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Voice mail, suckers, and those people formerly known as the audience

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The NPR “three minute fiction” quoted below is certainly a sign of the times… brought home recently as I and thousands of people watched the reality(?) show Gold Rush Live on “television” (what’s that?) as will as on ustream.

The difference between traditional television and ustream is the participatory nature.  That is, Ustream turns what used to be a “broadcast” (one way; one-to-many) into the opportunity for engagement (multi-directional, many-to-many) through usteams real-time “Social Stream”.  In parallel with the social steam on Ustream was another engagement opportunity through Twitter and the #GoldRush and #GoldRushLive hash tags.  There may have even been a Google Hangout at the time of the show.

I wonder if this re/definition of “television”  is just another step along the path of the dissolution of those people “formerly known as the audience” (see link below)

So what?  The Generation Gap

“Being social” (perhaps in an ever evolving way) is one of the things that clearly distinguishes the generations.  Whereas the social graph of previous generations reached no farther than the distance you could comfortably walk or dive now those boundaries are eliminated.

“Quiet, I’m making a long distance phone call” was something you could hear in an old movie.  But now that boundary is shattered.  “Where you are” does not matter.  Everyone can talk to everyone – no matter where they are.

With the generations, the social graph has changed dramatically.  Who you can (potentially) interact with is now unlimited.  It’s curious to listen to the generations.  To this generation they can’t understand why their parents and grandparents are not on Facebook, twitter, and other social media.  While, at the same time, parents and grandparents don’t understand why kids are texting, uploading videos to YouTube, twittering, Instagramming, blogging, and so on.

Will there ever NOT be a generation gap?

What one understands as the typical size of your social graph and the expected velocity of engagement in a diversity of forms is changing at blazing speed compared to the plodding velocities of the past.

What is to become of traditional voice mail?  Is that the last place you check before thinking the worst has happened?

From three-minute fiction on NPR –

Dude, yeah. It’s me. Look, what is the deal? Where are you? You haven’t responded to a single email. Everyone is worried, man. We checked your Facebook and you haven’t updated your status in a week. A freaking week. You haven’t even liked anything. And you like everything. Like. Like. Like. You’re kind of obnoxious with the liking, dude. No offense. But nothing. Not even a single I­can­haz­cheeseburger cat. So then we check your Instagram and again, nothing. No hyper contrast photos of the home brew from last weekend, no warm fuzzy photos of the goat cheese tart you and Beth made, no moody black and whites of the graffiti under the overpass. You haven’t filtered any phone pics for days.

So then we check your Twitter. Not a tweet, not a retweet, no direct messages from you and, dude, not even any mentions. What the hell, man? You can’t stay relevant with a week of tweetless silence. You may as well be dead. So then we check your Tumblr. You haven’t updated that either. It’s been EIGHT days, dude. Time to shut it down. And your last post? What the? What is that about?

Proper punctuation and capitalized letters? Pffft. Whatever. You haven’t responded to any IMs, the invites to Google Hangout, or answered your Skype. So then we check your Flickr. And your SmugMug and your Blogger and your WordPress and your FourSquare. You aren’t checked in, you are checked out. So yesterday, I send you a text. It says it was delivered. But you didn’t
text me back, man. So here we are. Reduced to this. Do you know how low this is, this moment? I’m leaving you a voicemail, dude. What is this, 2004? No, it is not. It’s 2013 and this shiz is horrifying, son. Unacceptable. Do you know how many voicemails I leave in a week?

None. Zero. You want to know how many voice mails I get in a week? One. From my mom, dude. From my mom. Voice mail is for suckers, man. And moms. Look, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but it’s scary. If we don’t hear from you soon, I don’t know what we’ll do. We’ll have to, like, come over to your house or something. Knock on your door. That’s weird, man.

Weird. Just the thought of it. Face to face contact. Who does that? Don’t make us do that, man. Log on. Text me. Facebook me. Just don’t call my voice mail, dude. I don’t check that stuff.

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The People Formerly Known as the Audience

The game of Monopoly: a lesson in socialism or a lesson in capitalism?

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There are those who argue that it may be a dangerous thing to teach children how they may thus get the advantage of their fellows, but let me tell you there are no fairer-minded beings in the world than our own little American children. Watch them in their play and see how quick they are, should any one of their number attempt to cheat or take undue advantage of another, to cry, ‘No fair!’ And who has not heard almost every little girl say, ‘I won’t play if you don’t play fair.’  Let the children once see clearly the gross injustice of our present land system and when they grow up, if they are allowed to develop naturally, the evil will soon be remedied.”

Lizzie Magie’s 1902 commentary on The Landlords’ Game, on which Monopoly is based

While doing some Christmas shopping I walked past an end-cap in the toy aisle.  There I saw a new version of Monopoly.  Monopoly Millionaire Edition.

“First to win a million wins!”

The first to win a million dollars wins?  What happend to the old Monopoly game where the point was to “crush the competition into the dust”?

From one of the Monopoly strategy websites linked below here is a strategy to win

If you want to win, follow this set of instructions, which is a sum of everything stated above:

  • Buy every property you can, especially properties from different color sets.
  • Try to acquire the most important sets, otherwise, any set will work.
  • Once you have a set, DO NOT get rid of any of your other properties. If you hold on to the other colors, no other player can get a set
  • If no other player can get a set, they can’t charge you super high rent. However, since you have a set (hopefully), you can!
  • Charging high rents will knock the other players out of the game, leaving you the winner!

Let me translate:

  1. Get all the land you can.  They are not making any more land.  It’s a zero-sum game.  The more you have the less is available for others
  2. Get the most expensive properties as a priority.  But any land is better than no land.
  3. Hold on to whole blocks of properties (color sets)
  4. Charge super-high rents when other players land on your property
  5. The more high-rent properties you control the faster you can crush the other players into the dust and bankrupt them.  You win; they lose.  That’s how the game of Monopoly is played and that’s the way it works in real life.  From board game to real life – lesson learned.

Kids and adults have played the traditional Monopoly game for decades.  Has anyone thought about the underlying values of this game?

Obviously, we are training our kids to be great capitalists through the defeat of other people.

Certainly, Monopoly is not a game of cooperation.

I’m just wondering, this new  Monopoly Millionaire edition, is it non-competitive? 
Is is realistic, or even possible, that we can all “win” without defeating other people?
I don’t think so.

Harpers and NPR did a great set of articles on the history of Monopoly

Listen to the NPR podcast –

Read the article from Harpers –

Lots more links to the history of the game Monopoly and Strategy to win

Lizzie Magie’s 1902 commentary on The Landlords’ Game, on which Monopoly is based

Why Socialism by Albert Einstein

Progress and Poverty
An inquiry into the cause of industrial depressions and of increase of want with increase of wealth… The Remedy

The Landlord’s Game – 1906

The Shocking History of Monopoly


Strategy to win Monopoly

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Why the rich can get richer by sheer dumb luck

Written by frrl

December 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm

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