Saturday, January 21, 2017

Web audiences can move well

One of the BEST things about the web which can give you pause when you put up content, as I do, is the ability of audiences on the web to move rapidly, either towards your content or away. Like I've found certain topics can dramatically drop interest in this blog by objective measures, while others can ROAR it up. Either thing can be disconcerting but such shifts are simply natural.

And objective measures are really important, and I rely more on tools that tell me things feel like are more informative in that regard, like linking behavior. And to me, the fluidity of the modern web audience is a HUGE plus, because you can get to a place where you're comfortable putting up whatever feels right as you and your audience have learned what to expect.

I learn much about what I like to write about, by what I write about, and often am somewhat surprised. As the feeling is not as informative as one would think. I can feel a need to write something and think I know why but understand better in time. And readily admit that more ideas come to mind for posts than get posted, where I have 4 blogs, but am not so anxious about constantly putting up content. So the reason for that many is really about focus, where that content is going, and expectations for me as well as those who like to read there.

And reality is, am more an audience member myself than a content creator I think. Because spend so much time looking at things produced by others, and is good to realize that in our times, we can just pick and choose.

You hold the modern audience by merit more.

It's a great thing.

James Harris

Monday, January 16, 2017

When race fades

Nothing like being told you're innately superior and don't have to work for it. Which can sit with different people different ways. And I admit to at times studying the people who wish to believe they are somehow born innately superior to other human beings, especially when it is about race. And that was a pragmatic thing to do, as I grew up in the Deep South in Tifton, Georgia, USA and race was definitely a topic of discussion.

Figuring out some people want deeply to feel special, innately, explains all of American racism. But I've discussed it more in-depth years ago back 2011, on another of my blogs, for those who don't mind my very opinionated take on it.

Most people in this country want to actually work for their respect. It's actually a taught thing which is part of the American Way which is a phrase that seems to have gone out of favor. I wonder why.

But merit matters.

Which means you can actually even do well with people who may be misguided on topics like race as they don't know better, once they learn from reality. And lack of enough experience with fellow humans is key I think. And the web is doing MUCH to separate fact from fiction which is producing some shock-waves around the globe and in my country. It's one thing to spout fictions about race to gullible members of your community who don't see people of other races much or do so in very narrow contexts, and another if they can just see on the web that you're deluded.

Merit matters more as what can you do really with an opinion if people want results? It's one thing to believe you're superior, but another to be the best at skills, in a world where skills matter.

Today is observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States and it does often have me contemplating how much damage some humans can do to others just to feel a certain way about themselves and how one man can do much by focusing on common decency.

We get born, do our things for a bit, and then go on. Beliefs about what really happens with death can vary, but we all can be sure about that middle part between birth and death, as a period when we learn things, try things, and interact quite a bit with our fellow human beings. Personally wouldn't even want to be innately superior. Quite enjoy communicating well, as best I can, with my fellow humans versus talking down to anyone. And what does it matter for those who operate otherwise?

Grasping for something not worth having the grip loosens regardless no matter what, in time.

Turns out race as a concept is one of those odd human inventions which will fade in time, and history will be there for future humans to wonder, how it even happened.

We humans are remarkable in lots of things, where it is very human to so remark. We do think about ourselves a lot, as a species.

The meta of the human species is that humanity itself IS a meta species. Endlessly reflecting to itself, about itself, through its members. And how else would we do it?

I like it myself. Endlessly fascinated by the endless information we humans share about ourselves and our views of our world. Does help pass the time.

James Harris

Sunday, January 08, 2017

What is science of entertainment

Being a free thinker I do NOT mind figuring out things on my own, if I can simplify and get something functional. And a few times have had to come up with functional definitions when dictionary ones were not good enough for me to figure something out. And is pertinent to mention too as I explore the concept of the science of entertainment.

Am using MY definitions want to emphasize, so doing a lot to be sure that is clear. Am continuing with things I made up.

science (noun): the art of prediction using methodologies and tools to expand zones of certainty by discovery of a predictive framework.

entertainment (noun): any socially accepted activity chosen in order to alter mood in a desired way which is unlikely to bring harm in any way.

Where am putting them together for once. I call those functional definitions, which makes them remarkably short for what I claim they can do. Like the first? Can encompass ANY scientific discipline known or yet to be known. So let's make up one.

Time to ponder as I like giving myself these challenges to figure something out as I type up a post. Feel confident. Besides if I fail you just won't see it.

So at first blush, a science of entertainment should involve discovery of a framework of tools and methodologies to expand zones of predictive certainty in producing a desired mood for a human being or groups of humans with a socially accepted activity, unlikely to bring harm in any way.

The art of it is in choices made in building that framework.

Isn't creativity something? Fascinates me how far I can go with things I made up.

What makes it science then is the zone of predictive certainty which I think for many is way far from entertainment, as how can you be certain, say that something is funny? Turns out with the science done correctly, you can, maybe. Just because I can put up what a science of entertainment would do, doesn't mean it can exist!

The hypothesis aspect of science is well-known, and by my system is a prediction, testable by the predictive framework. That is, you can make a hypothesis and test it by experiment.

For instance, I will admit now, as have been evaluating for over a year that I have checked and continue to check things accepted as entertainment for their safety level. And compare with near things if can find which are NOT considered entertaining.

Which can explain how a celebrity, who is an entertainer and I think most are, can seem to do ok with one thing, and crash and burn with another as a public may laugh off one thing as safe, so harmless and see something else as not, though both may look very similar which I find fascinating.

Perceptions there can vary, so there can be effort in determining if a person sees something as safe or not. One person may see something as perfectly safe that another finds not. Which can cause differential assessment across groups as well.

And that's enough for a post I want to be short. And it has been heavily edited, which is ok. I DID just start typing pulling from my two definitions. And luckily can edit as consider over time and ponder the usefulness as well--what can I DO with it?

One desired thing? Figure out rapidly any entertainment system on the planet, as to efficacy, likely duration, and methodology as to why people find it entertaining. And don't worry, I work to keep musings about current entertainment to myself. And carefully move as to show appropriate concern for the mystery, of course.

Because with me? Mystery matters.

Actually building out a science is where things get interesting. At least can now see how two of my functional definitions can come together.

And I do not consider this post to be a brainstorming post, which is kind of a note to myself.

James Harris

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Building better takes skills

Readily admit was not a fan of school when was forced to go through it, yet did decide to go to college and have talked what I think is the point of a college education, which is to learn learning, in my opinion. And to find the link to my own post found myself doing what is a new learned thing which is to search on name of the blog, and subject. So searched: beyond mundane point of college

That works for me with Google should note, but suspect that as years go by will work with other search engines but is NOT about me. Is about decisions other people make, which get reflected in search engines. And it takes building a structure on which others can depend on to give what is expected. But how do you get the skills?

For me writing is something I enjoy and of course needed some kind of teaching, where got most of that in school. While was not a fan of school do find myself reflecting on things I realize I learned in college, and not just on the facts, but ways of looking at things. Can at times imagine like a professor is chatting with me, as I recognize this or that skill is not something that just appeared, but was taught to me by a person in a position to teach such things.

But who is your teacher? Is a question worth asking when a person tries to make decisions around school or life. I'm fascinated by people who may have certain skills one way, who might assume they know what skills they'll need down the line as, how do you know?

Who tells you what you need to know?

There are things you can just pick up online, but where are the basics. Maybe you can get those basics online, but then your teacher is who put up that content.

How do you know who to trust with your mind?

To me my mind is very important to me. And as I get older I DO appreciate that I could go places which were yes, part of a social order I questioned often. And yes, felt myself jumping through hoops that society put there for me, but also did not have a way to find better, or trust.

Today people can tell you all kinds of things, but how do you check them?

For me there is a ready reference available, from some of the best schooling the United States could provide, where a lot was free to me, in the public education system. And yeah even in college I was lucky enough to get...I digress.

Main thing is, I know how to do certain things now, where I like to wonder how I know. And reality is: there were very skilled people who taught me some extremely useful skills.

The web does not change the basics. It makes things faster, and allows greater reach, but if you're going to build something on which others can rely, then you need to learn how to build, and how to build reliably.

Just because you build out here with ideas and words, or picture or other things with which you can make a website, it does not mean there is not support necessary to keep it standing. And putting that support in place--building solid foundations--is so much about how well you know how to put things together, I firmly believe. It takes skills.

And as I type and watch the words appear it occurs to me that an effort that is about expressing myself flows as it does, for reasons I can ponder. But the results of that effort will not just be about what I think, but about what thoughts echo. Sharing lets me try. But others will find out whether or not I built well.

That flow can feel great. But feelings don't make reality. Skills help you build your vision. Wanting without skills is a dream without the means to be fulfilled.

Luckily for me, I didn't have to be a fan of school. I just needed to do the work. And thankfully for me as an older person, when it was the time to do it, I did.

There are many schools in life of course.

Plenty of opportunities to get skills needed. The web does make it easier when finding the school you need can be so much about searching.

Maybe then it's not so much about being a fan of school, but about needing those tools to get things done.

Then accomplishment can both rule and define your life. Looking at things accomplished definitely feels better to me, than wondering about what I can do.

I know what I can do, from what I've done.

James Harris