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Photo: Leafy Droplets 8

Photo: Leafy Droplets 8

A green leaf partially eaten by bugs with water drops on it.

This is one of my first photos with my new Tamron 18-200mm lens from Amazon.com. I like the telescopic range, even though the optics and speed are below most Canon lenses.

For editing, I added a lot of contrast in Adobe Camera Raw 5.0 and Photoshop CS5, and cloned or spot healed many specks of dirt on the leaf.

Canon Rebel XTi, Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, 1/200, F6.3, 200mm, ISO400, 2011-03-05T09:28:24-04, 20110305-132824rxt

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Leafy Droplets series.

Situational Ethics

Since the human mind has limits and time is the eternal constraint, the use of situational ethics can easily degenerate into a moral quagmire that binds you into modes of thought that subtly or severely limit your potential. Conversely, they can splinter your personality into fragments that destroy your cohesive identity.

One solution is to use the same ethics for all situations. This solution is ideal in theory, but leaves you vulnerable to people or situations that conflict with a belief in absolute ethics. For example, if you believe guns are bad, you make yourself vulnerable to criminals with guns who don’t care about your beliefs. If your family is starving to death and you can’t grow or buy food, then stealing from rich people who have too much food (à la Robin Hood) might be a better solution than just giving up and dying. Similarly, if you meet your soul-mate while in a bad marriage, the best choice for your happiness may be a divorce or an open marriage. Absolute ethics may work on paper, but not in real life, because people and situations change. If you live 80 years, that’s only 22,645 days as an adult, so it’s important to make every day count. However, it’s good to have firm guidelines that you only violate in extreme situations.

Another solution is to use ethics that maximize your personal happiness. Doing this in the short term could involve eating lots of chocolate and ice cream, but for true happiness, you should eat a balanced diet that’s good for your body, mind, and spirit. Doing this is not delaying happiness, but extending it over a long range of time and variety of mental states. If you maximize your personal happiness, you might take advantage of other people, but then when that stops working, you’ll be nice to them to get what you want. You may also choose to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you choose to believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha, or all of them, you do that for yourself and your eternal soul rather than social, family, or peer pressure.

A third solution is to use ethics that maximize humanity’s happiness. While this can obviously be combined with the previous, they are generally at crossed purposes because what’s good for someone else is often not good for you. For example, it might make a stranger happy if I gave them my digital camera, but I would prefer to keep it because I bought it, I own it, and it’s my property.

A fourth solution is to use ethics that maximize your family’s happiness. I like this option best, because I honestly can’t care about all the people in the world or myself alone. Many people are mean and inconsiderate, so it’s important to pick your family closely, and it does not necessarily have to be your blood relatives, but you should not disown them.

Of course, you could also choose to cause as much chaos, death, destruction, and suffering in the world as possible, but this is degenerative and any benefits to this approach are side effects, so it is ultimately corrupt. Nazi Germany used this approach in the Holocaust, as did the United States by nuking Japan and defoliating Vietnam. This leads you down the path of fear, and makes you believe that no one is worthy of trust, which is a very lonely, dis-empowering, and depressing belief.

Traditionally, situational ethics are the domain of the right brain and concrete ethics are the domain of the left brain, but this is a stereotype and like all stereotypes, it is often wrong. You can define your own reality within the constraints life has given you, and you can change your reality to a fault, usually bounded by time and ingenuity.

In general, I would recommend not adopting the mental framework of situational ethics, because it leads to treating other people like objects rather than sovereign humans. It’s better to develop a good sense of intuition to implicitly judge people, while always giving the benefit of the doubt. Finally, it’s important to recognize that words are always less important than actions and that what you see in others is always reflected in yourself, so be careful.

Blueprint for a Social Network

These are some notes I wrote on a piece of paper today:

* Don’t bother integrating with social media — make a destination, not a portal.
* Make actual college-level classes on how to use the network, focused on fostering independent learning.
* Mainstream everything, including religion, holy wars, homosexuality, etc., excluding illegal or pseudocriminal activity.
* Branch out — scale out, not up. Use multiple TLDs like .com, .net, .org, .me, .us, .biz, and different brand names to avoid copyright claims ending the network, and make them all entry points.
* Make a non-profit, not a C-corp. or LLC.
* Ignore “practicality” — make concepts identities by making networks based on ideas, not institutions or locations.
* Don’t let anyone bad in — screen all users, like border patrol, make the network an “in” thing.
* Jealously guard your users — deal with federal agencies, not state agencies, put servers up on multiple continents in non-central areas to survive HAARP-quakes, Al-CIA-da, tsunamis, nuke “meltdowns,” etc.; require feds to use subpoenas, enforce the U.S. Constitution.
* Have one employee per 500 users. Keep real users only.
* Build hardware to match PHP/MySQL/Apache/CentOS, or other software/programming languages you like.
* Don’t be afraid to spend money.
* Get donations! Constantly have your hand out and use purpose-based reasons.
* Always be good and don’t be evil; use personal vision, not social, political, legal, traditional, or economic.
* Always personify and personalize everything, but don’t make a talking paperclip for a word processor.

2011 Photography Portfolio

This is a portfolio of twenty of my best photos. Since I feel my best work is from 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, this portfolio contains photos from those years only.

*****

Ketchup

July 9, 2006: Ketchup

Assimilation

January 8, 2007: Assimilation

Sunrays

October 22, 2006: Sunrays

Rose of Orange

January 18, 2007: Rose of Orange

Yellow Grasshopper

July 7, 2006: Yellow Grasshopper

Yellow Sunshine

August 19, 2007: Yellow Sunshine

The Red-Brick House

February 26, 2008: The Red-Brick House

Leafy Sunset 6

August 31, 2007: Leafy Sunset 6

The Garden in Yellow

August 23, 2007: The Garden in Yellow

Implicity

October 10, 2007: Implicity

Leafy Droplets 4

March 9, 2011: Leafy Droplets 4

Leafy Droplets

June 28, 2006: Leafy Droplets

Sky's Camouflage

June 17, 2006: Sky’s Camouflage

Blue Marbles

February 22, 2006: Blue Marbles

Complicity

November 11, 2007: Complicity

Simplicity

April 15, 2007: Simplicity

Pink and Purple Sunset 3

June 11, 2006: Pink and Purple Sunset 3

Two of Us Against the World

January 5, 2008: Two of Us Against the World

Liquid Suspension

May 9, 2008: Liquid Suspension

Raindrops

June 13, 2006: Raindrops

*****

I’m going to start doing a series of “behind the photo” articles in summer 2011 detailing the methodology behind the composition, editing, and presentation of select photos. If you would like to vote for a particular photo for me to prioritize, say so in a comment on this blog post or the associated blog post for said photo. :)

Conspiracy Theories for 2011

This is a list of conspiracy theories for 2011, that you can feel free to refer to when you need a fresh perspective on your life.

I am writing these not based on what I see in the mass media, but what I see in my own mind, elitist writings, and what people are hinting at like Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Charlie Sheen, Andrew Nepolitano, John Mica, and to a lesser extent, Glenn Beck.

Procrastination

Procrastination can be due to laziness, but more likely it’s because what you’re procrastinating on is stupid and boring. The answer may be to trudge through school, college, work, family life, or whatever you need to do, or it may be a full paradigm shift, i.e. a cross-country road-trip in your car, reading or writing a good book, or disappearing for a while.

The important thing is to maintain liberty throughout your life, and the way to do that is to live below your means, have plenty of income, live in a nice house in a safe neighborhood, own a few good cars, eat healthful foods, have dogs to guard your house, and be married with children to take care of you when you get old.

Almost anything that you are procrastinating on is non-essential. No one is capable of procrastinating on ingesting foods and fluids forever, so if you worry you are procrastinating, you are still eating (hopefully), so you have nothing to worry about.

Infinity

The opposite of infinity is zero, and both infinity and zero exist only in the imaginary number plane, not in the real plane, except when expressed as concepts rather than constants.

Nothing in life is infinite, but our minds are infinite for practical purposes, excluding those attacked by fluoride, chlorine, genetic defects, cancer (prevented/cured by amygdalin), environmental problems, or psychological limits. However, we should not assume the world is infinite, because it is squarely finite, and this means that are brains are all powerful enough to handle the world, unless we are dead. Your brain’s playground is paradoxical sleep (dreaming), so you should always get plenty of sleep without fear or anxiety.

Now that satellites, telephones, and computers spy on us constantly, postmodern life is an exhibitionist’s dream or a voyeur’s nightmare. The key is peaceful, non-violent, non-cooperation. Never give up your computer, Internet, or cell phone, though. Those are your lifelines to the world.

Nationalism

The world needs to be splintered into thousands of states, and people should choose which state they want to live in by face value, by changing the state to fit their needs, or a combination thereof. Both nationalism and internationalism are dying right now, but statism can last at least another 100 years if power falls to the grassroots. However, this cannot happen without unprecedented cooperation between shadow leadership (the Trilaterial Commission, CFR, NSA, EU, UK, Vatican, EU, David Rockefeller, Rupert Murdoch, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Beatrix, etc.), the public (rednecks), and puppet leadership (Barack Obama). Similarly, both force and coercion will not work, because people naturally want freedom and liberty with no knowledge that they are not truly free because they are always bounded by the vagaries of reality (the human circulatory system is not designed to sustain a life for more than 110 years). If people gain knowledge of their slavery, they generally want to explain it away on the rational plane without resorting to the imaginary plane. For this reason, life is generally all or nothing: people want to be completely free or completely enslaved, which is the path of love vs. the path of fear, respectively. This is a question with one right answer and one wrong answer: love is right and fear is wrong.

Ignorance is bliss only to the reptilian and feline brains, but not to the executive brain, so only full disclosure can work. Democracy is not yet the answer, because most people do not want to have the responsibility of power — instead, they want to cede power to representatives they trust, to go and represent them on the global stage. Most Americans do hold respect for the U.S. Congress, Executive, Judiciary, and state legislatures, but when they see corruption in government, corporations (super-governments), and queendoms, they temporarily lose trust. That trust can be easily regained with genuineness, since most people subconsciously see the world as a projection of themselves, so they feel dirty or embarrassed when watching stories about the latest escapades of congressmen or even general Hollywood stars.

Lucifer

The story of Lucifer from the Bible is that he was an arch-angel who wanted to show people both good and evil, but when God said no, Lucifer betrayed him. The crime was not giving people knowledge of evil — it was disobedience to God. Since we are crafted in God’s image, all evil is an illusion to convince our executive brains to cede control to our reptilian or feline brains (all humans have three brains), i.e. give power to fear instead of love. Lucifer is satan and satan will attempt to magnify any inconsistencies or bad thoughts in your minds to prevent you from seeking truth, love, and power, because he believes you will allow the seed of evil to fester like bacteria in a petri dish. The answer is not to control or prevent the spread of the bacteria — it is full expulsion and destruction of the bacteria, before it gets too big. People are never evil, but if their actions are evil, for practical purposes, they are evil, but most of these people are “vulnerable” to deathbed confessions.

Lucifer wants you to believe there are too many people and we need to kill people off. Jesus instructs you to believe that we should be fruitful and multiply. The people who believe in the Georgia Guidestones are our enemies, but we must not give into fear. Their first commandment says they need to kill 94% of the people on Earth, so let’s make that as hard as possible. :)

Extremism

There are at least four dimensions: height, width, depth, and time. Humans are capable of extremism in only three of these four dimensions: height, width, and depth. Machines are capable of extremism in all four, because they lack sentience.

The real enemy is machines programmed to hurt people, be them bureaucracies, nuclear submarines, or New York City. The solution is intelligence — a combination of fear, avoidance, love, weapons, power, etc. For example, if a rattle snake is left on your doorstep, you should be very careful so as not to allow it to bite you, but it’s unreasonable to expect a rattlesnake on your doorstep if you have no information that suggests you are going to find one.

We can choose to be paralyzed by fear, or we can choose to be empowered by love. Being paralyzed by love or empowered by fear are the paths of Lucifer, so we should only follow the path of Jesus.

Photo: Glass Laser Block

Photo: Glass Laser Block

It’s a glass laser block! I used my green laser pointer on glass blocks in the lobby at building 100 at Daytona State College. This was a lot of fun and I enjoy effects like these. I used a six-second exposure and positioned my Canon Rebel XTi on a makeshift tripod and used the 10 sec. timer to avoid jostling it.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 6/1, F16.0, 50mm, ISO100, 2011-01-05T18:23:13-05, 20110105-232313rxt

Location: Daytona State College, Building 100, Wetherell Student Services and Administration, Floor 1, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Endianness

A curious property of CPU architecture is the argument that datasets should be big-endian or little-endian, that is, should the most significant items be listed first, saving the least for last, or should the least significant items be listed first, saving the best for last? What if the transmission of data is cut-off mid-stream? The computer program may be tempted to accept the big-endian dataset because it contains the most significant data, but “the devil is in the details” as they say, so this could be a fatal mistake. Similarly, the computer program may be tempted to drop the little-endian dataset entirely because it contains no significant data, but the unrevealed data at the end may have led to a different conclusion.

For the purposes of computer science, it is tempting to say that endianness is a solved problem and Intel won. However, just because Intel is the largest manufacturer of computer processors and Intel’s X86 and X64 processing architectures are little-endian does not mean that is the best way to go. It’s very possible we could have much further advanced computers now if not for Intel’s choice, or much crappier ones. It’s also possible we could have big-endian computers that are just as advanced as the current ones, and it’s possible those computers would be just as advanced despite Intel, or with Intel’s help, i.e. because big-endian is very superior but Intel’s engineers persevered anyway on the hard road, or because big-endian is very inferior and Intel’s engineers took the easy road, never reaching the full potential of human discernment.

It’s also possible that neither path is correct, both are equal, or some are more equal than others, to quote Planet of the Apes. It’s also possible that different endiannesses are appropriate for different situations, i.e. big-endianness for lossy editing and little-endianness for lossless editing, i.e. the difference between editing photos, videos, and music, or text, respectively. Endianness is also known as byte order, and in a multibyte string, the preference of putting the most significant bytes first or the least significant bytes first is a product of your upbringing, whether it be your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, strangers, environment, culture, heritage, private school, the streets, or state-run public schools. Your preference is also a product of your static and unchangeable genetics, and I may have just now subtly or overtly influenced your view of the world by writing this paragraph.

The difference between choosing big-endianness or little-endianness might just as well be the difference between being male or female, black or white, gay or straight, tall or short, right-handed or left-handed, right-brained or left-brained, or speaking English or Spanish, or both, or neither. The question isn’t “does it matter?,” because it obviously has a significant impact upon your life and behavior. The question is “why does it matter?,” because that is the only question that makes sense and has efficacy. Similarly, you can’t understand the motivations behind big-endianness without understanding the motivations behind little-endianness, and you can’t understand the motivations behind little-endianness without understanding the motivations behind big-endianness. I’m not a computer science student, so I don’t know much about it, but I could wager a bet it has something to do with the properties of silicon.

In truth, endianness is just another of life’s little arguments to either make you incredible sane or incredibly insane. No problem can be solved at the same level it was created, so you either have to choose the path of ignorance or choose the path of knowledge. The former divides you into camps of religious zealots, and the latter unifies you into the camp of humanity, not by transcending the need for endianness, but by recognizing that the worst possible action is to stagnate and refuse to make a choice, and that each road is equally valid and you should choose whatever works best for you and your mind. The choice is yours.

Photo: Glass Lasers

Photo: Glass Lasers

These lasers were made for pointing, and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these lasers are going to point all over you.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/1, F8.0, 50mm, ISO100, 2010-12-02T20:35:17-05, 20101203-013517rxt

Location: 1985 S. Carpenter Ave., Orange City, FL  32763-7334

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Selling Ads

I’ve decided to sell out the primary ad block on my website at the top-left of every post. 300×250, text, image, JavaScript, and/or Flash.

You can have whatever non-objectionable 300×250 ads you want there with JavaScript, a static ad, or rotating ads. Tell me what you want and I’ll code it for you, or provide your own code.

I’m completely replacing my primary Google AdSense block because AdSense doesn’t pay enough. I want to increase my income. If you are interested in purchasing this ad block which gets 20,000 unique organic pageviews per month on a PR 5/10 blog, email revenue@thripp.com. I DO NOT ACCEPT SPAM.

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