Welcome to Premium Mediocre

Being sucked into labels for distinction purposes is glue for products the world never needed. Thanks to our gullibility, we enjoy wasting our precious time with short term pain relievers, hey, where did all the bubble tea go?

In light of our unoriginal consumer life, Venkatesch Rao, the Founder of ribbonfarm, hit the nail with a new label that everyone understands and immediately relates to: premium mediocre.

Premium mediocre is food that Instagrams better than it tastes.

Premium mediocre is Starbucks’ Italian names for drink sizes, and its original pumpkin spice lattes featuring a staggering absence of pumpkin in the preparation. Actually all the coffee at Starbucks is premium mediocre. I like it anyway.

Premium mediocre is Cost Plus World Market, one of my favorite stores, purveyor of fine imported potato chips in weird flavors and interesting cheap candy from convenience stores around the world.

via ribbonfarm

Flip-flopping Facebook Pitches

The point is, if there’s anyone who knows how to blind the marketing industry with horseshit, it’s Facebook. But now, they may actually be in a position to do the marketing world some good despite the industry’s unwillingness to help itself.

As always, Bob Hoffmann knows how to break it down, this time how Facebook has flipflopped their sales pitches to gullible marketeers. Zuckerberg once proclaimed that brands are now part of the conversation, yet they never paid to be part of it, all they got was super cheap ads disguised as text boxes. Oh wait, brands also pay for personal data that users willingly give away for free.

More importantly, the mostly blue and white site is loosing teens since their parents are on Facebook too. Bob argues this might be a good chance for them to target users over 50, good luck.

via The Ad Contrarian

Speak German in Philly?

I remember knocking on the silver door at Bar Tausend under the bridge a few years back feeling slightly discombobulated. As the door opened, the bouncerette asked me whether I was on the guest list, in English. My gut reaction was to ask whether I have to speak English to order drinks, in German. I continued to speak German as she checked me off the list and walked into Tausend.

I’ve had conversations with expats in Berlin who have lived in the comeback city for 5 years and speak 5 words of German. Most of them have excuses and point out that they’re gonna enroll in a Volkshochschule language course soon. Due to the influx of new Berliners, who revel in it’s rich history of migration and openness to change, you can get by with English, but the times are changing, again.

Luckily enough, I speak both languages in their respective native tongue, yet I’ve never walked into a German bar or restaurant in the States where no one speaks English. I’m always amazed at Quebec and their quest to protect the French language, as it’s the only significant cultural enclave in North America that succesfully resists the English language.

Enter the urban legend of Muhlenberg, so it goes, German almost became the official language in the United States. There was a proposal in Congress to have all federal laws written in German and English, jaa se Tschermans love rules! The final vote in Congress for that proposal was supposedly never recorded, yet Muhlenberg, of German descent and first Speaker in the House of Representatives, was the one guy who tipped the vote.

This isn’t really the time to go traipsing around the globe revelling in our own ignorance. So please, hipster expatriates of Berlin. For the grannies who still live in your neighborhoods. For the Syrian immigrants who are busting their asses to learn the language of the country that took them in. For Dominik Drutschmann and his one day of relaxation. Bitte. Learn just a little bit of fucking German.

via Rebecca Schuman

Hack yourself before your wreck yourself

One of the Facebook’s and Google’s early investors, Roger McNamee, regrets that he helped create monsters who want to sell you ever more ads by creating addictive behavior with a substance they harvested from hacking your brain.

Borrowing techniques from the gambling industry, Facebook, Google and others exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose only goal is to generate profits for their owners.

I’m always amazed that consumers forget how powerful they are, here’s a simple counter hack: don’t give them your personal information, clicks or likes and don’t buy into addictive illusions.

via USA Today

Ruf mich an!

Telefonzellen-Recycling. PLZ eingeben und sofort mit Deinem Abgeordneten telefonieren, so geht positiver, politischer Aktivismus, großes Tennis von The Standard.

We’re launching Ring Your Rep, encouraging guests, staff, and the public to take direct action by contacting their representatives and voicing their positions on important issues. Whether it’s health care, the environment, immigration, LGBTQ rights, education, we’ve seen firsthand that speaking up makes a difference. Not only that, it’s contagious.

#IndieWeb Spotlight

It still hurts to see that the initital idea of the Web as a decentralized democratic space is being hijacked by corporations and governments who offer humans drive thru convenience in return for data and control.

Whether it’s using data mining apps in the only two remaining mobile operating systems or if it’s your narcisstic wooden leg that longs for social media fame in exchange for public, never private, selfie information, you are voluntarily giving up large chunks of your right to self reflection and privacy, a key ingredient for the development of an original character with actionable empathy for other human beings.

The great realization is that it’s a simple shift towards the IndieWeb. It might take some time to create self awareness, especially in your daily digital habits, but the benefits for you and everyone else are much larger once you set sail into digital freedom.

Lazy convenience never convinces me, so if you’re stuck in your mind boggling apps and social media streams, it’s time to move to the IndieWeb and create your own networked digital home. I’ll try to provide some tips and tricks on how to move there and place a spotlight on parts of the Web that live in that space for real.

Your content is yours
When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.

You are better connected
Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.

You are in control
You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you. In addition, you share simple readable links such as example.com/ideas. These links are permanent and will always work.

Look beyond your own thirst

We’re down for life with one destiny
It seems that the devil keeps testing me
Got the illest part of the recipe
– Q-Tip, Pad & Pen, The Love Movement, 1998

Back in the days when I was a teenager, when I lived in NY without a pager
Too many kids got lost in the malls, giving away their spirit to consumer calls

Touched pucks on the ice, took the sound shore scoring crown twice
Tribe inspired me first, to dig deeper and look beyond your own thirst

Seeds for the future

Saramucci gucci pootchi, Trumpy air trumpet, nouveau riche, superficial signifier illusions, a global conservative right headed for self destruction with middle age manners and selfish politics.

Did we ever learn from Enron, uh Nixon? Now it’s men behaving badly at Daimler, VW again, Audi and BMW, cartel style. We can do better than flipflop Merkel, better than tax evader Starbucks, better than products the world never needed. Bernie planted a seed a long time ago, it’s still growing and needs more water.

We got a thousand points of light, for the homeless man. We got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. We got department stores and toilet paper, got styrofoam boxes for the ozone layer. Got a man of the people, says keep hope alive, got fuel to burn, got roads to drive. Keep on rockin‘ in the free world.

Mighty Kiwi style

Mechanical Designer Tim Meldrum explains Aotearoa leg power tech

I’m always inspired by Kiwi style innovation, humble yet mighty effective and ingenious with their resources, a country that hosts nearly all type of climates and typographies on both islands of Aotearoa.

As one of greatest sailing nations on planet earth, Team New Zealand, headed by the highly talented helmsman Peter Burling, schooled Team USA to take the America’s Cup in the final scoring line 7-1, time to bring the Cup home Peter:

“To be able to win eight races in Beautiful Bermuda in front of a big crowd of our own fans is overwhelming, we’re just happy to be able to share this moment with them, we’re just blown away. I’ve grown up watching this competition as a fan and to be a Kiwi and taking this Cup home is a dream come true.“

It’s beautiful to see how the Kiwi’s took on mouthy Aussie helmsman, Jimmy Spithill, who steered Team USA’s ship with more talk than walk, readily seen on his instagram account.


Ein Beitrag geteilt von Jimmy Spithill (@jspithill) am

Never underestimate the land of the long white cloud and their independent fighting spirit. Sooner or later, I hope we’ll see their silver fern flag waiving on Team New Zealand’s boat, as well as the British Queen’s final departure as „head of state“ on Aotearoa that could help replace the Treaty of Waitangi with a new humble, resourceful and innovative one – mighty Kiwi style.