Tel-Aviv = Creative Melting Pot

Hello dear reader!

I know its been a while and I broke my promise to constantly update this blog. Excuses are no exception, but I have one either way: I moved to Israel!

That’s right. The promised land, where there is always conflict. But ironically it is precisely due to this conflict of ideas from all around the world taking place in such a small country that I love it here. This friction and exchange of thoughts in such a condensed area creates an ambient which everyone can benefit from if willing to turn on, tune in. It’s an ideal state to create new patterns of ideas, a sort of creative utopia. Of course, it can also be the source of much misunderstanding and chaos. More on this with later posts.

For now, I’ll leave you with a work of art at the stairs of the Tel-Aviv municipality. Who knew? Bureaucrats and art! Good Great marketing.

Also, have you ever wondered what’s the real-time demand of energy in your city or country? Check this out!

Until then, smooth sailing fishermen!

Encyclopaedia Britannica: An Object Of The Past

Two weeks ago Encyclopaedia Britannica announced it would stop publishing print editions and would go all-in for digital. The beautiful 32-volumes represented less than 1% revenue. And so, just like that this 244-year old institution has turned vintage. When announced, the 4,000 copies left were going for $1400…today they are at $2400; times they are a-changin´ but basic laws of economics (supply and demand) remain as true today as they were millenia ago. Profiteers of misery I say!

This event definitely marks the beginning of the digital  information age, it officially turns the page (no pun intended) from physical to digital. It makes us aware of the information overflow going on “A printed encyclopedia is obsolete the minute that you print it,” said Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. President, Jorge Cauz.

We can almost see the 129-pound edition crystallizing on time. Sure, there is a growing list of  “technologies” going through this creative destruction (Vinyl discs, Typewriters, Vhs, pencils, ad infinitum) but to me this is the moment of truth. You dont have to be a prophet to imagine two-hundred years from now this last copy of the Encycopaedia being displayed in museums next to the Guttenberg Bible: marking the beginning and the end of the book age…when information was constrained by the physical, before it was free to roam like wild fire and reach the thirsty minds wordlwide.

I am sad, but I also make a toast to the future. Cheers!

Guttenberg Bible resting at a museum

Vintage Britannica

 

P.S.- I am tagging this with “past”, “present”, and “future”…for we are at the crossroads.

Hemingway Was A Fisherman

Most of us are familiar with the class The Old Man and The Sea. A Hemingway classic that we all had to read for school. What few people know, however, is that Hemingway loved fishing. There is even a book recently published by his daughter Hemingway on Fishing.

 

But this is a writer I’ve been getting acquainted with lately as I love the way he thinks…and I felt like sharing this because there is a new Hemingway movie coming out so…:

Tell Them I’m Smiling. Send My Greetings

That was the statement given by Patricia Hearst, heir to the Hearst empire and Symbionese Liberation Army (S.L.A.) She was kidnapped by that group in February 1974. Two month later she was photographed robbing a bank with an M1Carbine. Patricia Hearst was arrested in 1975, listing her occupation as “Urban Guerrilla” and stating the message of this title. She received a presidential pardon and was released from jail after 22-months (her sentence was originally 35 years.)

This case is interesting because it is thought to be one of the first cases of Stockholm Syndrom, a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy towards their captors, and in this case support and defend them.

A brief old documentary:

Below a cool new song inspired by that statement:

Invasive Brands. Decline of Culture

The class I enjoyed the most while in college was “Advertising and the Media”. The Professor gave great lectures and assigned even better readings on, well, the advertising and media industries.

In one such lecture she showed as a picture with the 26 letters of the alphabet, where each letter belonged to a brand. For example the letter “C” would be from Coca-Cola, the “I” from IBM, “M” from McDonalds, and so forth.

Not surprisingly when we were asked to name the brands, most students raised their hands excitedly to announce the corresponding brand to each letter. 

What was shocking and depressing, however, was the next picture. In it were 26 different flower pictures. Asked to name them, no more than 6 were guessed right. But that was not all. For the last thrust she mentioned that these flowers were all on our way to class. These flowers we saw daily, and never once did we “stop to smell the roses”. No curiosity to know them by name nor expand our knowledge/culture. Shame on us.

Today I found a video that reflects the same. Its a 5-year old commenting on logos. “Enjoy” and be depressed.

(via swissmiss)

The Global Village of Ideas. Fishes and Fisherman Galore!

Any serious student of media should know Marshall McLuhan, a brilliant Canadian Professor who foresaw Internet and its effects back in 1960’s. His most famous quote/book title The Medium is the Message is filled with short-essays and images full of insight. But other books such as Understanding Media or Guttenberg Galaxy remain as relevant and prophetic. I cannot get enough of him, like “”We look at the present through a rearview mirror; we walk backwards into the future.”…wow!

Today we have modern-day gurus such as Seth Godin predicting and acting on the tide shifts. While the old industries struggle to survive and keep on sinking, individuals like him are thriving. Like Davis vs Goliath, like an agile speed-boat racing a ferry… it is the young and daring who will win.

There are of course downsides to this revolution. Will you be more creative and seize the new tools or become a numb sheep following the masses? Will you fish and contribute, or will you just dine? 

The media wants and will escape the limiting boxes (TV, Computer, Cell-phone). Enter the augmented-reality age. Be sure to tailor and curate your information diet, for this will be the window through which the world will perceive you.

Dream Big and Far

Below is a link to the first short video of The Sagan Series, a half-hour documentary very worthwhile your time. Beautiful video, watch the 8 clips (around 3minutes each)

“We who cannot even put our own planetary home in order…are we to venture out into space?…it will not be “We” who reach alfa centauri  and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses, more confident, far seeing, capable and prudent… We humans are capable of greatness”

Be great, be bold, be a dreamer who will help bring this future to our present. Go fish the biggest fish of all: The Universe -our true essence, our true mother.