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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Half truths

September 2, 2014

There’s something that has always bothered me in advertising. It’s not the lies, those seem to eventually get weeded out by some government organization or consumer advocacy group. The thing I’m talking about are half-truths where the advertiser tells us one thing and omits another. This Andy Capp cartoon talks about one of them; one that I have had plenty of experience with. Banks, insurance companies, financial advisors, credit card companies and the slew of…

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Great survey line

August 7, 2014

Well done Silver Diner.

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Where’s the outrage?

July 24, 2014

MH-17, Middle East, Russia, Syria, North Korea or the RDC, guns in our schools, the largest prison population in the world is in the US, climate change… where is the outrage? We are collectively asleep. We are content with our hot running water and smartphones. We’d rather enjoy what we have and close our eyes to what’s around us. That’s fine, I understand that. It’s wrong, but I do understand it. What bothers me more…

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Culture matters

June 26, 2014

Having grown up on several continents and coming from a multi-ethnic background, it’s safe to say that I am multi-cultural. I am also, I’d like to believe, open minded. Indeed, when I travel to places, I fully expect different cultures to both behave differently from one another and to communicate uniquely. In the communications field we have all heard of the car-naming dilemmas that manufacturers have faced over the years. My favorite was the Pinto debacle…

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Vegan eggs, finally

May 24, 2014

It’s no secret that I’m a vegan. It’s no secret that in traveling the world I have often complained that restaurants, even supermarkets, have few if any options for vegetarians, much less vegans. The same could be said for the US up until about ten years ago when vegan and vegetarian fare began to make its way into the mainstream food supply chain. But there were still some major obstacles, notably eggs. Anything that had…

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Ad evolution

May 22, 2014

Advertising has come a long way in very few years. Remember, this is mainstream, big newspaper advertising. I am personally very happy to see that large advertisers have the courage to genuinely keep up with social trends. Of course, this opens the debate regarding how far we are willing to go. Are progressives, for instance, willing to accept mainstream advertising that promotes gun use? In any case, considering the growth of online media, it seems…

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Simple but smart promo

May 19, 2014

In a world of continuous advertising and marketing promotions, it is difficult to grab our attention. Non-stop we receive countless promotional pitches, discounts and gimmicks. 20%, 50%, even 90% off the retail price, they promise. We get points and miles just for opening the door or filling out a raffle. I just received a promotional email from Dunkin’ Donuts that caught my eye. It did so because what it asked me to do seemed simple, relevant and actually…

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International Museum Day

May 17, 2014

Tomorrow is International Museum Day. This got me thinking about how detached we have become from our past, from our friends and from our community. In days of yore, pre-internet, Sunday was often a day for going out with the family in search of some hidden city gem. We might go to the zoo or to the museum. Instead, today we might choose to binge on a Netflix series or spend our day surfing the web.…

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Perception slump

May 9, 2014

  How is the planet feeling? Are we in a good mood? Do we see a bright future filled with joyous harmony? I fear that humanity has never felt this way. Obviously, through our darkest hours, we have felt despair. But have we felt satisfied during our enlightened times? Did Florence and Venice rejoice during the Renaissance? Did their citizens wake up every day with a feeling of self-realization or were they nervous, unsure and otherwise…

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March 14, 2014

Sometimes you take a break. You don’t do something for a while. Then, when it’s time to get back in the saddle you hesitate. You’re not sure what to do. You go blank. I feel as though we’ve taken too long a break since we, the collective we, decided to act on something. I do believe that 9/11 was a missed opportunity to bring us all together, the collective we, to act on behalf of…

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Let's go to war!

December 11, 2013

I’ve just realized that basically half of the US budget is somehow devoted to defense. As for citizens, we own about 200,000,000 guns. We are ready for war, unfortunately, the wrong war(s). Maybe we should take a cue from one of the most famous recent wars: the War on Terror. It is an armed conflict but a war on something wrong, and that’s kind of right. So why not launch other kind of right wars?…

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Innocent times

December 5, 2013

Statistics matter. They bring you far closer to the truth than supposition or deduction. This said, consequence is also a good measure of reality. How things are, just are, is a good thermometer of our times. Well, I grew up in a period where going to the stadium was as easy as getting there, finding your seat, ordering some peanuts, et voila. Same for flying, we would take a cab to the airport, walk to…

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