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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Insufficient messaging

November 21, 2013

I’m sitting at my desk, typing away, wrapping up the first draft to my book The Critical Century. I have my TV on, as usual. I’m watching news, as usual. Yesterday I had it on too. I watched news, a couple of documentaries and a variety show; while I was writing, of course. Something struck me. Something I have been talking about for years, but somehow yesterday, it struck me and today it’s self evident.…

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October 24, 2013

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while but have held off believing I would not bring anything new to the discussion. It feels as though everything that has to be said about it has been said. The reason I’ve decided to finally say something is because I think that I’ve finally accepted that terror is irrelevant. Of course there is loss of life. Of course there is destruction. Of course it creates…

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Car free?

September 21, 2013

Today is World Car Free Day. Admittedly, it’s idealistic to think that we could get rid of cars. However, is it utopic to think that we might be able to reduce the number of cars on the road? Could we reduce by 10%? How about by half? The problem is, you might be willing to admit, that cars are part necessity but also part, and a big part, self-esteem. We like the feeling of getting…

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A new language

August 23, 2013

It took time but it’s here, but mainstream advertisements are finally speaking a modern language. They are speaking to their demographic in the language of that demographic, no matter how much it might offend the fringes of the demographic. I am speaking of this Scope advertisement that shows us why youth would want to use Scope. Let’s face it, mouth hygiene is probably very low in the mind of teens and twenty somethings. If you’re…

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Slow road to nowhere

August 22, 2013

I value every job in our economy; we all should. I believe that every profession is worthy of our respect for without it the rest of us would frankly, not get far. However, I do question our educational paradigm. I question the value of teaching someone who ultimately ends up holding a road sign at a construction site about Caesar or the quadratic equation. Indeed, this must be a world of equal opportunity and so…

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Good job Unicef & Liam

August 18, 2013

Public service announcements are difficult to produce, I know. And, as with advertisements and songs, it’s easy to give up thinking that everything has already been tried. Well, here is one that I just saw that has the distinction of being extremely well produced, technically speaking, but also has exceptionally well thought out content and delivery. Take a look. The camera work, the lighting, the sound, the narration… all are flawless. Liam Neeson delivers the…

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Speak clearly

August 11, 2013

I’ve been complaining about how institutions communicated for years. I’ve been frustrated by the code, the formalism, the double entendres, the misinformation and every other cryptic use of language destined to simultaneously cover their back sides and commit them to nothing. In some circles, this is called UN-speak. I admit that I have often called it that. But clearly, that is unfair inasmuch as the worst offenders are politicians once elected. I stipulate once elected…

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I smell revolt

July 30, 2013

The fast food employees are on strike to increase their minimum wage of just above $7 an hour. McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profit. What’s wrong with this picture? You might say that disparity is an economic driver. You might say that for centuries we have had a scale of success in our democratic societies and there has not been proletariat revolt. Well, I smell something different brewing. Corporate America and Corporate World, watch out.…

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The Awakening

July 26, 2013

Can we put the planet on pause for one moment? Look at all that you have. Do not look at what you hope to achieve, gain or benefit from. Do not look at your need or want. I ask you, do you have too little, just enough or too much. Chances are that you’ll answer that you have too little. Indeed, we are continually chasing dreams. We want a better car, bigger house, newer tech…

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$75 Logo

June 27, 2013

How about this as a response to this ad asking for a $75 logo in three days? “Let me get this straight. You are starting a surgical group, I assume with the intent of making millions of dollars selling products that, for instance, are in the field of robotic surgery, implying that you must have some kind of start up capital, and you are asking for a ‘sleek, clean and professional’ logo and you want…

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Fight homophobia campaign

May 16, 2013

Today’s the International Day Against Homophobia (actually, it’s tomorrow but my calendar says today so I guess we’ll make it last two days!). This is the official website and this is their campaign poster for 2013. There are many things I really like about this poster. The graphics are good: the color is stark, the contrast is stark, the top slogan is stark. I did not say excellent because two things do not work, the slogan…

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Divide and conquer

April 30, 2013

Communications is a tough business. Being good means being better than those who have come before us and goodness knows that we’ve had some great communications over the past century or so. I came across an ad that I believe deserves praise. This is not an endorsement of the product or the company; it is an endorsement of the creative talent. First watch the ad, then read on. So, here’s the deal. What I love…

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