Been So Long

It’s been an interesting time the past few weeks as conversations and meetings have been had with people who don’t really know me that well, nor do they know how I spend my work days. I’m baffled how hard it can be to describe strategy and account work in an ad agency to people not already familiar with it, thus invariably I have to dive into at least a bit of detail surrounding the career and a few of the recognizable things I’ve had a hand in.

Typically the questions are around “is Facebook stealing my information” or “I don’t use the Twitter”, but today turned out a little different. The question was “do you follow Google at all?” I wasn’t sure how to take it, and I asked for clarification. Turns out this youth pastor and musician holds a more-than-passing interest in the existing and coming Facebook vs. Google battle. And he shares my feelings that the battle hasn’t even begun yet. So I changed into controversial mode and fired back a thought:

“What if, while Google was perfecting search, Facebook built the foundation that will back-end the shift underway to recommendation?”

That single statement brought five more people away from the conversations over to chat with us. My thought was meant to be thought-provoking, but it comes with more than a little possibility as well. I phrased it like this:

“If you’re going to Boston how do you go about finding a hotel?” The responses mostly centred around friends and family, or specific websites. Nobody Google searched for hotels in Boston. “What if you want a good steak in Toronto, how do you source out a good steak?” Same responses. “So regardless of what you’re interested in, sourcing someone or something you already trust trumps Google?” The answer was yes. The following conversation took over half the room and about an hour, with different sides and different arguments moving. But I left with one significant take-away:

Not a single person in the room left without agreeing that Google could all but fail to exist in five years.

One thinks the eyes of the world are on Google.Me.

Follow the Lights

So my thoughts on the Atheist Bus Campaign seemed to spark a bit of an energetic Zonkboard yesterday, which I suppose is their intention. For those reading this moons from now Justin Trottier and his Freethought Association of Canada (yes, with the spelling error) have launched the Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign, thieved in whole from a British campaign of similar nature. Both campaigns are surrounding a transit ad campaign advertising “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

So my first and foremost thought is, of course, that “There’s probably no God” is not an Atheist argument at all, it’s an Agnostic argument. Bring this up to an Atheist on Facebook and, apparently, it’s “semantics”. It’s not semantics, it’s the single piece of belief that makes an Atheist an Atheist. You don’t believe God exists. The secondary argument that the British wouldn’t allow a more steadfast comment is beside the point as we’re in Canada, not Britain, and their Facebook group is selling merchandise online with the same slogan. Besides, I feel strongly that God exists, and can assure you that if a regulatory body told me I wasn’t allowed to say “There is a God” I wouldn’t be changing my message. Chacon son gout?

Similar to the Mormons coming to the Christian rescue on California’s Prop 8 we now have the just-as-inexplicable United Church rising to the challenge this time around. The United Church, utilizing Toronto’s Smith Roberts Creative Communications, will be countering the Atheist ads with some of their own stating: “There’s probably a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” You can read up and complain at www.wondercafe.ca. For the record I think the United Church is a farce, and personally object to their use of “probably” just as much as I do the Atheists, although the humour/object is not lost on me.

For those angry at TTC Chair Adam Giambrone for accepting the ads to begin with his response was: “”We are going to accept the ads because we accept religious advertising on the (TTC) system. Our legal interpretation is that you cannot discriminate based on creed.. So we understand some of our patrons may be concerned about it, but there certainly are and have been ads (on the TTC) promoting one religion or another.”

In other news, Stains the Dog rules. Someone needs to give that dog a dang cupcake.

Now Listening
Calexico – Carried to Dust

Today’s Random Links
Top 10 worst TV movie edits; #1 is my all-time favourite.
Construction sign warns of zombies ahead!
They’re turning ‘The Office’ into a porno?
Railway cat is not afraid!!!!!!11

White Winter Hymnal

While I’m finding myself cautiously pessimistic towards Barack Obama’s chances of being the success the world seems to be demanding of him I do acknowledge being drawn in to his story to a certain degree. Hot on the heels of a day celebrating one of history’s greatest fighters of racial equality we’ll witness arguably the most powerful position in the world – for the first time – being secured by an African-American. Those who know me well know I position myself in a rather awkward place on the racial equality scale: One who staunchly disagrees with racial prejudice, but who almost as staunchly supports an understanding and acceptance of the inherent differences between all of us. I find the common racial view is far too close to whitewashing, whereas the truth is that be it race or gender, there are differences between us. Celebrate that which makes us different. I only hope this is a day we’ll look back on in 15 years as the day real racism took another nail to its coffin.

My favourite dishrag, The Toronto Star, posted a small aside in their Metro daily today discussing the “Dumbest president?” A rather amusing story of William H Harrison who, wearing no winter clothes to his 1841 inauguration in 9°C weather, caught a pneumonia and died only a month into his Presidency. Which makes the fact it’s not true so upsetting. It’s not like the Star to just make crap up.

Want to carry the Olympic Torch? Coca-Cola and RBC want to offer you that chance; check out www.carrythetorch.com and promise me you’ll wear an overanything.com t-shirt.

Now Playing
Ray LaMontagne – Trouble

Today’s Random Links
Stabbed Edmonton man opts to finish beer rather than seek medical assistance.
15 great examples of long exposure photography.
Why House shouldn’t drink too much in Victoria.
Yup, not going to regret this tattoo at all.
Tips for future dumb criminals.

KP’s Last Words

Well, I suppose this will be my last post–much to the delight of House and Trout–because Rick is scheduled to return tomorrow.
Anyway, I don’t think I “entertained” anyone here–Rick’s intent when he gave a few of us posting access–but it was a change of pace for sure.
Here are a few more random rants:
1) A couple days ago, I’d written that I was a Jesse Litsch fan given the way he’s pitched for the Blue Jays. However, I can’t say the same thing for Boston’s Jon Lester, who pitched a no-hitter today.
Yes, yes, Lester has battled cancer and was able to thrive, pitching in last year’s World Series clincher and now pitching a no-no.
But that’s exactly my point: Lester is anything but an underdog. He has it all–success, pitching for one of baseball’s best teams, a World Series ring, etc.
Lester’s the anti-Litsch, who has to pitch for a mediocre Toronto ballclub that can’t score runs.
Hopefully Litsch will be able to continue pitching well and lead the Jays to glory.
Lester? Well, he’s got it all, who cares about him…
2) It appears that only a few teams can battle back from 0-3 deficits. The Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks teased hockey fans this spring, but ultimately couldn’t get the job done.
Lesson? Show up for the first few games of the series! Jeez.
And someone made a dumb comment on radio the other day, saying Boston was the first NBA team to win the first two rounds, each in seven full games. Duh, real smart comment, seeing that the best-of-seven was just introduced a couple seasons ago. Brilliant statement.
It’s a pity that the New Orleans Hornets couldn’t beat San Antonio in Game Seven tonight. It would have been a great story, but the Hornets blew a 2-0 series lead and lost the final game at home.
The Hornets won their previous three home games by about 20 points each time, but the Spurs won their own home games by about the same margin each time too, setting the stage for Game Seven.
So, now the Spurs get the Lakers, and even the NBA has a chance this year for its dream matchup: Lakers vs. Celtics (who take on the Pistons in the conference finals).
Of course, in the NHL, it’s Pittsburgh-Detroit.
3) It appears I top out at roughly 18,000 words.
I finished off another manuscript, and the word count was just over 18,000. I don’t do this on purpose, but it seems that’s all I can come up with in any single piece.
The first manuscript, “Sweet Voice of Innocence”, had roughly the same number. The second, “False Ex-Pectations”, the same.
I didn’t have a hard time coming up with the appropriate titles for those first two, but am struggling with this third one.
Will have to think more on No. 3 before selecting a winning title!
Well, Rick will be back Tuesday, so I’m outta here!