Source Code Switch

Source Code Switch

Both in popular usage and in the sociolinguistic study, the name codeswitching is sometimes used to refer to switching among dialects, styles or registers.

Code-Switching is a common phrase and an NPR Podcast.  If you’re not familiar with this phrase please YouTube Key and Peele.  It’s good stuff. 

So what is Source Code Switching?  It’s associated with advertising and it wants your money.

Matching the energy of the person you are trying to sell to is an old sales tactic as well as a social phenomenon.  I can remember during my cable sales and service days the manager advising us to listen to the tone of the voice of the customer on the phone.  Ask yourself are they sad, slow talkers, or fast thinkers and quick talkers?  Match your voice to the customers. If you talk too fast to a slow talker you will lose them, and so on.

It is also used in the gutter and pop-up ads for your personal web world.  Source Code algorithms (and other secret stuff) categorize YOU; how you speak, write, knows your economic/social level, etc, then places you in a box, and sends you unique ads.  In a sense, YOU are designing your own ad experience. Wow! What fun. The ultimate house of mirrors! Corporations do this to increase sales. Salespeople do this to get sales.  People do this with each other to be accepted. I find myself doing this with everyone in my world and I can’t stop.

Back in the day when I sold auto insurance and cable packages over the phone, but not at the same place, (that would be pretty cool) I learned how to match the energy of the person I was talking to.  The consumer feels comfortable when they hear their own verbal register used in a professional manner and may if you’re good enough, buy your product or in a customer service situation, at the very least, feel better about their purchase.  This works.


Preparing for a job interview, managing a table at a festival, being a receptionist, talking to your manager and their boss, communicating with the person who is changing your oil, WE ALL put assumptions on those folks as we approach them and change our behavior accordingly. Why?  Because we are social. Humans are social creatures.

Freud, however,  suggests everything is about sex, the accumulation, and discharge of sexual energy which is the identical experience of trying to convince a cable customer to add the Cinemax digital channel line up to their package or increase the bodily injury limits on their BMW.   Oh ya.

Today I am no longer a salesperson.  These habits, developed in my formable 30’s, continue to hover.  It’s like a little throw up in the back of the throat. I’ll notice slight changes in my body language and comfort level adjust even between friends.  I hate this. I scream to the universe, “Why can’t I be my honest self all the time in every situation? Why?” The planet does make these types of people.  People that shoot from the hip, wear their attitude on their sleeves, those superheroes that don’t blink at a high noon challenge. Those people are usually called Grandparents.  Grandparents do not give a shit what others think. They barrel through any given situation with a fuck you attitude like the wrinkled divas they are. 

 So, what’s up?

I’m not a Grandparent, How do I fix this?
I will do the most American thing I can do and rationalize my actions,  not change anything, but change my perception.

OK, here I go…
Grandpas are married to Grandmas.  Grandmas tell us to be kind and consider the feelings of others.  They are, in this argument, the feminine nurturing energy that creates, bonds and surrounds us with life-giving energy.  Grandpas are masculine, strong, protective, represents reason and logic. Translation: embrace your inner PawPaw and Oma. 

See, self-improvement is easy.



photo credit: 2013

Dream Big

Grand Entrance to a Dream Home, $1.9

Times are tough.  Not for everyone all the time.  There is a proverb that claims it rains on the just and unjust alike.  Most proverbs reference a farmer’s point of view, so I believe “rain” is a good thing, it’s what you want, it’s pennies from heaven.

 My Dream
house 5
THE Happy Deck, $1.5

At times when very little rain comes my way, I like to dream. I dream big.  Hard work pays off, I retire, can afford a nice house.  Nice by MY standards, of course, because it’s my dream.

One of my dreams goes like this: I see myself in a large house, with a flower garden.  My family is there, my two cats and one friendly, soft-eared black Spaniel, or King Charles (can’t decide) is resting near me as I dead-head the Geranium and Petunias planted along the bed’s border.  The sun is shining and there is a cool breeze.  Birds play in the branches. Dinner will be ready soon; there is laughter, music and great fragrance of a home cooked meal.  All kind of art hangs my on walls, interesting, exciting pieces collected from my world travels.  Shoes gather around the front door, as the house fills, comfortably, with friends, family, smiles and laughter.

I’m saying “Thank You” and “I love you” sharing the riches of my hard work with those I love.  —Hard work?  Yes.  Unless I win the lotto, this dream can only come true by working hard, working smarter, hopefully doing something that I love.

house 10
THE Bath w/steam shower
house 9
Living Room










And so when times are down, I look and see what is for sale on-line.  I search the Windermere Real Estate map, zoom to a favorite neighborhood, select price “highest to lowest”, then “Enter”.  The house-porn party has started!

I look for a four to six bedroom, with an art studio, den, and a place for a pool table, modern kitchen and baths, a REAL laundry room, closet space galore, and at least one large fireplace, stacked rock, river rock or granite preferred.  I need room enough for my son, daughter, mother, my brother and his family to visit, a bed for everyone!  A house with a water or mountain view, a fenced yard, among a nice “walking” neighborhood, near a grocery store, quick access to the main roads and a park.  That’s all I want.  Simple.  The perfect house.

house 6
Dream House in the Woods, $1.3

I wonder sometimes if my need to view million dollar homes at 3 in the morning is bad; if it gives me false hope.  If I set the bar too high.

The average cost for a home in my city is around $267,000, estimated median household income in 2012: $41,718*. Dreaming of owning a million dollar plus home is reaching for the sky!  So, is it bad for me to look? Bad to dream? I don’t think so.

Let me share a story with you.

Back in the early 00’s I worked for the largest cable company in Western Washington.  Comcast Cable has customers in the millions, from Blaine to Gray’s Harbor, North Bend to Forks.  One of the ideas they were playing with was home-specific advertising.

house 8
Another Dream House, $1,050,000

This is a common concept for internet advertising today, 12 years later.  To see user-specific advertising in action compare the ads on your Facebook page with that of a friend, son or daughter, or your mother.  They WILL be different.

For cable television it’s a bit different.  Cable boxes have the capacity to not only deliver the package you paid for, but to retrieve information.  All the buttons you push turn into data, it is collected and analyzed.  Cable and satellite companies, unlike their broadcasting cousins, know exactly how many boxes watch what channel, what show, when and where.  So with this data, for a brief time, experiments were done on box or home specific advertising.

house 3
Edgemoor Home, Wood, Granite, Leather, $1.8

For example:

Based on your personal data it is determined that you could afford a Mercedes Benz, local Mercedes Benz lots would send their ads to your cable box, inserted onto the channels you watch, potentially saving MB money by targeting the “right kind” of client.

If your credit card data showed that you ordered pizza delivery more than average, then pizza advertisements for companies near you that deliver, would appear on your TV.

house 1
Chuckanut Home,View From the Deck, $2.4

Advertising that reacts to your current habits and buying abilities within the parameters of your demographic.  Boring.

Sitting in the beta results meeting, I remember thinking that box-specific advertising was wrong.  It was wrong  to deny people a “Goldilocks” experience; finding out whats too small, too big or just right for them.

What It Really Means

Dreams are not a demographic, they are more like a fingerprint.  A hungry person, on a tight budget, might dream about food, but what do they really need?  A Marie Callender Pot Pie?  NO!  (Well, maybe, those are good!) That person may need a nicer car that starts every morning, to help get a job that pays better, but dreams of going to school to get a better job, a better life.

How much influence does the media have on our dreams? Should we use things as rewards?

 Is material attainment symbolic of the journey?

What are YOUR dreams?

house 4
French Inspired, $1.5

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

house 2
View From the Kitchen

 “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” ~Jesse Owens

“All [people] dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous [people], for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”  ~T. E. Lawrence

Bellingham Home $2.5, nice yard


All photos are houses “for sale” as of the date of post from:  Windermere Real Estate

The best house-porn site ever. 

*Data reference: