the line in the world around you.
Super heros see windows of opportunities, they step up and grab the brass ring with confidence.
The key is to use your super powers for good and focus them n the right place.
Bulling people and being self indulgent for the purposes of personal satisfaction are prohibited.
Super heros don’t have hot opening lines in clubs. They don’t focus on how they dress, walk, talk and how much money they have.
Materialistic values are non-existant.
Being a super hero is not about being perfect. It is about being aware. Super heros learn from their mistakes and move on. One thing a super hero can’t do is change the past. Super heros bet on themselves. What you do is not who you are. Who you are is what you do.
Becoming a super hero is the ability to except the extenuating circumstances of your life.
1. Your planet blows up and your father sends you to Earth (Superman).
2. Bitten by a radioactive spider (Spiderman).
3. Your parents are killed by the Joker (Batman).
4. You are contaminated with gamma radiation (The Hulk).
5. Prisoner Of War (Iron Man).
You must always pick yourself up when knocked down. You must accept what happens to you that is out of your control but never surrender. Super heros make meaning of traumatic experiences-a field of psychological inquiry called posttraumatic growth or stress-induced growth.
You must aspire to noble impulses and heroic acts. You forever must seek and often capture essential truths about human nature.
When you take the super hero suit off and you are rejected that means you are in the wrong place. Pack you bags, put the suit back on and fly the hell out of there.
When you can take the super hero suit off and nothing bad of negative happens, you have found the place you need to be and you have found love.
And that is all a real super hero is after.
“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
Remembering the future, our brain saves energy by predicting what it will see. The more familiar the activity the more the brain can predict. In the moments before you “stop and smell the roses,” it’s likely your brain is already preparing your sensory system for that familiar floral smell.
Predictive coding constitutes the fundamental functional and cognitive principle for the brain. Predictive coding is the idea that the representation of the environment requires that brain actively predicts what its sensory input will be, rather than just passively registering it.
Using constructs from statistical physics, machine learning and probability theory the problems of inferring the causes of sensory input and learning the causal structure of their generation can be resolved using exactly the same principles. Furthermore, inference and learning can proceed in a biologically plausible fashion.
The brain uses predictive coding to generate “predictive templates” of specific experiences — setting up a mental expectation of an experience before it hits your conscience. Predictive coding is important because it provides animals — in this case, humans — with a behavioral advantage, in that they can react more quickly and more accurately to stimuli in the surrounding environment. Walking down a dark alley at night to your car is an example. Your senses are heightened in lieu of danger. Backing out of a curious stock market choice. Your brain operates by seeing patterns. Predicting the stock market is patterns. Great fashion designers know colors, clothing styles and trends. A great music artist knows what is the next great sound. A filmmaker knows what people want and need to see. Just because you think something is important, does not make it important to others. Having a sense of the future determines a success rate not opinions. Knowing the future actually quantifies that your options are limited when it comes to success. Great minds thread the needle.
Having a sense of the future involves remembering and understanding the past. Combining past experiences to create a new future paradigm is the key.
Case Study 1.0 - The 1960’s:
The 1960’s was a era of social change in America. During this time public policy changed, opinions about war evolved, music outdistanced culture, cutting visionary movies were impactful and television became trite.
Public policy and opinions about people of color, women and gay culture redefined themselves. For the first time in American history everyone was protected under the constitution (Civil Right Act Bill 1964). This landmark achievement was not achieved without substantial loss. JFK, RFK, MLK and Malcolm X all gave their lives to achieve this higher order. They went to the mountain top but did not get there with you or I. Long life was not one of their advantages. True success is sacrifice.
In the early 1960’s war was acceptable, by the end of the 1960’s the justification for war was questioned. Muhammad Ali led the charge and gave the ultimate sacrifice in the face of this social rift, the Vietnam War. Ali gave up the prime years of his fighting career to make a point about something bigger than him. Ali has remained the most recognizable person on the planet since the 1970’s.
Music in the 60’s far outdistances culture. The British band the Beatles were the number one rock group in America. The irony with this was the fact that their music was heavily influenced by African-American music. The Beatles started as a Skiffle group from London. Skiffle is a style of music created by a English musician named, Lonnie Donnegan. Lonnie was a British Navy man stationed in American during WW2. Lonnie an guitarist by trade fell in love with the Blues. After the war he went back to England and developed the Skiffle style of music. Skiffle is the Blues sped up. The Beatles were young and impressionable teens at the height of Lonnie’s European popularity and were inspired to play his style of music. John, Paul, George and Ringo all listened to the Blues and Jazz as young men. Their early hits, “She Loves You, Hard Days Night ect.,” are all blues songs in a up tempo pattern. The Beatles were delivering black music at a time of unstable race relations.
Black owned, Motown records was the number one record label of the 1960’s. The Supremes were the second most popular group with the Temptations and Four Tops not far behind. The era opened with Frankie Avalon as a teen idol and ended with Michael Jackson.
Movies in youth culture had an impact on public opinion. Youthful director driven films like, The Apartment 1960, Psycho 1960, Westside Story 1961, Manchurian Candidate 1962, A Hard Days Night 1964, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, 1966, Dr. Strangelove 1964, Bonnie And Clyde 1967, The Graduate 1967, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner 1967, Rosemary’s Baby 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968, Easy Rider 1969, The Wild Bunch 1969 and Midnight Cowboy 1969, all altered the collective consciousness.
Television in the 60’s, in a word was safe. The number one show of the 1960’s was “The Beverly Hillbillies.” This show was not about an ethnic family moving up in the world it was about mountain people. White Trash was the muse for our cultural tolerance on TV in the free love decade. Other shows were Gilligan’s Island, Bewithched, Andy Griffith, The Flintstones, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart, My Three Sons and I Dream Of Jeannie. The point here is that, when the going gets tough people like their music mixed, their films edgy and full of life and their TV meaningless. What does all this mean? Can the 1960’s be applied to the current Obama era? What evidence of predictive coding exists to determine where we go from here?
Case Study 2.0 - 2012:
Today the economy is down, gas prices are up, we have been at war since 2003 and America has it’s first ethnic president. Feel familiar? That just might be your predictive coding mechanism kicking into high gear.
The Occupy movement is the closest thing we have to real social change these days. The predictive coding here may only be half right. The protest of the economy is right but taking to the streets may be wrong. Why? The paradigm for social change may have changed. In the old days you marched in the streets and called the TV networks. In today’s digital universe you take to the streets and Tweet about it.
There is greater predictive coding evidence in social movements in other places such as; Egypt and Libya. Is America just too blind to see the future. Hard to say many people are looking down at their tablets and smartphones waiting for the answer to download.
Has social change in America occurred in the Obama era? Somewhat but it is slow. America is out of Iraq, Bin Laden is gone, being rich is starting to pay a heavier price and there is the beginning stages of a healthcare system. Are ethnic people, women and gay people better off these days? Yes and no. They now have lanes to move forward in the American landscape but they are still systematically kept out of traditional circles unless they are willing to surrender their allegiance to their subcultural group and personal identity. You can have that top executive position at a fortune 500 company but button your lip and keep your head down. Muhammad Ali would not be proud of that.
So is there a JKF, RFK or MLK for today to lead the charge to save humanity? Yes and no? The great fight is no longer for civil liberties, its for economics. The next great revolution will be fought with numbers not words. This is what predictive coding tells us about the future and what we need to do to anticipate and prepare for it. Once again Tyler Perry may not be as meaningless as people think. Hey Spike Lee, how about less lip and more focus on the stock market. LinkedIN stock is up 70%. Why, people are out of work and looking for a job.
In 2012 culture outdistances music. Music is on life support. It no longer gives us insight into who we are or where we can go. There are no more Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On albums, no Bob Dylan, no John Lennon, no Berry Gordy (for those that don’t know he is the founder of Motown). If they are out there, they are not being distributed. Why? NO money! Distributors do not have the cash flow to take risk. The monetary value of music has dropped significantly. Music is also pirated and the gaming industry has taken a big chunk of the entertainment business. That raises another interesting predictive coding question, “Is gaming the new music industry?” Maybe? Gaming continues to rise as global markets are penetrated by smart phones. How about a game that inspires social change? Is that the predictive coding for the future? Social games, environmental games, health games, intelligence enhancement games? Talk amongst yourselves. New music stars might be gaming stars. If Russell Brand and Katy Perry can’t stay married and see the value of their brand then a critical question must be asked, “Why Stay Loyal to celebrities in music?” Youth stays loyal to brands and companies who stay loyal to themselves, just ask Myspace. As soon as Myspace sold out to Rupert Murdoch the game was over.
Kids will keep logging on to Facebook for a long time to come, as long as it stays true to itself. Facebook is the new MTV and the company is worth 100 Billion dollars. That’s more than Bank Of America. China could buy out Bank Of America but they can’t touch Facebook. Facebook may become a destination for everything (video, music, gaming ect.). Facebook is not the next Myspace. This is the platform to which people live their lives. There is no fad to create competition. By the way Twitter wants to buy in China.
Movies in the Obama era are two fold. Brilliance does not translate into box office and does not make cultural icons. In the 60’s great films appealed to youth and made actors into icons. Now great films make a critical impact but do not make money and don’t make stars. Big action films and comedies make box office and stars. Now films are successful if they have action, effects, established stars and sometimes animation. Mythical inconsequential drama, violence and comedy seem to push the medium. Life lessons are relegated to animation and cartoons.
Television is a cell dividing and gaining more pwoer. More and more people watch digitally on their own time and don’t watch in real time. Television is also accessed online. Do popular shows reflect the 1960’s, you betcha! Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, The Office and Modern Family set the sitcom landscape these days. Sports and reality series are now a part of the fiber and nature of America now. Predictive coding may have been able to see the rise of sports television but certainly not reality TV. American Idol, The Voice and X-Factor are the new variety show formats. If Ed Sullivan were alive today he would have Ryan Secrest job.
Television is right on the money with Predictive Coding that is why it has been able to keep the internet at arm’s length while it figures out it’s strategy for penetration. The barriers to entry are low on the internet so television gets to work from a position of leverage. As long as society continues to be destabilized TV can feed the viewers taste for escapism and stay safe and successful. The house of cards folds if American society ever gets it’s s@#! together.
If somebody hands you a bottle of milk and asks, ‘Is this milk rotten?’ there may not be any visual clues to help you accurately determine if the milk has spoiled, so you rely on your sense of smell. If your brain can successfully form a template of a rotten milk smell, then you would more accurately determine whether that milk is rotten and therefore you are less likely to get sick. These predictive templates can give us an important advantage.
Neuroscientific models of sensory perception suggest that the brain utilizes predictive codes in advance of a stimulus encounter, enabling organisms to infer forthcoming sensory events.
Researchers have discovered that the brain saves energy by predicting what it is likely to see. According to scientists in the Department of Psychology at the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany, the visual cortex does not simply react to visual stimuli but proactively predicts what it is likely to see in any given context - for example, within familiar environments such as your house or office.
By doing so it uses less energy to process images, but if something unexpected were to appear in that familiar environment, the visual cortex becomes more active in order to process this information.
Imagine your desk in your office, you’ve seen it a million times so your brain knows what it looks like so it doesn’t need to spend lots of time processing the scene. It already has a mental image of it and so the brain predicts that this is what it will see before you walk into the room. However, if you were to walk in to your office one day and see someone totally unexpected sitting in your chair - the President Of The United States, for example, your brain would have to work harder to process the same scene.
The findings build on a fairly new hypothesis developed by University College London neuroscientist Karl Friston called predictive coding - or free energy principle - which suggests the brain is actively predicting what input it will receive, rather than just passively processing information as it arrives.
By predictive coding we refer to the idea that the brain generates predictions that estimate the visual input it will most likely receive given the contextual information from the recent past. For the brain it’s really about surprise reduction.
To test the predictive coding hypothesis, the Glasgow researchers conducted an experiment where 12 volunteer subjects were asked to view a visual stimulus while undergoing and fMRI brain scan.
The subjects had to look at a fixed point on a computer screen above and below which two dots would flash alternatively creating an illusion of motion.
For predictable/unpredictable trials, the researchers briefly presented a third dot on the screen. To test predictable stimulus the dot would appear at a point between the two other dots, timed to correlate to the illusion of smooth movement. For the unpredictable stimulus it would appear out of synch with the motion illusion.
The primary visual cortex (V1) of each subject was monitored while the tests were undertaken and the results showed that the predictable patterns resulted in less activity in V1, compared to the unpredictable stimulus.
The brain expects to see things and really just wants to confirm it now and again - it’s almost like remembering the future.
It might explain why sometimes you don’t notice something different in a familiar environment because your brain is seeing what it expects to see, rather than what is actually there. This may be the greatest stumbling block of social bias in America. America has had a longer history of intolerance than tolerance.
What we need to do now is extend this research to consider predictive coding in more natural environments and other aspects of sensory perception. How to build a better film, TV show, movie, game, website or puppet show.
If we do that we can accurately predict what is the next big thing based on the external stimuli of the cultural environment that patronizes content (the consumer). Everyone pick up your number two pencils. the test is about to begin.
MOBILITY Vs. MARGINALIZATION
So how do you get your info these days? PDA? PC? Tablet? Word on the street? TV?! In the click and mortar world what device do you click on? Are you standing or sitting? Are you on the move? How much of your world is found in physical space verses cyberspace. Do you find out about what is next via newspaper, TV, hit movie, internet or your friend down on the corner holla at you. If the latter is true, is it a phone call, email or text?? Chit Chat over dinner?
Yes this is the digital age. Yes things move at the speed of expanding bandwidth. Extra extra download and streaming all about it. Hot off the blogs. Not only is getting information a key to your success, so is when and how fast you get it.
Once upon a time answering machines at home made it easier to get messages and respond to requests from people. Back in the day you came home and checked your messages. Before that someone had to call you back if you were not home, know where you were and call you there or send you a letter.
Soon pagers emerged and people could summon your on command. You got a pager. Looked at the number calling you and you returned the call. Not so long after that cell phones blew the door off communications. These days people talk and or email and text in real time.
People read the news as it happens. You can even have CNN text you when world events hit the fan.
Here is your reality check. If you are not on the bandwidth wagon you will get left back. You will be in the back of the bus on the information super highway and never be heard from. It does not matter if you want to get a new job, check your stocks or sell your latest Hip Hop release.
No Tech No Love.
Marketing means nothing without product innovation. You must have the delivery system in place to be taken seriously.
Accessing information is about being on the move. Desktop publishing just may be dead if you expect to be a playa in the new skool digital game. “I need to go home and check my email,” is as much of a waste of time these days as going home to check your messages.
Don’t be 2000 and late.
Yes technology can be the great equalizer but the access to high speed technology wins the day. If I can download a file at three times the speed as you I will win the day. Ideas are not always the be all end all. It’s who gets there first gets the brass ring.
Without the mobility individuals are marginalized the same way people were simplified with the advent of planes, trains and automobiles. If you can’t get around you can’t reap the benefits of a fast paced industrialized society. Without bandwidth and the devices that go with it, you can’t score big in the digital revolution.
Waiting for dial up will not cut it. If someone has told you about it on the street you are a a day late and a dollar short (Just ask the Occupy movement).
If Occupy had focused more energy on a web movement rather than a, “We Shall Overcome, take it to the streets and get on TV movement,” would that have made a difference? With bandwidth and devices does there come an indifference with looking at images that are not real time and can only be accessed at a specific time?
Do you like getting messages on your phone or when you get home?