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Learning from mistakes.. of others

Its easy to criticize. It comes easy. But it is not so productive. All it does is fill you up with negative energy and criticizing someone else only spreads that negative energy. So I was trying not to do any of that on this blog for the longest time. But that self censorship meant drying up of my writing habit altogether (coupled with the fact that I have been busy with better things in life. :) )
So here's another positive perspective.. i can dig dirt objectively. This objective dirt digging can actually help me (and you) not repeat those mistakes, the mistake by others. (Its so much harder to see our own mistakes!) So I try to list out fundamental and grave mistakes of others.
I have done that before with,
ET's abysmal editorial that completely lacked integrity (and logic).
Sergey Brin's weak -ass reason to invent Google glasses.
Issues with Indian advertising (badly written, but some useful stuff there).
Hypocrisy of social media 'activists'

Ford Figo scam ad controversy
ThoughtCatalog's narcissistic article
Bisleri's terrible and damaging ad campaign
(practically.. all my posts this year have been criticisms.. damn it. I should stop making this list. just one more..)
The terrible presentations at the Pecha Kucha event in Delhi

and here's my experience today at the Youth marketing summit.

what was wrong with it?
1. it wasn't youthful at all. I understand it was for older folks who are trying to understand this TG. But, wouldn't it be better to be up to speed about conferences and do it as the young would do? (OKfest was super awesome when it came to organization, preparedness of content, social access and interactivity.) Why were people talking for 20-30 minutes instead of having punchy small talks or more interactive sessions? where was the hashtag? there was absolutely no social media leg for this summit, even though all that people were talking about was the social media (that too badly). which brings me  to my second point.
2. people didn't know enough/ didn't prepare their talks well/ didn't research questions well/ were talking and repeating tired old cliches ('youth is impatient..' c'mon, is that a revelation to you? and if you know about it, why are you droning on it for the last 20 minutes?)
if only they had googled once and read up on the latest research, there is so much cool ass dope on this topic. Its a favorite topic among the digital sociologists and marketing academics. How hard is it to get someone who actually is on top of these things?
3. someone needs to teach the concept of core competency to the organizers. VJ was being asked about targeting TG efficiently about connecting with the unconnected (which surprisingly elicited decent enough a response. one smart girl that MTV VJ. )
4. youth = social media & being cool. not. I am pretty sure, a more focused forum of sociologists (instead of ill prepared marketers and consultants), could have talked about marketing to youth without talking of social media at all.
5. Inability to go beyond the headline - AT GES too, panelists kept on talking about 'redefining success' to absurd levels. Its as if the panelists and the moderator won't get paid unless they say those words 10 times a minute. It was the same today with words such as 'cool', 'third screen' and obviously 'the impatient youth'. They don't get it at all.

well, enough of negatives. some positives,
1. Anusha Dandekar's interaction with a sexist moderator. super cool. and smart. (her talk was yawn though. as every other talk till 6:30 pm, after which i left.)
2. The high ceiling hall. coool. (But a terribly classist hotel. like most others. but terrible. i came in a rikshaw to the hotel. the rikshaw puller was asked to stay back and wasn't allowed to come near the hotel gate. after that moment on, everything inside that hotel just felt disgusting and ugly with its indulgence and classism.Couldn't have possibly stomached the dinner and cocktail later on. )
3. hmm.. getting a perspective of marketers. how they think. it was useful because we work with them.
thats about it.

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Ctrl-tab
Ctrl-tab...
Scroll Scroll Scoll..
Alt-tab
Alt-tab...
Catch yourself slipping away.

Deep  breath. 

Close the browser. silence the mobile and turn it away.

Open an offline-real-paper diary. Stop your thighs from lolling impatiently. Stay still. 

Pick up a pen awkwardly. ahh, the fingers are stiff. It will take a  while for them to get used to holding a pen. Quick finger exercise - open the palm, stretch finger outwards, close into a fist, dig the fingers in. Repeat.
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Shut up. The last consequential email came two months ago. Nothing of consequence is online.

Pick up the pen. Don't fetishize the object now. Get on with it. Put it on paper, write a word and start it already. If I get to a sentence, perhaps I will get into a flow and won't have to look up from the paper at all. 

One sentence later.

Ahh. That was good. I am feeling good about myself. The sentence makes sense. …

Value

Things turn into cash
once they are stripped of their lives -
their breath,
their freedom,
their dignity
or their joy.

A fish on the table
and a cubicle dweller..
both are united in their solvency,
their ability to be stripped of their lives and turned into money.

This solvency is our own making
Hold up your hands against the sun and your favourite gods
Do they dissolve? 
Hold up your heart and see if it beats for them
Hold your joys in your hands and fling them towards the system,
does it stick?

For a better world
first we need to walk away from this world.