Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a news story from KCET in Southern California about businesses that do trashouts - the gathering of remaining belongings from foreclosed homes. This video includes sound. It is part of a larger news story.
I was struck by the sentiments of the workers. They are remorseful and respectful of the objects left behind. After all, the workers are reaping the rewards of someone else's misfortune, at least in the short run. In our consumer-driven economy, stuff has been imbued with meaning because we are taught that the accumulation of goods is an expression of our individual sense of self. Pocketbooks, sofas, cars, cell phones, laptops, mp3 players, and shoes are all expensive consumer goods that come in a variety of colors and styles so that we can live with things that truly are an extension of us. Or is it that we are an extension of the stuff?
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I took this at Baltimore Science Center. I captured a little child hypnosis going on in this tiny video. I took the sound out because it was just murmuring children.
By the way, the Baltimore Science Center totally blows. It's the worst science museum ever. First, it's too new to have developed a relationship with the universities, few as they are, in the area. Hopkins really needs to get on board there and DONATE SOME SHIT. Second, they seem to have a fear of presenting written material. It's all interactive game-type stuff for kids. They focus way too much on kids. I don't have a problem with children in museums as long as there are some other interested adults as well. But it's hard to make a case that someone should spend $14.50 to get into this place when there ISN'T EVEN A SKELETON IN THE SECTION ABOUT THE BODY. Third, I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole museum is an excuse for an iMax theater. I could be wrong about this. But please notice that when you start a science museum and fail to develop a relationship with the surrounding academic community, your corporate sponsorship is going to have a lot of say in how the museum presents itself. A substantial scientific base is important so that the museum can set up its expectations for quality, it's patronship, and morality. Starting out with corporate sponsorship at the get-go is a bad idea (the lobby is sponsored by Lockheed Martin) because profit will always be on the brain. Science has never been about profit.