Someone used the term “mid-century modern” to describe some furniture at an estate sale.

It is the year 2019 on the Gregorian calendar. I am living in the first half of the 21st century. This word makes no sense. I go look this up.

From the WikiPedia entry:

… the design movement in interior, product, graphic design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1945 to 1975.”

What!!!?? I still don’t understand.

Well for me, I think the concept of “taking” a photograph sounds forceful— like you’re stealing something from someone. So when it comes to street photography, it sounds violent and aggressive. To “take” a photograph of someone is to steal their soul.However on the other hand, to “make” a photograph is to create something beautiful, and to be creative. I also like the idea of “making” a photograph— because it sounds more collaborative. It sounds more engaging, and isn’t you just taking a mindless snapshot and walking away.Source: “Taking” vs “Making” Photos in Street Photography

I am not surprised to find that I disagree with Eric Kim. I can’t place my finger on it but I feel that Kim is one of those photographers who has a following and writes a lot about the art of photography but who’s art is uninspiring. Banal. I think he’s faking it and I find his articles lack any substance. I’m trying my best to avoid coming across any of his shit.

If the response to this blog post on Petapixel is any indication there are many people who agree with my assessment. But in fairness, just because I can find a group of people who agree with what I feel does not mean that my opinions are valid.

I was born in the British Caribbean and lived there until I was 18. Since then I have lived in various parts of the United States. I currently reside in New Jersey. Perhaps I have learned to think like an American. When I think of taking a photography, I think of composition, lighting and then pushing the shutter button to capture the scene as I see it. When I think of “making” a photograph I think of manipulation and producing something manufactured.

But no matter which word you use, the goal is to produce art. The equip and methods and words you use to create it are irrelevant.

Then it struck me, the term ‘people with lived experience’ only changes semantics, not attitudes and assumptions. Whether you say people experience homelessness or are homeless, the fundamental question is what you presume and presuppose about the concept of homelessness itself. Psychologically speaking, the influence of our syntax is quite limited here: rejigging the subject and predicate of a sentence does not somehow automatically override the feelings and beliefs we have internalized about the nature of homelessness. Even though the new term grammatically reframes homelessness as a condition instead of an identity, it nonetheless continues to carry the assumptions, biases, and stigmas of its speakers and hearers.James Shelley

James is right. One thing that has annoyed me about many recent efforts to change the meanings of words is that they do not account for human behaviour. Human beings are meaning making machines. The word “dude” can mean anything from “you are awesome” to “you are an ass”. It’s the same word, the difference being only the intent of the person using the word.

And if you, like me and many others, didn’t receive the memo that the word has changed meaning, the assumption is that you are intentionally trying to cause harm.

Consider the implications here: the phrase ‘people with lived experience’ can easily be used as a cognitive-linguistic short-cut for an extremely complex set of circumstances. It can be as presumptive as the terminology it was created to replace; it can be as equally typecasting and prejudicial as referring to people as ‘the homeless’, ‘those people’. Given time, a phrase originally intended to reduce generalizations and identity-imputing stereotypes can itself become a plug-and-play term for conventionalizing and pigeonholing. Language is impossible to nail down: any description can become a label, and any label can become a self-fulfilling inference. What these labels mean in society, hearts, and minds is more than the sum of their syntax.

The challenge is that words only have the meaning given to them by human beings.