Excess Noise Blog

Opinions and informal analyses by Cemil (Jim) Alyanak - K3MRI

Excess Noise Blog

Risks & Dangers: Step 1

June 3, 2019

Why do we ignore warnings? Why have we become so laissez-faire that even a fire alarm, a signal telling us that the building might burn down and kill us, will not rouse us? We sit there in our apartment or hotel room wondering when this annoying noise will stop. The obvious first answer is that we have heard so many false alarms, that we no longer associate that ringing with actual danger. It’s probably some…

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The Comic Arts

August 9, 2017

Those who know me, know my passion for comics. They can say so much more in one image than pundits can in a day. Regardless of your political affiliation, or maybe because of it, a comic will either confirm your world view, reject it or cause you to think about it. The image I’ve chosen to best illustrate this is one drawn by Joe Heller. Again, regardless of whether you agree with the substance of…

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Troubling divides

December 11, 2016

I live in a country that is, broadly speaking, split in half. I, however, believe that as with a couple’s quarrel, by day two, neither side really knows why it’s angry or in disagreement. In the USA, for example, many of the disaffected white Republican voters are actually beneficiaries of the very social programs they wish away. Many of the billionaire Democrats ally themselves with a party and an ideology that would see their billions somewhat…

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Saving the world

May 12, 2016

What a big word: ‘World’. For us tiny humans, it seems so daunting, endless and eternal. We now know it is not. But truth be told, none of us seems to be able to divorce ourselves from wanting more. It is animal. Our ancestors did not have enough so they were programmed to always seek. Now that we have more than we need, we cannot seem to deprogram ourselves. I know what I’m talking about,…

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April 6, 2016

I recently returned from a one month filming trip through Africa. Obviously, to those who have travelled throughout Africa, the Continent creates many memories. First among them is clearly the people. Every time I come back, I leave a part of me there. This time was no different; or maybe it was just slightly different. This is the first time I have come back from Africa with memories of bumps in the road; no, I…

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Product ingredients

November 19, 2015

Do you want to reverse climate change? Put ingredients on every product. I’m not talking food, I’m talking products like cars, phones, clothes, furniture and all the other things we buy; that includes all the eco-friendly stuff.   If people realized what went into building their goodies they might think twice about their impact on the environment. Think of something as small as a phone. Think of all the raw materials, many of them dangerous and rare. Think…

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Social media killed my social life

October 13, 2015

I’ve heard the arguments. I agree with many of them. Social media, e.g. Facebook, have given us/me the opportunity of reconnecting with long lost friends. I’ve reconnected with my high school buddies and even with friends from before. Yes, it allows me to keep up with my daughters’ lives, a little. It allows me to connect with some of my wive’s friends and to get to know them. Social media lets me know about events.…

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Presidential substance

August 8, 2015

As we enter the primary season of the 2016 US presidential elections I have a simple request: competence. Who among us is willing to be operated on by an under-qualified surgeon? Is anyone prepared to fly in a Boeing 787 with someone who only has Cessna 172 experience? We even expect our bus drivers to be highly competent. Why then are we willing to hire our next President based on her or his popularity? Without…

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Public interest communications

May 11, 2015

It’s been a while, but sure enough it happened again, I was condescending about public interest communications. It happened at a dinner the other evening. There I was, being social and mingling, talking about all the things that parents talk about; I should mention we were all students’ parents attending a prom night potluck dinner. Well, as the evening was winding down, the subject of public interest communications and public service announcements cropped up and,…

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Paycheck to paycheck

April 14, 2015

I’ve always shied away from full out ranting. I’ve always preferred to pull up my boot straps and get to work. Whining and worrying, I was taught, and I believe, will not put food on the table, labor will. At least that’s what I thought until I had to do it, every day, every week, every month, every year. As every passing year ended, it became evident that life on our planet, in our society,…

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CNN not always balanced

December 5, 2014

Full disclosure, CNN is my usual news channel. It’s the one I find most neutral of the current, major five cable news channels (CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CNBC, Al Jazeera). However, I find what they just did to Governor Chris Christie wrong and unbalanced. Chris Christie, possible 2016 presidential candidate, current Republican Governor of New Jersey, was shown on CNN ad infinitum during the early days of the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal. As you’ll recall, he was suspected…

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No words

September 16, 2014

Somehow, we have allowed our celebrities to get away with more. They can spend more, drive faster and now they can even abuse their spouse and we let it ride. Sure, there is temporary outrage but are there consequences to the greater organization? Is the NFL adequately held accountable for allowing several players to be abusive while sweeping complaints under the rug? The solution is not an outright boycott. It may not even come from…

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One-way vs Two-way streets

September 3, 2014

This is a fascinating article on one vs two way streets and how these affect both business and pedestrian safety. From a Communications and Perception Analysis standpoint it is a clear example of the kinds of impacts perception can have. I encourage you to read it here.

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Thank you CVS!

September 3, 2014

Give credit where credit is due. CVS has become the first US national drugstore chain to kick the habit. Gone are cigarettes from all of its stores and we’re talking lots of stores. Now, instead of cigarettes and other tobacco behind the counter, you’ll see, among other things, tobacco cessation aids. Clearly, the tobacco battle seems to be won in the US. There is still a bit of marching to do but when you look…

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