Before shifting into warm and fuzzy mode for the Holidays, consider these interesting insights into a decidedly undesirable warm and fuzzy life form: the New York rat.

Diverse, intelligent and adaptable – like life itself.

Random conversations with strangers have value.

The emotional benefits of small talk outweigh your fear of being awkward

Would that we all were as fortunate as these fellows:

Why do we commute despite its frustrations and stresses?

Because our work requires collaboration, we enjoy community, and the amenities of a city or town enhance our daily experience. Still, the daily book-ended aggravation is immense.

If there is hope in the future it may be from virtual reality. Until then we climb into our rides during the same hours and crawl together on crowded roads or sit or stand in packed subway cars and buses.


In the in-the-moment roller coaster ride of our present, the implementation of AI seems like the advent of spring: slow and gradual until one fine day it’s here.

The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence

No one is prepared to stop the robot onslaught. So what will we do when it arrives?

The role and function of retail shopping and presence in the marketing equation and its impact on the consumer purchase decision continues to change and undergo reinvention.

In a world of virtual buying retail’s physicality continues to be the logic of direct experience, human connection and shared community, however circumscribed and transformed. Retail still exerts a special and unique power and place.

In important ways Apple understands this as well as any company.

If you have the interest and time to deep dive into Activate’s informative assessment of the current status and future trends in media and technology:

Activate Tech & Media Outlook 2018 from Activate

Among the many disconcerting and ominous realizations from the Trump election is the final reckoning that not only is the American Century (1900-1999) long past, but what we once perceived as America’s special place in the constellation of eminent and enlightened civilizations was a flawed narrative and illusory from the start. When did exceptionalism metastasize into triumphalism?

The past 120 years have been a historical accident as well as an exercise of national self-deception on a massive scale. It turns out that although America may still be a magnificent idea it is flawed in execution. Not surprisingly our self-image is not really the one that appears in the mirror.

The American experiment may be a “shining city on the hill” at times and a beacon of freedom and democracy when we’re at our best, but more often than not we are just as selfish, corrupt and rapacious as every other government, tribe and guild that has ever existed before us, with some unique portion of hypocrisy and self-congratulation added to the mix.

Churchill is right: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Let’s hope that we learn from our mistakes, don’t make the same ones twice, and that we’ll find a measure of redemption in the future.


Not surprisingly the BBC is doing interesting digital work.

It’s Culture section is producing arresting video features to complement its always sterling broadcast and print efforts.

First everything became media and now it’s software.

But the potential problem of any innovation can be unintended consequences: the things and outcomes that we don’t see happening despite our original designs, plans or intentions.

In a Faustian Bargain Viktor Frankenstein created life (usurping God’s order) and unleashed evil in the act. The creation of code may inadvertently let loose similar unanticipated futures.

As Uncle Ben says to Peter Parker: “with great power comes great responsibility”.