Sunday, November 15, 2009

FOD: Anti-Deceit, or Positive Push

One of the things I do to keep myself busy is moderate eGroups. This started back in 1998 or so when I was handed the ownership and administrative duties of the 'Bisexual Men' group at, a website that was purchased by Yahoo and transformed into Yahoo Groups. We were probably the first such group on the Internet.


Two things just happened. You learned about my interest in leadership roles. You also had a very personal reaction to the concept of 'bisexuality' and what it means to you. Your meaning of that concept was then projected upon your concept of me. I'm still sitting here typing, entirely unchanged. However, you and your concept of me became 'entangled', to use a quantum physics term. You created a version of me in your mind. That version was integrated into your personal reality. I, me, mine is not there in your personal reality. I've over here, where I live, at 12:22 AM, typing on my bed. But a version of me you created via your very personal reaction to the stimulus of some symbols I tossed on an electronic page is now you and yours. Keep in mind as we proceed that the two of us, me here typing and me there in your mind, are NOT the same thing and never will be.


Eventually I closed down that particular eGroup as we found that the world around us had changed and the subject matter had become very public on the Internet. Soon thereafter, with the help of some net friends, I started another eGroup at Yahoo called YMO RARE, dedicated to sharing impossible-to-find music. More recently, I was following up my interest in an artist and actor named Dwayne Cameron and found that two eGroups related to his work had become SPAM nests at Yahoo. As an avid SPAM assassin, I volunteered to clean up each of the groups. One of the groups had been abandoned, and Yahoo have an odd policy of perpetuating abandoned groups into eternity. Thankfully, the owner of the second group, called DwayneCameronFanClub, was still around and handed me ownership. Such is how things go when one volunteers a leadership role in human organizations. This is nothing new to me and I didn't mind. So I cleaned up the place, tossed out the spammers and vapor-members, and made the place nice to visit.

Meanwhile, I now had an incentive to follow what Dwayne Cameron was up to. Of no surprise to me, he turned out to be a very bright spirit who is into what I call 'Positive Push'. This was a skill I had developed in myself in the summer of 2007. To me it means rebuffing the misery mongering or general suffering projected by other people, returning back at them positivity. If you've experienced this yourself you know what a remarkable thing follows: Typically the negative person drops their negativity wall, with an accompanying projection of relief and friendly humanity.

Dwayne has a YouTube site called ConsciousSpace. You can visit it HERE. He has a couple time lapse videos of himself painting as well as some clips of his acting work. What also caught my interest was a link he provided to a pair of 10 minute videos about Science and Buddhism, called "Where Science and Buddhism Meet". After you consider my blether above, please take the time to enjoy 20 minutes learning about the concepts in these videos:

"Where Science and Buddhism Meet"

Also be sure to check out Dwayne's artwork and other features at his personal website:

Q: How does one live a positive life amidst deceit and negativity from others? Hopefully I've given you some ideas, tools and examples.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Festival of Deceit, The Series: Introduction


What does a child do when 'e (he or she) finds h'self (herself or himself) inside a new system, one that no parent ever taught them to expect, one of those places too obvious or too obscure for consideration? It is the realm of the 'unreal', as we perceive it. We don't understand this place. It is not integrated into our inner world, which is where we believe we 'live'.

The child explores, fumbles and bumbles, and creates concepts that reflect the foreign system. Sharing these concepts with others, which is what this blog is about, has that ever present quality of sharing ideas that are wrong in some way or another. Sharing concepts is therefore dangerous. How does one take responsibility for the results of sharing? Something is passed along to another perceiving mind, and how is one to know what will follow?

Therefore, it is ever useful to comprehend that the concepts we share with one another may well have been formed through the thought processes of a child. I also believe it is useful to think of each us as we age as ever children. We explore the unknown, no matter how we avoid it, like it or not, collecting our concepts as well as those of others. We get to the end of our life of conception, still children, inside our cellular suit system. We have our gathered understanding of what we have experienced, which has provided us with the benefits of maturity and wisdom. But the child is still us. Death? The next realm of the unreal.

This introduction is in part a presentation of one foundation, a base abstact process, that is part of human life. I explain myself as a human child amidst this process. I share my concepts because I believe sharing is part of the path toward human sanity. I am wrong in what I share. I know that. That we never know everything about anything is my personal foundational concept. Nonetheless, I persist because I know I have benefitted from the concepts of others and I know others have benefitted from aspects of my own concepts. I like myself; I like the gifts I have; I am a social animal; we humans are fundamentally sharing creatures; I enjoy fulfilling my genetic and intellectual manifesto of sharing. From this baseline, hoping you understand this baseline, I want to dive down from the abstract into specifics about the time and place in which I live within human society.

I wish we could stay in the world of the abstract. But we can't. We live the specific. It's not pretty down there right now, in that specific world. It's frightening to all of us what we humans do inside our self-made little inner worlds that make up our cooking pot of a shared perceived outer world. We are miracle creatures of the miracle planet that made us and sustains us. Oh, what a blessing to be alive, cognizant and coherent. Thank you creative spirit of the Earth. But oh how we do fumble and bumble as children, cruel and lethal in the choices we make.

Part of me rages in anger and cries in mourning every moment of this time in my life. Part of me has had enough and wants to leave, move on to something reliably sane and noble, somewhere past death. I've had to teach myself, through the kind sharing and support of many wonderful people, to find a place in myself where I can continue my exploring and learning, understanding each new realm of the unreal and growing in spirit. If I weren't living in this current human age, there is no doubt I'd have found a way to get out of 'here.' On the level of specifics, this age is so intolerable to me.

And yet this is 'now', and I found a comfortable 'place' for myself. It is a place where I can grow and enjoy being alive amidst the mess and the lost. I am ambitious, I push through my cynical with my positive. I repel the negative cast offs from my fellow humans and bombard back what concepts I have for the great human being. Sometimes I fall for the futile and whine about the mess and the lost. I'm very adept at judgement. It's a fundamental of my personality I've accepted as mandated. I fail, flaw and frustrate. But also mandated in me is persistence in my goal to grow. Nothing stops me. There is for me no life without growth. It is my obsession eternal. Cast off all the peripheral and that is the me inside. It is the motivation. It is the manifesto. It is the sharp arrow me that cuts through all resistance at the speed of thought. It is my spirit.

This spirit is the other baseline I need to share and that I hope you comprehend while I share my experiences, concepts and creative thoughts about the perceived specifics of my time. Return back here to the Introduction if I lose you along the way. It may help explain the inside story of why I share what I share. No doubt there is more I could or should put in this introduction in preparation as I write this series. These words will suffice, nonetheless, as a starting ground.

So why the title 'Festival of Deceit'? The concept is my insight into the theme of this next year of human thought, the spirit of the age through the year 2010. Here in the United States of America, where I currently live, we are in a thrashing and vicious political age. The motions of mankind in my country are going to become desperate. Beware desperation. It is a form of chaos. Anything can happen. It is mankind gone manic. Expect glaring euphoria and dim decay. The floor has fallen out of the building and everyone is left with desperate choices. What will we do? My concept is that the most lost among us will become so desperate to hide from this new realm of the unreal that they will turn to deceit, most of all within themselves, in order to foolishly deceive and delude. It is an act of self-destruction. It is a fox (in more ways than one) gnawing off its own leg to get out of a perceived trap. It is deliberate squinkification. It is the ignoring and crushing of what 'truth' we are able to comprehend for an delusional purpose. The method used is the creation and dissemination of zunipus: Deceptive imaginings retitled as 'truth' and 'fact'.

Of course I will be coloring my words with my own inner world methods of thinking. My weaknesses, missing skills and personal delusions will show. All is point of view. It will of course not be entirely yours, and that is how it must be. Diversity rules. I am motivated to share this work. Care it or beware it as you choose. Just know that I care it and I hope you find some of this voice useful and fun. The target is the joy of being alive. My arrow is not the sharpest. My aim will be off. But my arrow's energy is perpetual and I know there will be interesting things to perceive along the way.



I'm playing around with a way to discuss humans without reference to gender. Grammar experts tell me that using the plural form of people, they or them, is not acceptable. That's what I used to use. I don't actually care because plural communication methods work. But for fun, and out of my instinct for sarcastic obnoxiousness, I've been playing with other methods. No one else bothers, I'm a producer, obnoxiousness is an enjoyable motivator, therefore I experiment. I perceive that I am honest about it. Thus my experiments with 'e and h'self, etc.

Note, if you weren't already aware of it, that I like to play with words. I often invent words for my own purposes. Language is only a tool. Put it to work. Go back and read my first post in this blog if you don't understand my words 'zunipus' and 'squinky'.

Note that I agree my sort of blether comes off as pretentious. At least I am minimalist, specific, and kind in my intent. I write this way because it makes sense to me within my system. It is how I express myself best within the context of the time and environment I am writing. It is me being true to myself.

Note that I alter what I have written periodically. Today's form of anything I write may not be tomorrow's. Therefore, if you quote me, be sure to use the latest version of my work.

Note that everything I write is copyrighted. At the very least, give me my due attribution when you use my work. Otherwise I will skillfully introduce you to your next incarnation via the process of death. And that's not good. I'd rather that we all honor the wonderful process and benefits of sharing. That I like.

Therefore, note the Comment link under each article. There is no giving without receiving. Monocultures are inherently self-destructive. We all learn through interaction. Please share back your inner world, with kind intent.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to abuse your customers 101: AD BLASTING!

Prologue: Manifesto Modification

I had to ask myself yesterday what I am actually writing here. A book? Is that why I am so reluctant / slow to post? This is a blog. I am person, therefore guaranteed to blunder all over he place. So I have changed my personal manifesto here to post brainstorms rather than finished works of critical importance for the survival of the human species. So what if I come off as some snothead old geezer or dweeb in wise-old-Tiresias robes. Words remain only symbols of our brain's attempts to describe what we perceive to be the real world. All is allusion. ;-)


Ad Blasting is when a program takes a few minutes of intermission and your media transmission device is suddenly and dramatically louder while presenting you with advertisements. When this happens, of course the assumption is that some dickhead marketing-moron decided to abuse his customers by cranking up the volume in order to get their attention. I read a couple years back that a certain group of marketing morons were lobbying media device developers to remove the Mute option from their machines in order to force victim customers to listen to every ad blasted at them. Imagine that. Big Brother Bad Ads. Makes you feel all warm and snuggly.

But the question still comes up: Is Ad Blasting real? Is it made in error? Or are you actually schizophrenic and hallucinating? This question was posed to Leo Laporte, who is a reasonably well loved technology pundit in North America. He is the producer and host of a variety of radio, TV and Internet programs about technology. Much as I admire Mr. Laporte, he came up with a remarkably lame denial of Ad Blasting. He blamed it on the differences between mono and stereo advertisements, single channel versus dual channel audio. He said that single channel audio naturally sounds louder than dual channel audio. This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard him say. Mr. Laporte works in broadcasting and he is pretending he doesn't know the purpose of a VU meter?

Here is how sound works: Some object vibrates the air. At the speed of sound that vibration travels as a wave front through the air until it reaches a human ear. The ear drum of the human's ear vibrates in resonance. That vibration travels through a series of small bones until it is transmitted to a system of hairs connected to nerve endings connected to the human brain. The brain translates the stimulation of nerves by those hairs into what we humans perceive to be sound. The system of sound 'volume' or amplitude was designed to represent how loud we humans perceive a particular sound or collection of sounds to be. We created machines that represent that sound measurement for us visually. The machine is called a Volume or VU meter. The unit of measurement of sound volume is the decibel. Each increase in volume of 1 decibel represents the doubling of what we humans perceive to be volume. VU meters provide a measurement of decibel units. When stereo sound is captured or transmitted there are two VU meters used. They represent the volume being presented to the right ear and left ear in an idealized stereo audio transmission system. Typically stereo audio is transmitted to human right and left ears via right and left speakers.

In professional audio engineering there is a prime goal of providing a quality representation of the audio source to the receiving human. One of the measurements of audio source quality is of course volume. Using the decibel unit scale, an amplifier and a VU meter a sound engineer has the ability and goal of providing one standard volume to the receiving human. Every VU meter has a 'red zone' beyond which the sound is considered to be louder than the chosen standard volume.

Therefore, theoretically, all transmitted audio volume has one standard average volume throughout an audio presentation. Thanks to the decibel system, there never has to be a change in average volume between various audio presentation sources. This is the case with both mono (single channel) audio and stereo (dual channel) audio where by both mono and stereo sound sources have the same standard volume. The fact that a stereo sound source uses two VU meters has no effect on the result. Combining two stereo channels into one mono channel does not result in an increase in volume as long as there is adequate standard equipment used for transmission and the sound engineer is watching the VU meter.

In other words, if an ad sounds louder, it IS louder. Your ear is the expert.

Therefore, the 'Laporte hypothesis' has no basis in reality.

However, fumbling and bumbling is consistently a part of human reality. If the sound engineer does not follow professional standards, what often results is a mess of volume fluctuations between audio sources. You don't have to listen to advertisements to recognize that this is the case. Late night programming on TV is a great place to hear ridiculously poor audio engineering at work, or not work as is the case. Some trainee kid is running the graveyard shift. Sometimes the results are quite hilarious. When you hear volume catastrophes happening during prime time you know there's something very wrong going on.

Then there are the 'standards' differences between sources. For example, where I live we are under the thrall of Time Warner for cable TV. Every piece of media they create has jacked up volume. That is their standard, bouncing in the red zone. If it were only their ads I'd cry foul.

Then there is the analog copy effect where audio naturally degrades with copy after copy after copy. Some sound engineers deliberately allow the volume to decline. Why? If they recalibrated the volume they'd also be raising the level of copy induced audio noise. What you hear in the broadcast is a declined level of volume. So you raise the volume on your receiver to compensate. Then a normal, standard volume ad comes on and your ear drums are blown out. What does one call this phenomenon? Copy Corrosion Audio Attenuation? Heh.

Then there are the blatantly obvious examples of HARD SELL Ad Blasting.

Local car dealerships!

There, I struck terror into your heart. The horror! Typically, local ads are poorly made in the extreme. But auto dealer ads are predatory. Damned right the advertiser jacked up the volume! They pay extra for that at the fly-by-night ad production warehouses. I almost worked for one these dens of bad ad perpetration.

Then there are the properly produced professional ads that have been 'tweaked' somewhere along the line. Any professional ad producer would get slammed by members of his industry for stooping so low as to Ad Blast. Therefore, it typically falls to the networks or the local repeater station to do the dirty deed. Hand a sound engineer some back pocket money and your ad will be cheerfully BLASTED at unsuspecting victim customers. Tracing this kind of dirty deed is next to impossible. "Oh sorry boss, I must have slipped on the controls while I was dubbing that spot." Or better yet, "Dimwit the trainee must have done it while I was on my coffee break." Such is humanity.

Conclusion: Ad Blasting is real. But it isn't ubiquitous.

There is a site on the net where you can sign a petition to ask the US Congress to pass a law to stop it. Google 'Ad Blasting'.

Question: How do you enforce it? Good luck sorting out Ad Blasting from plain old incompetence. How do you stop the Ad Blasting incentive and volume tweaking? It's here to stay. But there's nothing stopping you from flaming the local media station for abusing your ears and sanity. Sometimes they actually do care, bless them.

Meanwhile, demand your right to Mute!

Or go buy an audio line limiter. They're kind of clunky in their execution. But if you can afford one, it may help spare your patience.

And as ever, there's the Contented Customer's Chant:
If someone abuses you, Boycott their Bogus Bullsh*t.

The purpose of marketing is to serve, not to deceive and subjugate.