Reflection – 8/4/08

Howard Rheingold touched upon numerous things in his session with us and the one I found particularly significant to me was the importance of mindfulness in communications. Knowing the power and impact of providing solid or incorrect information, as well as the ways to shade and tone the communications can have any number of positive, negative or inconsequential effects upon the community. In his comments about education (evaluate information, asking the right questions, ascertain the mores of the community) he highlighted the need for foundational cultural immersion for denizens of the community or communities to which one can belong. His example of Stokely Carmichael alludes to this, as Carmichael was unable to maintain a different “face” between audiences. He was presented with a choice of communities with which to identify and ultimately represent and based his communications upon that culture thereafter.

I found Brian’s presentation interesting, as DRM is a battle my business takes on daily. It can feel a little schizophrenic to spend so much time reading about, thinking about and discussing the problems with copyrights, patents, IP and DRM, and then spend my work days trying to find ways to evolve those very things toward more openness; I’m still confronted with many meetings that include the question of “How can we keep XXX from being copied?”. It’s a good place in which to introduce the work and arguments we learn, but many times our colleagues “don’t get it”.

Our small group focused on the experience of crowds at movies and the possibility of moving the attention of more proprietary, industrial-based entertainment organizations to more non-proprietary models of production. Enticing a society away from the blockbuster will take some truly compelling works and different business model for these producers (MGM, Universal, et al).

We touched on the quality of movies, the theater experience, and peoples’ experiences at the theater. The actual movie quality relies upon more than just production values and special effects. The components of a “great movie” include good acting and directing (e.g.-Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, the Visitor) that might be more easily conveyed digitally, but the talents noted still require up-front investment by the movie crew.

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