Wednesday, November 29, 2006

To do: Photo Studio Technical Assignment

A guy on Flickr posted this lesson about Learning to use perspective control and lighting ratios.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Right and Wrong

We, as a society are often lead to believe that the world is filled with "either, or's".

Good or bad.
Right or wrong.
Black or white.
With us or against us.
Republican or Democrat.

The reality, however, is that the world is full of grey.

Lesson #1: Learn to recognize propaganda.
It's all around you and not always as obvious as the billboards and signs put up by special interest groups. Propaganda is spread through the media, speeches made by government officials, through churches, in popular music, tv programs (including "reality shows"), etc. It comes at us from all directions along with advertisements and other things that we don't take in any more deeply than your average advertisement, yet just like we tend to pick up the brand named laundry detergent in the store, those other messages effect us as well. Consider the source of any information you get and check the statistics yourself. A quick goggle search is usually all it takes. Then, check out the arguments on the other side of the debate to make sure you have all the information before you declare your position on a topic. If you find you don't agree 100% with either side, that's good, it means you're a real person and not a "follower" (aka "mindless drone").

Lesson #2: We all have bias, learn yours and keep it in check.
There's no shame in having positions, but make sure that YOU have THEM, and not the other way around. I'm very opinionated, but I recognize that since I don't believe in a god, I tend to favor reading, watching, or listening to things that are critical of religion. At first I chose this material because it entertained me, then I realized it was strengthening my bias against religion to the point where I went beyond logic and began actively hating the church -wanting to attack it in some way, show people their God was false, discount the church's position in society, etc. -That's going too far. It's important to realize when that happens, then you need to pull yourself back, and start seeking media geared towards the other side of the debate. It probably won't change your mind, but it'll help you see that those on the other side believe in their opinions as strongly as you do. If you don't take time to listen and consider their ideas, how can you expect them to do the same with your arguments and viewpoints?

Lesson #3: Before taking any action, make sure you'll still feel good about it tomorrow.
It's easy to get worked up by the topic of the day, but if you intend to take it one step further by joining a campaign or otherwise working for a cause (including publicly advertising your opinion via T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc) make sure you know where you stand on the topic and think of it in a broader sense. -Is it really what's best for the whole country? What if you (or your child) were in the minority (or the adversary)-would you feel that the change you're fighting for would still be considered fair? -Lots of people believed that slavery was moral and that black people didn't deserve equal rights all the way up until the 1960's when the last of the laws allowing segregation of public facilities and marriage were abolished. If you were fighting to keep segregation then, you'd be embarrassed about it today. Is the topic of today the next big embarrassment of tomorrow?

Which side are you on?