Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boingboing's Science

Anyone who knows me or knows this blog is aware that I frequent the Boingboing website. I love it and hate it at the same time. It offers some very cool info/links (I just shared the article on Google Maps' new ocean feature not half an hour ago on Facebook) but it also has an obvious bias towards technology and general hipster and/or liberal subjects.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the site a sort of voice, but the editorializing can turn some folks off. I prefer to simply take it in, chuckle at times, and read on.

But, every once in a while, (as we've seen in the past) I just have to call them on it and point out some of the issues I have.

Today I came across this article that talks about the debunking of some of the allegations made in a NY Times piece that seems to point out issues with the whole "cloud computing" thing and the wastefulness of data centres. The article supports the debunker's claims that the initial article's reasearch is flawed because, in part, they couldn't possibly have had access to sufficient data to make such a claim.

Ok, cool. I'll buy that. Makes sense. The debunker seems to know his stuff and, if what he says is accurate, then, yes, the research would seem to be lacking in data and perspective. Good article, Boingboing. Thanks!


Soon afterwards, Boingboing then posts this article about cyclists and how they are nicer than they are perceived to be, and that anyone who sees cyclists as dicks must be doing so because they have a perception bias.

The science behind this article? The observation of some cyclists in one city by a cyclist advocacy group (!) and the empirical data on cyclist fatalities in nine others. (which, obviously, can be correlated to the dickishness of cyclists nationwide, right?)




So much for pushing for stronger research. But if the half-assed results are in your favour...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Inspirational Art

Perhaps as a bit of a follow-up to this post, I felt a swelling inside when I came across the website of Des Taylor. Taylor is an artist in the comic book vein who tends to create in an old school/war era/pin up style.

I love it.

I think it looks so classy and sexy and fun and beautiful.

If I could go back in time, I would force my younger self to train in cartooning and visual arts in general (including photography). I always loved that stuff, but never felt I had the natural talent. I could see and appreciate others who had much more skill than me, and just sensed they had a brain function that I lacked. To this day, I find that I am more of a critic than a creator. I know what looks good, I know what can be done to make a nice piece/film/creation better, but don't seem to have the imagination to get off the blank page myself or to put my thoughts to practice.

Seeing stuff like Taylor's gets me all giddy inside and makes me daydream of a life where I can create beautiful art, too.

I often wonder if these artists view their art in the same way; with awe or a smile on their face. Or is it work to them? Would actually being an artist be like working in your favourite restaurant?

Is it better to be the artist or the audience?

Dunno. But I do know that I envy Taylor and his talent.

...I like to think he smiles.