Dream of the Dragon

Tag: gigaflare

Avatars: Going the Distance

by Justin

Who doesn’t want to recreate themselves? To build something consciously and meticulously, assemble the pieces and craft a persona?

Part of the appeal of Facebook and Twitter and all the social networking giants is that users get a chance to curate the information received. Upload select photos, un-tag the embarrassing ones posted by friends, post status updates that illustrate your assets and interests. This style of self-defining is something new and invites user to decide who they are. We’re all wrapped up in this to differing extents, even if you’re just the voyeur consuming these web personalities. Interestingly, the same reckless abandon that most people practice in ‘real life’ can be exercised online. The more fluid the medium becomes the less curated the material, the less thoughtful the updates, etc. And for networking addicts the sheer volume of interaction (comments, re-tweets, whatever) makes it effectively impossible to control the entire construct. Read the rest of this entry »

When does poverty push back?

by Justin

Our government is far from perfect. In the past years we’ve seen flagrant obstructionism and the disproportionate weight of the wealthy elite tipping the scales of representation. We’ve also seen the fanaticism of willful ignorance on the far right create a hostile political environment and place the truth in the center of tea soaked crosshairs. To huge extent we’ve seen the great engines of bipartisanship and compromise that once existed buckle and break. People from all demographics, all economic echelons, all sorts of ideological backgrounds rail against the government for ignoring their needs and favoring the opposition. I get that. I participate in that same outrage. For all the frustration, I enjoy marveling at the koan-like nonsense of Sarah Palin and wondering how corporate greed can dedicate absolutely no thought to the plight of future generations. It’s luxurious, really.

Imagining, then, a government that in a single day can cut one’s life savings from $1560 to $30 with a radical currency revaluation throws things into a different perspective. The New York Times offered up an incredible piece drawing the disastrous policies of the North Korean government into focus. I’d been seduced by the sinking of a South Korean warship and what seemed to be a more and more likely military conflict. What struck me about that situation was that it seemed entirely plausible that the North would declare an end to the armistice and attack South Korea – totally plausible and totally insane. Read the rest of this entry »

Ol’ Blue Eyes

by Justin

The Guardian ran a story about this photograph by Giacomo Brunelli a little while back. It’s unreal.

May have been blind.

It was about 10 in the morning when I took this photograph. The light was coming from behind me. There was a tree that protected the scene from direct sunlight, allowing me to take the picture with a beautiful diffused light. I didn’t use any kind of filter, nor did I have to do anything to the image the dark-room. I took eight or nine shots on black-and-white film, and I was just lucky the dog’s eyes were lit so well.

As it turns out, this wasn’t lightning in a bottle. His other work offers a similar unreality. Creepshow of wonder.