Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Political Horizon

We see it now, at least we can if we open our eyes. The entire world leadership is on the brink of a massive and rapid change, especially in nations with some form of democracy or election system in place. The next generation that will inherit the ability to invoke change will outnumber the rest of the world very soon. While this shift will happen in other nations, I will explain it using the US, since I live here.

Most of the young voters are not choosing candidates based on political parties, it's oddly the middle aged and older generation more likely to still hold to such labels. Instead the younger voters are staying informed. How? The one thing that the government here has been trying to find some way to censor for over a decade now, the world wide web. We call it "the internet," but really it's just the largest internet. But that's a different story. Back on track. Yes, the younger generations are reading blogs, news stories, and even fact checking any report they encounter through Google and other search engines. They are being more informed.

Now we factor in the connectivity and "friends" online. I use quotes because they are more dynamic than traditional friends. An online friend, whether through a social networking or casual find on some forum, can vary from simple "look what I found" friends to allies. It's the allies that we need to consider here. Imagine if a young Youtuber suddenly ran for president. Not only would they get more exposure to the younger voters, they would also be featured in more detail across the net. All their dirty laundry and scandals are out in the open already, online. Their subscribers would cheer them on, even vote for them when possible. Their campaign ads would be plastered across the internet for free, reaching every corner of the web.

Now consider a "classic" campaign run by an older person on television and radio ... and cue crickets. Even road trips would not garner the attention one well made, inexpensive, video online would. Television has lost most of it's control over media, radio is almost dead, everything streams through the net now, and almost everything can be obtained virtually free legally through the net. None of the younger voters would know enough about the older candidate to make an informed decision, and since they care more about knowing things, the older candidate would stand no chance against a younger and more well known internet personality.

Thus, the shift will happen soon, as these younger people are becoming old enough to vote you can already witness the effect of one idea rippling through the net, SOPA/PIPA. Look online and millions of blogs, videos, even tweets, spread the word about this attack on our freedom. Just for considering passing such a bill, the entire government was brought into question. All the politicians became enemy number one in the internet's social system.

So yes, the entire political system world wide was hurt by the internet, well, the political system as it is. But this is a very good thing. It's a wonderful thing. All that "change" the politicians and world leaders continue to sell the people is actually possible, thanks to the next generation .... and the internet. So to any younger folks reading this, get out and vote, take control, but don't just vote, run for office! You have the same connections politicians have, probably many more. You know how to use tools given to you to improve your knowledge. So if you want to be president of the US, do it. Post your campaign online, for free. Youtube, Google+, even Facebook. You have the support and we need you now more than ever.

Thanks for reading. Tell me who you want to run, post here or on my Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/user/kittenkoder

Monday, December 12, 2011

When is Change Good?
Alright, someone has to be wondering why I am making so many changes to my models and my animation style. Well, there are several answers to that. Let me just explain them a bit.

First, better computer. I got a better computer a while ago and it can now keep up with me. So now Blender runs like a dream. Instead of just making more of the old animations I am updating to match the power of my new machine. That means more detail, higher quality, and yes, better video rendering. Which leads to the next reason.

More practice. They say "practice makes perfect," and that is so true. I can now model a human mesh from nothing but two photos, profile and facing the camera. From that I can mold the mesh around the correct points at a speed and accuracy I never thought I'd reach. Honestly, I thought I'd be animating primitives at this point still. I also understand armatures and materials a lot more, and have practiced using them so I know things to watch out for. Cloth simulation in Blender has never been easy, but even that I am setting up with ease now. Essentially, my learning curve matches my enjoyment of what I am learning, and I really enjoy modeling 3D animations.

Last reason, it's time for a change. Until now all my models have appeared ... well meh. Just simple meshes with a few movements, which were all pretty robotic and rigid. Now I have an actual style, an appearance to models that's my own. I also use to dress them up based on other characters made by other people, now they are all my own originals. Check out my G+ album to keep up on new ones: Google+ Photo Album

Note: The last one is my pride and joy, utilizing so many features in the materials and animation system, she's almost perfect.

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Things Annoying Me

Several things have been annoying me lately. The first being this "protect copyrights" garbage. They are just using that as an excuse to censor internet content, like "videos make people violent" or "rock and roll makes you use drugs" it's just about controlling something that can't be controlled. All of us internet denizens know one thing, freedom of speech has a dark side that must be tolerated in order to protect freedom of speech as a whole, but pirating isn't that dark side. Pirating is a very tiny portion of the internet's content, there is more pirating by those at home who used VHS and audio cassette tapes to record their favorites from the TV and radio. But shhh, we aren't suppose to mention those because that's old tech. Well, it is relevant because the only people who are being hurt by online content are the obsolete music label and movie production companies.

Yep, music labels are being hurt the most because now musicians can not only become well known without them, they can also make more money, and still keep the rights to their music. Thanks to great places like Youtube, a musician can give their music to their fans for free and still make money by advertising, and it's easy for them. That's what scares the labels, they can no longer bully the rights away from the musicians. Music labels were a necessary evil in the past, it was the only way artists could get their art out to the world and make enough money to continue being artists. But what were the artists giving up their rights to the music for? Advertising and distribution, which is being replaced by internet websites.

So this is why they keep pushing the government in the US harder and harder for censorship of the internet, it has nothing to do with protecting the artist. Thank Sky Net that there are enough geeks, nerds, techies, and fans online to create a huge backlash. Do a search on Youtube and you can see the huge number of videos voicing against SOPA and PIPA. It's awesome to see people coming together on a massive scale to stop something like this. That's the part the government itself fears. You can't keep anything behind closed doors with the internet, it's not possible. It will get leaked, it will come forward, and though there will be a bunch of conspiracy theories as well, people will see the truth more than not.

Another thing that's been annoying me, cyber bullying and trolling. People, I just don't know how to say this any more clearly, if you don't like what someone has to say online, ignore them. Every single site has some form of ignore feature. in case you are incapable of ignoring them by just not reading what they post or they get too offensive for your tastes. On Youtube you can even block them from posting on your videos and channel! Use this. It's a tool, and tools are only good when used. In real life you can't just turn off people like that, so I do get the worry about real life bullying and such, but online you can.

That is the most beautiful thing about the internet, you can avoid everything you don't like. But as to trolling, and this is why I put a difference between trolling and flaming, most trolls are just doing it for laughs. It's not their intent to hurt your feelings. See, they have mastered the art of separating real life feelings from the internet. To them, what they post online is just online and doesn't effect how they live, and they simply cannot fathom anyone who takes things so serious. They don't troll to hurt, they troll to make the internet interesting, and they actually do accomplish that. Check out Art of Trolling ... it's really funny.

Flaming however is different from trolling, the intent of the flamer is to make themselves feel better by insulting others. Which ironically makes them the exact opposite of the troll. Flamers are incapable of letting go, while trolls can be harmless, flamers can completely destroy a conversation or thread by turning it into nothing but a stream of insults and one ups. Don't fall for these people, click ignore or block if someone does nothing but toss back personal insults after three or four responses. A "troll for lulz" will likely stop after a few (unless others play along for more lulz) but a flamer will hold a grudge and keep trying to hurt you.

The line between the two is hard to define most of the time, but for the love of Sky Net, stop taking things so hard people. It's not that bad. So what if someone thinks you suck, look into their content and I'd wager they suck more and are just trying to make themselves feel better. True example, someone posted (a while back) on my Youtube channel, saying mys stuff sucked. I have never in any way once said I was anything more than an amateur just diving into a new hobby. I clicked on his profile, and behold, not one video. Yep. They had the audacity to say I sucked at making vids but didn't even have one video of their own. They are now blocked simply because of being disruptive, until they at least post as many vids as I have with some actually creative content (I promise I will unblock them if that ever happens).

So use those buttons, on Youtube it's to the right of their name when they post.