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Witless
happy.. sad.. happy
34 years old
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London
Born May-11-1983
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Listing all my interests and trying to fit them here would be an exercise in futility. I tend to like anything and everything, especially new things. I like breaking things and seeing how they work and I count people as things.
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Witless

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6 Jan 2013
I read this article today on the tram.

Similar thoughts have crossed my mind. While I am aware of the the generalisations. I can't help but feel the, "strong, career, minded, independent woman that doesn't need a man" is a bit of a stifling trap. I'd say there are more pressures today than when women were expected to be stay at home wives. Not that I think forcing that situation was any good either.

My belief has always been that people should be allowed control over their lives, whatever that entails. Instead I sometimes think we've replaced one set of expectations with one that are stricter, but dressed it up as "empowerment" so it can be described as being positive.

I would say truly feeling in control of your life involves living the life you wish without feeling guilty for doing so. Not being successful in the way others compliment you on.

I'm not sure though. Maybe me and the articles author are reading the world around us poorly. Maybe having a great education and career lead to freedom but in a different way that people aren't recognising.

A thread started entirely from a phone. I am living in the future.
20 Aug 2012
This isn't exactly a world crushing issue. But in the industry I (and a lot of the people on these forums) work in it is a big one.

How do you guys feel about the how copyright is handled in music, games, film and other creative media?

I'll go into my thoughts about it from here. I am not against copyright as such, but I am really starting to dislike the modern day interpretation. First I'll go into what I think copyright should be.

Copyright was created way back in the 1700s in the UK because the original creators of work would often be ruined when printing press companies would print 1000s of copies of their written works without their consent. This would ruin the abilities of writers to make a living since the printing press companies would make all the profits out of their hard work. When these people were ruined, they left the world of writing books behind and the people would lose great writers so everyone except the printing company would lose out.

Copyright law came in to effect not to protect companies in this situation, but to encourage creatively minded people that their work could be profitable to them and not be stolen. Also (and this is key to what I believe about copyright law) it only lasted a short time (14 years back in 1710). That was considered adequate time for someone to make money out of their work and to go on to make new works. The idea wasn't to come up with one story and make anyone that wanted to use it for the rest of time to pay through the nose to do so for all time.

Copyright these days doesn't really feel like it encourages creativity at all. Some one coming up with an idea for something certainly doesn't feel in charge of what they have created. Very often the first clause in any kind contract is to make something of your ideas is that you sign over the copyright over to any distributor that helps you make money out of what you have done, with the added clause that X number of things you create after that automatically get signed over to them too. Admittedly book writers and painters are often more in charge of their creations than authors things for comics, tv and film, but even then they lose control whenever adaptions come in to play.

Now consider also that current copyrights last for the life time of the original creator plus 70 years. On top of that, distributors of copyrighted work seem to have the power to clamp down on anything that is even paying homage to or even vaguely inspired by something they own. That doesn't sound like copyright law is encouraging people to share their ideas with the world, it feels like copyright law has been warped into being exactly what it was invented to stop, which was to protect creators from being pushed into not wanting to share things in case they lose control over what they do.

How many times have you read a book, watched a film, or seen a painting and found out that it's been inspired by someone else? Imagine if Disney hadn't been able to make any of it's films because the descendants of the original writers of stories like Alice in wonderland disallowed them to, or if Lord of the Rings never saw the light of day because the old owner of the copyright had been rich enough to turn down the offer to sell the rights even though J.R.R Tolkien himself had been dead for 30 odd years.

In the past that was considered a quite normal to be inspired by old works, yet recently and increasingly copyright law is being used to penalise inspiration, like the pub that was asked to shut down or change it's because it was called the Hobbit (thank you Stephen Fry and Ian Mckellen for helping put an end to that nonsense).

Think of this, in our life time we will never see someone try a new take on the Star Wars universe without large amounts of George Lucas's intervention. I'd love to see what a Star Wars The Old Republic film would look like in the hands of a new director unrestricted by Lucas film. But with the life time of George Lucas plus 70 years being the length of the copyright it'll probably never happen. How is that increasing creativity in the world?

My personal solution would be to reduce the length of copyright back down to a figure like 30 years in length, and also to give writers for film and tv more power over their work. Right now we seem to be in some kind of remake-geddon (a Batman reboot is already in the talks (seriously)). Most people sit with the reason that it's because large studios like the safety of a franchise with an already existing fan base. But I think there's also the reasoning of copyright. A lot of studios just like to milk copyrighted works they own over and over, they like to continue investing in something they already put money into acquiring. I fully believe this remake-topia we're currently in will not ended for a while yet. If copyrights ended after 30 years, ideas would be free to the world again to become what they will, which opens it up people being able to be inspired by works they grew up with and loved, and forces studios to go back to that good old method of coming up with new ideas more often.


The games side of the copyright thing I think is different so am writing about that here. DRM (digital rights management) is crap and needs to go. It doesn't stop pirates since they are pirates and crack the DRM and makes it more difficult regular legal gamers to play. It's been said 1000 times, and needs to be said again. I know there's this belief that without DRM PC gaming would be gone but this tells me otherwise. There's been a bit of back and forth with games (and movies) about exactly how much money is being lost to pirating. The view seems to be that every single pirated game IS a game sale lost. As if some how without pirating all those piraters would have found the money to buy all those games. That's a big leap to make in my mind and it's a big leap in many people's minds.

I think the same thing as my friend that works in the "dark side of the internet" other wise known as tracking people's movements on the internet. He (and I) think it's a supplier problem, not a customer problem. In a digital age we'd like to be able to get digital content easily. There's a reason Steam does so well. It's cheaper than the store, it's cheaper than getting direct from the company (during sales) it's convinient, and it makes it easier to stay in touch with your gamer friends and track if you own games you can play together. I know so many people that say "if it's not on steam, I won't buy it" a great deal of the time, I am the same as that. If it's not available through an easy to use system that doesn't involve me having to add to my collection of instruction manuals with CD keys on them then I think, "I'll pass". I would be interested to find out if there is a relationship between games being available on steam (and similar services) without DRM vs how much pirating goes with that game.

DRM feels like punishing legitimate game buyers for the actions piraters which aren't stopped anyway.

I am not anti-copyright as such, I would just like to see copyright be used to invite more people to do something creatively and to feel the law is on their side. It often feels like it's either going to put their work in the hands of someone else hand if they want to make something big of it, or punish them with some copyright infringement charge which causes people to keep everything private. That is fine, but being able to make a life out of something you love is a good goal to work for in life, and copyright law as it stands is in my opinion hurting that in the creative industry.
25 Feb 2012
I posted about this on facebook, but i'll post it here anyway because I suspect it will be discussed for more than a day here.

I personally regard the human race as being in the early times of the first stage of an energy crisis. There's a lot of us in the world, and even is we cut out energy use in half, we'd still have to increase how much we generate if we wanted to give people in the poorer areas of the worlds a better lot in life. With fossil fuels being finite and the population of the world continuing to increase that seems unlikely.

I learnt about how much money it would take to allow everyone in the world to have access to less than half of the average american. The total amount of energy needed for that to become true would be for the human race to generate 30 terawatts of energy per year which is double what we currently generate. So we'd have access to half the amount of energy of the average american but need to double how much we generate.

When looking at all the forms of energy generation we have, we are screwed. They are either finite (fossil fuels) or produce far to little energy to do the job. Even Nuclear fission (the form of energy that produces the most energy that won't run out) falls way too short. We'd need to build a new power station every week for 25 years to produce 5TWs of that 30TWs.

The only thing we have going for us is that we might get nuclear fusion working. If we did then that'd be the human races get out of jail free card since that produces a hell of a lot without polluting the hell out of our planet to do it. We would have gotten our hands on the method used for 99.999999...% of all energy generation of the universe. The human race will have solved the energy problem.

The problem is that it currently hasn't been perfected yet. The world currently spends 1 billion pounds a year on the research effort, that's less than the cost of 7 jet fighter planes. The UK last year spent more money on mobile ring tones than on research and development to trying to get nuclear fusion working. So my hopes are not high that this is going to be figured out in time to save us all from what I believe to be a particularly unpleasant world war 3 when resources run low (That's my prediction for what the countries of the world will do.)

Do you guys think that more needs to be spent on nuclear fusion research or invest more money in technology we know to be working and bite the bullet and just build an obscene amount of it all?

I'd like to believe we can maybe cut down how much energy we need to use. The average american sits at 10KW the worldwide average is 1.7KW and some areas of the world are less than that. That power usage isn't merely electricity. That's includes number of calories used to keep them alive. To even get everyone on 5KW would require a massive amount of extra energy generation. But perhaps maybe you guys think there is other ways of reducing energy usage?

Discuss.

PS. Some info in this post from the documentry I linked above and some here.

PPS there is possibly spelling and grammar errors all over this. I haven't proof read it because I need to go shower. I may come back and fix it when I get the chance. Hopefully it makes sense until then.
24 Oct 2011
Some of you might not have heard about this, some of you have. But this is about the Chinese toddler that was hit and run over by a truck, then run over again. All the while by standers just walk on by ignoring the event deciding not to get involved. It wasn't until the 19th passer by came that someone did anything. The whole event was caught on cctv.

I'll post a link to the youtube video, but before you click it, be warned you may not want to see it. It's pretty horrific and upsetting to be honest.

Here's the link

There's been lots of speculations on the why. Some more racist folk are saying it's what chinese people are like. The chinese people themselves are feeling ashamed at what they regard as declining morales in the shadow of their rapidly changing culture and country.

The day after this happaned, an American woman rescued a woman that wanted to commit suicide from a lake, risking her own life in the process. A lot of people in the chinese online community are frustrated that a foreigner would jump in to help before any chinese would (I'm starting to think China's on the brink of a bit of a cultural revolution.)

Then there's lots of psycologists describing the Bystander effect.
QUOTE
"According to a basic principle of social influence, bystanders monitor the reactions of other people in an emergency situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Each person uses others’ behavior as clues to reality. Since everyone is doing exactly the same thing (nothing), they all conclude from the inaction of others that help is not needed. This is an example of pluralistic ignorance or social proof. The other major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything."


Aside from the horror of that happening at all. What do you guys think? Do you think it's more likely to happen in modern China than the wealthier western countries. A quote from the driver of the first truck,
QUOTE
"If she is dead, I may pay only about 20,000 yuan ($3,125). But if she is injured, it may cost me hundreds of thousands yuan"

Which is a disturbing but truthful statement. That genuinely isn't true in Northern America and Europe at the least.

Some Chinese are also bringing up a 2006 court case involving a young man named Peng Yu after he tried to help a fallen elderly woman on the streets; the judge of the case ruled that “common sense” suggested that Peng only took to the woman to the hospital because he was guilty.

I know the bystander effect is universal, there have been a few cases in the UK of homeless people dying and being left for 2 days before anyone checked to see if their OK. Off the top of my head I can think of at least one case where someone was beaten, abused, and shot and the people in the local neighborhood all heard it, but no one called the police. They just assumed someone else would do it. But would the bystander effect in the west be quite as full on as in that video? Or is something weird going on in China?

That thought is rolling around my head.

Also, hello again issues forum. Sorry for returning with such a horrible story.
12 Jun 2010
So I FINALLY finished my first solo animated project since I finished uni. But I learnt a lot out of making it, going to take a short 3-4 day break from doing proper project work to job hunt 12 hours a day (and also to escape the "joys" of freelance work (or lack of work even). Before I start the next project which I already have the rough script penned down in the most scruffy note book in the universe.

Anyways, here it is.

Hope you like.
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