Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: The Arts / Represent Yourself! [multimedia self portrait thread]

Friend of mine pulled a snapshot for whatever reason. He said I looked like Lenin…

…so I made this.

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Topic: The Arts / Couple of bits and bobs...

The last landscape is tricky because it’s blurry like it was shot from a moving car. There’s not much that can be done about the sharpness so that makes this a good candidate for something a little more extreme.

Here’s the original.

First, let’s take a look at the histogram. We see lots of pixels in the darker end of the spectrum and lots in the lighter end, but not much in the mid-range. We can use this to our advantage and amplify this characteristic.

Here’s what happens if we blast away everything on the light end. Interesting, but not really very pretty.

We’ll back up and just try to exaggerate what we have.

This is looking pretty good. We see that the buttes are popping well and the color is nice and rich.

I ran a quick swipe of burn across the sky at the horizon. This will add contrast between the light sky and the dark buttes. The eye is drawn to contrast so this helps the composition.

I popped a little contrast into the lighter grass areas among the trees to add foreground interest, and darkened some of the clouds, and darkened slightly the shaded sides of the buttes. I think it looks pretty good.

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Topic: The Arts / Couple of bits and bobs...

The other black and white landscape could probably benefit from the same levels adjustment.

I positioned duplicate versions side by side so people without photoshop could see the comparisons. Here’s the original histogram. Again, notice that the lightest pixels are quite a ways from being white. We’ll fix that first.

Here’s the post-curve adjusted version next to the original.

I felt like the most interesting part of this image was the narrow space between the two forms so I burned that area to make it lighter and add contrast. This draws the eye towards that space.

Here’s the single modified image on its own.

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Topic: The Arts / Couple of bits and bobs...

Portrait 2 appears to be broken. Got a 404.

Landscape 1…

Here’s the original. Again you can see that nowhere does the image have any pixels that are approaching white. This gives the image a silvery “Ansel Adams” appearance. Maybe that was what you were looking for but I’m going to play with it anyway.

Pulling in the range a little helps the ends get lighter. I also nudged the bottom end in to make the darkest few pixels go all the way to black. (Black and white don’t really exist in nature but whatever.) It’s easy to see how the range has opened up in the image. That’s pretty good for value.

I wasn’t super excited about the strong diagonals running right off the page and felt that the foreground needed a little boost. The dodge/burn tool worked fine for quickly bringing the highlights up in the foreground.

The strong diagonals still made the image too fast. My eyes basically shot right through from left to right and downward. To arrest the eye, I flopped the image so that the diagonal composition ran counter to the eye’s naturally inclination. I think the image is improved for it.

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Topic: The Arts / Couple of bits and bobs...


Portrait 1:
Interesting lines. Model’s gesture aligns with contour of rocks to establish a strong diagonal that arrests the eye’s inclination to move from top-left to bottom-right.

The shadow against her breasts is a little bit distracting, like a pin-up. The voice of the image isn’t super clear… is it about her, her body, the landscape, the space, or the story? A more naturalistic gesture might add clarity.

Proportions and values are excellent… white, blue, browns and reds… good shadow/light balance. Overall the image seems a little bit dark like it’s been polarized… perhaps it was a very bright day. This could be improved easily with some slight photoshop adjustments.

If you look at your curves you’ll see a whole expanse of pixels that never approach white. The lightest value is a mid-gray. See how your histogram basically stops before it ever gets to white? We’re gonna fix that. Here’s the original:

By sliding the white point to the lightest pixel in the image we see how the image feels “blasted” with white. This may be too much.

So let’s back off the white just a little bit and push out mid-point into the darks just a little to lighten the image overall a little bit. I think that’s a little better.

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Topic: The Arts / Cwovictor's trash bin


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Topic: Serious Discussion / Book Club 2015

Originally posted by donseptico:
Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

There’s a Charles Stross story that explicitly links Shub-Niggurath to the Lovecraftian version of a unicorn. Full-text here.

A few have already read it, so they’ll have a bit of a headstart… but reconvene in a week? (and try and find something good for the next read!)

I’m in.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Book Club 2015

Please resupply the link, Don.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Theoretic Wonders: Infinite power! Unlimited fun!

The root trees in Northern India that Implosion mentioned earlier were trained by feeding the root tendrils through hollow reeds. When the root reaches the end of the tube it branches and seeks footing. I believe the tube is cut away after the “anchor” is established. I suspect the tubing process is repeated hundreds of times.

There are several ways to direct the growth of a plant. A straw-like constraint is one way. Miniature juniper used in bonsai plants is trained using copper wire… it operates along the same principle as the straw… the wire is coiled around the branch or trunk and bent in the desired way.

Green photosynthesizing plants will reach for the sun. Light could be used to “draw” the plant into certain configurations, perhaps.

Some plants shed their leaves or needles and effectively poison the earth beneath their drip line to prevent other species from competing for water and sunlight. Perhaps some material that the plant had an aversion to could be used to repel the plant away from undesired growth patterns.

Where wind applies a constant force the trees are often bent. That has design value, maybe.

Shearing or pruning limbs and spurs will redirect a plant’s growth into the remaining limbs or spurs. This also might have some potential.

Someone above mentioned grafts. I like this idea. I don’t think one can reasonably graft a bamboo chute onto a baobab tree but what if you could?

(Here’s a baobab tree in Madagascar)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Theoretic Wonders: Infinite power! Unlimited fun!

There are a number of bicycles that use bamboo in lieu of steel or alloy tubes. (Generally the stays and brackets are constructed using traditional bike materials.)

On seeing this the first time I imagined genetically altered bamboo that could grow the entire frame… like organic 3D printing. This practice might have some relevance to the “self-creating treehouse.”

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Book Club 2015

This is something I might consider participating in. I just ordered The Quantity Theory of Insanity based on the reviews but hadn’t heard of it, or Will Self, until just now. It could be a good candidate because it’s short stories.

For those that are interested in philosophy but not interested in dull books, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations comes to mind. I enjoyed it, but would get more out of it with discussion.

Jon Ronson’s THEM: Adventures With Extremists is super lively and personable… easy, fun reading… and each chapter covers a different extremist group. Funny and fascinating.

For online essays, you could also consider podcasts to throw a wider net. This American Life and RadioLab both deliver superb narratives on human interest, science, and history. A new show called Invisibilia is showing promise for stories on human behavior and psychology. These shows are all smart, but not TOO smart.

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Topic: Technical Support / mac finder

You can try Command+Tab to cycle through your open apps (among which the “finder” is considered).

I also use Kong with Firefox and am on a Macbook Pro. I periodically find various “anomalies” when I get into Flash and Unity and all the scripts every site seems to use these days. Eventually weirdnesses appear… harmless, but inconvenient. Restarting Firefox generally helps.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

This place sucks. Sorry, I’m out. Can’t do it. I’m actually feeling frustrated, and I don’t want to feel frustrated in a place I would come for ideas. It’s all yours, lads (and lass). Goodbye.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Jantonaitis, I’m sorry that you feel that your interest in SPECIFIC DETAILS about moderation in SD is somehow more relevant in a thread titled the META-discussion on the forum as an analysis of its COMPONENTS and PURPOSE.

That doesn’t sound like my problem. That sounds like YOUR problem.

There’s nothing really in Nokken’s OP that seriously lays out any direction for a constructive discussion aside from the compelling title.

So… here’s another problem with SD’s cultural environment. Those that have “been down this road” pull rank on those that haven’t. You don’t like the conversation? Don’t address those angles… redirect… be additive… CONSTRUCT the topic that you want to discuss.

Going around and telling other people that the conversation they’re trying to have is wrong, or redundant to YOU, and sprinkling in patronizing and contemptuous summaries, like “let’s be honourable” (which is exactly NOT the point I or anyone else ever was trying to make) actually redacts from the nature of a healthy dialog. “Ontological digression” my ass… either you’re being deliberately obtuse or you’re uninterested (or incapable) of addressing the topic in the way I am. You’ve wasted a response… your time, my time… complaining about how there’s no actual brainstorming going on in this thread when that’s precisely where I’m trying to go… to explore positive rewards and identify incentives for participation.

I feel like I’m trying to have a conversation with a duck.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / PotUS' SotUA

I’m asking because I wonder if you’re trajectory is based on 5 years of observation or 40.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

Watch the video, Jantonaitis… I think it may provide an interesting perspective on the term “sell out.”

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Topic: Serious Discussion / PotUS' SotUA

Huh, that’s pretty interesting. You’re not a 24-year-old female then. How old are you? Your age certainly wouldn’t reveal anything about your identity. Or, at least, which DECADE of life are you currently in? I think that would provide valuable insight into substantiating your personal view that the US is on a downward trajectory.

I spent most of my life in Seattle, about 100 miles from the Canadian border and Vancouver/Victoria. I like Canada. It’s a nice place and the people are friendly… I don’t know if they’re as friendly a Turks, but they’re way friendlier than Spaniards. (Nobody’s as friendly as Mexicans, in my experience.) Those are all unfair generalizations. Canada is a nice place.

So… good move!

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

Cromagin, you claim that…

… we need more laws and heavier penalties for skateboarding.
… people that advocate for the under-served think they have special rights.
… skateparks increase drug use (and you have proof).
… comparing skateboarding to baseball is absurd.
… skateboarders are not serious adults.
… skateboarding is not a serious pursuit.
… Tony Hawk is a sellout. (Enjoy!)

There’s just too much work here and I’m not interested in addressing these points when it’s clear you’re entrenched in your way of thinking. You’re not bringing up these ideas because you don’t know if they’re right or wrong. You’re bringing them up because you know they’re inflammatory and dismissive.

You know, of course, that I’m an adult skateboarder… and that I’ve been skateboarding my whole life… and that I’m approaching 50. So you’re either speaking about skateboarders specifically (me) or skateboarders generally (people like me). While you may not see it, imagine your ignorant and self-righteous views if they were applied to race, or gender identity, or economic class. You would look like a bigot. That’s why I’m not really interested in talking to you about it…

… because it’s pretty clear you’re not interested in having a conversation. I think you’re looking for an argument.

As a parting effort, the reason skating works well across economic and cultural boundaries is because of its low cost of entry, low requirements for terrain. (You can skate anywhere but you need a large space for baseball.) You can do it alone; no team required. You can do it for 2 minutes or 2 hours without preparation or closure… no showers, no equipment.

AND, because it has been marketed as a countercultural lifestyle, it appeals to those that are not attracted to the regimen of team sports. Some people aren’t into being picked last… or beating other people. In competitive sports, for every winner there is a loser… and some people just aren’t interested in that, but they still want to be active and feel the camaraderie of sport and the excitement of accomplishment, and the rush of adrenalin from doing something scary.

There are 6.4-million skateboarders in the United States.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

There’s a couple of things I don’t really appreciate about how SD operates that are exemplified in this very thread.

Namely, and most obviously, it doesn’t provide any value to NEW participants to pull out the “we’ve been through this before” rationale for shutting someone down. Who’s we? You mean you’ve been through this before.

And I suppose if this has already been talked about then what’s really the point, right? It’s already figured out.

I consider that response patronizing and disruptive. Just because it’s been talked about before doesn’t mean that people aren’t allowed to talk about it again. It’s the conversation sometimes that has value and not necessarily the outcome.

The reason I’m ignoring something, Vika, is because I see no value in that line of reasoning. You framing it like I’m incapable of understanding what you’re trying to say. I understand that you are specifically addressing moderator responsibilities in communicating and enforcing SD rules and guidelines. Done… that’s established.

What I’m saying, and that you seem to be “repeatedly ignoring” is that desired behavior can be accomplished through a balance of positive and negative reinforcement. Most of the ideas I’ve heard so far are about regulation and constraint. That’s fine… but that’s half of the topic.

Where are the ideas that positively reinforce desired behavior? THAT’S why I’m asking what SD is for… why do people post here? What kind of experience are they hoping to have? What is the desired response from the existing SD populace? Vika, your condescending response of the SD forum guidelines makes me think that you’re missing the point.

I’m sorry for being so abrupt with you but I want to make it crystal clear that I don’t particularly care for that tone when you’re answering me directly.

Jantonaitis, I don’t have ANY anxiety over an “overly legalistic forum” though I can appreciate that you might, and I understand where that might come from. I’m not worried about it personally.

Like I mentioned above, my only issue with all this energy put toward the regulations of SD moderation, I think we’re missing a huge developmental white space in how we (SD community, as it were, and the mods) can reinforce and reward desired behavior amongst ourselves AND to newcomers. That’s it. Simple idea.

Regulations without reward is a security guard for an empty building. That’s the analogy.

Why is such a stupid topic so difficult? This is what I hate about SD.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Morality is not ambiguous. We all know what morality is… but the moral code is subjective. I know this is syntax but it’s a bit like saying “color is subjective” because what I imagine when someone says “color” is probably not what you imagine. “Color” is not ambiguous, but “which” color is. Saying, “I don’t believe in politics” is like saying that politics itself is a conspiracy. The better term would be “I don’t believe politics are effective in making change.”

There are some universal moral codes that we can all count on. For example, “doing good and not doing bad” is something nearly everyone adheres to. The sticky part is defining good and bad.

In an SD context, “good” might be defined as “progressing the conversation and contributing to an environment of inclusive communication.” (I’m just winging it for the sake of example. I don’t recommend that specific example as a basis for argument.)

Once some fundamental goals are established and can answer “what is SD for?”, then it should reveal the kind of behavior that should be encouraged or discouraged.

Talking about enforcement sort of puts the cart in front of the horse… like hiring a security guard before you have something to keep secure.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Well, let’s presume that we CAN measure morality. It doesn’t seem that out of reach. The challenge is not in the measurement but rather in the measurement against WHAT standard.

One might ask, “How many of the 10 Commandments have you broken this year?”

Christians may find this to be an acceptable evaluation while non-Christians may not.

An act in a supermax prison may be measured against a moral code that would be foreign to people outside of the criminal class. And an aggregate moral code might be ridiculously helpless in the predator-rich environment of prison.

So, I believe that morality can be measured and quantified… but without a standard to measure against, it’s virtually useless. One can say “Community A is twice as likely to engage in acts of interpersonal accord and conformity than Community B. However, Community B is twice as likely to engage in acts of social contract orientation as Community A.” The local norms and values disrupt the morality of that test area.

In my second paragraph, Nokken, I’m describing a simple A-B test structure… two subjects that are identical in all meaningful ways, then a change agent is introduced to one of the subjects. The difference in those subjects after a period of time is the change that the agent represents. Group A got placebos, Group B got vaccines. Both groups show the same degree of improvement which suggests that the vaccine is not effective.

One of the thought-provoking ideas above that I like is that as individuals are dynamic and may not adhere to a single behavioral code consistently. My girlfriend breaks up with me, for example, and I go out and get drunk then pick a fight with someone that didn’t do anything to me. This behavior is exceptionally poor and “I’m not usually like this.” There were unavoidable factors that had significant impact on my moral compass.

As each person is different, (though maybe not as different as we would like to think), and each person is personally capable of having “good days and bad days,” the challenge doesn’t scale well when we start thinking about communities, much less nations. If people have “bad days,” I suppose nations can have “bad days” too.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / PotUS' SotUA

I’m surprised to hear this. What is it about Canada that makes it less corrupt than the United States? What were your reasons for renouncing your citizenship? Was the process difficult? How old were you when you did that?

I’ve never had the opportunity to talk to someone that had willingly let go of their American citizenship. I have a ton of questions!

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

I’m sorry, Cromagin, but I cannot talk with you anymore. I hope you have a pleasant and informative time here in Serious Discussion. I am detecting too much antagonistic bait in your responses to take your viewpoint seriously.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Metadiscussion On "Serious Discussion": A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Components and Purpose

Nokken: Do you have any ideas on how moral equivalency can be measured? It would stand to reason that if you had a test where two communities both tested equally on the “morality scale” then some intervening factor were introduced to one of them, the variance might suggest a process by which laws and policies could be measured in terms of morality.

One clear challenge in morality standards is that people generally view them in a dystopian fashion. The Western Hemisphere in particular find the idea of theocracies distasteful. Yet, for all our collective drum-beating for the merits of freedom and personal responsibility, we still have loads of victimless crimes being enforced. (Few politicians wish to be associated with the relaxation of pornography laws, for example.) I suppose it’s a matter of framing. We frame pornography as counter to our values as a nation, yet celebrate hypersexualized entertainment and advertising as a reflection of our virility. There are pitfalls throughout a universal moral code like this.

A universal moral code can apply to humanity, nation, region, community, and an individual. Yet, at any of these tiers it’s going to be measured as a bell curve. Within humanity there will be nations that are more or less “moral” than others, and within nations there will be regions that are more or less moral, and so on.

I have very high moral standards when it comes to social equity, and very lax moral standards when it comes to sexual politics. Want to walk around town with a huge dildo strapped to your head and offer free rides? Awesome. Want to only offer free rides to white people? Get the hell out of here.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Creating Change in Your Community

I think it would be okay if you actually cited any report showing higher degrees of drug usage among skateboarders than in their surrounding populace. It’s a very bold claim that deserves substantiation. Numerous reports? I’m eagerly awaiting the PM but I’d prefer you share it with those that are involved in this discussion.

My 35 years of experience in skateboarding provides a much different view. I see skateboarders across the spectrum of involvement that are artists, scientists, politicians, teachers, deadbeats, makers, doctors, and students. Do some of them do drugs? Sure. Most don’t.

Drawing a direct parallel between skateboarding and punk rock is like drawing a connection between fly fishing and surfing because they both occur in water.

Skateboarding IS countercultural, but don’t take that to mean that it’s destructive.

There are 6,300,000 skateboarders in the United States and millions more across the planet. And skateboarding has a uniquely American vibe. In fact, for many people it has a laid-back Southern California vibe… it’s birthplace. Most professional skateboarders and central skateboarding companies reside within a 50-mile radius of where I’m writing this, (in Oceanside, California). There is nothing NOT “All-American” about it. Skateboarding is at least as American as baseball… it just hasn’t been formalized and marketed like baseball.

Did you know that baseball was once illegal? Kids would play stickball. The ball crashes through the window of a Bronx apartment. Resident calls the cops, and the cops show up and shoo the kids off. Few days later it happens all over again. Eventually towns began putting in baseball fields everywhere. Today it’s hard to find a town WITHOUT a baseball field. Why? Because what was once fringe became normal.

Splitting Hairs Department: (@cromagin) You didn’t actually say you like skateparks. You said you’re “all for” skateparks then rattled off a bunch of reasons why you were against them. There’s a bit of a difference.

I would ask this: Why do you think it’s important to provide youth with a place to pursue their entertainment?