Christian Ross


Posted mostly because this is probably a better place dump my thoughts than Twitter. Without context:

I do not see how the concept of “Inclusion via Exclusion” is supportive of an ideology that believes all should get an equal voice. If you seek tolerance for all, be tolerant of all.

I have thoughts on Lance too…

Everybody seems to have an opinion on Lance Armstrong this week so I figured I’d throw mine around as well. Here are the following random thoughts I’ve had in the last week or so surrounding the news of his confession. Nothing ground-breaking and in no particular order:

We’re currently a society obsessed with a man who rode a bike for a living. Let that sink in for a second. Now take a step back and remember where it should rank in the grand scheme of things.

We should know this by now but we are a society who loves to build up, tear down, and then build up again [see: Woods, Tiger]. Currently Lance is in tear down mode and after the interview is posted on Thursday, we will begin the process of allowing him to climb to darling-status once again.

Lance was a dummy for taking performance enhancing drugs. Lance was not alone in this endeavor; we turned a blind eye to this fact throughout the entire heyday of this sport. The lives of those who took them will probably be shortened because of it, and if they’re not, there’s a good chance they end up in a situation where they wish it would have been.

You are a dummy if you allowed yourself or your kids to idolize a guy because he could ride a bike really fast for really long distances. Enjoying sports and rooting for athletes is all good & fun but make sure you teach them to value better things.

If Lance has lost any money in this whole banana parade*, it won’t be long until he makes it back. He will write a tell all book and sadly many of you will buy it.

So there you have it, a brain dump of five things that have gone through my head most likely while I was showering. That’s potentially creepy and unnecessary knowledge but at least you know I’m back to showering.

*I just coined and trademarked the term banana parade. I have no idea what it means but it makes me giggle when I think about what it would actually look like. Feel free to use as needed.

Want mediocre work? Ask for it.

Excerpted from Seth, circa 2006.

If you want average (mediocre) work, ask for it. Be really clear up front that you want something beyond reproach, that’s in the middle of the road, that will cause no controversy and will echo your competition. It’ll save everyone a lot of time.

On the other hand, if you want great work, you’ll need to embrace some simple facts:

It’s going to offend someone. If it doesn’t offend them, then it will make them nervous. The Vietnam Vets memorial offended a lot of people. The design of Google made plenty of people nervous. Great work from a design team means new work, refreshing and remarkable and bit scary.

You can’t tell me you’ll know it when you see it. First, you won’t. Second, it wastes too much time. Instead, you’ll need to have the patience to invest twenty minutes in accurately describing the strategy.

It’s not my intention to soapbox anything on the subject matter of design-based client work. I appreciate all of my clients even when we disagree or they leave me feeling discouraged about a project or some small portion of it.

The above though did catch my attention enough to stop and ponder – in general, do we really want what we often ask for? How often do I ask for ‘top of the line’ or ‘cutting edge’ when all I’m really willing to receive is on par with or just a little better than the next guy. (more…)

What does SOPA mean for you?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and it’s sister bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), are both making headway in their respective houses of Congress right now and are hard to miss if you spend much time at all watching the news or trolling your favorite social network. I’m not necessarily here to persuade you one direction or another regarding in how you should view the bills but I would encourage you to take a few minutes to learn a bit more about the bill and how it might affect you going forward.

The bill(s) essentially are going up for discussion and voting once the houses reconvene in a week or two and if you want to have any say in how they are voted upon, you might want to take a moment to call/email your representatives.

Highlight arguments for the bill include the ambitious goal of stopping piracy and copyright infringement on the Internet; a noble goal indeed. The proponents of the bill say that content creators will ultimately make more money since you would have to go directly to the source to buy/obtain whatever material you’re trying to consume.

Opponents against the bill are quick to point out that it’s pretty vague language that fails to drive home the point that they’re willing to shut down sites (along with judicial-related punishment for site owners) like YouTube, Google, Twitter, Facebook and millions of others in attempt to eradicate the small minority of offenders.

Groups like the MPAA, RIAA [read: big money lawyers backed by the movie and music industries], NBC, Ford, NBA and associations like the National Chamber of Commerce are all backers of the bill, and as you can probably guess, have a significant amount of money on their side to push this type of legislature through.

Interested in seeing how much? Mike Ciarlo was too. He put a [very well-done] presentation together of the 25 highest “backed” representatives by proponents of SOPA/PIPA that you might want to check out.

There’s plenty of research out there for you to take some time to form your own opinions off of, as an Internet user, I’d encourage you to at least get informed on your own. If nothing else, take ten minutes to run through this Wiki of SOPA/PIPA and educate yourself a little on this Friday. It may not end up affecting you one way or another but I’d hate for you to be uninformed about such a significant legislature that might just alter the way you consume content on the Internet for the foreseeable future.

After learning the facts, you might just want to do something about it. If you’re an American, lucky you, you have the right to do so.

Doing your due diligence

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty bad about flying by the seat of my pants. I make plenty of decisions based on feelings and intuition without exploring the ramifications or the consequences. It can range from simple slip-of-the-tongue type stuff all the way to business decisions. Knowing this is only half the battle, overcoming it is another story. There’s a good chance I write this whole article without thinking of the consequences it will bring. Danger’s my middle name.

Recently, I’ve done a decent job of the classic “pot calling the kettle black” by noticing and possibly pointing out others in what looks like their failed attempts at doing due diligence in their decision making. Of course I am an expert when it comes to second guessing others’ decision making, so potentially they did do some research and pre-planning and I am just not seeing it. Then again, maybe not.

The Brownstones at Town Square

I live in the suburbs and to be honest, the section of town I live in is quite affluent. One of the neighboring towns is above all the rest in terms of socioeconomic standards in the area and they really don’t take any steps to hide it. Just the opposite, actually. It’s your typical keeping up with the Jones’ but on a pretty high scale. There are no multi-unit rental facilities (truly, none) in said town and there is no city transportation system to help people get from one place to another. (more…)