Tag Archives: human-centered

being a transitional

laEvolucion

one of the fun parts about being human is that we are always evolving

like it or not — the only thing we can truly count on actually staying the same is the fact that things always change — and we are a species that is very much under the influence of things — so, following that logic, to some degree, as our things change, we change, almost purely as a means to adapt to our things

this concept, in many ways, is in direct conflict with my very purpose as a human-centered designer — my job and daily activities are focused solely on driving and guiding the design process, mostly aimed at creating technology-based experiences, to hopefully result in interactive and dynamic software and interfaces that: intuitively make sense to users { or people as i prefer to call them }; that are usable and valuable and user-friendly { or ‘easy to use’ and understand with a minimal learning effort }; and that largely serve the actual human goals and business goals of the overall technohumanic experiences being delivered

we now live in a world population increasingly geared toward the digital natives

 

the other day my son Maceo was taking a bath and, with Maceo being extremely social and fun-loving but also a bit co-dependent, he invited me to come in to the bathroom to talk with him while he relaxed and washed { before settling in to read and eventually fall asleep in his bed on this typical school night }

Maceo is 10 years old

he’s definitely a digital native, meaning, he’s grown up in The Digital Age and for the most part has never been in a world without computing machines, as we used to call them — he understands computers and our mobile devices in a much different way than my wife or i do because he’s grown up with them as a simple and accepted set of objects within his natural living environment — and he’s grown up in an era when, for the most part, the information-based, interactive experiences delivered via the medium of our digital technologies already have a lot of the kinks worked out of ’em — due to Steve Jobs and the iUniverse he’s created through his prosumerization of our computers and devices, through Jobs’ efforts to make these relationships we have with our modernday technologies ‘just work,’ Maceo’s never really had to deal with the first 3 or 4 generations of the rather krudgy software and digital experiences we previously had with our devices in the first few decades on the new digital island

needless to say, he probably doesn’t have the same amount of frustration and associated psychological baggage that i have with these technologies that were invented to somehow serve humanity but also somehow typically don’t ‘just work’ the way we were promised they would in our non-native explorations of the digital island

with Maceo sprawled out, his body submerged under under the warm water of his bath, we discussed his daytime learning activities out at Spofford Pond School in Boxford — i asked him if today’s special { as they call all non-core classes at his school } was gym and he said, ‘No, today was Art’ — i asked him what special he’d have in school tomorrow and he said, Media’

‘Media? What’s Media?’ I asked him — i kind of knew what the term implied, of course, but wanted to know what the school system teaches him about media

i wanted to know what media now means
to a third grade student living in our modern Digital Age

he started laughing and said, ‘they teach us things that we all already know, like how to save a document,‘ and then he really started laughing pretty hard, which of course made me laugh

i could tell the whole idea of teaching media to the new breed of our digital natives seemed totally preposterous to him, almost like they were trying to teach him how to breathe or something so innately embedded in our humanness to feel like futile effort or even farce

we were laughing for quite some time

he went on, ‘its like, go to file and then move the mouse down and click on ‘Save”

he was like a little bathing stand-up comedian, delivering the ultimate punchline to the most hilarious joke i’ve heard in years, and i was both his receptive, laughing audience and an instant co-writer to these new jokes that almost seem to write themselves now

‘what are they gonna teach you next week, Maceo? how to log off of the computer?’ i quipped back — we were both laughing even harder than ever now, he returned the volley with, ‘i know, its like, here’s how we right-click on a mouse’ — he was kind of saying the entire little phrase with an intentionally slow delivery, mocking how remedial and silly this class must feel to him and his fellow student colleagues sitting through each special weekly session of Media at Spofford Pond

i haven’t laughed that hard in about half a year

as a digital native, Maceo just gets it

and, if the technology does live up to its original promise — this high-level promise from Steve Jobs and other pre-Apple visionaries that promised these technologies will ‘just work’ and that they’ll actually be helpful, useful and valuable for us all to use — if the experience isn’t living up to our expectations, well, quite frankly, Maceo’s ready to dive in under the hood and actually make the technology do what he needs it to do for him

i, on the other hand, get immediately hung up on my overall, continual disappointment with the promises that are never quite met from my standpoint as both a user of these technologies and a designer that’s constantly trying to devise ways to improve the human experience of our digital technologies

and i get frustrated rather easily, i might add

i actually want the technology to ‘just work’ the way we were promised it would

but it doesn’t

9 times out of 10, from my own personal lifelong experiences with computers, devices and technologies, these experiences fall extremely short of the expectation

maybe i’m more aware of these discrepancies between the promise and what we really experience from our technologies right now because i remember the promise, whereas Maceo doesn’t have the same context at all — and, unlike a lot of people that will spend a lot of time jerry-rigging these experiences like some sort of delusional Digital MacGyvers that just want so desperately for the technologies to be so cool as to ‘just work’ that they paperclip and chewing gum back together the actual, shitty and broken experience design in an attempt to sort of pretend perfection or merely band-aid a nearly-usable hackensteined-up app or something — unlike those folks that are drinking the digital koolaid with wireless ice, play-acting like everythingz all too cool for school an’ all, i like to tell it like it is and assess these experiences at some sort of reasonably realistic and honest scale

macgyver

 

if we can’t evaluate the current-day experiences we have with our technologies with at least a reasonable sense of honesty then we’ll never be able to: level set where we are; identify critical areas for potential improvement; and then iteratively work toward any real sense of improving our overall human experience

now, unlike my son Maceo, who is considered a digital native, i am what’s called a digital immigrant — i don’t particularly like this terminology, but this is what anyone can Google up in a few seconds as a definition of who i am and what it means to be in my demographic in relation to the introduction to our interactive technologies and my particular abilities and views about the technologies and experiences we all use and deal with on a daily basis

i think by including the term digital in the semantics, definition and language so nicely weaved around these digital demographics, we almost immediately begin to think of absolutely everything as needing to be associated with the term digital — which in itself is quite interesting, this power of language to sell a movement

but i would like to think of myself in an entirely different way and perhaps affiliate my personal demographic less around the technologies and more around the actual times we’re talking about — or, better yet, it might even be nice to entirely decouple the term for my demographic from both the technologies and the times

let’s agree on at least one thing up front, though

we live in The Age of Information

we might also consider this to be The Digital Age, too, but for the most part the way that most of humanity views the entire world today is through an almost frighteningly pure informational lens

back to self-identification, though

so, instead of considering myself to be a digital immigrant, i would prefer to be called a transitional person, or just a transtitional

the term hints just a little bit toward our eventual post-humanity, which, like it or not, we’re already embarking on the journey to — i hope that its not an entirely inevitable place we’re heading to, but its pretty much nearly guaranteed just through the economics quite purposely confounded with our innovations through information and inventions — we’ll most likely just keep driving ourselves deeper and deeper into the human-machine-integration that futurists like Ray Kurzweil foretold decades ago in books like The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

i guess, then, i consider myself as transitioning from a mediated yet mostly analog time in the world we live in to one that is heavily dominated by: digital experiences; computing machines and devices; and datasets of information

where there is no transition necessary for Maceo — he was born with computers and smartphones in the household — i’ve needed to learn entirely new ways of doing just about everything i do in life just to fit in, and to perform and survive within our increasingly more and more digitalized culture

i think of the world we live in now
as our technohumanic ecoSystem

we live among the machines

and the machines outnumber us at this point, too, if you think about it

and, i guess one could even say even the culture we live in itself is still mostly transitional by its very nature, too — its not necessarily just a demographic set, but its also a way to categorize life in the modern age as we move to more and more digitally-mediated interactions and experiences

as much as the current trend shows us as a humanity moving closer and closer to merging with machines to evolve to a supposedly higher place, i would like to think the kind of design story we should be more focused on should center a lot more on developing a better sense of human and environmental awareness that really is totally unrelated to our technological inventions altogether

but how do we design for something like greater awareness?

this isn’t one of those ‘there’s an app for that’ results we’re looking for — there’s no real profitable product or service that i’m aiming for as a human experience designer, actually, which probably leaves me in a bit of a bind, right? i personally believe that we can invent a lot of amazing and innovative technologies that will help us survive or make our lives seem somewhat more comfortable or enjoyable, but at the end of the day i would like to do more than merely survive

i would like to see humanity start to grow again

and i don’t mean growing as in growing a user-base or expanding a knowledge set or some other similar information-based endeavor we get distracted by along the real path of where our human evolution should be headed — in this case, its not about the information

we need to start feeling the vibe of the universe again — we need to stop dissecting everything so much and mapping it all to some fictional, self-serving, data-related set of attributes that we as people invent to make sense of our chaotic universe to only feel somewhat in control of our little destinies — we need to start focusing in on our emotionality, our spirituality and our purpose

someone or something else designed these things for us, however, and we can only discover, shape and guide these interesting topic touch points in the story of our lives

we cannot truly control them

i don’t want to leave this planet to the next generation with my contributions merely being the design and delivery of a bunch of apps and experiences — i want to leave the future people of tomorrow with a sense that we helped change the direction of our destiny toward something more meaningful and real, and something far more valuable than the code for an information-based set of experiences, but maybe instead, the code for how to better behave and interact with each other in the world in which we live in together as we all move forward toward a more holistic, harmonious and humanistic civilization

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

a little pissed

i am so angry right now

a fairly lengthy post i was just working on just totally slipped away and is lost in the ether thanks to posterous

at a point where i was almost entirely done with a new post about the web design class i’m teaching out at Brookline Adult and Community Education posterous suddenly refreshed and brought me out to the sign in screen, asking me to sign into the site as if i were never in the Create a Post screen

only an hour wasted, but it just feels futile and empty, really ridiculous that in the year 2012 posterous { or at this point now, Twitter } can’t figure this simple shit out

its totally annoying

and from Day 1 of getting involved in this more digital aspect of visual expression i think i’ve realized the rather robotic limitations of these mediatypes — the rather purely mathematical and super uncool potential of the technologies we trust to help us articulate and express ourselves in a more efficient and empowering way

at moments like this i retrospectively reflect and think its all bullshit

why isn’t this stuff as cool as Star Trek yet? 

its 2012 people

why can’t posterous just save a fucking draft before totally shitting my time away?

is that really too much to ask? 

i should’ve thought ahead and copy-pasted all my hard work and typings into a Pages file or something, i’m sure, because even in 2012 we need to compensate for our lameass technologies and pretend like it all hangs together in a smooth and accommodating manner — but let’s face it folks:

its not true

we PRETEND like this shit works so nicely — people constantly work these systems in total denial that we’re all fumbling and live-testing every single technology we’ve invented on a daily basis

here’s what i’m asking you to do for me as a reader of these posterous passages here — put on a little play-pretend persona hat for me, suddenly become acutely aware of every microinteraction you have with your devices and the web and just be happily observant of everything you do on a daily basis to get everything to work correctly:

  • watch how you need to repeat swipes on your phone before the follow-up animation indicates you’re onto the next step;
  • see how long you’re standing there, waiting for the supposedly automagic liquidfoam soap-squirter to actually moneyshot deliver a blast of bubbly whiteness into the palm of your hand in one of these semi-haunted public restroom nightmare scenarios;
  • create a post here on posterous and watch as all your hard work and minutes dematerialize into nothingness when the system autorefreshes without even giving you the courtesy to copy-paste your thoughts prior to this systems-based power of deletion

i know its not intentional, these little faux pas of user experience — but jeez, add ’em all up at the end of the day and its a fucking miracle any of the stuff we do during the day happens at all — and in fact, on certain days it can feel like some sort of cyberSurreal and fully automated magical self-terroristic attack of our machines to the very psyche and general health of humankind

its machine-on-man violence, i tellya

forget about this HCI stuff, this Human Computer Interaction — the whole system is still inconveniently reversed in 2012 and we have a flip paradigm existence of machine-driven processes { still }

its a little different than systems-centered design, i think { although that’s what’s secretly underneath it all }

the technology becomes our special new pair of red shoes, and now its up to us to just keep dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing

its all good though

i got this one

we’ll fix this shit

here’s the first step, the whole ‘when posterous hands you lemons …’ kinda bullshit

i just squeezed this post out of my own unfortunate circumstances

my original post is lost

here’s the beginning of something bigger

welcome to 2012, the day we really dig in and start to make the world a LOT more user-centered using cyberSurreal forensic investigation of these ‘machines gone wild’ as the very backbone to sticking it back to The Man — or no, wait a minute, not back to The Man, sticking it back to The Machine