Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Reflecting on Auschwitz - My thoughts regarding my visit in 2017.

An interest of mine is the history of WW2 and the horrors around it for the average people, I like the thought that we should not forget, that we must prevent future calamity by recalling historical disaster.  In 2017, for the first but I hope not the last time, I visited Auschwitz.  It is something of a new tradition, as my Step-Grandfather visited after WW2 and my Step-Dad wanted to go and he wanted me to go as well.  I imagine that next time I go it will be with my brother as we create the family tradition. 

The visit to the countryside of Poland in the spring is quite pleasant, away from the city where I was staying and out to the main camp, the best known, place of modern historical genocide.  Preserved buildings and streets like a small and very organised town, tourists on their pilgrimage to a mecca for remembrance.  People from across the world, those speaking a dozen languages in separated groups lead by multilingual guides.  Headsets connected to short-range radios, allowing the group to hear, over the sound of other parties, the voice of the tour guide.  The sense of history, the quiet between words, the methodical grinding of those people killed in this place o nearby.  And this was only the first camp.  In the day-trip, our party was to visit Both Auschwitz One, the main camp, and Birkenau, the second camp with the famed train station that is common to the photography of Auschwitz and the Holocaust in general. 

Of those things to note of the first camp, the quiet, the lack of birds, the mumbling of the tourists broken by cold silences and the walking of our boots on the cold floor in these old buildings.  The talking between guests, the tears in the eyes of some and cold wide-eyed expressions from others.  The buildings hold a neutral smell, they look much older than they are, and it's like walking through the castles of England with their bloody histories layered over centuries long past.  Yet this is not ancient history, this is history in the lifetime of my grandparents' generation.  Not a 12th-century affair but a 20th-century horror story, still fresh in the dirt of the land with the ashes of a million souls scattered in the region.  The gas chamber, in one piece, restored from its broken parts by the survivors who turned such places into a lesson from the past.  a watchtower, the train tracks, the fences and barbed wire, the places where the innocent where shot and the place where the guilty Nazis were later hung.  

Birkenau, unlike the town scene, is a camp in a more traditional sense, buildings small and rectangular, many still stand, most are ruins, just the foundations.  The large fences extend around, the main building is the train station building, and there is a carriage on the train tracks. The carriage is the kind of thing that would have carried cattle before WW2, during the Holocaust it carried people for hundreds of miles, for days, for what the victims of the Holocaust believed was relocation.  They had little idea that they were to suffer a fake unworthy of any human being.  They would arrive, be divided up by a Nazi doctor, the workers and those who were too old, too weak, too young, etc.  Those able to work when to the cabins, those others were taken to the showers.  The workers would shower too, and I'm sure that some wondered if they were to be killed or washed when they began to release what the true situation was.

Guard towers, more wire fences, stretching out, able to hold thousands of people at any one time, and in one of the cabins that we were allowed to enter, the room was small but they could fit fifty people inside.  The roof wasn't perfectly connected to the walls, snow and rain would creep in onto those victims of German National Socialism, but there were things worse than that.  The cramped starving people under bottom bunk were fouled upon by those above, there were no toilets, no corner suited to the task, and most, by the end, were waiting for death.  Meaning the floor would have been most foul.  The young and old stuck, waiting, freezing, dying in the night, your warmth next to a corpse not realised until the morning. 

The large area was as quiet as death, no birds, and as we saw the rubble of the gas chambers and asked some questions, the guide noted that the ashes of the dead were scattered throughout the areas of the camp.  We were walking on the powered remains of Holocaust.  The day was dry, the ground was a little soft, the tour guide, who was descended from a survivor, she told us this fact as we stood on a patch of grass next to the remains of one of the gas chambers.  Such moments in the day trip gave pause for thought, a glimpse of a perspective of a universe that views human life in an indifferent manner.  And the only thing that I found unfortunate was the speed of the tour, too quick for my wishes, and the Jehovah's Witnesses, like birds of prey, waiting outside to hand out leaflets to the shocked and emotional.  

EvilBay Bargain Cameras(From China)

Substandard Cameras - An opinion piece

EvilBay should ban many Chinese businesses/accounts. selling 24mp cameras for 30-60 pounds and in reality, they'd 8-12mp effective, it's a total scam. Iso will be low poor, there will no no stabilisation, limited controls over settings, the lens clarity will be mediocre, and if you're lucky you have no standards and think buying new is enough. Maybe the benefit of your bias towards your choices will make you think you got a bargain, but you can get much better video(and audio) and image quality from a mobile or a second-hand camera by a known name.

So why buy what might be called a pro-camera by a Chinese company that literally created a chunky compact and listed it in the DSLR or Mirrorless second of the eBay Digital Camera second?? If you want the same quality as the faux 24MP(really 8MP) Chinese knockoff that tries to look like the homeless cousin of an Olympus, well, why not get an older Olympus or Leica? if it's just for common use a model from 5-8 yrs ago will be cheap enough, look better, and offer all you need. Or, for vlogging, buy any half good compact camera that offers 1080p video quality and image quality doesn't need to be high in the megapixels for it to matter. after all, you cannot see the difference between a 14mp camera and 16 or 18mp camera unless you check the details in depth or if other factors to the camera and sensor have varied too.

An 8-year-old Canon or Nikon DSLR(Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera will offer you everything you need for fairly good photos, and you can pick from a variety of old and new lenses. And with some older cameras, they're a great cheap option for full frame photography on a budget, or at least good quality images with a fair sized sensor. Unlike the Chinese cameras that get onto ebay, which are very amateurish products that often cost more new than a good cheap camera second hand. And you may see them for 30 pounds if you buy from another person who saw one for 60, they then realised they got screwed on the product and couldn't return it. So the used market on the crappy camera is an option if you buy one.

The Chinese cameras you see on eBay are made to look different to most cameras, they're the ones that don't strictly cross the copyrights of other companies, but those sometimes appear too. A Nikon camera look-a-like with a screw mount for the lens and a battery that barely holds charge. Often the power used in a video will mean you can't use it for vlogging with ease, and the compact Chinese knock-off cameras often run on AA or AAA battery types, meaning you'll need a good set of rechargeables that offer great performance and a battery charger, so now you cost isn't 35 pounds for the compact but 50 including good rechargeable batteries and charger. And some don't accept modern SD(SDHC)cards above 8gig.

So a few drawbacks to a would-be bargain.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Sony Nex-3 - basic review

I have tried out a number of the camera on the Nex range of Sony Cameras, the Nex 3 & 5 are very good for hobbyists, reasonable quality and with adapters, it opens up a word great lenses, old and new.  The nex-3 is 14mp, and let due to sensor size and use of an average lens you get a far greater quality than a good end compact with more megapixels.  even with an old m42 lens, or even a CCTV lens, you can get some great shots.  So you can get these cameras for a very cheap price now, and a vintage lens may work out well for you, myself I've used Pentax lenses and found very good results.  street photography results aren't bad for a camera that's been around for a fair number of years. 

If you go for this camera at the right price, about £50 with cable but no lens then I think you'll get good results.  Alternatively look up the later models in the nex range or for higher end camera look up the A5000(£110 used and without lens) or the A5100(about £300 used and without lens).  Small mirrorless cameras off a sense of the DSLR market minus weight, cost, and options, so settings are streamlined and so will lack features with DSLRs, but you'll get what you need for college or hobby activity. 

I gave the Nex 3 the star rating 5, because it is cheap and effective, and unless you've got the megapixel fever, you'll be fine with the 14mp camera. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Didn't you know?

It is so easy to find butthurt on Youtube, some people don't realise how easy it is to find out a lot out then, their true names, the names of their kids, their home address, previous jobs, business activity, etc.  And how?  public information they leave public on social media. 

I used an example of Rose(Deborah) who left most of her data online for anyone to find, and with a little cooperation with various people to research evidence of her sexual activity online came to light.  needless to say I need not share her content here, her webcam stuff, semi-nude vlogs, etc.  Nor her personal details.  We found out a lot about her, and I don't want to know what has been found since.  Needless to say my view on Dropping Documents is you shouldn't.  

Why note this?  because you can be easily found online.  I know it's old news, but if you care about your information then I wouldn't leave it all public.  With Rose, she even had her failed business linked, her background, family links, and the fact she is an actress of sorts, while also being a spiritual healer. 

So the lesson is this, if I can find this then so can anyone. 

"Reverse Racism"???

"Reverse Racism"?


You can be racist about your own ethnic group, a national group or another racial identity type. Well, if you wish, it seems silly to me, as does the term "reverse racism". However, the concept of racism by a person towards their own general group or type isn't reverse racism as much as racism... Unless we talk of this argument being used as a cheap fallacy to undermine an argument that is a matter of a recognised social inequality. That's if it is an inequality.
However, even inequalities can be selected or suggested, and even if institutional in one place/region the local concern may be far from so elsewhere. In such cases, it can easily far from proven.

In the end, doesn't everything that matters come back to what is evident??


If we consider the evidence as opposed to reactionary opinions and selected factoids then what might be the best way to judge a case of this type of racism??

We shouldn't jump to conclusions, we cannot assume various facts nor selected quote for pro or con values to prop up a premise. And, we shouldn't confuse ignorance or indoctrination for malicious intentions. We could find our opinion are correct, yet until we're sure of this the barking of buzzwords is counter-productive and part of a mechanism to confront an argument while not truly engaging it. Just as any number of other methods used can respond to an argument while not truly arguing against it.


What are we left with after the dust has settled?

Our sound reasoning and our demand that we ever try to improve upon it.


"Reverse Racism" is a term that expresses very little other than the wholesale labelling of people and arguments that fall just over an imagined fence. And this line in the sand shift accord to the thinker's political views, making it far from a practical term. It is a meme in internet culture and lacks a clear definition, not that this stops the usage of the term. Indeed, the very real problem with internet culture is how definitions of serious terms are made cartoonish or are warped by feelings, or, for that matter, the effect in an argument. And that is the root of internet terms, or those made popular via internet culture, they're a rhetoric device and not a sound scientific or philosophical tool.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A few thoughts - 7th Nov. 2017.

The dead of the illusion of eternal life may lead more people to respect each other. Who can look at a murder or accident and not feel that a billion moments was lost early?? Who would raise arms against another if they understood the cost, and unless they're taxed by life and those who seek to repress them they'll see that harm is objectively immoral. When times call for defence you do what you must, but when you have no need to do harm is poisonoius to all of us apart from the sociopaths who don't care and the psychopaths who enjoy inflicting pain upon others. 

The illusion crumbles but we like the good parts, so we might steal a few ideas and use them as a pseudo-belief and call it open-minded and spiritual while we're just trollin through ideas looking for the key to happiness.  And you may find a key in an unexpected place, beyond the magic and energy and day dreaming.  Where reason and hope run together, because a true immortality, or as true as you can get, is the mark you leave on the world.  Saving the world one step at a time and making things better for future generations.  No need to make up ideas or jump on a belief, but add something to the world, even if you're forgotten your acts will carry value as you make life for others a bit better.