Monday, September 30, 2013

CGI Apocalypse: The Veiling of Nature

Will the world end with a bang, or just a whimper, as T.S. Eliot predicted? Or will nobody notice at all? An eerie silence, as everyone listens to an endless stream of digital music on their iPods.

Gradually, step by step, with the advance of computer technology, real things are being replaced by images of things—pixels on a screen, Computer Generated Imagery, now 3-D printing… special earpieces enable us to talk to each other from miles away as we walk down the street. When I was growing up, people gesticulating and talking to themselves in public were called “mad” and we tended to avoid them. Now it is as common as those white wires dangling from our ears were a few years ago. Electronic spectacles, and no doubt before long implants directly into the brain, enable us to access the internet anywhere and anytime, superimposing a world of (largely) commercial information over the world perceived by our senses. Every twitch of the eyeball, everything we look at, will be recorded and analyzed to assist some giant corporation in selling something to us more effectively.

The natural world has been replaced by something else—something “better” because more under human control (which always means, as C.S. Lewis would have pointed out, control by one small group of humans over the rest). Step by step, we are moving closer to the possibility of the complete erasure of the world our ancestors knew. Is that a bad thing, or is it just the next stage in evolution, as the Transhumanists insist? Not bad, just different.

How do we judge? Well, there is always common sense, but that is fast vanishing too. We judge according to our conception of what the world is, and what we are, and why we are here in the world. If that conception has been correctly formed by tradition, intellect, and revelation, we will quickly detect all around us a new form of the perennial heresy sometimes called “Gnosticism.” The Gnostics believed that our true nature was spiritual, and our job on earth was to transcend and escape the material plane. The new form this takes is, first, the belief that what we are is consciousness, understood according to the information-processing model as some kind of software that can potentially be downloaded elsewhere. Secondly, apart from consciousness itself, what is real is whatever can be
presented to consciousness as input: that is, sensory “data.” The world may ultimately be broken down, not into atoms or elements or quanta of energy, but into something like “pixels” or units of information. These build up into the impressions of things that are the objects of our consciousness, constituting the other half of reality. (All of this was dramatized most effectively in The Matrix, a movie based on the old philosophical conundrum of the “brain in a vat.”)

The difference between a hand-painted icon and a photographically reproduced holy picture (say of a saint) is instructive. The holy picture is an “abstracted image,” an effect or impression that can be produced in several different ways. The important thing about it is the end result—what it looks like to the observer. It might be on paper, on metal, or on a computer or TV screen. But the icon is different. It is prepared on wood, using clay, egg tempera, natural pigments, gold. Each of these materials has particular symbolic properties—here it is not just the end result that matters, but the materials of which the icon is made, and the prayer that accompanies each brush stroke. The reproduction aims to capture only the appearance. A contemporary iconographer writes, “Its artificial materials manifest mass production, the endlessly repeatable uniformity of consumer products, and, in short, the desacralized world of machines. Lacking craftsmanship, it is deficient in conveying the sacramental role of matter and its liturgical dimension, which presupposes the cooperation of human and divine energies.” 

These days we even have photographs of our saints—at least the most recent ones—which can be multiplied indefinitely. It is perfectly possible to make use of a mechanical reproduction to direct one’s prayer to the saint depicted. Holy pictures portray holy people. But even a photograph, which takes us close to the physical appearance of the saint during life, separates us from the saint at the same time. The saint is living now, in heaven, and it is the icon that connects us with that reality. The photo recalls the past, a moment in time now gone, the appearance not the reality.

The abstracted image is certainly an aspect of reality, and as such can function as a reminder of someone. In a photo album that’s all we are looking for. But in an iconostasis something else is needed. It is not just the image but the medium of delivery, the way it is produced, that matters.

This difference represents a change going on in our civilization—a detachment from tradition, from nature, from the body—that undermines our appreciation of the symbolic properties of the material world, and the sense of a sacramental cosmos. Would it be stretching things to compare this with the separation of means from ends in ethics? It does matter how we get where we are going.

The free online book-review journal Humanum has recently placed online a new issue on the theme “Technology in the Home.” If the impact of new technology on the upbringing of our children interests you, please visit the site and see what is available. There are no final answers, but there is plenty of food for thought.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Measure your website contribution to your business success - Goal set up in Google Analytics

Have you set up your "Goals" in Google Analytics for your website? so you know whether your website is contributing to the success of your business...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How to quickly invite all your Facebook friends to a Facebook event - Tip and Trick

We recently wrote an article about how to Invite all your Facebook friends to a Facebook page. Some times you also might need to invite all your thousands Facebook friends to a Facebook event but do not have the time to tick all those boxes next to your friends names. 


Follow the below steps and you will get it done in less than a minute. Viola!
Cheers Mauricio @ eDigital.
  • Join the event with your personal Facebook account using Firefox browser.
  • On the event page, click on "Invite friends" box  - A pop up window will appear.
  • Scroll down until the end of the "Search by Name" list.
  • Open Firefox Scratch pad by going to Tools menu, then Developers, then Scratchpad.
  • A small window or pad should open.

  • Paste the below code into the pad.
javascript:elms=document.getElementsByName("checkableitems[]");for (i=0;i<elms.length;i++){if (elms[i].type="checkbox" )elms[i].click()};

  • Click on to 'Execute" menu and then press "Run".

  • Wait around 10-20 seconds and all your friends names should be now ticked.

Hope it works for you. If not give me a buzz and happy to assist +61481367711.



How to quickly invite all your Facebook friends to like a Facebook page - Tip and trick

Recently we wrote an article on how to invite your Facebook friends to a Facebook event. However, sometimes you might also want to invite your thousands Facebook friends to "Like" a Facebook page but you do not have the time to manually select (tick) all those little boxes next to your friends names when inviting them to "Like" a Facebook page.


Follow the below steps and you will get it done in less than a minute. Viola!
Cheers Mauricio @ eDigital.

  • Visit the desire Facebook page using your personal Facebook account (not as page admin logged in) using Chrome Browser. (Yes, this will only works using Chrome).
  • Click on "Invite friends" - A pop up window will appear.
  • Click on the arrow next to the box that reads "Recent Interations" and select: "Search all friends"
  • Scroll down until the end of the "All friends list".
  • Mac users using chrome to press "option + Command + J" - it will open the Chrome java script console.
  • Paste the below code into the console and then press enter.
  1. var inputs = document.getElementsByTagName("input");
    for (var i=0; i < inputs.length; i++) {
    if (inputs[i].getAttribute('type') == 'checkbox') {
Invite all your Facebook friends quickly by pasting a Java Script
code into the Chrome Java Script Console - By eDigital
  • Wait for some 5-10 seconds and all your friends ( who have not been invited previously) will be automatically selected.

Hope it works for you. If not give me a buzz and happy to assist +61481367711.



    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Technology in the Home

    The latest issue of the online review Humanum published by the Center for Cultural and Pastoral Research (the research facility of the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC), which I edit, is now online and has big implications for education. It is all about the impact of Technology in the Home. Not so much washing machines and vacuum cleaners (who could object?) but TV, the new information technology, and the social media. Is this stuff rewiring our brains? Is technology really morally neutral? Is it just a tool we use, or can it be said to be using us for its own built-in purposes? What are the implications for home life, for family time, for reading, for the atmosphere in which we live, for the disparity between rich and poor?

    Most of the articles are book reviews, perceptively written to review the available literature, but the issue as always starts with a number of articles setting the scene and discussing the main questions. There is also a Witness piece by an English father struggling to make the best use of modern technology in bringing up his children.

    Please explore the site, and subscribe by putting your name down for an email alert each time a new issue of Humanum comes online, so you don't miss anything. There is no charge – it is a free service of the Institute.

    (The cover image, shown here, is a painting of St Clare, patron saint of TV.)

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    The Amplituhedron

    Quanta magazine reports that "physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object, the Amplituhedron, that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. The new geometric version of quantum field theory could also facilitate the search for a theory of quantum gravity that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of the universe. Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity." (Abridged from the Quanta report by Natalie Walchover. With thanks to Ben Olsen. For mention of a previous attempt to locate the underlying structures of physics in geometry by Dr Garrett Lisi go here.)

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    Write something worth reading or do something worth writing about

    Websites and blogs that no-one visits and cares about should read this!

    This could be the best advice to websites and blogs that no-one visits or cares about: 

    "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing". 
    Benjamin F.


    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Model school

    Sometimes things go right. "Starting last spring, St Jerome’s began transforming itself from a debt-ridden, pre-K-8 institution into a showcase for one of the more intriguing trends in modern education. It is one of a handful of archdiocesan Roman Catholic schools in the country to have a classical curriculum. 'Classical' education aims to include instruction on the virtues and a love of truth, goodness and beauty in ordinary lesson plans. Students learn the arts, sciences and literature starting with classical Greek and Roman sources. Wisdom and input from ancient church fathers, Renaissance theologians and even Mozart — whose music is sometimes piped into the classrooms to help students concentrate better — is worked in." The article from The Washington Post from which this extract is taken is one of  several that have recognized the success of the St Jerome Academy after last year's makeover. To read more, follow the link, and look too at the Educational Plan listed in the column on the left.

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Happy Friday - Social Media Managers @ 5pm

    Happy Friday - Social Media Managers at 5pm by eDigital
    Happy Friday! This is what Social Media Specialists do on Fridays 5pm!
    By eDigital

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Key Intakes from Pozible Crowdfunding workshop Sep 2013

    I am back! writing my weekly article ( been busy with our successful launch of the new LEA Latinoamericanos Empresarios Australia business and entrepreneurs network last night in Sydney, Australia.

    As promised last week, please find below all the fantastic learnings and tips I grabbed from the Pozible Crowdfunding Workshop on Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Sydney.

    This crowd funding workshop was super valuable, specially now that eDigital has been engaged to help Vibrating Planet crowd funding campaign to be launched on the 27th of September 2013 at our Vibrating Planet launching party (All invited if you are in Sydney).

    Pozible Crowdfunding Workshop September 2013 - Ambassador Suzie Nguyen speaking to the audience

    Why people use crowdfunding
    • You can build an audience at low cost.
    • It allows to pre-sale your new products that are created as part of your project.
    • Unlimited potential to raise as much as your project can attracts.
    • It is fun! you will be very excited when successfully funding your project.
    Tips for project and rewards participation
    • Involve people in your crowd funding project. The more they can participate and be part of it, the more they will be interested to support your project.
    • The above translates in creating "Intimate levels" of engagement that are unique to the project and rewards. Examples can be exclusive lunch/dinner rewards with project creators, donors to be part of the group that designs or selects the logo, supporters material (photos, stories) to be part of the project creative outcome, etc.
    • Quirkiness works - Be creative with your rewards structure. People love authenticity. It was mentioned a project where someone was raising to spend on a night out...then the the project raised $500 as the project rewards were so quirky and different.
    • Financial rewards are not allow in Pozible. You cannot give away money, shares, etc as part of a reward.
    • Top rewards can be companies that act as sponsors of that reward. Keep that in mind when negotiating sponsor opportunities. Sponsors like that as it gives them a level of certainty that they will invest to projects that are just successful.
    Tips for funding target
    • Target the absolute minimum budget that is critical to get your project over the line, specially for first timers and project creators that might not have a strong or solid fan base.
    • You should budget for the creation, management and delivery of rewards as part of your funding.
    • Transparency is key! Supporters should be able to know exactly how you are going to invest/spend the raised money into the project. Provide exact details.
    Tips for Marketing your project
    • Most of traffic comes from Project creators social media graph: Facebook and twitter accounting for the majority of traffic.
    • Contact every donor and say "Thank you" and remind them to invite their friends and family to donate.
    • Link from your project Youtube videos to your Pozible campaign via 'Annotation" feature on Youtube.
    • Once launched, you need to test your campaign and ensure payments are going through.
    • Decide on your voice and tone. Be consistent. Some might decide to NOT ask for donations. Instead, They INVITE people to be part of their project; to participate with in the project by contributing via crowdfunding website and get a fantastic reward from project creators.
    • You need extra Collaborators: you need to find more people who can contribute to your project and hence talk about and promote your crowdfunding campaign!
    • We need to mapout key Influencers and reach them: People like to follow what influencers do! Is there any respected industry leader who could endorse your project? Can you ask other popular artist to donate and do a little story with them on why they supported you? You need to get endorsements from any popular industry leaders and promote their support to your project via social media.
    • Flyers needed! When you meet new people during your crowdfunding campaign, a flyer needs to be given to them so  they can participate on your campaign. People do not necessarily remember web addresses. Give them an amazing flyer that they cannot resist following up when they get back home.
    • You need to map out our activities calendar! To keep people engaged via Social Media and as a way to remind them to donate, you need to plan and promote all your project daily activities during the the campaign period! You need to action this from the very beginning! Activities can be:
    - Concerts and gigs you will offer.
    - Collaborators you meet and start working with you.
    - Confirmed places you will visit as part of your project and people who will be hosting you.
    - Influencers you have met and endorse you project.
    - Crowdfunding updates, money raised so far.
    - Confirm sponsors
    - Other collaborations and stories.
    • You need visuals! use photos and videos, and plenty of visual clues that our project is going to be successful!
          Setting up your Crowdfunding campaign
          • Video describing the project is absolutely essential for improving the chances of success. Make it less than 3 minutes long.
          • Video and project description MUST be authentic, genuine, transparent and honest.
          • Tone of voice is extremely important. Ensure you get it right. seek for advice from professional communications specialist or watch other successful funded projects.
          Last but not least
          Examples of successful Pozible crowd funding projects
          • Mr Black - $10.000 target successfully raised!
          • The two chair project - $3,000 target successfully raised!
          • Ton of Wool - $33.000 target successfully raised!
          • Check below Amanda Palmer - The art of asking video - very inspirational video.

            Pozible Crowdfunding Workshop Sep 2013 - Founder Rick Chen speaking to the audience

            Monday, September 2, 2013

            Global Mobile App market to triple in just less than 3 years!

            Mauricio Escobar Marmol from eDigital @ Mobile Monday Sydney 2nd Sep 2013

            As global mobile app market is to triple in just less than 3 years time; I wanted to have a refresher tonight at Mobile Monday Sydney. Key takeaways to follow suit this week.


            Sunday, September 1, 2013

            Tips from Nick Boshier - Creator of Beached az bro! & Bondi Hipsters - Youtube videos

            Last thursday I had the pleasure to assist to  Engine Room's (Co-working space) Digital Freelancers session - @ Chippendale, Sydney. Australia.

            Nicholas Boshier  - Creator of Beached az bro! (Beached Whale), Trent from Punchy & Bondi Hipsters - Viral and popular Youtube videos was one of the keynote speakers and here I would like to share his tips for digital content creation.
            Nicholas Boshier @ Engine Room Presentation
            NICK'S TIPS:
            • Create simple stuff - do not complicate it.
            • You never know what's gonna hit but some key elements normally work: needs to be easy to watch, short version, colorful colours, able to watch on your iphone.
            • Needs to be sharable (make something that people want to share - advocacy). Give it away - Free.
            • Youtube is hungry for cool and unique content and they are very supportive with new content creation ideas. 
            • Youtube can also help your content to be partner with specific brands.
            • Do not wait for perfection. Create and launch quick, if something bites then you build around it.
            • Visit, watch and use all the tips given on Youtube's Playbook website for content creators. 
            • You need to have a constant desire to push stuff out.
            • Be willing to suck up, to be bad and learn from mistakes. Next time you will do it better.
            Beached Whale - Beach az bro video (7 million views - not bad bro!)

            • Idea got created with $16 dollars and coffee. Very simple creation.
            • Whether you are a creator or not, you have access to a massive audience via Youtube.
            • Cafe Press allowed them to sell Promotional staff including a Beached az bro g-string!
            • Supre approached them and they wanted to do a Beached az t-shirt and as soon as they started selling t-shirt via Supre the Beach az concept worked and sold thousands of t-shirts.
            • Then, ABC (Australian tv channel) came in and wanted to expand the concept with some TV series (episodes).

            Trent from Punchy (over a hundred thousand Facebook fans)

            • Got offered a featured film that possibly will be done 2014.
            • Raised part of the money as a Crowdfunded.
            • Trent from Punchy was just an experiment that become so popular.
            Bondi Hipsters Youtube episodes & The life organic video

            • Bondi Hipsters idea coming from Christian who was sick during some months.
            • One episode a week for a year.
            • Turn down any sponsorship. They just wanted to build the audience.
            • Sold episodes to ABC.
            • TV channels are so hungry for content.
            • Merchandise line coming up
            • Bondi Hipsters tour coming up at festivals.