Showmanship for Magicians – Entertainment Fundamentals

From Showmanship for Magicians, PG 24-25

magic1“From the above, then, we should be able to to begin to cull a list of the often-found integrants in successful and popular entertainment. Most often appearing in our analysis, as shown above, are the certain fundamentals:”

  1. Music
  2. Rhythm
  3. Movement
  4. Youth
  5. Sex appeal
  6. Personality
  7. Color
  8. Comedy
  9. Harmony
  10. Romance
  11. Sentiment
  12. Nostalgia
  13. Pointing
  14. Timing
  15. Surprise
  16. Situation
  17. Character
  18. Conflict
  19. Proper costuming
  20. Careful grooming
  21. Physical action
  22. Group coordination
  23. Precise attack
  24. Short scenes or turns
  25. Efficient pacing
  26. Punch
  27. Careful routining
  28. Tireless rehearsal
  29. Special material and score
  30. Grace
  31. Effortless skill
  32. Sure-fire
  33. Spectacle
  34. Thrill
  35. Emotion
  36. Common problems
  37. Escape from the humdrum
  38. Unity
  39. Up-to-datedness

Chron Post: Millennials head under a rock

The Chron.com started a new blog called The List and asked me to guest blog post. My first (and only) post so far is titled:

old-glory-by-eschipul1Chron Post: Millennials head under a rock

The GI generation, by all accounts, appears to have raised one of the biggest groups of spoiled kids our country has ever seen. The Baby Boomers. And the Boomers are burying the Millennial generation and their grandkids in debt and chaos. Pretending deficit spending isn’t just a deferred tax increase (it is). And that seems wrong to this Gen X’er..

In the book GENERATIONS, The History of America’s Future, the authors describe the Boomers as:

The Boomers, who came to college after Eisenhower and before the Carter malaise of 1979. These were the babies of optimism and hubris, Beaver Cleaver and Musketeers, the post-Sputnik high school kids whose SAT scores declined for seventeen straight years, student strikers, flower-child hippies and draft resisters. – pg 30

(read the full post on Millennials and the Baby Boomers on Chron.com here.)

Tracking Buzz Through Stock Photography Geography

Via David Brown of Spacetaker, I saw this article in the New York Times called The Geography of Buzz, a Study on the Urban Influence of Culture. The methodology of the study itself is quite fascinating – reviewing stock photography taken at parties and plotting them on a map.

The overall report is a reinforcement that there is good news for PR people, for property owners and for main stream America! And it has great visuals on tracking buzz!

0407-buzz-nyc-mapsBut mostly the data helped show the continued dominance of the mainstream news media as a cultural gatekeeper, and the never-ending cycle of buzz in the creative world.

and concludes

Ms. Currid added: “People talk about the end of place and how everything is really digital. In fact, buzz is created in places, and this data tells us how this happens.”

But even after their explicit study of where to find buzz, Ms. Currid and Ms. Williams did not come away with a better understanding of how to define it. Rather, like pornography, you know it when you see it.

“As vague a term as ‘buzz’ is, it’s so socially and economically important for cultural goods,” Ms. Currid said. “Artists become hot because so many people show up for their gallery opening, people want to wear designers because X celebrity is wearing them, people want to go to movies because lots of people are going to them and talking about them. Even though it’s like, ‘What the heck does that mean?,’ it means something.”

Worth a read. Definitely buzzworthy!

Geographic Determinism – Four Environmental Differences

From the book Guns, Steel, and Germs by Jared Diamond, there are four major geographic deterministic reasons for the disparity and cultural differences between people historically. (Again, a post mostly for my own notes.)  Specifically this is a follow up to my post on Yali’s question.dragon-fly-by-eschipul

From the book:

“The striking differences between the long-term histories of people of the different continents have been due not to innate differences in the people themselves but to differences in their environments.” – pg 405

Just four sets of (environmental) differences appear to me to be the most important ones.” – pg 406

1. Differences in plants and animals available as starting materials for domestication

“The first set consists of continental differences in the wild plant and animal species available as starting materials for domestication. That’s because food production was critical for the accumulation of food surpluses that could feed non-food-producing specialists, and for the buildup of large populations enjoying a military advantage through mere numbers even before they had developed any technological or political advantage. For both of those reasons, all developments of economically complex, socially stratified, politically centralized societies beyond the level of small nascent chiefdoms were based on food production.” – pg 406

“On each continent, animal and plant domestication was concentrated in a few especially favorable homelands accounting for only a small fraction of the continent’s total area. In the case of technological innovations and political institutions as well, most societies acquire much more from other societies than they invent themselves. Thus, diffusion and migration within a continent contribute importantly to the development of its societies, which tend in the long run to share each other’s developments… That is, societies initially lacking an advantage either acquire it from societies possessing it or (if they fail to do so) are replaced by those other societies.” – pg 406

2. Diffusion and Migration

“On each continent, animal and plant domestication was concentrated in a few especially favorable homelands accounting for only a small fraction of the continent’s total area. In the case of technological innovations and political institutions as well, most societies acquire much more from other societies than they invent themselves. Thus diffusion and migration within a continent contribute importantly to the development of its societies, which tend in the long run to share each others’ developments…  That is, societies initially lacking an advantage either acquire it from societies possessing it or (if they fail to do so) are replaced by those other societies.” – pg 406-407

3. Diffusion within Continents of technology and domestic plants and animals

“Related to these factors affecting diffusion within continents is a third set of factors influencing diffusion between continents, which may also help build up a local pool of domesticates and technology. Ease of intercontinental diffusion has varied, because some continents are more isolated than others.” – pg 407

4. Continental Differences in area or total population size

“The fourth and last set of factors consists of continental differences in area or total population size. A larger area or population means more potential inventors, more competing societies, more innovations available to adopt – and more pressure to adopt and retain innovations, because societies failing to do so will tend to be eliminated by competing societies.” – pg 407

There is something nice and compact about breaking such a complex topic as the history of the world’s people’s culture down to four primary environmental factors. And if correct, what balance of power gets shifted globally with the advent of global warming? Something to think about….

Social Media Training for Political Campaigns Presentation

Busy weekend. From the Bill White Social Media Training post on the Schipul blog

We had a super morning this Saturday, meeting with Mayor Bill White, his WONDERFUL wife Andrea White, their staff and a great group of volunteers.  The topic was telling Bill White’s Story online and responding to less-than-wonderful commentary on Blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Monica Danna (Cosmopolitician) coordinated the event at HTC – including @kolachefactory breakfast and @coffeegroundz coffee.  Awesome small group leaders included Maggie McDonald (Magsmac), Laura Mayes (Girl Con Queso), Grace Rodriguez, Katrina Esco, Ashley Minor, Julie Pippert and the lovely Jennifer Rebecca Stephenson (LolaJRS).

I have to say teaching the class with @happykatie was a blast. And quite an honor. Thanks for the support Houston!

I’d also like to add a HUGE THANKS TO MARC NATHAN! Mr. marc1919 did an awesome job of getting the Houston Technology Center ready on a Saturday. Very much appreciated Marc!

Yali’s Question: why we had so little cargo of our own?

Yali’s famous question from the book Guns, Germs, and Steel:

“All of those things must have been on Yali’s mind when, with yet another penetrating glance of his flashing eyes, he asked me, “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” – pg 14

and

“The, questions about inequality (Yali’s question) in the modern world can be reformulated as follows. Why did wealth and power become distributed as they are now, rather than in some other way? For instance, why weren’t Native Americans, Africans, and Aboriginal Australians the ones who decimated, subjugated, or exterminated Europeans and Asians?” – pg 16

and the conclusion

“Yali’s question went to the heart of the current condition, and of post-Pleistocene human history… how shall we answer Yali? I would say to Yali: the striking differences between the long-term histories of peoples of the different continents have been due not to innate differences in the people themselves but to differences in their environments.” – pg 405

Ecosystems matter. Our environment matters. And in fact it becomes a matter of human rights in the long term. Yali was a wise man.