Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Everything has Purpose

Nothing happens without purpose. There are no meaningless actions, no effects without cause.

Humans are not outside of this rational world view. We are part of the world we live in.

Every human action has purpose. Everything that happens to humans fulfills a purpose.

If you witness an event in your environment and you are tempted to call it a meaningless tragedy, or pointless violence, think before you speak. These statements come from those who have not taken the time to understand what they are talking about. They are doing little more than calling some action bad for their purpose, but trying to mask it as if they are talking about the fabled and flawed concept of " the common good".

Friday, August 26, 2005

No Adjustment Needed

BACKGROUND: When we view other people we automatically assess their physical characteristics. We measure each other. This information falls into distribution of our experience that we use to determine beauty valuations. I have previously assumed that we adjust for angle. Meaning if a face is slightely turned, like they say you should do for photographs, then the mind would adjust for the angle so all measurements would be on a similiar basis. This assumption is false. The mind does not adjust for angle, instead measurements are taken as presented. This dawned on me as I was setting up a set of test data for an experiment, I was working on the simple formula for conversion of measurements based on camera angle when I realized that this would ignore several observable phenomena.

1. Profile. The experience of finding someone more attractive, or less, when viewing their profile.

2. Angle. The common wisdom suggesting that pictures taken at a slight horizontal angle and vertically positive angle will increase the attractiveness of a photograph. This also led to a line of questioning to discover how these two positive angles evolved (I will address in another post).

3. Looks Like. The experience of catching an acquaintance at a certain viewing angle and it reminding you of a famous person, or of one of their relatives.

TRANSITION: Examples such as these convinced me that I was offtrack in my assumptions of viewing angle correction. This will, of course, change all of my testing plans, but the significant impact comes from the questions the revelation generates.

1. Perfect Angle. There could be a specific angle for which any person's features will lay closer to average for a given distribution. So depending on the desired viewing audience, an angle could be mathmatically figured for a photograph to have the desired level of effect.

2. Profile Check. This is really just an extreme angle. Calculations could be made in the same way to determine the exact beauty value of a person's profile given a specific population's distribution.

3. Impersonation. Certain angles, expressions, and facial positions will make an impersonator look more like their subject thus increasing effectiveness.

CURRENT: Angle provides different measurements for the same person. This is not only limited to angle either; facial expressions and postion, lighting, glasses, hats, etc. All of these items produce new experiences for the viewers minds to measure and include in their evaluations of the individual. Precise calculations can be made to set these variables to produce exact viewing experiences. Basically, this would allow tuning of someone's beauty for a given audience, giving us control like we've never known over the perceptive experience.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm Making Do

Its not easy to be myself. The parental answer to social concern, "Just be yourself". Am I fulfilling my nature? I sit in front of a computer screen all day, in a dark room with headphones on, communicating with text messages to the guy right behind me. I'm plugged in, processing logic problems. Does what we do for work have any relation to who we are and who we're trying to be? The who is always me - we always trying to be more ourselves. The stoics would add that nothing outside yourself can keep you from fulfilling your nature, only you can diminish yourself. Plato might point to a perfect image of ourselves that we are always striving for. The Christian chruch would point away from ourselves and to another, they are striving to be someone else. Although in christian thought a person receives a new nature when they are saved, and so they could still be striving to be themselves, their new selves. Modern liberals seem to strive to be a good person, a shifting image composed of popular thought and modern sensibilities of social responsibility. Still others seem to have a hikers mentality, "leave no trace", seeming to want to cause no harm and avoid harm. Like I said, Its not easy being yourself. Maybe the perspective should be reversed - our natures are trying to grow in rocky soil, and we're always trying to clear the way so some thread within us can be healthier and more vibrant. Always fighting to give it more sun, water, and good soil, all the time in shadow, dry and a little hungry. Human condition? Nothing universally new here, except for the individual, its always new, personal and desperately important. I prefer the stoic lightly mixed with an enlightened christian view, but its like a tool designed for a different job, but I'm making do.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fulfill Your Nature

When I say, “The purpose of life is to fulfill your nature”, I mean you to be a living fulfillment of your ancestors fortune: Their fortunate nature that allowed them to live and reproduce generation after generation in an unbroken line up to you. You are the latest scion of a deep historical thread of success and your sole responsibility is to fulfill your nature, to become, with clarity, what you are designed to be. Fulfill not only your genetics but also your environment, and the vector of these two that produces exactly you.