Negative perceptions

On the DJI Mavic Pro Owners Facebook page, this question:

DRONE vs QUADCOPTER
would it be better if we started calling these “quadcopters” ? Public has a stigma against the word “drone”
drone = surveillance
quadcopter = hobby
just a thought …

I’ve only had my Mavic for a few weeks now, but I completely agree with this sentiment. When mention of it came up at the recent Molton Brown Curry Club, the immediate reaction was that I had obviously bought it to spy on my neighbours.

Yeah, that’s exactly why I spent $[loads] on the Mavic. I was desperate to see what was going on next door, and I needed to upgrade the current periscope over the back fence setup I was using previously.

And even when we’re on the field, flying well away from anyone and anything, we’ve noticed that we’re still getting disapproving looks from dog walkers. I like to think that I am a considerate flyer: I’m aware of the rules and of my responsibilities, and (literally) go out of my way to avoid disturbing or bothering other people.
But it’s only a matter of time until someone writes a dramatic letter to the school and flying there is banned. It’s coming.
And why? Well, here’s a reply on Facebook, which makes some good points:

Euphemism treadmill. No matter what we call it, it will be viewed negatively because of what it is. A flying camera. People don’t like the idea that they are being watched/recorded even in places where they don’t have a realistic expectation of privacy.

The school field being one of those places. If I was sitting on that same bench but rather than holding a Mavic controller, I was playing with the long lens on my camera, no-one would be so much as batting an eyelid. And I’d know that, because I could take photos of their eyelids from a huge distance away with the long lens on my camera.
Far more so than with the Mavic.

Facebook commenter continues:

The only way to break the stigma is to show people the positive side of them and show that they are less of a threat to their privacy than the kid across the street with a telescope.

Yes, of course. Except that while the Molton Brown boys might be open to this idea, the dog walkers on the school field will almost certainly not want to engage.

If you go down to Agulhas, you’ll see that just next to the lighthouse there is already a “Drone Free Zone” sign. Just a reminder that you’re not allowed to fly anywhere in any of the SA National Parks – and that’s absolutely fair enough. Their gaff, their rules.

I’ve been very careful to look (in detail) about where I can fly and where I can’t around Cape Agulhas. I’ve already got my routes planned and my photos and videos in my head, ready to go. All street legal, all above board and I can’t wait to play.
But half the reason for my checking and double checking this stuff is that I need to know my rights in case I am challenged, because I’m almost expecting that I will be.

Why? Because of those immediate negative perceptions around quadcopters, UAVs, flying cameras…

… around drones.

Is This The Best Album Review Ever?

And Was That A Bit Of A Clickbaity Post Title?

Whatevs.

I’ve been listening to Drones, Muse’s seventh studio album for a couple of weeks now and it’s still not quite bitten. Just still a little bit hit and miss for me. One thing that is for sure (and is backed up by ever other review I’ve read thus far) is that it’s a “concept album” set in “a harrowing, Orwellian picture of a world reduced to a totalitarian state”, and describing “the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors”. Happy days.

Continuing from where The Resistance left off and railing against Big Government and Big Corporates (the album is released on small independent label, Warner Bros), Drones – promised as a return to their roots – seems to have done that rather effectively by simply being a mishmash of all the previous Muse albums. And that is no bad thing. In fact, musically, I think that the individual tracks are fairly spectacular. Together, though – I just don’t know.

Some people have made their minds up though, like this reviewer for example. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think that he’s hugely impressed.

F*** me with the wet end of a guided f***ing missile that’s accidentally landed in a giant tub of f***ing horseshit, the f***ing swear word hasn’t been coined that’s sufficiently f***ing potent enough to convey just what a jawdroppingly, pants-chewingly, arse-achingly abysmal f***ing album these serially offending c***wits have come up with this time round! To call it “utter bollocks” would a f***ing insult even to the meanest, sweatiest pair of bollocks! I would in all seriousness consider my time to have been more rewardingly spent if I’d pressed my f***ing ear up against the bollocks of a random f***ing bloke on the tube for 53 f***ing minutes than listened to the toxic f***ing barrel of rancid elephant smegma that is Drones! Can you imagine the internal agonies of whatever poor c*** of a f***ing record company executive had to experience every last minute of this pompous, incoherent, incontinent, beyond-laughable, addled, 112th rate, thunderously f***ing vacuous tower of toss?

If you can get past the constant self-censorship (which is actually rather off-putting, and not just in that is constantly disrupts the readability of the column) and try to imagine this as the rage of a utterly livid music journalist (something like an unrestrained Nick Taras) in a darkened room of a bedsit in London, rather than a contrived attention-seeking list of obscenities, then it could be one of the best album reviews ever. And I’m giving “Mr Agreeable” (for it is he) the benefit of the doubt, because lines like:

the toxic f***ing barrel of rancid elephant smegma

and:

“Save me, from the ghosts and shadows before they eat my soul”, warbles Bellamy, like he’s having his f***ing gonads sandpapered by an over-fussy mother!

would get nothing but praise were they to appear in an episode of Blackadder.

Mr Agreeable may not be Richard Curtis or Rowan Atkinson. He may not even be agreeable.
But this might just be the best album review I have ever read.