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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 52

2014-10-26 19:44:32 (52 comments, 5 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

OS X Yosemite & iCloud: Not cool
A little over a week ago, Apple release OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" and as it turns out, it has some undocumented features.

If you are using the 'autosave' feature in OS X, which was introduced in a previous release, you know programs support this feature do not ask you to save a file, but instead the current state of the document gets saved on your harddisk until you deliberately save it to a file.

Now, with the introduction of Yosemite, these saved states of your files and documents are no longer saved to your local harddisk, but unbeknownst to you and without asking for permission, they are moved to Apple's iCloud as soon as you turn on iCloud Drive.

Worse, if you email with people that are not part of your address book using an non-Apple email account, these names and email addresses are also saved to... more »

Most reshares: 5

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2014-12-30 21:54:07 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Oliver Stone interviews ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych- compares ouster to other US Govt coups & attempts https://t.co/vFxJYZ1P6h

Most plusones: 28

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2015-02-24 09:17:16 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Siena Cathedral, Tuscany, Italy
Shot with my D800 and 14-24. Processed in LR and PS.

Latest 50 posts

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2015-07-18 19:07:05 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

+Peter Strempel interesting read: the end of capitalism. 

+Peter Strempel interesting read: the end of capitalism. ___

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2015-07-06 17:06:21 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Cheers!

Cheers!___

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2015-06-29 14:48:20 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Brilliant!

___Brilliant!

2015-06-26 21:30:52 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Visiting #Ireland this fall. Riding the wild Atlantic way. Would appreciate some must see and must shoot places. #photography #travel #help +Ireland #europeanphotography

Visiting #Ireland this fall. Riding the wild Atlantic way. Would appreciate some must see and must shoot places. #photography #travel #help +Ireland #europeanphotography___

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2015-06-12 22:41:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Preparation + opportunity = one epic wildcat shot.

Check out the story behind this photo: http://bit.ly/1QaKOMY

Preparation + opportunity = one epic wildcat shot.

Check out the story behind this photo: http://bit.ly/1QaKOMY___

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2015-06-04 20:55:02 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Right on!

The Myth Of More

I just had a discussion with some people who sold their Fuji gear because Fuji is stuck in a world of 16MP APS-C sensors.

As if their cameras suddenly stopped taking the same pictures they took before.

They will probably buy a full-frame Sony Alpha, take the same crappy pictures they've always taken and wonder what's wrong with the camera.___Right on!

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2015-06-02 18:36:31 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Electron Tube

5C22 Thyratron tube made by ITT, once used in a X-ray cancer treatment machine. Also commonly used in RADAR modulators and microwave generators.

Shot with Fuji X-T1 with XF35mm F1.4

#photography  
#europeanphotography  
#fuji  
#fujifilm  
#electronics  
#tube  

Electron Tube

5C22 Thyratron tube made by ITT, once used in a X-ray cancer treatment machine. Also commonly used in RADAR modulators and microwave generators.

Shot with Fuji X-T1 with XF35mm F1.4

#photography  
#europeanphotography  
#fuji  
#fujifilm  
#electronics  
#tube  ___

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2015-06-02 18:29:18 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Rotterdam at night

Shot with Fuji X-T1 and XF23mm F1.4. Taken from the 12th of the famous slanted tower, the "Toren op Zuid".

#photography  
#fuji  
#fujifilm  
#europeanphotography  

Rotterdam at night

Shot with Fuji X-T1 and XF23mm F1.4. Taken from the 12th of the famous slanted tower, the "Toren op Zuid".

#photography  
#fuji  
#fujifilm  
#europeanphotography  ___

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2015-05-30 07:26:46 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Privacy Matters

Nobody needs to justify why they 'need' a right: the burden of justification falls on the one seeking to infringe upon the right...

Arguing that you don't care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

--Edward Snowden 

Privacy Matters

Nobody needs to justify why they 'need' a right: the burden of justification falls on the one seeking to infringe upon the right...

Arguing that you don't care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

--Edward Snowden ___

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2015-05-23 16:55:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Top case for BMW K1200S
Added a Touratech Zega Pro 25l top case to my K1200S for a little extra luggage capacity. Not the greatest fan of top cases, but it looks a whole lot better than a huge Givi. 

I used the rack for the R instead of the S, as the rack for the S model doesn't allow for the original side cases. Only minor modifications were required to make it fit on the original luggage rack. 

Top case for BMW K1200S
Added a Touratech Zega Pro 25l top case to my K1200S for a little extra luggage capacity. Not the greatest fan of top cases, but it looks a whole lot better than a huge Givi. 

I used the rack for the R instead of the S, as the rack for the S model doesn't allow for the original side cases. Only minor modifications were required to make it fit on the original luggage rack. ___

2015-05-03 18:24:49 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Fuji X Lens Advice requested

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D800 with battery grip and (mostly) the 14-24/2.8 beast and 50mm/1.8. Traveling on my motorcycle, it's always a challenge to pack this gear, so now I am looking for something smaller. I have pretty much narrowed the choice down to the Fuji X-T1.

However, on the lens front, things are not so easy. My list of options currently:

- XF18-55. Good lens by all accounts, though less on the long end. Short end is not really long enough considering my most used lens is the 14-24. Cheapest option by far.
- XF10-24. Great lens. Wide area covered, long end missing even if I don't use that all that often. Ideally paired with something else.
- XF16-55. Great lens. Pretty much ideal focal range for travel. Big and heavy compared to other options, though admiringly significantly less than what I am... more »

Fuji X Lens Advice requested

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D800 with battery grip and (mostly) the 14-24/2.8 beast and 50mm/1.8. Traveling on my motorcycle, it's always a challenge to pack this gear, so now I am looking for something smaller. I have pretty much narrowed the choice down to the Fuji X-T1.

However, on the lens front, things are not so easy. My list of options currently:

- XF18-55. Good lens by all accounts, though less on the long end. Short end is not really long enough considering my most used lens is the 14-24. Cheapest option by far.
- XF10-24. Great lens. Wide area covered, long end missing even if I don't use that all that often. Ideally paired with something else.
- XF16-55. Great lens. Pretty much ideal focal range for travel. Big and heavy compared to other options, though admiringly significantly less than what I am used to.

My budget is approximately 2500 euro, give or take for both the body and the lens(es).

Right now, I am considering the 16-55 kit versus the 18-55 kit + 14mm prime, with the first being a little under budget and the latter a little over budget.

My main shooting habits are travel, landscape, city and indoor sights like churches etc.

Any help or advice for my lens choice is very much appreciated considering my shooting habits and budget.___

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2015-04-20 20:31:34 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Don't watch this if don't want your faith in humanity to get a dent or you believe all human beings are at their core decent people. 

Don't watch this if don't want your faith in humanity to get a dent or you believe all human beings are at their core decent people. ___

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2015-04-08 10:56:47 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-02-24 09:17:16 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Siena Cathedral, Tuscany, Italy
Shot with my D800 and 14-24. Processed in LR and PS.

Siena Cathedral, Tuscany, Italy
Shot with my D800 and 14-24. Processed in LR and PS.___

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2015-02-16 16:45:09 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

HOW REAL MEN TALK ABOUT MISOGYNY
By some guy called Chris Kluwe.

Not that I watch American NFL, +M Sinclair Stevens, but here's a similar message to the one that was just too difficult for the delicate little petals to understand, first as too 'politically correct', and then as too politically incorrect.

They don't really know what they want, do they.

Except, perhaps, not to be challenged in any way.

This guy has some ... shall we say 'robust words' to describe such people.

CC:
+Steve Yuan +David Moore and Chris Wall, who peed his pants so much he blocked me.

https://medium.com/the-cauldron/why-gamergaters-piss-me-the-f-off-a7e4c7f6d8a6

HOW REAL MEN TALK ABOUT MISOGYNY
By some guy called Chris Kluwe.

Not that I watch American NFL, +M Sinclair Stevens, but here's a similar message to the one that was just too difficult for the delicate little petals to understand, first as too 'politically correct', and then as too politically incorrect.

They don't really know what they want, do they.

Except, perhaps, not to be challenged in any way.

This guy has some ... shall we say 'robust words' to describe such people.

CC:
+Steve Yuan +David Moore and Chris Wall, who peed his pants so much he blocked me.

https://medium.com/the-cauldron/why-gamergaters-piss-me-the-f-off-a7e4c7f6d8a6___

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2015-02-01 23:18:01 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Since people are flocking to the movies. 

Since people are flocking to the movies. ___

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2015-02-01 12:19:33 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

If this is a Russian Crisis, I am Alexander the Great.:

According to the debt clocks available online, the Russian national debt as a percentage of Russian GDP is 11 percent. The American national debt as a percentage of US GDP is 105 percent, about ten times higher. Dave Kranzler, John Williams, and I have shown that when measured correctly, the US debt as a percent of GDP is much higher than the official figure.

The Russian national debt per capita is $1,645. The US national debt per capita is
$56,952.

The size of Russia’s national debt is $235 billion, less than one quarter of a trillion. The size of the US national debt is $18 trillion, 76.6 times larger than the Russian debt.

Putting this in perspective: according to the debt clocks, US GDP is $17.3 trillion and Russian GDP is $2.1 trillion. So, US GDP is 8 times greater than Russian GDP, but USn... more »

If this is a Russian Crisis, I am Alexander the Great.:

According to the debt clocks available online, the Russian national debt as a percentage of Russian GDP is 11 percent. The American national debt as a percentage of US GDP is 105 percent, about ten times higher. Dave Kranzler, John Williams, and I have shown that when measured correctly, the US debt as a percent of GDP is much higher than the official figure.

The Russian national debt per capita is $1,645. The US national debt per capita is
$56,952.

The size of Russia’s national debt is $235 billion, less than one quarter of a trillion. The size of the US national debt is $18 trillion, 76.6 times larger than the Russian debt.

Putting this in perspective: according to the debt clocks, US GDP is $17.3 trillion and Russian GDP is $2.1 trillion. So, US GDP is 8 times greater than Russian GDP, but US national debt is 76.6 times greater than Russia’s debt.

Clearly, it is the US credit rating that should have been downgraded to junk status. But this cannot happen. Any US credit rating agency that told the truth would be closed and prosecuted. It wouldn’t matter what the absurd charges are. The rating agencies would be guilty of being anti-American, terrorist organizations like RT, etc. and so on, and they know it. Never expect any truth from any Wall Street denizen. They lie for a living.

According to the website HowStuffWorks.com, the US owes Russia as of January 2013 $162.9 billion. As the Russian national debt is $235 billion, 69 percent of the Russian national debt is covered by US debt obligations to Russia.___

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2015-01-22 17:38:26 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 


OFFENDED? KISS MY ARSE!

Yesterday the Russian state sponsored TV channel RT posted to Google Plus on Noam Chomsky. The internationally renowned academic, philosopher, and public commentator pointed out a degree of hypocrisy in the outrage expressed about the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Chomsky’s point was about the absence of such outrage about American drone strikes, or the 1999 NATO bombing of a media organisation in Yugoslavia.

The very first comment in that thread was by Ishmael Finn whose profile suggests he is an American Ranger:

Fuck Noam Chomsky! Let him take up residence with Edward Snowden in Moscow if he doesn’t like it here.

I suspect Finn didn’t read the reportage, just the headline, and doesn’t really know who Chomsky is, or why he deserves at least some respectful attention, even if strong disagreement is the outcome.

Thatlittle ... more »


OFFENDED? KISS MY ARSE!

Yesterday the Russian state sponsored TV channel RT posted to Google Plus on Noam Chomsky. The internationally renowned academic, philosopher, and public commentator pointed out a degree of hypocrisy in the outrage expressed about the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Chomsky’s point was about the absence of such outrage about American drone strikes, or the 1999 NATO bombing of a media organisation in Yugoslavia.

The very first comment in that thread was by Ishmael Finn whose profile suggests he is an American Ranger:

Fuck Noam Chomsky! Let him take up residence with Edward Snowden in Moscow if he doesn’t like it here.

I suspect Finn didn’t read the reportage, just the headline, and doesn’t really know who Chomsky is, or why he deserves at least some respectful attention, even if strong disagreement is the outcome.

That little Google Plus moment sparked memories of the Faurisson affair in the later 1970s and throughout the 1980s.

In the late 1970s Chomsky had defended the idea that freedom of speech should trump ideological demands to silence even potentially odious ideas. Chomsky’s essay, ‘Some Elementary Comments on the Rights of Freedom of Expression’ became a foreword of sorts in a book by French literary scholar Robert Faurrison, against Chomsky’s wishes, but without later repentance for his views about freedom of speech.

The thing is, Faurrison is a holocaust denier, and was widely branded a neo-Nazi anti-Semite. A characterisation of his orientation that Chomsky never agreed with.

But, as a consequence, Chomsky was widely condemned for the illusory act of endorsing neo-Naziism and anti-Semitism, all with the same lack of self-reflection that applied in the 1960s, when Hannah Arendt was vilified for not echoing a doctrinaire view of the Nazis as inexplicably evil rather than just 'banal' after observing the Eichmann trial.

What giants these thinkers are to transcend their own Jewishness, focusing on the intellectual content of their analyses, and finding a humanity lacking in both the (neo) Nazis and their opponents.

Chomsky said on his website some years after the eye of the Faurisson hurricane had passed:

A professor of French literature was suspended from teaching on grounds that he could not be protected from violence, after privately printing pamphlets questioning the existence of gas chambers. He was then brought to trial for “falsification of History,” and later condemned for this crime, the first time that a modern Western state openly affirmed the Stalinist-Nazi doctrine that the state will determine historical truth and punish deviation from it. Later he was beaten practically to death by Jewish terrorists. As of now, the European and other intellectuals have not expressed any opposition to these scandals; rather, they have sought to disguise their profound commitment to Stalinist-Nazi doctrine by following the same models, trying to divert attention with a flood of outrageous lies. So, the issue has not been settled, or even addressed.

It suddenly occurred to me why I was engaged in this train of thought. It was my own subconscious processing of other, far more trivial Google Plus moments in recent days.

I have come across many online discussions in which a pernicious kind of totalitarianism has led to astonishing refutations of rationality, and a snarky kind of persecution by self-appointed crusaders against others who do not meet some imagined standard of political correctness.

In most cases of these crusades by the self-righteous, what is really going on is character assassination as a means of avoiding engagement with an argument. Don’t get me wrong: character assassination, or ad hominem, is sometimes a logical and even necessary adjunct to destroying a false premiss. For example, a gun-toting religious fundamentalist who argues that women seeking abortions should be shot, as should be their doctors, in the name of saving the life of a foetus, has opened himself to attacks not just on his ideas, but on his very character for being quite such a barbarian.

Politically correct crusading is in fact a form of the Chomskian Stalinist-Nazi absolutism. Particularly when you keep in mind Arendt’s conclusions that Eichmann (and probably many other Nazis) was not so much evil as crushingly ordinary and simple-minded. A technocrat cum bureaucrat without the education or imagination to understand that his pursuit of efficient mass murder was the most vile of crimes rather than a servile act of ‘following orders’ with the greatest ‘effectiveness’ and ‘efficiency’ that he knew how to strive for.

In other words, there are potential monsters hidden in billions of outwardly ordinary, perhaps even meek men and women. People without the education, moral fibre, or imagination to act with ethics not imposed on them.

That insight suggested then, as it does now, that layers of technocrats, possibly leading subsidiary layers of bureaucrats, are capable of the most horrifying, nauseating perversions of humanity and decency. All in the name of technological efficiency and orderly process, and not at all comprehensible as some distinguishable category of evil.

♔♔♔

In contemporary Western societies it is legitimate to regard algorithmic determinism and the cult of technological efficiency as blanking out moral questions around the application of technology, and its human consequences.

This idea was taken up quite recently in a thread by Jake Weisz on the public warning by Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk about the potential dangers of developing artificial intelligence.

In that thread, Jordan Schnaidt, using as an avatar a Matt Groening cartoon character, asserted, as a matter of opinion, and without further qualification, that Hawking and Musk did not have credibility to warn against AI research.

I suggested to Schnaidt that it was he, representing himself as a cartoon character, and without argument to back his assertion, who was lacking credibility to discredit two men with highly visible public personas, and impressive résumés.

My comment resulted immediately in a small example of Chomsky’s 'Stalinazi' absolutism, albeit in the flavour of the contemporaneously popular, and archly politically correct fetish of being offended. My argument was not to be answered because it was invalidated solely by mentioning an avatar, and because mentioning an avatar is apparently sound cause for thumb-sucking sulking instead of engaging with proposed arguments.

I removed myself from all further discussion on that thread, despite thinking that the argument was about the credibility of publicly expressed opinions based on the credibility of the people expressing the opinions. Schnaidt has the credibility of a cartoon character, while Hawking and Musk are eminent international figures. How could that have been missed by the crusaders?

I found it irresistible to conclude that regardless of demands to the contrary, only the Google Plus ‘public profiles’ could guide me in assessing Google Plus commentators. So, in looking at Schnaidt’s profile, I discovered that in addition to likening himself to a cartoon character, he is a college kid who likes ‘decent’ Christian music, and posts mostly techno pr0n, with some gamer and popcorn culture asides. That’s how he represents himself to the world on his public profile and in his public posts. His words and posts, not my fabrications.

The next logical question was whether I would be happy to be judged on my Google profile and posts? Yes, I think I would. The categorical imperative, or golden rule, is satisfied.

This Google Plus moment led me to reflect on how similar, melodramatically staged incidents of being offended seem to have become popular pastimes in recent years. People seem more interested in the hyperbole of righteous indignation than the skill of debate, perhaps because rationality, clear thinking, and even basic literacy have fallen out of fashion.

♔♔♔

Conservative commentators like Roger Kimball (USA) and Roger Scruton (UK) have traced this kind of petulant, politically correct ‘culture of complaint’ to what they see as a debasement of intellectual rigour, arising from the 1960s counter-culture (I recommend Roger Kimball’s sharply argued invective The Long March as a potent antidote to too much nostalgic longing for hippie self-indulgence).

Personally I suspect many Google crusaders are both too young and ignorant to remember counter-culture, or to have absorbed any of it, save the ensuing formula for political correctness. Instead I see a contemporary amalgam of Chomsky’s ‘Stalinaziism’, political correctness, and ignorance as being reflected nowhere more strongly than in America’s sociopathic religious right. That lunatic fringe has re-fashioned itself into the most menacing, dominant political force by pursuing the relentless argument that its members are offended every time someone does not precisely echo their insane economic, political, and social prescriptions.

I think it most likely that witnessing such lunatics getting airtime and apparently being taken seriously is what fuels the contemporary idea in youngsters like Schnaidt that you can behave like a socially awkward, ignorant but entitled loud-mouth. One who identifies himself as a nerdy gamer auto-masturbator, but who insists that he should not be judged according to that image. And, apparently, someone who should not be held accountable for his opinions at all if that means calling him out as lacking the credibility of intellect or profile.

♔♔♔

That line of thought was re-awakened not six hours after I’d put it to bed, when I had another Google moment, this time on Eli Fennell’s thread, decrying the publication of some Google Plus user statistics in Business Insider (and then BoingBoing ), because the originator of the statistical analysis was using a pseudonym: Edward Morbius.

There were at least two people active in Fennell’s thread who had keelhauled me earlier for deriding the credibility of Schnaidt as a Matt Groening puppet. Yet in this new thread, there was absolute silence following the proposition that statistics originating from someone using a pseudonym were not credible entirely because of the pseudonym.

Moreover, for a little while, I was castigated for daring to suggest that the credibility of the source data and method for arriving at the statistics did not rely on the identity of the number cruncher. I maintain that if you release the source and describe both methods and assumptions for statistical analysis, your identity is not necessary to confirm or reject the figures or the method.

It was a bizarre sequence of posts to witness. I was compelled to wonder whether Walt Disney ever produced a sanitised version of Lord of the Flies, which is probably the only way some of Google’s crusaders would ever absorb any part of William Golding’s message.

♔♔♔

The lesson for me is that it didn’t really matter what I’d said in either case. What mattered was the opportunity for others to pose as one of the perpetually offended. Righteously indignant. Appalled that anyone could dare to disagree with … irrational or unstated assumptions.

Why do I regard all of this as worth thinking about?

Because in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, and the earlier Sydney café siege, there had been a lot of talk about empathy, understanding, and most particularly tolerance. And yet the most visibly absent quality in those calling for these indulgences is tolerance. For anyone and any argument that doesn’t agree with their own version of history, and with their own interpretations of current events.

Chomsky's Stalinaziism again.

In that light I have terminated a pre-Christmas internal conversation in which I was debating with myself whether I should work to ‘soften’ my own essays. To strive to be more ‘inclusive’, as I have been admonished to be from time to time, presumably by catering to the less well-read, and even to the poor idiots who prefer using the internet to absorb nonsense rather than the mountains of knowledge it makes available. And to be less trenchant in calling cretinism what it is when I see it.

Back to square one, though. It seems to me that the only way to survive Stalinist Nazis parading as politically correct crusaders, affecting a fey, sniffling victimhood by being permanently offended, is to laugh at them and speak my mind the way I see things.

I have no doubt that the impact and intention of deliberately offensive language has been dulled by a habitual overuse. But I think the impact of claims about being offended have now reached a similar status.

In an environment in which taking offense is a method for avoiding responsibility for gratuitous stupidity and laziness, it seems peculiarly appropriate to respond: ‘Kiss my arse!’

[From Minority Reports at http://peterstrempel.com/2015/01/22/offended-kiss-my-arse/]___

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2015-01-19 09:47:26 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Ann Jones’s Salon piece ‘Has America gone crazy?’ (http://www.salon.com/2015/01/13/have_americans_gone_crazy_partner/) had a hypnotic effect on me that included at once agreement with her every observation, and some disappointment about her polite restraint in not driving home some of her points to conclusions or prescriptions. But maybe that exceeded the ambit of her intentions.

Nevertheless, I would wholeheartedly associate myself with her observations, and I presume here to write a coda of sorts.

In that sense reading my words in isolation from hers will make less sense than reading Jones first.

Who is Jones? A globetrotting journalist and author on humanitarian subjects now approaching eighty years of age. Still with a remarkable clarity about her subject that ought to be the envy of a blogging generation with patience for neither grammar nor critical thinking andsynth... more »

Ann Jones’s Salon piece ‘Has America gone crazy?’ (http://www.salon.com/2015/01/13/have_americans_gone_crazy_partner/) had a hypnotic effect on me that included at once agreement with her every observation, and some disappointment about her polite restraint in not driving home some of her points to conclusions or prescriptions. But maybe that exceeded the ambit of her intentions.

Nevertheless, I would wholeheartedly associate myself with her observations, and I presume here to write a coda of sorts.

In that sense reading my words in isolation from hers will make less sense than reading Jones first.

Who is Jones? A globetrotting journalist and author on humanitarian subjects now approaching eighty years of age. Still with a remarkable clarity about her subject that ought to be the envy of a blogging generation with patience for neither grammar nor critical thinking and synthesis.

And what do I think are the omissions in her commentary?

She mentions non-American confusion about America’s imperial wars, but not how that confusion might be laid to rest.

She mentions mutterings about the encroaching police state USA, but not what might be done about it.

And she doesn’t mention at all the deeply disturbing alliance of nominally religious fascists, plutocrats, and the extreme right rump of the Republican Party. Not mentioning it means no insight is offered on what to do about it.

♔♔♔

Jones identified a view I find common here too: George W Bush’s wars were a disaster for everyone concerned, except, perhaps, American corporations who gained concessions and contracts to first destroy whole countries, and then to ‘rebuild’ them. All the while siphoning off billions of dollars of US taxpayer money in some of the most brazenly fraudulent practices in the history of corruption.

However, knowing this does nothing to address the problem. I’m not going to argue that America should cease to be an empire, nor that it should cease to pursue its own interests. What I propose is a more rational and competent basis for that pursuit. One that would not only benefit more Americans than the current model, but that would also be more readily understood outside America.

♔♔♔

Re-professionalise the US military, including the re-introduction of conscription. Target not just ghetto poor young men, who face the option of goal, early death by drive-by, or the armed forces, but also the scions of higher income families. In conjunction with this, draft the press-ganged ghetto young men into élite officer training academies in much larger numbers than is the case presently. A leader in the streets can become a leader of men elsewhere.

Conscription targeting privileged white young men, and training non-white officers in large numbers, has the potential to rapidly make the US military a more professional fighting force, with a much greater chance of winning a few. And with fewer troops but much more brainpower.

Such a policy shift would also serve as a currently missing impetus to question the strategic objectives of wars and ‘police’ actions. If the wealthier families of the young men being sent overseas to kill and die cannot support a war that risks their children’s lives, then it probably shouldn’t be fought.

Right now, no one speaks for the ghetto blacks and Latinos who die and return to poverty and disrespect, so supporting a stupid war is not much of an immediate risk to influential American families.
The bottom line is that a re-professionalised US military might also resemble the armed forces of allied countries more closely, and dispel the concerns about ‘cowboy’ misdeeds outside the USA.

♔♔♔

The second issue, about the widespread perception that the USA no longer has a rule of law, is related to the third issue discussed below, but can be discussed without mentioning the American taboo of critiquing fascism cloaked as religion.

How can Americans seriously propose that America is a free country, and its president the leader of the free world, when its laws are never enforced against rich criminals. Yet slavery has been re-introduced by way of private, for-profit gaols stocked with overwhelmingly black Americans forced to act as chain-gang labour for private corporations?

Moreover, how can there be a two tier system of laws without the abandonment of the rule of law? The second tier? Some state courts are now offering legal protection to criminals if they can prove they broke some federal law because of deeply held beliefs.

And no amount of scare-mongering will persuade observers in countries that are still free that the US benefits at all from a massive police state apparatus that not only fails to prevent terrorism and crime, but overtly breaks, stretches, or circumvents black letter American law to persecute its own citizens.

Taken together, these subversions of a legal system compatible with the ideals and principles of democracy should concern not just foreign observers, but those inside the USA as well.

Unfortunately the resolution of the decline of lawful America is tied to the no-go area in American politics: Christofascism.

♔♔♔

It may be dangerous for many Americans to speak out against the barbarian luddites who call themselves fundamentalist Christians, but actually have no understanding of anything resembling traditional Christianity, and far more closely resemble the Taliban or ISIS than any other Western social and political force.

Christopher Hitchens used the term Islamofascism to denounce a hatred for progress, a cult of violence against imagined enemies, leader worship, heavy doctrinal reliance on a single book, and the disgustingly misogynistic sexual repression of women. These all apply to a virulent strain of extremism in American politics that covers its fascist impulses in the false claim that it is Christian. Hence my terminology of Christofascism, which may offend real Christians, but does not seek to include them.

It’s not just that these extremists promote and demand the imposition of an affected cretinism, denying fact, reality, and science whenever it doesn’t suit their agenda (but not when they drive expensive cars, fly private jets, or use flushing toilets). They are made a hundred times more dangerous for being affiliated with a rainbow coalition of other sociopaths and anarchists, including especially plutocrat money-men seeking to dismantle democracy, and even destroy their own country rather than let it be governed by someone else.

Paul Krugman, writing in his New York Times column (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/19/opinion/paul-krugman-hating-good-government.html?_r=1) almost nailed the definition of how Christofascists and their allies fail the USA, and actually subvert it instead. He illustrated that proof of what works, and what doesn’t, comes a distant tenth place as an influence to an ideological doggedness to prevent the state from helping its citizens.

What Krugman doesn’t say is that this failure in democracy is driven by the greed of those superwealthy Americans who want the tax dollars other Americans pay to flow solely to themselves. They are not anti-tax or big government at all. They just don’t want any benefits to flow to anyone but themselves.

Whether all Christofascists understand this is doubtful. The screeching at the far right is sometimes so incoherent it is compelling to believe that GOP candidates and representatives aren’t affecting, so much as reflecting, a real genetic cretinism.

Nevertheless, these extremists have managed to so thoroughly infiltrate and control the Republican Party that it now almost seems like a fifth column in the USA, working openly to paralyse the country, financially ruin millions of Americans, destroy the US education system, enslave blacks and women, and create a permanently destabilised geopolitical climate.

How could ordinary Americans vote for such nihilists and not expect astonished raised eyebrows from even America’s allies?

Foreign observers should be rightfully expected to be not just appalled, but astonished that real Christians and sensible, decent Americans allow this to happen.

Much worse, though, is that such developments encourage America’s enemies by providing an American example, or justification, for murdering people, torturing and raping children and women, publicly beheading hostages, and generally creating mayhem. After all, if this behaviour is legally endorsed in the USA, what fault can Americans find in such behaviour elsewhere?

There is no easy solution for this problem that doesn’t involve the hard work of a grass roots political effort, sustained for years, to root out and silence the Christofascists. This is not an endorsement of the Democrats, whose feckless pursuit of their own corrupt interests allowed this imbalance to take root in the first place. But any grass roots political movement that can take on and oust the extremists, even in initially small numbers, will soon find itself in a position to demand terms from those who might be next to be exposed as frauds and lunatics.

♔♔♔

If all this sounds too far fetched, let me just encourage American readers to look to European and other examples of free liberal democracies where this kind of thing is already the norm.

Looking at my home in Australia, we have a modest and professional army of people signing up voluntarily. We have been staunch allies to America, but never at the expense of using police state tactics to crush opposition to war in our streets or the press (although that may be changing with newly repressive ‘security’ laws probably dictated by American authors).

We have a rule of law which is under attack by reactionary twits right now, using models of tyranny emulated from Republican originals, but I think our legal system is too robust to fall under their spell just yet.

And the status quo in Australia is that we are a majority Christian country, but any idiot who starts spouting theology or doctrine as politics is quickly shouted down by myriad voices, including real Christians, and politicians from all sides. The secular state remains unchallenged, and creationism for school syllabi is not remotely on the agenda.

We have gun control and relatively low, declining crime rates.

We have a public health system whose costs are rising and therefore targeted by the reactionary right, but, again, I think it is generally supported across partisan lines in the population, and I think it will yet survive. Particularly if the parallel private health insurance system is regulated more effectively to reduce the most egregiously price-gouging profiteering.

I believe there are actually better examples of how improved America might be if sanity were re-imposed, but I am less familiar with them than my home.

♔♔♔

My apologies in advance to all Americans who might be offended by what I have said here. All I can suggest is that you take to heart what Jones had to say. And that you remember you are not alone in a world which has unprecedented insights into what is said and done in the USA via an always on, massively influential American media (including the internet).

Many people, in the Western world particularly, sincerely wish Americans all the best. But we are also selfish: every time America sneezes, we catch flu.

I do so hope you restore order in your house. Good night and good luck.

[From Minority Reports at http://peterstrempel.com/2015/01/19/has-america-gone-crazy-really/]___

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2015-01-12 21:44:05 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Naïve definitions of freedom
[Non-popular / non-populist "food for thought": if you love hashtags and quickly-forgotten emotional internet campaigns, you might want to pass!]

   Following a crime in Paris, the internet has been filled by a wave of islamophobia, racism and other amalgams under the guise of protecting the "freedom of press"… leading some to misguided 'reprisal' attacks on Muslims.
   Selective moral outrage, here we come!
   The "freedom of press" is absolutely not threatened in France, the current emotions leads to a fallacy, but who cares? This freedom would be threatened if the state stopped protecting the press, or did not condemn crimes against the press… That's not the situation!

   While the crowd marches in the name of freedom, the government issue statements about reinforcinganti-terrori... more »

Naïve definitions of freedom
[Non-popular / non-populist "food for thought": if you love hashtags and quickly-forgotten emotional internet campaigns, you might want to pass!]

   Following a crime in Paris, the internet has been filled by a wave of islamophobia, racism and other amalgams under the guise of protecting the "freedom of press"… leading some to misguided 'reprisal' attacks on Muslims.
   Selective moral outrage, here we come!
   The "freedom of press" is absolutely not threatened in France, the current emotions leads to a fallacy, but who cares? This freedom would be threatened if the state stopped protecting the press, or did not condemn crimes against the press… That's not the situation!

   While the crowd marches in the name of freedom, the government issue statements about reinforcing anti-terrorism, and everybody is naïvely okay with it because, as always, people think that of course any new measure will not target them, only dangerous "others".  This is another fallacy, one which Buddhism calls separateness (a root of ignorance)! People march for freedom but want to hear the government take freedom away, because they think they're separate from criminals… it's a self-serving illusion for the privileged; then they don't have to think too much about why some youth becomes fundamentalist and extremist in a country where supposedly they have "equality of chances"!
   One might also severely question the human rights records of the 40+ world leaders who took part in Sunday's unity march in Paris. 'Torture' anyone? 'Governmental censorship' anyone? Nice PR stunt!

   I'll pass on the absurdity of wanting freedom of expression while imposing on innocent Muslims to "openly" distance themselves from terrorists (what? just because of the amalgam others make?) —I don't remember the last time all  atheists or all  Christians have been asked the same e.g. following some school massacre by some crazy gunman, with more victims than at Charlie Hebdo. Selective amalgams, here we come!


   Beyond the absurdity of wanting freedom and the negation of freedom at the same time (i.e. wanting freedom without the risks of freedom, wanting a sanitised freedom), several philosophical mistakes are easily spotted in the dominant discourse.

   First, no, freedom of opinion is not freedom of speech.
   "Freedom of opinion" is a progress from the Enlightenment period in Europe; it was an antidote to the Middle-Ages stupidity of condemning people for alleged intentions.
   During e.g. witch-hunting season, even if people had not done anything wrong, you could condemn them for having the intention, having the idea of doing something… This was very convenient to burn witches, given that only mind-reading of intention / opinion would constitute a proof; I doubt there were many other facts in witch-hunting…
   The freedom of opinion is basically stating that you cannot condemn anyone for their opinion, even if  you were able to read minds ;-) For a modern treatment, see "PreCrime" in the "Minority Report" film.
  This being said, freedom of opinion is not freedom of expression, or freedom of press, of freedom to enact your opinion.


   Interlude: the definition of freedom is not « I do whatever I want »! That'd justify the law of the strongest: killing is okay, rape is okay, slavery is okay; if caught, just say "I wanted it"…
   The freedom of one stops where the freedom of another starts! Freedom doesn't exist without responsibility!  And responsibility doesn't exist when easy "carte blanche" or joker cards trump logic.
   The question of responsibility applies to 'speech' just like it applies to any other action, notably once "psychological suffering" or "psychological violence" are acknowledged (e.g. harassment).


   Second, freedom of speech is not freedom of press.
   Given the crime happened in France, let's remind the international audience that France —with its bunch of philosophers— has not  fallen for the naïve, stupid interpretation of "freedom of speech defined as a licence to say whatever shit you want".
   In France, the denial of crimes against humanity, e.g. denying the holocaust, is forbidden by law (loi n° 90-615 du 13 juillet 1990,  also known as Loi Gayssot).
   Incitement to ethnic or racial hatred is also forbidden (in private: penal code art. R.625-7).
   While you cannot be condemned for an opinion, you can be condemn for acting on it, and speech is an act! Consequences unfold, and might unfold far and fast. They might seriously endanger other people and institutions too.
   But, more important, while freedom of press is secured in France since 1881, specific restrictions apply to "public speech" (a category which the press falls in), simply because public speech will unfold faster and further than private speech… so freedom of personal expression is not freedom of press.


   Third, freedom of press is not a licence to say whatever, just because it's printed.
   To start with, the limitations that apply to private speech also apply to the press; the restrictions are even explicitly mentioned again, for the avoidance of doubt (art. 23&24 of the amended law from 1881 on freedom of press)!
   Notably, incitement to ethnic or racial hatred is forbidden (art. 24.5). Provocations based on belonging (or non-belonging), true or merely hypothesised, of the victim among a particular ethnic group, nation, race or religion (art. 48-1), on sexual orientation (art. 48-4), on disability (art. 48.6) are all serious infractions.


   For the avoidance of doubt, none of the above would allow any 'offended' citizen to take on himself / herself to punish the author of incitement of hatred, or a denier of genocide… or the author of any emotionally-painful pamphlet. Of course, not! The rule of law requires the offended citizen to call on Justice, not to execute whatever decision (s)he takes one his/her own.


   Still, confusing the various freedoms end up proliferating into a lot of other confusions and erroneous views, prejudices, biased conclusions, preconceived responses (anti-terrorism vs. anti-inequality?).
   Ultimately, I think the core confusion affecting the recent debate is this: the dignity of a human being (i.e. the basis for human rights) does not  automatically transfer into a dignity, or legitimacy, of this being's opinion, nor does it automatically transfer into a dignity or legitimacy of this being's speech. This applies equally to religious fundamentalists, to xenophobes and to nationalists!
   Granting you "inalienable" human rights does not mean your opinion deserves to be spread freely. Human rights don't even prevent that you could be legally thrown to jail, i.e. don't prevent your freedom being legally limited if you prove incapable of using it responsibly.  So why would anyone expect speech to be out of the realm of causality and responsibility?

   Definitions of freedom which would allow calls for jihad, denial of the Holocaust, incitement to hatred to be legitimate 'press' are naïve  and faulty. Yet most of the well-intended definition I've recently seen fall into this category. And they've proven faulty, for they already have supported a wave of faulty 'reprisal' attacks and unfair expectations on a whole community.
   That one might want to organise any angry response by an 'offended' reader, so that it takes the path of tribunals rather than the law of the strongest is the natural course for a civilised "rule of law"… but the 'press' shouldn't be arbitrarily shielded and allowed to print whatever crap they want, irrespective of facts, without having to face any consequence. Or that's just another law of the strongest: the law of the loudest!
   I know many Americans will be perplexed by the above, out of some oft-misunderstood constitutional principle… but when one looks at the damage that uninformed citizens cause by their ignorant votes, after listening to lies and fallacies on Fox News, I'm afraid Americans also have all the proof they need. When elections are linked to how much money one can raise to become the loudest, rather than linked to a comprehensive well-constructive platform, Americans have all the proof they need.
   Freedom of the press shouldn't be out of the realm of responsibility.


   Insults, defamation, harassment, etc., are not legitimate forms of expressions… whatever the opinion one has of the "assholes"! And it's quite important that it is not legitimised, because at the end of the day, every single one of us is an "asshole" in the mind of someone! The debate wouldn't lead very far if anything could be said, irrespective of facts and proofs, and irrespective of consequences…

   Oh, and calling it a "joke" [or an "expedient mean", by the fake Zen teachers and other proponents of "tough love"] when things turn sour is just a feeble attempt to escape one's responsibility; it is neither legitimate nor constructive!

———

   Freedom in Buddhism is not  defined as « I do whatever I want », that would rather be seen as the bondage of one's unchosen, context-dependent impulses and desires.
   On the contrary, freedom in Buddhism is tied to acting out of non-greed, non-hatred, non-ignorance, i.e. not letting self-serving biases, selfish tendencies, self-centred opinions make you act in automatic, make you pick suboptimal options (by missing the bigger picture), make you be a victim of your unquestioned habits.
   It is freedom from lust, from aversion, from stupidity. Sometimes it means "doing the right thing"  regardless of narrow-minded selfish interests, regardless of "I'd rather do something else"…  because the 'I' should not arbitrarily and automatically be assumed the right 'measure' of ethics: co-dependent others count too!
   « I want, I want, I want » has little ethical value: others don't "want" to be hurt by our ignorance. How do we handle this? That's the question, that's the contradiction and koan of Life! How do we find Peace amidst the conflicting 'wants'?  Often it starts with picking one's words wisely, e.g. to educate rather than to insult, rather than to utter poor jokes at the expense of another, ignoring the suffering caused!

———
Internet rather than press?

   It's very easy, and regularly popular on the internet, to blame the 'offended', to tell them that being 'offended' doesn't give them rights, doesn't make them right… That's lame and, basically, that's blaming the victim! How about… if someone suffers from our words, maybe we could have picked more constructive words, out of compassion (even if they need help to become less ignorant / obtuse / clingy / righteous)?
   Hurting people is never particularly constructive, so it's nothing to be proud of. The offence doesn't make you 'right' any more that it makes the offended 'right'! There's "moral high ground" on neither side of this argument.
   If you think offending is some sort of "public service to others", give yourself a break from your arrogant superiority complex (or your misguided appropriation of Linji's caricature as role model, if you happen to see yourself as a Zen practitioner).
   Caring for others is what's valuable and constructive, what leads towards the cessation of suffering, and it very rarely goes via hurting their bodies (corporal punishments are being banned from schools for being ineffective), nor their feelings. What's "convenient" or "easy" rarely is the same as "necessary", so don't use the copout of "I had to hurt", just look for better words!
   While the pen is more powerful than the gun, it is so when it nobly teaches; ask Malala Yousafzai, who fought for an education!
   People will suffer enough from seeing their certainties crumble (e.g. thanks to good argumentation and education), they don't need an extra dose of suffering by unnecessarily harsh words.

   Do good (constructive), refrain from evil (harmful), purify the mind (intention), that is the teaching of all the buddhas.


#ethics   #philosophy   #freedom  ___

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2014-12-30 21:54:07 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Oliver Stone interviews ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych- compares ouster to other US Govt coups & attempts https://t.co/vFxJYZ1P6h

Oliver Stone interviews ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych- compares ouster to other US Govt coups & attempts https://t.co/vFxJYZ1P6h___

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2014-12-29 15:35:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I have been tinkering with one of my websites, one that holds my travel logs to be precise, and if any of you guys have some time to spare I wouldn't mind getting some feedback on it. If you like it, how easy it is to navigate, what could be improved, etc.

Thanks!

I have been tinkering with one of my websites, one that holds my travel logs to be precise, and if any of you guys have some time to spare I wouldn't mind getting some feedback on it. If you like it, how easy it is to navigate, what could be improved, etc.

Thanks!___

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2014-12-22 15:50:43 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

THE US DEFLATION CRISIS: 4 IMMEDIATE THREATS

Right now a currency crisis is taking place. Countries around the world are exporting their deflation back to the United States, via the US dollar.

In past times that might have been viewed as a good thing. Goods apparently getting cheaper, great. However, when viewed from a perspective of debt, things don't look so cheerful. Let's run down some facts.

1) The rising dollar increases the value of the 18 trillion in debt substantially. In fact, in oil terms, the debt has just doubled. This makes the bond bubble look riskier than ever.

2) Almost all quality full-time jobs since the 2008 crisis have come from the shale investment bubble. A bubble which is now bursting.

3) A rising dollar makes it next to impossible for the US to export anything. Other nations can safely inflate their currencies,... more »

THE US DEFLATION CRISIS: 4 IMMEDIATE THREATS

Right now a currency crisis is taking place. Countries around the world are exporting their deflation back to the United States, via the US dollar.

In past times that might have been viewed as a good thing. Goods apparently getting cheaper, great. However, when viewed from a perspective of debt, things don't look so cheerful. Let's run down some facts.

1) The rising dollar increases the value of the 18 trillion in debt substantially. In fact, in oil terms, the debt has just doubled. This makes the bond bubble look riskier than ever.

2) Almost all quality full-time jobs since the 2008 crisis have come from the shale investment bubble. A bubble which is now bursting.

3) A rising dollar makes it next to impossible for the US to export anything. Other nations can safely inflate their currencies, but what can the US inflate against?

4) Lower oil prices will fuel US consumerism. But without producing anything within the US, this will just lead to a greater trade deficit.

As inflationary pressure builds on oil exporting nations, they are plugging the gap by sending their dollar reserves and treasuries back to the United States.

An alien looking inward, might see this as the rest of the world flushing their waste.

#US   #deflation   #crisis   #stocks   #bonds   #crash   #debt   #bubble   #burst   #currency   #credit  ___

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2014-12-19 20:56:53 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Priorities
No further comment needed. 

Priorities
No further comment needed. ___

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2014-12-12 22:39:41 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

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2014-12-06 12:38:09 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

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2014-12-03 22:34:24 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Siena Cathedral, Siena, Italy

#photography  
#italy  
#tuscany  
#photoshop  
#macphun  
#tonalitypro  
#intensifypro  

Siena Cathedral, Siena, Italy

#photography  
#italy  
#tuscany  
#photoshop  
#macphun  
#tonalitypro  
#intensifypro  ___

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2014-11-26 20:21:31 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

OBAMA 'INSULTS' STING ONLY THE FECKLESS

Looking back on US President Barack Obama's two critiques of Australian policy during the G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australians are entitled to be a little ashamed.

An embarrassing kind of shame, like having to witness the expected but unbearably childish bickering between members of the extended family coming together for an unavoidably obligatory Christmas lunch.

This is not an embarrassment about the specifics of Obama's rebukes, but of being so easily exposed to the world as inadequate, yet obdurately fustian.

Warning that Australian policy settings will lead to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef is really not intended to be quite as literal as it has been interpreted. It was a metaphor that certainly doesn't exclude Australia's own wonder of the world, but reaches more for a comment... more »

OBAMA 'INSULTS' STING ONLY THE FECKLESS

Looking back on US President Barack Obama's two critiques of Australian policy during the G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australians are entitled to be a little ashamed.

An embarrassing kind of shame, like having to witness the expected but unbearably childish bickering between members of the extended family coming together for an unavoidably obligatory Christmas lunch.

This is not an embarrassment about the specifics of Obama's rebukes, but of being so easily exposed to the world as inadequate, yet obdurately fustian.

Warning that Australian policy settings will lead to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef is really not intended to be quite as literal as it has been interpreted. It was a metaphor that certainly doesn't exclude Australia's own wonder of the world, but reaches more for a comment on short-sighted inaction now, with inexcusable consequences tomorrow.

Ironically, it was Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself who set the stage for this admonishment. Obama requested weeks ago that Abbott put climate change on the formal G20 agenda. Abbott refused. One has to wonder whether any of his colleagues and advisors suggested to him to consider that when the US President makes such a request, he has already decided to speak to an agenda developed months in advance. For thoughtful analysts to advise denying such a request is therefore either sheer stupidity, or a calculated strategy to move the President's remarks out of the formal G20 settings into some other forum. In this case a university audience and a guaranteed media scrum far more attentive than the one stifling back yawns at the formal G20 sessions.

The latter outcome is precisely what happened, albeit that there is no evidence of any thoughtfulness or planning on Australia's part in this episode.

Is there a reason to complain about Obama's message? That depends on whether the Abbott and Newman governments have actually started to believe their own propaganda that their environmental policies aren't merely ad-hoc accommodations with corporate interests. For Abbott, climate change denial is almost an article of faith required in his party. For Newman it remains doubtful whether he can spell 'environment', let alone understand the science explaining climate change triggers.

It seems likely that any come-back complaining about Obama's environmental statements will lead only to a deepening embarrassment about the incompetence and artless disingenuity of national and State leaders in this policy area.

Obama's second insult to Australia is an entirely different affair. Warning Abbott not to get too close to China, with rhetoric dressed up in the Cold War catechisms about democracy and freedom, should have been easy to deflect. But it wasn't. Mainly because Abbott and his team seem to have no clear idea of what foreign policy looks like, and how it should be developed and executed.

The Canberra consensus appears to be that it is good enough to stitch together various short-sighted, conflicting plutocrat wish-lists and to call the resulting misshapen mess a policy. This almost Frankensteinian, permanently wrong-footed approach has Abbott and foreign minister Julie Bishop scurrying about like nervous, yapping toy dogs, running between world leaders begging for treats. There's nothing here that even hints at a vision of a long-term national interest, let alone a calm and fearless pursuit of such an interest, unperturbed by warnings or criticisms made by foreign leaders. There's no evidence that Australia develops and manages a foreign policy at all.

In that regard it is difficult to go past the following assessment:

The only way to protect Australia's immense interests in the Asian power struggle that came to our shores last week is to think for ourselves about what outcome suits us best, and to act as best we can to promote it. Whether we try to do that or not is the real choice we face.

A disturbingly pedestrian observation made by Strategic and Defence Studies professor Hugh White. There's no insult intended for White in the adjectival use of 'pedestrian', but it seems plain that this blindingly obvious precept of any foreign policy so eludes Australian politicians and journalists that it is never mentioned in public dialogues.

What Australians get instead is a truly cringeworthy capitulation to Alan Jones' 'pub test', which apparently demands that any national policy not approved of by white trash Westie drunks be reversed in favour of … more cheap beer and topless barmaids? A truly solid foundation for foreign policy. But perhaps no worse than the Coalition's less earthy efforts thus far.

Abbott's problem in responding to Obama's China warning is two-fold: he appears not to understand how the President misconstrued his aimless approach to China as a deliberate policy; and he cannot give voice to any credible determination to give priority to Australian interests over American demands while his own party has adopted American interests as fundamental articles of faith.

To be fair to Abbott, opposition leader Bill Shorten was as inexplicably silent on this issue as the government, and as mute as almost all media commentators and analysts.

A private or public response should have contained some challenges to Obama. How can the world ally itself with a concept of democracy and freedom coming from a nation in which laws and policy are made by corporate interests, in which the NSA, CIA, and FBI can hunt and kill anyone they like without legal restraint, in which racist killings by police are defended in courts that invalidate laws against murder, and in which corporations are unrestrained from vandalising the world economy? These are all daily rituals in the US, and massive personal failings for Obama, who had the mandate to reverse such trends and chose not to. They are also legitimate reasons to ask why we should fear China more than America: in China, at least, state-sanctioned economic disasters and killings are actually lawful.

Abbott, and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, cannot take any high moral ground on these issues because both their teams rely on a doctrine of emulating the American plutocratic approach, enthusiastically pursuing GOP and Tea Party strategies for dismantling democratic institutions and practices, while dividing society against itself along class, gender, and race fault lines. All in the name of short-term personal advantage and a pat on the head from Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart.

That attitude was clearly on display when Abbott chose his moment to address world leaders as an opportunity to complain about his own people for opposing his budgetary incompetence. What else can a Prime Minister say when he has no understanding of foreign policy or diplomacy, let alone a sense of history and gravity?

If there was any real insult to Australia arising from the G20 summit, it was the torture of having to watch as we collectively told the world, through our Prime Minister, that we are petty, ignorant, little people, led by intellectual pygmies, and unworthy of being taken seriously on a world stage.

[Image: Obama at the university of Queensland. Approval ratings like none Abbott has ever seen for saying things Abbott never will.]___

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2014-11-24 17:16:38 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Really cool stuff.

___Really cool stuff.

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2014-11-06 22:33:15 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Open source Real-Time PCR Thermocycler
This is very cool. Functionality is obviously not as advanced (yet?) as high-end DNA sequencers in medical and/or forensic labs, but just the idea of having the ability to have your own PCR DNA diagnostics device on your desktop at home for just $1500 and experimenting with DNA research is just mind-blowing. Or the amazing possibilities of a low cost DNA sequencer for serious work in third world countries or disease hotspots. And since both the hardware and software will be released as open source the possibilities and future developments are basically only limited by the imagination of the people.

Open source Real-Time PCR Thermocycler
This is very cool. Functionality is obviously not as advanced (yet?) as high-end DNA sequencers in medical and/or forensic labs, but just the idea of having the ability to have your own PCR DNA diagnostics device on your desktop at home for just $1500 and experimenting with DNA research is just mind-blowing. Or the amazing possibilities of a low cost DNA sequencer for serious work in third world countries or disease hotspots. And since both the hardware and software will be released as open source the possibilities and future developments are basically only limited by the imagination of the people.___

2014-10-26 19:44:32 (52 comments, 5 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

OS X Yosemite & iCloud: Not cool
A little over a week ago, Apple release OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" and as it turns out, it has some undocumented features.

If you are using the 'autosave' feature in OS X, which was introduced in a previous release, you know programs support this feature do not ask you to save a file, but instead the current state of the document gets saved on your harddisk until you deliberately save it to a file.

Now, with the introduction of Yosemite, these saved states of your files and documents are no longer saved to your local harddisk, but unbeknownst to you and without asking for permission, they are moved to Apple's iCloud as soon as you turn on iCloud Drive.

Worse, if you email with people that are not part of your address book using an non-Apple email account, these names and email addresses are also saved to... more »

OS X Yosemite & iCloud: Not cool
A little over a week ago, Apple release OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" and as it turns out, it has some undocumented features.

If you are using the 'autosave' feature in OS X, which was introduced in a previous release, you know programs support this feature do not ask you to save a file, but instead the current state of the document gets saved on your harddisk until you deliberately save it to a file.

Now, with the introduction of Yosemite, these saved states of your files and documents are no longer saved to your local harddisk, but unbeknownst to you and without asking for permission, they are moved to Apple's iCloud as soon as you turn on iCloud Drive.

Worse, if you email with people that are not part of your address book using an non-Apple email account, these names and email addresses are also saved to iCloud.

While one could argue this is needed for Hand Off and Continuity to function, these features only work when two or more devices are 1) connected to the same network and 2) have bluetooth enabled. Ergo, it is not required, you are not informed and you are not giving permission to move files and addresses from your local drive to iCloud.

Given the history of companies like Apple (and others) with providing data to the NSA and other agencies while on gag orders or the simple fact that certain companies just do not allow to use any cloud services for work related activities, this is just really, really bad.

Not cool Apple, not cool at all. While I am personally not affected by the first issue, as I have that feature turned off (it's under General in Preferences), I do use email.

Apple, and companies in general, keep your greedy fingers off my data unless I explicitly give you permission to store something!___

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2014-09-25 08:22:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

I'd expect reputable companies to handle licensing properly. Especially institutions like NatGeo that make a living out of photographic art.

http://www.blyon.com/what-happens-when-national-geographic-steals-your-art/___I'd expect reputable companies to handle licensing properly. Especially institutions like NatGeo that make a living out of photographic art.

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2014-09-23 09:39:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Funny and true at the same time. :)

Straight talk with the President

"Well see, here's the deal, Mr. President.  I know you're the ram-rod, the honcho, leader of the free world, big cock on the block, the Man, and I respect all of that, but I noticed you've got some bombers out over Syria and our military is kind of being sucked into another war on terror." 

"Now I'll admit it sucks that ISIS is raising all that hell and chopping peoples heads off, and making videos, and killing people and trying to take over shit and all of that, and I sure do wish like hell that they would cut that shit out." 

"With that said I just gotta wonder if a military answer is the right answer. Now I'm not saying that I know what the answer is, but I know this... when you come home and find a pile of dogshit on the carpet and then run over and kick the dog, and then the next day you find shit again and kick the dog again, and then the next day and the next... well at some point you just gotta admit that kicking the dog isn't helping, you've still got shit on the carpet.... Now we've been having one war or another on terror for more then 13 years, and we've still got what????? Terrorism, aka shit on the carpet."

"I know it makes you feel like you're doing something, and it's gotta be a mighty fine feeling just sending out bombers and drones and missiles and hoping that at least some of those bastards you kill are actually terrorists but you've gotta admit that just aint workin'."

"It might be time to rethink this whole use of military thing. I mean it's like trying to get a screw out with a hammer, it might be time to back off, think a little bit, visit with some folks, check out all you're available tools, and try to figure out another way to skin this fricking cat."

"The war ain't workin so lets try something else..... Mmmmm K?"___Funny and true at the same time. :)

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2014-09-10 14:43:01 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Let's introduce some sanity into the madness. :)

Let's introduce some sanity into the madness. :)___

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2014-08-31 21:05:38 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

10 Ways You Can Tell If Russia Has Invaded Ukraine. Or Not.

10 Ways You Can Tell If Russia Has Invaded Ukraine. Or Not.___

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2014-08-11 09:33:31 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

10 REASONS WHY THE U.S.A. IS NOW A ROGUE STATE

1) The recent NSA revelations have revealed that the U.S. now spies on everyone, at all times. Everyone is considered an enemy combatant until proven otherwise.

2) A staggering 48 percent of americans are considered to be low income or living in poverty.

3) For the past 13 years U.S. military spending has increased 114 percent. The U.S military is now almost as large as the rest of the world combined.

4) The U.S. has signed "occupancy quotas" of 90-95% with private prison operators. If crime falls, these places still have to remain occupied. Perhaps that's why the U.S. has a quarter of the world's prison population?

5) President Obama now has executive powers to drone strike anyone in the world (even U.S. citizens) at any time with the stroke of a pen. An extensive "death... more »

10 REASONS WHY THE U.S.A. IS NOW A ROGUE STATE

1) The recent NSA revelations have revealed that the U.S. now spies on everyone, at all times. Everyone is considered an enemy combatant until proven otherwise.

2) A staggering 48 percent of americans are considered to be low income or living in poverty.

3) For the past 13 years U.S. military spending has increased 114 percent. The U.S military is now almost as large as the rest of the world combined.

4) The U.S. has signed "occupancy quotas" of 90-95% with private prison operators. If crime falls, these places still have to remain occupied. Perhaps that's why the U.S. has a quarter of the world's prison population?

5) President Obama now has executive powers to drone strike anyone in the world (even U.S. citizens) at any time with the stroke of a pen. An extensive "death list" is maintained.

6) The U.S. has a national debt of over $17.6 trillion and continues to run up a trade deficit of $40 billion every month. No one wants to buy U.S. bonds anymore, so the Federal Reserve has to print money to buy the government's debts.

7) Interest rates are at 0% and have been for 5 years since the 2008 crisis. According to the pattern of the last 40 years a new crisis is due any time now. Except this time there will be very few easy monetary policy measures available.

8) The federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) now feeds 45 million U.S. people. Due to the mirracles of modern technology these people remain hidden from plain sight. But if these cards were replaced by great depression style soup lines, they would be far longer than anything seen in the 1930s.

9) All major conflicts the U.S has been involved in since 2000 have been around oil-rich countries. The U.S. has to protect the oil backed status of the U.S. dollar, or it will become worthless. Despite this countries around the world are signing currency swap agreements daily to exclude the dollar from their international trade.

10) The U.S. is increasingly ramping up what looks like pre-war propaganda against Russia and China, as it continues indefatigably with a failing foreign policy. These are nuclear superpowers.

And that's what my list looks like when the U.S. is supposedly enjoying the boom times.

With another financial crisis due any time soon be afraid, very afraid.

#US   #USA   #Iraq #ISIS #Obama   #President #Airstrikes #PresidentObama #ISIL #IraqCrisis #Syria #WhiteHouse #Iraqi #IraqWar #GOP #ObamaAdministration #HillaryClinton #ForeignPolicy #Military #Congress #Oil   #petroleum   #debt   #deficit   #IS   #Israel   #gaza   #war   #russia   #china   #inflation   #deflation   #crime  ___

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2014-07-22 09:04:53 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Grossglockner & Franz Josef glacier

+AUSTRIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS 
#austrianphotographers  
#austria  
#mountains  

Grossglockner & Franz Josef glacier

+AUSTRIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS 
#austrianphotographers  
#austria  
#mountains  ___

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2014-07-22 08:56:52 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria

+AUSTRIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS 
#austria  
#austrianphotographers  
#mountains  

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria

+AUSTRIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS 
#austria  
#austrianphotographers  
#mountains  ___

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2014-06-25 07:14:28 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Ferrari California
Ok, I suck at this compared to +Scott Kelby and not being able to touch or position the car correctly doesn't help either, but his video tips did help in post-processing these, even with my limited Photoshop skills.:)

They were taken at a hotel we were staying at in Ercolano, Italy on a motorcycle trip I have made last month. It's the +Ferrari California of the owner, and it is just a piece of automotive art in my opinion. Hope you like.

#nikonphotographers  
#d800  
#italy  
#travelphotography  
#ferrari  

Ferrari California
Ok, I suck at this compared to +Scott Kelby and not being able to touch or position the car correctly doesn't help either, but his video tips did help in post-processing these, even with my limited Photoshop skills.:)

They were taken at a hotel we were staying at in Ercolano, Italy on a motorcycle trip I have made last month. It's the +Ferrari California of the owner, and it is just a piece of automotive art in my opinion. Hope you like.

#nikonphotographers  
#d800  
#italy  
#travelphotography  
#ferrari  ___

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2014-06-25 06:59:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Lol

TCP Joke :D___Lol

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2014-06-05 15:13:14 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Don’t ask for your privacy: Just take it back!
Says Edward Snowden in a statement supporting 'Reset the Net'. A call for developers to secure the web and present a splash screen on June 5.

Good to see an initiative which focuses on developers and others in the tech world as the NSA couldn't have gotten such a strong handle on the web without active support from the tech community as well as sloppy standards in security. 

What you can do is use security enabled software where availabe, encrypt your email and prioritize the protecting of your data.

Vote with your wallet and support companies which support high standards and protect your privacy. 

Meanwhile you can support the pledge here https://www.resetthenet.org/

Don’t ask for your privacy: Just take it back!
Says Edward Snowden in a statement supporting 'Reset the Net'. A call for developers to secure the web and present a splash screen on June 5.

Good to see an initiative which focuses on developers and others in the tech world as the NSA couldn't have gotten such a strong handle on the web without active support from the tech community as well as sloppy standards in security. 

What you can do is use security enabled software where availabe, encrypt your email and prioritize the protecting of your data.

Vote with your wallet and support companies which support high standards and protect your privacy. 

Meanwhile you can support the pledge here https://www.resetthenet.org/___

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2014-05-21 16:18:02 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Sometimes you're the windscreen

Life is good. View from an agritourismo in Sardinia we're staying at tonight. (iPhone photo)

Sometimes you're the windscreen

Life is good. View from an agritourismo in Sardinia we're staying at tonight. (iPhone photo)___

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2014-04-12 17:53:17 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Siri versus Cortana
Bitch fight. LOL!

#apple   #microsoft   #siri   #cortana  

Siri versus Cortana
Bitch fight. LOL!

#apple   #microsoft   #siri   #cortana  ___

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2014-03-05 17:48:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Join Brad & me LIVE on "The Grid" today at 4pm for our topic: "How the photo industry is changing." 

We'll be sharing lots of insights from this week's WPPI show in Vegas, everything from gear to education to industry stuff. We're both coming off a red-eye, so it should make for an (ahem) interesting show. Hope to see you there (and please share this if you would be so kind). :)  http://bit.ly/LQqFg7 

Join Brad & me LIVE on "The Grid" today at 4pm for our topic: "How the photo industry is changing." 

We'll be sharing lots of insights from this week's WPPI show in Vegas, everything from gear to education to industry stuff. We're both coming off a red-eye, so it should make for an (ahem) interesting show. Hope to see you there (and please share this if you would be so kind). :)  http://bit.ly/LQqFg7 ___

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2014-01-16 10:59:13 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Intensify Pro for the cheap

For those interested in Intensify Pro, which I think +RC Concepcion (?) mentioned recently, you have 21 hours left to get it for $19.95 as part of the Macheist NanoBundle 4. Regular price: 59,99.

It installs as both a standalone program, and as a plugin for Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture if when installed.

And you get a few other programs you may find useful as well in thrown in there too.

Oh and if you do purchase the Maheist bundle, you also help a charity of your choice.

Seem like a win-win to me. :)

#intensifypro  
#photography  
#macheist  

Intensify Pro for the cheap

For those interested in Intensify Pro, which I think +RC Concepcion (?) mentioned recently, you have 21 hours left to get it for $19.95 as part of the Macheist NanoBundle 4. Regular price: 59,99.

It installs as both a standalone program, and as a plugin for Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture if when installed.

And you get a few other programs you may find useful as well in thrown in there too.

Oh and if you do purchase the Maheist bundle, you also help a charity of your choice.

Seem like a win-win to me. :)

#intensifypro  
#photography  
#macheist  ___

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2014-01-13 13:10:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

After almost five months of preparation we are finally ready to open signature collection, thank you for your patience! It is now time to collect the one million signatures and change the catastrophic direction where European electronic cigarette is heading towards. Please sign the initiative, and share it with as much people as possible!
http://www.efvi.eu/#sign

After almost five months of preparation we are finally ready to open signature collection, thank you for your patience! It is now time to collect the one million signatures and change the catastrophic direction where European electronic cigarette is heading towards. Please sign the initiative, and share it with as much people as possible!
http://www.efvi.eu/#sign___

posted image

2014-01-12 19:11:45 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Scott Kelby’s Adobe Photoshop for Lightroom Users, a reader review

Just a couple of days after I saw the introduction from +Scott Kelby   about his new book, ‘Adobe Photoshop for Lightroom Users’, I got the ebook version. There was no stock yet on the paper version, and I didn’t feel like waiting for the shipment anyway. :)

But let me start off with a little bit of background history.

Back in the day, me and all of my friends had +Adobe Photoshop   on their computers. Not that we could afford to pay for that software, nor did we have any clue about how to use it. But since all the pro’s used it, it was mandatory to have in case you needed to edit an image, right? It didn’t matter that the only thing we understood was the crop tool and the saturation slider.

Today, some things have changed dramatically and some things haven’t changed a bit.I appreciate the ... more »

Scott Kelby’s Adobe Photoshop for Lightroom Users, a reader review

Just a couple of days after I saw the introduction from +Scott Kelby   about his new book, ‘Adobe Photoshop for Lightroom Users’, I got the ebook version. There was no stock yet on the paper version, and I didn’t feel like waiting for the shipment anyway. :)

But let me start off with a little bit of background history.

Back in the day, me and all of my friends had +Adobe Photoshop   on their computers. Not that we could afford to pay for that software, nor did we have any clue about how to use it. But since all the pro’s used it, it was mandatory to have in case you needed to edit an image, right? It didn’t matter that the only thing we understood was the crop tool and the saturation slider.

Today, some things have changed dramatically and some things haven’t changed a bit. I appreciate the hard work software developers put in to create amazing software, so every piece of software on my computers is properly licensed and paid for. However, Adobe Photoshop is still intimidating, probably even more so than it was more than a decade ago. It has so many options and possibilities that it is virtually impossible to learn how to use it properly and effectively without some sort of training and education.

When I started with digital photography, I didn’t like post-processing. I used to say: I didn’t want to develop and print my negatives myself, so why would I want to do exactly that in digital? When I got my first dSLR, a Nikon D70, I quickly found that shooting jpeg cost me a lot of detail. Particularly in the shadow areas, whereas if I shot RAW I could hold on to those details even after I converted them to jpeg. But, since I didn’t like post-processing, that’s all I did: try to set up the camera to produce the look I wanted, shoot RAW and convert 1-to-1 to jpeg and be done with it.

Of course this position was not maintainable, as when you start shooting better images, you also start wanting to get them to look the best when you show them to others. However, while I might have been warming up to the idea of post-processing, I still didn't want to spend exuberant amounts of time processing my images. So when Adobe came with their +Adobe Photoshop Lightroom  software, I loved it. It let me process my images quickly and intuitively. And each version was better than the previous, letting me do more things quick and easy. Currently, we’re at version 5.3 and I am loving it.

But, as intuitive as it may seem, to get the most out of it, you really need some instruction. I joined kelbytraining.com and NAPP (now combined into one as kelbyone.com, highly recommended), and my Lightroom and processing skills have jumped more in the last year than in several prior years combined. Knowledge is a double-edged sword though: the more you learn, the more you see that you still want to learn. One of the things I found out when watching countless training videos on kelbyone.com is that to really take my post-processing skills to the next level, I needed Adobe Photoshop. Eek! Photoshop is expensive, like really expensive. Like $700 expensive. As an amateur and hobbyist there is no way I can justify spending $700 on a software license I don't use on a very regular basis. As in daily. I looked at alternatives, but they’re not quite the same, and worse, just about all training and tutorials online assume Adobe Photoshop. Then, when I had the chance to join the Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers @ just $9.99/mo for Photoshop and Lightroom, I jumped on it. $700 may be a bit much in one go, but I certainly can skip two lattes each month to pay for this.

But still, Adobe Photoshop is intimidating. It is so powerful and can do so many different things, how are you going to filter out just the stuff you really cannot do in Lightroom?

This is where +Scott Kelby’s book comes in. It is not a huge bible trying to tell you everything there is to know about Photoshop. It doesn’t dazzle you with all the stuff it can do, but you probably will never use. It is just about the things you cannot do in Lightroom, or which are just plain easier to do in Photoshop. This is just such a brilliant idea, I have no idea why it took until December 2013 for someone to publish a book about it.

If you are a member of kelbyone.com or have seen some of Scott’s free training videos from the Kelby Media Group on YouTube, you know Scott doesn’t take himself all too seriously. He’s funny and relaxed and his writing style in this book is exactly the same. Do not let this fool you though. If there is anything he does take seriously, it is his craft and desire to transfer his Photoshop knowledge onto others.

The book is set up very logically. He starts with some of the Photoshop basics that you just need to know to be able to use the program effectively. Things like an explanation of the UI, basic editing features like cloning and patching, transformations, layers (very important) and adjustment layers & filters.

Then he moves on to how you get your images from Lightroom into Photoshop. If you already have a basic understanding of how Photoshop works, then you could skip these first two chapters. Then again, most users buying this book will probably do go going through these chapters regardless of what they think they may know.

In the third chapter, the real stuff is happening. He starts off with smart objects and then goes into how you can stich photos together into a panorama or merge them into an HDR photo. Stitching panos in Photoshop is just too easy to bother with other programs. HDR can be done in a million ways, but they are not exclusive for each other and knowing how to properly do HDR is useful even if you are used to using something like Photomatix. Why? Because Photoshop is pretty amazing lining up the images properly and removing ghosts and it can save the resulting file as a 32b HDR file that you can then tone map in Photomatix if you want. Regardless, more options means more flexibility.

The fourth chapter focusses entirely on portrait retouching. I personally don't do that many portraits, but it is just amazing what you can do and how you can polish 10 years from someones face without it looking like it has been photoshopped. 

Chapter five is all about compositing. If you want to be creative with your images or combine/remove features from multiple images into one final one, you need to know about compositing. There are books a mile thick on compositing, and this is not that. This is photography stuff, like removing the background from a subject. Or removing distractions by blending multiple exposures. It’s the more basic compositing you would do as a photographer.

In chapter six, the focus is on adding special effects using filters or text, or changing parts of the image. 

Chapter seven is about sharpening and problems like distortion. 

The last chapter, eight, is kind of a bonus chapter in which he describes a load of things that you may think you need Photoshop for, but that you can actually do inside of Lightroom.

It really is a great book for people getting into Adobe Photoshop fresh, particularly if they are already using Lightroom. One of the really great features of this book is that all images you see in the book, Scott has made available online for you to work with. So not only can you recreate the results you see in the book if follow the book step by step, but also it allows you to change the sliders and see how that changes the result from the one you see in the book. This is such an important feature and I am so glad he did this. You can do everything you want on your own images but if you don't have a known baseline to which you can compare your own attempts with, it just makes it so much harder to understand what specific tools and adjustments do. But now, you can recreate the result form the book and then start playing with it and it’s like a lightbulb going on in your head. 

This book does not pretend to be the be all, end all book about Adobe Photoshop. But it is a great way to learn the basics and get out of the comfortable shoe that is called Lightroom and take a step into a brand new world of Photoshop creativity. The results in your photos will be visible immediately, but at the same time it will probably plant a little seed that makes go and want to learn more and more about Photoshop. I know it did for me.

If you have made it this far, I hope this has helped you a little bit. Thanks for reading.

Links: 
http://kelbyone.com
https://creative.adobe.com
http://scottkelby.com

#adobephotoshop   #adobelightroom   #kelbyone   #kelbytraining   #review   #photography  ___

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2014-01-11 17:09:40 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

___

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2013-12-24 20:16:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Yet another one from 2011, reprocessed with the knowledge of today. :) Different angle from most tourist photos.

HDR, 3 exposures 2 stops apart, merged and processed in Adobe Photoshop CC.

#hdrphotography   #scotland   #europeanphotography   #europhoto   #hdr   #adobe   #photoshop  

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Yet another one from 2011, reprocessed with the knowledge of today. :) Different angle from most tourist photos.

HDR, 3 exposures 2 stops apart, merged and processed in Adobe Photoshop CC.

#hdrphotography   #scotland   #europeanphotography   #europhoto   #hdr   #adobe   #photoshop  ___

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2013-12-20 14:25:57 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

HDR from a couple of years ago: North Scotland coast.

Three exposures, 2 stops apart. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CC.

#scotland   #hdr   #photography   #europhoto   #europeanphotography  

HDR from a couple of years ago: North Scotland coast.

Three exposures, 2 stops apart. Processed in Adobe Photoshop CC.

#scotland   #hdr   #photography   #europhoto   #europeanphotography  ___

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