Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

The Bessers

three injections: you (white) and me (pink) and all the things we never said (clear).

Your bright spirit will live on forever in the hearts of all who knew you.

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Love is a sandpaper tongue that never stops licking your arm.

(Thanks, Caffreys)

In defense of chalkdust

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On Trashmaking (Rant)

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“Beware how quickly today’s needs can turn into tomorrow’s unnecessaries.”
— Laurapants

Oh, I’m beware. I went to Ross Dress For Less yesterday (where I got the bamboo socks) and noticed that without fail, every single thing they sell is trash waiting to be disposed of. Limited utility, one user or maybe two if it’s a hand-me-down or ends up at Goodwill, non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, poorly made, inartful, trash. Landfills eat that shit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mean, everyone has this realization about grocery stores, but at least if you buy a bottle of wine you can piss out the wine, clean up the wastewater, and recycle the glass. Not so with a piece of crap “accent table” or shitty plastic racecar or the miles and miles of acrylic-laden excrement they sell for prices that are discounted at rates which reflect the high cost a manufacturer might otherwise pay to have them disposed of. Factories make trash which is distributed around the world to pile up wherever it lands, and in return they get cash money in the bank. Thank you Ross, thank you Target, thank you Wal-Mart, thank you Shopping Malls and Dollar Stores and thank you Sears (who may have started it all), and we won’t even get into the home improvement and electronics and specialty retailers and the magicianlike ability of all of these institutions to make the refuse appear trendy, desirable, colorful, fragrant, and even necessary. Fuck the trashmakers. Fuck ‘em. Do I have alternatives? Not really, but fuck ‘em anyway. We’ll figure something out. We’re resourceful. (Or, at least, we used to be).

Photo by Chris Jordan, used without permission. He rocks, by the way, you should see his photos of Katrina aftermath and buy his books and never, ever, throw them away.

Your eyeballs used to be better than cameras.

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There are 86,000 images in the HDR Flickr pool.

This one is by this person, who had to take three bracketed photographs of the same scene in order to capture detail from the shadow, highlight, and midrange tonal areas. Software (and lots of tweaking, presumably) stitched them all together to create an image that is a more complete representation of how our eyes actually perceive the world than traditional photography has ever been able to come up with.

Someday soon your camera will be able to do all of this for you. Look out, retinas and visual cortexes, you are about to get spanked (again).

(Other times the visual cortex got spanked: if we take these 24 consecutive still images of a horse and flash each one on the screen for 1/24th of a second, I’ll bet you’ll think the horse is actually running.)

What am I going to grad school for?

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Well, memory, actually. Or more precisely, the interaction between the vision system and the memory system. Memory for scenes, photographs, symbols, maps … how visual memories are stored and processed, how artists encode memories into paintings, how teachers use visual aids, how dreams are visualized … it’s two really giant fields and I seem to modulate back and forth between them and with varying degrees of specificity. At the moment I’m just generally awed by the whole thing and how little I know, but I’m sure a couple semesters in a PhD program will cure me of that and I’ll run and hide in some little-known corner of research dealing with rubber bands, reaction times, and Vygotskian scaffolding.