For Critical Thinking and an Equivalent, Creativity

Starting, for April, I participated in many of the new Discover challenges that WordPress organized, to help bloggers write posts during the crisis.  Each morning, 6 AM in most cases in my time zone, a new word with additional suggestions became available for WordPress bloggers.

Each word theme was accompanied by suggestions about what to post.  I found the exercises helped me feel better about blogging because some things I enjoy discussing became the subject of new posts at the same time other bloggers addressed the same themes.  With each post, I had several visitors, and if you are among those and returning, please accept my thanks.

Now, today is May the 4th, Star Wars Day.  Star Wars The Clone Wars concludes its season 7 run today, a season devoted to the Seige of Mandalore.  I think the entire animated series lives on Disney+.

Today is also the day that all nine films of the Skywalker Saga are available with a Disney+ subscription.  “This will be a day long-remembered,” to quote Peter Cushing in Star Wars Episode IV.

Star Wars Celebration last spring in Chicago meant a week of hours and hours of daily streaming on YouTube.  I said something about it:  https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/04/19/star-wars-celebration-on-youtube-whered-you-go-chicago/

I have a new strategy, I am starting by trying a serious-in-tone critical thinking post.  I was already writing the odd observation about techniques that might contribute to someone’s existing take on the science of being a blogger, tempered with humour, I suppose.  I reckoned that I was enjoying myself, that’s mostly what counted.

Photo by Lukáš Rychvalský from StockSnap

A definition of a hobby is this:

hob·by

n. pl. hob·bies

An activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

The pleasure of blogging comes from the interaction on the world wide web with people who also blog.  I believe that social interaction is important at any age.  Why is social interaction important for psychological health, I asked Yahoo!.

“Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults,” Yahoo! answered.  “This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.  You will enjoy better mental health.

“Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression.”

There are so many avenues that if you have access to the web, there are so many ways to reach people, and fulfill that desire, I know you know this.  It is always about more than the dollar, as it should be.  I’m not out to make a buck at all, I’m just experimenting with being an optimist.  

Recently I found a website page that takes a gander at the satisfaction that goes with the joy of a decent diversion.  Human resources psychologist Jessica Beltran addresses it in The Value of Hobbies  https://blogs.psychcentral.com/thrive/2014/05/the-value-of-hobbies/  “We are at our best when we are relaxed and in tune with ourselves.”

Photo by Snufkin from StockSnap

While we are capitalists, the playing field becomes more narrow if you consider that you can address people with the confidence of having many of the skills that they have.  There is any number of stations in the lives we lead, but lots of motivation speakers give the advice to get started with your creations, however possible.  “Do hobbies help with their careers?” I asked Yahoo!.

“While it may seem counterintuitive to make time for something outside of work to get ahead at work, career coaches have confirmed that having a hobby can help make you better at your job. Having a hobby helps you learn how to handle work-life stress and think creatively,” answered the search engine.

“What skills are needed to be a critical thinker?” I went on to ask.

In response Yahoo! informed me of several qualities, ten in fact, that you need to be a capable critical thinker:

1 Accuracy.

2 Adept.

3 Analytical.

4 Creativity.

5 Critical thinking.

6 Detail-oriented.

7 Efficiency.

8 Industriousness.

9 Innovative.

10 Logical thinking.

I have additional input.

Accuracy, for starters, I learned about in high school science.  Accuracy in that environment is measurably collecting data.  To determine accuracy, you might perform the same process several times, with only minor variants, to learn if your method is accurate.

It’s important.  Troubleshooting a computer station, for example, requires accuracy.

You need to determine what changes have gone on before and after a problem has happened at your terminal.  There is a joke about hapless computer users calling the Windows system crash the Blue Screen of Death, dire-sounding, but which means that you are losing your unsaved work, a bummer.  By the way, I enjoyed computer science in high school a lot more than I enjoyed chemistry and physics.

If what you were doing meant nine out of ten times you got a system crash, and then one out of ten times it worked out, hypothetically speaking, you could, if the measurements were accurate, you’re determining that those nine times of system crashes mean that you can’t proceed in that manner.  If five out of ten times, your computer works, and five times it doesn’t, you don’t have an accurate idea of what of your commands are leading to the system crash.  The results aren’t too useful in that case.

You need to check variables that contribute to your procedure’s success or failure and come up with a more accurate idea of what’s going to work.  Once you establish the variables that work out okay, by trial and error, you can figure out which instruction is awakening the Blue Screen of Death.

The second term in Yahoo!’s list is the word adept.  Adept means are adroit.  Critically, you have to be adept at forming interpretations.

Those I think of as the external–the external is the object or scenario you’re critically thinking about.  You need to know what you’re examining, to form a critical judgement.  I have two ways for you to do this, and you can read about them a little further in.

Like for me, to decide whether, say, a popular film is “good,” in the sense that the motion picture proves that everybody involved did a good job, you have to understand enough about what makes a good film to be adept at reviewing it.  It would help if you’d contributed to the completion of a motion picture, to be properly critical, but it probably suffices to understand the structure of a film, the symbolism in the film visually, and previous attempts to make similar films.

The next term, the word analytical, this is a word like adept, but analytical is more about looking at a critiqued thing that calculates whether you should take it seriously or not.  You know what the thing is and what it’s for, but being analytical towards it means judging it in a way that you can comprehend additional specifics about it, forming your external.  What does it mean? is an analytical question that you might have about your object or scenario.

You would be analytical concluding that your problem works at all levels.

Photo by donterase from StockSnap

Next is creativity, a lovely word, for I feel I am creative, as would many bloggers regard themselves.  Creativity is reworking an established idea and making it yours.  It goes on constantly.

Like, back to film, when a successful film franchise follows up with a sequel, or a reboot, that’s an instance of creativity that is often quite impressive.  As with, say, the 1978 horror film Halloween, directed by John Carpenter, when two years later in 1980 the sequel Halloween II came out, again starring famed actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the film continued the story of the first movie by showing a lot more of what happened later that Halloween night, when the mad masked murderer had returned, (ghastly!).  However, John Carpenter was no longer directing the film.

Do you like horror films?

Halloween II has the same characters and the same locale and a continuation of the plot of the first film, all interesting for fans of the first movie, just with the point that somebody else is now directing.  That’s the creative part, in this example.

Next, Yahoo! repeats the phrase critical thinking.  I mean that Yahoo! includes critical thinking among the terms for critical thinking, which begs the question, Yahoo!.  I interpreted that as meaning that critical thinking refers here to the overall level of ability the interpreter brings to the noun being thought through critically.  It is having the skill to return to thinking critically, in a manner that applies other additional criteria.

In this case, we’re using the handy number ten.  The words, I derive, make an agenda for surveying an item or a situation.  It is redundant to include the phrase “critical thinking” in a list that explains critical thinking, pointing to a rabbit hole, a burrow that goes on and on when it opens.

You have to be firm with yourself what decisions you will make in the process of critical thinking or you will never conclude.  I have a little more to say about that in the conclusion.

Close up white cup of Coffee, latte on the wooden table

Detail-oriented refers to the organizer’s ability to put together a mental assessment of the details that have gone into the subject being thought about critically.  A job interview often includes a question along these lines, as in, “If you were taking this job, would you consider yourself a detail-oriented person?”  It means getting everything right.

Efficiency is the ability to get things done promptly.  You don’t lose time by making redundant decisions; everything works.  If you value efficiency, you want your scenario or your object to function smoothly, a swift external.

It means saving time.  A lot of people who need to complete many tasks highly value efficiency.

Industriousness refers to having the initiative to take bold steps.  Being industrious is good in that a person shows, say, leadership.  If what you are critical of is a tool for industriousness, it lends itself to a nature that assists people who have a success rate at reaching goals.

Innovative means thinking outside of the box.  Someone innovative has solutions that circumvent traditional stop signs that cause headaches.  Being innovative is positive.  You should recognize when innovation is happening and that it can have positive results.

Photo by Matthew Henry from StockSnap

Logical thinking is great for being “right.”  I first read a little about logical thinking in a high school English class.  I was daunted at the time because I’d never known that logical thinking existed like that, and I doubted I could learn enough about it to become competent, bizarrely, I suppose.

I was a diffident youth.  I wish I’d got that information earlier in life.  My teacher, Ms. M., outlined twelve specific styles of logical thinking and in fact, I wonder if I as yet have that same document.

I should have read it again and again.  At times I’ve been proud that I’m not completely obligated to be logical, but I don’t disregard logic.  I value things like the structure of an external, and that, for example, requires logic.

Logical thinking when it comes to being critical of a specific external is very useful, for if you can make a logical argument about the nature of your object or situation, you’re external, you are on your way to answering a riddle about it.  It is a regret I have that I didn’t take the introduction to logical thinking I got in high school more gravely and go to work at understanding it.

The ten criteria words stop at the letter L.  This is all about setting your sights on critically interpreting an external and taking it apart in a way that you can better understand what it means.  The terms are building blocks for evaluating your external.

There are some points where the process isn’t going to be scientific.  Starting with accurate, you need to look at more than one external and compare them to see how accurate your method is.  This word accurate is exciting because you can find parallels that aren’t necessarily immediately self-evident.

You are being analytical because you are trying to make a process occur that is accurate.  Those two a-letter words work together to open a method of diagramming your external to better understand what it is.

The next word, adept, is applicable because you need to run your process with adept skill.  What I’m doing here is being creative with Yahoo!’s list of critical thinking terms.  I’m making the argument that they are useful.

The search engine believes it.  So, too, should you.  Together the terms have an impact that you can draw upon for inspiration.

It does bother my sensibilities that critical thinking could itself be a term for critical thinking, but as there is a connection between all three a-letter words, so too I noticed a connection between the two c-letter words.  Critical thinking and creativity are two different sides of the same coin.

I’ve had to stir my reserve of critical thinking to identify what that means, but it is so.  Creativity is letting reason fly in the wind, whereas critical thinking is unearthing the truth about your external that wouldn’t be evident if you didn’t possess some definitions that assist in critical thinking.

For d, we have detail-oriented, taking your analysis and better developing it.

For e, we have efficiency, reducing creativity in favour of a strategy that is more pure critical thinking and not as open-minded as the word creative would imply.

Next, we have i-letter words, industrious and innovative, words that strengthen the process of analyzing the external by accelerating the process.  Those words apply to the analyst as much as they apply to the object or scenario being looked at.  Being industrious is keeping at it and being innovative is keeping open-minded.

Both these reflect the analyst as much or more than the external being explored.  Logical thinking is a phrase that means much the same as analysis.  If you took these ten terms, you could assemble them this way:   You have the creativity and you have critical thinking (the c-words).

If you want creativity to rule the process of investigating the external, what you have is industriousness and innovation for the matter at hand.

To proceed down the avenue of critical thinking that is more logical and detail-oriented, you can reduce your creative input and begin letting a process unfold without the benefit of a creative assignment.  In either case, you need to be adept at thinking, and further, to return to the a-letter words, you are being more purely analytical and accurate if you pursue critical thinking without the requirement of innovation ruling your process.  So, your basic process either follows one c-path or the other c-path, critical thinking or creativity and then to round out outreaching your external you have the accuracy, the analytics, the detail-oriented questions, the efficiency and the logical thinking; and down the other c-path, you have industriousness and innovation.

These are subcategories from the ten we started with.

Photographer:
Tim Gouw

The terms favour an analysis-heavy approach to critical thinking, meaning there are more components of more purely critical thinking than terms that include creativity.  Where that leaves us is what I started with, the word hobby.  A creative design is better for a hobby; analysis is better suited for more profound comprehension.

All the same, creativity can be as hard to comprehend as analysis.  If you reach an external by analysis, it is beginning to fall outside the field of the hobbyist and more closely approach the realm of the expert.

A more complicated external lends itself to critical thinking; a simpler external is suitable for creativity.  This isn’t always true, but that’s a guideline that you could start with if you are deciding whether you want to approach an external with a lens of more complicated and comprehensive critical thinking or with a simpler but also effective creative paintbrush, so to speak.

That’s the rabbit hole, that if you don’t have a handle on your creativity, flights of fancy can take you far afield of a suitable stopping place.  That’s why creativity isn’t a super useful strategy for analyzing an external that’s become complex.  That’s when your critical thinking approach needs to take over.

I’ve enjoyed writing about this, my first post since the April Discover challenges ended.  Do you like the idea that a simpler object might benefit from creative analysis and a more complicated object require a more detailed critical analysis?  You’re welcome to follow and/or to comment.

Read more about me here:  about.me/patrickcoholan

Happy Star Wars Day

Photographer:
Thomas Kelley

Why Skywalker`s Students Should Have Been Afraid

The Stupendous Wave on YouTube said yesterday that John Boyega’s people have said that an official trailer for Rise of Skywalker will air at halftime during Monday Night Football, and go to YouTube at the same time.

I wanted to say something more about the character of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, played in 2017 again by Mark Hamill.

Luke Skywalker wanted there to be more Jedi Masters, heroes of the Light Side of the Force, who help police their galaxy.

The word disciple often refers to people dedicated to learning about The Bible from Jesus Christ, of course. The Last Jedi retells how Jesus could do only so much, as when Luke is unseated by Ben Solo, son of Han Solo, and Leia Organa. Ben Solo has betrayed Luke and murdered the other disciples, becoming Kylo Ren.

This is not that different than the Apostle Judas betraying Jesus to Pontius Pilate for thirty pieces of silver. Unlike Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans, Luke has enjoyed the freedom to retreat to Ahch-To. He is done with enlisting potential Jedi, at least until Rey seeks him, and tells him what she knows is happening in the First Order, across the galaxy.

The difference between Ben Solo and the other Jedi disciples Luke was trying to train is that Ben is the son of Leia and Han. Luke had known when training Ben, that the young man could be trouble for the galaxy if the Dark Side of the Force continued to grow in him.

Some of the tragedy of The Last Jedi, tragic in the sense that the events of the story are irreversible, and of an ill-nature, is that what Luke could teach caused the apprentices’ demise. The Jedi dedication to the Light Side of the Force could not combat the darkness in Ben. Supreme Leader Snoke has corrupted young Ben Solo, as a transformation into Kylo Ren begins, not too different than the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, in the prequel trilogy.

Snoke, a new character in The Force Awakens, has origins unclear, and likewise murky in The Last Jedi, but is an evil mentor to Kylo Ren, the opposite to how Luke was a mentor to young Ben Solo.

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Photographer: Luca Baggio

Not a big surprise, Luke Skywalker is my favorite character in The Last Jedi because of the reminders Mark Hamill creates of the original Star Wars trilogy. Luke`s powerful abilities with the Force, begun in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, and explored in the next two films, are what fans like about him. For Luke to be teaching the ways of a Jedi Master is great because Luke learned from Yoda, in The Empire Strikes Back, the ways of the Force.

“Pass on what you have learned,” Yoda finally tells Luke in Return of the Jedi.

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Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

The Star Wars audience knows of events in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens because they have been told to Rey by Han Solo when the two are aboard the Millenium Falcon after Rey leaves home. If Luke`s other disciples had known of Snoke`s influence, on Luke, and his protégés, they would have become afraid. No one facing death would surrender life voluntarily when a pressing objective very much requires the opposite: the objective to become Jedi Masters and to protect the galaxy.

Luke`s remorse is evident. Mark Hamill displays the emotion perfectly.

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Photographer: Mateusz Dach

Recollections of the murders are present in The Last Jedi, but that movie would have been better if it were more clear what Luke searched for in his years of travel before the events of The Force Awakens. Luke is a Jedi Master who can deter the First Order if only he can teach Ben Solo the importance of the Light Side of the Force. That can`t be done, not even by Luke Skywalker.

How is it that Luke, with everything he understands about the Force, can make such a dangerous error? Luke has decided, I think, in The Last Jedi that to wield the Force, with as much ferocity as he has, is an act of hubris. If Luke had reached Ben Solo on any other level than of training the young man to become a Jedi, the sway of Snoke on Ben Solo might have been dispelled, with Ben never joining the First Order.

Although the conflict in Ben has made unrest in the galaxy that Luke, Leia, Poe, Fin, C-3P0, R2-D2, and Rose together combat in The Force Awakens, Ben`s path could have taken him elsewhere instead of to the very center of the battle against tyranny in the galaxy.

Appropriate fear is usually an emotion evoked by the Dark Side of the Force on one vulnerable. That same emotion could have prevented tragedy and kept both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker alive. Luke`s powers mostly fail him in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader confronts him on Cloud City in Bespin, after Jedi Master Yoda has told Luke that he isn`t ready for such an encounter.

In The Last Jedi, Leia has told Luke that she desires for him to teach the Light Side of the Force. If Luke could have drawn insight from what Yoda at the last had to say about teaching with wisdom the Force, long before Ben precipitated the murders of Luke’s apprentices, the drawback of overconfidence in Luke Skywalker could have meant a better outcome for all.

You`re welcome to like this post, to follow the blog and/or to comment.

The Skywalker Saga draws to a close this winter beginning December 20.

Why Our World Would End If A Daft Misconception Disappeared

Were the pyramids built by slaves?

No. As the Pyramids are understood by many, trembling and fearful ranks of Egyptian slave men pushed and hauled giant blocks to mark tremendous points of energy on Earth, triangle-shaped tombs for departed leaders. We can imagine slave girls in leather brassieres and skirts of bird-feather and twine, Egyptian beauties shimmering with flesh soaked by the never-shrinking sun, drunk on wine, a vision of an apparatus with no more technology than what could float a raft in the river or raise a shelter in the vast desert.

All false, and hung on a myth that keeps humans organizing themselves like a slave assembly, where all power and competence are enacted as though by the living hand of God–it is a design conceived with the Pharaohs’ tombs in the mind’s eye.

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Photographer: The Lazy Artist Gallery

As Ancient Egypt exerted its dominance, so too did reigning attitudes about a solidarity of people which became absolutely entrenched by the Pyramid’s sway, infiltrating the essence of the civilized world, as many understand it, an effort of many slaves.

The most earnest high school history teacher, the librarian who holds a catalog of records in disruptively accurate bookshelves, the Egyptian fantasist with his movie monster posters; all three present the mythology that the Pyramids were built with an outpouring of sweat and single-mindedness, the impossible, expansive tombs built from heavy rocks in cubes, hoisted by rope and ancient pulleys. Into the shape of three-dimensional Pyramids were constructed elaborate tombs, laid for departed Pharaohs of renown. Gizeh is the best-known.

It is the same will to organization and legacy throughout the Western world in the twenty-first century, where gentlemen in running shoes or luxury cars or perhaps dining in a capacity to manage what others might characterize as savage, to have plates and pints brought round by pleasant servers, the bosom and the heart. Gizeh’s tomb marked the first wine-and-dine.

Where will it end? As long as there are workers who are unsung, the dominion of the ancient Pharaohs will maintain its control. Update your browser.

The above is intended as an aside only. The International Day of Charity is observed annually on 5 September.

Weighing What’s Next in 2019

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Photographer: sasint

It is the beginning of the Christmas season in my neck of the woods, and I can see from old posts how 2019 began.

When I reached two hundred followers with my WordPress blog.  I was satisfied with the achievement, and I was grateful to the people following this for spending the time they do.

Writing for prompts feels like a shared experience.  I miss the Daily Prompts organized by WordPress.  Back when they were daily posts, the prompts from WordPress were lots of fun. I had thought Publishous could be a great new opportunity for quality blogging.

An example of the style of blog post I write can be found at the following:

https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/08

Since the last time I wrote, I received two more editions of Publishous.  I enjoy them, but I have not seen another writing prompt.  The newsletter exploded by 1500 subscribers in only several days.  Did they abandon their prompts?

Or the prompts are not weekly, contrary to an assumption I made. I feel like I’m getting behind.

Expert YouTuber Neil Patel suggests quality over quantity.  He pitches one post a week or once a month.  Neil Patel is a gentleman with an ad agency, but I don’t want to wait the entire span of a month to write posts.

#NeilPatel #ContentMarketing #Blogging

I try to think how I could deliver a better post. I don’t need as many writing prompts, but I do put into place tools, when writing for the blogosphere, that help me write me well.

I remember also learning some tips at finessing a personal blog when I looked at video lessons from bestselling author Jeff Goins. Although I believe that time for those lessons has gone by now, with those lessons he did a great job at getting new writers putting together great blogs. A few of my peers from that time I remain friends with on Facebook.

You’re welcome to “like” this post and/or subscribe.

Passionate Ice; A Boy Desiring What Others Did Not So Much

Bruce Wayne decided as a boy that he would honour the memory of his mother and father by inventing himself as Batman and challenging many criminals in Gotham City.

I watched Justice League when it went to Netflix this month and I enjoyed it. The camaraderie between the members of the Justice League comes off as solid and the plot of the film is enjoyable. It is curious to see Superman return to life.

Some of the cool moments from my life were opportunities to see films, in movie theaters.  In 1989, cinema fans filled movie houses to see the DC superhero Batman on the silver screen.

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Photographer: Bruce Mars

I had a good time.  Actor Michael Keaton’s role as Bruce Wayne, with its heroism, detachment from wealth, and indifference to romance makes the character of Batman a reinvention.  I suppose Keaton was a surprise star turn, and the subplot of Gotham City TV news anchors unable to appear beautiful on television, owing to poison in beauty products deliverered by The Joker, is clever.

Jack Napier’s transition to The Joker is memorable.  In other scenes from Batman, Billy Dee Williams of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and subsequently in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, appears as Harvey Dent.

The climactic confrontation of the film, at the Gotham City parade beneath a cathedral with the height of a skyscraper, is wonderful.

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Photographer: Yi Ling Tan

When the creepy little video store in the shopping plaza near my home began renting to customers Batman, the store displayed tapes of the film like a phenomenon.  Shelf after shelf were full of the Batman video.  The format was VHS, the cassette for running a film with a VHS player.

I’d been to see it, but I wanted that VHS.  Christmas came, and family placed hand-wrapped videotape-shaped objects under the holiday tree.

They were VHS tapes, but what titles were they?  Us kids wouldn’t know until Christmas morning.  At the appointed time, I opened mine, and to my delight, the tape inside was Batman.

As the family opened our presents, a second tape of Batman under the Christmas tree emerged.  My mother’s brother and his wife had arranged for the gift of the movie Batman as well.  Two VHS tapes of the same film–a double.

What did my dear mother decide, you might ask?  This was a bummer.  She would quietly return a copy of the film to its retail store.

As a twelve-year-old, the price of a brand-new edition of a blockbuster film must be extravagant, I reasoned.  The VHS copy of Batman we had would belong to us all.

I suppose that taught me a lesson, like not to count your chickens before they hatch.  It was as if my uncle and aunt had felt I deserved my own copy of Batman, and Santa Claus did not.  The VHS tape of Batman was a gift, what I wanted and what I was losing.

In 1989, fate unfolded for Batman mobster Jack Napier.  The criminal mastermind falls into a vat of burning acid.  He loses the pigment of his skin and becomes molded with a permanent smile on his face.

I hadn’t earned my own copy of Batman, and I suppose the real lesson was that I should share.  It is a state of becoming tantalized by the promise of something gold and being humbled by the requirement to give it up.  Maybe we didn’t know that doubles of the Batman film were under the tree, but no contingency plan was in place.

I was cheesed.

Batman fans typically embrace the trilogy of Batman movies years later directed by Christopher Nolan, but I didn’t get interested in them.

You’re welcome to like, comment, or follow if my recollection of dealing with a hot trendy thing like the above resonates with you.

15 Ways the Most Youthful Adherent to Video Research is Totally Overrated. Part I

November 22, 2018

By video research, I mean watching video content to gain information about a topic.  To render the inscrutable meaningful, I am trying to re-envision specific ideas I have about video research.  To try to make this fun, I am re-envisioning 15 ways that the progress I try to make utilizing video research actually makes an impact (for me).

This will include examples of why it is I am conjecturing the phrase video research isn’t dropped onto the page constantly.

  1. The first thing that I am focusing on is when I actively became aware of the possibility of video research.  You might say the stars aligned (nearly) and I think it was when I was compelled by my younger friend B. pointing out that I could listen to youths crying out with the Internet.  This is so sensitive.
    In my defense, I both saw I could get into hard-to-tackle specifics with a computer, and also I discarded the idea to pursue B.’s style of research, which is a misnomer, as it wasn’t video being researched, it was more like gamer hack-and-slash.  In B.’s defense, he became a teacher for a living.
    [I hope he is still doing that.  He dropped off Facebook a long time ago (without an explanation).]
  2. With an awareness like that, it has to be tempered with the recognition that humans require respect.  Interesting uses of Internet video express things which are unfathomable and also perhaps too sensitive to extrapolate.  The very most interesting experiences with the Internet, I think, and when outside elements of the world beyond the Internet enter and, I suppose, reflect the viewer experiencing the video, which is hard to concisely explain.
    If there is a simple explanation for this, perhaps from lecture halls or elsewhere, and you know of such a thing, forgive me.  Leave me a comment if you like.  On the simplest level, people can leave user comments for a creator who responds.
    I am pretty sure I have a few variations of that straightforward element of the Internet.
  3. I think in 2018 WordPress turned 15 years old, didn’t it?  A technique for growing your blog readership, if you’re on WordPress, is to leave user comments on other bloggers’ work.  The point is that if you do this respectfully and consistently, eventually sympathetic or otherwise interested bloggers who you have contacted will reciprocate by interacting with you.
    Now you may ask me, and I am prepared for this in the eventuality it happens, “How do you know that?  You don’t seem to have much readership of note.”
    “Yes,” I will reply, not impudently, “but I simply have not devoted the focus to constantly read blogs and interact with them.  My blog, as yet, is an amateur effort.”  At that point, I hope you do not disappear abruptly, although if this is the case, that is fine, as I hope to better strategize in 2019 than I have in the past.
  4. I hope to pursue this as long as it is a possibility.  What I’ve observed is that WordPress techniques are not the same as those on a more characteristically “social” platform.  I would argue that during what I’ve learned, I’ve enjoyed the process.
    I am tempted to leave this point there and then, but even with confirmation bias indicating that if I am predisposed to a set of beliefs that highly values an “art for art’s sake” attitude, the argument I want to make is that this specific confirmation bias is perfectly fine and I want to run with it in 2019.
    How then, what can you, you might ask, do to make your blog more readable?  Well, you can take it on Facebook and ask people you’ve met to read it.  That’s a tactic that can help you start a blog and potentially get results that are interesting for you.
  5. We’re beginning to talk about video research, but the first thing I think of trying to approach something that’s sensitive is some obvious problems coming up right away.  These fifteen points are geared to getting your attention away from what you should do with the video you watch, and what you are already doing with your blog, or how it is you could start a blog.  The conclusion that can be drawn, and it’s not science, but a method, is that you can draw on video research to formulate something that you’d like people to read and you can put it on WordPress.

    I had quite a bit to say just to introduce this, so I am ending this post shortly below and picking up in the next blog post.

This first part of the 15 ways has been about a few generalities that have worked for me and a few tips that could apply to what you are doing.

These first five points are trying to get to the point, saying you can take video, turn it into blog content, get a running start with your blog, and go from there.  I am going to return with what shall be two more posts, aiming to illustrate ten more ways that you can do something more with video than just watch it.

Thanks for reading.

When I last asked my niece to let me have a photo, she was in high gear to play a frivolous game of Candy Land.  She suggested I show her in the midst of unpacking the enduring board game.  My niece is in the third grade.

10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part II

The White Album puzzle

Updated November 9, 2018

December 2017 my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift for Christmas, a puzzle game celebrating The Beatles’ music The White AlbumIt is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white.  It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.

September 24, 2018, the Stereogum music history website posted to Facebook about the fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album.  The Beatles Announce 50th Anniversary “White Album” Reissue With Previously Unreleased Tracks

The White Album puzzle
The Beatles

I think of The Beatles being a radical success in music history, given the enormity of their popularity, even decades later.  However, how does that view of The Beatles relate to contemporary ideas about success, and how it is won?

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for the individual to pursue preconceived notions of success and how it is misleading.  The first four were presented in a previous blog post.  The remaining six are presented here.

Streaming services

  1. Netflix is the leader of the pack, I believer, for video streaming.  They devote an enormous budget to original content and their selection of existing content is good.
    That being said, Disney is entering the streaming video service market soon, as is AT&T, I understand.  Netflix in my region is compatible with my TiVo, as is another video streaming service, the free video streaming site Tubi.  The selection on Tubi is big, but they don’t offer original video.
    Both Netflix and Tubi are compatible with my TiVo, but the selection of videos on Netflix is good and for Tubi, not so much.  I want to step out of the chain of logic to ask if that implies that Tubi is a weak link.  Netflix is a completely enjoyable experience if you watch video and Tubi is an extra addition to the TiVo I watch TV with.
    It isn’t too hard to say which could be better assessed to be a radical success in the future.  That being said, while Netflix needs to make a lot of important decisions before the day is done to remain ahead of the curve, Tubi is probably under far less pressure.
    Does Tubi’s relative weak link status mean that it isn’t a success?  It is free.

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    Photographer: Rawpixel.com
  2. Going forward with the theory that radical success means enormous difficulty, consider the contender that could grab much of Netflix’ market share, Disney.  Disney is certain, given its weight as an entertainment brand, to include great films and shows, being known for its films, television, toys and theme parks.

Which of the two, Netflix or Disney, will be more of the radical success–that a good streaming service can be?  Or will they both amount to great success?  Disney has built in family-appeal given its products for both adults and kids alike; Netflix has been building that kind of appeal from scratch.  Will either Netflix or Disney be a weak link?  It seems important to me that entertainment be good when it is accessed or experienced.

It would be a shame, I think, for the bottom to fall out of Netflix if it were to become a weak link given competition.  Netflix has a reputation for spending extravagant amounts of money on shows and films while not necessarily having a concrete plan in place to recoup its expenditures.  As I said, Disney already has an enormous built-in capacity for success in the future, in addition to plans for its new streaming service

I would ask if streaming video is right for Disney, given all they’ve done to pack movie houses with so many great family films.  Will Netflix Ever Actually Make Any Money?

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Photographer: Jakob Owens

3. I started this post by saying there is a fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album coming 11/9.  From what I understand about music streaming services, Spotify has a great conversion rate bringing customers from free use of Spotify to the premium version.  I would ask if taken to task whether Spotify will be a “weak link.”

From what I can tell, the selection of music with Spotify is wonderful.  I’ve never actually searched for The Beatles, but I am sure they are there.  The selection is good.  I have fewer specifics on hand, but I wouldn’t appreciate seeing Spotify become relegated to “weak link” status, as it seems to be an awesome service.

It is understood that The Beatles essentially recorded The White Album live to 8-track tape, and for everything they’d done in the name of their music they were in fact recording music that would be a bit of a farewell to their fans.  If less scrutiny was being given to the music emerging on The White Album, would The Beatles have lasted longer and recorded songs for longer than they did?  I think it is possible, for when something is intended to be “perfect,” it is often a departure the way a pinnacle climbed must then be descended.

US Politics 

4. If you are following this argument, you can guess that the weak link I’m referring to is the President of the United States.  I don’t like to posit criticism of the United States or its politics, but an example of someone about who there is much to decry that could be a weak link is the President.

As he is someone who was a TV star, I think it is worth mentioning here the radical success that he is known for enjoying and how at the same time the President has mounting problems that he is both a radical success, being wealthy and commanding power, but also a “weak link” in that he could bring down the whole show if he is not effective.  President Trump has a knack for appearing with ferocious emphasis again and again in the news, and yet he faces so much criticism and real-life repercussions and consequences that I think he makes a great example of a “weak link” who is at the same time a radical success.

The President brings to mind so many components and elements of radical success gone wrong that it is becoming clearer all the time that the President of the United States is an extremely divisive man. Donald Trump Says China Remix

 

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Photographer: Diego Jimenez

Motivated to Entrepreneurship

5. The ninth reason I want to assert that a weak link can be very much undermining is the idea that if you begin to succeed as an entrepreneur you can find yourself under more pressure than you ever anticipated facing.  Making money is many people’s idea of success, but you have to put in years of work to make dreams come true.  And in this scenario, ironically, you yourself could be the weakest link if you don’t meet obstacles well.


Unless you keep improving, day in and day out, you could end up being the weak link in your organization simply owing to the fact that your luck could change.  If you have found a strategy that makes you King Midas, turning everything you touch to gold, if all of a sudden your luck changes, you may now be suddenly in a seat of weakness.  The Secret to Self-Motivation | Gary Vaynerchuk’s GREATEST Motivational Speech Ever! 

Photographer: Rawpixel.com
Aerial view of computer laptop on wooden table

You need to keep improving and being good.  Everything that took you somewhere is behind you; you have to continue to make great decisions.  I suspect you’ll see for yourself if you falter.

6. The final reason I want to take back to Geeks + Gamers.  If you have someone, like Jeremy, who has more than one channel on YouTube, who is comfortable discussing games, films, and sports, a very articulate individual, who sees success coming from YouTube, from a Facebook group, from Twitch I suppose, who challenges who is at the top, as with The Last Jedi remaining a highly successful film, however vocal its detractors, I think it is a philosophical note to say that if you are at that pinnacle I referenced above, there is any number of reasons your descent will be hastened by those who come after you.  You have to reach that pinnacle in excellent form; and you have to leave it in such a way that it endures, that there could be a fifty-anniversary, that there could be another billion-dollar blockbuster, that there could be a second term.  This is all vital, from a philosophical standpoint, what must be done if radical success, like the kind that spreads all around the globe, is to be achieved and then preserved. CLICKBAIT : A YOUTUBE STORY

I was amused by the Christmas gift last year of The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family.  If you have read this, please feel free to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

It was Luminescent, and It was True

April 10, 2018

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — April 10

You’re kind of lucky if life’s been luminescent for you.  That’s today WordPress daily prompt, the word luminescent.

Luminescent is a word that has a lot of connotations.  I can think of a few with ease.

April 10, 2018
You’re kind of lucky if life’s been luminescent for you.

Think of the stellar skyscape–the myth that when the moon is full, lunacy runs rampant.

Do you like monster movies?  You probably know that the wolfman transforms in the luminescence of the full moon.

This month’s full moon is the twenty-ninth and the thirtieth.  Tonight’s moon is a waning crescent.

Belief in the power of the full moon can be a devilish outlook, which I’d assert is unfortunate in the season of Easter.  We should be celebrating spring.

I am a Canadian, and while I live in the southern parts of the great nation of Canada, it is here, you might say, a short growing season.  I’m certainly envious of the good fortune of people living in more idyllic parts of the world.

The work I do, year-round, is to carry out operations in a small not-for-profit cemetery (in a junior capacity), and at times I see luminescence when I am there (usually accompanied solely by my dad).  Effects of that kind can be creepy, but there is often a benign atmosphere there as we care for the grounds and for the church.  It is generally serene.

1/400 sec. f/5 6.1 mm
Just past Maple Lawn Cemetery

I’m inclined to see luminescent as peaceful, which is what the cemetery really is.  I know about grief and I know people go to cemeteries to pray for the departed, but it doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable experience.  When it’s luminescent, I find the ambiance comforting.

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

You know I’m expected to be solemn.  I’m not one for a pint with the lads, shall we say.  A stab at art or writing or pastimes of that kind in a state of mind that’s luminescent is apt to be rubbish.

You have to approach creative endeavors from a point of view that’s solid.  At least do your editing sober.  It is up to you, all the same.

Jackson Pollack, for example, painted while very drunk, I believe.  Something he said on the subject is

Bums are the well-to-do of this day. They didn’t have as far to fall.

If I look at something I’ve posted or photographed or the like and it’s terrible, I wonder what my poor beleaguered mind was set upon.  It is easily unflattering.  More frankly, you can make a fool of yourself quite readily.  I know I have.

What I think, though, on whether you’re proven a fool is that mistakes happen–shit happens.  One takeaway from college that I have is a theatre axiom.

A little foolishness is genius.  Too much foolishness is madness.

I am not sure you should repeat that.

Youngsters if they’re inclined to creativity should have their own time to discover what’s art and what’s merely luminescent.  Time really does speed and any sane person should fully know the weight of what’s in store in the decades of adulthood and never worry about how it is luminescence plays on the heart and on the mind.

I know it’s less than profound, but you can get the same impact on yourself from drinking a basic coffee and watching a good film, like The Shawshank Redemption for example.  I don’t think it’s any better to probe personal depths and pour it out to feel your art than it is to passively and alertly watch something like a good film bringing with you a philosophical bent.

Don’t tear yourself apart.  The full moon will rise every single month of your life.

Discovering the Man of Steel #DiscoverWP

Warner Bros. Picture - © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC Â

The International Day of Democracy is today, 15 September.  I am curating my Conventional Wisdom post.

May 13, 2018

The Internet bid RIP to Margot Kidder, the sixty-nine-year-old actress who was Lois Lane for the seventies’ and eighties’ Superman films.  For 1978’s film Superman, Kidder played Lois Lane near perfectly.

 

I have also watched a few random episodes of Krypton, the prequel TV series for the Superman universe.  The design is quite appealing and the ideas are complex but interesting.

 

15 September

While there are no more new Discover Challenges for WordPress, I wanted to update this post for clarity.

 

In March I borrowed a box of comic books belonging to a cousin and reflected a touch on those stories that I remembered.  It got me catching up on the Innerspace sci-fi news series on Space on cable TV.  Reflecting on their launch of the Superman origins series Krypton, one of the hosts of Innerspace in an episode from earlier this winter reflected briefly but pointedly that Man of Steel is a bad movie.

I take it Man of Steel is regarded many times as such and to counter the perception that it isn’t a good retelling of the thousands of Superman comics available in print, I want to include here from Jun 2, 2014, Exploring Man of Steel on YouTube TWITTER ► https://goo.gl/koijhV which is a go-to for a review in detail about a maligned film.

Warner Bros. Picture - © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC Â
Henry Cavill in Man of Steel (2013)

It is now known that Henry Cavill will no longer appear in the film role of Superman.  You can hear thoughts on Man of Steel in a brief discussion piece about Superman and the rest of the DC Comics Universe.  Henry Cavill Leaves Superman

I have also become aware of the Geeks + Gamers YouTube channel, and I am including here their challenge of the effectiveness of Man of Steel as a Superman film and how the channel doesn’t even believe, at the time of upload, that Henry Cavill is through as Superman.  It’s against the grain.  HENRY CAVILL OUT AS SUPERMAN? THE DCEU IS DEAD TWITTER – https://twitter.com/GeeksGamersCom

Conventional Wisdom

My thoughts on the conventional wisdom of Man of Steel are presented here.

This week’s WordPress Discover Challenge presents the trial of posting a different point of view than what other people have, whatever POV. This appealed to me because I thought of Superman, as a matter of fact, from the films of the nineteen seventies and eighties about the beloved comic book character, and also from the 2013 film Man of Steel, which is what specifically I have a different interpretation to write about than the casual interpretation it often gets otherwise (a great superhero film).

Christmas Eve last year, December 24 of 2016, late in the afternoon my younger brother and his son went with me to my parents’ house for dinner and the Christmas tree. My brother let me know that the two had been in the middle of complaining about Superman, in the movies, and I was surprised that they have this opinion, which is not the same opinion I have. We’re very different people from one another.

Man of Steel presents the Superman character as an alien, which I know he is, as in the story of his life told in the 1978 film about him (titled Superman, naturally). However, whereas in that film Superman is a very human character, who blends in with his peers quite easily, in Man of Steel (2013) Superman is almost an alien monster, considering that while he looks human, he has the mentality of an outsider. This is clear, for example, when he only takes his job as a reporter for the Daily Planet at the conclusion of the film (spoiler), which is unlike Superman (1978), in which his entire time in Metropolis is spent in the alter ego of Clark Kent, a reporter alongside Lois Lane.

What I think about Man of Steel is that Man of Steel is the story of an alien creature living among humans whose fate it is to help the human race. This is like how in ancient Egypt, Egyptian workers built enormous pyramids, which were probably tombs for their leaders once deceased (the Pharaohs).

It is unknown how the ancient Egyptians were able to build these pyramids because there is no evidence that the Egyptians of ancient times had technology which could have made building those pyramids possible. It is a great mystery.

December 28, 2016
Les Anderson

One theory is that, as in history when impossible feats were accomplished without the benefit of technology, alien forces could have visited Egypt and helped the Egyptians build the pyramids with the help of the alien people’s technology. It is a popular theory among people who believe in life among the stars (Erich von Daniken is one scholar who argues that the theory is based on real history, of Ancient Egypt).

Given that the pyramids would have been nearly impossible to build without technology, consider that aliens visited and lent a helping hand, with an interest in contributing to the prosperity of human beings (as a species). Man of Steel is a little like that because Superman is an alien living among humans helping preserve the human race from dangers that are inherent to people encountering alien creatures.

July 12, 2015
Wil Stewart

What I think is that when Superman reveals himself to human authorities, when he is given the ultimatum to surrender by his enemies, it is noted that Superman may be a hazard for human folk merely because his body may contain a disease that could be inflicted on the humans. I say this because it is not immediately the fear of Superman’s powers as a superhero that bothers the authorities, or the details of Superman’s past in the Kansas town of Smallville, but whether Superman’s body could spread illness and death to the humans who meet him. I don’t think that the Egyptians meeting aliens who gave them help to build the pyramids, stopped their alien benefactors to question whether they would become sick from contact.

What I am thinking about Man of Steel, is what if the point of Superman’s existence among humans is that he doesn’t succeed at guiding human beings to a better existence? Every time it is questioned if humans in ancient times had visitors from other worlds among them, there is never evidence that the aliens caused devastation and ruin for people of the past.

What if Superman’s role as a visitor to modern-day people of the world demonstrates good intentions on Superman’s part, but poor planning for the man from Krypton that actually reduces the success of people to safely maintain conditions for life around the planet? When you sit down with Man of Steel, consider the possibility that while the strange realities that led the men and women of Ancient Egypt to construct pyramids, in this film, when Superman is battling and causing destruction in both Smallville and Metropolis, this could be the beginning of events that challenge human’s mastery of Planet Earth and undermine them in a way that will end in defeat and downfall. If Superman for once is the alien visitor closest to human beings in his physical form, could he likewise have the kinds of human weaknesses at the end of human’s reign over their blue and green planet?

Every other time in history that aliens might have come to help humans with the growth of their civilizations, are we, at last, to understand that there is no more? For however Superman feels about belonging to the human race, which is clearly passionate, considering the climax of the film when Superman is challenged by his nemesis how he feels about human life, if Superman is the final alien visitor to Earth, is it because he will eventually destroy us all? That is how I would understand Man of Steel, instead of interpretations that are more along the lines of a visitor from the stars who kindly brings the benefit of his superpowers to help us, folk.

December 18, 2015
The Korus

Thank you for reading and good luck to you, whatever you do. Take care of yourself as always.

#DemocracyDay

Cheating To Pilot Victoriously a Game

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WordPress Discover: Below

For the month of April 2020, WordPress has reopened its Discover challenges to help bloggers find ideas to write about. I didn’t see their prompt this morning. I set an alarm to wake me, got myself up and at my computer, with a cup of coffee to start me going, and I simply overlooked the prompt.

I thought to look back at the Discover feed to see if a Discover prompt had finally launched. I was dismayed but had an idea.

I saw the prompt for today is the word “below.” I looked back at my blog, and I saw that five years ago I wrote a post, when I was just setting out on WordPress, that fit the theme. While not changing the title of the post, I decided to update it with the word “below” in mind.

A Douglas Adams joke

My mother’s parents bought me the action game Wings for the family Amiga 500 computer when I was a young teenager.  The game grew on me, lending itself to a sense of being more deeply involved in playing games.

Much of Wings consisted of dogfights.  The box for the game contained factual information about WWI, and a narrative within the game took you through to victory in the year 1918.

I liked playing the game.  I just didn’t like being nailed by enemy fire.

Playing the game required extreme player ability.  The dogfights were mad. You flew with a view from over the shoulder of the pilot, in the cockpit of your craft.

Soon the pilot would turn his head. Enemy aircraft was nearing, and the time was then to go in that direction. If bullets hit your plane, you knew you were in trouble.

Then it was time for diving away and getting as far from the dogfight as you could.  If you could get an enemy in front of you, firing a volley ahead of him often meant he would fly right into it, and your trouble would be solved.

The gameplay meant that you were likely to get shot up no matter what happened.  The game fascinated me, but as soon as your pilot met his end, the game required you to begin the war over.  No one would wish for that, particularly with my Amiga computer’s loading time.

There was a workaround that would mean evading death, and hence becoming one of the best pilots of the war, to rival even the famed historical pilot the Red Baron–but it meant cheating, or what you call a “creative workaround.”

I found out by intuition that if enemy aircraft defeated me, I could hit the hard reset command for the computer, and then rebooting the computer would sweep away the game. What was the upshot? The diskette wouldn’t save the destruction of the mission, and I could try again.

With successive missions, your pilot became better at combat. With this method, playing even the hardest missions could be handled with an extraordinary pilot in your control.

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Photographer: Snapwire

No one should treat war lightly, and if the game reflected the time in the life of a teenage pilot at the outset of World War I, I would have gone to the grave. I am sorry, of course, not that I would have been shot down, but that I was so insensitive. However, I appreciate that my grandparents’ gave me the gift, and I reason that they had different views on war (and not computers) than someone from my generation.

How NPC is that?

I suppose I’ve done worse. Anytime I’m challenged in a game, I want to play with a competitive spirit–maybe I get that from my father.

Have you ever had to cheat at something innocent?