Posted in Commentary

Basic Trump

Trump’s ascendancy has pushed the conversation back to base emotions. All the eloquent and impassioned speeches are now heard only by the respective chorus to whom they are directed. The ability or desire to have constructive discussion is effectively past.
Therefore, it is instructive to speak in terms of base ideas, with an overhead view.
We, as primates, show certain tendencies that are reflected in our cousins. We have been, until about 3,000 years ago, loosely organized in communities that were matriarchies, or guided by the principles of matriarchies: peace within the community, enabled by respectful communication, with the general goals of enabling survival, creativity and family growth.
Rambunctious males would be tolerated for a time within the community, but if their actions became destructive, the designated silverbacks would be required to drive them out. This type of behaviour is reflected in observations by Jane Goodall and the late Diane Fossey, and others.
The rebuked young males would often gather in packs for mutual protection and support. Those packs would occasionally raid their former communities for food or fun, but they would usually be repelled and kept at bay by the concerted efforts of the community.
Until the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
When overpowering personal weapons, converted from agricultural implements, came into the hands of, shall we call them, the punk packs, they started decimating and/or taking over communities. From this came feudalism and other forms of repressive control of communities by the various punk packs.
Humanity has struggled over the past 5,000 years with the balance between the primal need for principles of matriarchal stability, against the randomly directed forces of raw power.
The ascendency of Trump – and the meme of raw power that has spread throughout the world – has likely set humanity back millennia. Egoistic bluster that was recently fought during two world wars, and many other more local conflagrations, has once more become the power in charge. The weapon used in this case is not bronze or iron, but money.
Multibillionaire punk packs now rule humanity.
World-wide, those who viscerally feel in jeopardy are protesting. The multibillionaire punk packs and their supporters – whose rallying cry is “down with all regulations” – laugh at the protesters, knowing they now have the Power. They control the power-points of society. They are now in charge of writing and enforcing legislation, which they use to further entrench their power. They have legitimized the focus on Money as being central to all activities in society. Where “money” had been merely a measure of activities in the past, it is now the end goal. That this is a corroding circular argument is beyond the ken of the multibillionaire punk pack or their supporters.
The multibillionaire punk pack is circling the carcass of a gutted society.
So, we have the vision of Pink standing up to Money.
Who do you think will win?

What of our planet’s other lifeforms?

Posted in Workshops

Millennials and Business

Millennials and Business

There is a sea-change happening across many fields, business included. The change has to do with the way “millennials”, in general, approach things.

The effect is the opposite of globalization – it can be termed digital localization.

If taken on average, it seems that a millennial in business and as a customer has different sensibilities to a range of things, different from what would have been seen in previous demographic groups:

  • Those in authority are not viewed with either respect, admiration, or distrust, as much as the less deterministic feeling of: “There is a gatekeeper who will likely be in my way”
  • Certificates or diplomas are like long-hand division versus using an app
  • Relationships are vastly more important than meeting sales goals
  • Trust in a relationship is like crystal – once clouded or cracked, it is gone.

Gatekeepers are in the Way

A millennial just wants to get something done.

They usually have the perception that a person who is in “authority” is there as a gatekeeper, not to assist but to be in the way of direct action.

Gatekeepers are an anachronism from the era of long-hand math – a curiosity to be tolerated.

Where complex tasks need to be done, and an app will not do it, it is expected that a person will be found who can help start the process then hand it off so that the new tasks can be learned sufficiently to be completed – expert knowledge is an occasional convenience.

While anyone can learn to be an expert in anything, focusing too much on one topic smacks of obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

Long-hand or App

Taking the time and effort to achieve a certificate or diploma does not carry the caché it once did.

Having spent years of one’s life to add a few letters to one’s name merely places one in the position of possibly being a gatekeeper.

To accomplish a difficult task, it is not necessary to pull out one’s diploma and a slide-rule – just search for the right app and get it done.

Being able to quickly search for needed information or the right app is more personally and socially satisfying than showing off with the innate ability of a savant.

Relationships and Trust

A millennial does seem to value self more than the formal hierarchies of family or business structures. It is not that family or business cannot be part of relationships – they will receive an initial free pass into one’s relationship group, but the pass may be revoked.

Rather than applying the pejorative term “narcissistic”, a millennial thinks of self as the starting point by which relationships can be best understood and enhanced – it is a convenience and not an obsession.

To be able to make one’s way through the world, relationships and trust are necessarily interwoven.

Relationships are extended through trust.

Trust binds the network of relationships.

Clouded trust shatters the network.

Philosophy

Without the rigor of academic analysis, a millennial’s philosophy appears full of presumptions and randomly chosen concepts.

One of the commonalities is that everyone starts off on the positive side of neutral, so it is up to the individual to make additions or deletions to that assessment in the minds of those they contact.

Society should be set up to enable people to make those small positive contributions, while being tolerant of minor issues.

Respect is expected; lifestyle is important in decision-making; new experience is to be sought; relationships and trust are the foundation.

Being able to get a job will usually trump some philosophical prerogative.

For instance:

“They believe global warming is real – but they want jobs. So they take policies from both sides and develop nuanced views that are able to balance their needs and desires.” – from the Interview noted in References

Philosophy and Politics

There is usually a presumption that large-scale politics (or large-scale organizations of any sort) breeds large-scale corruption, so that local communities should take priority.

The necessity of technocrats is reluctantly accepted for certain things that need extensive use of resources – a few people are inclined that way so it is convenient to give them a confined outlet.

Paradoxically, millennials view politics as a smorgasbord, by choosing to support elements from any side, based on pragmatic requirements.

Decisions that affect a community can be made by algorithmic analysis of the general mood, determined from the transactions within social media.

Occasional flash-mobs are good, where the energy of physical togetherness can reinforce the sense of community.

Determined consistency of purpose is viewed with suspicion.

Businesses and Millennials

Millennials understand that businesses, large and small, are a fact of life. Where possible, local businesses are supported, even if there is a premium.

It is accepted that businesses must make a reasonable profit.

Millennial employees will work hard if given respect, learning opportunities, and the ability to build relationships.

Those businesses that stay within the bounds of certain expectations will be supported.

Since millennials make decisions based on a combination of personal reasons and pragmatic constraints, a business can (while staying authentic) use the transient wants of millennial shoppers to direct them to discretionary purchases.

However, the principles of relationships and trust should not be violated, so there must be perceived value in the products, even if they were discretionary.

Can This Be Profitable?

Business factors that may be useful:

  • Clearly state what the customer will receive
  • Authentic, lifestyle, value and new experience are important concepts to consider when marketing and selling
  • Do not place “counters” in the way – putting physical or procedural obstructions in the way of products or services will turn off customers
  • Sell by proving you have a worthwhile product or service – hard-selling may make one sale but not a second sale to that customer, nor to the friends who will quickly hear about it
  • Use social media as a way of building relationships and networks – “selling” via social media will place you in quarantine
  • Show respect by listening to, and acting on, customer comments – even if a suggestion cannot be implemented, show that you listened and considered it

References

More ideas may be found here:

copyright(c)George Opacic 2016

Posted in Uncategorized

inacomadreaming

Pretending To Be Human

by a neoandertal

Time stands still-borne in all-black free space.  Then, in a whirl
Fat colourful letters chase cloudy words but careen off grey numbers and greekletter-thingies,
Like a tetraplex of billiard balls each with their own spectrum
Of stickiness and deference and smile and fear and curiosity,
Or lifeless thunk..
Space is empty…except for us billiard balls.  Then

A dark fuzziness grows in my amygdala
Pulling the hairs on my scalp from within.
A stark fuzziness takes my mind from without,
Where white is black and she is he and life is,
Life is only marginally better than not-life.

Seeing is bedeviling.
When is reality now?
Is it only real after we put it into memory?
What I see is not what you see, so whose reality is real?

Should I jump into the trembling tomorrow,
Armed with knowing only that I know little?
Should I smile at this stranger,
Leading with a heart on my open sleeve,
As she gazes with doubt below my eyes
At my heart of fearful smiles?
To jump?  Or to sleep forever
In the safe gauze of youthful certainty…

A beginning for her starts with an event.
Time for him is relative,
Part of the whole,
Pulled out by a pointing finger,
To be analyzed.

Entangled, the probabilistic string between them sings a tense inframelody.
He cries, she cringes, feeling a cold breath on her fifth dimension.

“In the news today”, said the radio,
“Rosanne fights and beats Super Mario;
The pope has an audience with Vincent Rosario;
A new wave of riots in a latin barrio;
Guards shoot teacher stringing rainbow display;
And inclement weather claims new victims, today.”

Disentangling, the probabilistic string between them flops discordantly.
He cringes in pain.
She brushes her hair,
Hopping randomly between dimensions,
Wondering why there is a loose knot
And who wanted it tied, anyway.

Dreaming in a coma
Reaming in a comad
Eaming in a comadr
Aming in a comadre
Ming in a comadrea
Ing in a comadream
Ng in a comadreami
G in a comadreamin
In a comadreaming
translated from Neoandertal

by George Opacic

 

You

Through the abyss of indigo blue
Plowing into the dawn of the world
You
Just a tiny tinkling bell
Filled with incandescence of youth
Growing in the boundless churning ocean of humanity
After a pause of blessed tranquility, a flash
Gone back to your hearth and fathers, Simion
The memory of your presence, shining an eternal blue white
Carrying me through the fog of sorrow
Spurring me on to the vibrant stage of my own being
There is no time to wail
There are no more tears to waste away.
I will plod on to see what you could not see
I will leap to touch what you were not able to feel
I will proceed through the darkness of creation
To ring your bell throughout the cosmos
I will.
translated from Japanese

by Fumie Fukuda

 

See Who

Crystal glass in buildings sit, mirroring.

In our city, which glass has not captured your face?

Is there a window which has not framed your smile?

You are.  Beautiful. You draw all eyes…

Oh, the full moon shimmers and glints in your deep pupils!

Is your face still framed lovely?

Blame the moon.

 
translated from Persian

poem and caligraphy by Bashir Rahimi

Posted in Uncategorized, Workshops

Choosing an Editor

Editing • Proofreading • Spell-checkingIdeas

An Editor may be contracted to perform any of several functions. First, one must clearly define the type of work to be done. Is it intended to be “editing” or “proofreading”? Further, there are two broad considerations for a contract, along with several more within each path. It can get complicated!

A commonly-used term for a quick reading with corrections of basic spelling, grammar and minor suggestions is called “blue-penciling”.

Regarding definitions, editing may be a simple reading of chapters to confirm that each one follows the overall trajectory, and that locations, characters and concepts are consistent; more value-added editing is done by penciling in suggestions for elements like tone, story development, character growth, concept extensions, or chapter additions. Proofreading can be as simple as checking for spelling and appropriate grammar.

More formally, copy editing addresses the mechanics of the paragraph, highlighting grammar issues. Line editing takes that a step further by working on the tone, tempo and time-line. The more interesting and extensive form of editing is referred to as developmental editing. An analogy for these would be in the progression that an athlete would take. A runner might start by feeling good that he/she can run faster than the others in class; then an instructor could show some details such as stride length, pace and push-off; later, a coach could match training and practice regimens; next, the athlete’s career is considered in context, incorporating capability and competition. This is the same as developmental editing, where you step back to look at the overall product and make long-term decisions.

A contract may be time-based or lump-sum based. For instance, doing the least expensive version of proofreading would be done electronically via tools like MS Word’s spell-checker and grammar checker (which authors can do by themselves) for $25 to $50. There are online services that do this. Some services charge by the page, which may be between 50 to $2. Blue-pencil readings can be $20 to $50 for a one-hour session.

If the fee is time-based, it could be anywhere from $5 per hour to $40 per hour. This could quickly escalate to a very high cost. The lower the rate, the longer it usually takes to be completed.

A version of lump-sum contracts gives you the security of knowing what the final cost will be and that the reader is committed to finishing to a deadline.

Editing adds the real value. General editing will cost upwards of $500. This will be a process that includes a certain amount of back-and-forth discussion with the author regarding elements of the plot, characterizations, tone, style and intended audience.

Finally, the best end result may be obtained by engaging an editor who acts almost as a ghost-writer. If the author has great ideas but is not experienced in writing for the publishing market, this can be the preferred choice for the most professional outcome. Fees for this service may start with a down-payment, depending on the genre, of between $100 to $1000; with a monthly fee of $100 to $600. A fee reduction may be offered in exchange for a percentage of gross sales.

Another advantage to Media_film-man engaging the right editor is employing one who can convert the story to filmscript format. As this is a completely different way of writing, with many formal and stylistic changes applied to a story, the fee is negotiated separately.

To discuss your editing needs, please contact George Opacic