WARNING: the picture linked to below and in the article is very disturbing. Do not click the link to the picture, if you’re easily disturbed. I clicked it and it forced me to write this little article.
I usually try to stay away from world politics and the gruesome pictures and stories that float around. But I do have to get some thoughts out of my mind concerning this picture of ambassador Chris Stevens.
It’s terrible enough, that we have to see pictures of murdered people by mob violence, but what makes this particular picture so incredibly telling is the mobile phone stuck in the persons mouth carrying the ambassador to what I can only assume his last beating to death. Usually when we see pictures of injured human beings they are being helped by the people around them. But in this case the mobile phone stuck in the persons mouth doesn’t speak: “I’m helping this human” it speaks “let’s carry him around a little where there’s better lighting and where we can document our victory over this person”.
I am so disgusted and appalled by this, it’s hard for me to put it into words. And I wish we could educate more people towards staying away from forming mobs to attack individuals. It’s a horrible thing and we as humanity have the opportunity and the awareness to change this. But I have a feeling in order for that to happen, we have to get rid religion as a means to create a sense of identity. We have to get back to just seeing that we’re humans, that we have children and parents that we love more than anything else in the world. And that our neighbor feels the same way about their children and parents. If we can instill that sort of respect and compassion for one another then I feel we could possibly base our actions around achieving a greater goal of freedom together instead of against each other. In short, this is the concept of freedom that Kant was talking about.
But of course those ideals have to be embraced by everyone. Group think will prohibit this way of life.
At this time, Microsoft’s Bing has a blindfold test for search results so I tested it a little bit. While doing so I entered the search terms “Shostakovich” and “scores”.
As you can see in the screenshot below, one of the search engines returns results on where to legally acquire these scores, while the other search engine pretty much forces the user to pirate the sheet music. You can try this yourself by searching with Google or by searching with Bing [UPDATE: I did the search on both search engines with a US IP-address!). Hint: Microsoft’s seems to be respecting authors rights a lot better than Google.
It is amazing to me that there is public opinion out there that considers it a matter of free speech that person B links to and profits from material created by person A. But contrary to the oh-so-terrible content industry the new person B doesn’t even share their profit with person A who was the reason in the first place for the user to give attention that could then be sold. It’s specious. And it has nothing to do with free speech. Nothing. If you want more information on this issue I suggest you read the article “Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss” and to understand the money flow in this system please head over to popuppirates.com
It is amazing to me how little visually talented people recognize that quality of the sound. It is, what creates the illusion in the ambience and focuses the attention of the audience to what’s important: the story. If it sounds like it was recorded in somebody’s a kitchen, it’s very difficult to believe the illusion and get taken on the journey that the filmmaker intended.
There was even a study (PDF) done a couple of years back:
“As an interesting sidelight, we discovered that video with better quality and stereo sound were consistently rated as more likeable, interesting and involving. Viewers also rated programming with better audio as having higher picture quality, but this occurred in only one of the three test programs we ran.”
Knowing that Beethoven was really the first freelance composer that made a living without being “employed” by the aristocracy, I have to agree with the fact, that he was the original Rock’n’Roller and free spirit amongst the composers.