Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

The Void (In a Box)

Posted in Articles,Short Stories by Ziggy Wednesday March 27, 2013 at 15:53

I was in the clean room doing some tests. Everyone is in white gowns. The place feels like a science lab. My ears hum with the ubiquitous noise of the air handlers. The place tastes like plastic, and smells the same.

The tool I’m testing needs a new razor blade. I ask the foreman, and he points me to a drawer. Striding confidently over, blue fabric covered shoes scuffing on the white tile underfoot, I grasp the cold stainless steel handle. Everything in the clean room is cold. Cold and bright like a winter’s day. (more…)

Gender Roles

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Friday March 22, 2013 at 15:55

Do you care about “gender roles”? You know, where “women do housework” and “men open jars” and that kind of thing. No, it doesn’t have to be that blatant, but is this something you give thought to?

Should men and women be socially indistinguishable except for individual competence? Should all individuals be expected to conform to certain stereotypes? Who makes these generalizations and why?

Gender roles intrigue me. Nearly every society has them, and there is significant overlap. Feminism, egalitarianism, and other modern forces for equality have done a great deal to bring traditional gender roles into question, and with good reason. Here’s an overview from wikipedia. However, even in the present age, there are concrete differences between the genders, and this should affect the way we think. (more…)


Posted in Articles by Ziggy Saturday March 16, 2013 at 00:56

Dear KickStarter,
Creators are desperate to manage and receive feedback on their projects, both ongoing and speculative. Forums get swamped with garbage ideas. E-mail is overwhelming. The barriers to entry for “good ideas” are just too low.

I propose you add a new service, I’ll call it “PushStarter” but name it whatever you like. PushStarter is all about monetizing the process of pitching ideas. The mechanics are very similar to Kickstarter, and synergize well with your core competencies.

PushStarter has two core components, the “channel” and the “pitch”.

A “channel” is like an ongoing project. Content creators open channels and set a threshold for consideration ($1000 should be about right for small teams) as well as a kickback amount. When a pitch crosses that amount, the channel is responsible to respond to the pitch. They don’t have to do anything but respond.

Any user can create a new “pitch” and attach text, images, links, whatever they like. They then “pitch” it at any channel they choose. Other users can pledge money toward this idea (just like a kickstarter project). Once the pledges cross the channel’s threshhold, the idea is “pitched”, the channel gets the cash (minus your cut, and the kickback) and they are responsible to respond. The kickback goes to the “top” contributers to the idea (whatever criteria works well in your market testing). These are the people who “bid” the most for the idea to be heard. A clever person should be able to make money just by discerning good ideas and laying money on the line to support them.

When a pitch “succeeds” the channel just needs to consider and respond. As little as a simple “yes, no” answer, or as much as a video production explaining what they think. If the channel really likes the idea, they can convert it into a KickStarter project and raise the funds for implementation. If they don’t like it, a thoughtful discussion of the topic will encourage people to submit more ideas. Even if most of their answers are “No, we can’t do that”, but followed up with  ”here’s a thoughtful 5 minute video about why, and what we’re doing similar to that that we think you might like”, people will keep making suggestions.

If a channel is getting too many ideas to handle, they can raise the threshold for consideration. If they are getting too few ideas (or ideas of poor quality) they can raise the kickback.

In this way content creators can receive compensation for considering ideas and responding thoughtfully and encouragingly. The public can make their voice heard, and support ideas that they like. Creators won’t be hassled with a barage of half-baked ideas, and their fans won’t be drowned out by the masses. People who support good ideas are compensated as well.

And you can make a ton of cash.

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