The Future of the World Belongs to Everyone and Nobody

Who Owns the Future Paperback Cover Page
Who Owns the Future Paperback Cover Page

Yes, the future; a backlash against the future. A future that let’s us capture, share, and view pictures. Or share everything with everyone known and unknown. This is a future envisioned by companies and individuals as a channel to mine data and user habits. And when the user base grows to a large enough scale, these services and apps in the cloud switch to a recurring revenue model. Every company wants a recurring revenue model. Each monthly customers – people – pay the company a certain amount each month; every month. We’re so entranced with simple services. Always seeking the next app or tool that you must know about or that you must use. Sometimes a valuable services is created and genuinely becomes useful though largely we see a series of copy cat services. None really offering any more service than the one before. Small and incremental changes seems to be preferences. Along the way with each iteration a nice fortune is made by charge users for the next version of whatever service with slightly expanded feature set and maybe a new look, but certainly for an all new price.

Yes, it’s a backlash and only now do we see that changing the present will also change the future. There are numerous references to Siren servers and the initial reading felt like a secret being whispered. Everyone doesn’t know about these Siren servers collecting and analyzing massive gobs of data with the end goal of learning behaviors and selling those statistical and trends to advertisers or using it themselves with the intent of selling more of whatever they’re selling. Certainly this isn’t new, but the capabilities of amassing such tremendous amount of information and then using that data for not so noble purposes is what changes the perspective of those otherwise pro-technology.

So then who owns the future? It’s undoubtedly owned by the companies who provide us “cloud” services. The companies that push us towards monthly subscription services. The companies that do not want us to download or to physically/digitally own what we purchase. Maybe if we reject these types of services or be more selective of what we consume can things change. Until then, we’ll continue using all the free services we can and distance ourselves from understanding the value of human effort.

Around the time when Amazon launched the second iteration of the Kindle did I completely embrace the cloud. Then the idea of owning no physical books or magazines sounded wonderful; especially to minimalist. Even purchased an Android Nexus tablet with the thought that I’d accomplish so much reading and the satisfaction of carrying all my books and magazines. The tablet itself became a deity that I prayed to each time I unlocked the screen. My perception of Amazon was pristine. No negatives. Over time though it jumped to the other side of the spectrum with their pricing ordeal with Hachette Publishing. And only then did the dangers of Amazon become clear.

The same can be said about laptops without a DVD/CD drive or small capacity hard drives. Combined with the concept of Siren servers you feel that a grand coordinated scheme was set into motion many years ago and just now is becoming fulfilled. Yes, it’s a backlash; a shock really. First thoughts turn to shunning these services or otherwise avoiding them altogether or simply discontinuing their use. It’s not simple to change your workflow and everything you’ve become accustomed to, but we must if we are ever going to take control of our digital lives.

Gained perspective and insight is to be gained from reading Who Owns The Future. The perspective to understand why companies give their services away for free and why it isn’t necessarily in your interest.

Drunk Tired Horny Beatniks in Big Sur’s Emotional Head Trip

Big Sur paperback cover Penguin Books edition
Big Sur paperback cover Penguin Books edition. Cover art by Vivienne Flesher.

hor, hor, hor

I need solitude and rest so borrow mafriend’s cabin in the woods to stay there a long head scratching month with plans to write and get away from those kids breaking into my house expecting me to drink and drunk and yahoo. All that stuff sez those crazy kids reading my book.

yass, yass, yass

Adjust and accept and become comfortable and only then enjoy – the reading pattern I took with Big Sur. Not long after publishing his classic and inspirational book “On The Road,” the over-the-top fan attention Jack Kerouac received was too much. He needed a place to hide and collect thoughts. That place is Big Sur on the central California coast. His time at Big Sur is described in a book of the same name.

sicksicksick

A discomfort settled through the first chapters. Lightly structured and unexpected rhythms and cadence. The word combination clashes then links and then elevates, but returns down forcefully breaking mangled over jagged rock. Aaaarrgghh!!! Felt like a transcription of live events. Something like unfiltered closed captions.

(Long long hyphens)

Constantly drunk he borrows a friend’s cabin in the woods. Stumbling and groping at night he finally reaches the cabin and there onward it’s a mess of people and back and forth to and from the cabin to San Francisco or to a friend or back at the cabin, but he doesn’t want to be there anymore at the cabin and again and again. A. gain.

dont (without apostrophe)

Encouraging for the slow reader some chapters are no more than two pages.

sumptin

And the end is a blur of nonsensical raw thoughts crisscrossing. Illusions, hallucinations, paranoia. Severely drunk. His friends with him at the cabin want to harm him. Billie the sweet girl he met in San Francisco just wants to marry him. It’s her last chance at a real man. The precipice of delusion and paranoia end suddenly and quickly. Everything is alright. Jack is alright. His friends are alright. The world is good again.

tryna

More reviews of Big Sur over at Good Reads.

The Old Man and the Sea BOTMC

The Old Man and the Sea on a Park Bench
April 2014 Book of the Month Challenge

Location: Havana, Santiago’s shack, the Sea
Protagonist: Santiago the fisherman, Manolin the boy helper
Antagonist: Village fishermen, the big Marlin, sharks
Struggle: Santiago versus the big Marlin plus fights with hungry sharks

The writing is concise. No extra words.

Saddened that Santiago lives in a shack and uses newspapers as a pillow. Imagined a run down beach town similar to the town of the 1959 version of Black Orpheus. He has no one except for Manolin, the boy helper, the Sea and its millions of fish.

The Marlin and fisherman fight for many rounds over the course of a few days. Scared the old man might die. Hands raw and back and shoulders lashed and cut from the line. Why doesn’t this man wear GLOVES or use a proper fishing pole!  Surprising.

Way far out at sea without sight of land I wonder how this worn tired old man will return to shore. He finds his way as he’s done many times before.

A great fisherman proves himself to the village fishermen, to the boy and to the Marlin. To the world really. His finest hour. Though it is only those people who know of Santiago who can appreciate his adventure and the magnitude of achievement. Grand moments as there are many in life. In that perspective, this one’s man struggle is non special at all.

Everyone’s a Designer These Days and I Hate It

This is embarrassing to myself mostly since no one reads this shit. Several weeks since my last post plus with my Book Of The Month experience lagging my goals have been wobbly. Not that I don’t have a reason; I always have excuses and none that I’m going to share here because again no one reads my crap and I already know them well.

Design <for> Hackers, David Kadavy
A warm introduction to design.

Why do single purpose table lamps cost $900 and why are things like damn, them new loafers hurt my pocket. There’s only one reason for it: money lusting goblins of the Harry Potter variety. Close, but no. Within the pages of David Kadavy’s book, Design <for> Hackers, will you find the answer, but only after you deduce the reason from the book’s content. In other words, you’ll have to conclude the reason as there isn’t a chapter titled “Here’s the Answer.” Oh well, read further and I’ll decompose it for you.

The care and time and knowledge applied in selecting materials, colours, placements, function, practicality, everyday use, and more is the reason for the high cost of things. This is the design process. People who design (and I won’t call them designers for everyone is a designer these days or thinks they are) impregnate creations with their ideas for how objects should feels and function and be perceived. Objects become desirable because of their shape or colour or purpose or origin and many other perceivable and in-perceivable details. Combining these infinite variations into a form serving a purpose is beautiful and meaningful.

A description of anal might be attributed to these types, but its merely a character trait of those who see the design of things. But more importantly these individuals can appreciate the sometimes genius thoughts plunged into a work. Those that cannot are either untrained or lack mental dexterity. A title that I’m connecting to design is that of Curator. The purpose of a Curator is ever more important; their experience and knowledge on a specialized topic far exceeding that of the average Joe. Nowadays we find great excitement at anything curated: music, clothing, travel, etc. These curated experiences surpass what individually we would have experienced otherwise largely due to our insensitivity on quality.

Chapter 5 highlights proportions and is of great everyday use. The Golden Ratio is fascinating and reveals why some things look “right” or balanced or just otherwise pleasing to view. Later chapters delve into the granularities of colour creation perception and you may find yourself trailing off. The chapters begin to read like a textbook at times putting a drag on enjoyment.

A good introduction to design and a certainly a reference book, Design <for> Hackers is a gateway drug to the design world.

Above All, There Is Love. Sweet Goldmund Love.

The book that launched the Book of the Month (self) Challenge.

Softcover front.
Softcover front.

Bought the book at Barnes and Nobles at the beginning of October 2013 on a whim. Literally left the house and drove to the nearest B&N to purchase a book. Any book. Bored was I. With nothing particular in mind I browsed the fiction shelves until Herman Hesse. Decided on a Herman Hesse book having read Siddhartha several years before. Steppenwolf? No. With a certain unknown familiarity Narcissus and Goldmund appeared. The old school art on the softcover. The stout width and thick depth of the book and makes you eager to hold in your hands.

Weird, but the pages of the book have an odor maybe even parfum-like. Something to wonder about.

Softcover.

Check. Prefer over hardcover ’cause I can’t use my hands to bend the hardcovers to my will nor twist and turn them. Definitely softcover.

Love, Senses, Art, Nature, Death.

All the things in the natural world covered. Largely and expose on that it may mean to be alive and interact with the world, start and adventure, and live as you wish.

Love quote:

And still more, I’d like to die with you. Drink me to the dregs, beloved, melt me, kill me!

Death quote:

Blood spilled from his chest and neck; from his mouth life ran out in delirious, weakening sighs.

Discovery and Life Choices.

The story is entirely about self-discovery and choices made to that end and the very end. Those choices compared to the steady and constant progress of your nearest friend. Your friend has his life path already determined. While you drift in whatever direction your soul curves to.

Goldmund wanders the earth and consumes it with all its experiences and vices and dangers in medievil times. Narcissus the barometer to which Goldmund compares his life oversees the very cloister where he and Goldmund studied in youth. Mirror opposites in life.

Fin.

It is worth a re-read? Yes. Re-read it and also reassess what is important to you.