Authors and publishers looking for an original cover for a book need look no furhter than this page by artist Danielle Tunstall. Each cover sold only once. Writers of children’s books can skip this page.
I’m only about one-third of the way into the book but finding no shortage of notable and quotable nuggets. In no particular order:
“Likewise, rather than guessing what might get the attention of consumers —or what might “drive” them like cattle—vendors will respond to actual intentions of customers. Once customers’ expressions of intent become abundant and clear, the range of economic interplay between supply and demand will widen, and its sum will increase. The result we will call the Intention Economy.”
“This new economy will outperform the Attention Economy that has shaped marketing and sales since the dawn of advertising. Customer intentions, well expressed and understood, will improve marketing and sales, because both will work with better information, and both will be spared the cost and effort wasted on guesses about what customers might want, flooding media with messages that miss their marks. Advertising will also improve.”
“The volume, variety, and relevance of information coming from customers in the Intention Economy will strip the gears of systems built for controlling customer behavior or for limiting customer input. The quality of that information will also obsolete or repurpose the guesswork mills of marketing, fed by crumb trails of data shed by customers’ mobile gear and Web browsers. “Mining” of customer data will still be useful to vendors, though less so than intention-based data provided directly by customers.” – Page 2
“It’s an eyeball bubble. Investments in tracking-based advertising assume impossibly high values for customers attention.” — Pg 41
“Now imagine you’re back in 1982. Somebody tells you that in twelve years, the world will adopt a new communications system that nobody owns, everybody can use, and anybody can improve. The system will be all-digita and will provide ways for anybody ro communicate with anybody, anywhere in the world, and to copy and share anything that can be digitized—including mail, print publications, music, radio streams, TV programs, and movies at costs that approach zero. Would you believe it?” — Page 94
“Like the universe, there are no other examples of it (the Internet), and all our understandings of it are incomplete.” – pg 96
“To become totally personal, advertising needs to cross an existential bridge, to become a different corporate function. It must become sales – without the human sound or the human touch.” — pg 41
“We can’t ignore the huge numbers of people who live within our on the shores of the fast money river that flows through advertising, especially online. And it won’t stop until the bubble pops.” -pg 39
It’s easy to forget that the term branding was borrowed from the cattle industry. The idea was to burn the name of a company or product on to the brains of potential customers.”
“In the United States, the typical hour-long American TV drama runs forty-two minutes. The remaining eighteen minutes are for advertising. Half-hour shows are twenty-one minutes long, with nine left for advertising. That’s 30 percent in each case. The European Union sets a limit of twelve minutes per hour for advertising on TV, which comes to 20 percent. Ireland holds broadcasters to ten minutes per hour, or 16.7 percent.”
Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape. Mr. Harris is a Co-Founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
A lot of my reading over the last few years has touched on the idea of free will. Real or illusory? I’ll confess that it sure feels as though I have free will. But the more I read about the subject… and think about it… the less certain I am.
The intention to do one thing and not another does not originate in consciousness — rather, it appears in consciousness, as does any thought or impulse that might oppose it.
Some moments before you are aware of what you will do next — a time in which you subjectively appear to have complete freedom to behave however you please — your brain has already determined what you will do. You then become conscious of this “decision” and believe that you are are in the process of making it.
I cannot decide what I will next think or intend until a thought or intention arises.
You are not controlling the storm, and your are not lost in it. You are the storm.
Unconscious neural events determine our thoughts and actions — and are themselves determined by prior causes of which we are subjectively unaware.
The next choice you make will come out of the darkness of prior causes that you, the conscious witness of your experience, did not bring into being.
You are no more responsible for the next thing you think (and therefor do) than you are for the fact that you were born into this world.
You can decide what you decide to do — but you cannot decide what you will decide to do.
My choices matter — and there are paths toward making wiser ones — but I cannot choose what I choose.
What I will do next, and why, remains, at bottom, a mystery — one that is fully determined by the prior state of the universe and the laws of nature (including the contributions of chance).
Take a moment to think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn’t choose your gender or most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain. And now your brain is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime — by your genes, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. Where is the freedom in this?
You will do whatever it is you do, and it is meaningless to assert that you could have done otherwise.
The full title of the book is: Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them). The author, Bart D. Ehrman, began studying the Bible and its original languages at the Moody Bible Institute and is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.
I have not read the Bible and — before reading this book — knew almost nothing about it from an historical, scholarly perspective. Here are a few excerpts I highlighted:
The New Testament, consisting of twenty-seven books, was written by maybe sixteen or seventeen authors over a period of seventy years.
A Christianity dependent on the inerrancy of the Bible probably cannot survive the reality of the discrepancies.
Since the nineteenth century, scholars have recognized that Mark was the first Gospel to be written, around 65-70 CE. [Read more...]
From collection of William Gibson’s articles, talks and book forwards.
I belong to a generation of Americans who dimly recall the world prior to television. Many of us, I suspect, feel vaguely ashamed about this, as though the world before television was not quite, well, the world. The world before television equates with the world before the Net—the mass culture and the mechanisms of Information. And we are of the Net; to recall another mode of being is to admit to having once been something other than human. pg 11
But I’m not sure I really enjoy the music any more than I did before, on certifiably low-fi junk. The music, when it’s really there, is just there. You can hear it coming out of the dented speaker grille of a Datsun B210 with holes in the floor. Sometimes that’s the best way to hear it. pg 13
I’m sometimes asked whether or not I think the Net is a good thing. That’s like being asked if being human is a good thing. pg 14
Nobody predicted commercials, Hollywood Squares, or heavy-metal music videos. pg 15
“Yet once admitted to the culture’s consensus pantheon, certain things seem destined to be with us for a very long time indeed. This is a function, in large part, of the Rewind button. And we would all of us, to some extent, wish to be in heavy rotation.”
The end-point human culture may will be a single moment of effectively endless duration, an infinite digital Now.
Had nations better understood the potential of the Internet, I suspect they might well have strangled it in its cradle. Emergent technology is, by its very nature, out of control, and leads to unpredictable outcomes.
In terms of the future, however, the history of recorded music suggests that any film made today is being launched up the time-line toward end-user technologies ultimately more intelligent, more capable, than the technologies employed in the creation of that film.”
“Which is to say that, no matter who you are, nor how pure your artistic intentions, nor what your budget was, your product somewhere up the line, will eventually find itself at the mercy of people whose ordinary civilian computational capacity out- strips anything anyone has access to today.”
Genuinely evolved interfaces are transparent, so transparent as to be invisible.
Today, reliance on broadcasting is the very definition of a technologically backward society.
“In the age of the leak and the blog, of evidence extraction and link discovery, truths will either out or be outed, later if not sooner. This is something I would bring to the attention of every diplomat, politician, and corporate leader: The future, eventually, will find you out. The future, wielding unimaginable tools of transparency, will have its way with you. In the end, you will be seen to have done that which you did.”
Postindustrial creatures of an information economy, we increasingly sense that accessing media is what we do.
And that, I would argue, is what the World Wide Web, the test pattern for whatever will become the dominant global medium, offers us. Today, in its clumsy, larval, curiously innocent way, it offers us the opportunity to waste time, to wander aimlessly, to daydream about the countless other lives, the other people, on the far sides of however many monitors in that post- geographical meta-country we increasingly call home. It will probably evolve into something considerably less random, and less fun—we seem to have a knack for that—but in the meantime, in its gloriously unsorted Global Ham Television Postcard Universes phase, surfing the Web is a procrastinator’s dream. And people who see you doing it might even imagine you’re working. – New York Times Magazine, June 1996
I very much doubt that our grandchildren will understand the distinction between that which is a computer and that which isn’t.
The world’s cyborg was an extended human nervous system: film, radio, broadcast television, and a shift in perception so profound that I believe we’ve yet to understand it. Watching television, we each became aspects of an electronic brain. We became augmented.
The physical union of human and machine, long dreaded and long anticipated, has been an accomplished fact for decades, though we tend not to see it. We tend not to see it because we are it, and because we still employ Newtonian paradigms that tell us that “physical” has only to do with what we can see, or touch. Which of course is not the case. The electrons streaming into a child’s eye from the screen of the wooden television are as physical as anything else. As physical as the neurons subsequently moving along that child’s optic nerves. As physical as the structures and chemicals those neurons will encounter in the human brain. We are implicit, here, all of us, in a vast physical con- struct of artificially linked nervous systems. Invisible. We cannot touch it.
“I’m a fairly visual writer; I can get an awful lot out of really closely examining a photograph like that. It’s a very interesting exercise that I would recommend to anyone. Take any photograph – preferably a photograph that contains relatively little information (no humans or animals in it) – and catalog everything visible. It usually can’t be done in less than a thousand words, and it can’t be done well in less than about two [thousand]. It always leaves me thinking that pictures really are worth a thousand words, at least, that the visual matrix is so incredibly rich with stuff and meaning, that there’s actually no place to stop. People who have tried it find they stop because they just get exhausted.”
“The part of me that creates stuff is right now largely offline and unavailable, and I couldn’t summon it if my life depended on it. I have to make myself available and hope it turns up.”
From book tour promoting Gibson’s first book of non-fiction, Distrust That Particular Flavor
You’ve seen those wind-up chattering teeth? I keep a little one next to my laptop to remind me not to talk so much. The more I think and read, the more obvious it seems to me that most of the words I utter in the course of a day just aren’t that necessary. Sure, I have to communicate with co-workers and friends, but that requires far fewer words than I was using.
A lot of my recent reading has tugged me in this direction, most recently a collection of conversations titled, I Am That. An excerpt:
“The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and interdependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent.”
If that’s too woo woo for you, here’s George Carlin:
“More than half of what comes out of your mouth in that client presentation is mindless, pointless, idiotic sounding, space-filling blather. Don’t you want meetings to be shorter? Aren’t you sick of fake words that mean nothing? Wouldn’t you rather be actually creating something rather than killing it with the boatload of words you throw at it before you ever show it to the client? Of course you would. So stop talking like an idiot.”
I’d love to have a transcript of every conversation I had for 24 hours. I’d highlight just the stuff that needed to be said. What percent do you think that might be?
Okay, that’s too difficult for me to imagine. Let’s say they didn’t name me when I was born. How would that play out? My parents — and other relatives — would probably refer to me as “the baby,” and — later — “the boy.” Once old enough to have conversations, I’d surely be asked, “What’s your name?” To which I’d reply (I’m just guessing here) “I don’t know,” or “I don’t have one.”
I’m trying to get some sense of how a “name” defines us. Sure, people change their names all the time. For fun (“The Situation”) and sometimes legally.
Could I get through life without a name? In my head, I’m “me/my/mine” …not Steve. The problem would seem to arise in day-to-day interaction with others. Would I become “the tall guy with the big ears” to some and “the creepy guy at the back of the coffee shop” to others?
Ira Lavine gave this more serious thought in his “science fiction novel of a technocratic false-utopia” This Perfect Day:
“There are only four personal names for men (Bob, Jesus, Karl and Li) and four for women (Anna, Mary, Peace and Yin). Instead of surnames, individuals are distinguished by a nine-character alphanumeric code, their “nameber” (a neologism from “name” and “number”), e.g. WL35S7497.”
The more I think about, the more it seems names — for people or objects or places or whatever — are just handy labels. We could get by without them but if you knew lots of tall guys with big ears, it would be a pain in the ass.
I read Eckhart Tolle’s classic The Power of Now in August of 2010. My usual practice for books like this is to highlight passages I find interesting and share them here. I highlighted so many parts of this book, I never go around to it. If you haven’t read the book, the lack of context will make most of these seem, well, just weird. I can assure you everyone line has been valuable to me.
nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.
Self = a fiction of the mind
You have it already. You just can’t feel it because your mind is making too much noise.
the knower in you who dwells behind the thinker
All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten.
Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction.
You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion.
The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing entity — the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.
The voice isn’t necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind.
“watching the thinker” — listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence. … The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it.
aware but not thinking. This is the essence of meditation.
Because you are identified with it … you derive your sense of self from the content and activity of your mind. Because you believe that you would cease to be if you stopped thinking.
(Ego) a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind. (It) can only be kept going through constant thinking.
Even when the ego seems to be concerned with the present, it is not the present that it sees: It misperceives it completely because it looks at it through the eyes of the past. Or it reduces the present to a means to an end, an end that always lies in the mind-projected future. The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you cannot find the present moment as long as you are your mind.
Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous. Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.
The mind is essentially a survival machine. It is not at all creative.
Emotion (is) the body’s reaction to the mind.
If there is an apparent conflict between them, the thought will be the lie, the emotion will be the truth.
You will not be free of pain until you cease to derive your sense of self from identification with the mind, which is to say from ego.
Glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the stream of thought. Usually, such moments are short-lived, as the mind quickly resumes its noise-making activity that we call thinking.
Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.
Become present. Be there as the observer of the mind.
The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.
The mind always seeks to deny the Now and to escape from it. In other words, the more you are identified with your mind, the more you suffer.
Time and mind are in fact inseparable. … The mind, to ensure that it remains in control, seeks continuously to cover up the present moment with past and future,
Unconscious = a complete absence of the watcher.
You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection — you cannot cope with the future.
ultimately all fear is the ego’s fear of death,
End the delusion of time. Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops
Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.
Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.
In the Now, in the absence of time, all your problems dissolve.
The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it.
Usually, the future is a replica of the past.
Ultimately, this is not about solving your problems. It’s about realizing that there are no problems. Only situations — to be dealt with now, or to be left alone and accepted as part of the “isness” of the present moment until they change or can be dealt with. Problems are mind-made and need time to survive. They cannot survive in the actuality of the Now.
it is impossible to have a problem when your attention is fully in the Now
The mind unconsciously loves problems because they give you an identity of sorts
Everything is honored, but nothing matters.
To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. … leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.
Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present.
You can always cope with the Now, but you can never cope with the future — nor do you have to. The answer, the strength, the right action or the resource will be there when you need it, not before, not after.
Eternity does not mean endless time, but no time.
Being cannot become an object of knowledge.
You are cut off from Being as long as your mind takes up all your attention. When this happens — and it happens continuously for most people — you are not in your body. The mind absorbs all your consciousness and transforms it into mind stuff. You cannot stop thinking. Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity
Feeling will get you closer to the truth of who you are than thinking.
As there is more consciousness in the body, its molecular structure actually becomes less dense. More consciousness means a lessening of the illusion of materiality.
when presence becomes your normal mode of consciousness and past and future no longer dominate your attention, you do not accumulate time anymore in your psyche and in the cells of the body. The accumulation of time as the psychological burden of past and future greatly impairs the cells’ capacity for self-renewal.
see yourself surrounded by light or immersed in a luminous substance — a sea of consciousness. Then breathe in that light. Feel that luminous substance filling up your body and making it luminous also.
nothing in this world is so like God as silence
You “get” there by realizing that you are there already. You find God the moment you realize that you don’t need to seek God.
the moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind.
Ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are not present as the witnessing consciousness, the watcher.
You cannot have an argument with a fully conscious person.
The whole advertising industry and consumer society would collapse if people became enlightened and no longer sought to find their identity through things.
every moment — is the best. That is enlightenment.
there is no objective world out there. Every moment, your consciousness creates the world that you inhabit.
Only those who have transcended the world can bring about a better world.
who you are is always a more vital teaching and a more powerful transformer of the world than what you say, and more essential even than what you do.
to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation.
You are walking along a path at night, surrounded by a thick fog. But you have a powerful flashlight that cuts through the fog and creates a narrow, clear space in front of you. The fog is your life situation, which includes past and future; the flashlight is your conscious presence; the clear space is the Now.
Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly. Surrender transforms you. When you are transformed, your whole world is transformed, because the world is only a reflection.
The amazing and incomprehensible fact is not that you can become conscious of God but that you are not conscious of God.