Wednesday 11 February 2009

Stuff I know, Stuff I don't know

I don't know what these are called but they are my new favourite not-too-sweet-kanoms and the lady who sells them is well, pure and lovely (unlike me). Anybody know their Thai name please? They are 'si som' just like the farang when they've been out in the sun too much chai mai krub ;)

They have biodegradable wrapping, are inexpensive, yummy, sold by an even yummier lady in this instance, and I've never had them in all the years I've been coming to Thailand since 1993 as a 23 year old immersed in very very dangerous ideas of simulacra (yes plural I'm afraid)

Here's something that I know I wrote over here in the comments where it was all kicking off for a few hours like in the old days when Richard had more time to write his quite brilliant stuff.

There are probably two communications books that were prophetic. McLuhan's Understanding Media which is still breathtaking given it was first published in 1964 and of course The Cluetrain manifesto which we all really wanted to be true 10 years ago, but had to hold our breath for a while before it manifested itself as brilliantly prescient.

That doesn't mean both are flawless, but the sheer volume of predictive accuracy gives them a slightly mystical halo which they both solidly deserve.

However, the notion of markets as conversations is completely contextual (everything is contextual) and was (still is....) a brilliant summary of the anthropological traits that drive much/most of commerce and life.

But let's be clear. Markets are transactional micro and macro models of human interaction, and here's the point that the Cluertrain authors were brilliant enough to articulate; conversations too are transactional. It’s a two way street to be absolutely perfick as the Darling Buds of May once showed us.

Furthermore even though we talk about the ability to just be human and refrain from carpet bombing each other with marketing jargon through what is evidently (to me), a completely new dialectic (based on ancient principles), the hard truth is that many of us often don't know how to engage in a conversation because to be really good at it requires incredible patience, lots of concentration and a paradoxical lightness of touch so as to make it fun, informative, comforting or constructive. That’s just for starters. The list is endless as are contexts.

We talk about ‘The conversation” as if it's not rocket science but here's an heretical view I hold. We think humans are terrific at communication. We think that the evidence shows quite clearly that throughout the entire animal kingdom, the human species is the finest and most sophisticated of species for communication because we get those featherlight nuanced nods of humour about prophylactics and hey, we've got the internet too, which if continuous partial attention is anything to go by could well be something akin to extra sensory perception. But let me park that ticking time bomb to one side for another day/blog.

The reality is that the human species is borderline cretinous at communication. A quick look at the 20th century and its two global wars (everybody fighting everybody) plus say Gaza and Zimbabwe for good measure should be sufficient evidence of our astonishing ability to, say the wrong things, misunderstand what was said, take offense, read intent that doesn't exist, put pride before pragmatism, or pragmatism before pride when necessary.

Point is we've always been rubbish at communication, and the internet seemingly adds a depth of understanding that was never there before. Or is it just me that would quit smoking or TV in order to keep my internet connection?

But to suggest that a conversation is easy...... Fuck me.....

Try striking up a conversation about the most pressing problems of our time with the next person you meet.

As I said. Everything is contextual.

I don't know the slightest thing about this operating system but a lot of computers in Asia are running it and I'm needing one to triangulate the Microsoft and Apple ones I'm on.

I don't know what Absolut Rasp tastes like (but I can imagine - alcoholic fruit crush?).

I know how to do this but please don't tell my mum.

I don't know this guy's name but I do know he made the floor go spastic in the most beautiful way I've only ever witnessed just a small handful of rare times in my life (OK, maybe two small handfuls), and that I was surrounded by the most incredibly beautiful (mainly Thai) women, while it all kicked off to some rather carnal hardcore beats (ladies you made my jaw drop that night).

Big shout to you my friend. You pump large.

And I do know that I just spent a couple of weeks or so thinking about the sort of people I took a picture of below (in 2006 on an i-mobile phone camera (how I loved you)), who watch every Baht they spend (how I love you more), and it was good.

I do know that the stuff I don't know is inversely proportional to the stuff I think I know (my inner Rumsfeld speaking) which is microscopic really.
That's about it for the time being.Thank you.