bxrtley

A personal trail of synchronicity

Category: design

Money Wins Elections

I’m not a political science nerd, but I enjoyed watching The West Wing, The Practice, even Boston Legal. Perry Mason could get it too. *Aaron Sorkin (West Wing writer) did for the White House ecosystem what Shondra Rhines did for the hospital MD culture—enlightened the simple-minded and made us emotionally invested in a complex environment. I have no idea what’s specifically happening in our political climate right now, but for some reason it feels like the Republican Party doesn’t either. Choose somebody already. Battle Hillary. And may the most money win. After all, money wins elections. Google it.

*Sorkin and Rhimes also bailed out on their darling shows, which significantly impacted how that complex world of law, medicine and relationships were intricately portrayed. Why do they do this to us? We not only fall in love with the show, but inevitably the writers of them. I suppose it’s the same when someone gets elected into office and falls through on their campaign promises or when your primary care doctor sends in their aide to handle the “light work.” Is our government one giant screenplay? If so, I wonder who’s writing the script now. Hm.

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The More Things Change

After all our technological advances, we have ghastly reverted to the parchment scroll era, when the codex has proven to be more efficient. Instead of both hands, we now arrogantly (and infinitely) flick our thumb against gorilla glass, scrolling for information like ancient scholars.  Although technology and our knowledge advances, we can’t help but repeat the past. We’re suckers for the primitive and familiar. But we take up so much resources to do it. Students will soon be outside again, but hover-boarding Indian-style over the synthetic turf with their tablets, listening under a willow Jumbotron.

It Is Time

Time doesn’t repeat itself. Events do. Our genius mechanisms to keep time is not time itself. Often(times) we make the two synonymous. The clock is a circular event that represents a linear phenomenon. Some believe time can warp and bend, which would cause wormholes or cosmic singularities (please, don’t quote me on this), but for the sake of simplicity, think of time as a straight line, with an arguable point of origin. If we created a contraption that would more closely reflect the linearity of time, would we appreciate it more? Oh wait. It’s called a calendar. Never mind.

Design: My Levels of Writing at the Moment

Here’s the reality: It’s not that I’m not writing everyday—I am. But over the last month, much of it has been journaled. I’m not sure if I’ve laid out my types of writing to you, but here they are:

  1. Academic (research paper – almost done!)
  2. Antihero (letters, ebooks, etc)
  3. Personal Public (this blog)
  4. Personal Private (my journal)

Lately, my time has been focused on the top and bottom tier—Academic and Private writing. Everything else in between is important, but the academic is the most time-sensitive at the moment and the private journaling is actually the only thing keeping me from going insane.

One is highly logical, the other is highly emotional. I suppose they balance each other out. And while I want to work on Antihero stuff more than I currently am, and while I want to create more public posts, I’m not sure I can do so without having some of my most intimate thoughts incidentally leak out onto the page.

And you might be saying, “Suck it up, that’s life.” And it is. It’s my life. And this is how I choose to handle it. I’ve made two of these literary forms my top priority. One is for a degree. The other is for mental health. One can possibly provide a higher quality of oxygen above this crowded job market (although not likely, because of “academic inflation”—if it ain’t a doctorate, good luck), while the other are the very lungs for the low-quality air (that’s highly subjective) that I’m currently inhaling.

That’s my literary design for the moment. What’s yours?

Design: Am I an Emoji Racist?

I’m okay with the yellow emoji icons. I often prefer using them over the “ethnic” options. Heck, I’d even choose the albino or sun-tanned colors. Does that make me racist? Nope. It makes me a designer.

Here’s my theory, while the the yellow emojis were probably selected because of the traditional yellow smiley face, it was kept because it’s just easier to look at, especially at a glance—and even more so for the blue iMessage bubble contrast. The receiver might be able to see the darker options just fine in the gray bubble (except for the darkest option—I’m sorry but that just poor design), but the sender may have difficulties.

Also, but the darker lines used for contrast in the hair, facial expressions, fingers, etc. is easier to see in yellow. And, yellow is ethnic-neutral. Last time I checked, I haven’t seen someone as radiant as the sun. Unless, of course, I’m giving a metaphorical compliment to a woman. I’m sure if I called her chartreuse, we’d have a problem.

Just as “Black on White” and “Black on Yellow” contrasts are the easiest contrasts for readability, the same goes for yellow or brighter emojis on whatever background. For the record, the light brown emojis do work aesthetically. But because people cried for skin tones that both tanned and kissed by the sun, and everything in between, the design suffered. I could be wrong, but that Yellow on Blue and Yellow on Gray are easier to pick up on, especially when you’re just glancing at your iMessages.

Design: The Marketing of Jesus

The miracles of Jesus was like content marketing. The entire plan of salvation is, but perhaps it’s most obvious in the human-to-human contact, when the God-man literally touches others. Applying Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook philosophy of marketing, Jesus’ miracles were just a lot of jabs (giveaways), before going for the right hook (the “big ask”), which in Christ’s case was “Follow me.”

Providing free and valuable solutions that solve a problem or pain point, builds trust and keeps you engaged with the giver of content, which makes it easier to eventually sell that value for a price. Miracles weren’t the end game. Discipleship was. Jesus took people down (or up) a salvific sales pipeline, which hopefully ended in a conversion (pun intended).

Nothing’s new under the sun. Jesus made the TV and billboard advertising form of forgiveness irrelevant by engaging in native advertising. How so? The mainstream, mass media, theatrical sanctuary process that was on display in the middle of the Jewish community began to crumble when he started simply expressing phrases like, “Your sins are forgiven.” That’s it. No theatrics, no mantras or holy tools. Just a few words. And that’s what companies are doing today. They’re embracing simplicity, being more social, with less frills and a short, clear message.

I’m sure there are tons of books out there already, but one day I think I’ll write one on the Marketing of Jesus, from the Old Testament all the way up to the New. I’d go as far to say that the most effective marketing designs today pattern after the Master Marketer himself. There’s a reason why the Bible has been the world’s bestseller for so long. Perhaps it’s time to find out.

A Pink iPhone 6s – How Rumors Get Started

So Apple might add pink or “Rose Gold” to their line up of Silver, Space Gray and Gold colored iPhones. Maybe that random iPhone 5c circus production was really about field-testing colors for future models. Since colors are as fleeting as fashion and the 5c is already 2 years old, this outdated market research is highly unlikely. But perhaps they’ve discovered a hue that isn’t so transient. Pink. Who woulda thunk. Although, word on the street was that yellow sold the most. Or was it blue? Maybe this pink option simply reflects the Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition. #AppleRumors