Thursday, January 19, 2012

Extending Art of Illusion Examples Demonstrated

I thought I'd given up on book videos, but then I came up with this one. The main reason I put this video together is because some of the examples in Extending Art of Illusion can't be fully appreciated without seeing them in action. I had a lot of fun developing the Tracker plugin. I spent more time than I care to admit just setting up trackers and moving a sphere around the scene with my mouse so that I could watch the pointers follow it through the scene. You can see some of that in this video.

SOPA/PIPA and Why Wikipedia Doesn't Agree With CNN

By now, you’ve probably heard of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). On January 18, 2012, several of the popular websites including Wikipedia and Google protested the act, bringing it into the public awareness. But you may have also noticed that the news organizations who were reported about the event, such as CBS and CNN, included statements in their reports saying that their parent companies were in support of SOPA. So what’s going on here? We know that the news organizations are liberal, so is this just a liberal versus conservative thing? No, I don’t think so.

This is about money. What else would it be about? The divide between those who support SOPA and those who oppose it is generally the same line that exists between those who make money by creating content and those who make money by using content. The goal of SOPA is to shut down websites that are using pirated information. In concept, if a copyright owner finds a website that is using his intellectual property without permission, he would first contact the website and ask them to take it down or pay for the content within a reasonable amount of time. If they failed to do so, he could then turn the matter over to authorities and their revenue stream from ads and Paypal would be cut off.

I think you can see why Wikipedia would be opposed to the act. Because anyone can edit their pages, I doubt they know how much of their content is illegally copied. Google is one of the major online ad services, so it is also understandable that they would be opposed to SOPA and PIPA (Protect IP Act. More or less the Senate version of SOPA). If there is a law in place that requires them to quit paying for clicks from a website that is using pirated information, it won’t be long before the illegal websites will drop Google. They will still try to make money from ads, but it will not be through companies that are trying to obey the law. That could mean a big loss in revenue for Google.

The parent companies of CBS and CNN, however, are content creators. They actually pay people to carry cameras around and film stuff. They pay writers to sit in front of a computer and write. While they also make money from ads, their ads don’t appear on websites that contain pirated intellectual property. But more than that, because they are paying people to create content, they are the victims when people use pirated information to attract people to their websites.

I don’t know if the bills as they are currently written are ideal, but I do know that I’m opposed to piracy. It seems to me that people should not be allowed to profit from intellectual property they have obtained illegally. Moreover, hosting a website in a foreign country should not shield these people from justice. Though Wikipedia and others claim that their protest is about free speech, I don’t see how they can support that claim. The purpose of free speech is to allow anyone to state his opinion without fear of prosecution. We should not take it to mean that we can use other people’s intellectual property without their permission. No, this is all about money. Those who are profiting from using other people’s intellectual property have no desire to protect those who are profiting by creating intellectual property.

What is Love?

What is love? Let’s not confuse the issue too much. Let’s focus on agape. The others are fairly clear. The KJV translates it as charity. It gets interesting when we look at 1 Corinthians 13:3. “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…and have not charity, it profited me nothing.” It is interesting because we are commanded to have charity. In reference to the love a man has for a woman, it is intentional love. But here, it appears that we can give our goods to the poor and still not have it.

Fortunately, Paul defines it for us. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” It is still intentional. You have the choice of being long-suffering or not. You have the choice to be kind or not. You have the choice to do all of these things or not. And if you choose charity, it will be natural for you to also give to the poor, but giving to the poor is one way that people can fake it, much like a husband and fake love for his wife by showering her with gifts.

True charity is a choice to put one’s self lower than another person. It is not a feeling, but it may require us to put aside our feelings. None of us are perfect at it, but we willingly put aside our desire for superiority for the good of the other person.