3833 – Got Apples

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Apr 182017

In fall 2008 we moved from “the country” to Villach. There we spent three years in one apartment until we finally moved to where we live now.

In a way I miss living in the country. I took many, many more images of trees, flowers and landscapes there. No wonder, but …

Today we have an exception. This tree is a hundred meters off the main road entering Villach from the south, maybe 150 meters further on is our apartment block. It’s near all shops, it’s only minutes to the next five supermarkets and so on, but it is almost as silent and rural as “in the country”.

Still, it makes a difference whether you only drive by those trees or if they grow in your garden. You give more attention to those in your garden 🙂

3645 – All Along the Wall

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Oct 112016

I write this on Saturday, October 8. Trump has not yet given up and the Republican Party has not yet distanced itself from him. When this post is published on October 11, we may know more.

Isn’t that puzzling and altogether a worrying state of democracy? In Donald Trump we have someone who is probably the most obviously unfit-for-politics politician from his growing peer group. Nobody even in his own party wanted him, and nevertheless he got voted into candidacy, acclaimed by a diverse public, that is only united by a strong, common disgust of politics.

It must be a hard time to be a Republican. What can you possibly do? Change horses? Yes, that could be an honest thing to do, but seemingly they wait until they clearly see that their chances on the presidency are over. But are they? Scott Adams clearly doesn’t think so, and he may well have a point. At least I think that everybody who is disgusted now, would likely have been disgusted already.

Lots and lots of people don’t agree with Political Correctness, but they don’t say so, because it’s not politically correct. It’s even understandable, because ideals and real behavior are rarely in tune. Political Correctness is frequently pure lip service, and in face of that, someone like Trump may be seen as refreshingly different.

In an ideal world Trump wouldn’t have been able to come even near candidacy. In an ideal world Trump wouldn’t even have become a media star. An ideal world would punish his behavior and his business methods. The world is far from ideal though. The outcome of the election will tell us a lot about how far.

3644 – Strong Colors in Waning Light

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Oct 102016

I’ve processed this image the day that I had taken it, approximately four months ago. When I saw it now, I felt that the upper half could use a little more saturation and contrast. I went back, applied a sharp gradient along the shadow line, increased contrast, saturation, added a little light, and altough I changed the image exactly like I had intended to … it didn’t improve anything at all. Back I went 🙂

3643 – When We Were Young

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Oct 092016

Graffiti are a dated cliché. The current visual language of Street Art always reminds me of album covers of the early 1970s. Not much has changed in mainstream graffiti since then. Sometimes I ask myself who makes them today. Still young people? People of my age?

It’s a visual language from the time when I was young, and it’s a time that has influenced my aesthetics and my mentality. My whole conception of freedom dates from that time.

And speaking of time: A few days ago I saw the image in the first driver’s license of my father. 1967. He was a young, good looking man of 32 years, a boy relative to my current age, yet already father to my three year old self. Today he is 81, fighting cancer, tired and old. Time is not kind.

3642 – Some Like It, Some Don’t

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Oct 082016

In general I like it. You may call it Graffiti, you may call it Street Art, although in most cases the word “Art” is a little bit far fetched. In many cases it’s not more than vandalism, and I admit that my relaxed stance is probably best explained by the fact that I am not a house owner.

My interest in Graffiti is that of a photographer and it is in details. Graffiti are colorful landscapes projected onto our urban canvas. Most of the time their weakness is in the way their totality lacks definition. Amorphically they are clustered around a strong, colorful signal, but towards the borders they run out into nothingness. That’s why I always frame them tightly.

3641 – Nice Place to Live

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Oct 072016

There are a few pretty nice places to live in Vienna. Actually I have no idea what we’re looking at here, an old building with a modern annex or an old building in front of a modern one? Hard to say, but I’d like to live in all three versions.

The big roof terrace is looking down on “Donaukanal”, a side arm of river Danube and probably the part of the river that is most integrated with the city. That view alone must be literally priceless.

If it’s really two buildings here, then I’d still like to have a room in that round tower at the corner. It’s lovely.

And, of course, if we look at some kind of architectural fusion, my envy is boundless 😀

3635 – A Fashionable Robot

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Oct 012016

When I read Isaac Asimov’s robot novels last year, I found them almost comically outdated. It’s not that I didn’t like the stories, but robots had turned out to be a direction that humanity had not taken. They had been a remote possibility when Asimov wrote the books, but in the end we had focused on other efforts.

Or so I thought.

Now I am not so sure any more. Some things are just harder than others, and while I don’t see much evidence of Robot Laws or full-fledged artificial intelligence, the idea of using robots as perfect killers seems to be pervasive. Seems we’re leaning more to the Terminator side 🙂

But anyway, as I said, some things are hard and just take their time. Look for example at Elon Musk’s announcements of his planned Mars transfer ship. The ship, the project of transporting a hundred people as a first colony, that’s almost exactly what Kim Stanley Robinson proposed in his “Mars Trilogy”. It was not possible when KSR wrote it, it may not be possible yet, but we’re definitely getting near.

I wouldn’t rule out fully autonomous robots any more. It may just take a little longer than Asimov expected.