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Camera Work: What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know

Image courtesy of McSweeney’s

Friday, I vegged out. I went so far in that direction I forgot I had a post to write. Really!

I don’t recall the precise path which I followed, likely a non-linear, fractal path. I found myself looking on YouTube, at a collection of Western and War movies available. Among them is “Open Range” the Costner/Duvall film about a cattle drive through ranch country opposed to cattle drives simply passing through. I remember the movie particularly for it’s magnificent visuals and the horrific, but stunningly filmed extended gun battle. So I clicked on it. I was hooked. I spent the next several hours watching it, then looking at particular instances of filmic qualities, even grabbing a screen shot or two which seemed iconic. I went to the piano and worked through the theme music, it’s harmonies and unfolding. (Music has always informed me about visuals, and the other way around.). It also triggered a deep connection which has been the driving force behind outdoor photography.

All my passions were systematically revealed from their hiding places.

Later, I went to the library to pick up some material on hold, and discovered this book: “Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free”, or more precisely, my SO found it and handed to to me. That evening, instead of beginning to put today’s post together, I read the first part of it. By the time I had finished the first third, I was hit by the notion: “I have just been exposed to that which I don’t know I don’t know, but I absolutely have to know.”

What does this have to do with the Costner movie? Doesn’t seem like much, except what I did was to break a routine which has manifested itself in how I put the post together. Had I not wandered YouTube and found “Open Range” I would have hunkered down and started writing, taking a small break for food and a walk and generally divesting myself of distractions. I would not have picked up the book. I might never have found it .

Saturday morning, I decided to do a Google search of Doctorow’s book, and found this audio address he gave, which is a strong summary of his thinking. I invite you, dear readers, to listen. It’s about 20 min. long, and is about the best exposition of the Internet as it exists today, its challenges and our participation.

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Lawrence Hudetz

Lawrence Hudetz

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