All Thing Being Equal…… (Thing is, They’re Not)

jal

This post has me on an emotional roller coaster.

It starts as the twitter version of “I Have A Dream”.

It ends with ‘diverse/different doesn’t always = best’ – which….. fine – fair point.

But it’s that middle sentence.  “We are getting closer because everyone is considered now, but people are now chosen because of their diversity” (emphasis mine).

I’m not sure if this dude is flat out ignorant/bigoted, but if he was trying to be slick…….

Let’s just say if he winked any harder at his “secret” bias, he’d crush his eyeball.

To believe that opportunity is now universal and free from bias is the height of naivete, borderline ignorant, and at worst, closet bigotry via gaslighting. Racism is a thing; Classism is a thing; Sexism is a thing; Discrimination is a thing, and all of it permeates into any and all opportunities.

Then, to state – in no uncertain terms – that determining factors come down solely to race/gender, and accounting for the statement above where different =/= best, is also to say that you think someone else could have done the job better if they weren’t different; aka if they weren’t a minority.  It’s predetermined that an individual who happens to be a minority has not earned their spot; they were gifted it “because” they’re diverse or different; that there is certainly someone more qualified/deserving –  and that person would not have been different.

There are those who will have read that comment and who have been on the receiving end of closed doors due to their being different or diverse.  At the same time that people are chosen with the goal of diversity in mind, there exists more cases of those being denied because diversity isn’t valued, or worse, discouraged and feared.  Those people may feel the social subconscious that has kept them from achieving that which they are qualified for is represented in the attitude that different =/= best.

So, I replied.

If all you’ve ever eaten in your life is ham sandwiches, you probably can tell what the best ham for a sandwich is. You don’t have anything against other lunch meats, but you’re comfortable with ham and you know it well. Sure you’ve had turkey (for thanksgiving) and (fried) chicken; they’re fine and great, just not in a sandwich. Ham is for sandwiches.

The difficulty is, if you never try other types of sandwiches, then you wouldn’t really have any idea if you’re actually getting the best sandwich, nor would you be a good judge of good/bad sandwiches in a different context. Ham and cheese is well and good, but french dip is really good too with a different approach to a sandwich – but you wouldn’t know that.

The reason we even argue over “inclusion” is getting some people to choose beyond just what they’re comfortable with or they think “will sell” (or avoiding what they’re biased against). Without working with those from another walk of life – via forced interaction* or by conscious decision – they may continue to choose only what they’re comfortable with and we will never have the opportunity to learn what the best is.

*I am not an advocate for FORCED inclusion, but I also recognize that some people have ingrained biases that ruin things for everyone; those people should be removed from a position of decision making. In lieu of that being an option since we can’t easily identify biases and discriminators, we have forms of forced inclusion that – at the very least – creates an opportunity for those in the minority.

Yeah, I slow peddled it.  I wanted to try and get the conversation moving a little, playing to ingrained biases that we’re all blind to on some level and hoping to get that point acknowledged to start.

The words didn’t make it through.  The discussion devolved into a poor comparison of analogies with basketball teams and short people, Asian people, disabled people, etc. that could never make up the best basketball team.  Depending on context, that’s untrue: Everything requires context.  We don’t play basketball in a vacuum.  We certainly could make up the best basketball team depending on our situation, but I digress.  We never even got to the heart of the issue.  The point, that even opening the door to those who are different is the real issue, was already lost, or rather, it was dismissed.  As he said, “everyone is considered now”; oh right, you know, except that they’re not.

This isn’t to harp on this one guy; it just highlights a broader attitude towards diversity.  Some people believe that since we all use the same water fountains and bathrooms, racism is no more.  That sexism went away once women could vote.  That bigotry is something that only happen when crosses are being burned in yards.  Putting it nicely, that’s naive.  Putting it plainly, it’s flat ignorant.

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Do You Have Any Hope……..?

Colbert: “Do you have any hope tonight for the people out there, about how we could be a better country, we could have better race relations, we could have better politics?”
 
Coates: “No”
—————————————-
I hang my head a little after hearing that, having had similar thoughts over the last few month.
 
America has had a funny habit of moving the goal posts, or changing the rules of the game, in order to maintain the only balance of power it’s ever known. It’s something I had assigned to the past, thinking the America I grew up in would never cheat, lie, and steal the way it once did; it had learned; it knew better, and it had evolved into a more just and transparent democracy that would not let itself fail as it had in the past.
I was wrong.

America – A Land Founded on Protest

This country, its flag, and our military is strong enough to withstand being questioned and criticized; even disrespected if you decide to frame it that way. I find it offensive that anyone would think less of our country’s strength and resilience, and choose to put symbols of America over the needs and cries of its citizens. The people are what make this the country that it is. Without them, the US is nothing but another rock sticking out of the ocean; the flag is nothing more than cloth; songs cannot be sung; even the Constitution is nothing more than paper and ink without its people to enact and abide.

John Adams envisioned “a government of laws and not of men.”

Unequal application of the law betrays that very notion. Everyone should be up in arms – not about the anthem or kneeling – but the betrayal by our fellow man of one of our core tenants; that all men are created equal.

I will not dismiss the collective experience of some 46 million fellow Americans when they protest unfair and unequal treatment by our police, by our justice system –

By OUR government.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said – “Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights.”

This country was founded on protest. Protest is not what will bring harm to this country. Blind loyalty to a flag and a song – at the expense of your fellow Americans – can and will harm us all.

Not quite a year…

….between posts.  I think that’s a win?

Anywho, I’ve been keeping busy.  A second kiddo means I have less time than ever, but I still need to have my creative outlets.  Recently I’ve taken to social media-ing, broadening my horizons.

Instagram hosts pictures of cars that I’ve taken:

#ferrari #modena360 #challengestradale #scuderia #supercars #sportscars #racecars #scuderiaferrari #360modena

A post shared by Chris – (@ragingpandabear) on

The devil is in the details. #bmw #m4 #f82 #sportscar #eurocar #tunercars #mcar #bmwmotorsport

A post shared by Chris – (@ragingpandabear) on

 

I’ve tried to continue writing as well. This time I partnered up with my friend Dan and we’ve started a website called Unique Drops. I’ve always loved digging into niche and subgenres, so we’ve taken the approach of trying to cover the societal impacts that games have, and tell some individual’s stories within the community and industry.

 

 

It’s certainly a part time thing, but I hope to keep sharpening skills (that I may or may not have, admittedly) and it’s fun at the very least.

 

Saturday mornings in Redmond – the place to be to see exotic machinery

Exotics at Redmond Town Center

If you live in or are visiting the Seattle area, Redmond Town Center is the place you want to visit on Saturday mornings.

Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Mustang, Camaro, Porsche. Any Number of M cars, S cars; loud, fast and cool cars. Classic muscle, super cars and modern hyper cars all make their way over.

It’s actually one of the best atmospheres I’ve been around when it comes to car people. Most are quite inviting and would love to strike up a conversation about their customized ZR-1, their favorite model of Citroen or the home made aluminum porsche-esque roaster they showed up in with a Oldsmobile 4 cylinder 2.3 Quad 4 attached to a porsche transaxle (highlight of the day for me).

I put together this short video with some of the nicer shots I took – music props to my cousin Mark.

Meet the Games

I wasn’t kidding about the project stuff!  In addition to the Dad duties bestowed on me, I’ve tried to scratch the creative itch I was getting doing video work, and here we are.

The story starts with a few friends of mine have endeavored over the last few years with their podcast Infinite Lives.

A few months back, Dan and I discussed the potential for a project involving some studio work to compliment and help expand the media footprint for the group – and here we are with “Meet the Games.”

The format is intended to be something akin to “At the Movies” with Siskel and Ebert.  The intent isn’t to review games in full, rather it’s a brief impression the guys get from a week or two of playing and a suggestion of who may or may not like the game and if they think it’s worth a purchase.

Here is the result:

The plan is to make this a regular thing, but also add in some other concepts.

The “studio” is a spare bedroom in my house with a set I put together to block a window.  Acoustics aren’t ideal, but we do what we can.

I’ve upgraded my D3100 to a D5200 – the camera is noticeably faster and the tilt screen is a huge plus.  I haven’t had a chance to test out how much better the sensor is at preventing the wobblies when you move around, but it’s nice to know it’s supposed to be better.

In order to try and be faux-pro, I’ve invested heavily into a cheap Amazon CFL light kit (2800 watts in 3 lightboxes with stands).  I must say I’m pretty satisfied with it.  I’ve used it for this project as well as a DIY photo booth I setup for a birthday party and while it doesn’t travel easily, it does travel.  I’m still trying to figure out the best setup for our studio lighting, but it’s always a work in progress.

Audio is still something we’re trying to figure out – Ep01 used 2 Audio-Technica ATR3350 into a Zoom H4 that’s routed into the camera.  Ep02 used an ebay special $14 shotgun mic into the H4 that’s again routed into the camera.  I’m not satisfied with either one, but I’ll continue on and see what other options I have or if I could just use my tools better.  I’ve tried cutting down on echo by hanging a comforter behind me, I’m not really sure if it was helpful or not, but I’ll keep trying things.

Anywho, it’s a fun project that I’m happy to be a part of.  I love video games, I enjoy the creativity that video work provides from set design, lighting, framing, recording and editing, and it’s always fun to work with and help your friends out.  Here’s to hoping the internet keeps watching and reading this stuff.

Road Trip – My Attempt at Making a Film

So my latest endeavor (or hobby depending on how your look at my serial hobby trail) is videography.  Working with an older Nikon D3100 (I already had a good number of lenses due to my D70 photography work) I put together this short film that I submitted to the Jalopnik Film Festival.  I wasn’t picked to feature in the show, but it was a fun project that I hope to continue working on.

My cousin helped me out with some filming and put together the music, I did a bit of the filming and editing.