Supersonic Man

January 12, 2020

the English accent is stupid

Filed under: fun,Rantation and Politicizing — Supersonic Man @ 9:01 pm

Americans generally respect the English accent. I assume attitudes are similar, if not more so, in Canada, Australia, and so on. (Maybe not so much in Ireland.) People think the English accent sounds classy and refined. But if you look into how the English “Received Pronunciation” accent came to be so different from those of the USA and Canada and Ireland, the reason turns out to be ridiculously lame.

Classy is the important word here. The difference arose precisely because people thought it sounded more classy and refined. Until about the year 1700, most people in England spoke quite similarly to those in Ireland or North America, pronouncing letters such as R and O as they were written instead of with peculiar distortions. But after that, throughout most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as economic opportunity started to become accessible to commoners, those who were financially or socially ambitious did their best to emulate the manners and styles of the classes above their own, as a way to make a better first impression and be taken more seriously. And a very popular way to do so during this period was to attend a class in “elocution”. A whole industry sprang up of teachers and tutors who would train their students in how to talk in a way that sounded upper-class. And some of these teachers knew their job better than others. What they taught was often not so much a copy as an amateurish mockery of how their betters actually talked. But by the end of the eighteenth century these teachings were being incorporated into the standard school curriculum, and by the end of the nineteenth the aristocracy were following along with the changes to the common speech, imitating an imitation of themselves.

(Speaking of class, I once heard an astute observation that when an American is trying to face down a threat, and attempting to sound more intimidating than usual, you can tell what social class they belong to by whether they start talking more black in order to sound street-tough, or start talking more Brit in order to sound privileged. For 90% of us it’s the former, but in loftier social circles the latter is still regularly heard.)

But the really silly part is where the accent the elocutionists were copying really came from. The answer to this starts in the reign of Queen Anne. As mentioned in my previous post, Anne was the last of the Stuart dynasty. Anne got pregnant seventeen different times, but none of her children lived past age two. Her sister Mary II, who preceded her on the throne (co-ruling with her husband William of Orange), had one miscarriage and no live children. So when it came time to put Anne’s successor on the throne, they had to look a lot farther afield than usual to find the “rightful” next in line. And who they came up with was her second cousin Georg Ludwig, Elector of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (commonly called Hanover after its capital city).

When King George I took the throne in 1714, he spoke no English. He never did bother to master the language over his thirteen year reign. His son George II did speak English, but since he learned it as an adult, he of course had a German accent, as did the twenty-three political staffers that his father had brought over, and their families and servants. Only when they got to George III in 1760 did Britain once again have a monarch who grew up speaking English, and he was hardly the best role model for it because of his poor mental health.

The English accent which was spread by professional elocutionists has its origin in courtiers and toadies imitating the German accent of the Hanovers. And it wasn’t entirely just the Hanovers: before their time, William of Orange had spoken with a thick Dutch accent, and afterwards, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha married Victoria and brought a supplemental dose of German accent to the royal family, just to remind people how it’s done.

This is why the English accent of today often pronounces the short A as in German, and muffles the letter R as a vowel tone though it’s still used as a consonant. This doesn’t really explain how the long O turned into a dipthong, but I put that down to the errors of amateur mimicry. It’s the sort of thing that’s easy to do when exaggerating someone else’s accent. (Or maybe it came from trying to say Ö.) No positive reason exists for pronouncing English words this way; compared to American or Irish English, the ease and clarity of speech is objectively poorer. Since getting established as a norm the accent has continued to evolve, going in its own direction without any more German input.

If you listen to the various regional accents from around the edges of England, most of them are less affected by this Germanization, which was strongest in the central urban areas. But if you want to hear how English is supposed to sound without the affectations of the eighteenth century’s professional ass-kissers, you need to go at least as far as Ireland, and to hear the most accurate version, the place to go is Appalachia.

Though Americans do generally think that today’s standard English accent sounds classy and refined, people conversely also recognize that falsely affecting this accent is often a hallmark of a pretentious classist snob. Little do they realize that this actually applies to the accent as a whole: it only came to exist because pretentious affectation was widespread at a time when classist snobbery was the norm.

January 9, 2020

Just how Game-of-Thronesy was Olde England?

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry — Supersonic Man @ 10:59 am

All the scheming and backstabbing and murder in Game of Thrones was famously inspired by a power struggle in fifteenth century England known as the Wars of the Roses, in which the rival houses of Lancaster and York repeatedly waged civil wars to overthrow each other. The timeline went like this:

1399: Henry of Bolingbroke overthrows Richard II, ending the Plantagenet dynasty and founding the Lancaster one. (But Henry was himself a Plantagenet, making this house a “cadet branch” — the Lancaster name is from his mother’s side.) His army confiscates land and spreads ruin on all who oppose him. From now on, the court speaks English instead of French. Richard II dies imprisoned in the Tower of London, supposedly by starvation, which may have been self-inflicted.

1400-1410: Henry IV fends off numerous rebellions, plots, and assassination attempts, greatly aided by the ever increasing military prowess of his son and heir, Henry of Monmouth.

1410: Young Henry pressures his ailing father into handing over the majority of his power.

1413: Henry V succeeds his father. In the next few years he more or less conquers France. This, combined with concessions to anti-Lancaster factions and a general attitude of forgive-and-forget, cements his legitimacy and diminishes rebellions.

1422: Henry V dies young and is succeeded by the infant Henry VI. His father’s conquests start to unravel. The child is crowned King of France but never gets to rule it.

1453: The Hundred Years War ends with England almost entirely expelled from France. Henry VI suffers a mental breakdown and becomes unfit to rule (if he wasn’t already). For the next eight years he goes in and out of lucidity. His mother consolidates power behind the throne.

1455: Richard of York (another cadet Plantagenet) launches the first War of the Roses in an attempt to take the throne. Much of England decays into warlordism. He is executed in 1460.

1461: Richard’s son wins the war and takes the throne as Edward IV, establishing the York dynasty. Crucial backing came from the wealthy and powerful Earl of Warwick, known as the Kingmaker.

1470: Warwick, having not quite mustered enough clout to depose Edward himself, changes sides and joins the Lancastrians. With his resources, supporters of Henry VI march on London and retake power. Warwick apparently intends Henry to be his puppet.

1471: Edward IV deposes Henry VI for the second time, killing Warwick at the battle of Barnet. This time Henry dies in the Tower of London… whether accidentally or deliberately is not known.

1483: Edward V succeeds his father at age twelve, but a political scheme promptly leads to him and his brother being declared illegitimate. His regent the Duke of Gloucester seizes power as Richard III, and Edward and his brother go into the Tower for “protection”, and never come out. Edward’s loyalists attack, but Richard defeats them. Both sides of this battle are Yorkist.

1485: Henry Tudor (a distant cousin of the Lancasters) defeats Richard III in battle, and marries Edward V’s sister Elizabeth of York to unite the claims, ending the Wars of the Roses.

Yep, that is pretty darn game-of-thronesy (minus the HBO pornification factor, of course). Now, is this exceptional or is it typical?

Turns out, there’s quite a lot of this crap spread over the centuries. In Anglo-Saxon times, for instance, there were about five kings who gained power by conquest (some of them Danish), and two who found their paths to the throne cleared by their rivals suffering suspiciously convenient “accidents”. Several more won the throne through covert political struggles where we’ll probably never know what really happened.

The story is not too different in the time of the Normans and Plantagenets. Three kings took power by conquest, King John barely retained power in the first Barons’ War (which nearly resulted in Louis VIII of France seizing the country), Empress Matilda semi-deposed Stephen of Blois for a while before both factions were booted out by Henry II (the first Plantagenet), and in the second Barons’ War, Simon de Montfort seized power from Henry III for a couple of years but did not claim the kingship. Henry I was helped to power by another convenient death, and Edward III had to stage a coup against his own regent. And just as in Saxon times, the plots or rebellions or invasions that succeeded were just a fraction of the ones that were attempted. Henry II once put down a rebellion led by his own wife and sons.

In Tudor and Stuart times, things calmed down somewhat, but this time included the English civil war, which saw Oliver Cromwell and then Charles II win power on the battlefield. It was also during this period that “Bloody” Mary I seized power at the head of an army without needing to fight, and Elizabeth I had to fend off Mary Queen of Scots. A century and a half after Bloody Mary, William of Orange also arrived with an army. It may have been more or less ceremonial, but its presence is what persuaded the unpopular (and Catholic) James II to skedaddle. The important difference is that this time, William and Mary took power only on terms set for them by Parliament, which had essentially just used them as a lever to dislodge James. Traditional games of thrones were now generally a thing of the past.

The period was brought to a close by Anne, the successor of William and Mary, and last of the Stuart dynasty. It was under her that the component British countries were turned into the Kingdom of Great Britain (at a time when Scotland was in economic crisis and in no position to decline). Since that time, the succession has remained orderly and lawful, though George II did have to fend off one last failed usurpation in 1745, backed by Scots who’d been promised independence by the Stuart descendant they called “Bonnie Prince Charlie”. Under the Hanovers and Windsors the power of the throne has been steadily reduced, making it more ceremonial with every generation, and no longer worth fighting and killing for.

I hope I live to see the day when the process is completed, and Britain becomes a Republic in which there is no longer any such thing as a royal house.

January 4, 2020

the edge of space

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry,science! — Supersonic Man @ 11:32 am

There’s a controversy about where “space” begins. The internationally accepted standard is the altitude of 100 km, which is known as the Kármán line. But in the USA, many advocate for the more lenient definition which says you’ve been to space if you rise to an altitude of only 80 km, or more traditionally, 50 miles. Which view is more correct? Well, when an orbiter reenters the atmosphere, the point when reentry heating starts to get significant is around 120 km, so in my view the 80 km line is definitely the less valid of the two.

In the end, I say both are bogus: you aren’t really in space until you get to at least 200 km up, high enough so that it’s possible to orbit the Earth a few times without promptly falling down from drag. You can’t orbit for very long at 200 km up — useful satellites start at about 300 km — but it is at least possible to orbit for a little while, like a day or so, at that altitude. At 100 km altitude, you are in the ionosphere, not in space, and probably won’t make it around the Earth even once. In fact, the ionosphere actually extends above most satellites… which is intentional, as this means they will eventually come down. Keeping most satellites this low is a policy which reduces the long term risk of “space junk”. But I would say that if you can orbit, you’re in space.

December 20, 2019

capitalism, free enterprise, and entrepreneurship are three separate things

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 6:27 pm

Those who claim to speak for the positive value of capitalism, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise often try to convince you that the three are all one thing, and that the arguments in favor of one apply to all. This is not true.

One who practices capitalism may also be an entrepreneur who practices free enterprise, but this is not necessarily the case. A person might be a capitalist, entrepreneur, and free-enterpriser all at once, or any two of the three, or just one (or none).

Let’s start by looking at what, strictly, each term refers to. Then we can look at how the distinction becomes important to keep in mind.

Entrepreneurship is when people invest their personal capital, or capital financed by debt, into starting a new business, and then try to grow the business larger. The key factor is that growth and success depend on their own effort and skill in developing the business, rather than on just the capital that was invested.

Free enterprise is the absence of official and unofficial barriers to trade and business — a condition in which those who have an idea for trying a profitable venture can succeed or fail on the value of the idea, rather than be obstructed by some law, regulation, or privilege. (One gotcha is that when good productive ideas are liberated and empowered, you can also end up enabling opportunities for crooked scams.) The term “free enterprise” is loosely also used to refer to the practice of operating a business venture which depends on these conditions, rather than being dependent on, for instance, subsidies or protectionism. Of course, those whose businesses are dependent on an advantage of this sort often like to pretend otherwise, and co-opt the term even though it doesn’t apply to them.

Capitalism has a strict technical meaning: it is the practice of using wealth to increase the productivity of labor. Someone who buys a nailgun to replace a hammer, or a backhoe to replace day laborers with shovels, is engaging in capitalism. To clarify this, we must also point out that technically the terms capital and wealth do not refer to money, but to tangible assets such as land and equipment. Anything of value is wealth; anything durable which is used productively is capital. It is these physical assets which increase labor productivity, not the money that was spent on them. Assets which enhance productivity can also be less tangible, such as a copy of Photoshop or the contents of a reference manual. (Education and training also increase productivity but are difficult to characterize as capital.)

A main side effect of capitalism is that the more capital is invested in your job, the less you have a claim of ownership over your own productivity. If you can’t do similar production on your own with your own equipment, most of the value of your work will inevitably be claimed by your employer instead of by you.

Using capital to increase the productivity of labor is the classical meaning of capitalism. In modern society, capitalism has another meaning which grows out of this: because after one capitalist invests in productivity, he can then sell that set of productive resources to another for cash… in the end, what capitalism amounts to in places like Wall Street is the practice of using money to buy ownership of workers’ future productivity. Investors end up having no direct connection to, or even knowledge of, the physical capital which actually enables the business to produce; they deal only with money, yet they fill the role of a capitalist because they own these durable resources, and the organizations and systems that have been set up to put them to full use.

And this brings us to why the apologists for Wall Street capitalism want you to conflate what they do with free enterprise and entrepreneurship. Both of those things create wealth, and have a lot of positive value for society. Both are rightly defended against the sort of encroachment that can cause economic prosperity to be undermined. But capitalism as practiced by Wall Street does not create wealth, it only asserts control over wealth. Wealth creation depends on labor and skill, not on money… and especially not on money which is simply used for speculative trading rather than for adding productive capacity. Speculative trading does not count as true capitalism, but those who practice this parasitic means of making money would, of course, rather you did not draw that distinction.

One of the favorite activities of Wall Street capitalists is to wait for an entrepreneurial outfit to get into financial trouble, then use that trouble to buy up control of it at a bargain price. At this point, if the workers are lucky there might be some new investment in productivity, but more often the result is that productivity is sharply decreased, in order to turn durable assets — including intangible assets such as brand reputation — back into money. This kind of raiding is technically the opposite of capitalism, but those who practice it still want to be taken for practitioners of free enterprise and entrepreneurship, because a more honest look at their livelihoods is so much less flattering.

Investment banker types conflate capitalism with entrepreneurship so that they can call themselves “job creators”, even though as a class they often destroy more jobs than they create. And they conflate capitalism with free enterprise so that the social need to liberate creativity and productivity can be misconstrued as an excuse to give free rein to parasites and predators.

If we as a society want to encourage the benefits of capitalism, we should draw a clear line between true investment (which raises production), and activities such as speculative trading and raiding, which do nothing to create new wealth or benefit the overall economy. Our policies should encourage the former but not the latter.

September 16, 2019

The right wing is not driven by ideology

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving,Uncategorized — Supersonic Man @ 8:41 am

If you go by what you see in the media, American conservatism appears very ideological. Its spokespeople and pundits do a solid job of stating principles, avowing beliefs, reasoning from claimed axioms, and otherwise behaving as if they are believers in ideologies. While leftists generally present their ideas as being based on human values rather than dogmas — values such as compassion, fairness, decency, or just simple pragmatism — spokespeople of the right proudly wave various banners of dogma in which they assert we must have faith.

And this confuses their opponents, because the ideology being avowed keeps shifting whenever it’s convenient for a given debate. Also, among the multiple belief systems that conservatives commonly argue from are some which are completely incompatible with each other. For instance, one popular belief system among conservatives is a form of free-market capitalism which teaches that greed is beneficial. But another popular one is the belief that the sole path to salvation is through Jesus Christ, whose teachings harshly denounce greed and the pursuit of wealth.

(more…)

March 27, 2019

what makes one programming language better than another?

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry,technology — Supersonic Man @ 2:26 pm

Every programmer who knows more than one language has opinions about which languages are better than which other languages. I’m no different from anyone in that aspect, but I realize now that I’ve never taken the time to clearly think through what criteria to use in such a comparison. Of course there are times when different language features and styles are suitable for different tasks, but some generalities are pretty universal, and I think different situations mostly just change the emphasis and priority between them.

What got me to take a closer look was hearing someone state the opinion that the measure of the better language is simply the one which forces you to write less repetitive boilerplate. That turns out to be a surprisingly valid and comprehensive metric, despite how plodding and un-abstract it sounds, and I had never thought in those specific terms before.

So, what are some useful criteria for distinguishing a good language from a bad language? Here’s what comes to mind for me:

(more…)

January 29, 2019

how it works

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,science! — Supersonic Man @ 1:19 pm

Step 1. The water in the northern Pacific Ocean reaches excessively warm temperatures, peaking in La Niña years.

2. This creates a high pressure zone as the warming air above it tries to expand.

3. As it rises, the expanding air pushes back against the jet stream.

4. Because of the coriolis forces that make storms rotate, this high pressure air starts turning clockwise as it spreads outward. This deflects the jet stream to the north.

5. As a result, clouds that would normally bring rain to California also turn north. They get pushed up toward the arctic circle, bringing heat up to polar latitudes.

6. The jet stream and storms strike the polar vortex, distorting it. It deflects them south again, now chilled.

7. The winds and moisture which were supposed to water California crops now dump excessive cold snow across the Great Lakes and down the east coast.

8. Politicians bring snowballs into the Capitol building and deny global warming, at the same time that large parts of Alaska have no snow.

November 6, 2018

ads

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry,life,Rantation and Politicizing — Supersonic Man @ 10:38 pm

Dang it, when writing this blog, I rarely see how bad the ads are when someone else is reading it. I just got a reminder. I’ve never liked this platform much, and now I’m thinking I should move this content elsewhere. Which would be a pain.

[Later update] And now some of the platform’s other problems, which for a while had seemed to be gradually improving, are getting worse again… the hamhanded destruction of careful formatting and layout, the shitty app which can’t even keep up with one-finger typing on longer posts, the utter failure to connect with a wider audience compared to either social media or my ancient personal website… I need an alternative.

All I ask of a blog platform is, just let me write. And don’t fuck it up after I do. This one fails to meet that requirement. Why can’t the market leader do this simple job as well as LiveJounal did fifteen or twenty years ago?

Time to take a look at Medium, and blogger.com if that’s still a thing. The only reason I ever used this was because other people I knew did, but the social interconnection value coming from that has been negligible.

…Hey, it turns out they both support exporting content through json, which would enable embedding it in my own site with my own styling.

November 1, 2018

the most charitable interpretation of fascism

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 10:22 am

Although in any right-wing nationalist movement you will find plenty of people who are virulent racists, sexists, xenophobes, and other deplorable types, I don’t think this kind of hate and evil explains the broad popularity that such movements often develop among ordinary people. I don’t think they’re driven by hate as an end in itself. Instead, they develop toward supporting hate because of more practical motives.

From what I see, the average working-class Joe who signs onto a nationalistic agenda does not hate immigrants and/or minorities, though he does resent immigrants or minorities. The difference is that he’s not being hostile to them simply because of their ethnicity or origin, but because of what he perceives them to be doing once they come into his neighborhood or his nation — namely, acquiring wealth and resources, getting jobs, consuming goods, occupying space. He resents them not for existing, but for getting something that he wants for himself.

The predominant scare stories told about immigrants and minorities are not about how they look different, speak oddly, or worship wrongly, but about how they get good jobs or receive benefits at taxpayer expense. This is what upsets most anti-immigrant nationalists: not that newcomers to the country are odd and foreign, but that they are either getting governmental handouts or “taking our jobs”. The resentment is based on a belief that if they have more, he will have less.

This is why fascism flourishes in tough times, when workers are doing poorly. The fear that he will have less if someone else gets more seems to have already come true — he does have less, which means someone else must have gotten more. If a faraway ruling class gets more, he may not see any noticeable difference in their condition, or if he does, he probably feels there’s probably very little he can do about that, or that it’s only natural or inevitable… but if someone who is competing at his own level is getting more, well then, that’s a fight which he has a good chance to win. It looks like an opportunity, whereas taking on the boss does not.

The aforementioned ruling class is very aware of this. Like the old story says, a big boss, a blue collar worker, and a poor immigrant walk up to a plate of cookies. There are one hundred cookies there. The boss immediately takes ninety-eight of them, then he turns to the worker and says “Keep an eye on that immigrant — he wants to take your cookie.”

When workers had unions, they were a lot more confident that they could take on the real competition — the guys who actually were getting all the money they were not. Without unions, there’s a much deeper sense of helplessness, so it’s only natural that many people will look downward rather than upward when seeking someone to take on in a fight for a better share. And without unions, of course, semiskilled workers are a lot worse off financially than they used to be. As a group, they are being systematically ground down toward poverty. The worse things get, the less they are ready to act as a team and the more desperately some of them will turn on each other to try to grab a piece of what’s left.

The crooked narratives of fascism are never just about how those scapegoated people, whoever they happen to be in any given instance, are different or inferior. They are about how those people, by living in your neighborhood, are taking something away from you — a job, a handout, a government service, or even just the seat you wanted to get when you go out for some entertainment. The unstated presumption of fascist ideology is that the social and economic benefits of living in a society are a limited resource, and that getting the social support you deserve as a member of that society is a zero-sum game, in which gains for them are losses for you. Therefore you should try to preserve as big a share as possible for your own friends and family and neighbors — the people who constitute your true community — rather than for people who are part of the same larger society but don’t quite feel like friends or neighbors yet.

Fascism is founded on convincing people that the benefits of being a member of society are scarce, to the point where there is not enough for everyone. They can’t be shared freely, because there’s only enough for those with a strong social claim — the native majority — and the rest will have to do without, or everyone will be poor. This claim of scarcity is believable during hard times when everyone is suffering, or during times when working people are impoverished by greed. When scarcity is a concrete fact of life, it’s easy to believe that there isn’t enough to go around.

Hardcore racists and similar deplorables are only, as far as I can tell, somewhere between a tenth and a twentieth of the populace. But willingness to believe in these narratives of scarcity can easily spread to a far larger portion of the citizenry. If the deplorables want to indoctrinate people with racist hatred, they will piggyback their assertions that certain people are evil or inferior on top of these scare stories about scarcity.

In the end, the reason we are seeing a rise of enthusiasm for fascism is because we have allowed so much concentration of wealth. It’s the reason a wannabe fascist like Trump is able to get votes, and it’s also the reason he was able to steal the party from the establishment Republicans, as their habit of transferring huge amounts of wealth from workers to owners had gone on for so long that the cover of lies they kept over it was wearing too thin to maintain. Fresh new lies were needed, for the party to fool anyone. Of course, by signing yet another tax cut for the rich, Trump ended up settling right back into the old lies, which means that his appeal to the working class is now tarnished. We can only hope that this obvious sell-out helps diminish the appeal of fascism in general.

The core appeal of fascism is “less for them means more for us”. The lie of fascism is in persuading people that they are going to be in the “us” category, when that group will usually include only those who become part of the power structure. Racism and nativism and other bigotries are the means of selling ordinary powerless citizens the illusion that they are members of the “us” group. And lack of economic opportunity is what justifies the desire to take from some to benefit others.

You can’t expose the fascist lie with logic and evidence; those who swallow it are usually capable of baffling levels of doublethink, and will happily embrace or make up alternative facts to discredit the evidence of their eyes and ears, because to be dissuaded of the lie would mean losing a source of hope. Some of them even cheer for lies they recognize as such — they admire the act of lying, and see themselves as a partner who will benefit from the lie, rather than as a target of it. Others simply can’t see any contradiction.

The effective way to undermine fascist tendencies is to improve economic opportunity for all.

September 6, 2018

the last SLR holdout

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry,Photo,technology,the future! — Supersonic Man @ 11:41 am

Mirrorless cameras are officially taking over; everybody wants the slim camera bodies and short lens registry distances that are made possible by electronic viewfinders. Nikon has come out with a new Z mount and almost simultaneously, Canon has come out with a new RF mount (which looks to me like it will be a real “RF” of people who bought into their smaller and older EOS-M system, as it is not at all compatible, and it might not even be possible to make an adapter to mate them). Meanwhile, in the medium-format world, Hasselblad also came out with a mirrorless camera sporting a new short-flange lens mount a while ago — I think they call it XCD — and Phase One put together a mirrorless bodge setup branded as Alpa, which must have something that counts as a lens mount. This means that almost every camera company that didn’t already have a short mirrorless lens mount (Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, and formerly Samsung) has now added one to their product line. As far as I can see, there is only one holdout which still offers only a long-flange lens mount and traditional SLR cameras: Pentax. As it happens, I’ve got Pentax.

Does this mean that Pentax needs to do a me-too and come up with their own short mount, to keep up? It does not. There are lots of reasons why it might make perfect sense to offer a mirrorless camera without changing the mount. They’ve already updated their existing mount so it can operate in a fully electronic fashion with no legacy mechanical linkages. Lenses made for mirrorless use can still have their back end close to the sensor; they’ll just have the mounting flange further forward, with some of the glass hiding inside the body of the camera. This will create a pancake-like appearance for lenses that are not actually thin. Another possibility is that filters can be placed into the gap. Or the protruding barrel can be a place to mount a control ring. I think it’s a perfectly viable way to do mirrorless, though for some it won’t win aesthetic points.

(more…)

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.