Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Relationship’

Boo for Bank of America

November 8, 2006 1 comment

Mark Hurst tells a powerful story of anti-consumer experience on his Good Experience blog.

Matthew Shinnick sold a pair a mountain bikes on Craigslist, but the check he received in the mail looked a bit suspicious. He mentioned this to the teller at San Francisco branch Bank of America. Moments later he was dragged from the bank in handcuffs and spent the next 12 hours in jail. The charges were dropped but Shinnick ended up spending over $14,000 in legal fees.

Bank of America’s response? We’re sorry this happened, and we understand your anger, but we don’t really have any liability. Wow! Now that is some customer service: we don’t owe you anything! Sounds like they’re really setting some “higher standards”–for customers that is! Consumer Advocate Clark Howard mentioned Matthew’s plight on his show and ended up starting a “BOA Meter” tracking how much money customers had removed from Bank of America by closing their accounts in response to the Shinnick crisis. It looks like it has topped over $50 million thus far.

My Copyright Muse

October 25, 2006 Leave a comment

With excited anticipation that Hollywood was responding to the customer centric worldview, I posted news about My Movie Muse last July. After three months, I am disappointed to say that so far this supposed panel of movie goers has had little opportunity to offer real opinions on the content of films or the current film-making industry.

Instead, this has primarily turned out to be My Copyright Muse, giving us lessons (disguised as surveys) about why downloading movies illegally is so naughty. Oh well, so much for thinking and communicating with real people from Hollywood. Their surveys are just as two dimensional as an old Western set.

The Great Wall of MySpace

September 13, 2006 5 comments

Trying to keep out open source invaders, MySpace has decided to erect walls around its interface, claiming YouTube, Flickr and others are simply leeches on the MySpace body. Or as Peter Chernin says,

“If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flickr, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace.”

It appears MySpace is going to make their space less friendly to outside companies by blocking external links in flash widgets and more. They also plan to develop proprietary widgets for video and other services.

As TechCrunch says, “It sounds like MySpace’s owners may not want to play a game where everyone wins.”

Too bad. We’ll see what happens. Maybe MySpace won’t take their ball go home. And if they do, hopefully someone will come and play even better ball than before.

Not People-Centric!

August 31, 2006 Leave a comment

Wow! This news from Captain’s Corner is a big disappointment in the “treating people like persons” department. Yesterday, ”  RadioShack Corp. notified about 400 workers by e-mail that they were being dismissed immediately as part of planned job cuts” (from Globe and Mail). This is certainly one way to use technology to dehumanize people.

Captain’s Quarter wonders, “If this is how they treat their employees, imagine what Radio Shack thinks of their customers.”

Personal Space Being Invaded?

June 27, 2006 Leave a comment

If you have a big body bubble, why not make it tangible? Iconoculture reports on a new life dress for women by Anna Maria Cornelia. I guess you could sit in there and IM all your close friends.

Life Dress by Anna Maria Cornelia

And while I’m noting anti-relational trends, Iconoculture offers a succinct quote from a recent CNET article.

For many reasons, people bond with robots in a way they don’t bond with their lawn mowers, televisions or regular vacuum cleaners. At some point, this could help solve the looming health care problem caused by an enormous generation of aging people. Not only could robots make sure they take their medicine and watch for early warning signs of distress, but they could also provide a companion for lonely people and extend their independence.

While that certainly sounds convenient, I don’t think it sounds personal. The origins of the word “person” are fuzzy and may have several strands, but it was once a legal term for property owners (men) in the Roman empire.

When trying to articulate the doctrine of the Trinity, the Greek Church Fathers gradually came to link person with being to suggest that “God was being in communion.” In other words, the doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) suggests being cannot being reduced to a substance or essence that precedes relationship.

Humans, as images of God, are persons in the sense that we are fundamentally relational with other humans. While dogs, cats and even robots may give us warm fuzzies they cannot enter into the messiness of a fully reciprocal relationship.

And in one sense that is what relationship is about: messiness, conflict, forgiveness, betrayal, redemption, and sometimes separation. Our capacity to wound one another corresponds with our capacity to enter into genuine loving relationships that cannot be duplicated with any other force, object or creature.

Sure caring for elderly can be difficult and messy and overwhelming. That’s part of what human life is all about. I guarantee it is not about sitting on the couch watching American Idol every night.

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