Archive for October, 2010

Random friday Video series: Neuroscientist David Eagleman explains how IT and UPS will prevent the collapse of civilization

….well, kind of. See for yourself.


The meaning of the term pro-business, Nobel Prizes, and further thoughts on Prop 23

In  a recent essay, Seth Godin muses on the meaning of the term pro-business. Meanwhile, shareholders in some of the oil companies that contributed to Proposition 23 seem to be asking the same question.

The recent Nobel prize for economics went to a team of academics examining search theory and market friction, particularly as it applies to the job market. Loosely translated, this is an attempt to systematically answer a highly non-academic question from a lot of Americans: companies are hiring, have been hiring, say they desperately want to hire, sometime for a long period of time. So how come I can’t find a job?

Maybe part of what is going on is this: the jobs that are most find-able are ones where there are a lot of them and they are easy to define. Steelworker in Detroit. Telemarketer.

A lot of emerging job markets in the US – in the clean tech sector and elsewhere – are harder to find through normal flows of information in the conventional market because 1) they haven’t existed until recently (see: sustainability director) or2) they don’t exist until you make them up, or 3) they require a weird and diverse mix of skill sets, and/or 4) there’s a lot of them out there… but less that are alike.

If it’s hard to quantify the green jobs just yet – and if it’s hard to know for sure their role in turning the California economy around –  maybe it’s because they don’t look like what jobs used to look like. Guess what: neither does the rest of the workforce.

The random Friday green video series: David Arquette kung-fu fights against Proposition 23

This brings new meaning to the “random” part of the random video series.

Proposition 23 would suspend AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.  Apparently, David Arquette is pissed off about this and ready to kick some oil company butt.

So how effective is this ad?

On the one hand:

– This seems to be getting as many hits on Youtube as more, um, conventional Prop 23 commercials.

– It’s funny.

– The “Don’t Mess with California” tagline is catchy and a throwback to the wildly successful  “Don’t Mess with Texas” anti-littering campaign from several years ago.

Here’s one with Matthew McConaughey that combined kick-butt action, a celebrity, AND the actual topic of the campaign.

…. The stamp on the litterer’s forehead might resonate with viewers since, according to a recent report, guilt and peer pressure are key components to encouraging good environmental behavior.

Here’s another one with George Strait.

On the other hand:

– If you don’t know what Prop 23 is about already, you may think that Arquette is promoting a pro kung-fu ballot proposition, or tax relief for out-0f-work California stunt actors, or something else entirely.

– There’s pretty good evidence that, when it comes to green news,  people don’t care so much about what celebrities are doing.

In terms of changing behavior and motivating people to be green, there’s a fantastic conference coming up in Sacramento in November that spends three days on exactly this topic. The 4th annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference is worth checking out. You can ask many of the smart people there whether Arquette is going to defeat prop 23 with his fists of steel.

What’s your favorite ad campaign for green?

Yahoo! in Newsweek top 10 Green Businesses

Check out the link.

from the recreational Friday video series: Atomic Tom and the 4-iphone subway concert

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