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February 17, 2012

Your Own Private World

When I first started thinking about what I was going to write today I did not immediately see the connection to last week. Now I can't help but see it. I was watching a video last night about wearable cameras, augmented reality, and the future. A cyberpunk novel came up in the conversation involving select people who had access to an augmented reality layer that applied itself to a specific location. To the uninitiated it was a mostly empty room. To the wired there was something there, and of course to the in the know, the permitted, there was more yet.

I'm going to leave you with some homework of sorts. If you are interested in the intersection of what I said above and what was posted last week then I have two views of an article titled "When 'Mad Men' Meets Augmented Reality". The first is from WraithStop™... and the second from TechStop™.

You may also want to check out the TechStop(TM) tag page for... reality.

Music: Gates of Tomorrow by Iron Maiden.

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February 10, 2012

Circles and Cycles Versus More

Things circle around, coming back over and over. Sometimes it is by design, other times it is by happenstance. Whether it's a trend, your own targeted awareness, general popularity or an alarming increase in occurrences is debatable. When it comes to the online world one of the new blames is filter bubbles driven by social data sources. What are those you say? You go on a social network like Facebook. You connect up with friends with similar interests, similar views. They post similar items and share them around. They dislike the same things so those items never come up. You see more and more of the same until someone breaks the cycle, or if you have varied interests and friends in each groups. Then along comes the smart software that scores or rates what it thinks you will find interesting based on what you tell it you like and don't like. It refines what you see and then you end up with even more of the same, and certainly not anything different, or so the fear goes--it's not necessarily unfounded until the people creating the filters (algorithms) make them so that not too much of what you might want to see, but didn't know about, doesn't disappear.

One aspect of all of this is the aforementioned lack of ability to know if something is becoming more prevalent or just more reported. Put a different way, it can be hard to differentiate between a real increase in the number of events per population (whether that is population of people or of articles/ideas) or just that with a larger group there will naturally be more instances.

So what is the point of all of this? It's part general observation based on particular articles, news stories, and subjects that I keep seeing crop up. Partly I don't have a specific point right now other than to throw this out there as something to consider both when reading and when writing.

Music: Incense and Peppermints by Strawberry Alarm Clock.

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February 3, 2012

Changing Vision

Let's talk about changes. I've mentioned before an odd desire to make collectible card style games--though I don't like the collectible bit in the sense of some cards being astronomically priced or hard to get a hold of. I may or may not have mentioned comics. I've been kicking that idea around for as long as the cards. Both of these require visual art components. It's no secret that I have an online gallery of art (Macabre Male's Grotesquerie) that I have been adding to over the years. The consistent element between cards and comics and writing books is providing entertainment revolving around story. Characterisation, plot, and the depiction of emotion through a fictional framework--from character emotions to situation moods and less tangible feelings inherent in a milieu--are what I think drive me. The tiny dabbling I've done in musical scores is in a similar vein.

As much as there is a greater satisfaction in fiction writing, especially the long form, I will be leaning more heavily in the art direction this year. Tight finances are a big part of this. Timing ties in directly to the money aspects. A piece of art is a snapshot of a piece of a story, and since there is much less connective tissue between one piece and the next even in a series that tells a tale, the creation time is less. There are some issues involved that having nothing to do with creating the art that I need to sort out. One of them certainly is dealing with censors. There is a sales site I have been eyeing, but they seem uneven in their treatment of what images can be sold. Another site seems better but isn't free like the more conservative one. I do not intend to pursue as dark or as graphic art as I do fiction, but still it is a consideration.

I do not intend to do away with any of my blogs. I want to discuss the same sort of topics here as always, but the posts may be more about the snapshot-style of story elements, and the artistic markets and the considerations with dealing with them, in addition to the writing market-speak that has occasionally come up here. I may tie more things back and forth between here and Learning Dark Arts, my blog for talking about art--frequently from the point of view of the software that I use to make my art. We shall see what future posts hold as they come out of my head and into my typing fingers.

Music: Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.) by Motley Crue.

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Robert G. Male
Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada
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