Part-time cynic

Minimal Extremist

Idea 43

I really wish I had the coffee internship that most people get when they start out JUST for this reason. What I would do is I would take pictures of every coffee I get. Jot out the notes on how it was made: what was held, what was added, what was included sparingly and what was loaded in. Then reviews of the coffee with photos of the person who ordered it smiling or frowning. Letters of recommendation for my coffee run skills. A map of the streets taken to get coffee with a frequency chart on what routes I would take and which ones became the most efficient route at certain times of day. Color swatches of the proper tone of brown in the cups. Ingredients to certain blends.

All of this inside of a binder with a coffee stain on the front labelled as my portfolio of coffee runs to use in any future interviews like it was commonplace. 

Idea 42

Corporations should try advertising by giving clothing to poor children in developing countries with their logos: “Buy a Porsche”; “Save money, Live Better: Walmart”. Imagine starving children wearing Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. You’ll see them on those commercials and think, “Hey, who’s that model?” Then, anytime you turn on the news to genocide in the third world, these companies are getting their money’s worth. 

This is a horrible idea.

Idea 41

Facebook needs an “emergency delete message” button. It’s never really an emergency when I’d use it, but I find old conversations lingering and I want to continue without the other person seeing that I was the one to have an unanswered question floating above that they never answered 3 years ago and here I am crawling back just for the sake to move on. Just let me delete the thing from their side of the conversation and give me peace of mind, Mark Zuckerberg! Hell, just tell me they can’t see it when they really can and I can finally ask them another question that they’ll leave me hanging on for 3 more years.

I dwell.

Idea 40

I see this girl every time I go to the bank to deposit money, but anytime I try to acknowledge any greeting of familiarity, I get a cold sense that she thinks I’m using some subtle pickup line.

What I want to do is photocopy my balance statement, then manipulate it to say something along the lines of $528,117 in my savings, print it on a similar type of paper, go to the bank, deposit or withdraw something and casually drop the manipulated balance statement next to the girl and see if she perks up the moment she sees it. She’ll pick it up to give back and maybe then she’ll warm up to a chat for once but I’ll exchange an insincere “Oh, thanks” and be on my way, hardly looking at the peasant girl. Pish posh, cheerio and all that balderdash.

Idea 39

I was thinking about the fact that some employers look at your Facebook before ever hiring you — to judge your status updates and tagged photos and whatever else they deem important. They go to the lengths of bypassing privacy blocks just to get this information. I’ve spent the past years worrying about this, untagging any pictures that might be embarrassing, but lately I got to thinking that using a social media tool to judge someone’s sense of character is like using someone’s tweets as a resource in a term paper. You can look at it, sure, but you can’t make it the official basis of not hiring just as you can’t make it the official basis for hiring them. I can make myself as amazing of a candidate as I want through my Facebook page without worrying about consequences since they shouldn’t really be looking at it in the first place: photoshopping myself traveling the world and in fancy meetings with important people; updating my status to be with major diplomats like we just hang on weekends; making fake accounts for A-list celebrities and have them post links to adorable cat videos on my wall.

The most I’d be doing is breaking terms of service on an unofficial record that doesn’t stand as a resume or transcript in any way. On the internet, I have a Harvard Law degree next to my Oxford English degree and some doctorate from Columbia. On the internet, I’m a veteran of wars that happened when I was 6 or 7. On the internet, Nick Begnaud would be the best thing since sliced bread if he wasn’t the one who invented it. Facebook is not meant to be a platform for jobs. Of course, they’d probably see this move as a middle finger to their prying eyes, but it’s probably a lot more interesting than my boring self.

Idea 38

Stop me if it’s been done but… sliced bread?

Idea 37

Sometimes I sit with my computer playing music and it goes to sleep. I can always change the settings of the sleep time, but sometimes when I walk away from the computer for a while, I’d rather it just went to sleep a little faster. I can always adjust this every time I walk away, but I’m never going to remember this.

It would be cool if Apple did something with it’s products where it would detect movement through the little camera and stay a little bit more active, while having another sleep function to get to sleep a little faster when it doesn’t see this movement. Or maybe it already knows how to do this, but doesn’t care enough to… and maybe the computer is intelligent enough to (stops typing) type what I’m thinking…

Game Idea 2

I was thinking about old arcade games where there’s no real end to the gameplay. It’s just about making it through longer than anyone else. Racking up as many hours of play to say you lived that long with everything beating down on you constantly. Then I thought of a survival game where essentially you play as a homeless person getting by. Sounds weird, but hear me out:

It starts out as a day in the life, throwing you into the subtle action of finding food before the day ends and you need to get back to your dwelling hidden in an abandoned warehouse (Subtlety of Minecraft’s gameplay). Every day, the character has to worry about things being stolen from where he hides them, being cleared out by cops, and perhaps flaws within the character that complicate the control of the character — say if a bone is broken, food and waiting won’t heal it, but makeshift medical treatment will do the trick for a time and this affects the ability to keep getting out to keep up the character. Money hardly comes by the character in an industrial landscape where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic to spare change and even in the places you find some money, you have to worry about being robbed on the way home. The elements of actual value are a stockpile of food and always looking for better shelter. Cheap apartments are available, but rent and utilities only push the character back into the streets if money doesn’t keep rolling in. Anything that would seem to help a character like this (shelters, charity, drunk tanks, churches, robbing people or businesses) come with challenges of their own and trigger followup situations that would come up to keep the gameplay interesting — potentially a lot of spontaneous written ‘quests’ come about giving more reason to keep pushing forward to get out of the rock bottom and beating these or maneuvering well keeps your character afloat a little longer, but the game would only send more difficulties to constantly keep everything moving forward and slightly downward.

Essentially, Italian Neorealism: The Game. Think Umberto D. meets Bicycle Thieves meets The Pursuit of Happyness — nix the Happyness. All of the institutions in those movies bite the characters in the ass despite being there to serve them. I think emotional character development in games is something very possible today and investing in an ongoing conflict is perfect in a one player story mode where they’re writing the story. The player puts themselves into the character and dives further into this world beneath them. I don’t even think there should be a way of beating the storyline, getting back to that arcade model idea. The player gets by as long as possible until it’s depressingly obvious that there is no getting out of the slump, or they get caught risking an armed robbery or they die of starvation, or illness, or hypothermia or the violence that surrounds them. Consequences. By today’s standards, it probably wouldn’t be in the studios’ eye for developing, but it could be what players are looking for. I haven’t been impressed with anything that’s been out lately.


Idea 36

I want to frame wallpaper and hang it on my wall.

Idea 35

Have you ever just gotten off the phone with someone and wanted to playback what was said since you just forgot whether they wanted you to leave by a certain time or meet them by a certain time? Or just about any sort of tiny miscommunication that would be cleared up with another call? Half the time I try calling back, there’s no answer and I’m just as helpless in the situation as before. I wish cellphones had a small amount of short-term audio memory that holds for a matter of an hour or so. Sort of like documents that recover from a crashed system.

This would be awesome. I mean, they record and listen in on our conversations anyway… why not put that technology to an effective use.