Sexism

The Attention Economy and Marketing Warfare

The Attention Economy and Marketing Warfare

Patent and Trademark Law has been engrossed in the rise of e-commerce over the last several years and through a few recent cases (particularly  Allen v. IM Solutions, Inc.), has finally determined what we netizens have always known:  Websites and pop-up advertisements are a numbers game.

Unfortunately, this "numbers game" approach to advertising isn't isolated to just pop-up advertisements, but also spam e-mail, junk mail, and even the advertisements you see plastered throughout our nation's busiest airports.  In order to sell their products, marketers must determine a cheap way to reach tens of thousands of potential customers to find that 1% who fall for their hook.

Matthew Crawford recently wrote a op-ed on New York Times about the effect that the rise in advertising has on society during what is referred to as the Attention Economy. This faux economy is the attempt to explain the finite ability of modern humanity to focus our attention on specific items.  We can only focus on so many things, and in today's world we are increasingly being confronted with uncomfortable choices on what is and is not important enough to warrant our attention.

Arguing on the Internet

Every now and then, a peer of mine will ask me why I spend so much time "Arguing on the Internet" and they usually follow it up with a quip about how it's futile and how arguing on the Internet has never changed anyone's mind. I've always found this question to be a little misguided, but never quite knew how to articulate my misgivings.

You see, I'm a humanist - meaning that I believe in the inherent worth of every human, regardless of their race, gender, orientation, or religion - and I've been a fairly passionate advocate for it since I was old enough to string two sentences together. Plus, as anyone in my family will be quick to tell you, I like arguing - on the Internet or otherwise.

Gates, Goblins, and Girls

Gates, Goblins, and Girls
There has been a lot of talk recently about the amount of outrage by young white males in the gaming community as game developers have started to diversify their target audience. This outrage has ranged from boycotting Bioware for offering a subtle LGBT romance option to chasing women out of their homes with death threats. Obviously, it goes without saying that this sort of behavior is inexcusable.
 
So I won't spend a lot of time talking about how this behavior is wrong; you're adults, you should know better. If you don't, then you're not really someone I want to talk with anyways, so let's leave it at that.  What I do want to talk about is gaming culture in general.

The God Filter

The God Filter

Her name was Jae; and she was a sophomore at North Pulaski High School in Jacksonville Arkansas when she passed away at the end of Spring Break in 2004.  I remember Jae as having been this very energetic, compassionate, and charismatic individual with whom I shared many classes, a few smiles and passing conversations, and the mentorship of one influential role model.  Coach Travis Lyda, our advanced placement World History teacher, had just asked us a question the Friday before:

What would you do if you only had one week left to live?

You see, we had reached the era in history known as the Dark Ages, and we were discussing the manner in which various sects of monks dealt with the disease that was ravishing Europe known as The Black Death.  Lyda was contrasting the methods of those who practiced flagellation against those who chose to live life to the fullest; which prompted the question:

What would you do if you only had one week left to live?