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zaterdag 31 maart 2012

Boycott Hubpages

my hubpages account

In my opinion censorship is something belonging to Nazi-like regimes and doesn’t deserve a place on Internet which was developed and meant to be a free platform. If companies, organizations etc. want to censor without any possibility of dispute they should be banned from what they didn’t help to develop. I don’t mind Internet to be commercialized when it is a way for people to make money and support themselves from behind their pc in their own home, but it hurts my feelings when I have to experience that an initiative that was developed to bring the world together has become an ordinary advertisement platform.

Hubpages is not the only one and the issue is not new. Internet has become a main street of an ancient town, destroyed by the big brands, their banners and campaigns. What disturbs me personally is the way they present themselves.

According to the amount of “Hubbers” today it works, at least for their “levelers”, the chosen ones who have written so much that Hubpages itself is growing fat thanks to the ad-clicks they generate. That is not what bothers me. When I signed up for Hubpages I wanted to see if it is true that you can make some money by writing for them. Forget it! After about 20 articles and 1000 visitors I made exactly 62 cents through them. I earn by writing, but not thanks to Hubpages. Visitors need to click on the ads to gain, but even when they do don't count on revenues. I investigated it myself from a different IP-address: clicking the ads, filling out surveys, and guess what: Not one penny! I know this already for a couple of months and this is not the reason for my boycott-call. I like to write, ventilate my opinion, and Hubpages has a broad audience. A lot of people believe the fairy-tale to earn by writing, and some do, I’m certain. The ones who make the big bucks for the company will be paid. Of course: you don’t take the risk kicking out the gold-shitting donkey by not rewarding him. Hubpages gains thanks to the fact that the majority of their users don’t have a clue how Internet works. They just write their articles from behind their sophisticated type-writers and load what they have to say up to the greedy Moloch, Hubpages is.


Hubpages is not the only platform where I publish, and I reach a broader audience and get better paid on for example my own blog-site, but Hubpages gave me the opportunity to get in touch with a complete different gamma of readers. What you find over there is the average travel article and cookery recopies you will find in every free magazine. Not much to go for because Hubpages doesn’t like opinions, which are personal and can be threatening.

The first time they unpublished one of my Hubs was when they found out that what I uploaded to their pages was not exclusively for them. I was writing a sequel about Internet and its affect on our future which I started as a blog. Hubpages was an opportunity to reach a broader audience, and therefore I uploaded the same story to my Hubpages account. After chapter six one of their censors woke up and unpublished chapter seven. I received an email to inform me that Hubs should be exclusive, and they asked me to correct this. In other words: take your blog offline or fuck off! Pardon? An organization which doesn’t pay for your efforts but instead gains from it, demands writing exclusively for them? Who do they think they are? I wrote a Hub about hubbing, stipulating the fact that the authors’ right was still mine. What could be the reason knowing that my content was original? The answer didn’t come from Hubpages themselves, in fact they never respond, but from one of the “levelers”. By duplicating, even if content is original, it would affect Hubpages’ Google ranking, was her honest meant opinion. I never heard greater nonsense, but as I said: Hubpages-users don’t have a clue. You can tell them anything. They will believe it.

At first I wanted to quit immediately: Fuck off, exclusively for them and gaining 62 cents over 20 articles! I re-thought this because I had an audience there. Not big, but lets see what happens if I write hubs for a hubbing public and play the game by their rules. Just curious; always after getting more knowledge about how Internet and its different facets work. So I started a series about places I lived.

The next email arrived yesterday. This time they didn’t accuse me of duplicated content because I published the articles exclusively on Hubpages. It was even worse: “Violation: Not English – Primarily written or recorded in a language other than English”; it said. Absolute rubbish! Since the time one of my teachers in high school accused me of plait because he couldn’t believe that I wrote so well, I never experienced such an allegation. Every article was original written by me, only published on Hubpages and not translated nor used in any other kind or language. Why the email then? I don’t know. As I explained before: being unpublished on Hubpages is without any dispute. They don’t defend or explain their decision. One has to except after a company reaches the power. For the second time I wrote a hub about hubbing to see if hubbers would react. Hubpages didn’t like my wording I suppose; accusing them of Nazi-practices. They unpublished that one as well: this time with the excuse that the hub was personal and therefore a blog.

It is time to stop this kind of companies which become a plague on a platform which began as a free enterprise to combine the knowledge of mankind worldwide. If this is all Internet has to offer then we better plug out all servers in order to get our social lives back in stead of being hoarest in what we do best.

zaterdag 24 maart 2012

ERO PORTRAITS

I'm working on a new set of filters for Adobe CS5 and tested them on a series of erotic portraits. Here are some of the results I want to share...



















donderdag 22 maart 2012

News


I started a series about places where I lived. As an artist I traveled a lot, moved more then most people, and saw quite some part of the world. Apart from ingredients like my parents and education, it made me who I am.

The stories I will tell about the towns and villages, area’s perhaps, are personal. I don’t want to sketch an historical or geographical overview. There are enough broad tales on the Internet. I want to keep it small, something from me that no-one else can tell.

The first 3 towns are published on joachimartist.hubpages.com
For new content and achievements visit my website JoachimArtist

zaterdag 10 maart 2012

The future is ours to see 8

Whisper, digital art 10032012


Some days ago I spotted a new trend: Chiliwire. They present themselves as the new Facebook, with this difference that users share in the revenues. It’s a pyramid-system. The more users you convince to join, the more money you can make. And you know what: the concept will work. Why? Do I really have to explain this?
Facebook was set up by a couple of students who wanted to share amongst each other. The idea was not new. Together with some fellow artist I built a likewise application in the late nineties, as a possibility to keep in touch and share ideas, other than by email. Time was not ripe to commercialize it, or better: no-one thought of commercialization. It was for fun and for own use. It was no-one else’s affair.
The same for the students, apart from Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the commercial wiz kid of the group. That it worked we all know: the fun-tool of the years 2000.
The developers of Chiliwire must have thought: If people love to share, it is even more fun when gaining real money from it. At least if people don’t have actually to do anything for it. They already share, they already invite friends, why not split a part of the income we gain through advertising. The concept is as simple as can be, and there is a future in it, because Internet is all about sharing. Facebook is a one-way-alley: the users share, the owners collect. As I explained before: Zuckerberg is still thinking in the past to discover the future. The old economy versus the new, which will be about sharing if one wants to stand out in a world without boundaries. The world is too big (seven billion), and the Internet community too large and too dominant in not so much time from now.
There is another reason why initiatives like Chiliwire will succeed. More and more people have to stay home making their income. For various reasons: traffic, energy, pollution, and not the least: time! Internet-society is an information-society, and therefore time-consuming. This grows so fast that a lot of people actually sleep less to cope. Staying home and making your income from there, saves time. That is one reason why so many people are looking for extra revenues over the Net, and what is more easy then do what you already do, lay back and make money at the same time.
The Internet made it possible to work from home. The next thing will be that people actually make their earnings, not because of logging in their employers network, but because the electronic highway itself supports them with everything necessary.

For those who are interested: http://www.chiliwire.com/JoachimArtist 



…to be continued… 

donderdag 8 maart 2012

The future is ours to see 7

Fear for the Future



Do we have to fear the Future?
Of course not! Future is always exiting, and will always be. It is always uncertain, that’s the nature of it: unpredictable, because we do not know all ingredients. But to fear it, is as stupid as fearing your own destiny…
Our material certainties are fading, at least for most of us. The top 2% doesn’t bother. They think they can get away with it, but the ones who have most to loose will lose most in the end. That is history, and there is no reason not to believe that it will be future as well.
Systems come and go. We cannot imagine to survive without the near past economic certainties, at least in the Western world, the lucky part that gave shelter to the “happy-few”. But it is changing fast. New economies come up, copying ours, and are successful like we were when it started. Most people in the Bric-countries are still poor, which is also not new. The same happened in our regions when we discovered industrialization, and it needed a couple of generations before we reached the welfare we are afraid of loosing now.
Human life is all about possibilities, and as soon as a group, a nation, or a part of the world has more, the rest wants to follow. I want what you have, is even more natural to us then eating, drinking, or even breathing. Gathering is where we live for; afraid as we are that life is meaningless without it. That’s the problem with us people: the more we gather, the more we are afraid of loosing it again.
The society we live in today will disappear eventually. As a fact that is history as long as mankind walks the earth and because of that it will be future as well. History is what shows us future, and even new techniques cannot change this repetition. We become older by every generation, but living longer is no guarantee for wisdom.
Mankind came quit far. A successful specie developed a wide range of tools to make it easier for himself, and even struggles to understand what and why he is. We brought the whole world back to our desktop and even laptop or pad, so we can carry it with us wherever we go: The whole world in a tiny suitcase, still sounds as a fantasy story.
No system we know yet can cope with that. The world we surf on a daily base is in our house 24/7, and totally without boundaries. It is still a young reality, but one we face together, have to accept together, because there won’t be a reverse. Outside the little box on our desk or lap, is still a different reality which is in the total of its appearance the absolute opposite. How long will this discrepancy survive?  I don’t know, not in measured time, I only know that it has to vanish. In a world without boundaries regulations will differ and mankind has to face a new truth: the acceptance of total responsibility of each individual for the complete machinery of our future system. With such a complex structure the world will be, there is no other path to walk…

…to be continued…

dinsdag 6 maart 2012

The future is ours to see 6

Rising out of a stone wall



Since the coming up of digital media there is a lot going on about privacy. It looks as if we loose on a daily basis. Social Media like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are interactive pirates by using our input on what - we like to believe - is our personal page.
At first: There is nothing personal to it. As individuals we are free to decide if we use these pre-prepared tools. We did not develop it, and we are aware that these are open instruments; otherwise we would not sign up for it. It is, because everyone can see it, that we want to be part of it. Social Media are appellations to our human-want to exhibit ourselves. That’s why they are there, and that’s why we use them!
Having said that: Is it fair that those companies use our input for their own commercial goals? No! But who wants to believe that all this work to develop and design was just be done to please the world’s community?
Besides this: what is privacy? Generally spoken it is everything we do not want to share, and that is not the same for everyone. From a basic point of view privacy means: the knowledge about yourself you only share with a small group of intimae. So it can’t be your name, address, etc…, because these are written down, and known by a lot. As soon as you need something in the outside world the first knowledge about yourself you have to leave are these. It can’t be what you eat, shop, or whatever you do in the open, for the same reason. Stay home if you do not want strangers to know it. But still, this is the knowledge Social Media companies use to provide your page with ads, or to sell to third parties with the same goal: to bombard you with advertisements you did not ask for. That’s what annoying us, that’s when we point to privacy-acts, and call for more and better regulations.
Further: privacy is also a matter of culture and history. Even when people are on holiday, privacy views change. They walk half-naked along the Costa’s, something they never would at home, in their own neighborhood. So, privacy differs, and changes per situation.
Our call for privacy though, means completely something else. What we really want is protection against being harass.
Well, you better get used to it, or change your feelings about it! Internet also interacts with our harassment feelings. It is from all times, that when you get something for free, it generally means that you have something to offer yourself as well, and the use of Social Media is free of any charge, except the offer they ask you for: Your privacy! If you don’t like it, don’t participate.

As I stipulated before, Internet is a truly free environment. Of course you need a provider (or become one yourself) to have access. It is not that you don’t need any investment to use it, but once you pass the gate, the world behind it, is free of charge if you know how to use it. Internet in itself, the environment, belongs to no one. It is an open world, but everyone uses it: some just for fun, others to make money, and those others are the ones who charge you, even when it is for free…

…to be continued…

maandag 5 maart 2012

The future is ours to see 5

Alone


It is not easy to understand today as part of history. We look back on a Golden Age, summarizing 100 years in one chapter, while we see the year’s just past – let’s say: pre-Internet – as already ancient, and not of our time anymore. The ones, who are not on the Net still, addressing as dinosaurs…
Our time will be summarized as well in future. One chapter for a period of just after WWII till a date still in the future: the time that evolution became revolution, the age of commerce, or a new mid-“evil” of individualism and selfishness?
A mix, I guess. An add-up of revolts, started in the late fifties. Highlights and conquers of technology, line-up with human de-socialization. A time mankind never saw before, not because of endless inventions, but mainly because of the fastest expansion of population ever, in combination with a growing disinterest in each other, and each others environment. The more people there are, the more possibilities to get in touch with each other, the more we focus on ourselves, become ego minded. Our own small environment, highlighted as the center of everything.
This is the time we live in, not the future, because if this consequently evolves mankind won’t survive. The less room we get for ourselves, the more we need, has no future. But what can turn the wheel we maneuvered ourselves in?
As said before, systems have to change. The way the world is ruled is still 19th century, almost feudal, in spite of the fact that we generally address it as democracy.
I don’t want to start a political debate about what Democratos really meant. That is not the issue. It is not about elections, and who wants, or is in the possibility to be elected. It’s about the opposite, about the billions who have no saying, or almost too non influence on their future. It’s about 98% of the world’s population, getting more knowledge, are better informed, to accept that an upper-class rules for them. I don’t believe, however, that a repetition of the French Revolution is about to come. Revolts still may happen in the Middle-East, it is not the method to change systems anymore. There are other signs.
In spite of acts and governmental intentions, the interest in who is ruling is declining. People set their own rules, and again the Internet is a leading example. Even upper-class needs protection. They do things which they don’t want us to know, but the digital highway broadcasts everything. Secrets are no secrets anymore, and gossips become information in use by billions. The ones who are at the top today can fall tomorrow.
That is the future. In spite of who and what we are, we invented the Internet, allowing everyone seeing everyone naked as they are, and there is no system as we know it to cover such. The way our society is organized will change dramatically, and the answers are not in commercialization or institutionalization. They belong to the past. In future, nor enterprises, governments, or institutions will rule. In fact ruling itself is outdated. The widely spread individualization of today is just an exercise on the evolutionary ladder. People will more and more stop obeying and will find their own way to go. I know it is hard to imagine, but think of your selves, surfing and searching for new ways to express, new items to discover. It is from this daily behavior that future changes will be extracted.

…to be continued…

zondag 4 maart 2012

The future is ours to see 4

Darkness



Last night I saw “the hidden Internet” on Belgian TV. The news-anchor announced the “Tor”-network, and gave it that subtitle, because police and government had to admit that they had no tools to fight the treat.
I laughed. The item was broadcasted, just one day after I wrote my last column in this sequel. “The hidden Internet”, how wrong can people be...?
There is no “hidden” Internet, because the whole system in itself is hidden. It is a false believe that we-see-what-we-get. Most people are not aware of what they load into their lives, just by surfing the Net. They simply do not understand that they are down-loading all the time, just by switching on their computer.
“Tor” is one of many illustrations of what the back-alleys of the glorified electronic highway have to offer. One of the connections which are difficult to trace, if one hasn’t sufficient knowledge, and most people don’t even understand that they can’t access their email when the Internet-connection is down…
We all surf the “hidden” paths, because we cannot actually see them. Even the best informed Nerd can be hacked, or thrown out of an established connection, because we don’t really see, are not aware until, or after it happens.
Like all techniques mankind develops, systems like “Tor” will evolve. They will always be a step ahead of who is chasing or trying to break into the underlying canals. “Used by criminals and pederasts”, the news-anchor informed, because official institutions are unable to interfere. The awakening of fear of what we don’t understand, or cannot see. Electronic-wise mankind entered the middle ages, and the threatening devil is summarized as “the hidden Internet”.
What we have to understand is that the Net is just a next step in our evolution, like fire, or the invention of the wheel was. It enlarges our possibilities, and it will shake up our systems as we know them. People have to learn to think like their daily used digital highway, if they don’t want to be accidentally killed by it. This change of thinking is the most difficult for the so-called establishment. They didn’t become established because of it, not even companies like Microsoft (think of the free development of an OS like Linux), and establishment is in itself conservative, because it wants to keep what it gathered by the means of what they know and understand.
Conservatism is outdated very fast since the introduction of Internet. Nothing lost so many believers in such a short time as the Gods, most people still worshipped about 50 years ago. The new generation is divided. The majority does not take the religions serious anymore, and a small part tries to stop this evolution with bombs and guns, using the Internet to spread their word, and don’t understand that they use a tool which will wipe them out eventually. The power of Internet is still mainly information, and informed people were always the downfall of established conservatism!

…to be continued…

vrijdag 2 maart 2012

The future is ours to see 3




Let’s talk about communication…
It is a general believe that Internet, and especially Social Media, are instruments to enlarge world wide communication. Mankind never assumed a bigger mistake. Since the mid nineties we were offered an amount of tools through which we can broadcast our selves, show-off, if you like, but interaction, in fact, is very poor. Basically Internet tools are developed for a wider range of commercializing, and all too often mistaken for communication.
The base for communication is interaction between two or more individuals. They react on each others needs and expression: words, sounds and images. This is where misunderstanding begins: Internet in general is about up~ and downloading the same issues: words, sounds and images, however, with an enormous lack of interaction.
If we would behave in a room filled with people, like we do on the Net, that room would empty in no time. Imagine individuals expressing them selves without listening or looking at others.
Internet is an invention which could only happen in times where individualization is the main goal for almost all of us. It would not work in a small village where people sit and talk in front of their houses after working hours. Those people would be too busy communicating to go inside and lock them selves up in front of a machine. The invention of the www was possible, because communication was already fading.
Communication, a basic need for humans, has slowly slipped into a false interaction of pimping up our needs. The world of commerce took over, and this had nothing to do with the launch of the Internet. This slowly slipping started with globalization and industrialization, and the electronic highway became nothing more then a logical follow-up in this process. When people complain in their own private environment about a lack of attention, it is not the computer or Internet to blame. This disinterest in the others needs lies far beyond, or better: before, the electronic possibilities of today. We, as people, are loosing the abilities of communication, and convert them into slogans as a form of expression, and ego focusing. Why? -  Because we interact on, and copy the media around us.
The biggest disease mankind is suffering is the commercial rat-race, which let us believe that no happiness, or even humanity, is possible, without gathering more and better, but see – the opposite happens. Global crisis, a decrease of poverty, more unhealthy people… The question is: can Internet change this?
Internet, or what comes next, will grow, not only in volume or reach, but as a medium that will replace the way the world is ruled today. The www is the monster that kills commerce. The signs are already all over: the illegal download of music, films, software, hacking of enterprises and governmental institutions…, still a minority today, which can be dealt with. The losses are high, but can be overcome. No one realizes that this way of interaction is just over 15 years old, and the damage done is already many billions, and increasing… What the business-world still does not understand is that our economic system is not build for the Internet, that globalization in terms of the G20 is a farce. There are no borders anymore, and warriors are no longer men-with-guns, ruled by a government, but everyday-people-with-mobile-phones. That is today and changing fast.
Members of a young generation become billionaire’s over-night, while other members of that same generation use the same field as their playground for free, is as eating from two different sides: the first still limping on old values, the second showing the way to the future. Today the alleys and bushes of the Net are filled with Robin Hoods’, calling them selves “ethical hackers”, those who show others the lacks and gaps of the electronic highway. They hide the future in side, because Internet in itself does not belong to anyone, which means that it is truly free, and no act can change that. Men invented their worst nightmare: the killing-machine of the world today’s systems…

…to be continued…