Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 16th, 2015

How can photos change the world? Is that why our daily habits keep changing?

In my industry, we believe that images can change the world.

Okay, we’re naive, we’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The truth is that we know that the images themselves don’t change the world, but we’re also aware that, since the beginning of photography, images have provoked reactions in people, and those reactions have caused change to happen.

0:32 So let’s begin with a group of images. I’d be extremely surprised if you didn’t recognize many or most of them. They’re best described as iconic: so iconic, perhaps, they’re cliches. In fact, they’re so well-known that you might even recognize them in a slightly or somewhat different form.

 

0:56 But I think we’re looking for something more. We’re looking for something more. We’re looking for images that shine an uncompromising light on crucial issues, images that transcend borders, that transcend religions, images that provoke us to step up and do something — in other words, to act.

Well, this image you’ve all seen. It changed our view of the physical world. We had never seen our planet from this perspective before. Many people credit a lot of the birth of the environmental movement to our seeing the planet like this for the first time — its smallness, its fragility.

1:33 Forty years later, this group, more than most, are well aware of the destructive power that our species can wield over our environment.

And at last, we appear to be doing something about it. This destructive power takes many different forms. For example, these images taken by Brent Stirton in the Congo. These gorillas were murdered, some would even say crucified, and unsurprisingly, they sparked international outrage. Most recently, we’ve been tragically reminded of the destructive power of nature itself with the recent earthquake in Haiti. (And Nepal and…)

2:08 Well, I think what is far worse is man’s destructive power over man. Samuel Pisar, an Auschwitz survivor, said, and I’ll quote him, “The many genocides in this century teaches us that nature, even in its cruelest moments, is benign in comparison with man, when he loses his moral compass and his reason.”

2:29 There’s another kind of crucifixion. The horrifying images from Abu Ghraib as well as the images from Guantanamo had a profound impact. The publication of those images, as opposed to the images themselves, caused a government to change its policies.

Some would argue that it is those images that did more to fuel the insurgency in Iraq than virtually any other single act. Furthermore, those images forever removed the so-called moral high ground of the occupying forces.

2:58 Let’s go back a little. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam War was basically shown in America’s living rooms day in, day out. News photos brought people face to face with the victims of the war: a little girl burned by napalm, a student killed by the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio during a protest. In fact, these images became the voices of protest themselves.

3:22 Now, images have power to shed light of understanding on suspicion, ignorance, and in particular — I’ve given a lot of talks on this but I’ll just show one image — the issue of HIV/AIDS.

In the 1980s, the stigmatization of people with the disease was an enormous barrier to even discussing or addressing it. A simple act, in 1987, of the most famous woman in the world, the Princess of Wales, touching an HIV/AIDS infected baby did a great deal, especially in Europe, to stop that. She, better than most, knew the power of an image.

3:57 So when we are confronted by a powerful image, we all have a choice: We can look away, or we can address the image. Thankfully, when these photos appeared in The Guardian in 1998, they put a lot of focus and attention and, in the end, a lot of money towards the Sudan famine relief efforts.

Did the images change the world? No, but they had a major impact. Images often push us to question our core beliefs and our responsibilities to each other. We all saw those images after Katrina, and I think for millions of people they had a very strong impact. And I think it’s very unlikely that they were far from the minds of Americans when they went to vote in November 2008.

4:37 Unfortunately, some very important images are deemed too graphic or disturbing for us to see them. I’ll show you one photo here, and it’s a photo by Eugene Richards of an Iraq War veteran from an extraordinary piece of work, which has never been published, called War Is Personal.

But images don’t need to be graphic in order to remind us of the tragedy of war. John Moore set up this photo at Arlington Cemetery. After all the tense moments of conflict in all the conflict zones of the world, there’s one photograph from a much quieter place that haunts me still, much more than the others.

5:13 Ansel Adams said, and I’m going to disagree with him, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” In my view, it’s not the photographer who makes the photo, it’s you. We bring to each image our own values, our own belief systems, and as a result of that, the image resonates with us.

My company has 70 million images. I have one image in my office. Here it is. I hope that the next time you see an image that sparks something in you, you’ll better understand why, and I know that speaking to this audience, you’ll definitely do something about it.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
Photographs do more than document history — they make it.
At TED University, Jonathan Klein of Getty Images shows some of the most iconic, and talks about what happens when a generation sees an image so powerful it can’t look away –…
ted.com|By Jonathan Klein

The World in 2025: 8 Predictions for the Next 10 Years

By  ON May 11, 2015

In 2025, in accordance with Moore’s Law, (lay it all on this law in matter of technology), we’ll see an acceleration in the rate of change as we move closer to a world of true abundance.  (Behavioral change?)

Here are eight areas where we’ll see extraordinary transformation in the next decade:

1. A $1,000 Human Brain

In 2025, $1,000 should buy you a computer able to calculate at 10^16 cycles per second (10,000 trillion cycles per second), the equivalent processing speed of the human brain.

2. A Trillion-Sensor Economy

The Internet of Everything describes the networked connections between devices, people, processes and data.

By 2025, the IoE will exceed 100 billion connected devices, each with a dozen or more sensors collecting data.

This will lead to a trillion-sensor economy driving a data revolution beyond our imagination.

Cisco’s recent report estimates the IoE will generate $19 trillion of newly created value.

(I doubt NSA will be pleased: Not many analysts to process all this massive collection of data. Pending the huge data center in Utah was planned for that many sensors)

3. Perfect Knowledge

We’re heading towards a world of perfect knowledge.

With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you’ll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights.

(A vast difference between retrieving facts and comprehending the mechanism of any knowledge based system)

4. 8 Billion Hyper-Connected People

Facebook (Internet.org), SpaceX, Google (Project Loon), Qualcomm and Virgin (OneWeb) are planning to provide global connectivity to every human on Earth at speeds exceeding one megabit per second. (People will prefer to subscribe to Chinese platforms in order to avoid spying by NSA on personal communication)

We will grow from three to eight billion connected humans, adding five billion new consumers into the global economy.

They represent tens of trillions of new dollars flowing into the global economy. And they are not coming online like we did 20 years ago with a 9600 modem on AOL.

They’re coming online with a 1 Mbps connection and access to the world’s information on Google, cloud 3D printing, Amazon Web Services, artificial intelligence with Watson, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and more.

(How this progress will save the billion humans suffering from malnutrition and famine?)

5. Disruption of Healthcare

Existing healthcare institutions will be crushed as new business models with better and more efficient care emerge.

Thousands of startups, as well as today’s data giants (Google, Apple, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, etc.) will all enter this lucrative $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with new business models that dematerialize, demonetize and democratize today’s bureaucratic and inefficient system.

Biometric sensing (wearables) and AI will make each of us the CEOs of our own health.

Large-scale genomic sequencing and machine learning will allow us to understand the root cause of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disease and what to do about it. Robotic surgeons can carry out an autonomous surgical procedure perfectly (every time) for pennies on the dollar.

Each of us will be able to regrow a heart, liver, lung or kidney when we need it, instead of waiting for the donor to die.

(And the cost? How many will still be able to afford it as monthly retirement shrinks, according to  Moore’s law?)

6. Augmented and Virtual Reality

Billions of dollars invested by Facebook (Oculus), Google (Magic Leap), Microsoft (Hololens), Sony, Qualcomm, HTC and others will lead to a new generation of displays and user interfaces.

The screen as we know it — on your phone, your computer and your TV — will disappear and be replaced by eyewear.

Not the geeky Google Glass, but stylish equivalents to what the well-dressed fashionistas are wearing today.

The result will be a massive disruption in a number of industries ranging from consumer retail, to real estate, education, travel, entertainment, and the fundamental ways we operate as humans.

7. Early Days of JARVIS

Artificial intelligence research will make strides in the next decade. If you think Siri is useful now, the next decade’s generation of Siri will be much more like JARVIS from Iron Man, with expanded capabilities to understand and answer.

Companies like IBM Watson, DeepMind and Vicarious continue to hunker down and develop next-generation AI systems.

In a decade, it will be normal for you to give your AI access to listen to all of your conversations, read your emails and scan your biometric data because the upside and convenience will be so immense.

8. Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of the blockchain, I highly recommend you read up on it.

You might have heard of bitcoin, which is the decentralized (global), democratized, highly secure cryptocurrency based on the blockchain.

But the real innovation is the blockchain itself, a protocol that allows for secure, direct (without a middleman), digital transfers of value and assets (think money, contracts, stocks, IP). Investors like Marc Andreesen have poured tens of millions into the development and believe this is as important of an opportunity as the creation of the Internet itself.

(The Intelligence agencies will outpace all these cryptocurrency  programs)

Bottom Line: We Live in the Most Exciting Time Ever

We are living toward incredible times where the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2015
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