Monthly Archives: December 2002

Windley’s Enterprise Computing Weblog Here’s

Windley’s Enterprise Computing Weblog

Here’s the deal: to achieve results, you’ve got to do something. If you do something, you’ll make mistakes. Mistakes are, by definition, a process violation. So the only way to reverence process at all costs is to do nothing or, at the very least, proceed with the utmost caution. You’ve probably wondered why government service is so slow. This is the reason why: people are being very careful. They have to be, because any misstep can be deadly.

My father spent most of his professional life in the public sector, trying to get things done. Among other things, he and a colleague built a non-profit that serviced government guaranteed student loans in the early 80’s when the governement opened up that program, and he wrote and managed the grants to build a new sewage treatment plant for a growing western city.

He observed, more than once, that “in a perfect bureacracy, nothing gets done.”

Art and Optics : New

Art and Optics : New theories regarding opticality: Introduction

Most art historians believe the majority of European painters since the Italian Renaissance deployed elaborate systems of mathematical perspective to achieve their effects. Over the past several years, however, Hockney and Falco have been arguing that, on the contrary, most artists in the High Tradition, going all the way back to Bruges in the 1420s, were deploying a variety of optical devices (ranging from concave mirrors through lenses and cameras obscura and lucida). In effect they suggest that painters (from Van Eyck through Caravaggio, Lotto, Velazquez, Vermeer, Chardin, Ingres, etc.) were using precursors of photographic cameras for centuries before the invention of chemical fixatives in 1839; and that it was only with the spread of such chemical fixatives that European painters, suddenly disenchanted with the “optical look,” began to undertake the critique of photography implicit in impressionism, expressionism and cubism and the rest of the modernist tradition.

Sixty Minutes had a segment on this tonight. Interesting idea.

According to the site, Hockney first had the idea in 1999. Interesting thing is, he worked with photo-collage in the mid-eighties (if not before and since), building large scenes out of overlapping photograps of smaller peices of the scene. An interesting parallel to the way he hypothesizes the painters worked with mirrors and lenses, refocusing them repeatedly for each part of the scene. This would explain some of the geometric irregularities in a variety of paintings.