Category: Media

In Memoriam

One day we may live in a world without newspapers and landlines. A quarter of Americans do not have a landline and report having a cell phone only. More Americans are now report getting their news from the internet than newspapers. In the fast paced global community people want the convenience of mobility and the speed of instant updates. And while these innovations serve as signs of progression in the age of modern technology there may be something amiss about the thought that future generations and even some individuals  of the current generation may never know the simple satisfaction of enjoying a cup of coffee and leisurely reading a newspaper. Future generations may never use the phrase “house phone” and may not be cognizant of a world without cell phones. What a sad day that may be. But then again, the only thing scarier than change is the idea that things may never change.


A Breakthrough in Movement

Scientists in Geneva announced a week ago that they had documented a finding that would shake the scientific world. These scientists claimed to have clocked a subatomic particle traveling 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. For those of us without doctoral degrees in physics, including myself, we ask ourselves the question…okay…so what??? From my understanding of the current science news reporting, Einstein’s Theory E-MC2 states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light and the field of modern physics is founded on this theory. For this foundation and near fundamental theory of modern physics to be disapproved would be an earth shattering discovery in the scientific community. So to scientists around the world, this discovery is a pretty big deal. However, I am still not physicist–what I find most interesting about this discovery is the rate at which this news has spread not only to the scientific community, but to the population around the world. In my opinion, this finding would be similar to findings Galileo made back in the early 1600s. Galileo had scientifics findings that supported a theory that the earth revolved around the sun. At a time when few could read, few could write and many scientific findings were scrutinized or banned by the Catholic church, news of groundbreaking scientific discoveries traveled slow, if at all. In today’s society the widespread availability of news allows people globally to have immediate access to information via the internet, television and social media sites. In constrast to Galileo’s findings, within an instant of the scientists in Geneva’s findings being published, news of the discovery had been printed in articles both in newspaperes and online, broadcast on television networks around the world and even tweeted to millions of social network followers. People around the world received notification of this potentially huge scientific finding almost instantly, whereas not even hundreds of years ago but even decades ago this news would not have traveled so far or so fast. Do people necessarily understand or even care about this new scientific finding—that’s still to be determined, however now people have access to this information through the multitudes of high speed and widely available media news outlets.

For just a little over three hundred dollars you can get the ePhoto Camcorder Steady Shoulder Rig with Follow Focus for DSLR Video Cameras. Other comparable rigs run anywhere from five hundred to a thousand dollars. Other rigs do typically include a weight on the back of the shoulder rest but the ePhoto rig does have straps where you can put your own weight, a 2.5 pound five dollar weight from Wal-Mart works great. Now it is possible to just get the Rig for one hundred seventy dollars but at some point if you want follow focus and you will buying them together saves you roughly forty dollars. After experiencing follow focus its almost impossible to think of life without it, a simple piece of rubber wraps around and locks on the focal ring of your DSLR. Then you attach a knob to your rig that interlocks with the ridges one your focal ring, this makes the knob act as a handle that stabilizes your shot while allowing you to maintain amazing control of your depth of field. You may also use the same principle on a telephoto lens to give you equal control over the zoom functions of the lenses, however it isn’t possible to control zoom and focus at the same time with the ring. That being its only drawback, I realize three hundred dollars isn’t an insignificant amount of money but for the control and stabilization that this can give to your DSLR and the next comparable set up being almost double in price this is a must have for any low budget filmmaker.

In a recent TIME article Ken Burns was quoted as saying “I think this will be the great struggle with our civilization, the idea that we can substitute artificial experiences for real experiences.” The threat of artificial experiences–those that are digitally created– replacing our real or natural ones is imminent in the Digital Age. In a time where there is mass appeal in the mimicry or creation of artificial experiences, we lose sight of our real ones. Corporations also stand to gain profit by finding ways to make everyday experiences in life easier, faster, more convenient and more entertaining.

Take for instance the everyday experience of social interaction: with the overwhelming popularity of internet dating and social networking sites people now need only to log onto a computer to be social. Friendships and relationships are created, maintained and even “deleted” at the click of a mouse. With the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter, even the Google corporation has invested in a new social networking site, Google +. How will this affect future generations’ ability to interact in person?

But the effect of these digital experiences extends beyond replacing our real ones extends beyond social interaction. Kids today can build a civilization on a computer game but cannot build anything with their hands. Kids can score a touchdown on the Madden video game but no longer run outside and spend time holding a real football. Why would companies invest money in educational or recreational programs for kids when there’s more money to be made in producing digital substitutes? I am inclined to agree with Kens Burns, the threat of artificial experiences replacing our real ones may be the great challenge of our modern, digitalized civilization.