A ZInK Point Of View

My point of view, a ZInK one…

The theory of online CRAP

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Who creates value? Is it true that value is perceived so relatively, that what is trash to somebody is a treasure to someone else?

My very gut feeling is to ignore this perspective and to only see value in things that were built in good spirit and which achieve the purpose of helping people. By good spirit I mean that the creator dedicated intense hours of focusing in order to bring the best of it into the world, and based the creation of the thing not on financial revenue, but on actually doing something new or better than the other forms that exist.

I am very saddened by the amount of CRAP people have built, in which you can’t see any remain of soul or dedication from the creator. It doesn’t even pass a day without me stumbling upon some scamming site or very ugly product that is being force-fed to me by the spoon of an even uglier sales page. I know, shit like that fools people and sells like hot bread. It really saddens me more to see people that are tricked into buying/using that ugly product.

But WHY is this happening? Why are people easily fooled by bad products? We can approach this question from different angles:

* Is it the lack of education or experience of those people that make them easy to be fooled?

I remember that I fell for these tricks and almost gave my personal details to a very mystical organization which claimed I have won a big amount of money. I know, classic… But how many of you fell for the same thing at a point in your life? And if you analyse retrospectively, you can clearly see that everything pointed out the ‘deal’ was actually a scam.

The point is, we learn from our mistakes, and this is clearly a matter of experience that we gain by using this media. My question is, why can’t we learn from other people’s mistakes? It’s history repeating, if you know what I mean, therefore it should be related to education. The ‘online’ education is a very general subject, therefore we should find out how to approach it. We can’t have a canonical approach, as the environment and the standards change all the time. What was considered good 5 years ago it’s now obsolete and many other better alternatives have emerged. In order to have the deduction ability to spot a bad product at any time you have to be a geek and know everything about the online trends and the latest technological advances.

Of course, people become more and more skeptical over buying stuff on the Internet and providing their details, but it’s not all about buying or giving sensitive information. It’s about all the crap websites & applications that wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t somebody out there to use them.

* Getting back to the reasons why people do this, I want to point out a different angle, which is – Is it the fault of the very free, loose-shaped Internet that allows these bad products to capture innocent users into their nocive ‘bubble’?

It is a jungle out there, indeed, and the vast amounts and diversity of websites means that the user has to make his way through the thick layers of the jungle and arrive at the single most relevant product. But the question is, can he really find it? It’s similar to the ‘biggest number’ theory, which says that if you consider a number to be the biggest, then you’ll have a bigger number by adding one to it. You can never be sure the product you’re looking at is the best or if there are better ones, even when it’s crap quality. The time you will need to invest to research that is sometimes too precious, so you end up using the crap instead.

And once you start using it, you’ll be even less tempted to change, because that involves admitting to yourself that you’ve spent your time on crap. Only when you are really, really frustrated with the product you will seek to change.

So actually a bad product is a pretty good investment for some greedy & lazy people, which can continue to be bad and still catch unknowing victims into its web, at least for short-term.

* Is it because of the problem that people need to make a living and sell as much as they can so they can contribute to both personal and general economy?

To me, money have no value. The only value they project is in the things you can buy with them. So if the majority of those things have a very low quality (to be read ‘are CRAP’) then the value of money is low as well. Promoting ’empty product selling’ or ‘great deals that actually are CRAP’ is going to lower the hell out of the economy and instead of progressing, we receed into another crisis. And just look at the chaos the last one just created. Wasting even more time…

* * *

After realizing all these things, I’d be pretty surprized if you are not convinced that we need to change this before the online crap gets out of control. And when I mean CRAP, I mean all the junk mail, scam sites, spam, irrelevant banners & products with no intention of helping their users.

This is the time when the Internet gets to show it’s original purpose: the intelligent interlinked information machine that freely allows people to create value for others and therefore propell the world into the next technological revolution.

It’s not just a remark I’m making. I’m starting a bold uprising, that should urge every Internet user to rethink their habits and help the Internet grow out of its diper, gettting rid of the CRAP that’s hanging from there, so we can be more focused in our daily lives, helped by brilliant products and create even more value for humanity.

 

to be continued by actually proposing ideas to combat CRAP…

Be supportive and spread the word by adding a #antiCRAP hashtag to your posts. Let’s really make a difference!

Written by Cristian

September 27, 2012 at 10:07 pm

The story of being creative off-line

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By the time you think you have an idea, you get tormented by the fact that somebody else got it before you. And then you think about all the people getting good ideas right now. And you start typing in random search queries in Google until the tips of your fingers turn red and hurt. And you suddenly notice that this is the fourth time you checked your e-mail in the meantime.

Sometimes, you can learn really cool stuff from the web and get inspired. But when it’s all about getting creative and making something that should inspire others, you need to sit by yourself with your own thoughts. No distractions, no e-mails, no Internet. Grab a piece of paper, a pen and start drawing/writing. Let your inner thoughts guide your pen and focus on nothing else than the blank canvas.

You soon realize that you have more ideas that you can handle. That’s good. It means you’re re-connecting with your mind. Alone. Let it speak to you. Let it express its ultimate personality. Because that’s you.

The reason this is working so well is that we aren’t meant to keep a window open to the whole world 18hours a day, 7 days a week. Our brain can only handle that much at a time. You may say, well, it can handle a lot! Yes, that is true, but the process of being creative also involves some time-off. Time to recollect your thoughts, enjoy a silent atmosphere while drinking from the “glass of your own knowledge”. Then, you will see remarkable things, you will be able to think clearly again and you can take control of your inner thoughts. And you become creative, feeling every vibe and ripple that your brain makes when moving the pen. Suddenly that blank canvas turns into uncounted possibilities and you become conscious of your creative powers.

Being creative is much easier when you’re at peace with yourself, forget about the world around you and put to use whatever your mind recorded during the “on-line” time. It’s actually enhanced reality what you’re experimenting, as your brain takes all the information it’s scanned during the day and it turns it into meaningful stories, weaving it into endless creative scenarios. This is you, the ultimate expression of who you are and what you are able to do. Now, sit back, take a sip out of the wine and enjoy…

Written by Cristian

March 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Take a step back…

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Please take a step back and think a moment, while the world spins yet one more time… Realize that everything that’s happening, is happening because we want it, and because it is connected. We’re steps away from being globally united, where one will feel the pain when another will suffer.

Don’t turn your back from the reality! We’re here, on this planet, to learn how to coexist, how to admire every being, how to become connected to everything. Just being selfish doesn’t help humanity, it destroys it!

This is my call to all of you who care, even just a bit, let’s join together our forces and think about the future, and everything we’ll leave behind. I am ready to change the way I am, the way I live, the way I think, for what it is to be “the transition” between a world plagued by its horrific past and the future that we’re going to be built from scratch. Are you ready?

What the Earth can offer is a fortune. What we know is enough to start. What we should believe in is our strength. What we could have is everything: a united home, the peace of mind and soul and the feeling that we can all connect.

Think about it! Does it not worth it?

Written by Cristian

December 6, 2010 at 11:11 pm

American shows shouldn’t ignore their international audience

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I was just checking the Facebook page for one of my favorite TV shows. It actually has nice content posted for their fans. Lots of video links. I got excited and I clicked on one of them. What happened? Nothing. The video can’t be played in my region…

Same is for ALL american based shows. You can’t do crap on their website, not even watch some petty 10-sec videos. I mean, people can download their shows anyway for free, why do they even bother to create all that expensive ip-address filter that only allows people from US to access them?

It isn’t in their best interest? Well, what’s not to be in their interest? I mean they probably have more fans outside US than in US… Could they benefit from that? Of course, and very much! For example, I would pay for access to my favorite tv-shows as much as 5 $ per month. Multiply that by just half the number of fans out there and … voila, it’s profit! Instead of illegal downloads, which they do not control… more likely the piracy controls them!

Would like to see the day when US starts thinking of going international with all their TV shows and movie access sites, so we no more have to settle with crappy Chinese YouTube clones when we want to watch our favorite shows!

We need to design our future

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How would it be to live in an environment that we like, we want to preserve and we helped design to suit our needs? From my point of view, it would an amazing experience. Not only that it would increase our quality of life (assuring that one has what one needs), but also achieving sustainability in order to support our planet, not just take from it.

Creating this kind of conditions is not easy, and everybody has to contribute, but the hardest thing would be that we have to just let go some of the things we are so used to in this modern world. Before you say that this is another Utopian view, I am going to ask you to bear with me through this article, which hopefully it will be as clear as intended, and then analyse my opinions objectively.

The need identification

We’re just fine right now, in the modern society, where every individual works hard for his achievements. But, are we fine? We’re witnessing every day that the system isn’t working as we hoped it would. Ideas, so great and innovative at their core, are being impeded by financial deficits or poor marketing plans. People, who want to make a difference and improve our life are pushed away because it’s more important to keep the tradition. Science and technology’s progress is sometimes going so slow because there are no immediate economical interests.

Our needs, as humans, are generally identifiable. We all need comfort in our lives. Comfort that comes from a safe home, nourishment and access to resources that provide us welfare. We also need variation and entertainment, discovering the world around us and engaging in exploring activities. Every existing product and service has to be designed so that it satisfies one or more human needs. Ideally, the more efficient it is (without any false promise that it is) the better is for both us, and the environment (no resources are pointlessly wasted). As we try to understand the modern human being, it is imperative that we identify which needs are a priority and which needs are side-effects of a badly designed society (such as the need to see other people suffering,  the need to have more money than everyone else, etc. ).

If we then focus our efforts into designing methods and objects to satisfy these needs, we would make a huge step in designing our future society. We have to see it as a possibility first and convince ourselves that we can do better than what we have now.

The Goal – A designed future

The goal we should aim for achieving in the future is to use our knowledge, our morality and humanity to create a peaceful, fruitful and sustainable society. If we concentrate our efforts into designing the framework for the future, by taking into consideration human nature and nurturing possibilities, we will live better, have fewer problems and cherish true values.

The means to achieve our goal

There are three conditions for achieving the goal: motivation, technology and organization.

Motivation

Question for readers

How convinced are you that the resources on this planet are enough to accomplish this vision of the future? Think first about the most resource-efficient products that exist now, double that efficiency and then answer this question (to compensate for the technological advancement).

First of all, we need the motivation by opening our eyes to the future and what we really want to achieve, as humans. Research must be conducted in order to find out if the idea is feasible (the resources are enough for everybody). After that, it is just the matter of showing the truth in the face of people and they will realize what they could miss if they look away. There first must be a revolution in the educational system, so that children are not taught in limitation to what we know now, but what we could discover and make.

(see a TED Talks video on the revolution of education )

Technology

Technology is something we can’t avoid. We have invented it because it defines us, it raises the limits of our potential and it helps us understand the world. By the means of technological evolution, things that never seemed possible are put into light for the first time and we then use them extensively to improve something in our life. We don’t just want to use them, but sometimes we want to understand how they work and how to build better ones. This kind of thinking is important to preserve and appreciate, because it fuels the technological progress.

By using technological benefits, we can relieve ourselves from the stress that we have to do so many tasks each day. Of course, now when technology and computers are pretty recent, we’ve gorged all the aspects of this: both good and bad. Through education, we need to find a balance in our daily life, so that technology doesn’t overwhelm us, but rather help us.

Creating a fast, reliable and environmental friendly transport system is something I can’t stress enough how important it is. We always have the need to get from A to B, but it should be less misused for things we don’t really feel like doing (such as long-distance conferences, which can be taken online from home, or grocery shopping, which can be automatically ordered to arrive home by the integrated product transport system, etc)

Question for readers

Do you have any other examples of how technology can improve our life in the future?

Our homes need to adapt to our needs and figure out our behavior so they provide us resources and comfort. They will “know” when we’re out of ingredients for our favorite dishes and provide interactivity with our tasks and activities. Building intelligent homes from start not only improves our daily flow, but also compensates for things we throw away and replace every day (by providing high-quality, self-aware and self-repairing devices).

(see a video on future technologies and ideas )

Since the appearance and evolution of Internet, we have faster and easier access to a massive amount of knowledge. The Internet is dependent of technology. Once technology evolves, so does the Internet. The next stage of Internet development is going to be The Semantic Web, which is represented by data and interconnectivity between data that can be understood by machines (by code). By having a common format and structure that all data shares, it would be easy to make meaningful connections between information that is in the present scattered on the Internet and only accessible through a text-based search engine, that approximates phrases and the relevancy of content. Once the Semantic Web will kick in, people could put normal questions to search engines and get relevant answers and links to connected data.

Like Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of both the Web as we know it and The Semantic Web, said in an article for Scientific American’s May 2001 number, “Properly designed, the Semantic Web can assist the evolution of human knowledge as a whole.”

By the means of technology, we can abolish human labor in factories and production plants and replace it by effective, self-maintained robots. Therefore, we will have more time thinking about the concepts and ideas behind the design of the society. We could become a population of intellectuals, balancing our needs and maintaining both mind and body healthy. We would set our own limits or push them however we want. The society will benefit from our dedicated time into solving its problems and discovering new ideas. Science and technology will advance even further on, with the help of more brighter minds. I don’t think an individual can remain passive and don’t involve somehow in the process of the ongoing design.

Organization

When we all agree that the future can be designed, we need to pull out a plan of action and start playing with it until everybody is on the same level of thinking. This may take time, and may never be fully accepted by some, but nevertheless, progress should be made and it needs to start out somewhere. Once the first step is made (a city where these principles apply), the benefits become obvious even for the single-minded individuals and the project can go on to ultimately cover the whole planet.

This plan needs the contribution of everybody that is well-intentioned. We need ideas (on how to solve need specific problems) and generally people who can imagine how the future will look for us if we try to follow the principle of prosperity for every individual. This should be completely open and every voice that has a point should be heard.

Obstacles that need to be overcome by innovation

The largest obstacle will be in making everybody agree on a model of a society that is both functional, open and provides the individual means of fulfilling his needs. People have already preconceptions of a democratic society, but in nowadays it all relates to politicians and their limited openness to find solutions. Moreover, relating everything to money has gone too far, especially now when there are so many services and digital products that have demonstrated the limited potential of money. The monetary system is just not flexible enough to keep up with technological innovation and the fast-pace of the society now. It just creates a false world where everything revolves around money, even if it doesn’t have a concrete connection with the real world. This feeds up our stress, worries and keeps us from focusing on what we really want.

Question for readers

Do you think other reward rather than the satisfaction of doing it is going to be needed in the designed future?

We therefore need another way to reward people for their contribution to the society, or maybe a reward may not be at all necessary, especially when the educated people’s only reward is satisfaction to have created or contributed to something important.

There is also an issue, when identifying people’s needs, to predict how those needs will evolve after we introduce the new model of society. Will the extremes of needs still be around (for example, the pleasure of seeing others suffer, the craving for items we need to own, despite the fact they bring no use, the need to hold absolute deciding power over a group of people, or individual, etc) ? If so, how to make sure that people don’t abuse them (and just use them for entertainment, in conjunction with people who have complementary needs) ? Will there be an understanding of such individuals? I personally think that through proper open education, people will realize these are just foolish caprices that by no means bring accomplishment into one’s life.

In today’s world, there is so much diversity regarding morality issues because people are raised in different environments and belief systems. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but that we need to find out common goals and put emphasis on the fundamental values of a human being.

The new system will bring more uniformity, but I believe it’s impossible to try and remove variety and to level all belief systems. We have to be different, and one of our basic human needs is to vary our environment and our behavior. Therefore, we want to encourage diversity, but not at the price of emerging conflicts. So this will become one of the most important discussion subjects when planning the new design.

Task for readers

Find out if there are any jobs that people will hate doing, in a designed future society based on technology. How would you fix this problem?

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think there will be people who would miss working in lousy jobs that they hate, which in a technological developed world, they either won’t be needed or will be replaced by robots. They will love to work in creative projects and intellectual demanding tasks aimed to solve the problems of this world and improve on its design.

As far-fetched as it may seem now, I think that the progress toward such designed society is advancing slowly, but if we realize that we want it sooner, then we will focus to bring it sooner into our lives. And it might not be too late to save the environment, either.

I hope there are more people who share my ideas, and if you are, don’t be shy and drop a line in the comments box. Maybe we can soon collaborate to design this future I am talking about. Also, try to answer the questions along the article in a comment or two.

Inspiration: This article is written after reading and watching videos about The Venus Project, a project that focuses on the idea of a Resource-Based Economy in which we rely heavily on technology to fulfill our needs. Not far away from what I’m saying here, but I want to stress out a difference: I want this to be an open project, something in which everybody can contribute and design the future. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t think anyone has them all, but I believe we can all work towards finding them.

Written by Cristian

June 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Avatar, just another blockbuster film?

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Or maybe a bit better on the visual experience part…

As I’ve just seen it, I will share my thoughts with you about this billion-dollar movie.

Captivating, entertaining, cheap emotion that strikes the heart of every viewer, but when thinking at a more complex level, it’s just a bullshit hollywoodian movie based on the same structure as thousands others. Of course, the graphic guys did an amazing job, of course so the coordinators and directors did, but although this movie is breathtaking for the masses, one cannot find a good, original story in it.

Humans getting on an alien planet and trying to conquer it in order to gain money and power… been there, seen that. A hero that passes a ritual to become “a better being”, learning (and sometimes failing humorously), another cliché. A story of romance that evolves since the intrigue of the plot and culminates by endangering the lovers and miraculously ending in their triumph, are we ever going to create something more original than that? Maybe love is overrated, like Bianka said, and there may be nothing to save it.

But the thing that deeply disappointed me was that this movie’s story wasn’t different from any stupid war story. In essence, it was about responding to violence with violence, and that’s what makes an impression of inferior intelligence for me. Of course, seeing fast-paced scenes, close-up action and experiencing deep emotion as souls perish adds to the excitement, but my brain wants to think separately from my emotions, so where’s the entertainment for it? Where is my intelligence stimulated in this movie? Probably trying to figure out if this worlds are possible, but sadly ends up in a disappointment, as the world portrays an unlikely real element.

What about our own Avatar?

This idea isn’t new, we all have created our “avatars” on the Internet, and at some moment, it had potential to become greater than Facebook. Living in another person’s shoes is dangerously exciting, but be careful what you wish for: as we become more emerged into the other “me”, we tend to forget who we are and we one day find that our own body and image become so degraded that we refuse to recognize it as the original “me”. We have a gift, this body, and we have to do everything possible so it doesn’t get rusty and left behind.

Stay fit, treat yourself with the real world and don’t live in a virtual reality (even if it may seem real as the “real thing”). You will regret it!

Written by Cristian

February 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm

In a dream world, far, far away…

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In this world, many sensible things are slowed down by money. Others, are accelerated. We, as people, are confused.

Growing up in an environment where money is not a problem can make a child focus on the meaningful things in life. It can make one believe that there is no need to use money to get anything, and no need to use everything to get money. Focusing directly on the problems and solutions means a more rapid development, but no, people have to think first about money, right?

A problem that many people face is stress. Job stress, bills related stress, financial future related stress, and so on. Have you ever wondered what kind of stress we would have if money just vanish from our lives? If we had to choose food, not buy it, have a home, not rent it, pick our future, not accept it. What would our worries be then?

We don’t have to face war anymore, and our life is peaceful enough, we’re on top of the food chain and no predator could endanger us. Would we be stressed by the fact that the Earth doesn’t want us anymore? Is that what we would dedicate our lives to? Finding a solution to global warming?

I feel very positive about the removal of money from our society. My strong belief is that people would grow up, realize there’s no reason to fight for, and join forces to build a better world. There’s nothing stupid about getting rid of tons and tons of unwanted products, and only benefit from those that can really make our lives better. There is also no absurdity when people choose to have less, when they could have more. There is a lot of reason in that.

I’m not an enemy of the economy, I just think it needs to be reflected upon so this obsolete money and the greed for money would go away. An economy where the resources matter, and the souls that need to be fed matter, would that be too much to ask for?

Am I wondering alone about this thing or are there more that would stand up for this… well… dream world?

Written by Cristian

January 10, 2010 at 11:09 pm