Saturday, April 30

Bloglovin: Fashion from Sweden and the sterilization of images, content and meaning

As you can see Bloglovin keeps updating from my site although I have already sent e-mails and asked at Facebook for them to stop. What amazes me is not only the appropriation of my posts when I have already said that I have left the group and don't want my content there but the whole site has some qualities I find hard to understand how can it be that they deal with fashion? All the blogs that are associated to them have the same template and same edition in such a way that images, it's content, it's meaning is sterilized.
After seeing one page even the most fashion enthusiast loses the interest. And take a look at some of their pictures. If you click to enlarge you will see that these models look strange, their body are not only skinny but it seems that something is wrong with the proportions. They look uncomfortable with their bodies not knowing where to put arms, hands, legs, in a clumsy and strange position. They lack attitude and style. All Bloglovin's photographies looks the same and the clothes, accessories, jewelry, glasses or whatever they have to sell vanish, disappear, lose it's core which is contradictory since they should make the goods look desirable, unique transforming the most useless brick-a-brak into something nobody can live without.
Looking at my blog at that page is quite an experience because I see the same happening to all I do at my blog: it become soulless. No matter what the subject it has no appeal the essence goes down the drain. How can it be that Valentino, the pink dress with the yellow shoes is a Valentino, is at at this place? I like fashion. I'll show you this month the fashion I like. But keep me away from this Bloglovin because I already have Google Reader. And they got another post at my blog. Guess they love me and wanted that. There you are Mr. Swenson and Mr Gren (they look like a bunch of guys that united and had a bright idea: "let's use RSS to make money!"; "Great idea but what will we sell?" "Food?" "No! Too complicated! Clothes!" And this:
"She clicked through the email to find that scads of partial posts from her site appeared on bloglovin’, a site she had never heard of or visited before.Her initial thought? Blogscraping. Nichole says:
"When I clicked over, I saw my posts, in their entirety. With each click, I noticed that they weren't linking to me and I immediately thought that they had scraped my blog. I clicked around and found blog after blog and panicked a bit.I contacted Bloglovin' through their contact form and asked them to remove my content immediately. (They never replied to my request and my content is still on their site.)I later learned that they were framing my content, as my statistics were reflecting the hits, although the url never changed." (emphasis mine)
Several of her blogger friends were also finding their blogs on bloglovin’ and Twitter lit up with chatter about whether this new site was legitimate or not.Bloglovin’ is a community-driven site that aggregates RSS feeds. Users add the blogs they want to follow, much as you do with Google Reader or another feed reader. But when you add a blog you want to follow to bloglovin’s directory, other users are able to see it and follow it as well."
by Gigi Ross at Sheposts. They simply choose a blog and publish. What a shock! Fashion without a soul. But don't take the soul of people's work, please! I forgot to publish the only reply from them:
Bloglovin ticket 14106: I deleted my account. Delete MY CONTENT!

April 27
Hi,We've been talking quite a lot about how to let people follow blogs on Bloglovin' while still giving the bloggers the possibility not to be shown on the site. We've come up with a solution where the only things that are visible is the name and a button to follow the blog. Our members can then still follow and get the posts as usual, but it won't be visible to the general public.(emphasis mine) I've marked your blog as private and I really hope that this solution can work for all of us! Best regards, Timmy Sjöstedt, Bloglovin
I answer it doesn't work for me, things are not working this way and the blog is visible but I got no reply. I don't want to find Bloglovin related to my blog. At Google's search or at any other place. I don't have anything to do with this site and I want to have my blog free from marketing and selling. I don't have any ad at my blog. I never thought that they have no ethics. Usually we can unjoin and people respect us. Maybe it's because they are too young time for acting inconsequently. "It won't be visible to the general public." Oh my God! This is so funny!
Update: June, 17
Blogovin is still using my blog. The image shows my last two posts for today.
I don't think we can teach ethics or respect to anyone.
I will not even talk about integrity, rules and all these words.
Only respect. I wrote them saying I had unjoin their site and asked to have my blog removed.
They don't do it.

Zimbabwe: The truth will set you free exhibition

I thought about publishing pictures of torture in Zimbabwe but I found these paintings and they are so good that speaks louder than photographies.

Oil reserves by countries, Iraq war and torture in Zimbabwe

Oil Reserves as of 2001
rankCountryReserves in billions of barrels
1.Saudi Arabia261.7
3.United Arab Emirates97.8
I believe these numbers speak for themselves. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell "I ain’t got nothin’ against them Viet Cong. No Cong ever called me Nigger." Cassius Clay "I did not think so at first. But the US is incredibly dependent on oil, They wanted to secure oil in case competition on the world market becomes too hard." Dr. Hans Blix "Since the Second World War, the US has bombed China, Korea, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, Guatemala (again), Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala (third time lucky), Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia - in that order - and in not a single case did the bombing produce a democratic government as a direct result." Terry Jones source: here. I would like to remember that the Iraq invasion started around March, 2003. I remember watching at BBC Zimbabweans being tortured by Mugabe. Only for one day they reported it and I didn't see nothing else being said anymore about the tortures that happened at that time.

Bulawayo groups peacefully march in solidarity with victims of violence

Friday, April 29

Guantanamo? No, it is not closed.

The last news you heard is that Guantanamo was closed? At the beginning of last year they said so but strangely enough there are still people there.
I watched the movie "The Road to Guantanamo" today and I realized how little I knew about what really happened in Guantanamo.
"Shut up, shut up! You are now the property of the U.S. Marine Corps! This is your final destination." a voice shouts.
Property! Yes, that's the way they treated those who have nothing of that important to say, to confess people who are not important.
Funny because among those who mistreated them there were those who are from the lowest enlisted rank who are also not well treated.
"Despite international criticism, America insists the conditions are humane."
And now?
According to Humans Right Watch:

"(Washington, DC) - A new Obama administration executive order pertaining to Guantanamo detainees held under purported "law-of-war" detention provides an additional layer of review not previously available. However, the order also continues the practice of indefinite detention without trial, a practice that violates international law, Human Rights Watch said today." (keep reading)
"Currently, 172 detainees are imprisoned at Guantanamo. The Obama administration has slated 47 for indefinite detention without trial and another 36 for prosecution, and has cleared the remaining 89 for transfer. " (keep reading)
I'm listening and reading people saying this and that. Still don't know what is really happening at Guantanamo now but, of course, nothing is similar to that time. All I know is that it is not closed.
I good example was lost. If Guantanamo was closed it would be a sign that those days are over and justice would be promoted in another way. But they didn't close Guantanamo.
Update April, 30: Wikileaks published some documents but I didn't want to read because it changes nothing. At Protesilaous Stavrou blog you'll find a good analysis of what they published and also about Guantanamo.

Guantanamo torture will NEVER be forgotten
Update: January, 11, 2012
This is the date that marks the tenth year of Guantanamo, remember it is in Cuba, as a prison where 171 detainees are being held.
It is not a surprise and the question when will it be closed is no longer that important since US government is acting like an authoritarian regime and the world is on the verge of a war, a world war.
US is under martial law, many crimes against humanity were committed in 2011, and, to make things more macabre, the president and the secretary of state have commented on some of them with a smile on their faces and sarcasm.
A huge change is necessary in US but how will it be done? When?

Blogger: Infinite scrolling changes blogs readability

I believe that most bloggers are not happy with the format of blogs with templates that only change places, number of columns, and colors.
The main reason is that after scrolling the page the "older posts" gives the impression that what was written before is no longer valid, old news, history and few people click at them. After choosing a new template we always accept that this is the best for the moment but not that happy with the choice no matter how beautiful it is.
If you use Blogger add "/view" to your address. Yes, like this:
add "view" to the address. See? I'm enjoying the sidebar option. Finally a better way to read and experience blogs and how quick the posts load! I believe and hope that till the end of this decade we'll see many changes.
I just don't know where are the blog list and widgets but many people don't have a blog list and widgets. I have already noticed that VIP blogs only have their posts and their profiles and sometimes a badge of a very important award. I'll never understand why they need followers for some even don't want comments which makes many people leave quickly even thou they would never leave any comment but without the just in case is too much.
I prefer having a huge blog list of people I admire and some widgets that make me remember that I'm not alone while blogging even if a certain criteria will exclude me just by taking a quick look at this features and the fact that I don't draw or write fiction and don't make any creative work surely puts me in a non-OK list. Funny how creativity is only seen by some when there is a product... this is for another post. Did you know that good blogs have only one column in the center and don't occupy the whole page like this template I'm using? This post would be huge!
To give a fancy atmosphere small pictures are ideal. I know the formula to have a fancy and top blog but this one here is the way it is. It follows another recipe.
It would be interesting publishing the same blog in different templates each aiming a certain niche but I don't have time for that.

Thursday, April 28

'Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.' Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes we look at the past to try to find some answers for today's problems.
At this post I remembered Abraham Lincoln definition of democracy that was taken from one of his speeches.
This is a project by University of Pennsylvania at Second Life that recreated Abrahan Lincoln's memorial.
The project has more but now I would only like to remember:
'Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.'* Abraham Lincoln*
and also the expression "New Birth of Freedom" that also at the speech.
"...these dead shall not have died in vain..."
It is a lot to reconsider. Hope the world and America is ready for that.

Royal Wedding: she will not obey and the incomprehensible frenzy of weddings

Free AnimationsAnimated Weddings My readers, me, myself and I since, let's face, reading blogs is boring, or, maybe all activities that has reading involved is boring, know very well that weddings is something out of this planet for me. I simply have no opinions and have nothing to say about weddings. And there is a Royal Wedding going on! The idea of royalty is also something so far from me that I have nothing to say about it. Of course I'm familiar with Lady Di, of course, the Queen, the Prince of Wales and all British royalty, yes Your majesty Lady Di is on the list, maybe the only true royal person in this castle for a long time. But British people are kind and keep paying it all for you and your family. But I digress. The bride will follow Lady Di's step and will not "obey". I'm surprised because I didn't even know that there was "obey" in the bride's vows. That is the way it is or was: "Bride: I,_____, take thee,_____, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance." Two other brides after Lady Di said "obey". I have nothing else to say but that I guess I'm addicted to gifs animated and I know many people don't like them. Sad news: I left the gif animated that represents for me what marriage seems to be about for the end:
P.S. Don't forget to try to catch the bouquet.

The Four Dogs: Working in team

There! Seventh of the series and a lesson that working in team inspires others as you can see the black dog trying to help.

Wednesday, April 27

Tatsuya Ishida the Japanese-American resistant webcartoonist

I'm getting in touch with Tatsuya work now and I'm impressed. This is the first cartoon I found this week and started researching. You will have to wait till tomorrow and for the moment enjoy this great strip. 
Cheat: Kanji's symbol for change.

Josina Burgess at the metaverse

In 2009 I went to this virtual reality experience Josina Burgess promoted. I took these pictures of my avatar flying with others in this fantastic galaxy.
Thou this is not the most important of Josina works it a was very beautiful and nice experience. Now she is working at CARP Cybernetic Art Research Project which I still don't know. I'll visit it and tell you what I experienced.

Tuesday, April 26

Bloglovin: using blogs to sell

I misspelled the name: It is BlogLovin, the application for fashion victims below, and not the way I first wrote.
Why they didn't write FashionLovin since blogs are not their forte? Update: April, 27 They keep publishing my posts as you can see at the first left image. Dear Lord! These people really need desperately other people's work! Be careful with these kind of scams. There are many at the web! Update: April, 28 I just found an article also explaining how Bloglovin steals content even from bloggers who didn't sign. This is criminal and there's no other word for that.
The first image I just took from their site showing that they keep using my posts and have the one I did four hours ago.
Isn't it amazing how they need people's work? But the lack of integrity and ethics is not a surprise and there are so many people doing
Say NO to unethical marketing
the same! They forget that I use work of many people, attributing of course, but if they publish their images without giving the attribution for the creators they have another problem.
What is amazing about those who steal people's work is that they never achieve their goals and their projects are never taken seriously or are profitable.
Funny because once you are willing to make things the wrong way it is so much easier to succeed in our days and in history we also have some examples.
But you have to do it wisely and let's face it: stealing from bloggers is not in the mind of a great marketer or a man of broad visions.
Poor people. But it's an advice for bloggers who are not very known and might be very upset when things like that happens.
It means nothing. Just don't let them steal your traffic. Tips in another post.
Update: June, 17
Blogovin is still using my blog. The image shows my last two posts for today.
I don't think we can teach ethics or respect to anyone.
I will not even talk about integrity, rules and all these words.
Only respect. I wrote them saying I had unjoin their site and asked to have my blog removed.
They don't do it.

Bloglovin: using blogosphere to market for fashion industry?

I joined Bloglovin to have the experience of a blogger that is not part of their merchandising elite and know what happens once you are there. Sad. We know that blogs have many functions and it is still difficult to numerate them all. But I don't think that we have to watch in passivity blogs, for many the only possibility to raise their voices and awareness about serious issues, being used to sell no matter what. They used pictures of my blog, only the fashion related ones and never an ugly photography, to link to their site instead of giving me more traffic as they claim I would have. I took a look at some of their top blogs and they are all disguised propaganda of clothes, shoes, make-up, shampoo, furnitures... name it.
I just came across with Liz Una Kim who did a very good analysis of Bloglovin.
I like her views but I agree with one of her commenters:
"mdeseriis says:
"Liz, I like the considerations you make, although there is still something that is not entirely clear to me from your description, nor from a superficial browsing of Bloglovin’ for that matter–namely, whether this aggregator simply encapsulates blogs created with a variety of blog platforms (such as blogger, wordpress, tumblr, etc.) or whether it also allows users to create a blog of their own. From your travelogue I evince that Bloglovin’ just enables users to follow their favorite bloggers. But if that is the case, why do all these blogs look the same? Is it possible that users are so conformist that all end up lovin’ the same kinds of blogs?
Or is it possible that there a refined marketing strategy behind Bloglovin’ –i.e. for instance some of these bloggers are paid or receive other benefits from Bloglovin’ which is in turn funded by the fashion industry? The fact that the platform does not say anything about who they are, when they were founded, and what is their business model, calls for a cautionary approach. Finally, I disagree with your equation of the parasite with a negative being, as parasites can have a productive function. As a matter of fact, in the animal kingdom parasites are frequently kept alive by their hosts which develop with them a symbiotic, and mutually advantageous relationship. (The relationship between Google and traditional media is a case in point). But as I said before I am not even so sure that Bloglovin’ is a simple aggregator, if that was the case, its user base would probably be much more differentiated."
One of the strange things I read at their top-10 blogs, that are clearly made by pros and have links to known commercial companies: but not the famous and more expensive brands. Bloglovin is for middle class and lower class and this is the sad part of the story. The fashion victims that use their pocket money to buy what they can't afford.
But this is what I did read: "It’s lame that my days are consumed with first-world problems: My pan didn’t deglaze enough!"
First-world problems? I have not a clue what does it mean and was unaware that the cold war is not over. I'm puzzled by what this person think about this marvelous first-world she/he lives. I cannot find it at the map.
This is not the blogsphere I like and again I will quote Liz:
"We’ve discussed, for quite some weeks now, the emergence, and increasing prominence of the "Blogosphere. In which we also read in Notaro’s “The Long Revolution: the Blogosphere as an Alternative Public Sphere?” “will remain on the ‘blogosphere‘, a term coined by William Quick (2001) to indicate the ‘intellectual cyberspace’ that bloggers occupy” – Notaro And within this context, an increasing number of blogs and bloggers; which can prove to be a bit overwhelming to keep up with, especially when one is trying to follow a dozen specialized blogs for different things – i.e. politics, fashion, food – simultaneously."Then there is BlogLovin‘, an application which allows its user to sync all their blogs into one stream. It works sort of like an e-mail, but for blogs. It will keep track of which posts/bloggers you’ve read, which ones are unread, and ones you’ve favorite-d.""
You are brave Liz! I quit. Unfortunately they forgot to advice: this is an application for those who love fashion. BlogLovin? Not that much! FashionLovin would explain better and they should not ask people from other fields to join because I saw good stuffs of people who have nice blogs there but they are new and haven't a clue where they are and what are the consequences of being there. This is not fair.
Blogsphere: ‘intellectual cyberspace’ that bloggers occupy” We need that!
Even thou I unjoined Bloglovin keeps publishing my posts:
At their site they explain:
Nope, you are following blogs anonymously.
Back to top
Say NO to unethical marketing
Update: June, 17
Blogovin is still using my blog. The image shows my last two posts for today.
I don't think we can teach ethics or respect to anyone.
I will not even talk about integrity, rules and all these words.
Only respect. I wrote them saying I had unjoin their site and asked to have my blog removed.
They don't do it.

Vermeer: "The Love Letter" comparing reproductions

Comparing reproductions of any work of art makes us wanting to get a plane and do a quick flight to see the original.
You are excused from the two last posts if you
are the iconic illiterate described at Monday's post. You just have to know "The Girl with the pearl earing".
Keep it in your memory that I'll give you some more important works of art you have to know. Maybe ten will do. Take it easy!

Vermeer Van Delft: "You've got a letter" theme

In Vermeer's, Delft is his city, universe the letter being received or written is usual and treated in a very direct way: letter received, some thoughts and answer.
The titles are explanatories:

"A Lady Writing a Letter", 1666, (left)
"The Love Letter"(right and detail)

There are more paintings with women receiving and writing letters and it is striking that there are no dramas and the expressions of the faces show  control of emotions and no doubts about what to do with the envelop that has just arrived. In the left painting the woman is staring at the public and I can even listen: "Calm down, I know what to do and I'm so happy!" But this is me.

Monday, April 25

"Girl with a pearl earring" must be known iconic illiterate people!

I'm sure you were exposed to the right painting whether you know it or not. "The girl with the pearl earing", painted in 1665 by Vermeer, is everywhere and she must be almost next to Mona lisa in popularity. Ok, if you don't know Mona lisa. The Last Supper? No? You are in serious trouble. You are an iconic illiterate and knowing Madonna or Lady Gaga will not help you.
Some paintings are used by designers, advertisers, artists and all of those who work with images because they take for granted that everybody knows them for they are part of the western cultural patrimony just like Bart Simpson is.
You may not like art but it is a shame, a shame not to know some works of art and still, some people claim: "I don't like paintings or anything of this kind" as if they were saying "I don't like running, I rather walk."
And they start laughing!
I wonder if in the scientific era anyone would dare to say: "I don't know how the four operations." without feeling ashamed.
Or I'm wrong and not knowing is the new black. "I don't know, and I don't wanna know."
I will try to find this memo I didn't receive to see if I have to continue or stop here. brb