Category Archives: commentary

what happens without design

HdBGu

our current challenges around government, corporations and the economy are due to a lack of conscious experience design effort

more and more i feel that we need to realize that its all up to us

we need to more actively participate and to quite literally guide the re-design of our readymade, given systems — most of which, at this point, no longer effectively serve our human needs as a society, especially those needs of people living below the most upper of upper classes in this nation and the world

but how do we meaningfully participate? 

and would it be more effective to participate within the given systems or somehow work on designing a more renegade, extra-governmental set of new systems to positively create faster momentum and greater impact for the vast majority of people?

for me its the whole
design or be designed
decision we all need to make

or, i guess, we can all simply continue with our armchair quarterbacking methodology of just sitting back and complaining about the horrific results coming out of the current dynamics { which were, of course, historically guided to where they are today }

 

does your dog bite?

peterSellers

sometimes i feel a lot like a human, wetware mash-up between Larry David and Peter Seller’s version of Inspector Clouseau from Blake Edward’s Pink Panther films of the 1970s and beyond

i always feel like that dream we all have where we’re walking around in a very familiar place but you know that you need to hide away for some reason — maybe you’re at school or at work or at a club or restaurant or something, but you’re overwhelmed with embarrassment and the need to hide yourself away — its only at about three quarters of the way through the dream that you realize that you’re ashamed and hiding all because you don’t have any pants on — hell, you don’t even have under garments on for that matter, and even though nobody seems to even notice you just know that you need to keep a low profile and sneak around until you can find something to cover your naked genitals and ass with

bumbling — i’m constantly bumbling

i mean — let’s say i get up and i’m in a hurry and i slide my jacket on, put my laptop bag over my shoulders, grab my coffee and water bottle and start to head out the door and then fwoOoOOop! — somehow the strap on my bag or a pocket on my jacket loops around the door handle and i’m yanked back into my ungraceful, clumsy reality again

i seem to have a bad relationship with inanimate objects

and i seem to get myself into probably just as many awkward and painful social scenarios as Larry David gets himself into on the show Curb Your Enthusiasm

its just not usually that funny to me in the moment — it only seems to grow into something of a funny story as my temporal distance from the immediate fumbling moments recede into the nebulous past

what’s kind of interesting and funny to me in thinking back to Seller’s Clouseau right now is a certain para-cosmological and symbolic connection i might have subconsciously made to a similarly hilarious character that can be watched on an almost nightly basis in our current television mass media substreaming archetype generation machine

and i think you know exactly who i’m talkin’ ’bout here Willis

that’s right — its none other than … dun dun duhhhhh!

Horatio P Caine

38587062-horatioCaine

when you watch an episode of CSI Miami, you know you’re supposed to take Horatio Caine dead serious — there’s this almost over-the-top ridiculousness to David Caruso’s delivery as Caine — its bad acting at its best

Caruso’s over-tense, tough as nails style of hard-guy cliché muttering at the scene of the crime actually becomes the perfect comedic counterpoint to the world of drug dealing and wheeling, murder and dark crime sizzling up from the heat of downtrodden, criminal Miami — and as unintentional as the humor may be, its a rather brilliantly clumsy-confident portrayal that truly brightens my nights when and if i get myself into a CSI jag to piss my time away

Horatio Caine almost comes across as the Anti-Clouseau in many respects, or at least that’s what i gather as the intention behind the writing and direction for CSI Miami — investigation mistakes for Caine have a far less light-hearted set of consequences than those made by Clouseau in a movie like A Shot in the Dark — you can feel that the character of Horatio Caine is supposed to come across as dark, troubled and mysterious as Tim Burton’s Bruce Wayne in 1989 Batman, but the delivery goes way too far and the result then turns into far more of a farce than anything — and for this reason, as much as Caine and Clouseau are bi-polar opposites on the spectrum of hard-assed smoothness and emotionality, i feel their intrinsically connected on a pseudo-psychic level of the collective subconscious

the dog that Horatio Caine might pet in Miami would surely bite,
but it would most likely actually be Caine’s dog

lead-m_1679122a

return of the stumpheads

please forgive me

its just my inner cyberSurrealist escaping me for a bit

stump_0001_smaller

for a pocket of tiMe i wrote more freely — almost straight from the subConscious to the interwebz

the content seemed to come from some other place & far more directly published itself to some other place all of its own volition

my creative flow, back then — which i actually considered to be an uncreative process of sorts — felt inspired by the automatic writings of the original Surrealists with their delicious parlour games, these wonderful ways of tapping into the subconsciousness we all contain in very public environs like The Cabaret Voltaire — i almost felt as if i too could go back there, not only tapping into my own inner elf but also somehow simultaneously sip from the poetic well that surely continues on in this strange afterlife the Surrealists left for us as their rather trippy legacy to our modernday culture

its so obvious, too, to see — & it needs to be very publickly declared from the wifi-connected rooftops at the top of the overpopulated hilltops of every major city skyscraper … yes, yes, indeed …

the Surrealists win!

and now, in this New Age of Surrealism — an age in which we are all individual cyberSurrealists conducting our own little semi-fictionalized movements of one — we continue in the tradition of revolution of the unconscious

mission accomplished!

with our new over-mediated & over-technologized culture of technohumanity we walk around with heads held up high, the vast societal assumption is our augmented humanness puts us as a people at such an advanced competitive edge against The Animal Kingdom and against Nature — we, the thinking animals with our special, clever tools — we will surely afford ourselves an almost self-created ability to live beyond our natural lives, to smartly achieve our lives everlasting here on Earth, due to our superior intellect & our ability to trick our found systems, these systems of Nature

we somehow think we can game the rules of Nature to thereby, somehow live eternally, leveraging our technologies as the tools to get there

but these beliefs { & yes, our over-trust in Science & technology — this so-called STEM kind of bullshit — are merely a new set of Belief Systems a la Religion }, that we will somehow overcome the limits of Nature Herself, are utterly preposterous, of course { so obvious to those of us who proudly keep our heads amidst the powerful encouraging forces to adopt the newest, latest, bleeding-edgiest of the latest, newest, bleeding-edgiest of our technologies }

these technologies cannot really extend our lifespan

these technologies cannot really further advance our intelligence or our competitive advantage { since we are merely competing with ourselves at this point anyways — and really only solving the challenges our new advancements present in a reverse evolutionary manner into the cybernetic aftertrail of all of this Progress }

these technologies are not really good for these things — the things that our leading technologists & neo-futurist thinkers actually aim to accomplish

instead — i would like to humbly suggest we take a few steps back & re-evaluate what our technologies really help us do as a supposed civilized society

our technologies, during this transitional point in history { as we continue to move from a manufacturing, industrial-focused era — deeper & deeper in to The Information Age } — these technologies become far more effective devices for self-analysis

yes, in the continued tradition of The Surrealists with their fascination on our extremely human & mysterious aspects, our technologies bring that tradition of psychological self-analysis into the twentyfirst century — with our new found, readymade cyberSurrealism we can more deeply understand a far more honest sense of who we really are as individual people & as a more holistic social, world organism

unfortunately, for us,
we are far less advanced
than we believe ourselves to be

because we’ve been so hyper-focused on innovating our external reality as both individuals & as pockets of society, we’ve neglected the vastly more important aspects of innovation for our inner beings — technological advancement gives us an amazing ability to turn our subconscious out into the external world around us, but sometimes the most nasty internal energies usher out reminding us all of the intoxicating and ofttimes dangerous dualities existent within us all

we are capable of extreme good & extreme evil

& we know that the tools we develop cannot be held accountable on their own as inanimate & beloved manifestations of our genius in building communication platforms that, for the most part;

  • do absolutely nothing to facilitate any better sense of real communication;
  • do absolutely nothing to optimize our abilities to survive { or even bloom or flourish } the techno-humanic ecosystems we self-invent & evolve on a near daily basis;

the fact that we’re still so insanely focused on conquering Nature in the more Darwinian framework of natural selection by shifting our context instead of more rationally & wisely discovering new ways to better live within our given, natural context & to, hopefully, start taking better care of the more holistic, collective organism of humanity — shows how ultimately unadvanced we are on so many levels { psychically; emotionally; ethically; intellectually; socially }

9432510-formis_andalou

we need to somehow get better focused — we need to get back on track to evolving our species in a better way for not only all of humanity, but also for the natural world & for the future of the natural world & our existence within the context of where we really live, not just where we imagine or invent as our artificial accoutrements, our little playSpace pretend world that cozily sits on top of the underlying real nature of the planet we live on { the universe we live in }

its a life or death kind of thing, actually

isn’t it?

don’t get me wrong — i enjoy the inside-out cyberSurreality of our advanced societies — its all extremely entertaining & it usually reminds me that i’m not such a bad person at the end of the day { at least by comparison to what makes it to mass media televised reality } — its also interesting to see the sort of trainwreck status updates our social web affords my friends & family via Facebook, Twitter & these amazing new, evolving platforms for human communication { please note the facetious italicization } — once again, our iPhone { or other connected mobile devicery } transforms from our all-purpose, standard Swiss Army Knife for modern wireless communications { which most-times feel like mere echo-locative blips to self-affirm our relative importance to the people we love & care about } into a mystical, mini Pandora’s Box, a fascinating open container of sorts, tapping into the inner workings of the real human mind, the real psyche { noxious energies & borderline behaviors that we all somehow previously kept politely tucked away prior to these amazing new technological advancements }

we need to innovate our insides again, my friends

& we can also keep innovating our technologies, too — don’t take my lil’ rant the wrong way — please don’t see me as some sort of neo-Luddite, i don’t want to smash the machines & set them on fire { well, i do pretty much fucking hate my printer most of the time, though, hmmmmm }

i think i just see a need for better balance moving forward — we’ve been focused on innovation as a strictly external, object-based force for new business direction & all of that — but we also need to bring a newfound concentration on re-building our sense of inner innovation before it gets too late

failure

broken_promise_by_don_paolo

i’ve come to realize that i am not particularly good at anything

i mean, i’ve actually tried my hand at a lot of things in my life — and i feel fortunate to always be curiously distracted and experimental and exploratory in my pursuit of expression and life-long research in the world

so at least that’s cool

i think i’m slowly becoming okay with the fact that i’m mostly a really good failure

our data

maggots

our data lives like insects inside our machines

you can hear the little scratchy sounds of them skittering about inside when you’re looking for a file or for some new meaning

we collect them — we store them — we trust they’ll serve us in some way

but in the end its all simply meaningless, just an unfortunate silly game

 

why we laugh

laughing-kid

i’ve done a lot of research in the areas of ‘humor, laughter and the areas in-between’ as a means to understand what makes things funny or not, and its a fascinating topic with numerous theories for us to consider — the leading theories include: The Superiority Theory; The Incongruity and Incongruity-Resolution Theories; The Benign Violation Theory; The Mechanical Theory; and The Release Theory

all of these theories delve into the rather interesting and subtle dynamics around the conditions that produce laughter from human beings, but i’m not so sure they actually even begin to answer the question:

Why do we laugh?

i remember reading all about Peter McGrath’s Benign Violation Theory in The Boston Globe a while back — McGrath’s claims behind his theory almost promise a rather compact and cozy little concept around interpersonal dynamics that almost stand alone as the veritable Holy Grail behind Humor and Laughter Research — a sort of ‘one simple theory explains it all’ — but closer examination and consideration, especially when bringing up examples of humor that actually purposely do not intend to produce genuine, out loud human laughter, subtly shifts Benign Violation from a category of laugh theory into more of a comedy strategy

i’d like to suggest that many of these theories
completely miss the mark

these theories do not actually explain why human beings laugh but instead examine the contextual circumstances that almost mechanically provoke the human response of laughter in only certain situations — know what i mean? 

its taken me quite some time now to really look at this subject matter in the proper light and to interpret and really analyze all the theories and nuances of laughter, humor, comedy and funniness — and i feel its oversimplistic and almost unfair to think that only one theory does the trick here, because laughter is a very complicated human phenomena, almost as complicated an area of study as our belief systems and our cultures

but, as a means to completely contradict myself now, i feel that we can, in fact, explain the ‘Why?’ question — and embed all of these various theories around the circumstances surrounding laughter into the major reason we laugh — with a new theory of laughter evolution as i’m about to try and articulate …

toward a
New Theory of
Human Laughter Evolution

an initial theory to answer the question ‘why do human beings laugh?’

this is going to sound totally ridiculous, maybe even funny to you, but i believe we laugh as human beings because we have to

we simply need to laugh

as human beings, we all walk through the world as these living, breathing vessels for various psycho-dynamic energies

some of these energies can be positive and some of these energies can be negative

but the energies build up inside all of us as if we were containers made of flesh and blood and bones that simply hold these mysterious energies

bottle-humor

antiquated scientific theories actually suggested that liquids called humours literally coursed through our bodies — and that these liquid humours were what triggered joy and laughter in an almost endorphin-like fashion

but i believe that the energies we build up { not measured as liquid or solid or gas in form } need to be released — and one of the most positive ways we can release extreme build-ups of our internal energies is through laughter

one other consideration that might make this a wee bit more complex and realistic as a pseudo-scientific theory follows

we, as human beings, probably initially cultivated laughter as a release system in an iterative, evolutionary manner as our species needed to adapt to the tense circumstances of our world — this does not mean that i subscribe solely to Freud’s Release Theory, but our need to release unhealthy energy is the most likely original reason we began to laugh as a species — in early human pre-history we needed to ultimately release the harsh feelings and energies building up inside as we dealt with our environment and the ways of the world — and laughter is a rather transgressive human expression of these potentially negative energies that feel far too intense for the body and mind to handle in a healthy manner

so, we need to laugh to survive

laughter is an adaptive behavior we’ve developed over time as a means
to psychologically brave the challenging experiences we encounter in life

and now — depending upon our contextual circumstances in the moment — we’ve evolved a rather intriguing set of socio-dynamic systems around laughter { beyond our original adaptive ‘energy release’ needs } with a multitude of complex, situation-based rules to govern when, why and how we laugh, and whether or not a particular expression of laughter indicates certain levels of social acceptability and awareness

its all fascinating stuff, right?

i plan to post more here and elsewhere on the webz along the way as i conduct further research into laughter and humor through Laugh Institute with the final outcome being a new book project that i’m affectionately calling the laughterLife as inspired by the fourth stream of cyberSurreal subConsciousness from my graduate design thesis confounded: future fetish design performance for human advocacy

[: stay tuned :]

Want to participate in a Laugh Study?

 

 

a note about Science

science

Science builds toward a knowledge-based belief system to understand the universe and our human experience through research, experimentation, observation, skepticism and constant challenge of the beliefs and understandings it builds.

Just to note: Science is not as mired in ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ as many believe it to be.

And I feel — through my own psuedo-scientific experimentation, observation and online conversations about the nature of science as a system and a methodology — that its closer affiliation to ‘belief’ ( as opposed to ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ ) is what sometimes heats up certain dialogs ( wink, wink ).

a theory about comedy strategy from Joan Rivers

joan-portrait

as most people by now — Joan Rivers passed away yesterday
on August 4th, 2014

i truly enjoyed her comedic style and especially loved watching her latest project Fashion Police many an evening with my wife — the level of social commentary on the rather insane world of celebrity and fashion actually seemed to be the perfect target for her brand of ribald, insult-based humor, and even though she sometimes projected harsh criticisms in a supremely public delivery forum, she also intentionally added a level of humility and humanity to every conversation she engaged in on the show { and throughout the span of her entire career, too } by making Fashion Police a conversation instead of a ranty dialog

i actually found her to be quite endearing, regardless of the harsh and vitriolic persona she portrayed as part of her little critique panel for the Hollywood Junior High School culture covered so endearingly in the mainstream media — she also very cleverly hand-picked her more gentle colleagues on her panel to offset her mean transgressions against these almost holy figures the American public seems to so readily worship — her nightly posse, Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos, nicely accompanied and balanced out the Rivers’ material in a really beautiful and thoughtful way, which I’m sure was the natural, genius orchestration behind Joan Rivers and her larger than life personality and comic approach to life

fp-joan

i think i particularly loved her blunt and ofttimes vicious injections knowing full well that Rivers was consciously targeting her own culture, the culture of stars and fashion and appearances — the surface culture that covers all of America — as much as she was part of it, she constantly thumbed her nose to it in the most deliciously self-deprecating and hilarious way imaginable — and, Rivers also seems to have left a legacy of philosophical insight into the strange dynamics of comedy and funniness that can be rather easily exhumed from various sources around the web

i find this quote particularly fascinating — it seems to confirm the theories that Portland State University communications professor David Ritchie, PhD discusses as his Truth in humor theory in Metaphor and Symbol as most likely derived from Freud’s Relief Theory of laughter and humor 

I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.

— Joan Rivers, 1933-2014
we love you, we live on through your life devoted
to humor, social commentary and laughter

some definitions to consider

ocean

i look back lately — at my previous research and active design work at Dynamic Media Institute

i am re-opening my book — my design thesis book, that is — to once again take a look inside my veryOwn openContainer, and my intention to continue my investigative research into laughter, cyberSurrealism and the human experience swells and motivates me with a newfound retrospective clarity that i just frankly wasn’t ready to tackle back then

as i delve deeper into the investigation — an investigation that brings me to new areas of dangerous confrontation and heightened, intense self-awareness — i ready myself and my future audience of readers and participants with these 3 crucial definitions stolen from — or, uhm — cited from the Wikipdedia as core concepts for your consideration — important terms of reference regarding the underlying purpose and nature of my work

 

awareness
Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human’s or an animal’s perception andcognitive reaction to a condition or event.
Read more about Awareness on the Wikipedia

consciousness
Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.[1][2] It has been defined as: sentience,awarenesssubjectivity, the ability to experience or to feelwakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.[3] Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is.[4] As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: “Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives.”[5]
Read more about Consciousness on the Wikipedia

mindfulness
Mindfulness is “the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment”,[1]which can be trained by meditational practices[1] derived from Buddhist anapanasati.[2]

The term “mindfulness” is derived from the Pali-term sati,[3] “mindfulness”, which is an essential element of Buddhist practice, including vipassanasatipaṭṭhāna and anapanasati.

Mindfulness practice is being employed in psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorderanxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction.[4] It has gained worldwide popularity as a distinctive method to handle emotions.
Read more about Mindfulness on the Wikipedia

 

All preceding definitions from this blogPost came from the infamous Wikipedia out there on the webz. Go check it out { as if you’ve never heard of it, right? } and don’t forget to occasionally donate a bit to keep the project funded and smoothly movin’ along — we all learn soOOoOoo much from our little Wikipedia that could now, don’t we?

 

wikipedia1