Who said the following to whom?
Why can’t I love you without you licking me?
Who said the following to whom?
Why can’t I love you without you licking me?
Karen and I went to Lowes the other day to pick up a leaf blower. I didn’t know anything about leaf blowers and neither did the first Lowes employee I asked. I chose one based on price and features and picked it up to leave.
Right then, another customer showed up with a more knowledgeable employee. I overheard the employee recommend against the leaf blower I’d picked up and thankfully joined the conversation.
The employee recommended a more expensive blower with fewer features. I pointed out that it did not have the vacuum and mulch features that my previous choice did. He acknowledged that. But then the other customer asked, honestly, why that mattered? Did I know something about those features that made them desirable?
I had to pause and think. Would vacuuming or mulching leaves with a little hand-held leaf blower even make sense? After a few seconds, I admitted that I just assumed more features were better. I hadn’t even thought about whether the features really made sense.
We all smiled at that, and the two of us walked away with the higher priced but lower featured blowers.
I take two things from this experience. First, as a consumer I need to be more aware of why I’m buying a product and how I’ll use it. I should not let extra features sway me unless they’re actually beneficial.
Second, as a marketer I need to realize that people often don’t think when making purchases. Adding some silly features may sound like a bad idea but could be just what’s needed to get those people’s attention.
The two reactions that always pop up after a tragic incident like the recent theater shooting in Colorado are very interesting in how divergent they are. Some people say, “This is exactly why guns should be banned. If people couldn’t get guns, this kind of thing would never happen.” The other crowd says, “This is exactly why more people should be allowed to carry guns. If more people were armed, it would be a deterrent to lunatics like this, and victims could defend themselves and save lives by ending the incident quicker.”
And, as always, the one group rolls their eyes at the other’s proclamation and cringes at the feeble-mindedness of the argument, the person setting it forth, and the entire political philosophy of that stupid, stupid person.
In other words, incidents like this do nothing but drive us further apart.
Instead of coming together to grieve over a tragic incident, we argue about how to ensure it never happens again. This is the exact argument I found myself in last night. The discussion started with grief and sickness over what happened, but it quickly turned to anger and frustration over how to solve the problem.
The truth is, we cannot do anything to stop incidents like these. We live in a world where guns and lunatics exist. Short of chaining every human to a wall for the duration of their lives – or just killing them all, – people will find ways to acquire and use weapons. Tragedies will happen from time to time. And that really sucks.
In fact, it sucks so much that people will not accept it. I fully expect politicians to jump in (or citizens to pull politicians in) to “fix” the problem.
Legislation will be passed saying that costumes cannot be worn in public, at which point the government will have the final say in what constitutes a costume and, therefore, what people can and cannot wear. Or perhaps going to a movie will become more like getting on an airplane. Think of all the new jobs that will open up when the MTSA (Movie Theater Security Administration) sets up metal detectors and scanning machines in theaters across the nation. “I’m sorry, sir, you can only bring 3 ounces of soda into the theater.”
We’re in a catch 22 here. As decent Americans, we have to do something. We can’t just look at the families of the victims and say, “Dude, that sucks, but shit happens.” And yet, the “doing something” will do nothing but further divide us, take away freedoms and conveniences, and leave us more scared than ever.
And you know what, shit will still happen. At some point, we have to just deal with it as it comes up and then move on with our lives.
As predicted, this blog isn’t getting too much use. I guess I just don’t have that much to say.
Still, my intention was for this to be a bit of a time capsule that I can look back on when I’m older. Something to remind my senile self of all the fun things I did and interesting things I learned (and since forgot).
The problem with that is there are too many such time capsules already. I post bits of my life on Facebook and SmugMug. I keep interesting writings on Google Docs, Simple Note, or just on my computer. I backed up my old blogs on my computer as well.
And, even scarier, none of these things are future-proof. In fact, quite the opposite: they’re very likely to become inaccessible at some not-too-distant point.
I know the only real solution is to not try to document and remember everything, but that’s just not me. I hate to let the past go, and I long for some way to capture each moment and store it for future enjoyment. I love memories and want to be able to relive them whenever I please.
Right now, I don’t know what the solution is for me. But I suppose I should at least start writing more on this blog. We’ll see how that goes…
The Lytro is here, and my company has one! I’ve been playing around with it for the last few days, and I must admit it’s an interesting toy.
In case you’ve been living under a photography rock, the Lytro is a whole new concept in taking pictures. Instead of capturing a 2-D plane of light, the Lytro captures “the light field” (I think combining a light field, a black hole, and a popsicle stick is how you make a lightsaber, so this is pretty advanced stuff!). This allows it to capture 3D images, the end result of which is that you can choose your focus point after snapping the picture rather than before.
It’s easier to just show you. Click on the photo below to play with the focus.
There, you see what I mean? Isn’t that cool?
The stylings of the Lytro, its interface, and even the box it’s packed in are very reminiscent of Apple (steal from the best!). The unique shape of the camera is key to making people see it as something truly new. If it looked like any other point-and-shoot, I don’t think this would get nearly as much attention. Unfortunately, that shape is a bit awkward both for shooting and for carrying around.
The camera’s interface is quite simple, offering just a few buttons and a touch screen. Sadly, the screen is much too small, meaning you have to download the images to your computer before you can enjoy them. Zoom is controlled by rubbing your finger along a ridge on top of the device. Unfortunately, the zoom control is located right where I naturally want to put my finger, resulting in a lot of accidental zooms.
So, what do you do with the Lytro? I see three options:
The biggest limiting factor right now is the image quality. Like early digital cameras, the resolution and clarity just aren’t there yet. Click Luckie’s butt to see a full-res JPG export. It’s 1080×1080 (the equivalent of only a 4”x4” print), and you can see that the image is very noisy.
That being said, the Lytro is a fun toy and another creative tool for people to play with. The technology has a lot of potential, and I’m sure we’ll see this advance quickly.
Though professional photographers may despise it (“Oh great, let’s take even more skill out of shooting!”), the light field camera is the (still somewhat distant) future of photography.
This is not funny! In what will go down as one of the worst April Fool’s jokes ever, it came out less than an hour before airing that tonight’s HBO premier of the second season of Game of Thrones is a fake.
Instead of the first show of the new season, HBO has decided to serve fans a one hour special hosted by Tyrion Lannister (wearing a jester’s outfit, no less). Granted, the special promises some cool behind-the-scenes goodies and previews of the upcoming season, but that does not make this okay.
The actual first episode will (supposedly) air next Sunday. HBO, you will pay for this.
More details, if you even care any more.