Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts

Friday, February 2, 2024

Jackie Gleason UFO Shocker!

Because of my varied (almost haphazard) range of interests, I often run into autodidactic people.  That's a fancy phrase we use to describe someone self-taught.  Academics like to make simple things seem more complex, using Latin or Greek words to describe things when English words work just fine.  Once you figure out the rules, it's a fun game, and it filters out the uninitiated.

Autodidacts are cool because they're so interested in a subject that they taught themselves rather than seeking a master.  Sometimes, they don't function well in an academic setting.  It's said that was true of William Faulkner, who couldn't manage to stay in college, so he taught himself.  That's often given as an explanation of why he uses so many five-dollar words in his prose.  Some people say it's so nobody will accuse him of not being educated, which he wasn't; at least he wasn't educated by the traditional route.

Sometimes, people become autodidact because the things they're interested in aren't taught anywhere.  These can be my favorite people.  People who are fascinated by UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, time travelers, and more have to be autodidactics because these things aren't taught at any college.  Jackie Gleason was one of the world's first UFO enthusiasts.  His passion led him to collect a remarkably complete literature library on the subject.  He even built a house shaped like a flying saucer.  In his will, he left his massive collection of UFO materials to the University of Miami, where it exists today, even though they still don't teach any courses on UFOs.  

Covid brought out a lot of hidden autodidacts who taught themselves immunobiology to justify not getting vaccinated.  That illustrated the downside of autodidactism; sometimes, they came to the wrong conclusion.  The same thing happens with climate-change deniers, experts on who really killed JFK, and 9/11 hoaxers.  They're all autodidacts, although sometimes I wish they'd listen to reason.

The internet was the greatest possible gift for autodidacts.  Research that took hours and days in the public library can be done on your phone before you get out of bed in the morning.  The more serious internet sleuths make accounts on Wikipedia where they use their hard-earned special knowledge to refine the topics that relate to their expertise.  

I am an autodidact.  There are no college courses on movie robots or stop-motion dinosaurs, so I strike out on my own. It's important that you keep learning your whole life and never quit.  There's no excuse now that so much human knowledge is available on your telephone or tablet.  With the internet, there's an infinite variety of ways you can publish your findings.  Start with Reddit, then maybe start a blog.  You don't have to be published in an academic journal to get your ideas out in the world.  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

100 Years of Magic Drawings

Sometimes artists many years apart have similar ideas.

Below is J. Stuart Blackton's The Enchanted Drawing, produced in 1900


Over one hundred years later, Dutch artist Evelien Lohbeck updates Blackton's idea to incorporate modern technology.

Noteboek from Evelien Lohbeck on Vimeo.

Official Ted Lasso