Was it really important for me to take an afternoon to get to this location and take this picture? I know I had fun doing it, and maybe that’s all amateur photography is supposed to be, but I’ve taken the same looking shot a dozen times before. Does a person who takes nice (e.g.) cloud shots, like me, have to take and post 100 of them to Flickr? Ten years from now will I still be taking this shot? Why do I need to look at new photos from my contacts and others, wouldn’t looking at the pictures that I’ve faved already give me equal or even more pleasure? Why is amateur photography like food—no matter how good the previous meal, we’re always wanting to consume more the next day?
First, visual stimulation is enhanced by novelty of stimulus—in other words, people respond more strongly to seeing something new than old. Few of us spend five minutes looking at a photograph, even a famous one. Unlike a video, or a piece of music, or a conversation, the stimulus doesn't continue over time--it's there and that's it. We get our endorphin hit from the photo and move on to the next one. As artists we amateur photographers have to create a lot of photos because that’s how they’re consumed and because the medium and technology allows us to create a lot of photos quickly and cheaply.
Second, amateur photography is about recording history. I take a new photo today because I exist. Photography is the way we share our lives with others and remind ourselves of where we’ve been and what we’ve done. With Flickr I have seen the whole world and experienced many things vicariously, because people are recording and sharing their histories with me.
So here you go, another pretty cloud shot, because I was there.
'why yes I love him, but keep it secret!'
[conversation with cupid this morning]
- So, do you love him?
- Him... who?
- Don´t play difficult with me, you know WHO!
- oh, well, you mean him...
- why yes, I love him... but keep your mouth shut!
- why would I? are you... ashamed of your love...?
- not at all!
- because... because.
- just because? Shyness maybe?
- I think, yes...
- OK, so you trust me.
- Trust you alright? That you keep the secret, then? Phew... thanks!
- I said "trust me", not what I will or won´t do.
- Trust Me.
And those where his last words... then he vanished in a cloud of glittery dust...
Strange mornings indeed...
The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose.
Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?
Mediocre people have an answer for everything and are astonished at nothing. They always want to have the air of knowing better than you what you are going to tell them; when, in their turn, they begin to speak, they repeat to you with the greatest confidence, as if dealing with their own property, the things that they have heard you say yourself at some other place. A capable and superior look is the natural accompaniment of this type of character.
There is nothing so dangerous for anyone who has something to hide as conversation! A human being, Hastings, cannot resist the opportunity to reveal himself and express his personality which conversation gives him. Every time he will give himself away.
The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others. He who leaves your company pleased with himself and his own cleverness is perfectly well pleased with you.
An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say Gentlemen to the person with whom he is conversing.
The techniques of opening conversation are universal. I knew long ago and rediscovered that the best way to attract attention, help, and conversation is to be lost. A man who seeing his mother starving to death on a path kicks her in the stomach to clear the way, will cheerfully devote several hours of his time giving wrong directions to a total stranger who claims to be lost.
It's apparent that we can't proceed any further without a name for this institutionalized garrulousness, this psychological patter, this need to catalogue the ego's condition. Let's call it psychobabble, this spirit which now tyrannizes conversation in the seventies.
In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice. The study of books is a drowsy and feeble exercise which does not warm you up.
There is nothing that exasperates people more than a display of superior ability or brilliance in conversation. They seem pleased at the time, but their envy makes them curse the conversationalist in their heart.
In conversation the game is, to say something new with old words. And you shall observe a man of the people picking his way along, step by step, using every time an old boulder, yet never setting his foot on an old place.
Repartee is perfect when it effects its purpose with a double edge. It is the highest order of wit, as it indicates the coolest yet quickest exercise of genius, at a moment when the passions are roused.