People, media and technology are passions of mine. I was trained in Behavioral Psychology, consume all types of media (TV less so these days) and have always been an early adopter of technology, I came to computers a lot later on in life than probably most of you. You see I’m from another world, the world of old media. It was an era of books, not Kindles, LP records, not iTunes, and I was forced to live more than half my life without the Internet! Did that last part sound bitter?
Some may think that I’m disadvantaged related to younger earthlings, but actually I think that having grown up in an analog world has helped me better understand the digital world. The technology has most certainly changed but the one constant that spans the analog and digital worlds is human behavior.
I started this blog in 2007 because I was curious about Social Media for personal as well as professional reasons. One of the toughest things for me to decide was what to blog about, especially since I had a wide array of interests. I couldn’t choose between people, media or technology, so I decided to write about all three.
Society, media and technology are converging, colliding actually, at breakneck pace online. They have always been closely related but convergence has linked them even more tightly. Writing on Expedient MEANS helps me track the ongoing confluence from my professional point of view as well as through my personal lens. What you read here are my own ideas and opinions, not those of my employer.
I am enjoying the journey, but it has become a gateway drug to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc. Consuming and participating in Social media is now part of my daily ritual.
This blog has a professional slant that I hope will help people who work in the digital world, I also like to devote space to non-business topics; films, books and art and personal experiences.
I have always created for others. Whether merchandising retail stores, publishing books, producing films or leading the design and online customer experience of a major financial services website. Understanding consumers has always been a fascination, satisfying them my number one goal.
Expedient MEANS and Postmodernism
I have become a postmodernist without even knowing it. And since this blog distributes my thoughts and ideas, it is by definition a postmodern Weblog. Postmodernists look at modernism and say, “There is something missing. This could be done more effectively.” A postmodernist recycles, borrows, decompiles and rebuilds classic modern executions into a postmodern construct that can be more easily understood and consumed. We are obsessed with organizing knowledge and putting it to use in the most functional way possible. Postmodernists posit that knowledge should be used for doing, not just knowing.
The birth of postmodernism loosely coincides with the rise of technology and computers. Indeed, postmodernists create, arrange, distribute and store knowledge much differently than their modern counterparts. If it can be digitized then it will survive. If it can’t then it is at risk for being lost forever. There is also a desire to connect with people and make introductions that might lead to something good for all parties involved. It’s called Social Media for a reason.
A good friend and accomplished art journalist, Liz Goldner, broke the news to me that I was a postmodernist. You can read her description of postmodern art as well as other interesting things on her site, Contemporary-art-dialogue.
Why Expedient Means?
This weblog is called Expedient Means because I find the concept fascinating as well as being in direct alignment with how I aspire to approach life. It is a useful framework for explaining complex designs and interactions, as well as helping one understand (term used loosely) human behavior. The term Expedient Means was first used in 12th century Japan, worlds away from the dawn of modernism, and even further from the postmodern technology movement.
Defining Expedient Means
Expedient Means (Skillful means, Skill-in-means, Upaya). Refers to strategies, methods, devices, targeted to the capacities, circumstances, likes and dislikes of each sentient being, so as to rescue him and lead him to Enlightenment. The Expedient Means and Life Span chapters are the most important of the twenty-eight chapters that make up the Lotus Sutra. A more “expedient” definition was offered by a prolific Japanese philosopher, Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282).
The abandonment of the comprehensive and abbreviated, and selection of the essential.
Being in this space on a regular basis requires one to write with respect and thoughtfulness. I will do my best to follow this approach and be authentic. I will strive to hold myself to the following tenets:
- Be honest
- Be transparent
- Be a teacher
- Be a learner
- Be entertaining
- Be always improving
I review every comment. All comments will be approved and posted with the following exceptions; inappropriate or irrelevant content, spam, profanity, or hate language. Your diverse viewpoints and perspectives are warmly welcome.
Views expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not represent those of my employer.