You Only Live Once

Green_Sox park_2012-08-03

2012-12-28 – I just learned of an interesting Internet acronym: YOLO. I have been seeing it around and assumed that it was a type of Greek yogurt. But it turns out that it has more in common with LOL and IMO than with any dairy product.

If you are like me, but still in the dark on this one, let me tell you. YOLO stands for “you only live once.” According to my Internet dictionaries, YOLO is often given as an excuse for doing something stupid.

In a more philosophical sense YOLO apparently refers to a kind of youthful epicureanism that was represented in my day by the slogan IIFGDI.

Do you recognize that one? It stands for “if it feels good, do it.”

Advocates of religion see these philosophies as the opposite of all that is good and holy in the world. They believe that, once you remove the punishments and rewards of God, society will naturally degenerate into chaos and evil and pain. Thus, the acronym of the religious ought to be YOLT (you only live twice). And the only thing you are permitted to do that feels good is be self righteous.

* * *

Yesterday, Kit and I and the boys went to see The Life of Pi in 3D. We liked it.

This is a movie that has been promoted as restoring your faith in God (or, I suppose, giving it to you in the first place, if you didn’t have it before). I don’t see it that way. I see the story as offering the idea that all stories are illusions that are equal and a matter of preference. IIFGDI.

But who am I to say.

The important illusion yesterday was the illusion of 3D, however. This was the first entire movie I’ve ever seen in 3D. Before seeing the movie, I was skeptical of the idea for several reasons.

First is that we don’t see in 3D anyway. Our eyes capture visual information on a retina, which (though curved) is two dimensional. So-called three-dimensional vision is something that our brains compute based on a variety of factors including relative sizes of the objects we see, brightness, relative motion, blocking of one object by another, and parallax.

In a normal 2D movie, all of the factors are present. Only parallax is missing. Parallax are slight differences in a scene between the two eyes. Objects that are close have larger differences than objects that are far away.

Adding parallax, by projecting two slightly different images and providing filters so each eye sees one, is how movie 3D works. Directors can manipulate the differences to make objects seem to move as normal or to make objects pop off the screen (or recede to the far reaches).

It was definitely cool, but I’m not sure that it didn’t distract from the story in this particular movie.

(One other thing that I’m not really sure of. It seemed that the 3D effect somewhat ruined a different effect. Movies now are often shot in front of a green screen so that directors and editors can put a different scene in the background. With 3D, I had the feeling that objects in front of the green screen were three-dimensional, but that objects integrated into the scene with green-screen technology were flat. Is that just me? Or is that an inherent problem?)

So I give my thumbs up to this movie. See it and let me know what you think about the message.

But I’m not recommending that you see it in 3D (even though it was cool). YOLO.

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