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Friday, 26 May 2017

News posts

In the past, ,printing flyers, speaking in public, writting a book, geting a role at the newspaper company may of been some of the only ways to effiexctively broadcast a view.

These days even a personal  tweet, post or video can have a almost greater level of reach in a far reduced period of time. It is not uncommon for news sites to even rely on such information to detail response to event. 


Is the individual post actually accurate can often be the subject of debate.Then at the the collective level the listener will have the availability to many signals (all with different level of truth)

The whole situation puts a shroud on what is it actually going on which can lead the public having quite a misguided view on the event, person, idea etc.

The other offering would be the more conventional news  companies. These organisation are required to deliver atleast reasonably accurate level of information to meet the relevant Code of Ethics standard and overall reputation of the industry.

With the rise of digital age has made the News industry to be one of the least profitable industries to be in at the moment. The main media company in my state (Seven West) seemed to adapt to the situation through diversify (in to the web) and upscaling (buying of other papers.

However, commercial news is generally not great. Although there a large aspect of keeping the viewers there is also an equally larger objective of keeping the audience. This leads to quite a few not cool traits.

The worst aspect of the news is focusing on the negative/fear events. If there is a terrorist event in anotter western country you will know for sure that a fair chunk of the segment will be on that. Directly appealing to the flight or fright to terror response inbuilt in to human behavoiur. A well and truly tried and tested method. Who would want to see a movie with fear/anxiety/anticipation.

Then there the news in advertisement form. The taking sides. The hyping up.

Ultimately, the current version of commercial news does drift towards a tv show or nutrimentics magazine. Which will only continue as news company profit warning occur.

So the options above are not so great.

If we went to a higher of accuracy and information, this generally require the actually writter of the news/article etc to be vetted experts in that area.

This does occur in academic world with any result required to be clearly referenced and heavily researched. Academic however study and do not have a 6pm news slow. Instead they present of results is often in quite specific forums to be read by quite specific people. Which is expected given its dull and technical.

There is a interlink between news and academics however this is often is good news stories such as ""study has shown ice cream is good for your stomach" or politics or terrorism or something like that.

Under utilising such knowledge in the community increase the chances for fales stories to perputate longer than they are meant to or a lack of awareness in the public in what is going on.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Brand Evaluation

In the show Pinky and the Brain there is 2 mice that join together to try and take over the world. The idealism that 2 mice could take over the world is a bit of a fallacy no matter how brainy the brain is or pinky the pinky is. For instance there is 7,262,900,000 humans and counting on this world and therefore the mice would encounter a few issues unless they had some really good mice propoganda or have alot of influence already

But each person can influence the world. Much like a ocean wouldnt be the current ocean without each drop. Although it is apparent that the drops in the ocean is highly dynamic with the effects of evaporation, rain, flow from rivers that occur all the time.










So if 1 person can influence the world slightly. A group of people with congruent effort can have a larger effect (think a ripple). Which is why collective groups can be quite useful. And a country of people with a congruent belief can have the effect of wave. Especially if there is a swing in belief from view to another over time. (Which is why i guess alot of change campaign do tend to target awareness although awareness creates no action)












Now diverting attention to companies, a company has a similar structure to a country in that there is a representative of the company (CEO). The direction a company takes can impact the moral of its workers and also the society at large. So what represents a good company. What values do we expect. What type of industry do we expect. How should they get customers. How should they attempt to get new customers. Are they actually benefiting society from an overall perspective.

As consumers do we spend enough time actually evaluating companies we buy from. As a case example there has been a focus on for instance fair trade products as a way of making companies more accountable but ultimately that just lead to a niche market targeting a particular clan of consumers rather than a fundamental shift in the industry. Why doesnt the industry change ? Well there is a enforcer of accountable to society at large in most industries. The media can encourage in most multinational bad practices to be investigated. There many examples of this including live export of animals by ship, slave labour etc.

So why do companies think or want to get away with bad practices. Well one of the main reasons i feel is because they know they generally can. What is reported about a company to the stock exchanges is generally financial information combined with fairy floss picture of where the company is going and what they are doing well or not. Although companies have a set of values the overaching goal is to keep ones job and to maximise profit.

There is two way that maximise profit and benefiting society can be more aligned in the current structure. A shift in a company aligning their practices to only designing and developing products that benefit society. Although this is noble this will create an undersupply of the bad stuff that people really want ie. fast food, fizzy drinks, smokes, 4 wds. The undersupply will create attractive market conditions for any competitor or new entrant and so the noble company has just become more noble but basically created a void to be filled as the next not as noble company.



The other approach is for consumers themselves to change their spending behaviour to focus more on only buying things that benefit society. This will result in a reduction in demand for the bad stuff and so the market will need to adjust and make the society better or be caught in the dust. The only way that a consumer can make better spending decisions is actually researching and critiquing the company rather than falling for general advertising tricks etc.

What are some of your favourite companies do they meet the test. More important as stated what is benefiting soceity entail (cheap goods ?, employs people   ?, follows law  ?, embraces change ?, vision ?, R & D ? and puts back meaningfully in the communities it operates in ?)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Themes

Alot of movies incorporate quite similar themes and subplots. For instance the currently highly successful Marvel franchise tended to potray a classic good vs evil archetypes. Showing that in such Marvel worlds good always wins always evil. Such representation of the archetype could instill in current society that doing good for the society is a good thing ultimately resulting in a better society. Although the very the notion that society could be swayed by a random action movie they choose to watch for enjoyment may not sit that well. Although I can say with more certainty that visuals such as 9/11 could say did have an impact on society fear in the Western World while songs like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM may of made society (atleast the pop culture music listening people) feel slightly happier.  

Another benefit of using similar themes (and plots and actually) you can actually generate interest 
in a film from inter-visual and contextual references (ie. Rambo No. 6 etc :P ). Ultimately this results in directors (and more specifically producers) seeking to go for low risk high audience movie which don't challenge their creative potential. While other films lurking in the background are often deemed arthouse or only found  by viewers after they been released (ie. for instance i think this applied for some with the move  "Shawshank Redemption" and the movie "In to the Wild" )

A more positive perspective (less financial reason) why movies share such common themes could be due to the fact that the movie themes are loosely based on quite core human experiences which humans can relate to. Therefore instead of seeing it as unoriginal movie plots it just could be different directors connecting with the same human experience/emotion/thoughts.

One potential example of this is depicted across 3 movies below. 

 Beauty and the Beast

Howl Moving Castle 

Secret Garden

More than words



So often the Martin Luther King I have a dream speech is quoted in all sorts of places from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And though I must admit I can see why the quotes in the speech do sound quite inspiring.....to me I have always found this speech just that little bit more inspiring

Considering now why that could be the case,  I think for me the whole I have a dream notion taken literally is just blanket words. And in terms of the change process I would say it probably say it be only the first step after things like pondering, doing nothing etc. However, blanket terms do not necessarily influence society (akin to shouting "world peace" at your tv) it needs a movement of passionate people with the reserve to hold strong against those system that resist change.

But yeh back to the video it has a slightly religious theme but I think it quite apparent an absence of fear while demonstrate considerable care for people without caring for people say or do if that makes any sense.

And just a video and song to finish

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Brick by boring brick

Bricks in the arts tend to have quite negative connotations \ ie. associated with drowning, rigid, deterministic, controlling. Take https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR5ApYxkU-U as an example

The one I would like to focus on today is the brick connotations in the Wizard of Oz
The story revolves around 1 central character and 3 other characters that are following the yellow brick road to essentially alleviate their problems, as listed below.
Dorothy - Get herself and Toto back to Home
Scarecrow - Brain
Tinman - a heart 
Cowardly Lion - courage

It is known that the brick path that they are own will be the one which get them to their destination to solves their worries. But instead of the path itself being some amazing paradise in to the abyss ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcL---4xQYA ), it insteads tends to be quite a boring trail with the characters having to sing tunes focusing on the future "we are of the Wizard....because, because, becauase". The fixed sterile path also gave ample time for the characters to dwell on the reasons why the were seeing the wizard (intrinsically having the effect of honing on their shortcomings)
A few times during the journey they were led of a stray from the path due to an event be that a dog running away, the witch etc  but ultimately they got into the castle and after talking the Wizard of Oz they had the remedies to the problem just not in the way they expected. For instance Dorothy always had the power to go home however Glinda (the good witch) didn't tell her before cause Dorothy (herself) wouldn't believe it.

So whats changed for Dorothy ? Does the yellow brick road have magical properties ? 

I personally related the yellow brick road as well trodden path where people seek to follow to essentially have a direction in their life, to reach their own personal goals and potentially to also fit in to society. However the questions then become is that if you have your eyes fixed on a illuminating yellow brick do you have direction ? Does trying to conform to a path lead to achievement of goals ? Who decides what "fits" in to society ? In this light the yellow brick road potentially "might" not be as optimal as it is portrayed as in current society.


Bit of a contrast to

Also ff she never left the path would she of got home ??



Friday, 15 August 2014

Days of future, past and present


Although time in one way at a constant speed, by having  access to random memories and cognition ability gives rise to a kind of time travel like feature in the mind. We can categorize what part of mind-time we are in using the terms past, future, present. The 50,000 thoughts or so we have each day can be broken in the three categories.

Past
An example of a past mind-space is a movie called Pom Poko by Isao Takahata. The movie highlighted how often our previous life experiences prop up in everyday life situations... walking outside with no shoes, eating pineapple. 
Future 
An example of a  future mind-space is a move called Mr Nobody by Jaco Van Dormael. The abstract science fiction movie presented a world where they was basically a rewind function of life. It reveals the quite stagnating effect of future-mind space on the lead character  
Present 
Well any part of a movie that isn't a flashback or a fast forward could really be considered a present moment. But for instance this example in Perks of being walflowers will work.
We do need the past mind space as without it we would be a gold fish not really learning anything new each day. Similarly not having a future mind space would mean that things like goals or achievement that cant be acheived in an hour could never be acheived. However, the future-past states are also wear things like worry, fear etc.

It was interesting to compare the musical scores for the different movies. It does seem Past-mind and Future-mind music tends to offer slow melodies with piano, string like instruments with a repetitive melody that does cause your mind to need to over focus on. On the other hand Present-mind music seems to have in this case more of a beat and deep bass. Which kind of makes sense as deep bass and heavy beats is something you actually feel through your body right now and by focusing on it your mind find it harder to wander (unless the song reminds of a past experience). While soothing music is probably more relaxing for reminiscing or pondering.... allows the future and past state to be explored with less of the worry etc.

Present-minded song

Past/Future minded song

Although in truth most songs will fall in a spectrum of discouraging or encouraging present momentness. For instance you can have the ultra extreme cases like 



Friday, 8 August 2014

Princess Mononoke

At over 19.30 million Yen, Princess Mononoke (1997) is  one of the most highest grossing films in Japan. Although the story has quite a straightforward plot structure with a core man vs nature theme I felt the strong character development of Ashitaka allowed me to obtainl interpretations of my own which may or may not necessary of been the intention of the Director.

Ashitaka is the heroic protaganist of the movie, however he hits a setback at the start of the movie when a demon he goes up infects him with a curse infected by hate. A common approach in practice when people are dealing with their own personal demon is to avoid/ignore/hide or fight (ie. cut hand off).

. Ashitaka approach was more of one of seeking understanding. He accepted the curse as something he had to live with and instead focus on finding the source of the iron pellet which was linked to what created the demon in the first place.


When Ashitaka did searching he discovered that the creatures had been shot by Lady Eboshi. The animal that had been shot by the pellet began to hate and that hate turned a god into a demon.


Instead of the movie being about venegance of Ashitka he took a role in the Iron town and saw first hand what the city was about. He learnt how happy the citizen were and more of how things are not as black and white as potrayed in the more western action films.


Continue to discover more about the world (and indirectly himself) he save a lady called San and stops a war. This is compared to the animal gods which let hate get to them and they turn into demons like the first monster. hen, a woman whose husband was killed by Moro fires her Ishibiya.
Ashitaka Shot

Prince Ashitaka got shown the tranquil area of the forbidden forrest and meet some forest god. All the way through the journey I felt that the charcter accepted his full self and had a keen desire to understand the perspective before placing judgement.