This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Why it's so easy to put fake stuff on the internet

Fooling people, with fake information, fake companies, and fake products is nothing new. 100 years ago, bad guys could have printed up fake brochures, created a fake product, handed out fake business cards, and given you a fake smile. These people were known as "con men" (con is short for confidence) and they made a lot of money selling fake things, like fake shares of stock, or whatever they could think of. Their investment was small, and the rewards for this type of crime could be enormous. Today nothing has changed, except that it's so much easier, and cheaper, on the internet.

As a graphic designer, sometimes I'm amazed at how slick the fake stuff looks. Of course, there's a lot of laughable stuff, with misspelled words, the kind of thing that shows off a fake, but there's a lot of really believable fake stuff out there, and I see more and more of it every day.

Just like 100 years ago, it can be difficult to know who to trust. Human nature being what it is, people tend to trust on first impressions. I won't come right out and say that most people are lazy, but most people won't take the time to research. And that's a shame, because in spite of the amount of junk nowadays on the internet, research is fairly easy to do. And like all research, there has to be cross-checking, and multiple sources. Yes, the con men rely on human nature being too lazy to check to see if there really is a "Smelly River Oil Company".

I try not to let this kind of stuff get me down. I know that there are bad guys out there, I learned that by having several bikes stolen in my lifetime. For their own personal reasons, there are people out there who will lie, cheat, and steal. There always have been, and there always will be. They didn't appear with the invention of the internet. How these people live with themselves I will never know. I hope they have ulcers, and wake up at 3 am in a panic.

As for me, I decided a long time ago that the man that I wanted to grow up to be would be someone that I could look at in the mirror and be proud of. I'm not saying that I'm perfect, but the thought of cheating people makes me sick. And as a graphic designer I know how easy that would be to do, but as a human being I know how horrible that would be to live with.

And by the way, please don't believe me just because of this post. This cost me nothing but a few minutes of my time. Google me. There's a few more famous people than me with my name, but if you Google my company name, BradHallArt, you'll see the stuff that I've done over the years. Then you can decide if I'm a fake.

Why you should, or shouldn't automate things in your life

One thing I'll admit is that I'm not a patient person. In a long life I've had a few people compliment me by telling me that I'm patient, but it's not really true. I'm a nervous, fidgety person, who never developed the ability to show the type of patience that I've seen in a lot of people. Getting me to sit still in a waiting room is about as impossible as controlling a three-year old.

I've known people whom I call "having the patience of a saint". They're the kind of people who can sit up all night with a sick friend, the kind of people who can sit in traffic. Yes, of course I can tell that this annoys them a little bit, but nothing compared to how weak I am. So I learned at an early age to automate, and refocus. I still do that.

Automating means creating a system that goes around the obstacle. I've always thought that it was creative thinking, but really it's what I need to do to retain my sanity. When I went to college, I'd bring along my bicycle and park waaaaayyy far away in the lot, and then bike in. I knew people who had the patience to drive up and down the aisles of a parking lot, looking for a parking spot. Like I say, maybe if I'd practiced it, I'd have gotten better at it, but I didn't.

Of course I loved computers right away. When I discovered "macros", I was in heaven. A macro is a small program that you create to run multiple functions. The first macros I used were in the page layout program that I used, which would allow me to change, for example, a word like "Brad" to "Bradford" in 10,000 instances in a document. I'd create macros, and set them aside. In Photoshop they were called "actions". Once you set it up, the computer did things in the blink of an eye. So you'd have to set it up correctly. I took care, but I loved it.

Nowadays my favorite automated system is getting ordinary dry goods (paper towels, shampoo, etc.) delivered to me. I've been doing it for years, and it's like any type of automated system, it takes some time to set up, but once it's in place it's amazing how well it works.

But automated systems aren't for everyone. I know a lot of people who are strictly linear, and like to keep an eye on things. And those people developed the patience to stand in line. It's too late for me.