The best seat in the house

Walking a mile in another person’s shoes may be the best way to understand the emotions, perceptions, and motivations of an individual; however, in a recent study appearing in the December 2006 issue of Psychological Science, it is reported that those in power are often unable to take such a journey.

Galinsky and colleagues also found that power leads individuals to anchor too heavily on their own vantage point, thus leaving them unable to adjust to another person’s perspective and decreases one’s ability to correctly interpret emotion.

Galinsky says that this research has “wide-ranging implications, from business to politics.”

For example, “Presidents who preside over a divided government (and thus have reduced power) might be psychologically predisposed to consider alternative viewpoints more readily than those that preside over unified governments.”

Galinsky also adds that a key is to somehow make perspective-taking part and parcel of power, “The springboard of power combined with perspective-taking may be a particularly constructive force.” Science Daily article

Valuation = P x S x E

Where Valuation = Problem x Solution x Experience

New York Times quote “V stands for valuation, or the worth of the start-up. P is the problem the business is trying to solve. S stands for the “elegance of the solution” and E the experience of the management team. The maximum value for any of the three is three — meaning the maximum a start-up can be “worth” is 27. The higher the score the better. If “V” is zero, or a small number, presumably the business is doomed.”

Rock solid determination


From Paul Zollo’s book Hollywood Remembered, an oral history of the movie industry: A 2001 interview with A. C. Lyles, a producer at Paramount who was born in 1918 in Jacksonville, Florida and worked at Paramount for over 60 years.

When I was 10 [in 1928] I wanted to make movies…

I had seen a picture called Wings — the first and only silent picture to win the Academy Award — with Clara Bow… and a new fella named Gary Cooper [who subsequently became a huge star]. I went and just fell in love with that picture. It was a Paramount picture playing at the Paramount Theater [at the time, the studios owned the theaters] in Jacksonville. I had seen that it said Adolph Zukor Presents, so I was in awe of Adolph Zukor [the founder and CEO of Paramount]. I spoke to the manager of the theater that day [to see] if he would give me a job. And he gave me a job handing out leaflets…

After four years in the job [he was then 14] I eventually met Adolph Zukor… when he came to Jacksonville. I asked him to let me come to Hollywood to work for him. He said, “Well, you’re just a kid, but you’ve been working for Paramount now for four years at the theater. So you finish high school, keep in touch, and I’ll hire you when you get out of high school.”

Now that was extremely kind of him… when he said to keep in touch and finish high school, my main objective then was to finish high school. But the most important thing was writing him a letter every Sunday. He didn’t tell me to write him every Sunday, he just told me to keep in touch. So I wrote him every Sunday for four years.

He didn’t write back — I didn’t hear from him but it didn’t matter. I never lost confidence or lost courage. I just knew he was looking forward to my letter each week as much as I was looking forward to writing him.

One day Gary Cooper came to my hometown. I was writing movie news for the hometown paper. I saw Mr. Cooper and I told him I would be out here in Hollywood to work at Paramount as soon as I got out of high school. And there again, for some reason, he took a quick liking to me. I told him about my letters to Zukor every Sunday and he asked me what I would be writing about this week, and I said, “Oh, about meeting you, Mr. Cooper.”

So he said, “Give me a piece of paper.” So he… wrote a note to Adolph Zukor saying, “I’m looking forward to seeing this kid on the lot.” So I wrote to Mr. Zukor telling him I had met Gary Cooper and enclosed the note to him.

Then I heard from Mr. Zukor indirectly. A woman named Sidney Brecker, who was his secretary, wrote to me and said, “Mr. Zukor has been receiving your letters. But he feels that you don’t have to write every week. If you wrote once every three or four or five months, that would be enough.”

Well, that didn’t discourage me at all. I continued to write to Mr. Zukor every Sunday. But I also had a new pigeon, Sidney Brecker, his secretary. So I wrote her every Sunday too. My whole main objective all week was what I was going to write to Mr. Zukor. Then I had to write another original letter to Sidney Brecker…

I wrote [Zukor] a letter every Sunday for four years, keeping in touch. The day I got out of high school [in 1936, in the heart of the Great Depression], I was in a day coach headed for Hollywood, where you sit up — probably four days and four nights. I had $48 in cash that I had saved up, and two loaves of bread, and two jars of peanut butter and a sack of apples, and I headed for Hollywood. Got off the train downtown, took the streetcar straight to Paramount, and told them at the gate to tell Mr. Zukor I was here.

    And I’ve been here ever since.

Producer, A. C. Lyles

Tea and Sympathy

Drinking Tea

It was once said that nothing can’t be solved by a cup of afternoon tea

The best way to show your gratitude is with a tea cup, a saucer and some fine tasting tea and cakes. Afternoon tea honors those with delectable taste for the finer things in life. Notably bringing calm to a world that needs more peace.

Remembering a time when tea competed with playing football. Now tea competes with coffee and the occasional run around Prospect Park.

Start always at the beginning.

As daft as that might sound, it’s rare for many projects to start at the proper beginning. When somebody says “cart before the horse” usually the original premise or context has jumped out of the stables. Now can we ask to retrace those original first ideas/thoughts?


RCA 1995-1997

Dan Sellars post-graduate design study was at the Royal College of Art. The image above is taken from the interactive narrative project that he directed/designed as part of the industrial design/computer-related design 1997 show.

Nine Star Ki was a late-night interactive film experiment running on three TV channels simultaneously. You would be allowing viewers to experience a thriller by switching between opposing points of view. This conceptual interactive tv prototype could be deployed assuming three UK network television stations would agree to run the films simultaneously.

Becoming Animal

Becoming AnimalAn interactive performance piece developed by Minimaforms for this years Faster than Sound Festival in Bentwaters’ K9 building in Suffolk, England. The project develops the story of the mythical three headed beast Kerberos, guardian of the underworld. The project will be installed at the K9 building in Bentwaters Airbase in Suffolk, England. Bizarre. I have no idea what’s going on? Do you…

David Salle Studio in Fort Green

david salle building in fort greenAsked why Salle chose Fort Greene, David Fratianne, an architect working on the project said,

“It’s an edgy neighborhood and he’s an edgy guy and the house is a little edgy.”

Despite all that edge, not everybody is thrilled with what they see.”It’s exciting to have such a high-profile artist in the neighborhood,” said Chris Gullian, a sculptor who lives just a few blocks away.

“But I think that building is a blemish on an otherwise beautiful community of old buildings.”

Bush on google search

Bush Statistics

For over two years now, US President, George Bush, has been topping Google searches for the term “miserable failure“. Now, all that’s about to change – what with Google having designed a new algorithm to minimize the impact of this ‘Google Bomb’.

Tony Robbins

A metaphorical ginnie in the bottle. You need to have a goal, make a map, have a sense of urgency (don’t stop) and possess empowering emotions. Honestly, Tony’s telling you what you know already, the real nugget is understanding how to realign lost inspiration.

Translucent Walls

The company’s new IllumaWALL melds the benefits of daylighting panels with the completely unnecessary, but entirely sensational night-brightening action of LEDs, as the polycarbonate structures feature built-in, fully programmable lights that can output a steady ambient glow or put on “a light show of pulsating colors” if you’re throwing a party at your pad. Inhabitat.

2006 Winner, Ted Stevens

“Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially. […] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material. ” Senior U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, Alaska.

SleepWalkers – Doug Aitken

Doug AitkenReporting from Moma.

Sleepwalkers, transforming 53rd and 54th Streets into a vast outdoor multiplex. Five short interconnected films will tell the story of one night in the lives of five New Yorkers, played by Donald Sutherland, Tilda Swinton, Cat Power, Seu Jorge, and an unknown, Ryan Donowho, a teenage busker whom the artist, Doug Aitken, met in the subway. Aitken calls the spectacle a “silent film for the 21st century,” and projected every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. for 28 consecutive days, the show is likely to be the most-seen in MoMA’s history.

The 38-year-old Aitken is already something of an art-world prodigy. He won the International Prize at the Venice Biennale when he was 31. He’s had countless solo shows and has exhibited at the Whitney and the Centre Pompidou. He’s even made music videos for Interpol and Fatboy Slim. But Sleepwalkers will elevate Aitken from downtown art stardom to MoMA’s uptown firmament.

“Doug is really pushing the envelope,” says Klaus Biesenbach, the chief curator of media at MoMA and the co-curator of the project. “He’s like a scientist who is really obsessed with an experiment and how it furthers the discussion of his body of work.” For MoMA, the project is a chance to shake off its stodgy post- expansion image and to prove those massive new walls have a purpose.

Blade Runner Final Cut 2007

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die…”

According to CyberpunkReview today, Warner Home Video will issue a new remastered director’s cut of the classic SF movie Blade Runner in September now that it has cleared up rights issues, followed by a theatrical release of a version promised to be truly director Ridley Scott’s (Kingdom of Heaven recent movie) final cut, Variety reported. Warner’s rights to Blade Runner lapsed a year ago, but the studio has since negotiated a long-term license.

NSA’s Brand Problem


Good Will Hunting
written by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck

Will:Why shouldn’t I work for the N.S.A.?

That’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at the N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people that I never met and that I never had no problem with get killed.

Now the politicians are sayin’, “Send in the marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number was called, ’cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard.

It’ll be some kid from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive, so he’s walking to the fuckin’ job interviews, which sucks ’cause the schrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorroids.

And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure, fuck it, while I’m at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

Pure Excitement

Somebody find out how open the iPhone platform will be? If the phone truly runs on OS X it will be a gnawing disappointment if 3rd party programs are not available. Of course if Cingular had its way it would charge for every application installed, but Apple persuaded the record companies to compromise on content control and I hope they can do the same here.