Find an Alter Ego

I wrote about this idea before. I still think it’s a clever way to trick yourself into getting things done. I didn’t go as far as creating a character for my alter ego. But, it does help to distract yourself from believing you can’t do it.

If you break it down, what does the task really require, at it’s most basic. You can do it if you think of it as just talking (for instance) and don’t get caught up in expecting things to be harder than they are.

“Fake it until you make it”.

From CopyBlogger:

This month’s creativity prompt is to invent an alter ego who’s great at the thing you’re not good at.

You’re going to imagine this person as a character in a novel or a film. Know what they look like, how they talk, what they wear, where they live.

Then, when you’re doing the challenging activity, you’re going to write as that character.

You don’t have to be a fiction writer to pull this off. It’s much easier to do in writing than it is to try face to face or on the phone, although those are also options if you feel ready for Expert Mode.

Are you too timid when you discuss your services with a client? Write a pitch using the voice of an ultra confident alter ego.

Are you too blunt when you email colleagues? Write an email using the voice of a nurturing, benevolent earth mama.

You don’t have to share what you write — but you may well find that you want to. When it’s time to be tough, or patient, or steely, or suave, it’s handy to have a well-developed alter ego who can handle those states effortlessly.

Imitations in Words

Watching Museum Diaries early this morning on TVO and I noticed a word they used when talking about fakes and forgeries, pastiche. It is interesting how fakes have become their own genre. Antique fakes can be as interesting and historical as the real artifacts. Also, there is still the danger of being wrong and deciding an item is fake when it is not. Some artifacts are just created differently from the standard at the time. People could be innovative hundreds and thousands of years ago too. So, a different colour, style, etc, is not a sure sign of a forgery or fake. 
Wikipedia – A pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, theatre, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parodypastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.

A Punch Censor?

I remember Batman from the 1970’s. To hide the fights or make them less serious looking, graphics were used to illustrate punches, hits and smashes. While camouflaging the fights the punch censors also made them funny, so I’d guess they worked. Too bad that plan changed. I’d still rather see the censors, they had character. 
How would you use a punch censor? Assuming you would, of course. 

Cybertwee: Feminine Technology

From a post on The Guardian:
Imagine, though, what the tech landscape might look like if soft hues and girly aesthetics were championed, rather than ridiculed? That’s exactly what three young artists – Gabriella Hilleman, 27, Violet Forest 26, and May Waver, 23 – decided to do a few years ago, when, mostly on a lark, they convened the first International Cybertwee Conference and Roundtable.
…Ultimately, Hilleman, Waver and Forest hope that Cybertwee can be not only simply an aesthetic movement, but that it can restore skills and participation in tech to girly girls who might normally be alienated from the space.
Visit the Cybertwee site.
One point in the article mentions pink being used to show things as fake and/ or sexual. I wish there had been more about that issue as it seems to be the bigger problem with having feminity or girlishness in technology/ the digital world. Pink has become fluffy or slutty. When did you last see something pink that wasn’t supposed to be seen as one or the other? Pink has become a stereotype. 
I like the ultimate goal behind cybertwee, getting more people involved in technology. It is such a new area, still evolving. It needs input from a variety of people with different experiences and points of view. 

Cyber Communication History Book

Starting from the email and its stylistic facets, chat, in which we focus also on the art of composing spartan shapes and colors in the standard IRC, the author probes the spontaneous, irreverent and relentless personal communication that found between restrictions techniques and tricks of its own random mode. In the following chapters we analyze the digital greetings (greetings, condolences), then moved to a short and intense history of ASCII Art and its roots in RTTY Art, the art of the teletype, with the additional restriction of ASCII to 5 bits (ie only upper case).
The author of this book, Brenda Danet, is now deceased. There are no chances to find her online and ask her about her book. I would have liked to know if she ever tried ASCII or other text art herself.
In 20 years I think there will be a small flood of books about Internet and communications, the history. About there in time will be the 50 year mark for the Internet becoming a part of popular media. The Internet is older than that, but few people knew much about it until ISP’s started cropping up and making it fairly easy for anyone with a computer to connect online. 
The Internet (beyond the computer itself) has changed communication forever. But, as I see typewriters become obsolete, I wonder what will be next. I would not be surprised if the computer itself eventually went into the obsolete pile. But, I do wonder about screen size. From big screen TVs to the tiniest mobile devices… screen sizes don’t get taken into account very often in communication. I don’t count making websites mobile-friendly because that’s a necessity due to the miniscule size. Do people really prefer a tiny screen? I can’t imagine so – I don’t! 
It doesn’t seem mobile is going anywhere though. How will reading everything from tiny screens change communications, more than it has so far? Will people start wearing magnifying glasses? If so, will that just give manufacturers a reason to make things even smaller? Over generations, if this keeps up, will our eyeballs or eye sight adapt to reading this way? 
Note: The quoted text above comes from a review of Brenda Danet’s book, on Neural.

I Like to Learn but I don’t Like Being Taught

I’m very contrary. I like to learn but I don’t like being taught.

Headlines like: “# Things XYZ Can Teach You About…” make me cringe. Some place in my brain I am thinking, “well, let me teach you a little something…”. Or something like that. I am not very good with authority figures. Not that I am especially rebellious – I just don’t like someone who thinks they know more than I do. At least until they prove they really do.

A lot of people online will write as if they know what they are writing about. Making yourself an authority on the Internet is a marketing scheme – so, of course, they are all rushing to appear authoritative. In reality, they may have only had one site up, one month before they put out their first ebook explaining what a blogging guru they are.

You can’t really be an authority without some history and experience.

Even then, anyone who really considers themselves an authority has an inflated opinion of themselves.

It really is true – that saying about the more you learn, the less you know. There is always more to learn.

No doubt I have trust issues which come into the whole not liking authority thing. But, who hasn’t found a few reasons to mistrust any type of authority by the time they reach some form of adulthood? Those rose coloured glasses come with the protective bubble, make sure you stay in it!

If there is a point to this post it must be about thinking how you communicate with people.

It’s not just how you talk but how others hear and/ or understand what you say.

 

The Danger of Trigger Warnings

I think of trigger warnings as the peanut allergy campaign. Out of all the allergies people have (I’m allergic to animal hair for instance) why was the peanut allergy given such high priority? How did one allergy cause so much change in how food is served or allowed to be served?

With trigger warnings it is the same story. There are endless lists of items/ situations which could cause issues for people. Enough to shut down communication. Where does it begin and end?

For generations, people have been responsible for their own health, making sure to avoid or be careful when something could cause them to have an allergic attack. People need to self moderate. It really is the only way for everyone to manage communication. Emotional triggers in particular, are very personal and individual. Second guessing what will bother any one person in a group, or the public as a whole, is fruitless. Like a bottomless pit. Moderating everything to that extent would make communication impossible and/ or meaningless.

Over sensitivity and hyper awareness is not going to work for communication and education.

We treat an allergy with exposure, allergy shots are a little of the substance given to the immune system to deal with. When it works, the immune system will lose its sensitivity to the substance. We deal with fear in the same way. Pushing our emotions to endure and gradually understand the problem. Trigger warnings will never work because they put the fear, emotions on a pedestal, making them bigger and more important. Focusing on anything will only make it grow stronger, and more prevalent.

Trigger warnings will only silence communication.

Oxford University law students have asked to be protected from distressing material that may crop up in their studies of the criminal law. Lecturers have been told that they must issue “trigger warnings” before lecturing on subjects that may – it is claimed – lead vulnerable students into depressive episodes or even suicide. Students thus forewarned can either steel themselves to what follows, or, as some are now doing, skip the lecture altogether. The directive is primarily aimed at students studying criminal law.

Will lecturers be expected to anticipate every case in which a trigger warning must be issued? Are law lecturers to become amateur psychologists and predict in advance the topics that may conceivably cause trauma to their students?

The whole point of a university is that it is an institution in which students and academics can engage in free and uninhibited discussion. Nowhere is this more important than in the subject of legal education, which involves much more than being told what the law is.

Source: Trigger warnings are an insidious threat to academic freedom – BarristerBlogger