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Mike Spinak
Nature photographer, author, and big softie
Nature photographer, author, and big softie

Mike's posts

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Thanks for starting this forum for fairly moderated discussion. I was banned from the other G+ forum named The Bible, in an instance of what I consider unfair moderation. Here's a post on one of my blogs, in case you're interested in the details of my ban from the other bible forum. Cheers.

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Today is International Blasphemy Day. You're goddamned right it's a problem that blasphemy is still a punishable offense in many countries.

Only an idiot of a god would take umbrage at blasphemy or criticism. Those who worship a god who demands intellectual protectionism need to step back and consider what this means about their god and about themselves.

Let beliefs be subjected to the contest of ideas, to stand or fall based on their merits. Protect people's freedom to express themselves, rather than protecting beliefs from people's words.

My long overdue (sorry!) book, The Onshore Lives of Northern Elephant Seals, is coming soon.

I'm also hoping to get two other books, Notes for Aspiring Photographers, and Every Second Counts, published by the end of the year.

Notes for Aspiring Photographers is not yet finished, but it is far enough along that I'm ready to start sharing chapters with test readers, for feedback. If you'd like to be a test reader, please message me.

Thank you for your interest.

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It's another perfect day here.

Perfect weather with perfect consistency. Wow, look at this 7 day forecast.

My girlfriend is fantastic!

I am in love!

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Six-eighths of this graphic are explicitly about particular failed businesses. The main thrust of this graphic seems to be that if someone has repeated failures in business, then s/he'd probably run the presidency incompetently.

In my view, this is a questionable argument. The premise does not support the conclusion: It is completely normal to fail at multiple businesses before making a big success with one. Just like almost any other endeavor, one learns how to succeed largely through past failures. It's part of the process.

In this sense, the argument implied in this graphic seems to me to not grasp the nature of entrepreneurship, the nature of ultimate success in business, and the nature of success in general. If you think you achieve major successes in difficult endeavors by just giving it a try and having everything go perfectly from the start the first time, then you may be in for a harsh reckoning.

If this is really the argument you want to offer against him, then: Please, get a clue.

One could make arguments that his particular failures were extraordinary and significant, with these businesses failing due to greater than average incompetence, significant character flaws, etc. That would be a better way to argue, but it's not the argument being made here.

One could also point out some real shortcomings with him, and make real arguments against him — but this tripe of a meme is not it.

To be clear, I'm not arguing in favor of Trump. I have a low opinion of him and I'm not going to vote for him. Instead, I'm arguing against lowering the level of discourse in our conversations to a degree that it replaces substance with slick-but-unsound soundbites.

Also, to be clear: I'm not posting this to make a political statement. I don't give a damn about Trump, nor do I give a damn what you think about Trump. Please don't post blather for or against Trump here.

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+Rolf Hicker,

I randomly stumbled across this video. You should take a look at it, and see if you have any copyright issues with the video's content.

Sir Francis Bacon said, "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness of proportion." What one might think of as imperfections in the beauty are actually integral to the beauty itself, actually draw focus, give it depth and character, increase the greatness of the beauty.

It's a concept that I've strongly agreed with, and have always applied to my photography, both in terms of subject choices and how I represent them. I've even written blog post essays that drew heavily on the idea.

And yet, how blind and foolish I have been to never realize until the last few weeks that this applies as much to the inner beauty of a person's personality and character as it does the outer beauty of someone's appearance.

Here's a haiku I wrote in a dream last night, about falling in love:

How much can I take?
Before I burst into flames!
Don't know; we'll find out....
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