I am the index.
I am the walrus.
This is the first of the podcasts I’ve been cutting over the past few days.
It’s a lot of fun to switch gears as a broadcaster into new mediums.
Though it’s become clear to me that the fun part of doing the recordings is getting addictive versus the boring part of doing the editing.
These are going to get a bit … wild … in coming updates.
If you’re catching me here then consider linking up with me over on the YT as well.
Geez, I made too many and started so many projects over the years.
Really nuts going through this blog stuff.
Easily my biggest post is Kira’s Kingdom.
Starting doing minor podcasting with a voice recorder and discovered a nice little resource for my fellow Web creators to brush up on:
Digital Media Law Project: Fair Use
Also have this always saved and ready to go now…
THIS PODCAST DOES NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF YOUTUBE, GOOGLE OR RESPECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS. THIS CONTENT IS USED IN THE FULL SPIRIT OF THE FAIR USE POLICIES AND PRACTICES.
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I just don’t compose much that goes into blog format these days. Sorry about that if were around back when I posted like wildfire. I do a lot of writing and have been plagiarized the times that I posted my best work. However, I’m leaving Web-impressions somewhere if not around here and I thought I might share a decent argument I wrote against the notion that God created the universe.
Again you just don’t understand the Big Bang Theory (sometimes called the “first event“) in any meaningful way. Nothing was “created” because that word implies an intelligence for which we have no evidence of. “Popped out of nothing” is just a poor way of expressing the concept. A better way to say it might be “exploded out of non-spacetime” or “expanded outward from highly condensed existing matter.”
I get that you think this is big exercise to disprove your God but in fact this is, like all valid science, just following where the facts lead us. The “God did it” explanation is one that is very easy and explains nothing to us about the how and why. Whereas the Big Bang model (which has many variations that I’m probably screwing up as a layperson) exactly addresses these issues in cosmology with real answers that form together like a symphony of knowledge of what we already understand to be true.
I feel the need to point out, however, that in cosmology a deistic god (very specifically not the Christian or Abrahamic god) is highly plausible while at the same time being completely unnecessary to the model. A deistic stance on the creation / formation of the universe doesn’t break down the models or change the level of logical accuracy. But it also adds nothing new into the equation either, making it this little weird caveat that some people like to throw in but others find repugnant because they are very rigid about their mathematics.
I myself am not so clear on that one, having had too much time to think about it. It’s also valid to talk about self affirmation in existence, in which I mean human time travelers started things not that we define our physical reality crap. Think about it if you’re still reading this whoever you are: a point in our future results in technology that allows to bend time backwards to the First Event (Big Bang) and we find nothing there, realizing that if we don’t detonate our vessel’s drive to trigger said event that all of existence will thereby fail to exist. Yeah, see this way more plausible than even the deistic logic let alone the theist’s stance on these matters.
In my Internet wanderings I came upon a rather interesting YouTube channel
hosted by Jake & Hugo called “The Bible Reloaded.”
They take a unique approach in how to use their channel in the ambitious
attempt to read the narrative of the entire Bible (NIV) on the Internet.
Not only this but most importantly they provide context for the topics
they raise and even have done a video outside of canonical texts to
provide further context still.
This ongoing project has caught my attention and is a worth a look.
For those not keeping up with the pulse of YouTube: a channel by the name of Feminist Frequency run by Anita Sarkeesian has recently gathered $160,000 via Kickstarter to produce what is currently a three part video series focused on sexism in videogames entitled “Damsel in Distress.” Originally she asked for $6,000 for this project and spoke of academic value as well as intense research involved in the final product. But the videos about videogames are only the catalyst in a tale of Internet Infamy that begins with feminism and ends with pseudo-science.
The dubiously high amount of money involved raised many eyebrows due to the fact that YouTube videos of this exact nature are produced on shoe string budgets every day. She refuses to allow comments or ratings which is a tactic looked down on by most Internet users for obvious reasons. Compounding this is some evidence to show she likely screen captured the videos of other YouTube users rather than recording original video from the games she supposedly bought for the research stage of the project. But I’ll return to that topic later. Whatever else may be true of Sarkeesian there’s no arguing that she has become extremely successful directly as a result of this Kickstarter project and is rumored to have entered the professional gaming industry as a consultant to EA Games on the title Mirror’s Edge 2.
Which brings me to the first quandary: Is she a capitalist genius or just a case of luck combining with opportunity? I don’t think it’s as easy as some of her detractors would like to discount her as simply a “troll” (meaning intentional instigator) taking it to the next level. That’s one possibility but considering the nature of human greed I find it also likely she uses pop culture as a crutch to avoid the more scientific elements of social commentary all while appealing to her base, in this case hard-line feminists, to keep the donations coming with lots of red meat. All the benefits but none of the heavy lifting. As an example of this she doesn’t present any information to the viewer about learned and demonstrated behavior in the field of Child Development Psychology which would be the cornerstone of a hypothesis involved in linking external input like the themes and plot devices in videogames with outward attitudes toward the opposite gender. Fancy way of saying she is obviously not doing an academic piece.
One thing that occurred to me when I saw her first video was most of her arguments could be transplanted to rail against rap and hip hop music, or against the fringes of the artist community, or pretty much any extreme form of expression. But somehow I don’t imagine a young woman who wants to decry the evil rap music industry right next to figures like Bill O’Reilly and Pat Robertson would catch much traction on YouTube. Sarkeesian’s main point in summation, while it takes a different route to get there, is no different from the position of the religious right-wing: society is harmed by things I find offensive being popular.
That brings me to my second quandary: Is she an earnest activist that is merely making amateur mistakes or is there intentional deception by stating her opinions as facts numerous times? Again I’m not entirely convinced the worst to be true. It’s not all that impossible most of what she has presented that has ruffled feathers is just us witnessing a slow learning curve on her part to avoid logical fallacy. I read some old political posts of mine and felt deep shame … because I wrote them prior to taking a college course on critical thinking and proper argumentation. So hey, total benefit of doubt thing going on here. But to ever buy this one in full I need to see her start basing factual statements in facts and come to see that if you decry a social injustice you perceive but provide no positive solutions then others who feel as you do are left feeling disempowered (common theme in her videos) instead of united in this common worldview.
My final quandary: Are we being lead around by the nose here or not? The strongest point that leads me to think this a con artist at work is not so much the large pile of cash she got but rather what other users pointed out: she is almost certainly using footage of Let’s Play videos (someone voices what is essentially a podcast alongside a game they’re playing) to pad out her game footage shots and blatantly ignores or misrepresents the context within a story line she critiques. As a quick example of misleading viewers about the contextual story line within these games she references Fable 2 as a title that represented the “male revenge fantasy” overlooking the fact you can select to be female without affecting any element of the story and after the death of your sister you are mentored by a powerfully authoritative female character. As to the other point I’ve heard some users say she “stole” these clips of game footage but (1) not giving attribution is bad Web-etiquette but not stealing per se and (2) with the exception of the audio these Let’s Play videos are likely the sole property of the game makers or YouTube not the person who used a computer to mesh together game play and commentary. Find a copyright lawyer to really nail that down but in the case of potential plagiarism I’m near positive that unless they have a partnership with a gaming company thus a legal department behind them they can forget about this sort of thing being declared anything other than Free Use by YouTube. That said, it’s beyond suspicious to me that such a highly funded project would borrow footage in this way at all.
The sad part is no matter what Sarkeesian holds as her true intentions the focus on tired clichés being overused in gaming and how these plot devices, or tropes, are used to enforce unfair gender stereotypes is an opinionated stand to take but it’s just a simple fact that the professional gaming industry is predominately male and could greatly benefit from say a youthful female voice on YouTube encouraging women to strike out toward careers in gaming design and development. I have no doubt the gaming industry as a whole would welcome a more gender balanced input when it comes to design and development. The number of female gamers in the market keeps rising and they often bring different tastes and expectations to a videogame than male gamers do.
But instead of that sort of encouragement, so far anyway, we have three videos that contain contradictions and have yet to succeed in proving or even attempting to prove the central premise that fictional fantasies lead to negative attitudes and beliefs about others. We already beat that horse to death with the whole violence in the media causes violence in real life bullshit that was debunked over and over again.
Correlation is not causation, Anita.
More Video Links:
“More than a Damsel in a Dress: A Response” by KiteTales
“Three Simple Questions for Anita Sarkeesian” by IWALVG
“Female Game Developer’s response to Tropes vs Women” by dolldivine
“Damsel Trek…” by Triox45
“GAME OVER: Anita Sarkeesian has won” by MundaneMatt
This is a truly awesome YouTube video.
This is exactly what it sounds like when anyone tries to talk me about religious codes of conduct and how they think religion makes sense in what it condemns.
Oh no, no. Almost every religion condemns almost everything between them all of them put together and the standards for selection are nearly random.
All this gay-bashing is just grown adults acting like children and using religion as the veil for their actions.
The Newsweek cover story for this week examines the issue of “The Creativity Crisis.”
If there is any truth to a decline in creativity in the U.S. it likely stems from a lack of value for the arts and a lack of healthy national discussion over the value of art itself in our society.
But the discussion almost always goes straight to:
I like to go through it backwards, because I’m weird.
Renaissance art is soft-core porno. Or … pornography is art. No cheap smut film can match a masterpiece, that’s not what I am saying. It is just a matter of prudish mentalities that separates one form of nudity from another.
The truly obscene becomes a form of art all on its own. Even without the creator ever holding such an intent. It’s really, really bad art. But what the SCOTUS defines “protected obscene speech” is bunk. The more obscene something becomes the more we should be taking cares not to expose young impressionable minds to this art, but I would defend it as free speech even when I find the expression itself downright immoral and disgusting.
I do draw some lines, however. The most recent example that helps to define my view of what art is would be the SCOTUS ruling on ‘crush‘ films as protected. This violates my standard of harm being caused to living creatures for the sake of art, therefore I must stand opposed to protecting ‘crush’ films for they are not fictional animals being slaughtered for entertainment. This standard of mine applies to all art forms, as long as no harm is done in course of making your art I have no desire to shut you down even if you produce a product I find more than merely questionable in nature.
One example of ‘questionable art’ finding its way into American Culture would be the appearance of anime featuring a naked young vampire girl slaying people on Hulu and YouTube with partial white blurring over the scene. I found that single scene not only offensive but outrageous. However, I would be upset to hear of people trying to get the videos pulled for the crime of poor taste.
Art of value is able to invoke any topic and any feeling without being merely obscene, but I have always argued that the only way we will ever be able to discover and reveal the great works of art to be found in our times is to loosen our neck-ties about what exactly we call “art” in the first place.
My medium is words, mostly written but spoken word as well. I used to be able to produce illustration that did not stink, most recent attempts looked like I was five years old. I have focused too much on my writing and any drawing talent I have has fully withered at this point. I’ve also always enjoyed pottery especially wheel pottery. I have never produced a painting I would want to show anyone, and having so little success with that medium I have never been privy to its joys.
This here is art, this post and this blog and this account. It’s a hybrid art, something like ‘HTML Art’ should apply here. Some of you might think I’m playing games or being annoying with something I post, but this is just a place to express for me. And the art I find most interesting is usually the art that pushes out our sensibilities and confronts the subject matter directly.
And that is essentially what I think art is: all creative expression under the limit of doing real harm. I wonder if anyone has a shorter definition and if anyone thinks the SCOTUS definition of “socially redeeming value” has any merit. I personally think that such an absurd and arcane definition of art in the United States and the absolute lack of focus on the importance of the arts in our mainstream culture is why the Torrance study cited in Newsweek showed a decrease in the creativity in our kids.
Until we out-grow our puritanical stage, we cannot grow as a larger society.
Santa Cruz has suffered an incident of mass vandalism that is being labeled an “anarchist riot” in the news media. Cowardly and misguided individuals appeared at an un-permitted “May Day party” in Downtown Santa Cruz with masks, spray cans, paint bombs and rocks to destroy the message of international workers’ rights. Instead they terrorized and destroyed our city, for the name of what exactly I’m not at all clear.
These nut jobs smashed a series of windows and sprayed anarchist graffiti on local businesses after turning a workers’ rights rally into a riot. Whatever misguided notions they have about anarchism, or whatever message they were trying to convey, was smashed right along with the glass. Compounded by that only cowards wear masks to get “the word out,” for whatever that means to them. If you have a cause that you are passionate enough to protest about, use your face and real name to stand behind this cause and not the cloak of a mask.
These supposed connections between a local “anarchist’s cafe” and the madness in Downtown are weak, in my mind. Those groups are usually book clubs, not bomb-throwers and masked vandals like in some common misconceptions. But I do not speak from any personal experience on this specific group.
I’ve asked around a little and nobody knows who did this. I’m going with the theory it’s just some cretins with no message at all beyond destruction and fear-mongering the public.
The real tragedy here is the taint to the righteous cause of workers’ rights worldwide that started when the organizing group, who are now under FBI scrutiny, refused to gather the proper permit.
I can report that unnamed local leaders were urging these people to file for the permit, hoping to close the open door to incidents like this one.
I think the poor police response time is the real story here. Reportedly, police were led away from the rally by a pair of false 911 calls designed to distract them from the situation brewing Downtown; however, according to multiple eyewitnesses (of which I am not one) as well as the included YouTube video the police took over an hour to respond.
“We don’t think this was an unsophisticated group of protesters; we think this is an organized group of anarchists,” Santa Cruz Police spokesman Zach Friend said Monday, adding that investigators believe the anarchists had sought to strain city resources.
In the Political Internet this riot is being framed as having some connection to liberal progressives by the far right-wing. This is entirely untrue and goes to show how little these misguided conservatives understand how liberals feel about might-makes-right kind of messages like terrorizing people with riots and the mass destruction of property.
Unlike the cases of obvious tea party vandalism against pro-health care reform Democrats, there is no resounding vocal effort to excuse the actions of all these possibly politically motivated vandals and domestic terrorists on behalf of liberal progressives as there most certainly was on behalf of the “tea party conservatives.”
Whatever Free Speech you want to spread is fine, and odds are we’ll disagree about something somewhere, but making threats, inciting violence, destroying property and wearing masks is just the tactics of terrorists and fascists.
I think it’s all a big grand master plan to get everybody on Facebook in the whole universe. We will make you Facebook even if you don’t own a computer, all devices must have Facebook Apps to be worthy of creation!
U.S. Army veteran Alan P. Alborn expands upon his thoughts found on the Coffee Party USA YouTube channel:
You might remember the two videos featuring me that Moon Howler posted on the anti-BVBL website earlier this week. I was approached by Annabel Park ant Eric Byler for the past couple of weeks asking to discuss my view of the world. There was no “set-up”, no “prompting”, no “feeling me out to see how I felt about the world”… frankly, they just wanted to learn what “an old white guy” thought about the state of our Government. I qualify. They conducted a straight and professional interview. It’s my opinion that they did a “fair and balanced” piece that accurately captured my thoughts about a variety of subjects. The first video is now all over the internet… so I’ve gotten my fifteen minutes of fame. I was humbled by the product.
To my surprise (because of the subject, not the Producers), they created a couple of pretty good videos and posted them on their youtube website http://www.youtube.com/user/coffeepartyusaand Facebook. That was followed by a get together with a Washington Post reporter who just watched us in action and an article in the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/25/AR2010022505517.html After the article in the Washington Post appeared, something interesting happened… people started establishing local chapters and signing up on Facebook to learn more. The last time I checked http://www.facebook.com/coffeeparty?ref=ss , the number of people signed up was approaching 18,000 with chapters in well over half of the states (and growing by the minute).
So, here’s my question. Do you think we should start a Coffee Party here in Prince William County? I’m an “old soldier” who thought I had fought my last battle; however, I’m beginning to think that perhaps I have one more battle in me. This battle would be to try to go against the forces of the status quo, the Neocons from the last century, the groups who would like to turn personal religious beliefs into public policy, the people who don’t recognize the value of a multicultural society and the fact that America isn’t lily white any more (and that’s ok), and any other group who hasn’t quite made it across Midnight, 1 January 2001 to step into the twenty-first Century.
Any group is the sum of its parts. The Coffee Party is growing quickly and absorbing a variety of views and opinions. The one thing we all agree on is that Government has to change… and we would like it to change for the better instead of rolling back to the last Century. I would appreciate your thoughts. I’m not hiding behind an alias; however, I respect your privacy and will engage in any respectful conversation.
If I get a lot of positive response, I would propose that those of us interested get together and throw our first Coffee Party to decide what’s next. Ask your friends and tell them about this site. I am not happy with the way America is going and don’t plan to sit this one out. I think I’ll find the energy for one more battle… this could be the big one.