My Life Outside of Photography Thoughts and findings that don't always relate to Photography

18Jun/110

You CAN Speak Up… Not Run and Hide.

Perceptions

I can't truly speak to how rampant the sentiment is but it seems that some believe that because a few individuals have not learned the finer points of a more elevated manner ofconversation online (Particularly on facebook) that it appears we should abandon discussion altogether.

They seem to say:

"We should leave our thoughts, our ideas, our beliefs, our leanings to the wayside... talk about the weather and sports and who won what on the newest reality show."

Because we mess up in our conversations and offend to often, or others are so prone to offense, that we should just give up!

"Politics is too Hot" and "religion is too Hot" we should stay away from talking about any of these things.

People say stupid things and people get upset and it seems like their response of this un-numbered few is to give up and crawl back into a hole because no one will fight if no one every says anything of import or comes out of their bedrooms and out from behind their TVs and novels.

Elevate... not run away

The solution is not to run and hide... but as in every aspect of human interaction and communication... the answer is to raise the bar.

I have not been perfect in this aspect but I will not get there by: not trying, by giving up and by not standing for something.

So I'm here saying you can say what you think.
But, Just because you can say whatever you want it doesn't mean you should.
Elevate the things you say and how you say it (and I'm not just talking about grammar) I'm talking about the meaning of what you say and the logic and thought behind them.
Use true principles to be a guide for what you do.

Yes you can discuss (On Facebook, on your blogs in your conversations with others) all those things that will "elevate the minds" of your friends and this country as John Adams would say.

You can show those that do participate in "back-biting" and illogical arguments and derisive and unfounded labeling and derision of ideas because of a lack of eloquence... show them the better way. Show them you can elevate your own conversation. Show them what the better method is.

Patience... it won't happen over night.

My Challenge

I will elevate my conversation and often that will mean not using the quick and easy barb to disparage another individual; even when they set themselves up for possible attack or ridicule.
Never to use the cunning manipulations of language to take someone down by their grammar, spelling or lack of eloquence. But to find common ground, understand ideas and to receive and provide education where appropriate.

I will discuss to the best of my ability a principle and defend it and challenge others on their stance and accept truth in any form or fashion it comes and never treat discussion like a competition where one side has to win and the other therefore looses. But I will discuss vigorously, argue passionately and hopefully inspire and be inspired.

Extend your views... Elevate the Minds

"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."
George Washington, 1789

"It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives."
John Adams, 1756

Filed under: ideals, politics No Comments
1Jun/110

Creativity and Liberty

OBJECTIVES

My life seems to have two objectives.
To inspire people towards Creativity and Liberty.

The kingly virtues

Because they're so important I feel that the ideas behind them get obscured too often.
Dethrone the kingly virtues like these by removing the meaning behind the symbols. And soon we're marching in the streets and waving flags just because we've always done it.

CREATIVITY

Creativity = phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art etc.) that has some kind of value.
Creative solutions are what I admire most. But I think that all 3 aspects of creativity interelate and empower the mind and the person.
I think it is a capacity we can grow and I think that this capability that should be stressed more than ever.

Creativity can lead to a more capable life... capable of achievining and attaining more liberty.

LIBERTY

I think Liberty is one of the greatest of gifts that God has given us. It is known by many names. Freedom, Free Choice and Free Will to name a couple.
Often there are so many cliches attached to the concept and we are in danger of really grasping the importance in our hearts how necisary it is.

I believe that the first conflict among men was fought over the theme of Liberty and I believe we still must fight for it and I believe that in the future this will be the crux of the fight as well.

This is still God's world. The forces of evil, working through some mortals, have made a mess of a good part of it. But it is still God's world. In due time, when each of us has had a chance to prove ourselves--including whether or not we are going to stand up for freedom--God will interject himself, and the final and eternal victory shall be for free agency. And then shall those complacent people on the sidelines, and those who took the wrong but temporarily popular course, lament their decisions. To the patriots I say this: Take that long eternal look. Stand up for freedom, no matter what the cost. Stand up and be counted. It can help to save your soul--and maybe your country.

and

“Of course, the war in heaven over free agency is now being waged here on earth, and there are those today who are saying ‘Look, don't get involved in the fight for freedom. Just live the gospel.’ That counsel is dangerous, self-contradictory, unsound…Now, part of the reason we may not have sufficient priesthood bearers to save the Constitution let alone to shake the powers of hell, is because unlike Moroni, I fear, our souls do not joy in keeping our country free, and we are not firm in the faith of Christ nor have we sworn with an oath to defend our rights and the liberty of our country. Moroni raised a title of liberty and wrote upon it these words: ‘In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.’ Why didn't he write upon it: ‘Just live your religion; there's no need to concern yourselves about your freedom, your peace, your wives, or your children’? The reason he didn't do this was because all these things were a part of his religion, as they are of our religion today. Should we counsel people, ‘Just live your religion. There's no need to get involved in the fight for freedom’? No, we should not, because our stand for freedom is a most basic part of our religion; this stand helped get us to this earth, and our reaction to freedom in this life will have eternal consequences. Man has many duties, but he has no excuse that can compensate for his loss of liberty.”

- Ezra Taft Benson

I choose to lead a life centered on human liberty. Next to the atonement of Christ and his eternal plan for our salvation it is this agency, this free will, this liberty that I am most thankful for.

PRINCIPLES

I believe that true eternal principles are what are most powerful and most worthy of our time and effort.

The root principles that I try to see and implement in everything I do: Liberty, Love, Eternal Progression, Stewardship

Principles above politics, principles above party, principles above propaganda.
Choose good eternal principles in all situations ... "Do what is right, let the consequence follow"

29May/110

On the subject of a more elevated discussion

I am simply pasting my comment on a thread on FB:
If it interests people than so be it

The setting: A tarrifs discussion in a FB group on Austrian Economics
Back and forths were very helpful to me and yet seemed just slightly off, so I chimed in.
------------

As someone learning about the subject I appreciate that there is some back and forth on Differing opinions. Challenges and responses.
I do not feel like I would learn what the arguments against (Austrian Economics) would be if we all simply agreed... unless many took it upon themselves to denote the arguments and then the responses.

However I do not see the use in saying "you said" "she said" or statements like "I don't understand why you're in this group?" I think they pull our attention Away from learning principles and elevated discussion.

Perhaps these types of words and discussion methods are only good for keeping the person motivated in the discussion but only because they feel they have to defend themselves and not defend the principle. If they felt less attacked personally they might be willing to discuss for learning instead of discuss for the sake of argument only.
I like that we can persist in discussion in this group (even when differing) and it does help someone like me, who doesn't know the answers nor the arguments.

While some of the questioning of why some people believe a certain way are helpful, I believe it can be done in a tone that pushes and persuades us all to want to believe in the best principles and ideas available.

I think we can still attack false principles with zeal, it is not the disagreement I have problems with but the method of verbalizing it.
Just ever so slight changes can help so much. People seem to spend so much time caring about spelling things correctly people forget to care about the things they're actually saying.
The information being shared on these threads are of use to me (and others) it is time well spent, (gasp even on FB)
But I don't see it as sustainable unless slight changes are made to make it an even more inspiring arena.
As someone learning about the subject I appreciate that there is some back and forth on Differing opinions. Challenges and responses.
I do not feel like I would learn what the arguments against (Austrian Economics) would be if we all simply agreed... unless many took it upon themselves to denote the arguments and then the responses.

However I do not see the use in saying "you said" "she said" or statements like "I don't understand why you're in this group?" I think they pull our attention Away from learning principles and elevated discussion.
Perhaps these types of words and discussion methods are only good for keeping the person motivated in the discussion but only because they feel they have to defend themselves and not defend the principle. If they felt less attacked personally they might be willing to discuss for learning instead of discuss for the sake of argument only.
I like that we can persist in discussion in this group and it does help someone like me, who doesn't know the answers nor the arguments.
While some of the questioning of why some people believe a certain way are helpful, I believe it can be done in a tone that pushes and persuades us all to want to believe in the best principles and ideas available.

I think we can still attack false principles with zeal, it is not the disagreement I have problems with but the method of verbalizing it. Just ever so slight changes can help so much. People seem to spend so much time caring about spelling things correctly people forget to care about the things they're actually saying.
The information being shared on these threads are of use to me (and others) it is time well spent, (gasp even on FB)But I don't see it as sustainable unless slight changes are made to make it an even more inspiring arena.

Filed under: thoughts No Comments
21May/110

What if…?

I have a few questions for my Friends.

  • What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others?
  • What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel?
  • What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan - and bombing Pakistan - is directly related to the hatred directed toward us and has nothing to do with being free and prosperous?
  • What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade-off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan people are killed or displaced?
  • What if we finally decide that torture, even if called enhanced interrogation techniques, is self-destructive and produces no useful information - and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil?
  • What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy?
  • What if all wartime spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing?
  • What if we finally see that wartime conditions always undermine personal liberty?
  • What if conservatives, who preach small government, wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?
  • What if conservatives understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?
  • What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?
  • What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?
  • What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq?
  • What if a military draft is being planned for the wars that will spread if our foreign policy is not changed?
  • What if the American people learn the truth: that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and that it never changes from one administration to the next?
  • What if war and preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?
  • What if President Obama is completely wrong about Afghanistan and it turns out worse than Iraq and Vietnam put together?
  • What if Christianity actually teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression?
  • What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America?
  • What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded - nothing!
  • What happens if my concerns are justified and ignored - nothing good!

Adapted (and slightly reformatted) from a speech given on the floor of the house of representatives by the congressman from Texas Rep. Paul (I have changed the first line)

Questions that need to be asked, and so I shall repeat them here

17May/111

Grammar Bullies

Heaven knows I break rules from time to time.

The Science of Writing

I don't pretend to be awesome at the science of writing, but I believe that sharing is important.
I believe that we don't have to wait until we are perfect until we share what we believe or what we feel.

More people should share great ideas or what they learned and how they learned it. If just for themselves.

Enter Grammar Bullies

But what sometimes makes it difficult are "Grammar Bullies" people who make it their goal in life to belittle people.

There is a fine line between someone that wants to help and someone that just wants to pump their Ego.

When they read something that you write ALL they ever see are commas, periods and spelling... they don't ever read or understand content and ideas, why should we write for those pompous fools anyway? They can't look past the mark.

Their people skills are usually atrocious, why do we want to befriend them anyway?
And I love how every grammar bully ends (or begins) their statement with: "Take this as constructive help", "I don't mean to be rude", etc

I did have one person who asked to be an editor to help on my posts... that was actually a thoughtful way to do things. Sometimes their hearts are in the right place, but most of the time they just write you a well written piece of trash.

This is not a fight against grammar.

I think gammar is a good thing because it helps convey meaning. But, don't look beyond the mark.

We should try our best but we don't need to call in the professional editor just for blog posts that our friends are reading. I'm sure at some point based on the type of writing and the audience an editor is called for. Where that line is I do not know.

Sorry gotta go:

I now have 5 people here to learn about photography and they're waiting on me, I have to go. But I want to share my ideas... so funny enough... i can not even simply double check my grammar or even my spelling. so this should drive the grammar snob and grammar bullies CRAZY. But all I care about right now is venting and sharing ideas.

You can't steer a parked car... and there are so many people scared to even drive because of all the back seat drivers. You might crash but in writing you won't die. Just get out there and do it, we'll support you while you get better at writing. And ignore the bullies... no one likes them anyway, their opinions are tainted.

My friend has a great blog and someone wrote something dumb, so I responded with:

All your suggestion are somewhat pathetic reaches and some of them actually suck. "Bunked with friends"... no... it's "bunked up".

Language is used to communicate meaning, don't forget that. If he can communicate his meaning, without ambiguity, in the language best understood by the readers, then he has won.

Have you read his blog posts? He's plenty intelligent.

My suggestion for you: People skills... get them and you will go a long way with those posters you pretend to help.

Grammar errors... Did I make some? Yes. Did you understand every frickin single word and phrase I made. Yes.

Good, because I'm not calling in and paying a professional editor for a comment, nor should he have to for a blog post that simply attempts to help others.

Do your best (with grammar) don't try to suck, but don't forget the end goal... communication of an idea. Pick your battles.

Filed under: thoughts 1 Comment
12May/110

Why Liberty? : Every Soul is Free

  1. Know this, that ev'ry soul is free To choose his life and what he'll be;
    For this eternal truth is giv'n: That God will force no man to heav'n.
  2. He'll call, persuade, direct aright, And bless with wisdom, love, and light,
    In nameless ways be good and kind, But never force the human mind.
  3. Freedom and reason make us men; Take these away, what are we then?
    Mere animals, and just as well The beasts may think of heav'n or hell.
  4. May we no more our pow'rs abuse, But ways of truth and goodness choose;
    Our God is pleased when we improve His grace and seek his perfect love.

Know this, that every soul is free.
p.240 LDS hymnal

24Apr/110

The Incentives of the Power Hungry

Incentive
Stop giving them these powers... stop giving the wrong people the incentive to spend millions of dollars to get these political positions.
If all they had power over was what they "should" be doing we might be better off... over hundreds of years congress, senate, presidents and judges have been Grabbing for power. It has added up.

An example of a proper perspective
Where are the men that can come in and say
"I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country" Cpt M.

Scare Tactics
But WE have constantly been OK-ing their powers, they give us lots of one liners to scare us and we give them power.
They tell us we'll all die if they can't wire tap our phones, if they don't build bases in all other sovereign nations, if they don't go on the offensive killing people in other lands.

Power over what...??
We allowed them to have all these powers over our property, our money, our health, our media, our education, our food and our children.

The right person
And we're surprised the wrong people want power over all these things.
The right type of person would not be comfortable having power over these things he has no right to meddle in.

Hate to break it to you but the message about power is the same from the democrats to the republicans. And yet they keep on convincing us that we have to search for our answers there.

20Apr/110

Teach a Man How to Teach Himself How to Fish

The Saying Goes

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”—Author unknown

Here is how I view this statement.

The Problems:

  • Let us be careful to confuse SHOW them how to fish with teach
  • 1. You must teach them how to fish correctly. Showing them how to fish is not enough.
  • 2. They must be in similar situations for their lifetime for what you have show them to work.

If both of these (#1,#2) are sufficient then you very well might have "fed him for a lifetime"

IMPROVED

... to clarify and expand let us try this approach

"Teach a man to teach himself how to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime, no matter what.
in addition: you might very well have fed all those he comes into contact, because someone who understands the foundations of a subject is much more capable of being a teacher as they at one point taught... themselves" - Scott Jarvie

Example

A man gives a workshop on fishing to another man.

He takes him to the river to show them what he does to be successful (lest someone mistakingly believe a successful fisher = a successful teacher(automatically) )

Put this hook on the line, put this bait on it, stand on this bank of the river, throw it this far out, come here at this time of the day on this day of the week. And just like me you will catch a fish... because if I do this exact set of things there is no reason why you doing those exact things wouldn't produce the same successful results.

For anyone that fishes we know that this would never work... why? Because things change.

So you the fishing Student can ask why he isn't having the same results and the teacher can show them how to adapt. But to continue with this process on and on is only moderately better than giving them the fish.

Teach them correct principles and let them act (or govern themselves as one wise man once said)

Teach them the concepts of why a fish is interested, why they act, teach them action reaction, teach them how all their tools impact the situations and they'll see how they vary...

THE KEYS

Objectives, Tools, Cause and effect and where to find more knowledge to continue their education.
(Also I say a working vocabulary of the field so they can communicate with others and later to teach others... communication requires language and language is vocabulary)

Soon the fisherman will no longer be coming to you to find the answers to the changes and the problems he comes up against... he will be able to figure them out himself.

And how will he figure it out.

Creative Solutions - Creativity is the ability to improve... to create... to make.

WARNING

One other caveat is that their foundations be sound, meaning their principles correct and knowledge in line with those principles. The core concepts given should be correct or they will not come up with valid results.

They might still starve if one of those principles is flawed.

GUIDANCE

While I believe a person can spend minimal time being taught to fish in a way as to be able to teach himself... I still believe it of great value that person hold firm to guidance. A source of knowledge.

APPLICATION

This is how I teach my photography classes and how i try to guide my students and/or interns.

This is the approach from the Gospel in this case there are other aspects to consider, like what our guidance is and how important a part it is... that there is all sorts of mis-information, incorrect principles. But still we aim to be able to know what is good from bad... by ourselves without having to have read it on a list, and to hold firm to the guidance for assuredness because of the ever changing situations we find ourselves in, in a very complex world.

This is might help us in the area of Education. What does it mean for our methods of learnings we use all around us? For our schools.
To our teachers. Do you give them the fish? Do you show them how to fish? Or do you teach them how to teach themselves?

A couple more things to consider

Don't get me wrong showing is a part of teaching... I just worry people think showing = teaching.

Teaching yearns for an instilling of correct principles. Anything less and it takes even more teaching to correct that issue.
the more a faulty foundation is built upon the more dangerous and inconsistent the results... and the more work to fix (does it take deconstruction -> reconstruction?)

We can agree on this -> "Teaching, No Greater Call"

20Apr/110

Meeting people at LDS weddings

"You must meet a lot of girls at weddings."

"Not really"

---

Well first of all for me personally ... I'm kinda working.
And though many brides try to set me up (which is fine) I still try to not be that guy, my role is different.

Second... (I do a lot of LDS weddings and this is my theory.)

Weddings are known in popular culture to be a good place to pick up on girls. I would submit not so in the LDS culture.

  • LDS people have lots of avenues to meet people.
  • There is a stigma that everyone is going to pressure the unmarried person when at weddings so there's that push-back going on. (You can't make me like or wanna eat the delicious Ice Cream)
  • Yep lots of push-back... if people say weddings are a place to meet people then I want to make sure I'm not one of the statistics.
    Same kind of people also fight meeting people at singles wards, dating their home teacher, meeting people at dances or being set up.
  • The age group is generally younger.
  • Everyone is already married.
  • The schedule isn't set up to emphasize younger people socializing with other younger people.

I'm not saying these are good things... just stating what I perceive to be the case.

And that's my short thought on that subject. Feel free to state your additional theories... or theories to the contrary.

7Mar/110

Winning

Charlie Sheen embodies what it means to be a celebrity... and he doesn't hide it or BS you!

He is what YOU made and what you Wanted. You Winners wanted Celebrity well you got Celebrity!

Just like he says: perhaps you just can't Handle it.

Don't go thinking he's some crazy enigma that resembles none of the other people you put your time with. None of the other celebrities.

He is Hollywood, He is Celebrity, He is your Idol, He is TV, He is a modern star.

They flock to him and his Tiger Blood by the millions. He really is Winning!

Don't like that? Well perhaps you should change your definition of Winning, because to so many people he fits their opinion of Winning so well.

Don't blame Charlie for pointing this all out, don't get up an arms... What Winning standards are you going to live by?... separate yourselves, don't sit there and complain.

Are you going to take the Win for yourselves by Earning it! or are you just gonna sit there and cry and moan about how he didn't really win? What babies! You're just proving his point ever more.