RSS

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – Happy Christmas

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day Twelve – Happy Christmas

After eleven days of proving that deep down I’m really a simple idiot, it’s time to wrap this up.

And what better to celebrate Christmas with talking about the classic story, A Christmas Carol.

Recently, there was a local live radio play about it.  (Putting up out of date information, just because.)

HAHAha

It inspired me enough to examine a Christmas Carol more thoroughly than normal.

There is the well known moral of the story, that a person’s bitterness with life should not forget that their ‘business is humanity.’

It’s easy to think that Scrooge is motivated by selfishness, however the character himself does not actually hoard wealth nor does he self indulge in it.  He is simply the ultimate miser, believing that he is saving for ‘difficult times ahead’.  Times, that as far as the story goes, never materialize.
In effect, he wasted years focusing on gains where he should have been concentrating on appreciating the people and world around him.(I’m a bit torn on whether or not to include a massive number of spoilers from the story or whether or not I should include my ‘fan theories’.  I’ll include just one fan theory.  It follows this sentence so skip to the end of the bracket otherwise.  The ghost of Christmas future, is actually a known entity to Scrooge, which is partially why the ghost refuses to speak.  The rest you can figure out, the clues are there.)It’s a story well worth listening to / watching again, so I invite you to do so.  Scrooge is a very human character.  He had a hard and difficult life growing up and the he effectively had cocooned himself from the rest of the world.  This humanity of the character is generally unknown to those unfamiliar with the story, so understand he is simply not a person who ‘hates Christmas’ or ‘holiday gift giving’.I’m going to make this quick and leave it as a note to myself (as most of these have become).  In one’s pursuits, be it for goals or compulsions, one cannot forget to care for and admire the beauty of imperfection that surrounds us.  An imperfection known as humanity.Merry Christmas.  See ya next year.ED

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – Feminism

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day ELEVEN – Feminism

I purposely left the title vague on this one, only because it’s a topic that brings a great deal of conflict with it.  People who have had touched the subject before, in certain environments, will no doubt say that there is a bad taste associated with it.

Much like Buckley’s mixture, however, it has a history of working.

So what is the question to be asked.

Has Feminism found a catalyst in entertainment?  Or more specifically, in ‘gaming’?

Gamergate is something that has been floating around for the past few months, and now that time has passed, it can show with some perspective of impact.

Oh man, most of the work has already been done.  This video was posted yesterday.

At the eight minute mark, is how it links to the topic at hand.  Or more accurately, the person that has been tearing up the Youtube channels.  Most specifically, Anita Sarkeesian.  (A TED talk veteran as well!)

Now long before Gamergate, there were several internet ‘mini explosions’ that centered around a series of videos that Sarkeesian had published.

These would be from the Feminist Frequency channel that she hosts.  It was popular beforehand, but it started to go much larger after she ran a kickstarter which started a wave of responses when it actually worked.  It then exploded even more, when the videos began coming out.

The first gaming based video is here:

So why the big bruhaha?  What’s the big deal?  There are countless papers, videos, speakers and what not that should receive equal attention.

And that’s where we introduce the perfect storm that is ‘gaming’.

Gaming, in of itself, has always stayed in the grey zones of entertainment.  When first released, video gaming struggled to find a market, and lo and behold, the more raunchy entertainment values added, the more of a profit point the game could yield.

An advertisement will get more ‘eyes on it’ if you place a beautiful woman in the foreground.  This is ‘old hat’.  However, whether or not this is considered ethical, might have been delayed until now.

Let’s take an example where someone drives their car through a tree dense area.  There’s a corner they just breeze right through.

On one windy day, the trees are blown aside and the driver notices that there’s actually a stop sign on that corner.

The driver stops accordingly.  A police car pulls in behind and then writes a ticket for the 500 offenses that the driver made earlier.  The driver, quite logically, loses their shit.

Having grown up with videogames, I can state that I’m type of player who will finish a game and then immediately trade it in / start a new one.  I’m not focusing on what the ethical nature of the game is, or whether or not the protagonist is male or female.  I was just driving past that corner without much thought.

(Note: Even more interesting is the reflex associations that occur with the words “women” and “videogames”.  I knew before, without any studies, that plenty of video games are extremely guilty of feeding voyeurism.  So there’s a subconscious titillation factor?  Maybe?  It’s no different than pairing “stripper” and “stripclub” really.)

Another commonality that occurs in online gaming, is the incredibly questionable conversations that occur.  Swearing at each other is the ‘starting point’ and then it goes downhill from there.

This next video went viral.  I have no idea if its true or not but it’s obviously told with comedic timing.  Please be advised that this guy swears more than me.  That’s just crude.  (Warning:  some hate language in it)

Just so its also known, there was a part 2 where he better explains his viewpoints and more about his parents being more tolerant than what was mentioned.

(Based upon the second video, there’s a real chance that the original story is somewhat exaggerated.  That’s just my read on it)

Anyways, long story short.  There does exist a form of conversation that is beyond normal, its filled with curse words and buzz phrases that are played for shock value.

Personally, I wasn’t raised on that type of banter as the social norm, but I’m willing to bet that if I was part of it I’d have found new zingers everyday.  It’s the competitive nature that seeps into every aspect when competing.

Sum the pieces together and you have explosive reactions filled with a practiced language.  And quite obviously, it goes too far.

It also brings up several important points that can be made.

The history of video games of including terrible images of women within it is undeniable.  Whether the data set is incomplete is irrelevant.  It exists.

Likewise, this also proves that feminism (or for those afraid of that word, a push for change) must exist as well.

However, this doesn’t answer the question.

Does a focus on video games give feminism more attention?  Yes.

Does it create a rallying cry such that more feminists are talking about video games?

As far as I can tell, not really.  There are responses, LOTS of responses.  However they are not standpoints or new starting points that would be equivalent pushes for change.

There should be.

There definitely needs to be a chorus of voices if there is going to be change.

So what can be done?

Now at first I was wondering if there really should be an additional grading system.  Entertainment is extremely formulaic, so there is always going to be horror movies with topless girls, action movies that end in a kiss and a myriad of other combinations that don’t make much sense.  (eg> Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014)

That doesn’t work, because of the money behind the scenes.  PG/R movies have evolved so much DUE to rating, that movies are arguably worse because of it.

Wait, so what?  Movies are worse yet they’re still out there.  Some people believe they’re the best that they can be as well.

A grading system would be interesting.  Would it be based off of ‘human to human’ interactions?  What images should we become desensitized to?

Fascinating stuff to ponder.  Enough to revisit the topic, possibly next year when I’m a little less stupid.

And it’s almost 3 in the morning, so Happy Christmas.

ED

PS>  Uhh.. I could use a few bucks these days so let’s use Gamergate methodology.  EDTalksTed now open for ‘native advertising’.  I’ll, uh.. pretend to think about a topic and advertise your products!  (Any ads seen here are because I’m using the free version of WordPress.  Y’know what, if this blog ever takes off, I’ll monetize it and donate whatever profit comes in.  HAHA, takes off, people don’t read…)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – Do we have Souls?

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day TEN – Do we have Souls?

I need to double check my prior posts (listed 7 twice), in counting entries left today, it turns out this is the tenth post.

And this is one charged question, because the basic notion of a human soul is closely connected to a religion of some kind.  Either it is an organized religion or it is related to a modern new age where credentials are more sketchy.

However, does it need to be associated to one of these aforementioned groups?  For context certainly, however in that usage it easily comes into question.

In the concept of ‘enduring entity’, the soul is the ‘consciousness’ that survives after death.

There’s another thing that survives after death, it’s called children.  Could the parent’s soul be linked there?

By that logic, if people breed to have their DNA passed on along to future generations, it would stem to believe that regardless of the amount of ‘future’ breeding that would occur, the most abstract piece required to ‘pass along’ would be consistent.

In other words, is there a tiny basic form of DNA data that would absolutely continue in future chains?

This obviously wouldn’t be hair color, eye color or height, weight or skin color.  These things can theoretically be ‘bred’ in particular directions, enough to change them drastically over several generations.  So one of the original ‘parents’ would still be part of the final structure.

Now it’s easy to believe that one of the original parent DNA could somehow be ‘bred out’ through careful matchings (and only 50% is used in the next batch), but this doesn’t make any sense if the pass along DNA sequence was designed to survive this.

So this tiny piece, this ‘soul’ which is passed from parent to child, would technically survive as long as humanity itself survives.  (As the saying goes, if you go back far enough, everyone is related to everyone)

Especially when it comes to articles like these:  http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22429904.500-found-closest-link-to-eve-our-universal-ancestor.html#.VJpoLcEnA

Mitochondrial Eve is not a new concept, every few years a new common ancestor is found.

To paraphrase the notion of ‘we are all made of star stuff’, it is may be closer to home that we are made up of the same ‘being trying to survive time’.

It’s a damn shame we keep treating each other so terribly.

 

Let’s try this again but this time try to take it from another perspective.

In terms of a non physical entity, let’s say, a hypothetical signal that exists every person.  Maybe it’s a certain sequence of DNA that aligns in a particular manner or what not.  The concept of being ‘born again’ is not a new concept.  The idea of reincarnation is an interesting concept.

Take, for instance, new Bruce Lee.

http://nypost.com/2014/12/09/meet-the-afghan-bruce-lee/

Now clearly this is a physical resemblance only, the personality / mind is not the original Bruce Lee.

However, it is quite possible, that mentally, there could be a series of similarities that would exist which would emulate another mind.

Einstein could live again!  He might have a different body, experiences and what not, but there could be a mind that, effectively, would have the exact same results when filling out their dating profile.

So a mind could be ‘simulated’, that’s pretty cool.

Let’s go further and just flat out assume a soul exists and survives and is passed along.

There is a concept in physics that is very intriguing.  The notion that ‘time’ functions the same even when it is reversed.

So, let’s say time isn’t a factor.  A person lives, dies and their soul is reborn in another ‘time’.

First you live today, then you in the past, then you live again in the future.  Maybe your soul progresses each time, maybe you’re learning new things, who knows.

Over an extended period of time, it then becomes that all people, are actually the same soul; that is simply re-living again and again.

It returns to concept that all people are in reality the same person.  Being a jackass to others is in actuality, just being bad to yourself.

I don’t know what a soul really is, but it sure makes fascinating thought.

Now stop being jerks.

ED

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – Are we on the Edge of Making Fantasy Magic Real?

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day Eight – Are we on the Edge of Making Fantasy Magic Real?

I just write whatever I’m thinking whenever I’m here, and right now I’m wondering why in the world did I aim for twelve days.  I think I started scrambling for ideas after Day Two.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting question.  Not only from the fact that we are in a world where our advanced technology will ‘appear’ to be magic, but we are able to revisit ‘old’ ideas and make them into working realities.

The thought for this, came from this Youtube video I saw earlier last week.

Pyro is an actual product that anyone can buy online from the Ellusionist website (WARNING: going to this website will show the ‘inventory’ that magicians will buy to learn/do tricks.  If you want magic to ‘stay magical’, be advised.  The tricks aren’t readily explained, but you’ll learn which tricks were bought from a store).

http://www.ellusionist.com/pyro-handheld-fireshooter-by-adam-wilber.html

Ellusionist and Penguin Magic were two websites that I frequented A LOT just over ten years ago.

Not surprisingly, most magicians are just complete nerds.  So it shouldn’t come to a huge surprise here that I’ve practiced it to the point where I did a walk around of closeup magic during a friend’s wedding.

Coin magic is pretty cool though.

(I even emailed one of the magicians when he released his first card magic dvd, and I did the typical ‘fan’ thing where I made myself sound like a R-tard.  I ended the conversation as quickly as I could.)

I heard stories where ‘priests/witch doctors/magic mobsters’ would walk around burning people’s houses using a chemical reaction stating it was an act of magic/god.  I wonder if that was even remotely true.

*checks*  I think I’m describing it inaccurately as a preliminary search finds an empty bag of nothing.  So forget it and move on.

But seriously speaking, shooting fireballs?  If that had the smallest usefulness (outside of entertainment), this is great.

Going Camping?  Need to start the BBQ?  What about the fireplace?  I’ll just raise a palm and blast the hell out of it until my house burns down.

 

Levitation, likewise exists.  Although it is currently can be considered ‘crappy levitation’.

Either the object needs to be incredibly small and freezing or more recently, or a seemingly out of control skateboard.  (Out of control levitation board?)

 

The significance of these outside of say, a high speed Maglev train, is that these things are portable.  People can start levitating small objects all over the house.  That hoverboard can hold a human body, so would mean it can also be an extremely expensive skid.

At least it wouldn’t leave scratches or tracks on the floor.  (Note: the hoverboard requires a specific flooring underneath so this isn’t yet viable)

Invisibility – The fabric cloak supposedly exists, but you’d have to be a high ranking military officer to get it.  On the other hand, there is a much cheaper device that utilizes lenses (anything between the lenses is unseen, while the object behind it is)

And they put up the build instructions for it here:  http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/watch-rochester-cloak-uses-ordinary-lenses-to-hide-objects-across-continuous-range-of-angles-70592/

 

Magic Swords!

http://www.calimacil.com/weapons/all/kain-2-dragon-larp-sword.html

Ok, not magical in the sense that it is a super cutting weapon of death but rather the swords offered here are meant for beating each other senselessly in the name of fun.  These are foam swords, but look at the level of detail they’ve reached!  There’s levels of bad assery there!

 

It’s only a matter of time before we start creating themeparks for this stuff.

ED

PS> On the flipside, there’s always the fear of bad Magic.

Look at this card, it’s terrible.

https://i1.wp.com/www.toplessrobot.com/great%20wall.jpg

(good luck understanding that joke)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – Is Cute a Self Defence Mechanism?

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day Seven – Is Cute a Self Defence Mechanism?

(Although it doesn’t really make a difference, the spell checker seems rather persistent on insisting to utilize ‘defense’, which is the Americain spelling of the same word)

It certainly makes quite a lot of sense that babies, which are completely useless little things, would need to have some natural inborn agency to keep them alive.  So in the manner that similar creatures might stop and care for a cute creature seems to be a very solid method of defence.

It’s mental warfare!  Do we actually stand a chance against it?

(great video, a bit unusual selection of cute animals, still cute though)

(probably in line with what people expect)

All the adorable!  What a manipulative force that nature is.

Or is it?

Foxes eat rabbits.  Some people adore spiders while other people flee in terror.  Cuteness, in of itself, is NOT a universal measurement.  Different cultures and creatures will be a different form of cute than others.

In understanding art, the art that is mentally consumed, is mostly related to the preliminary response of the beholder.  Someone is much more likely to like a certain piece of art if they can identify with it.  If the image is too chaotic or uncertain, the response may become more alienating than reflective.

So what if you take out the ‘cute’, and utilize something that is designed to be unnatural?  What is the response?

In attempting to look more into the topic, I stumbled upon a book online.  (It is pretty heavy, still it is a good read and it isn’t very long.)  The book, Subject of Art in Process: Undressing the Emperor’s Nude Clothes, goes quite deeply into the reflections of Metamodern art.  In effect, what are the dialogues that the beholder has based upon their own cultural experiences when examining  postmodernism art or any for that matter.(For ease, I’ll reference only the viewer and as usual, if you really want to know it well, read the full original content here:  https://books.google.ca/books?id=ekBsE7_Qzi0C&pg=PT125&lpg=PT125&dq=subject+viewer&source=bl&ots=GxIvsTyehx&sig=q-gYhZmKhxoRW-dGFup2dNrcRfk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C7uXVP3_EsWOyASy8IGgAw&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=subject%20viewer&f=false)Latent Pre-content or conception, what the viewer brings before they start to respond to an artwork.Latent context, the natural limitations that may exist around the artwork itself.  (size, scale, materials, those built in complexes)Manifest content, the meaning inside the artwork that exists within its ‘form’ that gives it existenceManifest metacontent, the hindsight/evaluation.  (Which is a lot like this blog in general)Although we might not be consciously aware of the four conversations happening at the same time when we look at the baby squirrel, they create a series of complex reactions in our mind.  One that eventually sums up into “need to rescue this little creature” or “aw, poor thing is going to die”.

But what about this?

A cat, that normally would consume ducklings, instead goes full mother goose and takes the orphans in under its care.

So could it actually be, that it is our innate nurturing instinct, the reason why we view things as cute?

It certainly makes quite a bit of sense.  If nurturing is anywhere near our instinct for the ‘breeding’ aspect, then its mentally compelling.

However, just because something is innate doesn’t mean it becomes developed.  Check this out.

Ever see these two scenes from Lord of the Rings?

Mithril, a completely made up material, is worshiped like diamonds.  If this existed in enough forms, and we handed a person “mithril”, would they go gaga over it?

Diamonds, in a general day to day thing, is actually quite useless.  A person can’t easily trade it and they certainly can’t eat it or use it very easily.  However, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and they are often the pinnacle item in a crime movie.

Our society has taught us to value this item.

Likewise, we also see countless reactions.  Perhaps our love of the adorable little kittens might be from our natural compulsion to follow the examples we see before us, where people start weeping at the sight of little meows.

Then again, that cat didn’t really seem like much of a Youtube viewer and it adopted ducklings.  Maybe instinct plus a response like empathy (or sympathy, self transposal, etc) is enough.

Animals adopting other animals, is a thing.

Now there is a flipside to the equation as well.  Ignoring cuteness, is no doubt a thing that can be learned.  Animals trained to kill, for instance, may ignore this instinct quite readily.

Likewise, there are those stories where anything ‘weaker’ is deemed as cute.  (see the ‘that’s cute/adorable’ meme)

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/thats-cute

This is clearly a case where the topic is just too big to handle.  I’m grabbing my teddy bear and call it a night.

ED

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – 99 Problems but a Pitch ain’t One

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day Seven – 99 Problems but a Pitch ain’t One

Do you love sales and marketing?  I do.

Actually, I don’t.  However, I do love reading.

In today’s modern world we are no longer spoken to, we are sold to.  From media, opinion pieces and pundits, to direct sales approaches.

And there’s a science behind it.  Using a bajillion different skills / observations, the customer is disarmed across a multiple of methods.

Mirroring – copying a person’s gestures / body posture, slowly disarms and possibly sets up a situation where they might agree with you only on the basis of how you subconsciously remind them of themselves.  (its more complicated than that but that’s the gist)

NLP – Neuro linguistic Programming – if I was to summarize this, its the equivalent of trying to use ‘hypnotism’ yet not hypnotism.  It’s the ‘I like that sort of language’ that people subconsciously think when hearing it.

When used on ourselves, it is about affecting our own patterns of behavior.  And on others, it’s pretty much underhanded trickery.  Well, that is depending upon purpose, however whenever the general use is to make the sale or get laid, NLP has a pretty bad rap.

Let’s just add a real definition (from http://www.nlpco.com/ :    Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the science of modelling the patterns of human behavior. NLP explores the inner workings of the human mind: how we think, how we develop our desires, goals and fears and how we motivate ourselves, make connections, and give meaning to our experiences.

This sort of reminds me of The Secret.  (summarized as: mentally imagining your goal)
I read/absorbed a ton of this kind of literature over the years.  Everything ever written by Covey (probably best known for 7 Habits), every audio produced by Tony Robbins (I admit I liked the unlimited ideas), the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, conversational techniques (you like that, how so?), the art of negotiation (let’s take something you agree with and slowly make associations to the question at hand) and that old fashioned method known as subliminal messaging (sexy).  (I wonder what kind of permanent damage that’s done)
So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise when concepts like the “elevator pitch” get shrunk down to the ‘one word pitch’.  If you want to sell yourself, people don’t have the benefit of focus anymore, it needs to be shrunk down onto a single idea that’s easily remembered.
So what does this mean for our society?  (Note: every society will have a different level with which these skill sets are being applied)
Ironically enough, not a whole lot.  If it’s done properly.
However, in the case of making a ‘guilt’ based pitch and the person simply can’t comply.  Well, you might end up with feeling additional guilt, jealousy, feelings of being incomplete.  This isn’t enough to alter any systems or to even make a case.  However, there is something to be said about it when its everywhere.
In the world of say, professional.. boxing.
Let’s say some girl is a great shadow boxer, she likes to throw fists before going to bed at night.  She’s also a great street fighter and has been known to fight the random drunken brawl.  However, she is an amateur.
Now we place this person into a professional boxing ring fighting against a professional boxer.  As expected, the pro woman will wallop the amateur.
Without proper training, one can no longer ‘just get by’.  There are dozens of moves that might be deemed unintuitive, so without someone to point them out or show the method, the amateur might simply never encounter it in self practice.
The same may go, in a world where there are people who are trained to sell / intimidate / negotiate / utilize methods to get their point across.  It’s everywhere and its easy to see why people like to shop through the internet.
99 Problems but a Pitch ain’t One
ED
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

12 Days of (Irrational?) Visions – Eat like a Pack of Wild Animals

Over the course of the next 12 days I’ll be posting 12 future thinking concepts and applying the same methods I’ve been practicing with the various Ted Talks.  Why?  Cause it’s freakin fun and pointless, that’s why!

Day Six – Eat Like a Pack of Wild Animals

Every once in a while, you get days where you’re driving to the airport, grabbing a quick meal with a friend and only have an hour before you’re off to go see the Hobbit.

(It’s one of those days, so a very brief entry on these 12 days.)

There are plenty of signs out there that will mark the importance of coming together to eat as a family.  It is a bonding moment, a shared moment and something that the family all can do.

And it makes sense, ALL humans, no matter where they come from all need to do the same things.  They are sleeping, pooping and eating/drinking machines.

I think I covered some of this in a prior post, but that’s just how important it is.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do as a living or what kind of responsibilities you may carry, we all need to do the above in order to survive and continue doing what you enjoy doing.  (I hope you’re enjoying what you are doing)

(Also wrote on this topic for Gottacon about the importance that those who game together should feast together)

There is something tribal when it comes to eating together.  We all react the same way to food (unless you’re particular), and seeing that expression on other faces only reminds us of our own.

If there ever was a ‘holiday event’ that is missing, it would be some kind of televised meal designated for everyone on the planet to spend 15 minutes to eat together.  Maybe that we can remember that we’re living creatures at the end of the day.

Now a video of a skunks, cats and raccoons eating together.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Uncategorized