November 22, 2017

No App For Gratitude

Today I am repeating my annual Thanksgiving post which I have run for many years. And, yes, that Trump line was there years before anyone could have known...

Thanksgiving is my kind of holiday.

It doesn't require gods or miracles or tragedies or victories or angels or kings or winners or losers or flags or gifts. 

All you need is some pumpkin pie, a big-ass flat screen, and a comfortable sofa to drool on.
Oh, and a little gratitude.

Gratitude, by the way, is a commodity in very short supply. Regrettably, we seem to have mountains of expectation but not much in the way of appreciation. It's a socially transmitted disease.

So this Thanksgiving let's put aside harsh judgments for a day or two. Thank a fireman. Give a bum a buck. Kiss an in-law.

I don't like Puritans of any stripe. But I like the idea of them having the Indians over for dinner. I know the detente didn't last too long, but any day you're eating sweet potatoes instead of shooting off muskets is a good day.

Be grateful that you have shoes. Be thankful that your cat is healthy. Compliment someone's posture. 

If you can't do any of that stuff, then at least give thanks that you won't be dining with Whoopi Goldberg or Donald Trump. That alone should be enough.

Finally, do yourself a favor -- quit whining. That's my job.

And have a Happy Thanksgiving. 

November 06, 2017

Steve Jobs: When Geniuses Are Wrong

In this clip, from over 35 years ago, a young, dumb Steve Jobs debates an older, wiser David Burnham, writer for The New York Times (and breaker of the "Serpico" scandal) about the potential dangers of computer spying.

This clip took place long before the idea of "surveillance marketing" even occurred to anyone.

Hat tip to the great Douglas Burdett

October 31, 2017

The Big Lie Of Transparency

Dear Online Advertising Industry,

I have noticed recently that you have become very passionate about transparency.
It seems like transparency is all the rage in the online ad world. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that talking about transparency is all the rage.

Because I have a problem with this transparency talk. I think you're all full of shit. I think you people are loud and outraged when you can't get transparency but you become awfully quiet when you're asked to provide it.

You see, there's more to this transparency thing than the petty bickering of CEOs and billionaires. There's also the little issue of the relationship between you and us. Or does the public not figure into your idea of transparency? Is transparency only an issue when your money is at stake?

Personally, here's what I (and about 7 billion of my friends) would like a little transparency on...
  • Mr. P&G and Mr. Unilever: I'd like some transparency on the type and the amount of personal, private information about me you have been gathering with your relentless online tracking.
  • Mr. WPP: Would you mind explaining to me what you and your colleagues in the holding companies are doing with my information?
  • Mr. Facebook and Mr. Google: If you wouldn't mind, I would like to know what kind of information about me you have been revealing to your clients.
  • Ms. 4As and Mr. ANA and Mr. IAB: Just curious about who your members have been buying information about me from and selling information to? 
I hope you will prove me wrong and be open and transparent about what you've been collecting on me and how you're using it. Because it seems you're very passionate about transparency when you want answers, but not quite so passionate when you're asked to give answers.

If you're really as committed to transparency as you say you are, I would be grateful for a full accounting. Otherwise, I would appreciate it if you would take your transparency bullshit and stick it up your ass.