The Mac Lab

Getting it Right (Week 25)

by on Mar.15, 2010, under Blog

fadi_g_840_smMuch of our success as a species is due to the deliberate and conscious application of explicit knowledge, but there is no denying the power and creativity of the unconscious. We seem to have an ability to know what to do in complicated situations without being able to explain how or why. We act on impulse, on a hunch, making snap decisions that very often turn out to be the most appropriate.
Lyall Watson

Despite having a very specific intent for this message (using a different title wrapped around this event), I just heeded an unanticipated impulse to search for the post recalling the inspiration for the birth of the blog and was amazed at the interconnectedness sitting there. [New impulse] I’ll make you a deal. You read that post (yes, the whole thing) and I’ll cut this short today. I will say that you’ll find links to this comment and this post. And it’s there that you’ll find our connection to this guy.

So what? Those are the other two instructors organizing Paint the World with Light. That’s when we met. And that leads directly to the announcement that the window of opportunity for light painting has just reopened. Yep! After a Skype video conference yesterday, we decided that the book could be stronger with one more directed push. Some of you will be playing a role of your own in helping your peers around the world. Details to follow but first I have to update this gallery.

Now, do your JOBS (thanks Fadi) and make the most out of the last third of our year together!

0316: We passed 350,000 page views (since April 3, 2009) yesterday and one of the visitors was from the Republic of Botswana (the 142nd country to frequent our little corner of the Internet).

Assignment: The final in here will involve showing what you know, as usual. Some of you don’t seem to be taking the Elements of Art and Principles of Design (begin reading at the Principles of Design heading) as seriously as you should. I will be looking for proof in your work and in your responses during the Q and A in the presentation. (The end-of-year final will be more formal than the semester final.) Color Theory will also be front and center as will Typography.

A Fundamental Truth in The Arts: You have to learn the rules before you break them. Look at this painting. A 15 year-old kid painted that. Look at it again.

The family moved to A Coruña in 1891 where his father became a professor at the School of Fine Arts. They stayed almost four years. On one occasion the father found his son painting over his unfinished sketch of a pigeon. Observing the precision of his son’s technique, Ruiz felt that the thirteen-year-old Picasso had surpassed him, and vowed to give up painting.

Pablo Picasso learned the rules before he began to break them. I expect no less from you.

0317: I hope you understand that there’s a common theme running through this year’s blog posts: Master the fundamentals and open a world of creative opportunities. Ignore the fundamentals and dwell in The Nine Circles of Flatliners.

Let your memory wander to the top of the page and read that quote once again…

Much of our success as a species is due to the deliberate and conscious application of explicit knowledge, but there is no denying the power and creativity of the unconscious. We seem to have an ability to know what to do in complicated situations without being able to explain how or why. We act on impulse, on a hunch, making snap decisions that very often turn out to be the most appropriate.

Work for that Stage 4 Moment via the deliberate and conscious application of explicit knowledge. If your knowledge seems to be something less than explicit, perhaps you need to immerse yourself in the fundamentals I pointed to in yesterday’s update. And when in doubt of what to create, turn here and here. And for goodness sake, don’t forget this or this either!

0318: We’ve been talking about how your personal perspective shapes what you perceive. Think about this one.

Via jnack. YouTubed. Explained. Always credit your sources (as they did) because someone will always catch you if you don’t. (But they did, so they’re covered.)

As for the future of publishing in the Mac Lab… Our printer is keeps churning out beautiful work, our Galleries are alive and well (though in need of updating), our Vimeo Channels keep expanding, and the blog lives on. But we have two new publishing platforms to address: the large and the small.

Coming soon to Valhalla: A 72″ HD display to be mounted above Finance where the old marquee resides. Guess who’s going to be generating the content for consumption? Seriously exciting projects for next year! (But no one says we can’t start right now.)

Coming Sooner to the Mac Lab: This (only one for testing) and this and this. Our content and apps will, of course, work on this and this too. Too cool!

Grossmont College Scholarships: Details here.

0319: Sir Ken Robinson claims that education is broken. He says:

…It means that everything is changing far faster and far more profoundly than most people really get, I think. And there are both great opportunities and great challenges and some risks in all of this. And our education systems were never designed to meet these challenges. And my argument today is that we can’t really just improve them [education systems] we have to radically transform them.

…Their [teachers] job is to create the conditions under which people will grow. And those conditions include understanding the nature of talent and motivation. The need to feed people’s spirits and their energies. And instead of that we’ve got this very competitive system of mass education. And it’s failing.

There’s more, but I can’t help to think that the model we’re developing in the Mac Lab is a move in the right direction — in a direction Sir Ken would approve. Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment and please add your reasoning to the response.

You may watch the entire video here.

Jobs: We have more customers! See Jobs Page for details

Reminder: Mac Lab Saturday School™ is tomorrow. I’ll show up around 5:30 to get the Final Cut Studio installation started.


37 Comments for this entry

  • Christopher C.

    Oh good. More time to light paint.

  • skocko

    And to teach how you do it!

  • Christopher C.

    Yep. I am happy to help anyone who asks, and will eventually make some tutorials.

    How much more time do we have?

  • Michael Weekley

    Why is the tag for this section coincidence? Collaboration makes sense, but coincidence..? *evil laughter*

  • Ryan H.

    just made my

  • Michael L.

    Oops I don’t have one of Skocko’s cameras, I thought he was asking who had good cameras to take good photos, but me and my sister will be submitting some light painting photos of our own soon :)

  • Shaun C

    Is anyone here making Firefox personas?
    I finally restarted Firefox (since I never close it) and saw this. Now I must go make one…

  • Devon W.

    I have just finished watching some Z brush videos and scratched the surface of it. This looks amazing the renders of some of the work looks completely photographic I want to use this program very badly.

  • skocko

    I’m not one for pixelation so I watched this one instead. Great find!

  • Michael Weekley

    Hey Skocko, I changed my website it is now here. *evil laughter*
    Please feel free to leave comments and advice there… I could use it…

  • kyle w.

    Not sure what to put on the wordpress for her Skocko…

  • skocko

    It’s just an example site. Find something that will showcase her students’ work in the best possible light!

  • kyle w.

    Ok so it’s JUST for a showcase. one big gallery?

  • skocko

    She’s NOT going to be blogging like I do. It’s primarily a gallery,

  • kyle w.

    Okay. so All i have to do is just scan her students pictures? or…???

  • skocko

    And organize the presentation. Talk with her about what else she’d like.

  • Christian L

    There are themes that are primarily made for galleries only :)
    But then again, you need to upgrade your account if I recall correctly.

  • Diana I.

    What a great message I received from this video.. I hope everyone is a backward person. The world will be much better if people care of the new books that authors are publishing and getting to know real facts of what regular people had done for us.. I am sure it is much stronger to say ” I like this book ” rather than saying ” This dress is so cute !! ” – Lady Gaga wears the worst cloth ever anyway.. but that just me and how I think.

  • jaeden s

    that was such a great video skocko glad that u put that on the blog

  • hayes


    FCS is a beast to install. The DVD drives are too slow. I highly recommend using Disk Utility and making disc images of every disc and storing on an external FW drive. Then plug the drive into the station, highlight all images, right click and open. As they are opening it will want to verify each disc image, that takes awhile, too. Just hit skip on each window and you’ll be fine.

    This will cut down the install time from hours to under 40 minutes.

  • Philip B.

    Well, for me I disagree with Sir Ken because education is in the hands of the students, I think. The teachers always do their best to help the students to achieve a high goal in their life, but the students seem to not appreciate that. I’m saying that because I’m a student and I know what the students should do. For example, Mr. Skocko always tries to help us in the MacLab, but some students don’t even care for what he does for us. All the inspirations, the daily post, and other more stuff. If Mr. Skocko did not make the inspiration page, I would’ve not be able to achieve all the work that I have on the wall and on the galleries. Thats after all what I think about this argument. I might be wrong.

  • Christopher C.

    I agree with Sir Ken but recognize where Philip is coming from. I agree with Philip but believe that the problem he outlines originates in the education system and society itself and not the students. The students that Philip speaks of are not educated to value learning or self-improvement. They are educated but by the school, their parents, and the society around them that certain things are more important than education. I won’t say what these things are because they are quite obvious. If society placed more value in education and preparing for the future then more of those students would pay attention in school. Young people these days are not taught to think like Mr. Skocko or appreciate the value of a classroom like the Mac Lab. There are of course exceptions to this, examples being the dozens of those who do read the blog every day, do pay attention, and strive to be better than they are.

    Philip says that teachers try their best to help the students, and that is true, and he goes on to say that if students don’t want to be helped, they won’t be. For the most part, these students’ belief has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is society. Young people just don’t wake up one day and decide to not strive for success, there are very specific things that cause them to make that decision that influence them throughout their lives.

    There are fundamental problems with the way society views education these days, and until that point of view changes, the education system will not be able to change. Luckily, there are a few examples of revolutionary minds in the education system, like Mr. Skocko, who are willing to chance now, willing to stand up for the future and the type of education system the future requires.

    Like Sir Ken says, we must “radically transform” the education system, but without first transforming the way society views education, it will not matter.

  • skocko

    Thanks for the tip, Hayes!

    Note: I’m going to let students comment on today’s post without adding my own two cents. :)

  • Michael Weekley

    Ahhhhh!!! Bad typography Friday… lol lets start a new trend… no more badtypogradays…

  • Michael Weekley

    Oh almost forgot => *evil laughter*

  • Ryan H.

    Anyone got any tips on making stars in photoshop?

  • Kyle W.

    filter->noise->add noise->monochromatic, gaussian, 400%->Command+L->lower blacks/up whites

  • John S.

    Sir Ken Robinson is absolutely correct in what he believes. The age of teaching from books and paper is quickly diminishing from the advances in technology, hence the internet and primarily computer technology. School systems, however, were not created to withstand these radical changes that the world is inevitably moving towards, so in order to keep up we MUST completely change the system at hand because trying to flow with it is obsolete because we have to fuse and adapt to the change if the education system is to continue to “teach” efficiently. So in short, yes I agree with him.

  • Mario S

    I agree with Sir Ken Robinson, the system we have now is so focused on test and who can get the better test score. As you get older the system takes away your creative freedom and replaces them with exams. Even in younger children coloring and story telling are replaced with with math problems. The system should really get balanced.

  • Michael L.

    Sir Ken Robinson is absolutely right, our schooling system is broken and needs reform immediately. Motivating kids to improve in school is way more important. I agree with phillip in a way too though.

  • Ian C.

    I think Sir Ken is right in more ways then we generally accept. A lot of things in our society seem to be broken, including our system for fixing them.

  • Jordan D.

    It so scary how right he is. Things are going out of control of the school system. Kids are way stressed.

  • Michael Weekley

    Read this, and tell me what you guys think of the introduction for my new series.

  • Tiffany S. C.

    Hey, you can’t just disregard books. The Internet is a wonderful thing- possibly one of my favorite inventions of all time- but books and paper are so valuable. Imagine trying to read your history book online. It would drive /me/ bonkers. There’s something wonderful about having books. ^_^ (I have nothing to say about Kindle, save that it sounds amazing and I really want one, but I don’t know if it can replace books for me.)

    And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not impossible to love the Internet and books at the same time, and there’s no shame in being a little old-fashioned. Books are amazing. *pokes John* =P

    But Sir Ken is also right. This thing about the cell phones- technology is there to help us, to facilitate innovation and interconnectivity, and trying to revert to an age where these didn’t exist is just foolish. There ought to be a way to use all these fantastic creations to help both teachers and student, instead of trying to suppress them. But that is neither here nor there.

  • Cameron R.

    Philip B and Christopher C. I just read your responses to the Sir Ken’s argument. There are so many ways that this can be responded to. I’ll begin by saying that I agree with Sir Ken on how we have an education system that values the success of the school instead of the individual achievements of the student. Remember last year Christopher when we had to take the CAHSEE and all our teachers shoved down our throats how important it was to beat other schools? I don’t know about the rest of you but there have been plenty major tests that I had to take where the teachers have pushed us to do well in order to make the school seem impressive rather than to improve the student.

    Its like Mr. Skocko says, we all just go through the motions. Now it includes an education system that has teachers that place burden upon burden on the students which can have seriously negative psychological effects. I know because I developed a case of insomnia near the end of my freshman year. Why? Because I was stressed.

    In conclusion, we need more teachers like Mr. Skocko who don’t go with the motions and wait for the weekend dare to explore the mind of each individual try to break free the potential within us all.

  • Kendal C.

    I agree with Tiffany’s last statement. I am not a huge reader, and therefore don’t have much to say about the books…. but I completely agree that technology is here to better our lives and a way should be created in which the communication devices that do exist today can be used to communicate in informative ways.

    I happen to know of an elementary school trying to introduce as many new communicative processes possible. I completely agree with SIr Ken Robinson that educational systems must be transformed rather than improved to hold all the new possibilities which certainly have a chance and altering the way people learn and understand. Skocko always says, this is a technologically advanced age, and I believe we should use that fact as an advantage, we have it, why not at least try?

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