Tag Archives: Sign

3934 – All Options

U-Bahn, S-Bahn and Österreichische Bundesbahnen, it’s all rail-based transport, it’s all public, but it’s public in different ways. The latter, the Austrian Federal Railways, are an all-Austrian thing, the U-Bahn, that’s Vienna’s Underground, and S-Bahn, that’s kind of a joint venture between the two. They all have their own signs, and in some places, where their stations overlap, we see all three signs on one post. And if the light is right, there is a nice balance between lit signs and background sky as a bonus 🙂

3849 – 26 D

That’s one of those typical images where I relish my camera’s depth of field. The colors are heavily pushed though. In reality it was exceedingly drab and I couldn’t stand it.

In such a situation, black and white is most of the time also a viable option. Actually I prefer color, but this may because the image is a memory for me as well. My memories tend to be colorful. Even of drab days 🙂

3789 – The Secret Map

Before I began taking photographs, I played a lot of computer games and even made two maps for the game Unreal Tournament 2004. I spent lots of money on graphics cards and fast computers.

Then all changed. Today I don’t even have a computer capable of playing current games. Ten years old “Half Life 2” runs pretty well on my Mac, but forget about “Far Cry 4” or anything like that.

Two weeks ago I bought a Playstation 4 Pro. I did it mostly for VR, but – as everybody else has likely found out – there are not that many good VR games currently on the market.

The seemingly best one is “Resident Evil 7”, a horror game that lets you creep through a decrepit house somewhere far away from any other people than the members of a psychopathic family who are out to kill you. It’s all dark, dirty, mouldy and full of insects. Guess what? I am not interested 🙂

The VR game that I did buy is “Eagle Flight”. Here’s an in-game video on YouTube. Basically you’re a bird and you fly over and through a Paris without people, reclaimed by nature.

The game has a great and intuitive control system that lets you fly wherever you look. Tilt your head to the right and you make a turn to the right, tilt to the left and turn left. It’s that easy. There are only two buttons on the controller, one to accelerate, one to slow down.

That’s exactly what I was looking for. I think VR works great for horror (“Jump in your face” was never so real), but it also works great for flying. My preference is clear, I prefer flying 🙂

3707 – 21 IPN

No, I don’t know what it means, but I’m sure the experts who figured out #pizzagate could tell you exactly 🙂

Well, did you go down the rabbit hole that is #pizzagate? Actually I didn’t, but at least I’ve tried to understand what it is supposed to be all about. There are a few comprehensive lists of the “findings”, and I admit that it can look quite convincing. I have no URLs and I don’t want to link to them anyway, but they are not hard to find.

Hillary Clinton and John Podesta dealing in children? Sexual abuse as a business model of the Democratic Party? In a pizzeria?? How weird is that?

But again, read through the list of “facts” and tell me that they didn’t make you wonder at least for a moment. Why is that? Basically you have a long list of facts and plausible reports, each one harmless by itself, but suddenly someone demonstrates how they fall together and result in a monstrous big picture.

Have you ever read Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum“? If not, you definitely should. It explains a lot.

What happens in those cases is, that we try to create order in randomness. We see patterns, but we don’t see just any type of pattern. What we see is what we expect to see or fear to see or want to see. We have lots of weak indications. Each of them proves nothing. For each of them we have a small probability that it is related to a bigger “conspiration”. We know that we have not anything solid, and therefore we look further, and, surprisingly, we find more of the same.

Yes, we figure, one of them can be chance, but when all of them subtly point in one direction? Then it can’t be chance any more, can it? Somehow those small probabilities must add up.

Only they don’t. What we forget is, that while every “fact” has a certain probability that it means what we expect it to mean, there is also a much higher probability that it is indeed random, and that there are any number of perfectly plausible explanations. It’s only that we completely ignore anything that does not confirm our bias, and due to that ignorance, those aspects don’t contribute to the overall picture.

And there’s more. A central argument of #pizzagate is, that there is a code used by producers and consumers of child porn. I don’t remember exactly, but “pizza” was supposed to mean “girl” and a few other words from the pizzeria context are supposed to mean boys and rape and whatever.

The problem with that is, that the same words make perfect sense in any pizzeria. Now take one with a playing area for children and lots of activity in social networks. If the main nouns connected with the concept of a pizzeria are systematically re-interpreted due to such a key, it is practically inevitable that you can find lots of “reckless talk” about “child abuse”. And why not? In reality they talk about pizza. That’s their core business. What else should they talk about? And of course it’s for sale.

But all those seemingly absurd sentences, that don’t make sense in normal pizzeria context and that suddenly make sense when interpreted as a conspirational code?

It’s only that this again ignores, that we have ignored everything else, that perfectly did make sense. The weird sentences are somewhere in between. But there are always weird sentences in between everything.

Weird, absurd sentences are written all the time. For instance they are written by people who use mobile devices with all sorts of input prediction. Often the author even sees the error, but most mobile virtual keyboards lack cursor keys, and that makes it extremely inconvenient to go back and correct the error. And why so? The receiver will figure it out from the context, and apart from that, it is not worth the effort anyway.

And again, here we talk about communication that has all its core concepts systematically misinterpreted. You could as well use a different key and would easily get equally plausible results. The insiduous trick is, that you don’t replace just a single noun, you replace all of them. You change out everything that is not basic syntactic structure. Pizza gets a new meaning and so do cheese and bread and soup and wine and …

You see? It could mean anything. It could even mean what the conspiration theory says it means, only that it is so much more likely that it literally means what it means in any other pizzeria as well, namely the very stuff that they make and sell: pizza, cheese, bread, soup and wine.

3631 – The Flash

I have not yet sold my E-P5. When the PEN-F arrived, I removed the battery and the SD card, and then I put the camera into a closet. Today I took it out for a comparison.

What can I say? I miss the big viewfinder! Yes, the VF-4 sticks out from the E-P5, it mars the beautiful design, it just doesn’t look that classy. Looking through it makes a world of a difference though 🙂

It’s really like the difference between APS-C and full-frame. You notice the change and it’s a big one.

I’ve tried the same with the E-M1, and of course as it shares viewfinder specs with the VF-4, the result is the same.

Then I noticed something interesting: both the E-M1 and the E-P5 were pretty much off colorwise and they were also darker. The PEN-F on the other hand was incredibly accurate in reproducing what I saw.

There was also another change. Exposure parameters blended into the viewfinder image had some amount of transparency. Or had they? Now that I try to reproduce it, I find that I can’t. That’s funny, because I’ve already noticed it another day. I don’t think I’ve just imagined it.

Yes, indeed, I’ve just checked, there is an slight amount of transparency in the overlay. It’s still fully readable, but it is slightly less intrusive.

Another slight annoyance is, that with the position of the eye sensor on the PEN-F, stray light easier enters the sensor, especially when the sun comes from the back. If that happens, the EVF blanks out. This doesn’t happen when I hold the camera properly to my eye, but sometimes I don’t. I suppose it also may happen when you wear glasses.

Basically this all boils down to the fact that I like the new viewfinder better (if it is indeed the viewfinder and not just changes in metering and white balance accuracy), but that the lower resolution hurts. I’d like to call it a draw, but it isn’t really.

Is this a reason to switch back to the E-P5 and sell the PEN-F? No. If there were no other advantages but the better design and the convenience of the integrated viewfinder, I’d say yes. Fortunately there’s more to this camera. We’ve already discussed the exposure compensation wheel, and tomorrow we’ll talk about image quality.