Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Dynamist Blog

Try to connect this remark by Virginia Postrel with politics:

As long as movie creators get to see their work on screen, reap the profits, and get credit for their ideas, I don't see any reason they should object to private remakes. It's just another example of user innovation. Maybe moviemakers should try to emulate other industries and see how they can tap, rather than stamp out or grudgingly tolerate, user ideas.

She is commenting on the recent signing into law The Family Movie Act.
Already the law of unintended consequences is coming into play as the marketplace jumps into action. This is from Forbes Magazine...

The law came about in part due to the efforts of William Aho and his tiny Salt Lake City software company called ClearPlay. For years, Aho had scratched his head and wondered why Hollywood refused to release on DVD versions of its most popular movies that would be slightly altered to appeal more to squeamish parents. Sensing an opportunity, he founded ClearPlay (see "Monster In A Box"). [William Aho's software easily remakes racy DVDs into family fare--but scares the living %#!$ out of Hollywood. Love that sub-title. Hoots. ]

Aho's software, when installed onto a DVD player, makes the player mute or skip ahead when something objectionable happens in a movie. (The software isn't smart enough to recognize curse words or violence; Aho employs teams of editors who watch movies, find the objectionable bits and program a movie-specific filter to excise the bad stuff frame by frame.) Aho successfully lobbied to create the Family Movie Act after billionaire director Steven Spielberg, Robert Redford, Steven Soderbergh, 13 other famed Hollywood directors and eight large studios sued ClearPlay in U.S. District Court in Denver, claiming its software violated copyright laws. The new law is a direct blow to them.

Her Sunday post about auto design is a case study of how design, social tastes and commerce interact. Nothing is as simple as it seems. The smart designer is involved in lots more than lines, shapes, materials and colors.
(That Sunday post, incidentally, drew insta-interest. Wouldn't I love to note such a thing in just two lines?)

Drilling into another link, we find Meta Cool.
Here are some choice quotes...

There is nothing more powerful in the visual vocabulary of an artist than the power of establishing contrast. Anything big and fat appears bigger and fatter when placed next to something flaccid and skinny... (from another blog focused on design)

"Good Enough" is a worldview. It's a way of approaching challenges where the appropriate solution path is not obvious.... Perfection equals paralysis, and the way to reach a more innovative mode of existence is to accept "good enough" as permission to go ahead and get stuff done. Life is short.

In reality, taking a "good enough" approach to developing your offering is the key to reaching greatness. ...if you view "good enough" as a one-shot deal and ship a turd to market and leave it there to fester, you're only fooling yourself into a state of perpetual mediocrity. But, if you say "this is good enough today, and I have a plan for good enough in a week, a month, a year," then you'll be iterating your way to success, learning all along the way. The first generation iPod was a "good enough" effort done quickly, and it taught Apple a lot about a new (to Apple, at least) marketspace. Subsequent iPod offerings capitalized on those lessons learned -- real information from real customers in a real market. The "good enough" worldview allows you to stand on the shoulders of giants of your own making.

There's a lot of creative thinking going on in the design world.
Braking stereotypes is a way of life for some people. It is their pathway to individual and collective progress, spreading win-win dynamics all the way.

How does this square with the world of politics?
Not too well, I would say. Any time you have to get a lot of people to agree about something, the common denominator has to be pretty low. That's the chasm that divides the world of politics from the world of design.

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