Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I flew into Las Vegas last night on business. I have never been here before. The plane touched down about 9:30 p.m. and the flight attendant announced the the outside temp was 99 degrees Farenheit. I looked out the window. Ninety Nine degrees and no trees. I wasn't in New Hampshire any more.
I hopped the shuttle to the Luxor. I looked around a bit as I rode along.
Vegas is ridiculous.
Vegas could only exist in America.
In fact, I think that Vegas is a powerful and concentrated distillation of a certain strain of American culture. It is at once amazing and (to me) slightly repulsive. It is so completely over the top, so absolutely contrived, so artificial and stimulating and....I'm not sure what. It is a sleight of hand practiced on monumental scale. At a certain level, you have to appreciate the genius of it, but...damn.
And I really haven't seen that much of it. I've been working mostly, and trying not to spend much money. Not much to do here without spending money. That's part of the genius. That's why it could only exist in America.
So I am sitting outside Krispy Kreme inside the Excalibur shopping gallery, logged onto the Krispy Kreme wireless network, passing the time until my shuttle bus takes me to my red eye flight home.
I really love America. What a country!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
- He worked hard, even though he failed often and saw hard times.
- He was competent and skilled at his labor.
- He loved me and my brothers and my mother and sacrificed much for our good.
Friday, June 12, 2009
New Yorker recently published an article called "How David Beats Goliath." I have been thinking about it a lot since I first came across it thanks to 10-4 Good Buddy.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
My favorite line?
"Naw....I'd GO to a church like 'dat."
Assistant Village Idiot uses the term to describe a sort of sociological unified field theory (or perhaps only a general relativity theory) wherein tribal identity is so ingrained into human behavior and thinking that even we moderns find ourselves assuming tribal identities. Membership in modern social tribes is not so much a matter of name identification as it is the assumption of certain social/political/sub-cultural cues or signals. To see AVI’s analysis, go here.
A few months ago, Seth Godin, renowned marketing guru (on wonders if he has the word “guru” on his business card) spoke on the subject of tribes as relates to marketing. Successful marketers are people who actually leverage technology to create associations of people he calls Tribes. Whenever someone figures out how to tap into the sentiments of enough people who are thinking the same thing, but are unconnected, that person unleashes social power of some magnitude. That opportunity is greater than ever through the power of techno tools related to the internet. Tribe becomes a sort of sophisticated, fluid, self-inventing psychographic.
Along a completely different line, Tim Larkin of Target Focused Training (which deserves a post of it’s own) directed me recently to Scott Pressfield’s analysis of the War in Afghanistan. Unlike the other two, Scott is not redefining the term Tribe here, but is using it in the classic sense. He uses the classic concept of tribe and tribalism to help us re-frame the way we view the conflict in Afghanistan. It’s all about the tribes. His analysis contrasting the meaning of being a citizen of a nation, as opposed to a member of a tribe is outstanding. I hope that our commanding officer’s responsible for the conflict in Afghanistan can grasp this concept. Our leaders must recognize that asymmetrical warfare has already become the dominant model around the world and we are just playing catch up.
You can see all the video's in Pressfield's analysis of War in Afghanistan here.
It’s just fascinating to see how one word can be used to clothe such different types of ideas.