I can’t remember the last time I used a “regular” film camera and I’m not alone. The world switched from film photography to digital a long time ago. It’s mostly a good thing as digital photos can be taken without having to have them printed. So, they don’t use paper when they’re not printed out and they don’t cost anything to take if they’re not developed into prints. In these ways, digital photos help the environment and the budget. Bhat’s where a positive can become a negative. People now take way too many photos. They’re free so why not? The need for judicious use of film no longer exists.
As an amateur photographer, I do like the fact that I can act like a pro and take thousands of pictures on a trip so that I know a few hundred will turn out good. But what is annoying is how many moments get captured by the numerous digital cameras that your friends and family have. I really feel sorry for children born after the dawn of the digital camera, (and the camcorder for that matter). Many of us lucked out.
Add to the digital photo phenomena, the fact that photo-taking capability is often provided on other non-camera devices like phones, PDA’s, and you have a recipe for disaster. We will all have countless digital skeletons on our hard drives and memory cards. But even worse, these digital photos are easily copied and sent or posted electronically for all the world to see. In the “old days,” duplication of film photographs required money and effort.
Despite all the evilness, digital photography has allowed us to capture memories better. And pictures can be altered with software to look better. But I’m afraid we’ll all become inundated with countless pictures that never get organized or viewed again. Now there’s no looking back. Digital photography is here to stay, and it is as evil as ever.
To put it simply, you can’t control when you were born. And that makes sense. We just accept it because we have to. What we don’t consider often enough is how much of an impact the timing of our birth has on our lives. It’s a product of fate and your parents’ friskiness. Independent of birth order, not only is the generation of your birth critical, the exact year is too. Generationally, some people were born and brought up during the depression. These were kids who were raised with next to nothing so they appreciated everything. Then there were the kids who grew up in the relative economic prosperity of the 90’s. They had it all, (at least materially), even though that didn’t necessarily make their lives much better. Kids who are born with a lot and then must sacrifice have it rough, especially when they took things for granted. On the other hand, those who grew up with nothing and found themselves becoming prosperous may be more cautious about giving in to spending temptation.
I was born in one of the many Gen X years and Gen Y followed right after. I had a tough job market when I came out of college, but people a few years later hit a boom. They received many offers out of school and their salaries leap-frogged ours. And we never really caught up unless we took drastic action like changing employers. I do feel fortunate now. At least with grad school, you can choose when you start. I have found that many of the benefits I received from my prior employers were taken away for new hires that started a few years after I did. I was also lucky enough to have access to student loans to finance my private university education. With the current economic crisis, there is more limited loan availability and fewer jobs. College-aged kids' parents have little money in their stock portfolios or home equity to fund a college education. Also, the later a kid is born, the longer they have to work before they can retire to collect Social Security. (See image pop-up). This counteracts the fact that the kid can expect to live longer.
Think of the implications of being born thirty years too early. Perhaps you were genetically cut out to be a computer programming whiz but computers weren’t invented yet. Working a calculator doesn't make a person much money. And what if you were born a hundred years earlier? I would say that if you were born that long ago at least in a middle class family, the higher the chance you had of succeeding or becoming famous. There were just less people then and the odds of becoming a success were better. There was less competition for available resources. It was a lot easier to start a business and everything hadn’t seemingly already been invented yet. On the flip-side, people used to die of colds or catch polio and have to live off iron lungs.
So when you look back on your life and wish you had things easier or feel fortunate, perhaps you should attribute much of that to the timing of your birth. It's the one thing that we have no control over and that has so much control over our whole lives. There may be an optimal year to be born based on all the things I mentioned. I would say it was some time in the 1950's. I just don't know whether being born in a "good" year is due to luck or fate.
I know some of us are excited about the election because many of us want change and we can’t have it soon enough. Many of us already know who we’re going to vote for, but even if we do, we still have to endure all of these annoying political ads. I sometimes wonder how the world was before political ads became a necessity. At first there were no commercials, then there were probably respectable ones, (I’m assuming). Then all hell broke loose. I would say 15% of the ads are respectable, but most of them are ridiculous and they appeal to the lowest common denominator. Such ads follow a standard recipe. They put unflattering still photos of the opposing candidate, sinister music, and a string of negative generalizations. Sometimes, I’ve seen incoherent words strung together as labels. That way, claims can’t be refuted.
Here’s a quote from one of the McPain commercials…
“Tough rules on Wall Street... stop CEO rip offs... protect your savings and pensions”
Notice he doesn't say he will do these things; he just makes a fuzzy connotation. I also can’t believe that the candidates approve of some of these commercials. Can their advisers really twist their arms to that extent? Perhaps the candidates’ greed for power takes over. What happens though is that if one candidate puts out a commercial with some sleazy personal attacks, the other candidate has to respond with similar content. You can’t take the high road to respond because there are too many dumb people out there that believe what they hear on any political commercial whether it is true or not. So we’re stuck with these lame ads every two years and they’re shown to the point that they’re sickening and probably reduce our faith in government. And any donation I might make to a candidate I support just feeds the ad machine. There’s nothing we can do.
On a side-note, I always wonder who the voice-over people on the commercials are. They are probably very good actors because I find it hard to believe that their apparent conviction is genuine, especially with some of the statements they are scripted to say.
As the election draws closer, we have the pleasure of the political campaigns saving the best mudslinging for last. Each camp wants that last strong push before the elections and now McPain is bringing up past associations that Obama had with a somewhat radical guy. In response, the Obaiden camp has to bring up McCain’s involvement with the Keating Five.
I did announce that I’m running for president in 2016, but I hope to not have to stoop to the level of 99% of politicians out there and create any ads with personal attacks. I will run with dignity. And in case you haven’t realized, the staff of one at Things I’ve Noticed have endorsed Barrack Obama for President of the United States. To me, the reasons are obvious and I don't need to explain my choice, but I will do so right before the election to hopefully convince some undecided readers to make the best choice on election day.
And in case you haven't done so, (and it's not too late for your state), REGISTER AND VOTE!