Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 018

My cameras are getting cleaned. I’m without my fancy two-gun rig and I don’t know what to do with myself. With this in mind, I had plenty of time to do yet another recording. New heroes, cybersecurity, sworn enemies, the National Geographic and a range of other topics all descend on my microphone through the cagey mess of my vocal cords. Damnit, if you listen long enough it just might change your life.

25 Comments on “Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 018”

    1. C,

      It’s called Chasing the Moon, a history of the race for space. It was solid and educated me on quite a lot. Operation Paperclip was the government program to bring German doctors and engineers/physicists to the US.

  1. The local tech shop had a tough few days cleaning my sensor. I hope it never gets that bad again. I was new to the digital world and didn’t really understand the ins and outs of sensors. I saw that sensor cleaning message and incorrectly assumed it was doing something.

    Baer is an interesting guy and definitely knows what he’s talking about. Any career USG person getting a call on a cell phone from the president or any official discussing plans and intentions would immediately suggest moving the conversation to something more secure. My only complaint with the discussions about Sondland and Trump’s call is that it immediately labels the conversation as classified. If the president wants to openly discuss his plans and intentions, is it classified? Also, I’d like for Baer and others to point out that communication is only as secure to the level of all involved. I would bet my last dollar that the Russians have great access to everything going on in Ukraine. They don’t need that call to get the skinny on US Ukraine negotiations. Read a great article (maybe the Atlantic?) on Obama recently. I think he wisely countered the McCains and Grahams of the world by making it clear that we were not going to war with Russia over Ukraine.

    I think Trump is a terrible, corrupt president actively removing the modest steps we’ve taken to counter climate change. I also think he’s tearing us apart, cozying up to racism, and has a dangerous affinity for authoritarian states like Russia. I also think that MSNBC has gone off the deep end of Red Scare hysteria, too. Even the NYT. Their recent hit pieces on Tulsi Gabbard were innuendo laced garbage journalism that gave them room to later say, wait, we never said she’s actually on the Russian payroll. I disagree with Matt Taibbi a lot, but I’m glad he’s challenging the MSNBC national security state channel. Having that many former diplomats, generals, and intel guys on air isn’t healthy.

    Interesting and scary stuff about Plum Island. Will have to check that out.

    1. Scott,
      I haven’t used my camera yet, since cleaning, but I am hoping for the best. And yes, I agree about security. The weakest link is the level of your security. Apparently, using a personal cell is a major no-no but as you mentioned this admin does whatever they want because they know they can spin anything and their base will eat it up without question. A post-truth base living a fantasy of racism and counter-reality. I don’t read the NYT, haven’t in years as I don’t like their style or arrogance. And I think there are much better outlets for getting news in general. They are catering to the ad dollar in a major way which is reflected in their poor design. And they are tone-deaf to most Americans. Check out a book titled “Lab 257.”

  2. Sounds to me like you need to stick a roll of TMZ into your black paint M4 and go out there and enjoy yourself!
    I know before you said that it’s slow and troublesome to get it processed and scanned etc. But isn’t that the point you have been making? To slow down, to do things on the Veda wavelength. Plus if you are only shooting twice a month what’s the rush processing the negs? I understand digital is easier for Shifter but for your long term projects… TMZ!! Lol!

    Love these podcasts btw!

    1. Kurt,
      I think about this all the time. My old one body, one lens approach. But the logistics don’t work. And, the energy required for me to ship film out of state, have it processed and shipped back isn’t a good thing. At some point, I have to make a stand about energy consumption. This is why I was thinking of getting a Sony with one lens. The look better mimics my old film look. The Fuji just doesn’t come close.

        1. Scott,
          Sony is full frame. Fuji is micro 4/3. So, when I’m using a fast 50mm on Sony it mimics the look of my M4 Leica better than my Fuji does. That’s all. The fall off, etc.

          1. Gotcha. I figured it was something else related to that new A7rII or whatever their new camera is with the massive file size. I’m not a gear head, but I have thought about renting a full frame. I love my Fujis, but I got into them a little randomly after falling for the X100T. My old brain liked the menu system and dials. (Fuji’s aps-c; not being pedantic, just pointing out in case someone else is reading the comments)

          2. Scott,
            I’m going to stick with Fuji. I have so little time to shoot that a Sony would probably be lost on me.

          3. Gotcha. I figured it was something else related to that new A7rII or whatever their new camera is with the massive file size. I’m not a gear head, but I have thought about renting a full frame. I love my Fujis, but I got into them a little randomly after falling for the X100T. My old brain liked the menu system and dials. (Fuji’s aps-c; not being pedantic, just pointing out in case someone else is reading the comments) (hmm, it’s telling me that I have a duplicate comment, I think I may have hit submit prematurely

  3. Always nice to hear your podcast Mr. Milnor. I really appreciate that you share your thoughts about everything and not just things that “sell”. After the podcast I checked my camera’s sensor and thank god everything is ok :P. You keep mention that you as Americans think that you are the good ones and the best nation and all that stuff and you do not agree with this. I have to say that for as long as I can remember (not that long, I am 28 years old) we, Greek people, blame America for many things. When I say America I do not mean the people but those in charge. The reason is that we keep hearing or reading that the president of the USA, whoever is at the time, keep interfering in the businesses of other countries. It is like he wants to show as that he wants world peace, or he wants to save the world but we all know that everything is about power and money. I think people need to wake up and understand the situation. Close that TV, facebook or instagram account and read a book or a good article. I do not know if you have heard anything about Greece, the IMF and the whole economical crisis but it was at that point that I understood how the system works. My father owns I restaurant and I work there in the Summer so I talk to people from all over the world and it’s funny to see how different our opinions are regarding the same topics. I then understood that our opinions have been shaped by all the BS we hear on the media. We have to be very selective Mr. Milnor.

    On the photography section now, I have watched your video about the one camera one lens approach and I wanted to ask you what is the reason you chose the 50mm over the 35mm. I have both and I am trying to find out which one to take on my vacation in order to test this approach.

    Thanks again for your podcast, I really enjoy it and I learn a lot.

    1. George,
      I would say the average American might know a little bit about Greece, but only from the angle that Greece is beautiful and would be a great place to go on vacation. As for our histories, and how they are intertwined via things like WWII and the IMF, well, that would be fewer people knowing much about it. Our education system is horrible. We don’t learn history we learn “American History,” which is filtered through race, religion, politics and bias. So, to really learn what we are doing in the world takes energy and most people don’t want to go down that road. I chose the 50mm after shooting for twenty years. I have used just about everything at one time or another but the 50mm is what fits my view of the world. It’s not better than the 35mm only different.

      1. Thank you for the answer Mr. Milnor, I guess the best thing to do is discover for myself which focal length suits me best. Or I could just buy another camera and have them both :P.
        Thanks again looking forward for your next podcast.

        1. George,
          It took me years to figure it out. I still use a 35mm but the 50mm is my most commonly used lens.

  4. I saw the recent David Hume Kennerly show covering Ford’s presidency at the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, MI and the Pete Souza show covering Obama’s presidency in St. Joseph, MI – both over the summer. The Kennerly show was incredible. Classic Black & White journalism and the prints were breathtaking. Can’t remember who did the scans and prints, but the baseline size was about 16X24ish (?) with many bigger and one covering a wall. I’ve never seen prints from small format film, especially 35mm look this good (The Avedon prints from 8X10 at another Grand Rapids show years ago were another story). Souza’s color prints were very nice …. but wow Kennerly’s B&W!!!

    How do you find the Fujis not coming close to film? I can think of some possibilities, but the Acros jpgs are awfully nice, especially when printed on something like Museo Silver Rag which looks very close to air dried Brovira to my eye.

    1. Hey Tom,
      Wow, you scored. Two great shows. And yes, we lost something when political coverage moved from black and white to color digital. Check out Bob McNeely’s work from Clinton. Also good and mostly TRI-X. They Fuj is micro 4/3 so it does not have the falloff I’m used to when it comes to the 50mm. The texture is fine but the overall look isn’t quite the same.

  5. Here is another book to read concerning Operation Paper Clip. It’s a book by Stephen Kinzer called Poisoner In Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search For Mind Control. I just finished this book a couple weeks ago. Frightening. It goes into depth on the way the scientists were brought into the country after WWII.

    1. LH,
      Wow, good to know you and I are now on the watch list. I love terrifying books. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I liked the podcast.
    Sworn enemy is real. It doesn’t resonate with you because you are unfamiliar with the context, the geopolitics. I would venture to guess that Putin has a very good idea of the lives of average Americans. He’s former KGB. The KGB has trained their agents in the subtleties of American culture for generations now. Iran? Well let’s just say we’ve given them plenty of reasons to hate us, from interfering in their elections, putting the Shah in power etc etc. Iran is a theocratic state. Yes we’re heading in the same direction these days. Here’s a book I’d recommend…Edward Said “Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World”. The more context you learn the more you’re able to see the grays and the less blacks and whites you see.

    1. Jim,
      I spent five years covering Islam, pre-911. I know all too well how the media covers this topic. And, I was a journalist for the first five years of my photography life. I saw how the news was shaped by mostly wealthy, white men in conference rooms. This is why I got out. My point about sworn enemy is that for most people it isn’t’ real. For Putin, sure. For the leaders of Iran, sure. But for the average American to get up on a Tuesday and think “Okay, these are the countries I’m supposed to hate,” is just lunacy. Many Americans can’t’ find Russia on a map, let alone Iran and yet they have been led to believe the Iranian people hate them.

  7. Ordinary people…yeh yer right but they don’t exist without their governments. So Dan here is the single pivot around which the “security mindset” pivots, the anomaly. If you or I or any random American travels to Iran (when most don’t) you’re an anomaly. Interpreting anomalies is what security and counter intel folks do. For counter intel folks anomaly == spy. As far as the average American…we are being targeted…every day via Facebook, Twitter, out of the mouths of politicians. Every day. Anybody who thinks it comes down to just ordinary Russians or Iranians or who isn’t aware that they are out to get us has not been paying attention. That recognition isn’t about hating its about threat awareness. Most Americans live in their little bubbles. They don’t know because they don’t want to because knowing makes them uncomfortable. In the global game of info warfare ordinary people are the targets.

  8. Correction: ordinary Russians/Iranians aren’t out to get us but their governments are out to get us. National interest, financial gain of oligarchs call it what you will.

    1. Jim,
      True. Most governments don’t really represent the population. They represent private interest.

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