Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coprophagia and photography

I won't explain what coprophagia is because as an intelligent reader, you can either work it out from the Greek roots or seek the meaning from your favorite search engine. Needless to say, perusing the internet today, I chanced upon a Craigslist advert for this kind of "activity" partner. Clearly from what I see (and hear) of Craigslist, it seems to be a dodgy proposition. Does anybody remember the Craigslist killer?
(screenshot edited for decency)
Anyway, on Craigslist there is a photography section with equipment for sale. Looking at the prices, they're excessively high. The way to maximise sale income of old gear is to see how much its selling for, secondhand at a retail store, see how much a retail store will offer you then advertise it midway between the two. Just like the other section, I cannot imagine many people get interested people contacting them. Indeed, the last few times I tried selling stuff on Craigslist I had some propositions dodgy enough that I ignored them.

One of the dodgy Craigslist propositions I had was when I tried to sell a camera flash. In the advert I stated specifically that the meeting and deal would be done outside Lexington county courthouse. The fellow thought I was dumb or desperate enough to drive 75 miles to a desolate little hamlet to do the deal. He sounded very eager but not eager enough to come to a safe public area!

Further on Craigslist there is a discussion area where people like to curse at each other, bicker and fight. I never see actual photography discussion underway! Then there's the photographic services section which is equally awful. I recall advertising photography at various prices down to free and getting no takers whatsoever. It didn't matter whether I used my own images or (in my control sample) somebody else's images. I see a lot of people doing the same thing. I've even seen people advertising photography on the sides of their vehicles. I see them advertise for a while then give up.

The big problem - aside from photography being greatly over hyped as a money earner - is that the market is over saturated. Think about it - when did you last pose for a photographer? For myself, the last times I posed were a highschool class photo in 1983 and subsequently for ID photos. The ID photos were all done with low resolution cameras. If I paid more than $7 per photo "session" I'd be amazed. People get married very rarely yet every photographer believes they have a chance at getting a wedding to photograph. It's so weird - as soon as people consider themselves a photographer, they cease being able to analyse the market critically.

Then there are the jobs. Look at all the "jobs" advertised on Craigslist. Not one is genuine. 90% are Gmail email addresses yet a real business would have their own E-mail domain. Going further, I've yet to see a genuine online job advert. In 20 years of using the internet I have yet to see that happen.

The problem is not limited to Craigslist. It is symptomatic of a general malaise affecting the whole internet and its denizens. So little online has any veracity behind it. So few people using the internet have good intentions. Look at the number of hate websites masquerading as information, the number of scam websites etc. Indeed one commentator described the internet as having gone from a little wild west to the bad side of town. I tend to agree.

My personal opinion is that the internet is going to be very much if a double edged sword that has been ill considered by all governments around the world. We are slowly learning that the Chinese with registration of all internet users and strict content filtering might have been correct.

While the internet was designed to pass knowledge, it has become a tool for misinformation, slander, libel, terrorism, propaganda and crime. The reason there are fewer footpads around is because its easier to suck people in with scam emails than to cosh people's noggins. Academically, the internet is poor value. Socially, it is of extremely dubious value with its soporific effect causing serious addiction problems. Look around your workplace for proof of that - all the blue screens with Facebook! We could never launch man to the moon again - people are far too distracted by smartphones in their workplaces!

On second thoughts, perhaps the internet does mean users are internet coprophagists. There surely is plenty available!

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