Archive for the ‘hood status’ Category

The Ninja Gap

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David Weinberger somehow manages to find time to write books, write thoughtful blog posts, AND produce a periodic newsletter - Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization - thata€™s one of he best reads on the a€net. Ia€™m deeply flattered that the current issue features Davida€™s thoughts on some of the topics Ia€™m obsessed with: media attention, caring, international understanding. More generously, he gives me the chance to react to his essay within the essaya€¦

Davida€™s generosity isna€™t the main reason Ia€™m linking to his piece - ita€™s that hea€™s broken some important theoretical ground with his important new concept in media criticism: The Ninja Gap. It takes a moment or two to explain - bear with me.

Almost anyone whoa€™s heard me give a public talk has heard me observe that Japan and Nigeria have roughly the same populations, but vastly different media representation: youa€™re roughly 8-12 times more likely to find an article focused on Japan in an American newspaper than an article on Nigeria. There are a lot of possible explanations for this phenomenon, from racism to comparative economic power. David offers a new one: Japana€™s got ninjas, and Nigeria doesna€™t.

Ita€™s a brilliant observation because ita€™s funny, true and highly relevant to conversations about media attention. Johan Galtung, in his seminal a€oeThe Structure of Foreign Newsa€oe, draws a persuasive metaphor between a radio receivera€™s ability to tune in one of many radio stations, and a listenera€™s likelihood to a€oereceivea€A a piece of news:

F4: The more meaningful the signal, the more probable that it will be recorded as worth listening to.

F5: The more consonant the signal is with the mental image of what one expects to find, the more probable that it will be recorded as worth listening to.

F7: The more a signal has been tuned in to the more likely it will continue to be tuned in to as worth listening to.

Context matters, Galtung argues. If wea€™ve got a mental image of Africa as a backwards and technically retrograde place, wea€™re likely to miss stories about innovation in mobile commerce (see the lead story in issue 407a€¦) or success in venture capital. Galtunga€™s fifth maxim is closely linked to the idea of cognitive dissonance - ita€™s uncomfortable to attempt to resolve new information that conflicts with existing perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.

Context doesna€™t just come from hard news - we all consume far more entertainment and advertising content than we consume of hard news. This information helps shape our views of these countries, and likely helps us unconsciously decide what sort of information to accept or reject. These perceptions construct something over time that might be thought of as a a€oenation branda€A - as the man who coined that term,marketer Simon Anholt, observed, a€oeEthiopia is well branded to receive aid, but poorly branded as a tourism destination.a€A

In this context, Japan is a place branded in many of our minds as a place thata€™s innovative, high-tech, and more than a little strange. Whether or not wea€™ve been to Japan, wea€™ve encountered anime, monster movies, martial arts flicks, SONY tva€™s and Toyota trucks. Whether or not our ideas about Japan are well-founded, reflect the reality on the ground, are rich in stereotypes, etc., wea€™ve got preconceptions about Japan. On some level, the fact that we know that a€oeJapan = Ninjasa€A means that wea€™ve got receptivity for a story about Japan that we might not have for Nigeria.

And so, Nigeria needs ninja. Or as David explains:

One reason we care about Japan more than Nigeria (generally) is that Japan has a cool culture. Wea€™ve heard about that culture because some Westerners wrote bestselling books about ninjas, and then Hollywood made ninja movies. Love them ninjas! Nigeria undoubtedly has something as cool as ninjas. Ok, something almost as cool as ninjas. If we had some blockblusters about the Nigerian equivalent of ninjas, wea€™d start to be interested Nigeria.

In other words, wea€™re more inclined to pay attention to Japan because wea€™ve got some context - a weird, non-representative context, for sure - while we have almost no context for stories about Nigeria. The context we do have for Nigeria - 419 scams - tends to be pretty corrosive, and may make us likelier to pick up only the stories that portray Nigeria as wildly corrupt and criminal.

Davida€™s observation leads him to some concrete advice for those of us trying to inspire xenophilia: write better: a€oeGood writing can make anything interesting. We will read the story about the Nigerian peddler and his neighborhood if there is a writer able to tell that story in a compelling way.a€A

Thata€™s harder than it sounds. But ita€™s also one of the best pieces of constructive advice Ia€™ve seen on cultivating xenophilia: tell good stories in a compelling way. And it wouldna€™t hurt to throw a ninja or two in there while youa€™re at it.

This post originally ran on Ethan’s excellent personal blog, My Heart’s in Accra.

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Going from ragtag to riches

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It had been a record week, and the vibe at Urban Outfitters headquarters was high. Adrenaline was palpable in executive offices, in design huddles, and on down to the models in skimpy threads pouting for a Free People Web shoot.

It was mid-March, and the retailer of insurgent chic had reported killer profits while other retailers watched shoppers weary of high gas prices go into hiding. You could almost hear towels snap a few days earlier as Wall Street analysts congratulated executives for putting up such good numbers. read the rest here

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Posted: June 6th, 2008
at 4:17pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,clothes,business,architecture,design,fo' real?,"ninja"

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Chicago New Media Summit 2008

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The Chicago New Media Summit 2008 Launch Event is aiming to pioneer Chicago as the new media capital of the world. With Mayor Daly’s approval and a cross industry reach, the summit is a spark to a town that seems lost into as what direction traditional media is moving towards.

Collaborate with thought leaders from Internet, media, entertainment, advertising and gaming industries to share technology and convergence trends, create alliances, promote new ventures and point to what’s next.

Bruce Dumont, panel moderator, pointed out that he was the recipient of Obama’s first fundraising call, where the Junior Senator stated that "We [Chicago] have to prove we’re in the major leagues."

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Three goals/guidelines were projected at the event:

1. Create content

2. Invest in creative developers

3. Educate others about new media

Organized in only 9 months, watch out for the September 15-16 talks, performances and gala….

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Posted: June 6th, 2008
at 4:00am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,music,web,games,business,film,design

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What ever happened to Cliff Richard?

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Posted: June 5th, 2008
at 1:24am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,music,not ninja-worthy

Comments: 1 comment


Check Cashers - Dallas Penn

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Another case of some ignorant fools proving a valid point. I hope you’re enjoying Video Monday (on Tuesday).

If you havent checked out our selection of documentaries, you’re fast asleep. To watch, click on "documentary" in the category cloud on the far right. Or right there.

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Posted: June 3rd, 2008
at 8:08am by Black Ock


Categories: hood status,not ninja-worthy,real life news

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MNP Geospatial : O’Reilly Where 2.0 2008 Conference

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Where to start and where to begin?

We would like to say happy trails to all of the attendees, speakers, and Brady Forrest, Conference Chair, for enabling a spectacular culmination of ideas and of course people.

I was happy to partake in most of the tutorials and listen amongst the speakers while experiencing the bounds of the various "heat" maps that were located throughout the conference quarters. Apparently by the end of the conference like-minds had been appointed none other than a grossly giddy quite title. [see the O’Reilly photo at the end of this leaf]

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In accordance with the final speaker of the assembly, Erik Hersman, it would be ignorant not to capstone anterior surprises: the activist mapping that was prevalent throughout caught the most of my attention. Eduardo Jezierski spoke passionately about the unique relationships of choice presented when definition arrives at the corner of life and death.

Are maps accessible enough for general consumption? George Demmy and TerraGo Technologies have solved this quandary by paralleling the PDF format with GIS.

MNP asks eight (8) questions concerning the future of the geospatial web

What kind of ramifications does the radius creep of related map stock pose for accurate data?

Are humans inherently familiar with maps?

How do people look for local information?

Are neighborhoods redundant or sequential in the quest to better understand city framework?

What is the proper form of a map?

How do we accurately report "data"?

What are movement signatures?

Which industries will be impacted the most by GIS?

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The most creative application of map wizardry? Bar none, Andrea Vaccari, team member of the NYTE project really pressed the steam for an instant boil of how paired maps are with the visual.

Chimp geniuses would have had fun with all of the possibilities that DIY drones set forth. That being said do NOT sleep on Light42.

How does this all relate to the real/city world approach to progressive geospatial understanding? According to the crowd theory of Paul Torrens, these value packages can only be evaluated within the boundaries of understanding the nuances of exception as well the opponents of acceptance.

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Who will rule the map world? A grand question that ESRI, Google Earth, and Virtual Earth would love to answer. If I was wearing the right hat, it would probably be a toss-up between the capabilities, the level of interaction, and the information….. until Where 2.0 2009!
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted: June 2nd, 2008
at 8:01am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,computers,apple,web,cell phones,robots,weaponry,architecture,design,science,et cetera,diy,maps

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Slick Rick The Ruler Pardoned by New Gov

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Posted: June 2nd, 2008
at 7:03am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,music,celebrity,too good to be true,home,mnp is for the children,fo' real?,9th dan

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The pitch from ExcelAire

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Fly from Paris to a€¦ Ronkonkoma?

Charter flight company ExcelAire is making a pitch to swank European travelers to park their private jets at its hangar at Islipa€™s Long Island MacArthur Airport.

The reasons: Fuel is cheaper there, taxi time are as short as ever, takeoff delay is non-existent, and youa€™re right next to the Long Island Expressway for a quick drive to the city (depending on the time of day of course a€" aim for 4 a.m.).

From their commercial (press release) libizblog

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Posted: June 2nd, 2008
at 6:53am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,bling,business,robots,gear,architecture

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‘Pirates’ Any Good? Ask a Ninja, If You Dare

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Q. Did pirates make their prisoners walk the plank?

It makes for great film drama, but pirates didn’t actually do this — though not because of gentlemanly qualms. In fact, real pirates tended toward even nastier behavior, like gruesome tortures (holding lighted matches to a victim’s eyes was a favorite) or hacking their prisoners to death with swords.

Q. Why, then, do we associate pirates with walking the plank?

We have novelists and playwrights to thank for that. Two beloved British children’s classics in particular — Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island (1883) and J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan (1904) (which he later fashioned into a novel) — have forever linked pirates to such fictional notions as treasure maps and walking the plank.

But surprisingly, certain characteristics of Long John Silver, Captain Hook and other fictional pirates have some basis in actual history. Pirates did indeed dress in colorful garb, they prized parrots (which could fetch a high price in Europe), and they flew the Jolly Roger flag to intimidate their victims.

listen to ask a ninja on npr here and learn about pirates 101

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Posted: June 1st, 2008
at 5:06am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,web,weaponry,fo' real?,"ninja"

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