Posts in Dispatch
Dispatch into chaos

In the ever-evolving processes of life, this page is undergoing shakeups.

It feels like a lot of work to decide what is worthy of the "Black Rectangle brand" which is something I can't believe I just typed. It's barely a brand, and now that Black Mirror kind of ran away with the whole "what if phones but too much" thing, it feels less and less interesting to me to try and run with that.

Part of what is leading to this reconsideration is that my goals have shifted I'm less worried about coming up with some kind of grand unifying "awesome idea" and instead putting more effort into different areas. Photography and writing will still be here, but just... different. No more "black rectangle" anything that isn't me, Ben.

Sidenote: for a while I had thought of using different names on the blog that I would write under to suggest that there was some kind of larger organization to this site. Suffice to say that was too much work for me. I'm glad that I didn't pursue that too far.

Like a lot of people, I have a LinkedIn page. I hate it. I hate LinkedIn. I still can't bring myself to delete it just because I keep thinking someone is going to try and reach out to me there. I honestly don't think I've ever gotten anything out of LinkedIn besides just wasting my time trying to polish up my page and enduring the "hustle zombies post about how much they respect Mark Zuckerberg."

Suffice to say that I think having a personal website is more important to me now than it has been in a long time. Despite the fact that i pay someone to host it, there's no other real advertising happening here. It's not even really ad-friendly and I think in 2018 and going forward I am proud of the fact that no one really reads this unless I direct them to it.

It's not a thing. No one cares until they're interested in who I am. That's fine.

Nobody reads your blog.
I'm just trying to do me

I'm just trying to do me

In the past couple of months I came up with a photography pseudonym/handle: "30ghosts"

It's derived from something I think I read from Warren Ellis. He wrote that there are something like 23 dead people for every living person on the Earth. I rounded that up since "30ghosts" kinds of rolls of the tongue better and it's probably just as true in the sense that we all are part of a legacy of humanity. Yes, that's pretty high concept. I guess that's part of my deal.

If you type the URL "30ghosts.rip" into your browser, that will take you to my public facing Instagram. As the weather gets better, it will be populated with more new stuff.

Dispatch 9: I Don't Do Requests

Us and Them

I don't normally do product recommendations in Dispatches, but since it's had a tight grip on my brain, I want to tell others about this amazing photo book I received as a Christmas present.

If you have ever followed fashion photography, you've heard of Helmut Newton. He was absolutely prolific in the 70s and 80s and defined a fairly specific couteur look that became synonymous with French Vogue. His wife of many years, Alice Springs, was also a photographer and artist in her own right and the couple documented their lives and careers. Those photos of their life together were collected in the book "Us and Them."

Even if you're not the biggest fan of Newton's work (I respect his skill, but editorial fashion photography doesn't really "do it" for me), you'll come away with an appreciation for both of Helmut and Alice. They are clearly a powerful duo. The images collected over their lives are remarkable for the breadth. I came away feeling like I knew these people.

I highly recommend this and for the price, you'll be glad you bought it for yourself or some other shutterbug in your life.

The most expensive media

Techmoan posted a video detailing the most expensive home audio format: reel to reel tapes.

As usual the video gets into the fascinating details of the technology. Reel to reel was always an enthusiast format. It was more cumbersome than vinyl albums or enclosed tape formats like cassettes and 8-tracks. But the up side was that, if properly mastered, the tapes wound sound far better than just about any other format. There are some additional caveats to that, but it is still pretty interesting to see that tapes are still being produced (albeit at exorbitant prices.)

Play it again

There are no shortage of piano covers on youtube, but I happened to have this particular video recommended to me and it is probably the end-all-be-all of piano cover videos.


I didn't bother to even count how many songs Lara6638 plays, but it's an astounding amount only made more remarkable by the fact that she was taking requests live. Since it was originally streamed on Twitch there are a lot of videogame covers (Legend of Zelda makes multiple appearances), but there are a lot of other pop songs in the mix as well.

That'll do it for this dispatch.