Category Archives: Ethics

Credit Crunch Crisis

Category : Art is everywhere , Ethics

… or The Ballad of Joe Blow & Joe CEO

Joe CEO made lots of bad bets.
Joe CEO ended up with bad debt.
Joe CEO says government is bad.
But Joe CEO doesn’t follow his own fad.

Hungry & Poor? Get out of line!
Joe CEO is running out of time.
You see, Joe CEO is TOO BIG TO FAIL !
As for Joe Blow… that’s another tale.

Joe CEO is now in the sunny Caribbean.
Sipping piña colada and watching the scene.
But Joe Blows of the world have a role to fill;
We are the ones stuck with the bill!

Copyright © 2008 by Kofi Garbrah


Honore Daumier says it best… Tax-dollars go in, favours to friends of the king come out!


PC-Only

Category : Ethics

Mac
Is the Mac Dead?

“Why support the mac anyway? There are so few mac users and the platform is dying… in a few years there won’t be any mac users at all.”

Question: When did I first hear the statement above?

The answer is 1991.

That’s right, 16 years ago.

As someone who prefers using a mac I tire of hearing this argument over and over again. When I purchase a product that can be used on multiple platforms (Windows and Mac or even better Windows, Mac, and Linux), I have greater confidence in that product because I know the manufacturer has spent the time to test it thoroughly! I can’t say that about Windows-only or even Mac-only products.

I think PC-users benefit from cross-platform products. Windows is unfairly branded as an insecure platform when really its the software running on Windows that is the source of insecurity. If a program is designed to work on multiple platforms, it tends to be designed better (i.e. fewer security flaws). Developers don’t want to repeat the building of the wheel (time is money) so they tend to develop more robust software. When they encounter a problem on a Mac they might investigate whether the same problem occurs on a PC thus benefiting Windows users. The same can happen in reverse. This results in better software all around for everyone.


Tech Bad

Category : 3-D Modeling , Ethics

3D Print from the University of Alberta
3D Print from the University of Alberta

I was trained as a graphic designer and have watched as technology has transformed the graphic design industry. In school, our instructors insisted students do everything by hand. In contrast, during my practicum almost nothing was done by hand. The computer reigned supreme. Even the old PMT (Photo-Mechanical Transfer) machine we used for our school projects wasn’t used in the print shops anymore. I saw the trends and after graduation enrolled in computer courses. Since that time, many graphic design jobs have faded away. No more typesetters or pre-press production workers. Businesses closed. Now anyone with a computer can do graphic design. I see the potential for similar things to happen in construction.

Right now, a 3D Model can be designed on computer and then turned into a physical sculpture using so-called “3D Printers”. [Update Dec. 7, 2007: 3-D printing currently involves taking plaster or sand and using computer guided manufacturing tools to fuse these materials into a specific shape, as was the case with the picture above.] This technology is in its infancy and it is far too expensive for large-scale applications. With improvements however, I foresee that a plan drawn on computer could be “printed” without the use of construction workers. More jobs lost. I am usually very positive about technology but this prospect of job-loss is hard to reconcile with progress.


How real is reality?

Category : Ethics , Photoshop

3D Wine Glasses
picture from wikipedia

I teach Photoshop tutorials in a Post-Secondary setting. As part of my tutorials, I regularly show my students the excellent work of Greg Apodaca (see his digital portfolio). Any woman who has compared herself unfavorably to a model in a magazine can feel much better knowing how heavily edited such images are (see blonde and bikini). Greg’s Digital Portfolio showcases his amazing skill as a digital retoucher but it also brings up an ethical question: how much of what we see in the media is real? Court cases, scientific experiments, articles in the news and young girls self-esteems often depend upon visual evidence. Digital art technology (Photoshop, Poser, etc.) makes it possible to alter visual evidence in significant yet convincing ways. I have seen incredible work by 3D artists that could be passed off as legitimate photos (see these artist created wine glasses). Not to sound paranoid but digital art has now become so realistic, can we completely trust everything we see? Just a thought.


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