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The Real People in the Middle of this Election (and the TV hype)


Errol Morris is arguably one of the most important documentary film makers of our time. More than just an Academy Award winner (for “The Fog of War“), he has an amazing talent for listening to people and letting them tell their own stories in ways that inform and even illuminate reality.

Now, he has written for the NYTimes blog site an extremely insightful perspective, including an impressive selection of historical examples, on real “everyday” people in election advertising campaigns. This perspective, “People in the Middle” also includes discussion and links to Morris’ brand new web video site, PeopleintheMiddleforObama.org which was sponsored by People for the American Way.

About this new work, Morris says, “If you’re not going to put words in people’s mouths, if you’re really listening to what they have to say, you’re going to learn something. Admittedly, the evidence is anecdotal. I haven’t selected these people through some kind of statistical sampling. These people are self-selected. They wrote in and said that they were registered Republicans, Independents or switch-voters who were planning to vote for Obama. People in the middle. And I was interested in talking to them on film about why they were making the switch from voting for a Republican to voting for a Democrat.”

Most interesting to me was this conclusion, “The people I interviewed have embraced Obama. They are voting for a candidate, not against a candidate.”

Read more of Errol Morris on “People in the Middle” by clicking here.

Johnny Chung Lee: My New Procrasteering, Low-Cost Electronic Whiteboard-Inventing Hero


After I discovered the YouTube video on 3-D virtual reality using Nintendo Wii hardware posted below by Johnny (Chung) Lee, I started digging deeper.

First, I discovered the YouTube video posted below about building a low-cost electronic whiteboard using the same Nintendo Wii hardware and custom software that he is giving away. Way cool!

Now, I’ve learned that Johnny has named his blog after a term I’ve never heard before and which I presume he invented, “procrastineering” which he says means “giving into productive distractions.” I can totally relate. I presume he means like me blogging right now instead of working, right? Johnny’s blog is http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/

And then (yes, there’s more), I found out that way back in 2000, he invented a $14 steadicam for videographers replacing that expensive piece of equipment that every semi-serious video camera person needs these days, but many cannot afford. He’ll even put one together for you and sell it for about $54 including shipping!

This guy’s so cool that he’s even put out a call for Mac developers to help him develop a Mac version of the Wiimote Whiteboard.

Johnny, I’m officially your fan. We even have the same “JL” initials. 😉 Great stuff.