Benji's Blog

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"Armed only with imagination, we're gonna rip the fucking lid off."

I always felt that in life there are three kinds of people: People who get it, people who don’t get it and people who know that there is something to get, but still don’t get it. Christopher Locke definitely gets it. He also surpasses most in knowledge and wit.
So far, after the introduction and first chapter, The Cluetrain Manifesto rocks. Topically so much is covered about culture, business and human interaction. Everyone is obsessed with narratives, even if they don’t know it. Locke’s take on storytelling hooked me immediately. He painted a picture of an ancient marketplace with silks, spices and various goods. However, the most important thing being traded was stories. The market is magical. It brought people from different places together. It imposed language, creativity and innovation, adjectives that are assigned naturally with humanity. But then something went wrong. According to Locke, that something was commerce- a vicious carnivorous rabid beast with a black masked sidekick named marketing. He describes commerce as “increasingly unnatural”. Slowly commerce detached craftsmen with customer, then craftsmen with craft. Eventually customers become just invoice numbers and their connection to anything at all seemed hazy. That’s when marketing came in, but instead of connecting people it merely bracketed them. Comedian Bill Hicks said, “If you’re in marketing or advertising, kill yourself.” I believe he was expressing his aggravation with people who put a dollar value on human thoughts and connection.
Locke makes the Internet our savior from the corporate cage with great defense. The Internet allows raw human connection free of shady motives and all it requires is genuineness.
He really lets loose towards the end of the chapter. “Armed only with imagination, we’re gonna rip the fucking lid off.” He is really good at saying all those things we’re just thinking. Breaking down the whole conspiracy of ‘the man’ he explains, essentially, that the power is in the people. Corporations, websites, mom & pop’s porn stores etc.- they’re all just people.
Jon Dean brought up something structurally that I completely over looked. Lock starts off talking about how we all die and ends it all talking about how we live. I feel kind of dumb that I didn’t catch it at first. I probably spent too much time highlighting the author’s great simile discussing magic mushrooms growing on corporate horseshit.
Kelly uses the example of the Abu prison photos in ICP as an example of our uncensored society. Whoa Kelly! The pictures in the museum were censored! Private parts were blurred out.
P.S. I prefer to leave my student links for the end. Not because I’m lazy.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The “Command and Control” model has many flaws, some of which are well conveyed in the Barry Lynn essay, “Unmade in America: The True Cost of a Global Assembly Line”. Though the article focuses mainly on globalization it gives many examples from companies that work with in a hierarchical setting. Most large companies focus on managerial tasks and simply outsource all of their ‘grunt work’ overseas.
Outsourcing can save money and simplify many steps in mass production, but it also comes with many problems. Lynn explains how an earthquake in Taiwan took a dramatic toll on computer stocks in 1999. Companies like Dell, Apple and Hewlett-Packard took a dive because of their dependence on oversea factories. A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link, and in this situation the chain broke. Though it could have been worst. Had the earthquake been closer to a more industrious part of Taiwan, production could have been stunted for months. The “Control and Command” model is fragile in this sense. It requires high dependability scattered amongst the many and increasing steps of production.
According to The Wall Street Journal over half of the worlds mercury pollutants come from China. Believe it or not, pollution that happens in China can make it all the way to New England by way of wind and air currents. Outsourcing is a big part of the discomforting environmental situation in China. Sadly, typical of “Control and Command”, no one takes blame. China’s response to their environmental issues is quite apathetic. They blame the United States for running the companies that cause the pollution, and for giving them our work model to begin with. The question to be asked is, Why doesn’t America stop paying factories overseas until they can meet our environmental standards? The answer is because Americans enjoy cheap labor. Through our history we never had problems sending the working classmen to the other side of the tracks. Now globalization allows us to put them even further. China must be held accountable as well. The U.S. makes us pollute the world and all it’s Ahi- is not a valid excuse.
Jon Dean makes a lot of good points about outsourcing. He speaks about the paranoia of outsourcing. Generally, I agree. The essay had many fearful elements to it. Often it was demonizing globalization a little too heavily. No one likes to complain about Americans more than Americans. Alexis is a good example of people who should not just believe everything they read. Mostly, I read everything with a grain of salt because I know, most of the time, someone is just pushing their point of view on me. But she does make valid points about the way Americans use power. Down with the man, more or less.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I may not know you....

but Im linking people to your blog anyway. Check out Ariana's favorite sites. She likes cartoon newtork, not too shabby, she could be a winner. Or check out a recent Debra post. Lastly, check out Laura.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Random Picture

Originally uploaded by baflalo.
i have no idea when something is gonna work or not.

Tampon Art

Hey everyone. Check out this new form of art. Here are a couple of other things that may catch your interest. Do you like Elliott Smith? What about Radiohead?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Blog number one

This is my first blog ever. I expect them to get much more exciting.