The beginning

My husband is a fan of “spaghetti western” movies. I like the simplicity of the plots and the dusty scenarios too. But I just got into the genre after watching “The good, the bad, and the ugly” (1966). This is the last movie of a trilogy by the Italian director Sergio Leone (You may want to listen to the movie's awesome theme song as you keep reading this post). A young and charming Clint Eastwood is the taciturn Blondie, a “good” loner who has a hunter (the bad Angel Eyes) and a Mexican bandit (the ugly Tuco) as rivals. The irony is that Blondie is not exactly the portrait of a good man – he does whatever it takes to have his gold. Leone claims that "In pursuit of profit there is no such thing as good and evil, generosity or deviousness; everything depends on chance, and not the best wins but the luckiest."
This has very little to do with academic research, marketing, consumer culture and popular technology – the topics this blog intends to address. I just like the title and it seems an appropriate metaphor to the ambiguity of our roles as academic researchers moving between corporate and consumer issues. Who’s the Good in this plot? Who’s the Bad? Is the Good any better than the Bad? It’s not on me to label, classify, and judge – I will just describe, understand, interpret, and explain – I’m not bad, not good, I’m the researcher.

PS: It really seems to me that in real life, the one who’s smarter and shoots faster wins.

Other Sources: NYTimes Best 1,000 movies ever made


dasilvaorg said…

The question is, what is to be smarter?
Well, it may be many things, it really depends on the context! In this post, Daniel Lemire gives PhD students some advice on how to become smarter: