Yesterday I read this interesting article from David Carr in the New York Times. It was his observations on what he saw walking through times square on new years eve and rise of people using the “Narcisstick” - basically an expandable pole that allows cell phone users to take “better” selfies of themselves. So today, hang on, get a cup of coffee...i have no idea what is going to dribble out of the mind...
It triggered a post I did a few months ago with Pavlov photography and the idea of the “global selfie per cap.” A per cap is simply a term for whatever amount you get from a person. When I worked the merchandising at Feld Entertainment, the item that had almost a holy status was the daily, city, and tour per-cap. If you were up, no one ever bothered you. If you were down one cent, the panic and phones from the executives in the corporate headquarters would start. Basically, you were damned if you did, or damned if you didn’t. All I know is it was much nicer to be up all the time – the phone never rang.
What does this have to do with Narcisstick and the global selfie? It has me pondering our Augmanity technologies and where to roll them out. I have the ideal I would love to see it used for, as it would help humanity more – but that use is not as profitable or sexy as making things like the Narcisstick or coming up with an app that allows you to load an image of yourself, up to the websites so that the world can see.
Modern media is not the best way to really have a discussion past one sentence – it seems depth of content matters little anymore.
Forgive me, I digress. What seemed to come out of Mr. Carr’s article was a problem that deep media has today. Writers, storytellers, photojournalists – are endangered species of sorts. In the past, the world got their images and stories from a few people paid to go out and seek the stories. I still joke, many of them have some sort of “image” that they have crafted, where they put all sorts of cameras around them and wear photo vests and some sort of hat that evokes the image of the media folks of yesteryear.
Photographer might be wearing $60,000-100,000 of camera equipment, yet, with the same access, one can probably get a decent image with a few hundred dollar camera phone.
"yeah, but he looks like a real photographer."
The reality is that the quality of the image will be different, but with the way media is taking “news” from YouTube and face book posts, or getting cover photos from stock photo houses – I don’t think they are really interested in high quality – unless it is for marketing, media, and selling of a product or service. For that – you bring in all the digital wizardry and create images you put on magazine covers – that are hardly real.
When I think of artificial intelligence and where we are heading in the next 40 years. I really get excited; yet, there is trepidation with how man will ultimately use these technologies. Mankind will have to make a decision on what is valued in society. I am the furthest from following stringent rules or an ethic, but I am to the point where a line might be drawn in the sand.
I commented on another friends post about open space architecture. It was the problem of “what really works best?”
I think I wrote, “right now we are looking at technologies not to fit the people, but to have the spaces, technologies, and elements fit wherever the people happen to be, and sense what they need (even want) fromthe individual and the small group level. While we have played with the idea of large publics – there are obstacles that I am seeking solution to overcome with the physical limits of current technologies, or you need a massive budget and a small army or technicians.
There is one solution I would love to try that encompasses the entire globe – I am sure the marketing and internet companies would love to get all that data, but for now – we still are trying to adapt the technologies to allow people to live a higher quality of life in a world where we will live longer.
The problem I am seeing, and one addressed my Mr. Carr, is that I don’t know if there is enough of the world that really wants to change much except looking at them. While I am sure that last sentence came out wrong – it means that the solution for man to really change himself will have to come from within, with no technology helping. That method will provide long lasting change, but also take the most time.
The dilemma many see, or a large portion of the population is blinded that we think and feel we are probably more important that we really are.
The new technologies will simply blind us, or manipulate us, that even though we can see lots of images of our self. We become blinder to ourselves and the world happening around us. Call it a case of self induced, "Selfaucoma - the degeneration of the ability to actually see anything outside of looking into a mirror at self."
My two cents for a post brainstorm ramble. Have a great day. If you are still reading this – here is the Pavlov’s photography post. It has some scary numbers that will make you think.