02 June 2009

Stranger to the Truth? or Photo of the Week 22

I guess I got under OT's skin again. I'm sure it won't be the last time.

And wasn't I talking about transference last time -- that is, the tendency of our adversaries to act out the very behavior they are projecting on us? Weren't Spix's remarks fraught with more than a little meanness? And what do Childress & Co. mean by muckraking? Would an example be like when one's photoblog of nature pics stalls, so you (once more) hit OT up side the head, and, sure enough, the regulars drift back for another round robin of snarky personal comments? Would that be muckraking?
I guess OT can't tell the pot from the kettle. OT fired the first shots, and continues to do so, in speaking out with ad hominem attacks and a plethora of other forms of personal attacks. Whining about Rick's comments is a little petty coming from the stream of attack posts at OT. Go look at their archives for many examples.

Sorry, but the muckraking was Toby's word, not mine. I guess following the OT logic because Toby said it, and I didn't delete it, it's the same as me saying it.

Regardless, how many times have I said complementary things about OT posts? I guess in response I deserve a snide remark about posting photos. Whatever. I post the photos because I choose to. I comment on OT's posts when I choose to.

One thing is for certain, no one has ever accused OT of being truthful. Take this comment on a recent post,

But wait. Hold the (cell) phone. It seems Childress has revamped the comments policy on his blog to read:

Comments may be deleted if I think they cross the line as to what I find acceptable.

Meaning, I guess, "if I don't like them." But that's okay because Childress can still claim the moral high ground over us since:

I will indicate that a comment has been deleted if I have the need to delete a comment.

Such a disclaimer, of course, absolves Childress of any ethical fuzziness. Why just delete a comment when you can also publicly embarrass the person who made it?

Recently? Hardly. I put those comment up well over a year ago when I created the blog. And, to clarify for the benefit of OT's obtuseness, the policy primarily pertains to profanity. But, I do claim the moral high ground over OT because I speak the truth. I have no need to lie, as OT repeatedly has in the past. I have no need to levy ad hominem attacks.

Since I'm feeling less apathetic at the moment, I'll address more OT misgivings.
Childress also has political problems with OT:
Nope. I have problems with inept attempts to make political statements with art that isn't suitable for political statements.

However, on the recommendation of OT I did wander over to view Guido's images. I will say they are more appropriate to that topic than any image OT has tried to use in a similar manner. But, political or social commentary using fractals doesn't interest me in the least. I've never seen it done well, and to me, it speaks more about the artist than the topic.

Update: I'll add that, IMO, Guido's images only work to the degree they do because they have a semblance of photo-realism to them. Had they been more abstract, they wouldn't have worked any better than any other attempt I've seen at using fractal art to make a political or social comment. I'll challenge again, if anyone has examples of this done well, I'm interested in seeing it.

As for my blurb,
“This program is the most versatile and easiest to use of just about any program I have used, not just fractal programs.”
Ken Childress
I said exactly that. It was over 10 years ago when I made that comment to Frederik. It still stands true today. Where I differ from most is that I don't have the need to bash those programs I don't use, don't like, or don't understand. I realize people should use the tools they want to create what they want. There are many tools for many purposes. The fact that one stands far above all others seems to bother some to the point that they need to levy endless criticisms of the program and those who like to use it. It's sad really.

And, just to please OT, I'll conclude this post with this week's photo.


kymarto said...

intr.v. muck·raked, muck·rak·ing, muck·rakes
To search for and expose misconduct in public life.

It sells, whether true or not. Just ask the National Enquirer, Star Magazine or The Mirror. "Aliens dressed like Elvis ate my baby". "Hackers can turn your home computer into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens!" "Will there be a 2011 Fractal Universe Calendar?"

Heady stuff...


Ken said...


I'm sure they know the definition, they are just pretending to be obtuse.

I'm kind of surprised Tina responded to their questions. I don't think the questions are serious. I think they are just intended to present the appearance of being concerned about the calendar. I doubt the answers will stop the complaints.

The OT authors are very much like your political extremists. They have an ideological view, and facts that challenge that view or expose it to be wrong don't matter. The ideology is what is important, not the facts.

Stephanie said...

In re: you comments:

"...I have problems with inept attempts to make political statements with art that isn't suitable for political statements.

...Had they been more abstract, they wouldn't have worked any better than any other attempt I've seen at using fractal art to make a political or social comment..."

These comments uncomfortably seem to substantiate what I have heard from non-math inclined observers who state that fractals are pretty pictures of absolutely nothing at all. What value is there in making pictures of nothing? What are fractals suited to represent?

I remember visiting the Museum of Natural History in Chicago many years ago and walking through a warehouse-sized room consisting of butterfly collections. Collecting butterflies was a favorite hobby as a child but seeing that huge collection changed my entire thinking about it. Millions of butterflies pinned to boards inside glass-fronted wooden boxes seemed to be a direct affront to their individual beauty. Their deaths seemed to have been redundant and in vain, and such a waste. No one could possibly see and appreciate all of them; how many butterflies can one possibly look at without becoming bored? Sometimes, fractals stir similar feelings for me. How much "nothing" can one stand? How much meaning can "nothing" hold? If fractal art has no meaning, can it have any value whatsoever?

Perhaps the correct answer to the question to, "What is a fractal?" might be, "Fractals are a representation of math, period." If this is true, then perhaps fractals have little future outside the math community.

So, my question is: what do fractals mean? What do they represent? My grandfather was a math wizard and he stated that math can explain/describe anything. So, what are fractals describing and/or explaing? I have wondered about this for years now.