Empathy And Google

FalconSorry about not posting yesterday, I’m still sick, and just wasn’t up to posting. I am feeling much better today so I’m going to try and get some extra stuff up to day to make up for it. Now for today’s written post.

If you are here for today’s Painting follow the link.

When Google was first hitting it big my dad became very annoyed. He was annoyed because he had read up on how the search algorithm worked. See, he knew that the algorithm looked at what everyone else was clicking and moved those links to the top, a bit of knowledge which has since lead to untold amounts of abuse. What he would say was “just because it more popular doesn’t make it better.” No as a logical statement this is perfectly sound. just because a thing is popular, does not make it better. But there are two things that my father had failed to realize. The first is that all of those people you had started to use Google back then had access to all of the other search engines that he has access to, including his favorite, Dogpile. Dogpile is actually  a meta search engine, which is to say that it searches other search engines. This is actually a great idea in principle, but in practice leaves something to be desired, since in the results are mostly not what you want, and since it searches Google anyways you usually end up clicking on its link, not always but still.

The second thing, and this is the one that made me want to talk about the subject this morning, is that in many cases something being popular does mean it’s better. Let me elaborate. There are two scientific principles that are essential to this line of thinking, the first is the regression to the mean, which states that the more test samples you have the less extreme the average will be over the course of time. the second principle is the law of large numbers which says that the larger the sample pool is the more precise the average will become. These two closely related principles combined with a fairly new theory called Crowd Wisdom, reveal the true power of Google.

Crowd Wisdom works like this, if you have a large number of level headed individuals, from a diverse set of backgrounds and have them all just guess, their average will be incredibly accurate. The Ideas is the all of the outliers, the high guesses and low guesses will nullify each other leaving only the most accurate guesses. The same principle is in action with the Google search algorithm, they bank on the majority of inquiries will be satisfied by the best available link. It also makes an assumption that is more and more at the heart social values today, that we are all essentially the same. It assumes that if I am interested in a certain website when I make my specific search, that you will be interested in it too.

This level of assumed empathy is incredible, and I think that it is an indication of this to come. I think that the world is really finally coming around the idea that in essence we are all equal, that are values, as far as what really important are the same. People are being to see that there are no bad guys, there are no good guys we are all just people trying to do what we think is right.

And that’s my take on Google and empathy.

And for

Underhill Kingdom

UnderhillKingdomI am feeling a bit under the weather today, I think I am coming down with something. I did not write a new post for to day but I will try to do a double post tomorrow. For now I did finish this painting albeit late.

This one is a painting of a fantasy style kingdom carved from a mountain. I think that it came out okay. I need to work on my edges for buildings, I find my self getting lost as I try to come up with a convincing geometry for a city. Maybe I will try to do a couple of studies of cityscapes.

Anyways here’s the link for the full version of the banner image.

Integrated Learning

IntegratedLearningIn my attempts to get myself up to snuff as far making concept art goes I have been brushing up on various painting techniques. In the past I have had some experience with watercolors and acrylics. I dabbled in oil painting but was never really trained in it, but as I have started reading about some of the theory behind oil painting techniques I find myself getting more out of the lessons due to my lack of experience with oil paints. Let me explain. When you get a tutorial in some technique of another you may learn a trick as you follow the instructions, but when you are forced to take the advice and insights for one discipline and apply it to another, I think that you get more from it. You have to find what is important about the lesson, find what is most useful about what they are saying and apply it to a foreign practice.

I think that there is something there. As I move forward in my self education I plan to do this with more purpose. I want to find texts talking about photography and film, music and dance, and extract what I feel is relevant. To draw parallels between disparate fields of creativity to find common traits. One of the best ways to learn is to explore the very edge of your experience. Your go out to the limits of what you know, and take one more step, simple but powerful. Its the same way we conduct scientific discovery. We find a field of study the has a knowledge base, go out to the edge of our understanding of it and take a look, when you do this you are guaranteed to discover something in short order.

For example, I have been reading a book about using color in oil paints. The book cover everything from the basic color theory like what I discussed last week, to the more advanced methods of manipulating color. One of these techniques is using a continuity color to create harmony in your color palette. The way it works is by adding a little bit of the color in question to every color you mix as you paint, this ensures that the whole painting is harmonious and that none of the color clash. This technique is essentially replaced in the color balance feature in Photoshop, which finds the average color and brings all of the colors closer to that, creating greater harmony in the picture.

And that’s my take on integrated learning.


I will be trying a shorter format, and going back to posting every day. So from now on the posts will be about half as long, but accompanied by a new painting every other day.

Sunday Speed Paint

SP2So this is a little late, because I got wrapped up with Easter stuff, But I did get my five paintings done, Ten minutes each as usual, I feel like I was able to get a bit more detail, and I also tried to put in a human scale reference in each this time. They are are still a bit rough but I don’t expect these to ever reach the level of a polished finished product in just ten minutes. The real hope for me is to get in the habit of roughing out a composition that I am happy with in as little time as possible so the the rest of the time spend on my work can go into making strong perspective and adding interesting details.

Here today’s link to the weekly speed paint, Thanks for visiting!

Warp Cruiser

WarpCruiseToday I finished up a painting of a warp speed cruise liner. I was inspired by the theoretical technology that has been outlined for a practical solution for faster than light travel through space. It’s still taking more time than I’d like, but on the bright side I do find that flow that I keep harping on about, and that not bad.

So here the link for the banner image in full.

Swamp Beast

SwampBeast1Today is the next installment of my painting series, today is a composition with a focus on an imaginary creature. I large amphibious creature wading through and swamp. This one took even longer than the first, so much for my goal of a shorter deadline, but it does have significantly more detail. This is good, since detail is another element that I have been trying to work on for this.

I find that I am able to spend hours painting these, which I love. I can find my flow, like I wrote about Saturday, finding flow in an activity makes the activity itself the reward. However I also have a vague hope that I will be able to find a way to make a living with these skills, and for that I need to learn how to produce.

Any ways here’s a link to see the full paining shown in the banner.