“I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.”—Waterloo | FrumForum Sadly, and predictably, Frum’s been kicked to the curb for these comments.
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”—Pablo Picasso (via elicec) (via quote-book)
“About 90 percent of my animal patients are geriatric—and, as odd as this sounds, the veterinary world may hold lessons for the broader health-care system. While pet insurance exists, only roughly 3 percent of owners carry it; even then, clients pay a substantial portion of costs themselves. That means they usually want to know the rationale behind each test. I explain what I think is going on, what I want to look for, and which tests I need to perform to find it. I rank the diagnostics from most to least essential and lay out approximate costs. My clients then choose what they want done, with an understanding of the relative importance, risk, and cost of each option. This step-by-step approach may seem time-consuming, but it dramatically reduces the number of expensive, unnecessary tests. And the process is more gratifying.”—Karen Oberthaler, V.M.D., on what vets can teach us about health care (via newsweek)
“You have but to take a peek in the comments section below this column, any column, any article on this or any news site whatsoever, to see just how mean and nasty we have become. It does not matter what the piece might be about. Obama’s speech. High speed rail. Popular dog breeds. Your grandmother’s cookies. The anonymous comments section of any major media site or popular blog will be so crammed with bile and bickering, accusation and pule, hatred and sneer you can’t help but feel violently disappointed by the shocking lack of basic human kindness and respect, much less a sense of positivism or perspective.
Maybe this, then, is the ultimate upshot of our endless, self-wrought swirl of sour disappointment, of never having our impossible needs fully met, of constantly being thwarted in our desire to have the world revolve around our exact set of specifications and desires.
Our disappointment begins to curdle, to turn back on itself, poison the heart, turn us nasty and low. It shifts from merely being a national mood or general temperament, into a way of being. A wiring, deep and harmful and permanent. It’s all very disappointing, really.”—Why are you so terribly disappointing?
Simple, right? I don’t know much about “marketing” or “business development,” but if this isn’t a template for a simple, honest business, I don’t know what is.
We don’t need marketing. Customer Anthropology is the future. Strategies have changed and it’s no longer effective to have a traditional marketing model of yelling/broadcasting through the biggest proverbial bullhorn a company can afford (expensive launch events, advertising, PR, etc.). It is all about getting into your customers’ psyche, anticipating their reactions, and truly satisfying customers’ real needs.
Realness. I’ve written before about authenticity and how we crave it. I suspect this may be a result of the number of abstractions we come into contact with every single day. Think about how many abstractions your brain has to deal with to just read this. There is a computer. With “windows.” Built on top of a “file system” with “folders” and “files.” And then you get on the “internet” (which is not a real place) through your “browser” (which doesn’t take you anywhere because you’re still in your chair) to go to a “site” (which isn’t a site or location at all) to read some text on a screen. So, hi. How ya doin? Welcome to Abstraction City, population You and Me.
Abstractions are not bad. In fact, they are incredibly powerful. Case in point: math is an abstraction. All that computer stuff is abstraction. Corporations are abstractions too. But, the conflation of abstractions means we need to devise more meaningful ways to interact with and understand them. Lest, we feel no connection. We’re severed from a real world. Nothing bona fide, nothing tangible. We get confused. We get a handful of dust.