Outsiders and Thought Particles
My computer-programmer friend Akintunde used to spend his Sunday afternoons with Pennie and me. When my audio-book Thought Particles: Binary Code of the Mind was released, Akintunde took home a copy and listened to it several times. We had long talks about it. Then he was whisked away to Kyoto, Japan, to create the next generation of video games for some of the world's most powerful game companies. I wish I could tell you more, but I can't. Akintunde is sworn to deep secrecy.
Akintunde is the essential Outsider.
Tiny protons, neutrons, and electrons are generally considered to be the building blocks of matter. In a similar fashion, I believe Thought Particles – the smallest units of thought – to be the building blocks of communication. Learn how to skillfully stack them and you will communicate with greater power.
Last week I wrote about Pandora.com because music is the oldest example of Thought Particle technology. “If a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws. Ancient legislators knew they could not reform the manners of a city without the help of a songwriter and a poet.” – Andrew Fletcher, to Scottish Parliament in 1704
A radio is essentially a mood selection device. How do you want to feel? Just press the appropriate button.
Likewise, visual artists arrange lines and colors, using shape and ratio, position and juxtaposition to compose nonverbal “statements.” They provide us with light-wave, rather than sound wave, examples of carefully stacked Thought Particles. My friend David Freeman explains exactly how to craft visual statements in his outsider book, Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering. When that book was released, David, like Akintunde, was immediately flown to Japan.
If Akintunde and David ever get together, they'll probably take over the world. I suspect the Japanese game companies know this, too.
Another team of Wizard Academy graduates is currently investigating the science of using of shape and color to make nonverbal statements in corporate logos. Think of it as visual Pandora.
Additionally, the Academy is studying the statements made to customers through a business owner's choices in landscaping, signage, flooring, lighting, etc. A Beta version of the resulting Customer Experience Index will be released in Summer '06.
We're in the throes of tumultuous change in the world of marketing. We're being tossed topsy-turvy, tumbled by technology. New techniques are being introduced that sharply reduce the need for creative talent, intuition, and gut feel.
Have you ever seen one of those little Bluetooth earpieces that hooks around your ear and becomes a wireless headset for your cell phone? Now imagine marrying one of those to a next generation lie detector and using it to measure the raw, unfiltered responses of people to various ads.
Bye-bye, Focus Groups.
Using this new application of Thought Particle technology, you'll no longer need to ask people how they feel about a particular ad. Just hook the earpiece around their ear, tape the lead wire to their temple, play the ad for them and then you can tell them how they feel about it. Or let the person flip through a series of proposed magazine ads. The earpiece will clearly tell you which ad would be most effective. I imagine there'll soon be auditoriums full of people with earpieces listening to spec radio ads, watching spec TV spots and reading spec magazine ads.
How do I know about this?
Shortly after Thought Particles: Binary Code of the Mind was released, a student arrived from the Pentagon to attend the 3-day Magical Worlds Communications Workshop. Then came the engineers and astrophysicists from NASA. And then a series of doctors signed up, including one winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry. One recent student was a department head from the Los Alamos Nuclear Research Lab.
Evidently, scientists found Thought Particles fascinating. And so did a lot of musicians, journalists, ministers, artists and educators. What did all of them have in common? They were Outsiders, one and all.
“Poor reading, like poor writing, is imposing what you already know on texts. You should go into reading to discover, not to reaffirm what you know.” – Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, to Edward Nawotka in an interview.
Azar Nafisi is obviously an Outsider. Her comment was aimed at the blindness that comes from living in that hard-edged little box Insiders call home, a dreary existence known as “The Status Quo.”
My friend Akintunde speaks of Japanese society as being “group-based.” He says they have a saying in Japan, “The nail that sticks out is hammered back in.” “Or worse,” he adds, “if not hammered back in, is left out to dry, a fish out of water.”
Birds, in my opinion, are fish out of water. Singing fish, swimming in the sky.
Would you like to come sing with us?
That last bit probably caused a few of you to recoil, “Sing like a fish? Uh-oh, now he's just talkin' crazy.”
Interestingly, Japanese executives are smart enough to realize their need to overcome the limitations of group-think. So they seek out the brightest and best of the western Outsiders to help them see what had previously been invisible.
Is it possible that important ideas are hiding just outside your peripheral vision?
I'm betting we'll see a few executives from the big videogame companies at Jeff and Bryan's unveiling event on May 9-10. If not, you can be certain the amazing Eisenbrothers will be whisked away to Japan as soon as their new book is released.
I'm planning to be in Tuscan Hall with Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg for their unveiling event on May 9-10, 2006.
Roy H. Williams