Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most overhyped technologies today. From narrow AI technologies such as Apple’s Siri to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) examples in films such as Ex-Machina or Her.
An interesting pattern can be recognised every time a new technology becomes hot and sexy. The so-called expert. We’ve all been in that situation before. Sitting in the same room and listening to the wrong terminology just to unveil the true self. Actually, this is quite helpful as we can better evaluate what’s being said for what is worth. #AlwaysThinkPositive
Here some examples:
- A few years ago, in the AdTech world… Real Time Bidding (RTB) ≠ Programmatic
- More recently… Blockchain ≠ Bitcoin (Link to my previous post)
- Artificial Intelligence ≠ Machine Learning
Talking about ML as ‘AI’ misleads you. It’s a computer science technique that works its way into all sorts of places. V similar to databases
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) June 9, 2017
AI is basically the intelligence – how we make machines intelligent, while machine learning is the implementation of the compute methods that support it. The way I think of it is: AI is the science and machine learning is the algorithms that make the machines smarter. …So the enabler for AI is machine learning. Nidhi Cappell, Head of machine learning at Intel
Regardless of all the hype, some great movies and famous Skynet-like worries, the truth is, we are still in 2017 and what is proving to be most practical today is the combination of Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence. This is how IBM’s Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov a decade ago and, more recently, how Google’s AlphaGo became the best ever Go player.
This approach makes a lot of sense when you realise that we still don’t really understand how human intelligence and creativity actually work and therefore is practically impossible to train a machine to achieve that result. Narrow AIs are of great help with mundane tasks and they excel humans on those narrow scenarios:
- Your good old pocket calculator
- Your chess app today is more powerful than Deep Blue ever was. Yes
- Self-driving cars
- etc, etc
Experts like Kevin Kelly and Sam Harris agree on this so… the dystopian sci-fi future that some fear is probably decades away. Examples of Human-assisted Artificial Intelligence are:
- Machines beating humans at calculus-based games, as mentioned above
- Image recognition for medical diagnosis – link
- Customer service chatbots – link
People don’t like change and embracing the 4th Industrial revolution will be a slow process. Our jobs are not going away anytime soon… unless they require little intelligence 🤓
As one of my idols put it many years ago:
‘Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.’ – Pablo Picasso
Check the links below if you are interested in this topic, they are real experts 🙃
- Deep thinking: Where machine intelligence ends and human creativity begins, Garry Kasparov, 2017 – Link
- The Singularity is near, Raymond Kurzweil, 2006 – Link
- Waking up podcast by Sam Harris – Landscapes of mind with Kevin Kelly, 2017 – Link
- Conversations with Tyler – Garry Kasparov on AI, Chess, and the future of creativity – Link
- Andrew Ng: Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity, Stanford MSx Future Forum, 2017
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While Blockchain technology is relatively new, it’s also a continuation of a very human story. As humans, we find ways to lower uncertainty about one another so that we can exchange value. Bettina Warburg, TED Conference 2016
In 2008, an individual or a group, by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin and the Blockchain. For the first time in history, this invention made it possible to send money around the world without banks, governments or any other money intermediary, and this is where the punk rock 🤘 analogy comes from. A system that is totally radical.
Blockchain ≠ Bitcoin
[Blockchain] is to Bitcoin, what the internet is to email. A big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications. Currency is just one. Sally Davies, FT Technology Reporter
Many experts are debating about future applications of Blockchain technology and the general consensus today is that we still don’t know what the true potential is. We can think about the early days of the World Wide Web, a system with a handful of computers in different locations capable of exchanging information amongst a few universities and researchers… Did Tim Berners Lee foresee our fixation with cat pictures? 🐱 Oh, humans…
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain technology is a decentralised database that stores a ledger of assets and transactions across a peer-to-peer network. It’s basically a public registry of who owns what and who transacts what. The transactions are secured through cryptography and over time, that transaction history gets locked in blocks of data that are cryptographically linked together and secured. Hence the name of a blockchain. This creates an immutable and unforgeable record of all of the transactions across this network. This record is replicated on every computer that is connected to the network.
It’s not an app, it’s not a company, it’s more like… Wikipedia. The Blockchain is open source, it stores information and all changes are registered and they are visible to anyone. You can think of the Blockchain as an open infrastructure that stores many kinds of assets. It stores the history of custodianship, ownership and location for assets like the digital currency Bitcoin or other digital assets such as a title of ownership of IP, certificates, contracts, real world objects or even personal identifiable information.
And that’s The Blockchain in a nutshell. A public registry that stores transactions in a network and is replicated so it’s very secure and hard to tamper with. This is why the Blockchain can help us lower uncertainty and help us transform our economic systems in radical ways.
The Blockchain as a technology has two main ingredients:
- Cryptography (asymmetric cryptography)
- Distributed systems
Blockchains are networks, some interesting examples of networks that we see today are Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, etc which are centralised networks. The Blockchain is decentralised, it works as a cooperative and at this early stage, the discussion amongst experts is more about the technology itself than how these networks will be deployed.
Something to highlight is the grassroots origin of the blockchain. As far as we know, it wasn’t invented by an established business to provide a new USP or competitive advantage. This was a bottom-up movement driven by geeks ➡️ punk-rock.
Paradigm shifts and Blockchain
It is easy to look at technologies in hindsight and point out the paradigm shifts that were created. Today, we can all see the disruptions created by the printing press, the steam engine or the Internet. On the other hand, foresight is really difficult and many experts are still trying to figure this out with Blockchain and its potential use cases. Only time will tell.
One way to look at paradigm shifts is by looking at the gaps each of these technologies filled for everyone. The printing press filled the Knowledge gap, the steam engine provided us with Power, The Internet made the world a much smaller place.
The gap that The Blockchain could fill is TRUST. Not just how we trust each other, but how we trust in business. Trust, is the fundamental currency of Commerce.
Today, we use ledgers that are temperable and this is why we use many intermediaries in every transaction. Banks, credit reporting agencies, insurance companies, etc help to partially fill the trust gap between parties. The remaining gap gets filled with… gut feeling.
The blockchain ledger, as explained earlier, is an epic upgrade on the ledgers that we use today.
Also, Blockchain could help with:
- Identity theft – more than 15 million cases a year in the US alone
- Digital devices coming online – (IoT) Internet of Things – According to IHS, 75 Billion devices will be online by 2025
The Blockchain and financial inclusion
According to the World Bank, 74% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to basic financial services. In the US, 50% of the population does not have access to basic financial services including bank accounts. There is a huge amount of people around the world that don’t get to experience and be a part of the global economy because they don’t have access to the financial system for a variety of reasons. The technology could lift many people out of poverty and it could also be seen as an inclusive technology that allows more people to engage in global commerce.
Network experts Ericsson predict that there will be more than 6 Billion smartphones in use by 2020. Nearly every person living in poverty will have access to a smartphone and will be connected to a network and that is… game-changing. When you have digital wallets on these phones and when you have the ability to trade assets, we will finally face the question of… What happens when everybody has money? As we all know, on this side of the world, capitalism has thrived in some areas by the natural exclusion of others from markets. It uses that scarcity principle as its driving basis.
Undoubtedly, as with previous paradigm shifts, affected companies will try to slow down the implementation of a new and more efficient technology. Cars were not allowed in cities because they were too dangerous, fax-machine companies were offering you a ‘better’ deal than the Internet, etc, etc.
When the technology that has the potential for revolutionizing an industry emerges, established companies typically see it as unattractive: it’s not something their mainstream customers want, and its projected profit margins aren’t sufficient to cover big-company cost structure. As a result, the new technology tends to get ignored in favor of what’s currently popular with the best customers. But then another company steps in to bring the innovation to a new market. Once the disruptive technology becomes established there, smaller-scale innovation rapidly raise the technology’s performance on attributes that mainstream customers’ value. Joseph Bower
Technologies, especially at early stages, can feel foreign, complex and abstract to many people. The reality is, the average consumer doesn’t need to understand how a GPS device works in order to get from A to B. We all use technologies that we don’t fully understand but help us to get the job done. There is a quote I always use in my 9 to 5 life as a marketer and it feels right to end this post with it.
People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole. Theodore Levitt
- Bettina Warburg, TED Conference 2016
- Manuel Stagars, The Blockchain and Us, 2017
- Richie Etwaru, TEDx Morristown 2017
- Andreas Antonopoulos, The Internet of Money, 2016
- Shai Rubin, CTO of Citi Innovation Lab, What is Blockchain
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Are you starting a blog? Do you work in content marketing? Well, there is an app for that.
Writing and editing tools can be really helpful when creating content for your company’s blog, website, marketing campaigns or even if you need to proofread that career-changing email that you are about to send. If you are a bit bold, you can also recommend these tools to some of your colleagues and help to improve your company’s internal communication. Yes, those internal emails from the technical teams that don’t make any sense… sounds familiar? I am also guilty 🙋♂️
Tools I currently use:
This app can be used as a desktop version or as a Google Chrome extension in your web browser. I find the latter more useful as it provides me with suggestions while I am writing in Gmail, WordPress, Twitter and many other websites. The desktop app can be convenient if you copy your draft and paste it in Grammarly, feedback is provided in just a few seconds.
One cool feature is the email weekly summary (screenshot below) with all your recent achievements. This is one of those feel-good emails that will make you smile #reassurance.
You can try it for free at grammarly.com
What a great name for a writing app. Kudos to the marketing team.
The Hemingway app focuses on your grammar and it provides you with tips on how to make your writing more readable. It also adds a readability score to your piece which sometimes can be misleading. Grade 10 would be perfect but anything above that, this is not a 10 out of 10 scenario, means your vocabulary is too complex and you are missing the point about communicating clearly and effectively. Even if you are an academic, you should always avoid too many BIG words and jargon, you’ll make the point on how well-read you are but your audience will get lost. It’s all about balance.
The Hemingway app is available in two versions:
- A free online version hemingwayapp.com where you can paste your drafts and make edits on the fly to get that 10-grade score.
- A premium desktop version which can be used offline and allows the user to export content directly to WordPress, Microsoft Word, HTML and others.
Fun Fact: The New Yorker reviewed this app using Ernest Hemingway’s work. 🤔
Can Ernest Hemingway’s prose pass the Hemingway app’s test for “bold, clear writing”? http://t.co/uoLYWCA62z
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) February 15, 2014
Our third guest takes a different approach to the problem. Writefull is about providing feedback on your writing by checking your text against large databases of languages such as Google Books, Google Scholar, Google News and others. It is also available in more than 30 languages which is handy if you are a polyglot 🤓
The app is free in both versions; a standalone desktop app and a Google Chrome extension. More info here.
Beyond editing apps
We’ve all heard about The Rise of the Machines and how they are starting to take our jobs. Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc.
Did you know that there are more than 100 companies out there using bots to write or draft some of their articles? The name of this bot, aka the diligent employee, is Wordsmith. This is how the Guardian portrays it:
Wordsmith – an artificial writer developed by the North Carolina-based company Automated Insights – cherrypicks elements from a dataset and uses them to structure a “human sounding” article. As well as being able to use more emotive language, it varies diction and syntax to make its work more readable. Source: Matthew Jenkin, The Guardian
Today, writing bots are only used for mundane tasks such as:
- Fantasy Football articles at Yahoo.com
- Corporate Earnings stories from The Associated Press
In 2016, Wordsmith produced more than 1.5 billion pieces of content. If it keeps improving, it will soon be able to take on more creative assignments. Who knows when we will read our first novel written by an Artificial Intelligence. Will it try to brainwash us and slave humanity?
Probably not 🙏🏻
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Podcasts are a great example of how the Internet work as a platform for ALL. Similar to what blogs do in the written word form, podcasts allow anyone to create and distribute a radio program for free.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides is ‘discovery’. There must be podcasts you might love but they are hard to find. There isn’t a Google for podcasts to perform a good search for this type of media and most people need to rely on:
- in-app suggestions or in-app rankings
- Reddit, Quora and other forums
- word of mouth
- …and just sometimes… very few times…. a recommendation from a podcaster during his/her podcast. I wish this could happen more often but I suppose it’s the old ‘market competition’ story… They are all trying to get your attention, which is limited… so it’s understandable. If your product is good, the fan base will stay loyal and you should not be worried about losing them. And let’s not forget, this is the Internet… you should not be targeting everyone, just your niche, which is still worldwide… still huge! Personally, when I see a podcaster recommending another podcast or episode (outside of their podcast network) I see it as a sign of confidence – kudos to them!
I am subscribed to many more than 3…
42 is the number today (the meaning of life!), this number keeps changing, podcasts come and go from my app quite often BUT… 3 of them are untouchable, they are galvanised and quite frankly, when making recommendations, less is more:
The podcast is hosted by Internet personalities; Brady Haran and the Daft Punk of YouTube… CGP Grey. As you might expect me, I have to say this podcast is great but it’s also hard to define what this podcast is really about. They put it like this:
‘A podcast where we’ll be talking about YouTube, life, work, whatever.’
The episodes are just great conversations between Grey and Brady. It’s more about how things are being said than what is actually being said. A joy to listen to. Just try it.
You will need to free up some time from other listening habits if you want to embark on this experience. Joe Rogan goes long form with his guests that usually come from many different fields and backgrounds. Top scientists, filmmakers, writers, celebrities… anything goes. The conversations normally take around 3 hours which is a great way to explore ideas and concepts in depth. Some people criticise Rogan for being a bit ‘broish’ but his interview style is sublime and he doesn’t pretend to be something he is not. Authenticity is the ethos of this podcast and in my opinion, it works great.
My third on the list is for those working or are interested in technology.
There are 3 main reasons for which I religiously listen to Exponent every Friday afternoon:
- Great source of quality information if you work in the technology sector.
- The hosts do their homework so they can make (or defend) their points at great lengths – unfortunately, this is not the case with many other technology podcasts… I notice this when a podcaster starts talking about a subject I know really well, could be a product or a company I’ve worked for. And then I think… oh shit! probably they make stuff up about the other products and companies too!
- This podcast IS about technology. The podcast IS NOT about the latest phone or app aka a gadget-show (unfortunately this is what some old favourites of mine have become…)
Exponent is hosted by Ben Thompson from Stratechery and James Allworth from Harvard Business Review.
Do you listen to these podcasts and have a recommendation for me?
Please let me know in the comments below.
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Every year at the Code Conference, Mary Meeker delivers the best presentation in the industry bar none. Her confidence is so high that the deck itself looks plain and ruthless to the naked eye:
- The presentation template and slide layouts look terrible… it doesn’t matter
- There are 355 slides in this document… it doesn’t matter
This is ‘substance over style’ at its best.
You can see the slides below:
Mary Meeker always highlights that this document is not meant to be ‘presented’ but to be read, which explains my previous criticism. The deck and video (below), are intended for a well-educated audience on these topics, otherwise, you’ll think this is madness. Feel free to lower the speed in your Youtube if needed.
This deck is often so dense that most people that I know in the technology sector only pay attention to the slides that concern them, those little niches… I call that ‘tunnel vision’.
Video from Code Conference 2017:
- Smartphone growth is slowing down
- Voice queries on mobile now account for 20% of total queries and accuracy is about 95%. Check my previous post on Virtual Assistants if you are interested in this topic
- Mobile advertising still has room for growth – Time spent Vs. Ad spent
- TV viewership continues to decline while Netflix takes 30% of revenues in the US market
- Big focus on gaming and how it’s becoming mainstream. Also, a few interesting points on how gaming tech eg: GPUs are now being used for other purposes such as AI
- China and India are two markets to watch in terms of innovation and growth
The Recode website has an extensive analysis of Mary Meeker’s presentation.
We just need to wait another year to get the one and only deck that rules them all.
PS: Walt Mossberg, tech journalist and co-founder of the Code Conference, will be retiring this month. Thank you for all the great work!
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Q: Alexa, what is the meaning of life?
A: Depends on the life in question. 42 is a good approximation.
…And 42 is a great answer if you read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
There is a race amongst GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) to conquer the virtual assistant market. Still early days and at the moment it is all about generating interest to create future demand. Virtual assistants can become ubiquitous platforms soon – think home automation – hence positioning and locking-consumers-in early is paramount for GAFA today.
At the moment, the Amazon Echo grabs most of the headlines and Google Home is gaining traction in the ‘new housemate’ category. Apple just announced the new HomePod which will be available at the end of the year at a premium price… no surprises there. The fourth contender is Microsoft’s Cortana who at the moment is still in the ‘clouds’ and hasn’t found a ‘material’ body to live in… yet.
Advertising, monetising, this is not clear yet.
Let’s start with Apple, they normally provide services at no extra cost for the user. You buy their premium products and you get a lot of services for ‘free’ eg: Mac OS upgrades, Garage Band, Pages, etc. The services are even advertising-free which keeps the clean and simple user experience that everybody loves. The money is made with the premium hardware and a growing number of paid services such as iCloud, Apple Music, etc. There’s no reason to believe that ads will be screamed at you by Siri, and that’s very Applesque.
Amazon, against many odds, got a head start in this race and there are some obvious use cases on how Alexa could become a very profitable Amazon employee. You ask her questions, request music, set up a timer and… order stuff! Amazon knows a lot about your buying habits and from an advertising perspective, this is where the money is. Google, Facebook and Amazon are, in my modest opinion, the only Serious players in the AdTech space right now.
For Google is not that clear yet, nobody wants to ask a question to a personal assistant and get an audio ad in return. That would be awful. We expect much more from Google, they changed the advertising game 15 years ago by inventing the best advertising model ever known to mankind. They have become the largest advertising player in the world and for this, we can only expect (and demand) the best of the executions every time. My guess is that there will be no ads coming from this particular device and all the queries will help Google to know you better and serve you more relevant ads in other properties eg: watching a Youtube video, navigating webpages connected to AdSense, etc.
Now, What about the real use cases?
As per today, the devices are fun in the office or during a house party, they are the new toys! They can even talk to each other – the example below is quite funny.
Personally, I find it hard to justify their presence in a home environment although I could be biased:
1 – I am curious, I am savvy and when I ask questions I like to get to the end of the matter. If I ask a virtual assistant about how blockchain works or who directed that film, I will get a short answer that will leave me hungry for more. In fact, after so many years typing questions on my keyboard, you start diversifying your sources for answers ie: Wikipedia for general knowledge, IMDB for films, Glassdoor for company reviews, Quora, Tripadvisor etc, etc.
2 – I’m living on my own which means I don’t really get to talk much around the house – the contrary would be an issue. Here some exceptions to the rule:
- FaceTime with ‘la mama’ or a phone call from work. Every other form of communication with the outside world is dealt with via instant messaging. Phone calls are a thing of the past and I find them very intrusive
- A delivery arrives
- Stepping on a Lego
I have no interest in using voice commands around the house. I don’t really use Siri and I find it peaceful but virtual assistants will evolve and Machine Learning & AI will be with us in many of our daily routines. Big investments have been happening in the last few years and they are one of the main bets in technology right now.
If you are curious and want to chat with a Bot you can try Cleverbot. It’s fun!
Q: Alexa, how do I finish this blogpost?
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Is our fascination with blurring the boundaries of reality a new thing? Or has it always been there?
Let’s go back in time to Spain. The year, 1605.
‘In a certain village in La Mancha, which I do not wish to name…’
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is insane, strikingly modern and a masterpiece. It’s a story within a story that beat the majority of contemporary works by more than 400 years. In fact, it’s considered by many as the world’s first ‘modern’ novel.
The insanity starts from the very beginning when the narrator says:
‘I am going to tell you a story which I actually gathered from other authors, books, manuscripts, etc. I am not really the author here, some books say this, others say that…’ which makes him a very unreliable narrator.
Then proceeds to tell the story of a very unreliable if not completely crazy character… Don Quixote.
Don Quixote by Salvador Dalí. (V&A Museum)
Don Quixote tells the story of a middle-aged man, obsessed with tales of chivalry, who reimagines himself as a knight, riding out into the world in pursuit of adventure.
His own version of reality makes him see windmills as giants, herds of sheep as armies and so on and on. At the same time, he also has his savvy assistant, Sancho Panza, who seems to know what is really going on and they are constantly arguing about what is real and what is not.
At the end of chapter 8, something really strange happens. Don Quixote decides to defy a new adversary, the Biscayan, and when the battle reaches its climax with both swords in mid-swing… the narrator stops and says:
‘I don’t know where to go from there, I ran out of material”
And the chapter ends.
Just remember, this was written in 1605.
Turn the page and you are now in a new chapter. The narrator starts telling you how he found a manuscript in a market in Toledo with a picture of Don Quixote. The manuscript is about how the battle in the previous chapter unfolded but… the text is written in Arabic. The narrator finds a local ‘morisco’ (a Christianised Moor) to translate the Arabic text and he starts to insert commentary about the quality of the translation such as:
‘well, my Arab friend says this… but we all know that Arabs can’t be trusted so… you know, take that for what that’s worth’.
What did the people of the time make about a book that didn’t seem to have any author but an author upon author upon author?
Don Quixote was a worldwide best seller, translated into English, French, Italian and widely distributed in the colonies (Americas).
10 years later, Cervantes writes the sequel and in this Part II, the narrative’s weirdness reaches a whole new level. Cervantes introduces a new character, Sansón Carrasco, who visits Don Quixote and Sancho to tell them that Part I exists and it has become a best seller. In the first chapters of Part II, all the characters know who Don Quixote is because they read Part I.
The story now gets even stranger. During the 10 years that took Cervantes to publish the second book, another writer under the pseudonym of Avellaneda, published an unofficial second part of Don Quixote before Cervantes could publish his. In response, Cervantes includes characters from this fake Part II into his own book and Don Quixote confronts these characters in order to claim his authenticity making some of them swear that this is the authentic Part II of Don Quixote. Basically, Cervantes crashes Avellaneda in the novel itself!
Right now, we are dealing with a story about a story that someone invented, including false characters coming from another book… so… what is even real?
Cervantes is inventing the metanarrative that has become so popular today.
Up until this point, most stories report to be what they are. ‘I am telling you a story.’ But Don Quixote pretends to be something other than what it is. It really is the start of modernity, our modern sense of the world.
For the first time in history, the action takes second place. Previous literature was about facts, triumphs, myths but for the first time in history, in the Quixote, the character becomes relevant. The character transforms the action and not the action transforms the character.
Metanarratives were not very popular during the 18th and 19th Centuries but they made a come back in the 1900s. Recent examples are; The Matrix, The Princess Bride, Adaptation, Inception. Even Seinfeld, where Jerry Seinfeld is making a show, within a show.
and… why is this happening again?
According to Bruce Burningham, both moments in history are moments of intellectual crisis. Back in Cervantes’ time, The world is just coming out of the Renaissance where you have all this new scientific knowledge calling into question the foundation of what everybody was building their lives on. The Earth is not the centre of the Universe, etc. The traditional worldview could no longer be sustained.
As for us, we have Darwinism, relativity, quantum physics, etc. Cognitive sciences are telling us that we have no free will because they observe the chemical reactions happening in our brains milliseconds before we take decisions.
Something keeps telling us that the world that we see is probably not the world that it is, so people start asking:
– If what I see is not real, what is?
– Who am I?
Humans have a fascination with infinite regressions and embeddedness.
So meta-narratives could be the result of a reaction in moments of intellectual crisis.
The question at the heart of Don Quijote realising that he is a character in a novel is… Who stands above you?
The author stands above you, so that author has this kind of God-like relationship to you which makes you question… so who stands above the author? and if we start asking that question it goes on forever in every direction…
Infinite Regress, Source: Wikipedia
Quixote and Film
There are a few adaptations of Quixote to the big screen but in my opinion, none of them is worth the vast potential of the novel. Critics agree that the best version out there is the 1957 Soviet film Don Kikhot, by Grigori Kozintsev, although it misses the whole metanarrative style of the original novel.
There have been 2 mega-projects by true visionaries to take Quixote to the big screen but both failed and a final cut was never released;
– Orson Welles’ Don Quixote and,
– Terry Gilliam’s attempt in the early 2000s
There was something very quixotic about Gilliam’s fiasco. A documentary crew was shooting the ‘making of’ the film which in the end never got made, but… the documentary itself, ‘Lost in La Mancha’, it’s a great piece of film. My top Quixote movie at the moment. And, quixotic enough, it’s a story within a story 😉
‘I’ve been obsessed about Quijote for many years because all my stuff has been about reality, fantasy, madness, sanity and Quijote encompasses all of those’ – Terry Gilliam
Would a longer format suit Quixote’s complexity better?
HBO? Netflix? Are you listening?
‘Don Quixote would understand golf. It is the impossible dream.’
Terry Gilliam is currently working on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – Fingers crossed!
PS: using Quixote instead of Quijote for SEO purposes 😉
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After twenty or so hours building this website and learning WordPress on-the-fly, it’s time to start the most difficult part of the job: creating something out of nothing… writing about stuff. It’s like setting up a gym at home and now you just need to exercise… tough! Now I need right brain activity so I will start tilting my head a little bit.
There are more than 150 million blogs in the world right now… what are the chances to persuade people to read this?
Well… this blog is not about the numbers, it’s an exercise in itself. I am currently enjoying a mini-sabbatical and the process of learning WordPress (thank you Youtubers!). Setting up all the marketing backend tools is a great way to keep my skills up to date. Analytics, email marketing, social media, automation, blah blah blah.
Enough nonsense, why Bits & Atoms?
I’ve been working in the technology sector for the last 10 years. The number of hours we all spend consuming stuff created in binary code keeps growing and growing. In fact, some argue that our bodies and societies are struggling to catch up with so much progress happening so fast. Two heroes of mine have used the term Bits & Atoms and I find it a great way to divide both worlds.
‘Atoms make up physical tangible objects such as CDs, books and letters. Digital information, on the other hand, is made up of bits, the smallest unit of information on a computer. I believe all forms of information that are now made of atoms (books, CDs, etc.) will eventually be made into bits.’ Nicholas Negroponte – Being Digital, 1995
Hero number 2, Larry Page speaking at Google I/O, described how he was looking after the Bits side of the business while Sergey Brin was focusing on Atoms (Google X).
We can take this distinction to another level and think for a moment about objects surrounding us… We see them from a human size perspective and there is a sense of continuity on all the things around us. It’s our own reality. Go to the atom size world and things look (and behave) completely different. One can argue that at the quantum level, stuff is made of code, the elements of the periodic table are different combinations of the same stuff… there is no real continuity. This can question who we are as individuals and has profound philosophical implications which I am not going to explore here… enough for now on this topic.
So… What will I see on this blog?
I’ll be focusing on the good things – physical and digital – that I come across in life. Travel destinations, new technologies, digital marketing, cycling routes, podcasts, TV shows and whatever is worth mentioning.
I hope you like it.
One post down!
‘Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living.’ – Nicholas Negroponte