We recently attended a seminal conference, an invitational affair that brought together some of the best minds in the digital world. Unfortunately, beyond the fact that it was put together by a guy named Jerry, we are sworn to deepest silence. The results of this meeting will very likely have enormous impact on your future, yet you'll never know what went on there. Moreover, the elite group of anonymous power brokers who met somewhere outside Philadelphia this past weekend are currently forming a sort of Trilateral Commission of the Internet.
Despite this cloud of secrecy, we did encounter one attendee who agreed to share his thinking with EGR readers. RageBoy® (we were soon to learn how he came by this odd appelation) is an advertising mage who advises some of the world's most revered (and feared) corporations. If you have never heard of him, it's no wonder: RageBoy® & Associates do not themselves advertise, and deal only with the very highest executive levels of the largest multinationals.
We made the near-fatal mistake of asking RageBoy® whether his concept of Stewart Brandship bore any relationship to Ogilvy & Mather's notion of "brand stewardship." At this, he flew into an eponymous rage and began breaking things. Deep research has since revealed that RageBoy® was once a close disciple of David Ogilvy, but that they parted ways over the use of reverse white-on-black typefaces, a rift that made the Freud-Jung schism look like a schoolyard spat.
Among the results of this outburst, he refused the interview he had previously agreed to, questioning how anyone so patently ignorant could possibly add anything to such an exchange. An autodidact from birth, RageBoy® seems to us to follow the classic pattern of the anarchist-turned-autocrat, but rather than lose an opportunity to present his views to EGR readers, we quickly acquiesced to the monologue form that has become his signature.
After recomposing himself (and hurling many gutter epithets in our direction) RageBoy® explained that Stewart Brandship was in fact named for the man who founded the Whole Earth Catalog. He indicated he had drawn enormous inspiration from Brand's "astoundingly effective piece of puffery" on MIT's Media Laboratory. Of the Lab's Director, Nicholas Negroponte, RageBoy says: "That this marketing genius could create near-religious fervor out of the abstruse and arguably deluded distinction between bits and atoms is living proof that people's c