Technology

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Building Heroes: Armstrong vs. Armstrong

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

At the end of August, two men named Armstrong were both in the news. Neil Armstrong was mentioned because he died at the age of 82. Lance Armstrong was mentioned because of an ongoing investigation into doping during his cycling career. Very different men with completely different claims to fame and yet I’ve followed both of them with fascination.

I’m drawn to moments of individual achievement. Team sports don’t interest me. I follow things like climbing, flying, racing… activities which all have a huge support network but only one guy at the sharp end of things taking the risk and pushing for success. So here are Neil and Lance, with a shared name and personal accomplishments forty years apart. Seeing them together in a news cycle got me thinking about what makes a hero and how celebrity and success have changed.

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FaceBlek

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I’m coming to the conclusion that I hate facebook. Its cultural ubiquity requires that I continue to use it indefinitely, mainly because of Everyday Driver, but I will do it grudgingly. In fact, in this world of “social-promotion” I should actually use it far more for our car show, even though it turns my stomach. Twitter should also be a more consistent part of my life, but it hasn’t brought me to rant yet… probably because I’d be limited to 140 characters and that’s more like a rant-let. And Google+ is an also-ran at this point even though I got and accepted the very exciting invitation. G+ positions itself as the anti-facebook, but that requires people to be both: a) completely fed up with Facebook b) concluding that what they really need is a “different” social network site. I’ll take a big scoop of A, and choose to ignore B.

So what’s my problem? Click to continue »

Lessons from Infants…

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

My first year of fatherhood has brought with it many lessons I never expected. Of course every new parent experiences changes and learns things they wouldn’t know otherwise. For example, no man can tell you how many weeks it is before you can really tell the sex of a fetus… unless he’s doctor, or he’s been there.

However, I’m talking about lessons – observations, really – I would not have come to without our little guy around. So, here are my top five for year one:

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My iPhone is Racist…

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

You may think I picked that title to attract readers or I’ve chosen to exaggerate or speak in metaphor. However, I promise you this is entirely true.

I had an amazing week last week, shooting 6 Days on an independent feature production. The days were long and tiring, but really wonderful. And it was amazing to see how many ways a smartphone can be utilized in the constant melee that is production. Little did I know what lurked in the brain of this device.

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iPhone to the Rescue…

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I’ve resisted writing about Haiti because, while incredibly tragic, it irks me to see our nation running to the aid of some other country when there’s so many terrible problems at home. I don’t think we should be policing the world or trying to save it, especially now. I guess the older I get, the more isolationist I become, but I can’t help thinking “why don’t celebraties have telethons to fix problems in America?”.

But I digress.

From the rubble of one of the world’s poorest countries came a story which seemed to perfectly highlight the haves and have-nots of the tragedy. And both the absurdity, and wonder, of our national obsession with technology.

An iPhone saved a man’s life in Haiti.

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TweetBook…

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

If approving a friend or following someone sounds like a typical day in front of your computer then you understand how ubiquitous social networking sites have become. In theory, we are all supposed to feel more connected. To never lose touch. To know what all our friends, favorite celebs, and those people we couldn’t stand in high school are doing with their time.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… we don’t live “in theory”, and in reality it strikes me quite differently. Click to continue »