acroyear: (ponder this)
The one thing I captured from the film and music montage section of the opening ceremonies was this:

Everything we yanks started, and then got tired of, the British picked up and turned into a bigger success and reinvigorated it. Sitcoms (The Office?), soap operas (they invented the idea that one could go prime time), war movies, sports movies, rock and roll (remember, in America, the music died in February of 1959, and everybody at the time expected it to stay dead), and much more*. They didn't invent the art forms, but they turned them into something that can last and continue to be built upon where-as the Americans burn out an idea almost instantly and tire of it thinking there's nothing more to do.

Tim Berners-Lee didn't invent the internet, but he invented a technique that reinvigorated it in a way that nobody could ignore. And THAT is why he was there - what he did to internet technology was exactly what each of the British film and music groups represented in that section had done to the genres of American pop music they developed from.

*(game shows, for example, though the montage didn't include that genre)

[This is distinctive from the Canadian presentation 2 1/2 years ago, where the overall expression was "you know all that stuff you like? well, some of that is actually us, thank you very much...]
acroyear: (space 2 ring)
God's Dear John Letter To The U.S. -:
I will keep sending my prophets. You will know them by their love. If the people you follow are teaching you to hate and fear, to exclude people for any reason, then they are not sent by me, even if they say they are. So, when your infatuation with this new god of extremism, nationalism, might-makes-right, and privilege is through using you... I'll still be here. Waiting. Loving.
acroyear: (surprising)
A comment I left on a blog where the author was showing that a few web adds (on other photography blogger's sites) sold more of his product (an HDR video tutorial) than major print ads in 2 well-distributed magazines, and asking why the BIG names (Nikon, Canon, etc) still advertise on those magazines:

I think one reason the big name camera makers (and software makers) publish in the main magazines is simply to keep the magazines alive at all. As much as blogs are the best tools for helping the hobbyist move forward and learn, the magazine, sitting on the shelf, looking spectacular while carrying the headlines that effectively say “Yes, you can do this!” is what is really selling the cameras themselves. The magazine on the shelf *creates* the hobbyist, without which many of us would be taking crappy shots on an iphone and thinking we were creating “art”. So yeah, even if a particular add in a particular magazine doesn’t “sell” a camera in and of itself (the reviews might, but the ad won’t), the ad keeps the magazine alive, and that keeps the hobby alive (by creating NEW hobbyists) in ways that the blogs don’t.

Blogs like yours help build the talents and experience of the hobbyists (and aspiring professionals) but it doesn’t create them, and so it doesn’t sell cameras in the same way. If the camera makers were only fighting for the people who are hobbyists now but didn’t look to future growth, it would collapse much as many other industries and institutions already have (such as, say, the disappearing audience for classical music).
Stop Advertising in Photo Magazines – Head West to the Web

QotD echoed

Jul. 3rd, 2011 09:58 am
acroyear: (literacy)
Badass Quote of the Day : Dispatches from the Culture Wars:
Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen, or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?
-- Kurt Vonnegut


Jun. 13th, 2011 02:45 pm
acroyear: (perspective)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Friday, 27th May 2011:
The House Where Music Lives.

In the house where Music lives, Music was sitting in Silence, when there was a knock upon the door. A musician had come to visit.

Who’s there? asked Music.
It’s me! replied the musician.
Go away! said Music.

The musician returned to the world of noise and soundings. After years of journeying to many musical cultures, and as an older and wiser player, the musician returned to the house where Music lives; and knocked once more upon the door, where Music was sitting in Silence.

Who’s there? asked Music.
It is you! replied the Musician.
Then why are you knocking? asked Music. You already live here!
acroyear: (ponder this)
Seeing The Invisible – A Photographer’s Vision « Photofocus:
When photographers look at the world, they look at it through a special lens – pun intended. It’s a filter of sorts that sifts the importance of one thing or another. This ability to sift and sort, to include and exclude, to drill down into the meat of the scene, that’s what comprises the photographer’s vision. I like to think that we can all use more of that. [-- Scott Bourne]

on living

May. 15th, 2011 10:09 am
acroyear: (ponder this)
Badass Quote of the Day : Dispatches from the Culture Wars:
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
-- Marcus Aurelius
acroyear: (car1)
Pollution May Trigger Heart Attacks | The Onion - America's Finest News Source | American Voices:
"Well at least Americans die free behind the wheel, maybe even with the top down, instead of cooped up in some Socialist European mass transit system."

on words

Feb. 14th, 2011 10:24 pm
acroyear: (perspective)
Why the word 'marriage' matters:
Marriage matters, because marriage is how society decides whose relationships matter, and whose don't. No matter what, gay people will fall in love and make homes together, as we always have. Marriage equality is about whether straight people are going to recognize those relationships. It's how they decide who's family.

Take my parents. When I visit my small hometown, my mother, without prompting, fills me in on which of my old classmates has gotten married or given birth. No serious boyfriends, no RDPs. Only what matters.

What's an RDP? It's a "registered domestic partnership." We registered that way when we moved to California, by signing and notarizing an application. We got a certificate back by mail. It had all the romance of renewing a vehicle registration. At work, our human resources departments had no idea what an RDP was. Though I told my parents we registered, they didn't remember. Which means that for years they didn't know that Andrea was my legal next-of-kin.

Not that they would have told anyone. For eight years, when people asked about me, my mother said I'd gotten my doctorate, was living in Arizona, then California. Who I was with while I was studying, living and moving remained unspecified. My parents love Andrea and made her part of the family, but they lacked the vocabulary and the confidence to describe her to others.
acroyear: (lion rest)
A Word of Encouragement for Photographers Who Find Themselves on Hard Times « Photofocus:
He said he’d come to realize that his wealth wasn’t in fast friends or cars or homes but rather in all the people, places and things he’d photographed during his lifetime.

As photographers, we have a unique view of the world. We capture moments in time that non-photographers rarely notice. In these moments, we have treasures that are far more valuable than gold. When you think about it, we get a double blessing.


Feb. 10th, 2011 07:28 am
acroyear: (claws for alarm)
Terse Systems : Responses to "Where Pair Programming Failed For Me":
I suffer from introversion. (Although, some might say I suffer from extroverts.)


Jan. 6th, 2011 09:55 am
acroyear: (ponder this)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Thursday, 16th December 2010:
Gentility is not something that can be claimed for oneself but, if lived & exemplified, it may be recognized; it is not acquired by social posturing & positioning, reinforced by income streams.
acroyear: (if you can't beat 'em)
considering I wrote this 18 months ago, it should be noted that alongside the Fantasia Blu-Ray I also picked up Sorcerer's Apprentice (mind you, because Amazon had a bundling sale, $10 off).


Dec. 3rd, 2010 07:31 am
acroyear: (lemme sleep)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Wednesday, 17th November 2010:
The Happy Gigsters’ Guide warns us that if we check in after daylight has gone… when you wake in the morning & gaze hopefully from your window, you will discover that your room overlooks a motorway, a parking lot, a construction site, a filling station, or any combination of these. Your room is also likely to be adjoining the ice machine and/or an industrial level air-conditioning plant.
acroyear: (literacy)
My comments on a blog post about an underachiever with a knack for making impressive youtube videos...

Lance Mannion: Falling in love with a life of adventure when the grown-ups want you to go into accounting:
I *mostly* agree with this (having spent some of my own teenage years trying to write my own program to duplicate the lifestyle of "Zork", 25 years ago one of the biggest software games ever).

However, there is something to be said for, well, endurance. making 6 minute videos is one thing, making a movie that holds for 90 minutes (or even a tv show that holds for 23 or 46) is something different. what is missing is that idea of attention span, and with it the ability to comprehend complexity.

Your Harry Potter examples prove my point. Yes, there was a lot of semi-fluff and character development in the tent scenes while we "wait until J.K. Rowling is ready for them to catch up with it again", but the point is that we could get into that detail while still holding on to all of those enormous details and characters and relationships that are going to drive this film's climax and drive the next film's finale.

Rowling may have only been writing a 7 part kid's story, but she couldn't have done it without the experience gained by reading epic novels that define storytelling itself. The same with C.S. Lewis or JRR Tolkien.

and for that matter, the same with the semi-amateur filmmakers that make it big like Tim Burton or Kevin Smith. The craft of storytelling that makes for a success requires an understanding of complexity and the ability to plant seeds that won't be cashed in for minutes (or years) to come, or the ability to take seemingly innocuous details and make them suddenly important (be it the inheritance from Dumbledore's will, or the one-off character details in an Agatha Christie mystery).

Those only come from experience, and no amount of early creativity can make up for the lack of it. A 6 minute mash-up might impress the classmates and the principle, but it is not enough to build a career, and therefore a life, from.

Of course, I'm only saying this because I'm a mere 5 years away from that magic 45 you refer to. Add salt to taste. :)
acroyear: (food of love)
Robert Fripp's Diary for Sunday, 7th November 2010:
I agree, to the extent that it’s good to be paid for your work while noting that receiving payment is not an inevitable nor necessary outcome in my own field of professional endeavour (this also on the basis of experience). I attempted to convey the notion that, if you remove enthusiasm from the aspirant artist, work is only a professional activity. When this happens, the aspirant artist begins to die on the inside.

Number-crunchers don’t give a hoot for this line of thought, particularly for an accountant who has moved into “artist management”. Well-meaning number crunchers pay lip service to the notion, but don’t factor it into their computations. Well-meaning business-representatives, who are also fans & enthusiasts, even those wholly committed to a particular artist and/or venture, nevertheless tend to cook their Golden Goose. And later, wonder why the well-basted artist seems to be doing less than they used to in the way of promotion, interviews, in-stores with fan autography–photography, touring & recording. Surely the artist can’t have as rich, creative & satisfying a life outside the public domain? Don’t they want to be the centre of attention for uniformed commentary & consumer demands?

It comes down to this: you do shitty things for as long as you do shitty things. 

Reasonably & rationally arguing for a balanced life, holding the overview of qualitative & quantitative elements, has signally failed for me. I have only stopped doing shitty things when I have said no. Regrettably, often a yes has been possible, even a preferred option. But, you only stop doing shitty things when you stop doing them. How to express this positively? Perhaps: you do good things when you accept nothing less than good things. I prefer this form…

You do what is Right when you accept nothing less than what is Right.
acroyear: (literacy)
I Finally Got a Kindle and I Love It but I Am Scared of Fascism | The Awl:
Having learned all this, I went along and had a closer look at the current Kindle License Agreement. There is some simply petrifying stuff on there. For starters, you don’t “own” Kindle books, you’re basically renting them.
Unless otherwise specified, Digital Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider.
They can change the software on you whenever they like:
Automatic Updates. In order to keep your Software up-to-date, Amazon may automatically provide your Kindle or Other Device with updates/upgrades to the Software.
That is how a totalitarian state would go about confiscating books, if they wanted to. There is nothing in this agreement to stop Amazon from modifying the Kindle software to make it impossible for you to read any of your own files on the device. Such a step is not actually forbidden to them by this agreement; they are under no obligation to protect any data you might be storing on there. That’s not to say that there aren’t laws at least in some states that might allow you to sue for damages; I’m just saying, there isn’t any promise made by Amazon to protect your data or preserve its readability.

They can also change the terms of the deal or simply shut down Kindle service entirely, anytime they like:
Changes to Service. We may modify, suspend, or discontinue the Service, in whole or in part, at any time.
Or they might decide to shut your account down:
Termination. Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Software, and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Service or to Digital Content without refund of any fees. Amazon’s failure to insist upon or enforce your strict compliance with this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of any of its rights.
Keep in mind these are your books that you bought or collected. Can you imagine a bookseller or publisher asserting rights over the contents of your bookshelves in your house? That’s basically what we’re talking about, here.
acroyear: (surprising)
Slashdot Idle Story | The Placebo Effect Not Just On Drugs:
It seems the placebo effect isn't just valid on drugs. It's also a fact on elevators, offices and traffic lights. An article by Greg Ross says: 'In most elevators installed since the early 1990s, the 'close door' button has no effect. Otis Elevator engineers confirmed the fact to the Wall Street Journal in 2003. Similarly, many office thermostats are dummies, designed to give workers the illusion of control. "You just get tired of dealing with them and you screw in a cheap thermostat," said Illinois HVAC specialist Richard Dawson. "Guess what? They quit calling you." In 2004 the New York Times reported that more than 2,500 of the 3,250 "walk" buttons in New York intersections do nothing. "The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on."
acroyear: (space 2 ring)
Could We Still Put a Man on the Moon? : Mike the Mad Biologist:
The Agonist puts this in perspective:
The United States has closed its manned rocket program. In a few months, after retiring the shuttles, the U.S. will no longer have the capability of taking people to or from the International Space Station. The country that put people on the moon can't fly anymore. There is only a hope that private industry will somehow find its way into orbit but meanwhile the Russians do it for us. They are laughing, they won the space race after all. The United States is going backwards, a regression that will become permanent if something isn't done about it.
acroyear: (ponder this)
"Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?" — Sam Harris

[quoted by guitarist Al Petteway on his FB wall]


acroyear: (Default)
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