Category Archives: family

in honor of Thumbullina

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Thumbullina passed away last Friday, June 17th

we will miss her so much

she was an important and very dear part of our family

blessings and love to you sweet Thumbles

you are with us in our hearts and in our souls

our new granddaughter

babyGirl

Carol and i are sooOOoOoo happy to welcome our brand new baby granddaughter to the world — she’s such a precious, peaceful little baby { born on Thursday, April 23rd 2015 } — we love you

laugh more often

stolen / borrowed photo of Danny DeVito laughing

maybe i just need to laugh a little more often

ya know?

 

Me and Marco as Beware the HaberdashMarco came out to Boston this week from Seattle and i have to say — i don’t think i’ve laughed so hard for a long, long time

and i think for the amount of time he was out this way we actually laughed more often than i normally do on your average daily or weekly basis

 

i feel a little better because of it, too

and it was all about completely silly shit, too

we didn’t need to go to a comedy club or listen to CDs of stand-up comedy in the car or anything

i think we’re just both imbued with this kind of comedic outlook on life

certain perfectly inane sequences of events can set off huge bombing guffaws of hilarity at times — and i know a lot of it is kind of just in our minds, if you know what i mean — its a particular sensibility that you collectively cultivate with a friend or a small group of colleagues or acquaintances that quite naturally develops and grows within the space and experience of the relationships we build in life — and its something unique to just certain friends, just certain groups of people in your life, based on the time you’ve spent and the amount of discussions you’ve shared over the years

sometimes just a look can set it all off, ya know?

a knowing nod

you know the deal, right? 

as a friendship builds — as any relationship builds, crumbles, ebbs and flows — the mutually-shared experiences and the things you talk about build up a sort of pre-verbal vocabulary that is very much based on a private language that each of us develops without a need for words

and its a phenomena that can really only occur with live presence

at least that’s my feeling about this concept

here’s Marco — a photo i took of Marco — when we lived out at The Church Street Apartment in Watertown back in the mid-90s

marcoChurch_desat

the photograph could be called A Portrait of Marco with a Shovel, Plastic Watering Can and a Guillotine — that’s the title i would probably give it if i were including it in an exhibition in some local café, full-well knowing that nobody would purchase the photo or anything, but that coffeeshop-going viewers might spend a few minutes looking and fabricating their own interpretation of the private language Marco and i were using on that rather mild, Autumn day

you can just see it in the photograph, too, right?

the expression on his face isn’t due to a conversation we were engaged in, i wasn’t holding up and squeezing a rubber duck or anything like that, in the way they would at a Sears Portrait Studio back in the 70s

there’s a familiarity between us — between me, as the photographer, and Marco, my subject here — that you can feel if you really tune in to the warm details of the end image — i don’t know if you’d consider the photograph to feel casual or friendly, but you can see a certain kindness being expressed by Marco

i believe you can’t develop that depth of emotional connection and feeling without actual, live, human presence

when Marco and i wrote, recorded and performed as Beware the Haberdash back at about that time — in the early to mid-90s — i know that our connection through the music-makingour connection: through vibration and rhythm; through composition and improvisational, collaborative interplay; through talking about the music or planning for a show — our connection dove into a far deeper subconscious zone where speech, instruction, conversation — all of these things — were no longer necessary for us to actually communicate with each other through our shared live and present space 

its a rather fascinating phenomena

and its a phenomena that i am currently trying to better understand through my research into another very closely-related, uniquely human phenomena — the phenomena of laughter

my own personal beliefs — as informed by both my currently-collected, active research and from my gut — indicate that laughter, like poetry, is both immediately mutually-understood by a group of people at the higher, signal level within a given social context and is also involved in such a complex intersection of intellectual, cultural and physiological systems that simultaneously shatter that understanding due to all of the actual environmental and behavioral life experience we bring into the live and present social moment

to back up just a little bit here, let me first establish a background concept, a simple definition, if you will, that helps set the stage in a better light

humor and laughter exist as a living, breathing,
organic and found cybernetic, social system

its a system that learns and grows and develops and ebbs and flows just like any relationship that gets established between any 2 or more organisms in the world

at one point in human history — one could guess from the research done to-date — laughter evolved

we developed a way to laugh

we most likely started laughing as a human beings for the verySame reasons that any species begins to mutate or discover a new special skill or feature — we started laughing as a means for survival — as a way to endure certain psychological tensions that come embedded in our earthen, natural environment or that pulse within our sociological and cultural ecosystems

laughter came before humor

there’s no chicken and the egg that i can fathom from what we know about the theories and vast, eclectic academic areas that touch upon the phenomenas of humor and laughter, which include:

  • humor theory;
  • laughter theory;
  • tickle theory;
  • comedy;
  • psychology;
  • philosophy;
  • sociology;
  • neurobiology;
  • phenomenology;
  • language and linguistics;
  • natural selection and the theory of evolution;
  • cybernetics;
  • conversion, translation and interpretation;
  • and energy;

 

unfortunately this blog veryMuch reflects the rather powerful subconscious manner in which i produce and pursue my work as an artist, designer and performer — bits and pieces come to me in a rather random and sometimes chaotic fashion — i believe in chasing my inspiration in the actual moments when she whispers to me, so this means many pieces will feel undone, messy, but hopefully vital and real { or at least as real as you can get on the internetz }

so i leave you here with my thoughts from today to reflect upon

much of my previous thoughts on these subjects can be found on a myriad of other websites i publish to — for more on this thread of research and thought on laughter, humor and the areas in-between, check out Laugh Institute up on the webz — or you can always check back here to poke around some more and read up on my progress on the laughterLife, my continued experiments, writings, design and research into laughter as a human phenomena

Check out Beware the Haberdash online

dolphins

Dolphins-talk-language

we’re not all that different from dolphins

coming, to a theatre near you

as an avid collaborator — and relentlessly sillyman and fool — my good fortune dropped me into the project work of Christopher Kentley Field back at MassArt’s relatively underground and superCool design graduate program Dynamic Media Institute

i mean, its like i had no shame at all when i take a retrospective egoSurfing search of love down interactive, online memory lane, ya know? looks like i’d do just about anything to ‘earn’ a graduate degree, ya know?

anyhow, Chris got the like of Andrew Ellis, myself and some even cooler people together to put together this excerpted short from a feature film idea that Chris had written prior to coming to DMI — see what you think — i mean, i’m pretty proud of how it came out despite the fact that i’m playing a part that seems way too naturally-acted by me — yep, that’s right, folks, i’m basically a washed-up, old, homeless-like dude on the Boston T — a real flattering way to put myself ‘out there’ as an actor, right?

anyhow, here’s the clip ‘Deadbeat’ courtesy of Christopher K Field and Vimeo — enjoy! ;]

Deadbeat (first cut) from Christopher Field on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas

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some things i am thankful for this year

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a little corny, perhaps, i know — but i just want to take a few moments here on the old WerdpreSs blog to pay respect for some of the things i am truly thankful for

i know its readily apparent lately that i have a bit of angry energy lately — and that kind of energy, as unfortunate and typically unappreciated as it might be to our society, is hopefully, at the end of the day, NOT what i am all about as a person — its at least not the kind of energy i want to be all about, and so here i am in this blogPost making a bigtiMe attempt to show you the softer side of Sears at this time of the year when we all get together with the ones we love { family, old friends, new friends and sometimes even strangers } to traditionally give thanks for another bountiful harvest season in the Autumntime as we move into another Winter Season of earthen death and eventual rebirth with the advent of the new year in the Spring

anyhow

for those of you that don’t know the latest and greatest goings on in my life, i’ve had what one might call another interesting year 

never a dull moment with me, that’s for sure

but needless to say, i find myself once again in a time of transition

i am between jobs after my departure from Schneider Electric in midSeptember — not something i planned out entirely, but after a rough patch that followed several months of mutual discomfort, the organization deemed that my employment with the dev team wasn’t a good fit, and frankly i can’t say i disagree — i truly wanted to stay for a lot longer period of time but didn’t have the kind of support and guidance from management one would need to successfully introduce and implement a reasonably-vigorous user-centered design methodology to Schneider’s development team and processes, and i personally didn’t have the patience to withstand the strange stunted dysfunctional dynamics embedded in the slow-motion ennui of this kind of cardpunching manufacturing Industrial Era leftover work environment

getting bitter there

apologies

but — despite the unintended outcome and the sour aftertaste, i really learned a lot from the experience and the kind of mismatch i encountered between me and Schneider Electric, and that’s pretty important

some BIG lessons learned

and that’s important, this kind of learning from mistakes — but unfortunately this experience of human failure and learning gets a bum wrap in our Success-Driven Type A Society — i’m not gonna worry about it too, too much though — i like to put it all out there and even learn from that sort of naïveté

so i definitely have a lot to be thankful for my experiences this year with both Mobiquity and Schneider Electric — and i say this without the bitterness of the previous paragraphs because despite our philosophical and ethical differences and approaches to the work and business we conducted together, i really truly learned a lot this year and feel like a much better person because of it

strangely enough, too — i think i’m on the right track

this is MY path and i’m proud of it

quite frankly, i NEED to stand up for myself and what i believe in and i actually think that its not only the patriotic thing to do for the betterment of our country, but i also believe its the only way we’re going to ever make a difference in the world we all live in

we need to believe in ourselves — and we need to believe in something — and then we need to stand by our beliefs, sometimes at the risk of a stable sense of employment — and this year i learned all of that about myself — that standing for something like a strong work ethic and a decent pace and sense of urgency should not conflict with the mission of corporations and the kind of work we do on a daily basis — and i’ve learned that, as a designer, trying to iteratively optimize and smooth the processes of an organization is part of the gig and the challenge of what we do if we’re doing it right — removing yourself from the daily politics of the situation is quite literally NOT participating in the active endeavoring to be your best and do the best work you can possibly do for your company, for your country and the world

sounds heavy-handed, i know

but i’m just letting you know what i learned and what i am truly thankful for

and i am thankful for these experiences i had at Mobiquity and Schneider Electric as some form of human-centered experience architect for each firm because they helped me rediscover in a far deeper way who i really am and what i stand for — and they’ve definitely reinforced for me that the idea of leveraging story { i call my latest thinking around leveraging a story-driven ux methodology storyFirst } as the core, critical driver to a human-centered, collaborative design process actually work in an extremely powerful and successful way

 

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but before all of this employment or lack of employment nonsense, though — and as the most important area of life i am most thankful for — are the people in my life, and most of all for the amazing family i have in my life at this point in life — i couldn’t have even gotten through all that experience i just described above without the support, love and daily life with my wife, my children and my grandchildren

my family gives me the inspiration i need to move on

my family, of course, reaches out beyond the immediate family i just described — and everyone in my family is an important component to shaping who i am today and also helping me survive and learn and grow and live — i am thankful for and love each and every one of you and know that i would be a lot more lost in the woods without you { or worse yet, in the streets i bet }

you are my inspiration

i also have an eclectic and very talented and beautiful set of friends in the world, and you are all veryMuch like an extended part of my family — you all inspire me and i appreciate: your encouragement; your guidance; your presence; your existence; and everything you do

 

treetops

i also am very thankful for the week we are about to experience — the people i will undoubtedly see and celebrate our thankfulness with over a meal and children playing and conversations

i am thankful for the opportunities i have ahead of me and this time of re-invention and rebirth

i’ve had about 2 months now to seriously dig into myself and reflect and to re-discover what is truly important to me — the work i’m doing is very active work, work i am also guiding through a core of assessing and rewriting my own story, my life’s story — and its difficult work

i am definitely still in the forest, too

but its a glorious day

and the trees are beautiful

the sky is blue

and even the clouds are beautiful and peaceful and inspiring

and i am thankful for once again being able to see how beautiful life is and can be

but most of all

i am thankful for BitCoins®

i am thankful for BitCoins® and music, laughter and my strange sense of humor

and boy oh boy do i have a strange sense of humor, right?

ShoeStory1

the good, the bad and the bitcoin®

Bitcoin

i forget when i first heard about this concept of a digital ‘cryptoCurrency’ called BitCoin — but i think the very fact that a made-up, non-government sanctioned and digital form of money can just suddenly appear out of thin air like this — its a telling invention, in fact, and definitely a sign of the times we live in from a multitude of perspectives i mean — we all know the World Economy is broken, and that its been broken for quite some time now — we pretend on a daily basis to live in a successful, or at least semi-successful but somewhat hurting free market enterprise as American citizens, businessmen and salesfolks, and that our Quasi-Democratic, Capitalistic Consumeristic manner of filtering our views and behaviors in the international economic community in some way somehow lead the way

but my big question right now is this: where are these pre-established
and assumedly fair and successful systems really leading us,
The People of the World?

where are we really headed under our supposed Free Market Enterprise Economies?

there are probably numerous ways we can project the trends behind where we might be headed, but being a creative-like dude in general i tend to wanna take the qualitative approach to this examination — especially since the topic we’re discussing is more about our general quality of life due to these dysfunctional, outdated economic systems we’re all dealing with like the dead donkey of a burden it is on the majority of the world’s population so, to start off, in Jarod Lanier’s latest book Who Owns the Future? Lanier talks about Siren Servers for most of the beginning of his look into how The Information Age has changed economics and general monetary survival opportunities for the average person — for those of you not familiar with Lanier, he’s mostly known for coining { no pun intended } the term Virtual Reality and as far as i recall from both this book and his preceding You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, he’s also from that Silicon Valley area of all things digital and wonderfully prosperous in the world and he’s someone from the early dawn of our wonderful interwebs and all things from the early history of our computing machines and the crazy wild world of the digitalia we all swim in like social media fish or something

interestingly enough, Jarod Lanier is also a musician

so one area that Lanier shows passionate interest for, of course, is the de-evolution of what was once called The Music Recording Industry

Jaron-Lanier-007

before the iPod and iTunes and iMusic in general, rumor has it that musicians would land recording contracts and make money off of studio-produced versions of their original song material — there’s no discussion in Who Owns the Future? of the mixtape or just general bootleg and piracy issue that might’ve existed prior to MP3s, Napster or other means of downloading unpaid-for ditties but basically, we know the big Music Industry story from the 7000 foot view of things and it goes something like this: you used to buy records, cassettes, CDs and other physical products to be able to listen to the pre-recorded music you love in life back at home, in the car, on your Sony Walkman, or wherever you had some sort of music player device to tune in to the sounds — and then the money paid to Tower Records, Newbury Comics, Virgin, Nuggets or other Record Stores would somehow pay all the people some reward in return — the moneymakers included folks and entities like: the record companies; the producers; the sound engineers; PR companies; band and music act promoters; the actual songwriters { if the musicians did not compose the recorded music themselves }; and sometimes even the members of the band or music act

people got paid for a product

and that product was a physical object with copywritten sound information pressed into the vinyl, tape, plastic and other actual materiality of that product

as the actual materiality of that product evolved more and more to the virtual-digital realm of files that could be downloaded, stored and played on a computing machine, the monetary worth of that product dropped all the way down to zilch … at least for those netizens in the world that choose to Limewire their collection for no money or for next to nothing — right now, as i type this blogPost, i’m listening to a ‘Radio’ station on Spotify that i started called Funky — i don’t know where the money part comes in at all with Spotify, Pandora or other app-driven or browser-based services like these, but i pay nothing to listen to this music — and i totally believe in purchasing CDs from artists and really never illegally download music from Torrent sites or any of the myriad other means of pirating the creative, expressive art of really talented musicians — but right now there’s no CD or physical product involved in listening to My Feet Keep Dancing by Chic { well, besides my MacBook Pro and my lousy Verizon FiOS home connectivity — these are the objects and services i pay for ultimately to keep the post-Jobs Apple economy and the invisible monopoly-like FiOSness of life alive and well } for the most part now, musicians do not get paid for their recorded music — or they’re paid rather nominally for that part of the moneyStream they’re engaged in — live gigs, for those that get paid to play live, seems to be the biggest income revenue for the big acts — independent musicians might need to work a regular 9 to 5 gig and then record and play music because its in their blood and they love and just need to musically express themselves — there are tons of visual artists, too, that get by this way and i see nothing wrong or debilitating in not counting on being discovered by an industry that probably never even appreciated the true art of the acts they signed, promoted, marketed and paid their own salaries with { sound vaguely familiar by the way? hmmMMmMmm } anyhow, people still sometimes pay for music, even MP3s and digital recordings from sites like Bandcamp and CDBaby, but there’s no guarantee and it seems like most of the undiscovered or lesser-known acts out there need to just fucking figure out the mix of shit they need to do to get by just like the rest of us in Who Owns The Future Lanier starts to build the case that our economies are cool, but could and should be updated to support a sort of generalized royalty revenue model based on all sorts of information-based output people are involved with — sounds cool to some degree, but what i don’t get so far { and yes, i’m not completely done with the book yet } is where the actual money is going to come from — if everyone is making a fraction of a fraction of a penny everytime they just Like something on Facebook or whenever they contribute some sort of digital information of value to the webz and somehow, through 2-way linking originally envisioned by Ted Nelson for the pre-Internet conceptualization of the information superhighway that he developed called Xanadu, somehow that mutual link would put some jing in your account, who even determines the relative value of these data-products of the general public? isn’t this even the very reason people might consider paying for an eBook? there’s structure behind the information, there’s thought and editing and there’s an actual product involved, as virtual as it may actually be the nature of its very eNess after reading about two thirds of Who Owns The Future and anticipating this sort of whacked subscriptiony set of virtual economic systems Lanier is implying — i have to say its sounds a bit far-fetched and actually just a little bit uninformed as far as the business and laws around creative expression or any design-based work goes — who would legally defend each and every netizens’ data-royalty revenues when somehow the new version of piracy continues in its re-invented form? surely not the government, right? and i personally don’t want to see a world where there’s a ratio of one-to-one between lawyer and the lawed peoples of the world, we already have a nightmare set of systems set up around justice and fairness and judgment, we don’t need more bad crooks … er, i mean, cooks … to spoil the legality stew that’s been simmering on the table for far too long but that’s another case for huge redesign consideration to be covered by another visionary blogger on a different website that nobody will read or pay attention to

i think Lanier is ignoring the fact that
the economy itself is extremely broken

our current world economies can barely keep food on the table for people today, i don’t see how a bandaid subSystem we invent to attach to the current planeCrash of an economy could possibly get the world to fly again — not sure what you’re smoking, but it won’t work — sorry — its just not cutting it in fact, if you pick up and read a bit of Critical Path by the futurist R. Buckminster Fuller — there’s a lot more background information and research revealed to explain the United States and World economies and why we’ve arrived where we are today — Fuller explains in a rather decent amount of detail the way that the income tax came into being early on in The Twentieth Century here in the US due to the need for the government’s need to pay down its own debt as accumulated by wartime contracts to produce the supplies and necessities for our involvement in World War I — our transition from a previously agrarian economic culture to a forerunner of The Industrial Revolution through purposeful economic emphasis to factory work, manufacturing and the like moved the large population of our farmers off and away from the actual lands and properties they were politically and financially persuaded to leave behind for these exciting, new opportunities in the new technological advances of the day — on top of that, in a weirdly parallel space-time continuum sort of dynamic situation, banks that bought up the farms and properties now falling into default eventually needed government bail-out due to a real estate market to resell the farmlands back to a workforce that no longer felt passion or ties to an lifestyle and industry that had literally been devalued by the larger forces pulling the strings into the future

but our government and the economic systems we live under here in the US
follow a free-market economic Capitalistic paradigm, do they not?

i would assume that when the government gets involved in this business of bailing out banks or automotive manufacturing conglomerates during the tough times — at points where the failing corporations and institutions of this fine nation have basically made poor business decisions and started to remain wickid unprofitable and turned to bankruptcy or some other financial disparity, that business of providing monetary support to Save the Club falls under a different category of economic system most people call Socialism — and Socialism, like Communism, has been cleverly marketed over the years as Public Enemy Number One to The American Way

now these thoughts are not exactly the thoughts Fuller discusses in Critical Path

Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller 5

i have certain points to make here, obviously, and certain observations and opinions that put all of our ruling systems of governance and sovereignty under quite a critical magnifying lens of investigative discovery — i think we’re dealing with something quite corpse-like, a spiritual death of The American Dream we all were smoking at one point, right? work hard, obey the law, live on the straight and narrow path and do what we tell you to do and you’ll earn yourself a comfortable and happy life of freedom and justice for all — but this is NOT the case nowadays — we’ve been living in a land of illusion and public relations propagandistic exploitation of The People for quite some time — and frankly i would LOVE to keep the government accountable for our founding fathers’ mantra of ‘no taxation without representation’

i do not feel i have been properly represented at all
for quite some time

and i know its a quite unrealistic expectation, but i’d love to get a refund for the complete lack of representation as a government-provide and tax-funded service as so philosophically but only theoretically advertised as a false promise from The Big Boys in DC

but that’s beside the point

according to the real words of R. Buckminster Fuller he describes a peculiar economic-social dynamic we’re all submersed into whereby we all need to earn a living to survive — our current system of Capitalism, which is really a form of economic and social Darwinist approach, seems to deliver certain Socialist survival benefits when the financial pain is felt at the level of major superpower corporations but very little, if not absolutely NO support, at the individual citizen level of our social caste system

how fair does that sound when you take a moment
to re-read that fragment of thought?

seems a little off now, don’t it?

now, i don’t want you to get confused — and i really hope you’re all still reading this blogPost — because i don’t want you to think after reading all of my observations and critical qualitative analysis of where our preset configurations are failing that i’m some sort of anti-American force in the world

i am an extremely proud and patriotic US citizen

and i believe this is a fantastic country that still has the potential to do truly extraordinary things for the world and for our greater global humanity

but i do need to admit i’m disappointed

and i believe we have vast opportunities to turn this ship around

but we no longer have the luxury of wasting energy and time

Fuller wrote Critical Path and much of his works regarding his vision for the world — a planet he oftentimes referred to as Spaceship Earth — he wrote, invented and consulted for various organizations from the 1950s to the 80s and beyond — and i think, unfortunately, we’ve made very little progress as a cohesive world humanity { the Global Village that Marshall McLuhan spoke of } since that more utopian vision of what the future and our technological advancement would supposedly offer the peoples of the world

operating manual bf

Fuller speaks of wealth — a sense of real wealth — as something that cannot be quantified, measured or valued in a financial manner at all

corporations and Big Business in a supposed free market quantify and scrutinize every line in the spreadsheet and make rather cold and inhumane decisions much of the time based solely on the ups and downs of their profit margins

individual citizens — the workerly contributors and so-called human resources in our wonderful system of making a living for the average person — however don’t have the luxury of doing much more than manage their own hard-earned income and budgetary outflow of expenses — there’s no board of advisors or venture capitalist forces out there to support and guide families in their day-to-day lives and there’s certainly no layoffs or downsizing at the level of real people, right? homes survive or they’re broken — family values might’ve been a great campaign marketing buzz-word, but show me the esteemed valuation our nation puts on the hard work of raising, supporting and maintaining a decent family life for your average citizen in the US — 40 hours of the punch-in, punch-out slips to 60 to 80 hours a week for the most successful Types As we encourage in through the current system dynamics and that sort of time leaves little left to actually participate in anywhere near a valuable family lifestyle

the real wealth Fuller spoke of has more to do with how we take care of each other by actually contributing something meaningful and helpful to our technohumanic ecosystem and the greater of humanity — according to Bucky, about 90% of the actual workforce back in the 1980s actually contribute nothing of any real wealth or value to society — we simply show up and cash the check at the end of every pay period and focus on making a living but never get to step back, think bigger and start making a better life for the world — and it wasn’t until Buckminster Fuller stopped worrying about making a living and started to dream up the ways in which he could uniquely contribute to the world at an entirely different level that his life began

most of us are stuck with no wealth, pre-real-wealth paradigm — we’re kept busy and entertained enough by making a living to survive to never even get a chance to discover how we can really, truly contribute our unique and valuable talents to the world for the betterment of all of humanity

imagine if we could take back that 90% of wasted workforce energies and re-invest it in a more committed and focused way to better the world and solve not only our monetary economic issues, but global crises like hunger, thirst, disease, war, abuse, exploitation, pollution, dwindling natural resources, climate change and other aspects of inhumanity and suffering of our fellow men, women and children of the world — what if our focus shifted from the wartime good economics of purely destructive energies to a less-monetarily-based, creative and constructive set of energies that actually help as many of the people living together in our world community? why have we lost that original vision of what progress can promise and deliver us? what’s the distraction about?

well — interestingly enough it all now comes back to this interesting new development of the BitCoin

yes, i do have a point to make here

it just takes a little more effort and time to get to that point when some exploration of qualitative logic might be involved, but anyhow …

i see this new BitCoin Economy as extremely telling and actually rather enlightening

our traditional economy has essentially crumbled

as a global community, we’ve been bleeding by the seat of our pants now since The Industrial Era, and this new Information Age revolution is totally starting to nail the coffin on the way we think of and govern our current and established economic systems

the worth of what we make quite naturally declines as we move more and more into the virtual realm of work and the kinds of artifacts that result from that work from the digitally-driven workspace

seeing this grand-theft failure of these traditional systems, we now see a desire to create, quite literally, a new economy based entirely on digital systems

how can that even happen?

does the concept and systems around this new BitCoin Economy spring forth from our desires and a sort of active imagining and designing for a better economy — is this a valid economy? after all, no real government issues anything of value or any regulations regarding what it means to trade BitCoinage — i mean, we’ve now become accustomed to a world being totally stripped of any sense of government regulations whatsoever with more and more services and support for the people and their families being basically devalued, underfunded or even privatized, to be put into the financial jurisdiction and management of the actual citizens sans previously regulations, rules and assistance { which i think is typically called, uhm, government } — but besides all that …

is this economy — this new BitCoin Economy — something real now?

and if so

how did that happen?

and if that happened, if its happening, why do we even bother with the established, traditional economy at all? is that economy even real?

are our established, traditional economies even valid anymore?

why bother?

it all seems pretty Surreal to me, even cyberSurreal to me at this point

these broken economies and invented economies and the struggle to make sense out of the dead donkey on our backs — they only weighs us all down and prevents us from actually being happy and useful and contributing to the fullest in life to the larger world we live in — they’ve been weighing us down for quite some time now and they’re only the perpetuation of what some folks are calling a neo-Serfdom — we’re still talking Dark Ages shit in 2013 if you ask me, but its all been a frikkin illusion, the ruby slippers kinda metaphoric stuff of Dorothy and having the solution to all of our worldly woes right there in front of us, right there on the ground, right on our fucking feet for ChrisSakes!

we all need money to survive — but what is the real value, the real wealth, actually, of that paper in my wallet? who determines what its worth and what { or who } that wealth actually used for? and why do we need it at all anymore?

can i just start printing my own version of monetary economic artifactual trading products from my own HP PhotoSmart C6180 All-in-One right here from home and start to invent value in some new self-invented system? all i need to do is run down to Staples and pick up a Cyan and Pink cartridge now and go to town, right? and if enough people start to trade with it i’ve made my own incredibly valuable new system of economics that circumnavigates the Stock Market, the US Treasury and all the bullshit we’ve been living for for goddam centuries

well, that’s preposterous, right?

but just think about it, okay?

like Lanier, i don’t have the answers, just some implied suggestions — but like the big challenges we have with the dysfunction and failures of our current governments of the world, i think the answers do not reside in solutions provided for or created by the actual government

this ones for The People of The World to work on

i think we, as citizens of the world, in our ample free time, need to start contributing in a far different way

we can’t afford to wait for the government any more — they’re too embroiled in their own bi-partisan bureaucratic political shit to contribute anything of any positive, constructive value for The People — the business they’re running, the services they’re providing as our government { as our governments } are completely disconnected from the real needs of The People at this point and The People know it and realize the sort of exploitation of The People we’ve all been dealing with for decades upon decades upon decades — we pay taxes, they get paid, we get less and less and finally absolutely nothing in return — or at least nothing of any real value for the world — not even a feeling of being decently guided by true leaders that even might actually care about The People of The United States of America and The People of The World — turn on CNN, you’ll see a totally incompetent nest of board member-like suits designing the world by committee and a thousand papercuts, most of the suits really only sitting there to defend their own self-interests and the interests of the lobbyists and corporations they’re really representing for this great nation

thanks for that

i appreciate it, but as we all know now, the government itself is trillions of dollars in debt and essentially bankrupt — the US has been bankrupt on and off since who knows when, but at least since World War I and the kind of wacky, imbalanced debt our nation accumulated to support war efforts

i personally am quite tired of destructive enegy and incompetence

you can’t just punch a card everyday to star on CNN as far as i’m concerned

where’s that accountability that, interestingly enough, the George W Bush Administration seemed to suddenly get all Freudianly vocal about during those 2 illustrious terms?

all that aside — i think its up to The People now, despite the government and the sort of total tax-exploitation systems they operate and fund themselves with, its up to The People to rise above the bullshit and just start imagining and developing the solutions we need all on our own

instead of re-imagining and re-inventing economy — i still participate in the current systems as best possible and earn a living with the government financial assistance typically devoted and invested in Big Science and Technology efforts to push our beloved progress along — i think the real progress needs to come from us, in our ample free time — we need to all be more like that independent musician down the street that totally shows off the genius of his/her vision on the stage, through the craft of her/his songwriting and composition and through the active practice of her/his world while simultaneously figuring out the means to make that life even survivable amidst these imbalanced and broken economies — we need to invent — and we need to invent beyond the BitCoin, beyond new fictional values to throw into the bullshit arena of our digitalia — we need to ask The Actual People of The World what would make this world a better place for them, what are the actual needs of The People? and then, we all need to do what we can — in the uniquely talented ways that we can individually contribute to the causes of bettering humanity and actually helping people and meeting vast, complicated challenges — we need to do what we can to change our behaviors from reticent and frustrated spectators of our own demise to behaviors and activities that foster a creative, positive, collaborative and truly innovative means to contribute real wealth to the world we live in

there’s SO much we need to do

how will you contribute to the cause?

Whole Earth Back Cover 1969

moving on { from Mobiquity }

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so, its in a somewhat sad and self-reflective mood that i leave Mobiquity, the enterprise-class, start up mobile services agency i’ve worked for over the last year and a half out in Wellesley and Waltham

i truly love so much about Mobiquity

and my final decision to leave the organization, believe it or not, was not one made in great haste or with any sense of impulsivity or reactionary spirit on my part

this was a difficult decision, and i actually leave the firm for so many very excruciatingly painful reasons, many of which are purely personal and life-design related

as i leave, i would like to take a few moments to quickly bullet-list reflect on those positive aspects i can think about and keep with me in my heart and soul as i start a new chapter in my career

here are some Lessons Learned — nearly spiritual concepts and observations — i can bring with me and thank Mobiquity for as i move forward { and I am truly appreciative in every way for the opportunity to work at Mobiquity over the last 17 or so months of my life, its been truly wonderful in so many ways }:

  • hire, trust and empower truly amazing and talented people
  • think of your company { or your department } as a prototype and iteratively optimize the experience of the company using a truly human-centered design methodology
  • take the time to listen to each other, truly listen to each other
  • collaborate as often as possible, and do so with an eclectic human involvement in each project or process as often as possible — it is appsolutely VITAL to understand each and every business challenge involved in each engagement from as many unique perspectives { from the POV of Sales, Business, Design, Development and Delviery } as the organization can afford to invest into the flow of a project at every single step of the process
  • everything is far more complicated than it seems on paper, especially if what’s been put on paper is too vague at the beginning to promote any reasonable sense of business accountability on the part of each partner involved in the engagement
  • professionally drive and guide each process in both a thoughtful and respectful way as a true leader for each and every project / engagement / partnership / relationship
  • learn from both success and failure — its the only way to evolve and grow as an organization { and as professional, talented and honest individuals }, so do not be so utterly afraid of ‘The F Word’
  • transparency — much-like the terms innovation and collaboration — is overrated, under-delivered and over-promised { in other words, if you can’t truly be totally transparent as an organization, don’t even bring up the term, it only hurts everyone involved, including the company, at the end of the day }
  • do everything in the most human way possible — people really appreciate it when you take the time to just talk with them face-to-face or when you try to solve an unsmooth situation by doing everything within your truly human power to show you love what you do and you love and respect the people you’re currently collaborating with
  • live in the moment and appreciate the good and bad of: each and every moment; each and every challenge; each and every opportunity
  • everything is possible

i’ll admit, i’ve been learning some of these things along the way regardless of my shortish tenure with Mobiquity — but i’ve been driving to consciously communicate these fundamental discoveries and understandings of experience design and industry in general in a far more articulate and effective manner to help deepen my understanding of myself, my business and my approach

thanks again for these last 17 or so months at Mobiquity

while working with The Mob, i focused on personally promoting a professional sense of fun, collaborative energy while simultaneously bringing the work to a higher place — and as much as i felt like a complete failure to celebrate my departure from such an amazing collection of talented individuals over a glass of wine and some humorous toasts with the crew, i do feel that i, at the very least, accomplished and embodied those 2 concepts — collaborative fun-making and over the top, professional project results — while contributing at the highest level allowed by the organization

thank you Mobiquity

much continued hope, love, success and happiness

[: long live The Mob :]

some of the things i’ll miss about Stoneridge

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our son Maceo attends Stoneridge Childrens Montessori School in Beverly, Massachusetts — he’s studied there since kindergarten and my wife Carol and i truly love the school, the faculty, the other parents and students, and the warm sense of community that makes Stoneridge all that its been to us

but now its time for us to all say our goodbyes as Stoneridge goes away in the Spring of 2013

these are just some of the things i’ll miss about Stoneridge
{ and already do }

  • walking up the sidewalk to bring Maceo in and politely saying ‘good morning’ with a smile and direct eye contact with every child and parent you meet along the way — at first, i hate to admit it, the utterly positive vibe kind of freaked me out — it seemed like i had stepped into a 50s vision of a wholesome America that i’ve never encountered anywhere else except for New Hampshire — but after a while, after a few weeks of the cheery hellos and smiles, you come to expect this sense of happiness and sharing, you open up a little more and realize there’s a friend or 2 living life along with you
  • the official Stoneridge website { although i didn’t design it, i did help maintain and update the site with Val and others on staff at Stoneridge — and the original design as created by Mad*Pow nicely expressed the warmth, community and sense of spirit the school had }
  • interesting afterhour talks put on by Stoneridge faculty to help parents better understand Maria Montessori and the learning methodologies and materials as they pertain to each house or classroom of the school — Charles Terranova and Diane Sullivan definitely made amazing first impressions and lasting impressions with their passion and discourse about Montessori
  • Valentine’s Breakfast for the parents — a very special way to start off the day, oh, and the Mother’s Day Tea that I never attended but seemed to hold the same warmness for family and the entire social community around the school
  • Musical Mondays — although I missed so many Musical Mondays early on at Stoneridge, these and so many other celebrations of music and performance led, coordinated, orchestrated and sound engineered by Hannah really shine as amazing little talent showcases for students, parents, faculty and other musicians associated with Stoneridge
  • the yearly fieldtrip to that pond out behind Gordon College — that and so many other fieldtrips to see Maple Syrup Barns and Peabody Essex Museum and so many wonders of nature by the ocean, in our backyards, in forests living all around us — this focus on the discovery of nature and research and understanding the self by exploring and observing the world around us still continues to delight and inspire our family and always will
  • the many friends and acquaintances we’ve made over the years — i know we’ve all been through many ups and downs, and here i will only mention the ups { i’ve learned a LOT over the years, right? }, but its been exquisite fun getting to know each other, getting to know each others’ children and the lives we all live — i know we’ll keep in touch with many people from Stoneridge, probably more than in previous lifetimes of academia for our children, etcetera — i really hope to keep in touch with as much of the community and extended Stoneridge family as humanly possible
  • the fundraisers and celebrations and ceremonies and fun — The Dance of the Cosmos comes to mind, of course — such a wonderful performance all of our children got to participate in, so amazingly cute and memorable in every way — and even when the ridiculous and inevitable politics of any organization might’ve put a damper on getting things done and just having collaborative fun together, well, that just became another funny bump in the story we created along the way

i could go on and on, i’m sure — but these are some of the high-level items that come to mind, the big picture items i’ll miss about the school

its been a fantastic place for us to work with the faculty at setting up Maceo for a life filled with the wonder and joy of learning — i wouldn’t change a thing now that i look back and reflect a bit — and i hope that, as much as i will miss these wonderful experiences i memorialize here, that i also get the chance to continue on in the spirit of Stoneridge and hold dear these first years of our child’s education and bring forward the lessons Maceo, Carol and i have all learned along the way

congratulations to all the students, parents, teachers, staff, administration and faculty for making these first years of Maceo’s education so beautiful and warm and nurturing — and for doing the same for so many families up here on the North Shore of Massachusetts — you have truly touched us all and i am forever grateful for everything you’ve given us over the years

thank you