Inventing the Future

Being Seen

I’d been wondering whether anyone on our company’s Board of Directors knew who I was. I know a couple but it turns out most didn’t. But just before the last board meeting I ran into a director that I’m sure I had never been introduced to. He said, “Hi Howard” as we passed.

The only thing I can think of is that he must have recognized me from my avatar. I don’t remember now what I had worn when I had briefly participated in previous meeting. It could have been a photo- or video-faced “Lego man” or it could have been a custom avatar.
<%image(20090530-howard-lego.jpg|227|261|Video-faced Simple Avatar)%><%image(20090530-howard-jake.jpg|227|261|Custom Business)%><%image(20090530-howard-john.jpg|227|261|Custom Casual)%>

I haven’t been very interested in avatar appearance, but I guess there is value in having people build some personal familiarity without physically meeting. I don’t want cold-calls via virtual worlds, but I suppose that a scheduled virtual meeting or happenstance encounter in a virtual reception builds a stronger tie than email or telephone. I wonder how that will play out for sales and relationship-building in the future.

Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Atrios dogbark blogging

In March, I went to a gathering of people who read Eschaton, a blog by “Atrios”. This guy Atrios has a pithy blogging style that I like a lot. Basically he puts out short observations about this and that (or thus and such)–much as my late dog Rosa used to just bark at random times. People then leave hundreds of comments on Eschaton in response to the Atrios dog-barks.

Among other things, Atrios likes to bark at his readers. From time to time he barks at readers who want him to give them or their blogs publicity. He barks that it is not his job to give people publicity. When he blogs on this topic he gets riled up like a proper chihuahua.

One time Atrios put up on his blog a photo taken inside his apartment. I saw on his bookshelf books by Douglas Hofstadter. So I sent him a note asking if he would like a copy of my Hofstadterian book, “Cheap Complex Devices”. Atrios did not write back.

At Eschacon, I spoke with him for a little bit. He was drinking red wine & think he was a little tipsy. I gave him a copy of my book, which he graciously accepted, and I saw him carrying it around hours later, so I know that, at the least, he did not immediately throw it in the garbage.

However, he still has not replied to my email or given me free publicity on his blog. Also, hardly anybody ever leaves comments here on Wetmachine. Finally, although Doug Hofstadter and I are now friends, he had not read my homage a Hofstadter yet either. And none of you people leave comments!

Also, this entry is much too long for an Atrios-style blog entry. Maybe that’s why I’m a minor blogger and he’s a superstar. It’s harder than it looks.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

The Treachery of Images

< %image(20080327-Howarde_Avatar.jpg|230|201|Ceci n'est pas Howard)%>There’s a photo of me in the current Information Week. Only it isn’t a “photo,” and it isn’t “me.”

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Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Alien, (or was it Aliens?) in Alabama

According to this article in the Montgomery Advertiser, “To the bafflement of insect experts, gigantic yellow jacket nests have started turning up in old barns, unoccupied houses, cars and underground cavities across the southern two-thirds of Alabama”.

You must check out the photo.

When you do I think you’ll come to the same conclusion as did Pvt Hudson and Ripley: “Blast off and nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

SHOUT OUT TO GARY GRAY: This was your story, man. I saw it on the ex-of-Curl list, which I know you read too. So where was you? Ping below to let us know you’re OK, OK? Because this is a Gary story if ever there was one.

Posted in I Fear These Things, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Inventing the Future

outsource top management

This essay by Dick Gabriel is cute, short (one page), and worth reading. Dick has a long history of thought-provoking good-news bad news jokes: this one’s about outsourcing and executive compensation.

By the way, Dick was great Lisp programmer at Stanford who founded a great Lisp company and sold it to his competitor to go work in computer science labs. Then he dropped out of tech at to get an MFA in poetry at a relatively advanced age. He writes, talks to anyone who will listen, and is a great curmudgeon. Reminds me a lot of John. Check out the photo. Better yet, check out his other writings at his Dreamsongs site.

Posted in General, General Exception, Inventing the Future | Also tagged | 1 Comment (Comments closed)
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