Monday, February 27, 2012

Not Your Average "Desktop Printer"

Photo taken by Jeremiah Owyang

Virgin Airlines now has a digital check-in kiosk at the SFO.

What is truly interesting about this new installment is that the white table beneath the touch screens is actually a printer...

In a world where the paperless office is still considered by some to be the future and ultimate fate of the office imaging industry, I find this but one of many telling oppositions to such an idea.

As time moves on and the digital world continues to grow through the plethora of new technologies (namely mobile devices, tablets and similar new age toys) I find it interesting that paper documents persist despite the growing realization that they are truly becoming unnecessary.

I have postulated for some time now that the paperless office is a myth for the simple fact that human beings truly have an intense and emotional attachment to the printed page, especially those of which come from the office culture.

While we are seeing eBook sales surpassing those of "old school" books and many newspapers are either becoming relics of the past or digitizing their content and reducing their printed pages, we find that in the office space emails, invoices, bills, and etc. continue to pile up.

Why is this? I can not help but to assume having a physical document in your hand has some subconscious value to us as human beings. Today words on a screen are available at lightning speeds and can be sent over vast distances but when the power goes out...

You have nothing unless you have the printed page.

In a world where the concept of "the end of days" or the looming possibility of an apocalypse driven by religious deities or the continual destruction of the earth by our own hands is a constant and prevalent idea in the minds of many, I often wonder...

Should a truly earth shattering event steal electricity and technology from you and your business for "x" amount of time, what good will "the cloud" be to you then?

Perhaps those folks who still have a back room full of filing cabinets documenting years of information and data relevant to their business are not so crazy after all.

Perhaps someday in the future the type writer will once again be at the head of the game and the only tablet or pad or you will be using is one made of paper...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Intuition Versus Lack Of Attention

Over the past few years I have heard a lot of commentary about how certain elements of the digital age are causing us to have short attention spans...

Many a guru has suggested that forcing our thoughts into 140 characters or less could be leading to the inability to finish reading a book or pay full attention to longer articles, presentations etc.

While there has been studies (particularity in regards to children growing up in today's world) which suggest that these concepts may be true, I have to wonder...

Are we really loosing our attention spans or is the collective intuition of humanity expanding in response to being supplemented by new technologies and communication mediums?

I am not necessarily suggesting that we are becoming psychic (although I am not saying we aren't) so much as I am suggesting that what is perceived by some as a lack of attention is merely the growth and ability of humanity as a whole to garner more knowledge from smaller portions of recorded information.

While you may not be able to write a thesis paper in 140 characters or less, you could certainly link said tweet to a video that could potentially present the same information and provide equall or better understanding to the audience of the subject matter via linked content.

I think it would be fair to suggest that we as human beings are starting to develop the ability to learn more or rather to garner larger amounts of knowledge and wisdom from smaller portions of the written word, shorter variations of age old stories and information about the world at large.

I can't help but think of Carl Jung's idea of the "collective unconscious" and wonder if perhaps the archetypes are getting restless...

Should this idea hold true, I think it may have some serious implications for our industry. If our collective intuition is growing we may actually get to a point where the printed page is truly unnecessary and yet I ponder, would we choose to stop printing documents?

Would our realization that printed documents are no longer necessary supersede our emotional attachment to paper?

I for one think that the printed page has a strong (albeit practically subconscious) emotional power on people.

In my 6 years in the imaging industry, I have only come across one office (a medical office) that had gone paperless...

Well except for that one laser printer they had on their counter just in case they "needed" to print something...

Indeed, the next decade or two will be a most interesting collection of events to watch unfold. While the printed page may very well be heading towards extinction, I can't help but to think that advancements in recycling technology may cause the use and constant re-use of paper to create more jobs in said industry thus birthing new excuses to keep the printed page simply for the fact that we as human beings, want the printed page...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

White Papers, Logos, SOI and (Hyper)Sigils

A while back I wrote a post about the similarities between marketing and magick.

While I think that it is still fair to suggest that marketing is not in and of itself a form of magick, one must consider that clearly, marketing may have it's roots in said craft...

As previously noted, it is certainly possible that a corporation is a physical manifestation of what is known as an egregore. If this odd notion happens to be true, then would it not be fair to suggest that logos are actually a from of sigils?

What about white papers? Are they not merely the corporate equivalent of the hypersigil?

Think about it...

What effect do logos from companies such as McDonald's, BP oil, Pepsi and Coca Cola have on you? What do you feel or do when you see said logos?

Is it any surprise that brands like Kool, Gucci, Bentley, Master Card, etc. Use powerful and ancient occult symbols such as the "vesica piscis" and/or the "winged sun disc" in their logos?

Is the process by which the magician uses to project his statement of intent (or SOI) into the sigil really that much different from the marketing professional who pours hours of the same SOI into creating a logo that will become well known and subconsciously digested by the public?

Is the intent of all corporations and their logos really to help their customers? Is their intent to become a constant in your life one of love and service towards you as the consumer and as the customer or is their intent focused on something else?

Money? Control? Power?

Does the food you eat, the car you drive, the music you listen too, the products you buy every day empower and serve you?

Or do they serve another purpose?

These are excellent questions to ask yourself when choosing from whom you purchase your family's food as much as they are when choosing a managed print services provider for your business...

Sometimes we are creatures of habit and we continue to do things the way we have always done, the way our parents have always done, the way we have just assumed things must be done.

By taking a step back and looking at the products and services we consume, we must ask our selves; are these the best choices we can be making for ourselves? For our children? For our family and friends?

Before you buy your next happy meal, your next tank of gas, your next toner cartridge...

Read the labels and consider the source.

Should you find that certain products that you have been purchasing for years are actually sub-par or in some cases even bad for you...

Ask yourself why did I choose these things? Ask yourself what caused me to make these choices?

Why am I buying what they are selling?

Ask yourself...

Who is really in control of my mind?