Saturday, December 6, 2008
what's really real?
Not being able to think of a better title at the time I called this one 'Everything Merges'.
I have i-photo and a sample program of photoshop elements that allow me to make sure the photos I post are decent facsimiles of the originals. Not for the first time I've noticed the paintings look different depending on what computer monitor I happen to be staring at. We have two at home - my old favorite G4 powerbook with its 17" soft screen and the new mac book. The G4 loses 20% of its power on its way from the shelf to the couch so has a second plug-in over here. The paintings look fine on it, washed out on the book and fairly blah on the new Dell pc in my office. What gives?
If you have a thing, a three dimensional object with mass, then you can usually rely upon it looking pretty much the same whenever you happen to regard it, depending of course on the way it's lit or how much dirt and grime have either accumulated or been removed, it's still the same thing. It would be fitting to say you'd be disturbed to discover your favorite chair had decided to become a table sometime during the night or that your toaster had determined to change itself into a puppy (although the children might be delighted). Things change on the screen and we hardly notice unless it affects our way of getting on in the world we mutually inhabit.
At work we got the new ms vista operating system last summer and since my work requires a seemingly endless cascade of excel spreadsheets I find myself getting very nervous about the permanence and reliability of the information I'm seeing. Why is it that if I open one to search for some information and then want to close the document I invariably get a message asking if I want to save my changes? I didn't make any damn changes unless you want to count the quantum physics definition of changing things by merely looking at them. Worse still is the worry I may have changed something by accident and that the document is no longer correct. What if my bank is using the same software?
A friend is planning to buy her two children a wii for Christmas so they can pretend to bowl, play baseball and tennis. I couldn't help but ask wouldn't it be better to take them bowling but she explained it's too expensive now. We've entered a world where it's cheaper to play virtual games than real ones and I can't help but wonder if a generation will grow up thinking they know all about bowling, baseball, football and golf by proxy.
I rather like physical things. I prefer people to machines and hate that every time I make a phone call nowadays I run into machine generated voices and have to play button pushing games that take half an hour to maneuver when a person could have given me the information required in two minutes. How is this more efficient?
Anyway, I'm glad to know that when I open my portfolio again I won't be finding this instead of the image above but at least now I do know what it would have looked like if I dropped it in the bathtub. I may have wondered.. or maybe not.
If you happen to think this is an improvement please let me know.