Hand-made stuff is cool.

Many people ask me why I like automatic watches, and it got me thinking…

Fine automatic watches do more than tell time.  Perhaps most important, fine watches enforce our belief in the idea that time is important, because it is the one thing none of us can buy more of.  Eventually, my time will run out and I will die.  Perhaps wearing and looking into the face of a watch that cost you significant amount of money and/or effort to own, reminds us to value our time the same way we value our money.

Another more subtle way in which fine and expensive watches are not a shallow symbol of success, is that they demonstrate an appreciation for the time and dedication of the person who designed and built the watch–paratially by hand.  Things created directly by human hands are inherently more special to me.  Like a fine pair of leather shoes, that began with harvesting leather from an animal, tanning, and then working into a shoe, a fine watch is such thing made special by the time and dedication required by man/woman who created it with his/her own hands.

The final other reason a fine watch is more than a shallow symbol of success, is that it can reflect the style of the individual wearing it.   All aspects of the watches’ design–price, materials, size, aesthetics, functionality (chronograph) digital vs. analog output, etc.–reflect personal style.   Why is style not shallow What makes us humans so interesting is our differences; and fundamental to these differences is our own individual “style”, which can be much more than just the clothes we wear–although, I think the way we assemble our clothes is an absolutely real expression of our unique personality.     Our individual “style” can be seen in the work we produce, how we speak, and how we think–all of which reflect nothing less than perhaps the most fundamental quality of the human experience: our values.

So, I leave you with but one example of a fine watch craftsmanship.  It is the first watch to feature a mechanical depth gauge, and is water-resistant to 300 meters: http://www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/eu/en/watches/diving/master-compressor-diving-pro-geographic-navy-seals

One day, we will look forward to commercial breaks!

As data collection methods grow, advertisers will be able to better predict what information/ads would be relevant to each of us individual consumers.   And as more relevant ads are served to the consumer/individual, higher click-through rates will result, and advertisers will be able to afford an advertising model that has fewer numbers of ads shown to the user.  For example, today, say–on-average–click-through rates on ads are 10%, then this means that an advertiser–on average–has to show the consumer 10 ads before one click-through is generated; but in the future, say click-through rates on ads improve to 50%, now only two ads need to be shown to the consumer before a click-through is generated.  So this would lead us to believe consumers will have to sit through fewer ads; but in all likelihood, advertisers will not be satisfied with the same number of click-throughs per pair of eyes.

That is, say today, 10 commercials are shown to a pair eyes for a given 30-minute television episode, and one click-through is generated per pair of eyes.    Then, I am saying, that advertisers, in the future, when click-through rates improve to 50%, each pair of consumer eyes will likely be shown more than two ads per 30-minute episode.   Advertisers, content creators, and distribution channels will do this because they will know they can.  They will know that we consumers are happy to sit through 4 ads because 4 ads is still a 60% reduction in ads; not to mention these ads are more relevant to the individual.  So what will happen is total number of click-throughs generated per pair of eyes per 30-minute episode will increase from 1 to 2; and advertisers, content creators, and distribution channels will all be making more money off the same 30-minute long piece of content.

In this future state of the world of media and ad consumption, both advertisers and consumers are happier.

Data is what’s needed.

As I understand the state of the art, the artificial intelligence algorithums needed to make the accurate predictions not only already exist, but are considered quite basic now.   What is missing is the data needed by these algorithms to make predictions!

One day, an individual consumer watching TV any day of the week will be like watching the Super Bowl, when we look forward to the commercials; but it will actually be better.   Right now, many people hate ads; but ads actually serve a very useful function of informing us about things we should know about.   The problem with the current advertising system today is that ads annoy us more often then they inform us.   In the future, ads will do a better job of informing us, and will hence be less annoying.

Amen to a tool that helps the user focus on the craft; not the end result!

The Holga.D is one of the best examples of thoughtful and beautiful ID work I have seen in a long time.  I love the concept of a digital camera that forces user to wait to products of their labor, like the old analog film cameras.  I think this will allow the user to enjoy, and focus on, more the photo-taking experience (trying to capture the images they are seeing in the real world) rather than worrying too much–in that instant–how the images look.   See picture below of camera rear, lacking an LCD display.   Amen to a tool that helps the user focus on the craft; not the end result!

The first digital camera without an LCD display:


A switch hitting camera?  …let’em bat lefty!


Learn more about this concept and its designer: http://www.saikatbiswas.com/web/Projects/Holga_D.htm