You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

April, 2010


An update on what the author has been up to, including moving, wedding planning, and various readings and thoughts.

Things have been, and will probably continue to be, a bit quiet around here for awhile. Here's a quick rundown of what I've been up to (with some links and commentary thrown in for good measure.

I've been:

  • Moving (to Brooklyn)
  • Planning a wedding (in May)
  • Traveling (a lot)
  • Reading Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime
  • Giving presentations (including one on innovation, with a focus on marketing agencies, that I just posted on SlideShare)
  • Reading about the iPad. Come on, who hasn't? Favorite comments so far: come from (1) Stephen Colbert and, slightly more seriously, (2) Cory Doctorow who argues that the closed nature of the device holds us users in contempt. It's interesting to me because he's an interesting dude, but also because I had read it slightly differently. To me, the move to iPad/iPhone is further down the road of technology we can't break. For those of us that grew up with videogames, this is a perfect evolution. In those games we never read manuals, we just picked up the games and figured it out, because the worst thing that could happen is you died and started over again. With the iPhone/iPad it's becoming impossible to break your technology (without dropping it of course), which could also mean that people are less intimidated by innovations and more likely to dig deeper/learn more. Not saying I know the answer to what the future will look like, just offering a different read.
  • [On this topic, what would happen if Firefox or Google wanted to release a browser for the iPad. Could Apple prevent them? Couldn't they be taken to court and lose on the same anti-trust grounds as Microsoft a decade ago? Anyone know the answer to this?]
  • Thinking about The New Rules of War thanks to a very good Foreign Policy article by John Arquilla (who also wrote Cyberwar is Coming in 1993 [download link at the bottom], which I highly recommend).
  • Thinking a lot about serendipity. I'm really fascinated by the role of serendipity in the 21st century. Terry Heaton, one of my favorite media thinkers, linked to a Jeff Jarvis post about the topic: "What is serendipity? It's not a story from left field. It's not, I think, 'the opposite of what you normally consumed.' There's a reason we find value in the supposedly serendipitous. When I started Entertainment Weekly, I said that our features had to satisfy a curiosity you didn't know you had -- but you end up having it. When we read a paper and find a good story that we couldn't have predicted we'd have liked, we think that is serendipity. But there's some reason we like it, that we find it relevant to us. Maybe that relevance is the unknown but now fed curiosity, maybe it's enjoyment of good writing or a certain kind of tale, maybe the gift of some interesting fact we want to share and gain social equity for, maybe it's a challenge to our ideas, maybe an answer to a question that has bugged us. In the end, it has value to us; it's relevant."
  • Other stuff that I can't think about right now.

Anyway, apologies in advance for the slowdown. Will at least try to do some catch-ups once-in-a-while.

April 2, 2010
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.