Cryptocartographer

  • ASK ME A QUESTION


  • Gun violence and confirmation bias.

    The Story of Bob

    A portly man, poorly dressed and disheveled, walks onto the stage. From the crowd comes snickers and laughter. The judges speak.

    "What’s your name?" they ask. The fat man is now visibly sweating. He puts the mic to his mouth.

    "My… name is… Bbbb-bob, sir." His stutter induces more laughter. The judges exchange glances, like Romans who’ve spotted the lion cage before the slave has. This will be a slaughter.

    "Well, Bob. What is your talent?" a judge asks. Bob swallows hard before he speaks.

    "I… can sing?" he says, his voice rising at the end. The statement sounds like a question and it reveals the doubt boiling inside of Bob’s chest.

    The judges exchange looks again. This time, the cage is being unlocked. The door is swinging open and the lion is making his way into the coliseum. They can’t help but smile at what they believe is about to happen.

    "Well, then," the judge says, spreading his arms, "let’s hear it."

    The music comes up. A few introductory notes are heard and Bob closes his eyes. Then, it comes. The lyrics. Bob opens his mouth and from out of it comes a sound not unlike that of the angels. Powerful, rich, and beautiful. Each note his given from him with such care, such perfection, that people cannot help but to be moved. They stand on their feet, many with tears in their eyes. The derisive laughter of earlier has turned into a collective gasp as the entire audience is given the chance to see something magical. Bob continues. The judges rise to their feet. The gazes now are ones of utter disbelief. Their smiles are at what is happening in the moment, rather than smiles of what they anticipate to be.

    Bob finishes. The place erupts into applause, an abundance of rejoicing. After minutes pass, the applause settles down and the judges, smiling, speak to Bob.

    "Wow," says the judge.

    "Thank you," says Bob. Again, the people, so moved by this performance, cannot help themselves but to begin applauding again. It subsides and the judges take turns speaking to Bob.

    "Bob," says a female judge, "when you first stepped on the stage, I thought that there was no way you would do anything but fail."

    "Yes," agreed a second judge, "I also thought this, because you are fat and unattractive." The three judges nod in agreement.

    "Indeed," says the main judge. "I believed that you would fail spectacularly, because you are not physically attractive. But because you are so ugly, and therefore should not be able to possess any type of actual talent, the fact that you can sing is made all the more amazing!"

    Bob grins from ear to ear. “Thank you!” he says. The audience again erupts in applause.

    Within hours, social media feeds are covered with videos of Bob. 

    "This fat, gross person can do something you’re not going to believe, and it has nothing to do with eating or belching!" reads the headline on the Huffington Post.

    "An undoubtedly smelly waste of a man might just change the way you think of all sweaty, gross people," is the headline on Upworthy.

    "This fat person will prove that fat people are not all useless and disgusting… what he does is made all the more amazing by the fact that fat, unattractive people are supposed to not have any desirable talents," read the teaser under the Buzzfeed list of "25 people who shouldn’t be anything but dead and buried at the hands of an angry mob."

    Tumblr is soon covered in photos of Bob with misattributed quotes.

    "Even though I am fat and gross, I have one thing that makes me not the worst human being alive today." —Bob

    "When I was a kid, other kids made fun of me, but I can sing, so that proves that I hold worth in the eyes of others." —Bob

    Math

    In your head, add 1,998 to 2,005. The answer is 4,003, right? A lot of people arrive at this answer in a lot of different ways. I “steal” 2 from 2,005 and add it to 1,998 to make it into a more manageable 2,000, then add the numbers together. You probably did it a different way. Maybe not. This is how they teach math now, different ways to arrive at an answer. It beats the living shit out of the old way, where you had to carry numbers and fuck all that. 

    The thing is, when I was in school, I would use this trick to add numbers quickly. I doubt very highly I was the only one who did this. But rather than celebrate our ability to quickly add (or subtract, multiply, divide, etc.) numbers and get a correct answer, we were required to SHOW OUR WORK.

    How could you show an abstract thought process? You couldn’t. So you’d stack the numbers up and do it the “right” way, so as to conform to the rigid structure being taught in school. The old way of school, the way we grew up with, extinguished some of our own desire for learning. Why seek out our own way, when our own way was against the rules? Doing it a better way would get you in trouble. Conformity factories, indeed.

    Maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but there was one way to do things, all others be damned. We were taught cold, metallic instruction, and were not to be deviated from them. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to figure out that most of what I learned in school amounted to utter bullshit. Memorization is not learning. 

    We were taught that science is a collection of digestible, rote facts. Water freezes at 0 Celsius. It boils at 100 C. The atomic weight of hydrogen is ~1.

    Science is not a collection of facts, but a process to reach a conclusion, a conclusion based upon facts. 

    Didn’t figure that out until my late twenties. “Well, hold on, I can apply this sort of reasoning to all sorts of things in life.” Understanding evidence, which types are legitimate and which types are bullshit, really helps in a million different ways. You’ll still be wrong, but with the right tools you can at least know why you were wrong.

    I’m glad schools are starting to stray from the old fashioned, sit-and-get-teached-at mentality that worked in the days of the Industrial Revolution. I’m still skeptical of public education because it limits choice, but it seems like the culture of education is starting to evolve to celebrate the capacity and strengths of the individual student, rather than hammer in their heads a set of rules they must follow.

    The History of Film Development

    Photography has come a long way since the first chemists splashed some toxic chemicals over a light-sensitive metal substrate. Were those pioneering photographers considered wizards? In the 19th and early 20th centuries, wizardry was definitely in decline, but that doesn’t change the fact that those dudes were, in fact, wizards. 

    All arcane arts aside, in my lifetime here on Earth, I have seen the process of getting pictures by capturing the spirit-essence of all things change dramatically. The artistic and functional purpose of photography has remained the same, and the rules of composition still ring true. But getting those pictures in your hands has changed A LOT.

    When I was in high school, we had a photography class that included learning how to develop black and white film in a darkroom. This was in the early 1990s, because I am significantly older than the average tumblr user. This means that instead of waxing nostalgic about the 90s and aping mercilessly its misguided fashion sense, I instead try to focus on the past as it was. The past was always shittier than the present. It’s a fact.

    The process for getting pictures went from slow to instant in the span of just a few decades. When you filled a roll of film, you’d take it to the film place, drop it off in an envelope, and then TWO WEEKS LATER you’d come back and get your pictures, maybe 30 or so. Of those 30 or so, 3 would not be awful and 1 in a 100 would be compostionally interesting.

    That was considered pretty speedy until one-hour photos became ubiquitous. Then you’d go somewhere like Walmart and you’d drop off your film and then wander around for an hour. After an hour, you’d go back to the photography desk and they’d say “It’s going to be another 15 minutes, sorry,” and you’d be like “what the fuck, one hour photo?” and continue to wander around. It would be actually another half hour before they’d finish, but you’d get your prints in a little green envelope and you’d always spring for doubles.

    Now you just take a photo, and there it is. You can see if it’s shitty or not immediately, and you can delete it and take a better one. Cameras are everywhere now, too. Every phone that isn’t used by a drug dealer has a camera on it, and most of those cameras aren’t that bad. When you look through the viewfinder— j/k, everyone just looks at the screen now. Viewfinders are only used on decent cameras. But when you look at the screen, it overlays a grid over what you’re seeing, a grid conveniently marking out the best places to focus your subject to comply with the visually pleasing rule-of-thirds. Look it up. 

    From instantly seeing your own pictures, we’ve quickly evolved to instantly sharing pictures. The reason everyone sprung for doubles when they went to the 1-Hour FOTO booth was so that they could give the extras to their friends and relatives. Now you just upload that shit to instagram and Facebook and instantly, every person alive can see it. 

    I think it’s awesome, all this photography. A lot of people bitch and moan about how everyone takes too many pictures. Those people are assholes. Photography is more than documenting life’s moments, it’s a creative outlet. So when you complain about too many photos of meals or babies or cats, you’re outing yourself as an unimaginative crank who hates people expressing themselves. 

    The more people take photos, the better photography will become. More people have access to the tools, making the art more accessible to people who otherwise would have never started. 

    In conclusion, the present is always better than the past and the future will always be better than now.

    THE END.

    masterstaff:

    skullkidau:

    So I saw this ad while browsing the internet, and I just find it hilarious how they tried to advertise their game by just blatantly using the intro to Dead or Alive Xtreme 2.

    They’re using DOA 5 footage, too, believe it or not.

    This is the fucking ad I see all the time now. I’m glad other people are seeing it, I though I had contracted some malware.

    nadiaoxford:

    Young man, in this house we use a little word called “please.”

    (Source: fyspringfield)

    obscurevideogames:

sunkick - Best of Best (SunA - arcade - 1994) 

This is how I feel right after I get done watching Time Cop.

    obscurevideogames:

    sunkick - Best of Best (SunA - arcade - 1994) 

    This is how I feel right after I get done watching Time Cop.

    Sometimes I like to imagine that in the future, on some futuristic version of Antiques Roadshow some great-grandchild of mine will have brought in my collection of Nintendo swag.

    "Oh yes, great-grandfather was a large fan of Nintendo," the descendant of mine would say. The appraiser would chuckle.

    "Yes, many people were. We can tell that your great-grandfather, however, was perhaps more of a Nintendo fan than most. How can we tell? Well, this Luigi’s Mansion statuette could only be attained through Club Nintendo, which was a sort of loyalty program the company had. This particular statuette cost 1500 coins. Given that consoles were only worth 160 coins or so, and games between 40-70, your great-grandfather must have spent a lot of money on Nintendo products."

    Both laugh. I smile from my oxygenated-liquid head jar orbiting Mars as I watch the show in immersive three dimensions. If only I had arms, I would hug the hologram of my precocious great grandchild who is 53 at the time.

    Hey followers, I just wanted to tell you that the motherfucking Onion AV Club, which is THE place for popular culture writing, has written about not just ONE, but TWO of the podcasts in which I am involved. So you might have thought you were just following some jack-ass nobody who makes a lot of sense. But really you were following a COOL DUDE who gets noticed. Noticed by The Onion AV Club. Suck on that haters.

    http://www.avclub.com/article/will-ferrell-stops-by-the-garage-and-moshe-kasher—200649

    Making some gifs.

    castielcampbell:

    themanwholegalizedbuggering:

    bowieboner:

    sometimesfairytale:

    brostorian:

    mater—tua:

    thatisludicrous:

    theburntsouffle:

    madygcomics:

    pocopiumosso:

    My middle school orchestra teacher has this hanging in her room. It’s fantastic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tds0qoxWVss

    This is what it sounds like. REALLY good song.

    My friend keeps practising it. Fucking amazing. I’m fairly certain the music got written by someone doodling geometric figures on a sheet of music paper and then realizing they’d actually written the song of the gods.

    “Arranged by Accident”

    It sounds like a boss battle.

     REBLOGGING THIS BECAUSE SOMEONE ACTUALLY GOT AN AUDIO VERSION OF THIS. I never knew it was ACTUALLY a song. I grew up seeing this floating around and just thinking it was a joke.

    I AM FUCKING TERRIFIED

    You need at least 15 fingers to play this song!

    Guys, that isn’t the song. That song up there is for otaku. This one is for music nerds, i.e. the actual song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCgT94A7WgI

    See what I mean?

    To show there are no hard feelings, here is Smooth McGroove’s acapella of the UN Owen was Her? (Flandre’s Theme) incorrectly attributed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUed7HZtTNA

    (Source: raininginreverse, via stargonenova)