“They would have told me that in an important sense God was a product of the creative imagination, like the poetry and music that I found so inspiring. A few highly respected monotheists would have told me quietly and firmly that God did not really exist – and yet that ‘he’ was the most important reality in the world.”
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I gots to get me one of these. [link now requires subscription]]
The Mall of America here in Minnesota is planning a huge expansion that would more than double its size to more than 10 million square feet. The expansion will include several hotels, a 5000 seat performing arts center, offices, more stores (including a 70,000 square foot “specialty sports” retailer – whatever that means), and amazingly – residences.
Imagine living at the mall! All they need is a grocery store and people would never feel compelled to leave. (Well at least *sick* people)
I have a passion for consumerism that isn’t really very healthy. Just ask my (very understanding) wife. I like to think about different ways to buy things and sometimes even fantasize about creating and patenting the systems I think about.
It doesn’t take a visionary however to realize that the way we buy things is going to evolve. But how?
We will start to see more and more on-demand services. Using technologies that are available today we could already be viewing movies and TV shows and listening to music whenever we want it.
Here’s a scenario:
I’m driving and I really have a hankerin’ to hear that new Christina Aguillera ditty. Do I wait for 5 minutes until the radio station’s regular rotation fulfills my need? Hell no! I simply state the song’s title and it begins playing; right then, right there. This is how it’s going to be. The technology is here, or will be here, very shortly to allow this. But…
The problem is always in changing the way people think about purchases and how averse industries are to change. Do you think advertisers are going to like losing another way to reach you? Do you think the recording companies are going to be pleased about not selling CD’s? Well, no. But will they eventually have to?
Some alternative ways to think about purchasing this music might focus on rights being purchased to listen to that song. This could be accomplished by allowing for micro payments (something that will definitely be in our future) of a fraction of a cent per listening, or possibly by purchasing a lifetime license to listen to that song.
The mindsets are the first things that need to change. When it does, we will have the technology available to us to process these transactions and track the usage of copyrighted material.
I saw Fight Club last night, and wasn’t really excited to see it. I should have been. It was much better than I thought it would be. It was meant to be a slap in the face for all of us who go through life collecting more and more things. It was supposed to wake us up and tell us that life isn’t about that.
The way it brings the viewer to these realizations is what is so unique. Brad Pitt is good at playing, what I can only assume, is himself, but Edward Norton is great. Hell, even Meat Loaf is alright.
What made the experience of Fight Club memorable is the feeling of anarchy and chaos I got immediatly after leaving the theater. Coupled with this was the feeling that I suddenly knew what was important in life and what was not, as if I had just awoken.
I peeled out of the parking lot (part of that anarchy thing…made even more absurd due to the fact that I was driving a corolla) and returned home to lie in bed and think of all I had been doing on a day to day basis and what I should be doing; nothing revolutionary, but something to be reminded of now and again.
I am sure in a couple days I will be back to my designer furniture, townhouse, and khakis awaiting another slap in the face.