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Feelings For A Machine

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

I’ve always been intrigued with the concept of having personal feelings for a machine. I’m not sure what sci fi experience started it, probably Star Wars, back when my parents took me with them to see it in 1977 in the theatre (yeah, that’s right, I’m kinda old). Then again with Blade Runner. I became fully aware of my fascination with feelings for a machine with the Kubrick/Spielberg movie AI which despite much hatred amongst most who viewed it, I loved. I vowed to see everything that Haley Joel Osment acted in since that movie. I also studied the idea further in the book “The Age Of Spiritual Machines” by music technology genius and futurist, Ray Kurzweil, who’s philosophies I only partly agree with.

It requires true talent for a director to make you have feelings for a machine, and they’ve done it again in Wall-E, the latest hit from Pixar. I was amazed at how the movie not only gives you empathy for a machine, but makes you forget your watching animation despite it being sci fi.

So another brilliant hit for Pixar (Disney’s just along for the ride), so that makes, what NINE hits? Every single movie Pixar has made has been a huge success. How can they sustain that when all the major studios fail?  If you ask Bob Lefsetz, he’ll tell you it’s because of a dedication to, a focus on, only one thing, quality.  EXCELLENCE! They don’t copy others, they don’t use cliches, they want nothing but to be the very best at what they do, and so they are. One could say it’s easy in a world overrun with mediocrity and people who are satisfied with making a quick buck. But it also takes the will and creativity and desire to do something a little different from everyone else, to take risks, but put your all into it, your best.

Will and Creativity are two things that have been sorely lacking in the music industry for some time. And that’s exactly what it desperately needs right now. But things are changing fast (unless you work for a large music corporation.)