Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The End of Flickr?

The End of Flickr?
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The End of Flickr?

(I’m posting my response here after reading EngelFish’s comment below)

Hmmm, oddly enough (ironically even), I have to say that I actually think flckr has been a positive influence for a lot of people, especially the "power users," many of whom now have more vibrant, passionate, and meaningful lives outside of flickr (because of flickr) than most.

Not only have people found new friends, dangerous liaisons and contacts around the word as WAXY POETIC points out, but because the site has turned so many people on to the power of photography, or the universal language of the image (and art) in particular, it truly has made a lot of people's lives better - it has enlightened us to life around the globe, made us more aware of issues and the beauty around us, made us smile and happy at times, and sometimes even more compassionate toward others.

Moreover, flickr has motivated countless people to pursue taking pictures as a career, to become artists or simply aesthetes. So, in that respect, flickr has inspired life outside itself.

And to be honest, I am one of those power users. I don't spam (I spew) and - AND - partly because of flickr I am publishing my first "real" book in Spring by Cyan Books (25 Lessons). Lo and behold, it is about how I became a street photographer in New York City. I am wholly grateful for this and I give flickr the credit it deserves in the book. Before then I had been a avid writer for 15 years, it was photography that gave me my true first opportunity to publish those words.

I do not know what will come of this change, we'll probably all just have to suck it up and deal with it. But as per my post, it is kind of sad for me, it is an ominous sign in a sense of a possible demise. For I've been in marketing for 20 years now, and I've studied leadership, genius and success for about as long - and one thing is clear - it is the individual that makes the difference - it is the power user that endows passion and exuberance into an institution or a cause or a great place like flickr.

Alas, a change like this essentially castrates many of the individuals that make a difference here at flickr.


See "Interesting" Discussion HERE

I wholly agree with automat. This could be a sad day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Loving Lindsay

Loving Lindsay
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Lovin’ Lindsay

Dear Lindsay,

So, I’ve heard. Okay, I read…

I was on the express train downtown this morning, when, there, over some stranger’s shoulder I caught a glimpse of you, or rather, your picture. At second glance, because you know I was compelled to look again, I read the news—you’ve checked into rehab.

My immediate reaction was that it wasn’t the drugs or the meds of the drinking that was-is (are-were) the problem, but that simply you haven’t been gettin’ enuf love—shit baby, I know exactly how you’re feeling right now, darling, dear.

Guess you didn’t get my message then, huh? I wrote to you, some time ago, just to let you know that not only am I available, but that I’d immediately, no questions asked, no pre-nup even, marry you.

Alas, it seems that my humble suggestion fell in between all the other fan letters, the red carpet walks, all those talks with reporters eager to reveal the real you.

Little do they know though that you’re just as human as anyone else, extraordinarily talented perhaps, but still just as human. And that like a lot of other girls you want to marry and make babies, and that essentially what it all boils down to is that, like other girls (and boys) you just want to feel and be loved.

That’s what the glitz and glamour and flashing lights are all about anyway, right? You love us by entertaining because you love to make people happy, love to see them smile and laugh and cry even; in other words, you like to make them feel. In turn, we love you back by screaming “We love you Lindsay!” from the other side of the velvet rope, and by making proposals from afar.

But that ain’t enough is it?

You’re only human, aren’t you?

I know, I know how you feel Lindsay. And I sincerely wish you a quick recovery.

Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve (for you),

Taking Love (a little too) Seriously...

Taking Love (a little too) Seriously...
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Taking Things a Little Too Seriously...

Apparently Scott McNeely at good ol' vibrator takes love and life a little too seroiusly...Amusing stuff though.

Personally, I find lacking a sense of humor and trite suggestions for romance a little creepy...

Nonetheless and allthemore, thanks for the plug Scott. Hopefully, you will not take my retort all-too-seriuosly.


p.s. What he is referring too...Loving Lindsay

Celebrating 10 Years of Body & Soul

Celebrating 10 Years of Body & Soul
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

10 Years of Body&Soul
January 18, 2007, New York City:

This photo of my friend John Davis and I, was taken by the always-so-fab gilllianleigh (gill-darling to me), otherwise known as gill-a-licious. John is the impresario of the famous Body&Soul entertainment group.

Gill has just posted some wonderful photos of the party we went to this last weekend at Pacha, celebrating Body & Soul's 10th Anniversary—3,000 revelers were in attendance. It was nuts! Check them out!

Body & Soul's 10th Anniversary Party at Pacha

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wake Up! It's Almost Midnight! (on New Year's Eve)

Wake Up! It's Almost Midnight! (on New Year's Eve)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

For some time now I have not taken or posted any photos because I have had to concentrate on other things like fatherly duties, finding a new flatmate and writing. However, tonight I started to feel the itch and got down to editing a few photos I took on New Year’s Eve.

I miss taking pictures of the people, the energy, the action on the streets of New York City. But then again I miss a lot of things these days: my boys, the comfort and security of a house you call home, the comfort and security of someone who loves you and provides you with a consistent source of affection. But then again I’ve made choices to sacrifice such comforts because at a certain point too much comfort becomes uncomfortable and the soul gets restless. And despite what or who or how much I miss, I am happy knowing that I will persevere.

Thus, I’ve also decided to spontaneously share a little of the work I have been focusing on over the last couple of weeks. Although, 25 Lessons is essentially finished, and has been for some time now, I am in editing mode and have the daunting task of deciding what to keep and not to keep. Writing the tome was the easy part, having to cut the work in half is entirely another story. Ultimately, we are looking to shore up a good 250 pages.

Nonetheless, following is a short excerpt of Lesson 12 from 25 Lessons, which will be published in Spring by Cyan Books. The enclosed verse may or may not stay, that is a discussion I have to have with my darling editor.


Lesson 12: Persevere

The greatest sign of strength is not when someone succeeds, but rather when one fails and has the will to pick her Self up to try again.

Despite the clouds that cluster above, the feeling of futility that overcomes, the palling pangs of depression, the super self-consciousness that ensues, and the supra sentiment others impose by watching, judging, laughing—The Willing One breaks through the solemn overcast and stands a little taller than before.

And in quiet reassessment she reflects upon the missteps and miscalculations, and moves on—sometimes to other things, sometimes to begin anew, sometimes to renew and patiently rebuild a better means, a better machine or mind or way of thinking about how to get to where she wants to go.

She accepts the errors not as signs that she should quit, give up, forfeit her dreams, but merely as the mistakes that will show her what not to do next time. It is the sublime difference between resigning to “reality” and the determination that manifests the truth just as we think and create it to be, for in reality—the mind makes all the difference.

And even though most others might wallow and woe after the fall, she knows it is better to see the falling as a trip forward, for she accepts that progress always comes at a price—sometimes a sacrifice, sometimes a compromise, and sometimes—it just means getting your knees a little dirty.

And sometimes—it also means wiping the blood off your lip, the mud off your shoes, shaking off the shudder, planting firm to feel the anchors in your soles one more time, to furrow the brow and focus and to take control of your fate again. Because sometimes in order to win the fight with the plight of life and the brooding bode of our common destiny, one has to be willing to take a punch or two—for in the pursuit of bliss, that idiosyncratic mode of happiness, the difference between the winners and the losers is often determined by the one willing
to get up again.

One Must Persevere

The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.

Despite the obstacles, the naysayers, the players that will wile to get their way (and thus stifle yours), one must persevere.

One must keep the end-goal in mind regardless of all that might get in the way and discourage you from becoming a great photographer.

Ultimately, some of life’s greatest rewards come when we accomplish what others say could or should not be done, if only because it has never been done before.

To reap such rewards however, one must be willing to fall, to fail, to be assailed time and time again by others unwilling to try themselves. Don’t let them daunt you, haunt you and turn your dreams into nightmares.

Keep away from people who try to belittle
your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel that you,
too, can become great.
-Mark Twain-

Small people are small because they are afraid. They are afraid of themselves, if only because they are afraid of what others might think of them should they reveal their true feelings, bare their souls and simply act based on their true idiosyncratic sentiments. Thus, they are apt to think small, to think within the limited mind frame of others because it is safest.

fate jeers

I should have said no
a long time ago,
but instead you said yes
now, alternatively blessed
as she would have me say
I am cursed in a way
that I would have
otherwise. Not so wise
was I, is so much easier
to see retrospectively.
not so dumb I am
if I can see a way
to defy a destiny
so depraved. Be brave
my self and persevere,
your fate is less worse
than you fear.

Great people however are truly open minded, not afraid to entertain new ideas, novel notions that may even be contrary to tradition, to the law, to the contemporary values of the society they live in. Many of them actively pursue opportunities to use their imagination, and are not afraid to employ their intuition as well, the latter being a very powerful tool that often gets a lot less credit than it deserves.

At the same time, intuition probably gets more credit than it deserves too, because intuition is merely each individual’s accumulated knowledge, experience and emotions, which boiled down over time are now and then drummed up at key moments when one needs to make a choice, pass judgment or decide which road to take or not be taken.

Those who pay attention to life and those around them, and who continually try make their own conclusions tend to be more aware than most. As a result, they hone their intuitions well enough so that they feel confident enough to assess individuals and situations immediately, without having to be slowed down by the fear of not knowing everything.

Successful people are willing to takes risks and make decisions about people based on minimal information because they understand that what lies at our core, what drives us, what is meaningful to us is often not represented by what most consider to represent who we are—the job, the degrees, the name, the status, the fame, the lack thereof.

Granted, these things do allow us to asses others more readily and thus facilitate easier interactions, more comfortable conversations and intimacy over time, but only because we consciously take these factors and try to find common ground with them.

However, when you share a common philosophy, when you are a free-thinker, when a pair are open to new experiences and engage circumstance creatively together, there is often no need for those things that so many other people must have or must know about others before they feel comfortable, before they make the first step, before they allow themselves to organically engage with another as basic, sentient, sensuous, and excitable human beings.

Unfortunately, I have known many people who are plagued by this need to feel safe in every way possible before anything new happens or anyone new comes into their life.

Fortunately, whenever I realized that I was in a relationship that I felt was stifling my own organic way of being because the other person was too timid, too fearful of the unknown, I have been bold enough to accept our differences, to see that we have two different world views, two radically different approaches to life and that instead of continuing to make life hard for each other, that I would just move on. This is not to say that either of us was right or wrong, better or worse, but it is merely to say that during those times I’ve accepted the difference and eventually decided to no longer fight or compromise, just to befit the orderly and predictable and safe world that they live in.

I have always thrived on risks, lived at the extremes of the spectrum and pushed myself to persevere regardless of the challenges, obstacles and forces opposing my individual will.

(edge) alone

edge, edge, edge,
This word edge has me edgy.
Is this the edge in ledge
or the edge as in the urge
to jump off of it?
Is it the cutting edge,
liable to slice those
who dare wield its blade?
or the one made to question
everything—and all things
stuck in the fusillade,
the barrage of all that matters?
Is it the edge that matters
when one must host
this provincial malaise
day after day
or is it the tedium
that pushes you towards it—
the edge that is.
and when this is its
most certain definition,
do we hoist a hammer
to sledge off a bit of contrition
or do we shatter
all the rules to confuse
all that live a life
less keen—more certain,
unobtrusive, coyly serene,
safe, pallid, in the drone—
where edge never ventures,
for it must wander,
always on the verge—

“Doubt is a thief that often makes us fear to tread where we might have won.”
-William Shakespeare -

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Smart is What Smart Does

Smart is What Smart Does
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Smart is What Smart Does

Okay, alright, this is a spur-of-the-moment musing on the nature of intelligence, nothing revolutionary to impart here, because this ain’t going to be all-too well thought out.

I do have an essay I’m writing on my personal reflections on genius though, and hope to post that soon. So let’s just call this a warm-up of sorts.

So, as per the screenshot posted above, some computer program has calculated that I’m smarter than the average bear. Mmmm, I don’t buy it.

First of all, the questions were trivial, they did not test any area of knowledge in particular and so what it truly concludes is that I have stored and can agilely retrieve little bits of inconsequential information. Big fricken deal.

I’ve studied the nature of intelligence and genius for many years now and find that most general intelligence tests test test-taking. Moreover, they are pretty culturally and class-baised.

More importantly, the areas they measure are pretty limited and ultimately do not assess the vast number of skills that the human brain endows us with. To name a few of the valuable life-skills that IQ tests overlook:

· people skills (the art of persuasion, negotiation, diplomacy)
· street smarts (surviving daunting circumstances, remaining calm amidst chaos, getting out of tight spots, getting what you want)
· leadership and risk-taking (the courage to go for it, to fall and get up again, to persevere)
· athletic skills (agility, balance, strength, tenacity, endurance)
· optimism (to know and act as if nothing is impossible)
· creativity (using one’s imagination, being artful and original, creating)
· wisdom (being able to capture and impart lessons about life that others know, but do not have the skills to capture or impart)
· love (the capacity, intelligence and willingness to love and appreciate the beauty of life and others)

Anyway, I took the test because I was bored, and I have an ego. Admittedly, If I had anticipated that the results would indicate I wasn’t so smart, I probably wouldn’t have taken it in the first place and certainly wouldn’t have posted it…

So, if you’re bored and have two minutes…TakeThe Test.

Then you can make your own conclusions about what it all means.

“However dull a woman may be, she will understand all there is in love; however intelligent a man may be, he will never know but half of it.” - Madame Fée