Nothing New Under the Sun (Who’s Laughing Now?) or “NECN and the Candidate’s Face”

First thing, I’m not endorsing any political candidates or party. Do I have personal opinions? Yes. Do they get in my work? Sometimes I wish they would (more of this in my next post). Fortunately, one of the things we at NextStage knew early on in translating theories into technology into tools was that humans are biased. It’s the nature of the beast, if you will, and on one side of the equation we rely on it. Not so on the other.

NextStage created a bunch of tools which remove the human element from one side of the equation while leaving it on the other side of the equation. Give NextStage some material to analyze and it goes through our tools. We don’t even look at what you’ve given us. Straight through the tools without us touching it so our personal prejudices don’t get involved. That removes the human bias from this side of the equation. On the other side, what comes out of the tools is the biases of some 30,000 people (as I write this, 6 Feb 07) as they apply to the material you sent in. “Here’s how 30,000 people (or some demographic represented therein) will respond to your material.” It’s all done mathematically and contact NextStage if you’d like a demo.

What does this have to do with NECN, the candidate’s face, who’s laughing now and nothing new under the sun?

I was watching NECN this morning and they were doing a story about a conservative republican candidate who’s got a place on FaceBook. They were laughing about it. “Boy, isn’t (candidate) ahead of the game. I don’t have a place on FaceBook.” That kind of thing.

On one level, I don’t blame them. There is a certain irony, a conceptual juxtaposition, in a conservative republican candidate getting on FaceBook. But this is a political season and FaceBook, as UM Lowell’s Dr. Martin Moser can tell you, is the place to be if you want the largest share of the young voter demographic.

Okay, so maybe this is a good move on the candidate’s part. As in anything, I wish the candidate well and will patiently observe what happens. NextStage patiently observed what happened in the last Presidential election cycle and predicted who’d win where and by how much months ahead of all others.

It’s nothing new under the sun because mumblety-mumblety years ago I was watching the David Letterman show. It was the very beginning of the internet as we know it. Letterman was talking about some webpage he’d seen and invited viewers to go find it. “Just type in ‘W W W dot W dot W W dot hello dot W dot dot dot dot com W’. I think that’s it.”

I remember laughing because it was (and I think still is) funny. I also remember thinking that he didn’t have a clue what he was making fun of because the ‘net was going to “rewrite the world”, so to speak.

And this itself harkened back to a Johnny Carson show where Carson read the lyrics of the Beatles’ “I am the Walrus”, mugging to the camera and Ed McMahon, the whole audience laughing. “This is what the young people are listening to?” He asked. “This is what we’re afraid of?” my parents’ generation wanted to know.

Well, yes, I think. That music and a few years before it is my music.

I may laugh, ’tis true, but I also watch and listen. It helps me to appreciate that there’s truly nothing new under the sun.
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