Author Archives: Emily Ohlhoff

If We Spoke Compassionately

Created January 27, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

If We Spoke Compassionately to Everyone, It Would Make a Big Difference

Let me start with a very extreme case to prove my point.

If we spoke to Putin compassionately it might make a difference.

Soon after the Inauguration I wrote a series of three posts sort of like science fiction depictions of what the new President Joe Biden could do to make a clear break with the past and talk with the Russian and Chinese leaders as if there were no history of bad blood.

President Biden I guess did not read my posts or didn’t consider them as serious options.

It’s too bad because we all put our pants on the same way, we’re all human beings, a band of brothers and sisters whether we recognize it or not.

It would have had the advantage of surprise.

And not like Pearl Harbor.

More of a positive surprise, after all the hatred and suspicion.

Why continue to choose to fight when there’s a minute in which you can choose to proffer peace?

Right after being elected is just such a minute.

A window passed.

How long will we wait for another such opportunity?

We can do it right now!

We can really choose peace at any time. It just takes an authentic compassionate statement or two to stop the world. Stop the momentum of decades since we were allies. We were the best allies Russia and China ever had when we were fighting the Axis together.

Let’s remember those days when we were all larger than life heroes and not the blithering idiots we appear to have become. But that idiocy is just illusion being allowed to take over our minds.

All it really takes is getting in touch with our own humanity and putting our self in the other guy’s shoes for just a moment.

“Vlad, I know you’re pissed off because after all your hard work, the Soviet Union collapsed. I know you’d like to continue to play your cards to restore Rus to the greatness it deserves. I want you to succeed,” the US leader could say.

One country winning does not have to mean other countries losing.

“Vlad you say you and the Ukraine are one people, and I agree that you have been since the ninth century, but how can you welcome them back while threatening them with force? Isn’t there a cleverer way to win them back? I’m willing to help. I’d rather that brothers and sisters stayed unified. We’re all brothers and sisters, and one day we will all be unified. Then we will wonder how could it have taken this long to stop the bloody fighting among the human family?”

It cannot stop there with a nice moment and then back to business as usual. It has to be a permanent change, each of us is the only one who can do it.

If we all start doing it, it will spread like wildfire. Everyone wants it.

Stick to your principles, but offer them in a respectful and empathetic way, not with insults and threats. Show that you understand the opposition’s perspective, and where you agree with it. Show how those agreed principles led you to different conclusions; step by step, as if speaking to a beloved.

The tone of your voice has more of an effect than the words you use.

We Just Won an Emmy

Wednesday night January 26, 2022 I got a call and a link telling me that Next Century Media, my 1990s company, has won an Emmy for “Pioneering Development of Technologies to Collect granular linear TV Viewership Data including STB’s, ACR, Connected TV’s for Measurement, Marketing & Advertising”.

Three other companies each won the same award, and they had all built upon NCM’s technology to different degrees: Bell South, Cablevision, and DIRECTV. Bell South had integrated directly with NCM, and Cablevision and DIRECTV had adopted NCM algorithms that had been given pro bono to the industry as a standard, based on the request from then Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) CEO Jim Spaeth.

Many more people and companies deserve recognition for the invention of Set Top Box Data (STB). It’s always that way. It takes a community to accomplish anything of significance. Being able to work together and make it enjoyable is a master key to life. It seems like it’s going to make you go slower but it actually speeds up the upside outcome.

Bob Block built logging channel changes into his Telease set top box in 1972, although it didn’t have the algorithms yet to make it research currency grade data. John Malone and John Hendricks gave NCM the chance to deploy in what was then the world’s largest MVPD, TCI, later acquired by AT&T and today the largest part of Comcast’s footprint. John Malone’s Liberty Media owned TCI, and the NCM deployment of STB and addressable commercials (and personalized program recommendation and programmatic buying) was triggered by Discovery founder John Hendricks’ Your Choice TV (the conceptual grandfather of Hulu).

The NCM team was world class. My partner the late Len Matthews had been CEO of Leo Burnett then Y&R, President of the 4As and Undersecretary of Commerce. Deep thinker and award-winning copywriter Burt Manning had been Chairman of J. Walter Thompson. Lester Wunderman needs no introduction. Omnicom Chairman John Wren and global media head Arnie Semsky made the greatest use of our technology, and 20 other agencies and innumerable advertisers and media used it too. IBM, EDS, Groupe Bull all helped us get off the ground. Gian Fulgoni and Ed Dittus joined the Board.

NCM’s dedicated multinational multicultural full time team of 34 people in North America and Europe included the former CTO of the French NASA. The late Gerry Despain was a soft spoken genius who had led business optimization teams at GE and at Honeywell, and at NCM led the software development team of French and Belgian developers based in Versailles. Talk about agile rapid prototyping! I’ve never seen people turn my visions into working code so quickly.

NCM days were some of the best times of my life. The TRA technology and the RMT technology came out of NCM. Visible World and Invidi carried on NCM’s work brilliantly and now TV is rapidly becoming addressable everywhere, and granular clickstream (a term we coined meaning naturally-occurring audience data) is available universally in digital (who learned a lot from NCM, especially Dave Morgan) and fast becoming universal in TV.

I’m thrilled that we were recognized by the Television Academies. My humble gratitude will be expressed at the ceremonies in Las Vegas on April 25.

I must say, with the rewarding work I’ve been given through RMT and Bill Harvey Consulting, it feels to me like the 90s right now, all over again.

The best is yet to come for all of us.

Best to all,


We Are Not as Polarized as It Seems

Created January 21, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog post.

Although we in the USA are unquestionably more polarized than we have been since the Civil War.

Yet the phenomenon is at a very superficial surface level. Arguments begin to flare up as soon as tripwire words are used and then people change the subject or get into fights.

It’s that surface tension which prevents us from going deeper where we would find more common ground than we would expect.

The singularity of present times were concocted by a devil’s brew of causes coming together all at once: two political parties drifting farther apart toward extremism, some social media engines fueling whatever gets virality, Acceleritis (information overload increasing daily), the pandemic, fear of the future replacing our signature hope and faith that the future is in our hands and we will lead the world into a form of practical utopia.

This last item is especially concerning because the very spirit of America is now doubting its own core essence. We can’t let that happen, we must turn back the clock on that one.

The mind is a very complex thing. If we let ourselves cave to lack of confidence in ourselves, it will become much harder to fix things, and the effects are cumulative. We’ve already let it go too far. Let’s stop it here and start to walk it back.

First of all, let’s consider my assertion that there are more good people than bad people in the world.

What is a good person? What is a bad person?

These are both temporary conditions not permanent ones, except in the most extreme cases. We know that Hitlers and serial killers have specific causes for their behavior that are probably not totally under their own control, yet it makes sense to hold them responsible anyway, and even if they are insane we need to put them someplace they can’t hurt others. The same applies to all of us.

A good person is someone whose actions consider other people. That is most of us. It includes the times we really don’t care that much about the specific other person involved but we realize that things will be better for us if we treat them as if we care. Under this definition I think most of us would agree that most people fit into that “good” category.

Good and bad are in the mind reductionist abstractions of a far more nuanced and complex distribution of characteristics in the population. Each of us is a complex and ever-evolving skein of at least 265 personal characteristics relevant to this discussion. Each Democrat and each Republican is totally unique in terms of this mix of elements of which Left-Right is only one. The two buckets are nearly meaningless when all of these characteristics are considered. Categorizing ourselves as Left or Right is an immense oversimplification and trivialization of our personal individuality.

Left and Right in themselves certainly are a reality, one of the dimensions of bias we have been conditioned to have. Any form of mental/emotional bias is inherently a very bad idea. We ought as individuals to approach life scientifically therefore without bias, studying the facts and making the best decisions based on the evidence, and always, thinking creatively.

Even before present times it was concerning that our political leaders do not appear to have a great deal of creativity, offering us the same solutions and the same candidates over and over, when they ought to have learned by now from the evidence of their own senses how senseless this is. In every other walk of life our species demonstrates amazingly vast amounts of creativity, why is it so absent from the political realm where it is arguably the most needed?

It does come back to Acceleritis. In accelerating overload stress conditions, the mind seeks closure hastily embracing binary bias as an unconscious tactic which fails miserably yet is tolerated. Black and white no in-between. The world thus distorted can thus never be seen with clarity.

With distorted judgment (bias) being institutionalized in our egos and in our political parties, is it any wonder that one day we would arrive in this state?

Deeper inside than our egos we are in our Deep Selves unbiased observers and experiencers. You have had moments of supreme clarity when you have seen all that I say here for yourselves. You can train yourself to get back into that headspace at will. In that place in yourself you realize you are detached from all this hullaballoo, it doesn’t really touch you, who cares, let me just get on with what I want to do with my life, to express my own creativity and individuality.

Biases rule the world. We don’t have a scientific party. We don’t have a spiritual party. We have a progressive party that wants change and a conservative party that likes things as they are. Both are biases. The mind should be left open to consider each proposed change without having to stop all change.

When on the other hand we sense we are tense and attached to something it is a sign that we are not in our Deep Self at that moment. Attachment is distorted judgment. It is therefore a sign of being in the Ego state.

You can experience these different states of consciousness for yourself. Get away from reading and other people for a little while and practice and you will get the skill of moving yourself back into your own Deep Self.

We can repair our country by conversations that go beneath kneejerks down to find where we do agree, and work out the details of the future from there.

Although the power fight is going on for control of the country, we cannot press a button to make that stop. We have to let it go its way for now while we by means of conversations interpersonally and in the media have people who are in different parties demonstrate how working things out can occur. Survey companies can go deeper and referendums can be mounted.

We will find that the will of the people is to stop the bickering and fix things, and that the parties are writing their own death certificates by the way they are acting. More and more people are becoming independents. Fewer and fewer people are saying to themselves “My Party Right Or Wrong”. They are freeing themselves from biases and acting more maturely. Some are moving into their passion work, regardless of their age. As Stan Satlin writes, “Ageing is God’s way of saying stop wasting time”.

All the best,


Loving Your Life

Created January 14, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog post.

Imagine that people have two levels. One is the one that they are consciously affecting. The other is so deep inside of them, most have lost touch with it.

The face one wishes to present at the moment is the shallow self. It’s actually a bio-AI. Most psychological thinkers through the ages have called it the Ego. In most of my writings I call it the Robot. It can be accurately called persona or mask. It’s very concerned about Others. It acts as a manager or press agent on your behalf. It’s in a defensive coping mode, compensating for perceived inadequacies in oneself/the situation.

If you feel any negativity (anger, fear, depression, etc.) you are in that shallow self. If you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list you are in that shallow self in the grips of Acceleritis.

The Deep Self is the experiencer, the essence, the core of who you are, that which observes, and where your intuition comes from. It is generally subconscious in our modern world culture. Acceleritis and a social order which prevents most of us from doing our passion work is what has oppressed our Deep Self and over-ridden it with an Emergency Simplification Network. An automaton.

When you are able to see your own insincerity in action, or in any other way notice that a part of you is running amok, you are in the Deep Self, in the Observer state.

When you are performing perfectly and immensely enjoying the fun of it, you are in the Deep Self, in the Flow state.

In both of these Deep Self states, some part of what had been in your subconscious is now revealed to your conscious mind.

The actual original purpose of meditation is to reach the Deep Self.

The Conscious

Now that one is constantly tempted to lift and see the little screen (btw, 70% of digital ad spend is now through mobile), and the level of Acceleritis (information overload) ensures a backlog of inner distractions from recent memory the mind is eager to go back to, the present world audience is in analysis paralysis mode all the time.

The Deep Self

Harvard’s Gerald Zaltman has published findings proving that 95% of the buying decisions consumers make are made by the subconscious mind. No one has taken issue with this as it is so self-evidently true. Simmons has shown that demographics and geographics combined account for an average of only 6% of brand adoption. The rest is caused in the Deep Self.

The Deep Self is always there, the experiencer of all that goes on within and without. The attention of the Deep Self is always looking for important things to focus upon, but in the absence of anything but the usual trivia, defaults to the Default Mode Network (DMN), which intuitively steers through stimuli whether presented internally or externally. The DMN, we hypothesize, is always in touch with a Subconscious Alarm Network (SAN) which always scanning for threats or opportunities. That SAN is always interested to pick up on any signals which relate to the individual’s driving motivations, the individual’s hopeful dreams about their own future life. The most important stuff in life.

In order to reach your own Deep Self, you have to change the way you relate to the contents of your moment-to-moment mind and feelings.

Right now, you probably identify yourself with the contents of your own moment-to-moment mind and feelings.

That identification is what allows you to be ruled by your robotic self.

The hidden switch in your mind is the ability to become the observer of all that, taking it as evidence of what some part of you believes and feels, but not taking it as the final verdict of what the larger you, the real you, believes and feels.

If you practice and gain proficiency at this, what will you gain?

You will have more peak experiences of both Observer state and Flow state, making you more effective in life.

You will find yourself taking your dreams and passion work totally seriously and gravitating into making that what you wind up concentrating upon in your real life.

You will realize that you love your life.

A sustained realization.

Happy New You!

Created January 7, 2022

This was the message I received on New Year’s Eve from my great friend and songwriter Stan Satlin. Now the purloined title elegantly captures the sense of a brand-new year of opportunity to choose a new way of being.

Why would you want to choose a new way of being? You may be very happy the way you are.

Because you may be able to appreciate even more of what happens to you—your experiences—starting in 2022, starting right now in fact.

A person who is able to draw the lesson from every experience need not ever label any experience as a bad one. This is not just intellectualizing, it’s a state of being that anyone can feel inside, can experience on their own. Millions of people do it, just not all the time.

Admittedly today these are rare experiences of clarity which occur in specific states of mind I call the Observer state and the Flow state.

The important point is that you can bring on these states to such a degree as to permanently change your mental emotional processes.

It starts with metacognition– becoming and staying aware of what is going on in your mind from one second to the next. The practice of meditation builds the mental muscle for metacognition. Mindfulness programs such as those in MIND MAGIC train you how to consciously use those muscles.

Even for a beginner, it’s pretty easy to maintain such a self-observant state for a short while, and what typically happens unnoticed—it sneaks up on you—is that you get caught up in a thought which takes you away from watching your own mind into being your old self again, that is, either daydreaming aimlessly or talking to yourself without remembering that the real you is the observer of all these inner processes. In effect you identify with a specific process and forget your real identity as the experiencer of all of it.

This may be harmless diversion and fun anyway, or it may be negative ego exercise which is harmful to your own life and to others’ lives.

Neuroscience is bringing true science to the aspiring protoscience of psychology. Someday they will merge completely possibly also incorporating what have until now been classified as spiritual practices.

Dr. Richard Silberstein is a neuroscientist who invented a form of brain measurement that is far more precise than EEG, sort of the electron microscope for tracking brain processes. His descriptions of how different neuron networks in the brain talk to each other are going to bring together a lot of superb work being done across related fields, partly due to the tool he has created and partly due to his thorough experimentation with it. The tool has already become a staple of applied neuroscience within the media, marketing, and advertising industries, winning several Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) awards.

In a fascinating article revealing the potential positive effects of autism and attention deficit disorders, Dr. Silberstein explains that everyone’s unconscious processes are always testing untold numbers of ideas that do not get presented to the conscious mind. Located in the left hemisphere in the frontal cortex and temporal cortex, the Judgment Network—one of the networks of neurons Dr. Silberstein discusses in the article—is the decider which selects the ideas worthy of being let through to consciousness, to the experiencer, you.

In much the same way the Judgment Network is undoubtedly also judging everything that you experience, and judging you. Hasty judgments (I call hasty closure) are swift to condemn something that you’ve condemned before. I call upon the spirit of a brand-new year to inspire you to see if you can reassert control over these unconscious processes and turn them more to your own and humanity’s advantage.

Hypothesis #1: You would enjoy life much more if you sat less in judgment of it.

Hypothesis #2: You would enjoy life much more if you sat less in judgment of yourself—especially as regards the unchangeable past, in which deeds you might still be angry at yourself for, led to changes which helped you grow as a person. Too late to change it and it’s a waste of your mental energy and brings you down. That stuff will be easier to clear out if you make a fresh start right now.

Hypothesis #3: If you, from now on, hear/feel your Judgment Network as just more evidence being brought before you, and deny it the power of issuing final verdicts, you will be more open to creative new ideas, mostly your own ideas which have never been able to escape the oubliette in which they are consigned by your Judgment Network—which is not omniscient, it’s more like an AI, you can’t allow your self to be ruled by it.

Hypothesis #4: You’ll also be more open to new experiences, which may not radically change your behavior, but may vastly increase your savor of situations you’ve merely put up with in the past.

If any of these come out that way for you after you begin standing back from your own automated inner reactions, as it all assuredly will based on the testimonies of thousands of MIND MAGIC readers, it will have been worth what little effort it takes to put metacognition to work for you, in re-creating yourself more consciously than your automated processes have been able to.

This is an especially good year for us all to make a major break with the past.

We need it.

Love to all,