RIP, Funny man. Shirley we’ll miss you. Always made us smile if not ROTFL.
Category Archives: Culture
In Philip K. Dick’s novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“–better known for its 1982 Blade Runner film adaptation–the title refers to the empathetic aspect of humans for animals that Androids lack. As our devices and the algorithm gets closer to replicating our brains and appearance the novel explores deep ethical questions arise about what is human and therefore how they should be treated. I won’t take the tangent, but it’s worth giving the nod to how this line of thinking relates to current debates around equality working its way through the courts today in California. Back to the post at hand, there’s a genius and an irony to Google’s novel reference through the Android name in their development for our most personal, connected devices–the mobile platform. Unlike our PCs and web browsers where we taught/teach the search algorithm mainly through intent (search) and behaviors (clicks) billions of times a day, on mobile we begin to expose more of us to the algorithm. In our voice inflections and dialects combined with our location, calendars and real-life friends, expressed in time on the phone and in person, we’re teaching the algorithm our more intimate aspects of those people, places and things we care about most. The mobile platform is a feeder system of millions of devices serving billions of transactions/interactions into a smarter and more intuitive cloud-based algorithm. So, perhaps in time Androids will dream and awake.
In the meantime enjoy snacking on this teaser video for the new Samsung Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet debuting in Europe next month:
Just finished watching KD Lang sing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ for the fifth time on tivo. Like everyone else, I naturally went to search for it to share. In doing so, I discovered something pretty amazing: this one song covered by so many A-list and pop-culture acts routinely earns 2-million views when covered (hint to emerging acts wanting to show their reverential side).
Here are my top 10 examples:
The man himself, Leonard Cohen, about 1mm views
Rufus Wainwright with Joan Wasser and Martha Wainwright from the brilliant biographical Cohen film, “I’m Your Man,” nearly 20mm views via 6+ other ‘related videos’ versions)
Jeff Buckley’s version, almost 14mm views
kd lang. 2mm views
Allison Crowe, almost 5mm views
Sheryl Crow, 2mm views
Amanda Jenssen, Swedish American Idol, almost 5mm views (there’s another post with nearly 800k views as well)
Four Norwegian singers including Kurt Nilson, almost 20mm views
Jason Castro, 2mm+ views
Bon Jovi @ MSG in 2008
What’s amazing about this song–also frequently referred to as “The Shrek Song” by the YouTube generation–is that other versions earn 10s of millons additional views. For example: Alexandra Burke, about 8mm views and John Cale, over 2.5mm views. If you’ve been doing the math within this post, you’re at over 80mm views of this one song and this is just from YouTube, not inclusive of other video sharing sites. We’re also counting just the head, not the tail versions of these videos. In aggregate I wouldn’t be surprised if viewership on this one song is over 200mm when you add all the long-tail occurrences. As with any longtail, I also expect that KD Lang’s performance tonight for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies will earn a lot more views per video.
I believe these number dimensionalize what Carl Jung meant when he quoted ‘the Chinese Master’ in Miguel Serrano’s “Jung & Hesse, a record of two friendships“: “a man thinking rightly in a room can be heard 3000 miles away.” Leonard Cohen, the master of word and song-craft, will be heard in every corner of the earth for ages to come.
In California, when we say “did you feel that?” we’re usually referring to an earthquake. We look around for others to validate the sensation or to scan other perception points for movement. In a way, our economy has us looking around for proof points and confidence too.
On January 5th we asked, “did you feel that?” for a different reason. There was a palpable enthusiasm and optimism that entered the office that day. It was new car smell+first day of school+opening day kick-off+getting the band back together all rolled-up into one. It wasn’t just the reflection from a longer-than usual vacation, although that might have helped. It was the feeling of a team coming back together with good momentum and challenging work ahead that we love doing.
I encourage all of us to hold onto that feeling this year. Connect socially and share stories of your weekends, holidays and families. Laugh. Be excited about the work and the fact that we’re working. Be part of creating great value for our clients and their consumers so that their businesses remain healthy. Don’t suppress your excitement—no one does on the first day back. Don’t let it slip into routine. Be Great. Be the shaker that others feel good about having on the team.
And, yeah, you did feel that. It’s Real. Here’s to a transformational 2009.
I added robots—some original and replicas—to my “save and lift” collection. FWIW, I share the starry-eyed optimism in all pursuits. And I have enough experience to know that there’s another pole to that perspective.
Awhile ago I posted a travel innovation piece about a device that kept the air-traveler-in-your-lap syndrome. Here’s a fun little device that will knock out TVs where ever you go. This isn’t just playful subversion, it’s another expression of User-In-Control or “pop-up blocking.” When the user experience stinks, expect a technology to emerge that addresses the user’s preferences, like the pop-up blocker, ffwd button on TiVo, Google (yes, an entire company dedicated to making things more relevant and findable online), etc. Enjoy more. Be Great. Debate below.