Open mic: the world as is 2.0

Long time.

Measuring Light sat dormant for over a year and this was due to a number of reasons. So many – too many – things contributed to the current state of affairs, whether on a personal level or the grand scheme of things evolving us.

“Us” means the rest of the world and the direction things are moving towards these days. It’s probably a cliché to talk about Covid, Ukraine, Taiwan and the growing animosity between two global powers and their representations which may potentially ignite something in the near future.

Things

I’m not a political analyst nor do I pretend to be one, even though I spent my childhood discussing geo-politics with my late father. He knew his stuff. Bookshelves at home featured memoirs from Henry Kissinger, Lee Kwan Yew and the likes. Then there were the history books. And not to mention the usual Newsweek and Time magazines, from which the latest editions one could always find near the sofa.

We would mostly talk things at the dining table. Mom being herself involved in politics – she was a legislator and would quote Francis Fukuyama in a speech, a far cry from the wet-market tone in Legco nowadays – and you sort of get the idea of the things we discussed at home.

Over the years I kept an interest on things. I have Ignazio Ramonet and Fareed Zakaria in my place, just to name a few. I may not have the time to read them all, but occasionally I do flick through a few chapters to see what they have to say on things.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, I went to my bookshelf and checked this book from General Loureiro dos Santos, a retired Portuguese army general who anticipated this war 16 years ago.

See how intelligent these people are.

And all this just to say that I do have an opinion on things like Covid, Taiwan, Ukraine and other things. And my opinion is not based on social media rubbish, the abundant chewing gum type information that people are exposed to nowadays, based on which they produce their shallow opinions on things.

Mind me, people now can be so ignorant as not to even understand basic geography, what country is located where, nor why are certain languages spoken in certain places. They know nothing about history and civilization, about how and when and why the world arrived at its current shape.

This general lack of basic knowledge is frightening and even more so when grounds are given as to why it is normal not to know these things.

In other words, people will argue with you as to why it is normal and acceptable to be an ignorant.

Old School vs Ignorance

With this, we get their most bizarre opinion on things shared in social media. Even worst, I realize the success and number of followers of so-called influencers seems to be directly proportional to their level of ignorance and stupidity.

Newsfeed streams are loaded with the most outlandish comments on things and keyboard warriors stand ready to pick-up fights fuelled with hatred.

Thus what I see nowadays is a social media generation, a bunch of people with their minds shaped by these shallow minded, self-proclaimed opinion makers.

I’m old school though. And my view on things come from traditional sources.

So the most frustrating experience takes place when, for some reason, I see myself involved in discussions with these social media generation people.

Because the more you know about things from an educated source, the deeper your thoughts are and the more restrained you feel about what you are allowed to say on things because you understand the intricacies and complexities of the topic.

Whereas ignorance is the opposite: it frees you up to say the most unimaginable things. It allows you to be arrogant, adopting an I know it all kind of attitude, call others idiots and spit out fiery and non-sensical comments.

Discussing things with ignorant people feels like a boxing fight on which I am obliged to wear my boxing gloves and follow all the rules, whereas my opponent can use all sorts of dirty tricks, like pinching my eye with fingers, biting my ears or kicking my groin.

I’ve learnt to avoid these fights now. For which I can only diplomatically say generation gap.

Why all this rumbling

Because I’m a bit sick and tired of all this nonsense and the accompanying social media generation.

Yes, Measuring Light is meant to be about photography and my passion for photography. But the reality is that I feel a bit distanced from photography now.

I still love photography as an art form and there is still appetite for me to digest a good photo. And to take photos as well. But it’s just that I lost steam. I have no mood. I got tired of it.

Photography feels pedestrian now because any average boring guy is holding a smartphone with a capable camera and taking mediocre photos that will look cool with some add-on filter. Millions and millions of photos are taken on a daily basis and uploaded in social media for people to see.

Irrelevant photos of people sharing their private lives for other irrelevant people to like and comment.

My girlfriend tells me why are you affected by this? If people are happy like this, then be it. Yes, she is right. But it’s just that I can’t stop myself being critical of people who are motivated by social media exposure and would go lengths just to take that shot that will look oh-so-cool on social media, producing a show-off narcissistic image of themselves which at times is so distant from their real lives – it annoys me, yes.

And the industry is slowing down

It’s not new, but still a fact. Smartphones take good pictures, people travel less because of Covid so the market is shrinking.

Then digital technology reached a point of sufficiency that I mentioned here. There are no more technological breakthroughs like when mirrorless took off last decade, the exciting days when every month we got something new are long gone.

Then what now?

This is all happening because I got an e-mail from WordPress notifying the auto-renewal of Measuring Light‘s annual subscription. And I’ve decided not to close this blog, even though I’m not writing much these days due to all above.

I still have a certain number of visits on a daily basis from readers who land here as a result of Google searching for photo gear I happen to feature here. Which is good, it means my photo reviews are still useful to some people.

Hence I’m keeping Measuring Light and most likely it will evolve from a photoblog to some sort of blogspace where I can, from time to time, vent my frustration on things and share my point of view on things.

Old-school style of course.

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