Personality

Branding & Emotional Design: The Culture of Sneakers

How do we spend our money? Well, the first cut goes to survival: essential goods and services that are absolutely necessary to our survival. Food, housing, medical care are all part of the basic necessities of life. Some, of course, are more necessary than others (we might postpone going to a dentist…but not for long), but there’s a core of stuff that we need to live. The next tier up from survival is comfort. This is a very large tier—what’s comfort to some is a necessity to others and visa versa. People use their income to increase their general comfort level. This might mean a large house, more comfortable beds, larger selection of clothing. But generally, when we talk of comfort, we don’t include jet setting to Paris for a nice date out on the town. Comfort is about everyday life needs, but more comfortable. The top tier of our income is the disposable income and it is spent on luxury—the money we have left over from dealing with our needs and comforts; the money we can chose to spend in an extravagant and even wasteful manner. When economists make predictions about the average size of the available disposable income,…

We’re Only as Happy as Our Unhappiest Child

Recession is an interesting prism by which to examine our modern society. The scarcity of jobs a century ago, led to an abolishment of child labor, an extension of the educational system to accommodate these out-of-work children, and a development of new laws to serve them. Most importantly, dire economic conditions were the direct cause behind the “discovery” of a new stage of life: adolescence. The current economic hardship is particularly difficult on the 18 to 30 demographic. These “adults” are struggling to find jobs, life-long relationships, educational opportunities, and self-fulfillment. The term failure to launch is coined to describe the restlessness and ambiguity felt by this population. Dr. Jeffrey J. Arnett describes this phase of life as emerging adulthood: “Instead of entering marriage and parenthood in their very early twenties, most people now postpone these transitions until at least their late twenties, and spend their late teens through their mid-twenties in self-focused exploration as they try out different possibilities in love and work. Essentially, a new developmental stage has been created between adolescence and young adulthood.” [http://www.jeffreyarnett.com] Dr. Arnett discusses the internal traits that define his newly-proposed phase of life: identity exploration instability in work, relationships, living circumstances self-focus…

On “Flattery Will Get You Far”

Article:  Valdesolo, P. (2010). “Flattery Will Get You So Far.” Scientific American Online, Scientificamerican.com. Retrieved on 30 June 2010: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=flattery-will-get-you-far Summary: Its not uncommon for people to kiss up and flatter others in their everyday lives, with the hopes that such remarks will get them what they want.  Many times these motives are easily recognized and written off as insincere.  However it’s quite possible that the effects of such flattery are more powerful than we think. Researchers are taking a deeper look into how blatant flattering influences consumer loyalty and sales.  A study conducted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that consumers exposed to a department store’s advertising campaign, commending shoppers on their sense of style, were likely to continue making purchases at the store.  Furthermore, these consumers, who explicitly expressed their awareness of the stores attempt to manipulate behavior through flattery, were likely to join the store club. Researchers believe this type of flattery works by reinforcing the above average ideas that individuals reserve for themselves, as well as increasing esteem in areas where some feel low.   The article suggests that positive images in advertising, when linked to products, might also subconsciously influence consumer desire…

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Interview with David Bowie

Nash, K. (1999). “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Interview with David Bowie.” ComputerWorld. Retrieved August 1, 2001: http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47-STO39387,00.html The is a screen shot of David Bowie’s Home Page as it appeared on June 24th, 2010. In this interview, David Bowie, a musician and philosopher, shares his view of the Internet and how it may evolve and influence society but also the music industry over time. His depiction of his website serves as a starting point to his argument. The individualized portal, BowieNet – where he chats with fans on daily basis and keeps a personal journal – is telltale when it comes to his approach to the net. As a matter of fact, Internet is a huge decentralized village in Bowie’s point of view. The portal – by enabling the creation of online personas and by providing links to all the fan blogs on him – offers the opportunity to foster a village-like facet of internet with a free circulation of information and a sense of community built around him and his music. In fact, such interaction enables, according to Bowie, a new way of knowing people. He confesses that he likes to take on other names to simply observe what happens in the…

Imagining the future of technology—Brain Power.

Article: BBC Staff. (2008). “Imagining the future of technology—Brain Power.” BBC News. Visited on 10 September 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7660928.stm The article asks the question: Can we ever expect computers to emulate the achievements of human intelligence? There are two obstacles to overcome in order to achieve this; first, advances in hardware must be made so that computers may be powerful enough to simulate the working of the brain and secondly, we need to be able to program them to do so. In order to better understand the working of the human brain, scientists around the world have utilized processing power of supercomputers in parallel to developed various computational brain models. Some model capture a high degree of detail, modeling the brain on a neuron by neuron basis while others work on the assumption that interesting phenomena occur at the network level and therefore model large numbers of simpler neurons. Once validated by observation, the brain model can be used to explore the effects of altered molecular or genetic information. While researchers have a long way to go in understanding the human brain, progress is being made with respect to understanding brain subsystems and distinct functionality such as learning and vision. Information on…

Understanding the Anxious Mind.

Article: Marantz, H. R. (2009). “Understanding the Anxious Mind.” New York Times. Retrieved on 4 October, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/magazine/04anxiety-t.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=print Summary of article: This article discusses the reaerch conducted by psychologists into persons are constantly anxious and worry a lot. The ide is that certain people are “predisposed” to be anxious. Research conducted on infants as young as 6 months old showed to the psychologists (atleast to some extent) that babies who tended to be highly reactive, that is who react immediately to new soights and sounds, mostly in a negative way, tend to grow up to be anxious and shy teenagers and adults. The article also points out that these anxious babies tend to be become melancholy and introverted as they grow older with few friends and social life. The article also discusses that those teenagers and adults who recognized this “trait” within themselves seemed to do better at controlling/overcoming their anxious nature. The benefits of a reactive, anxious temparament are also mentioned. Artists, writers and scientists tend to be introspective. Worrying can become a help rather than a hindrance when it helps you prepare better for tests, plan ahead for meetings and talks, and never to miss a flight because…