To be honest, there's not much to see here.
I (Bernardo Malfitano) had set up a website here in the days before Web 2.0, to share some of my pictures and other random stuff. However, now that you can share photos and thoughts with the internet at large through Flickr and Reddit and Imgur, with your friends on Facebook, and with fellow enthusiasts and hobbyists in specialized blogs and web forums (such as FenceCheck and Van's Air Force and Cavok), there's not much of a point to having a personal website anymore.
But for what it's worth, since you're here, you may want some basic info about me. So let's see... I'm originally from Brazil. I'm obviously a huge airplane geek: I have watched every aviation documentary and read every book about airplanes that I could find since I was a little kid, I own an RV-6 and am learning to fly aerobatics in it, I have always enjoyed writing about airplanes, when I was at Stanford I created and taught a course about the history of aviation technology (for which I wrote a 180-pgae book), I have taken pictures of airplanes (mostly at airshows) that have been featured in books and news articles and won awards... What else... I also enjoy photography and running. I'm a Unitarian Universalist (which basically means I'm an atheist who likes to go to church). Since 2008 I have lived in the Puget Sound area and worked for Boeing doing fracture mechanics research: doing lab tests to figure out the fatigue behavior of new materials and new structural shapes, and creating and improving equations for computer simulations of structural fatigue and other aging phenomena so that we can use computer analysis to make good predictions about how airplane structures will age, without having to necessarily test every new component we design.
My website used to mostly focus on information about upcoming airshows and pictures from the airshows I went to. However, nowadays there are many websites with much better and more thorough airshow calendars: MILAVIA, UKAR, Airshow.com, FenceCheck's database and calendar, World Airshow News' lists of airshows in North America and overseas... And now that tons and tons of people post their airshow photos and videos on Flickr and Facebook and YouTube (and now that websites like FenceCheck and World Airshow News and UKAR and CAVOK all strive to cover every airshow out there), I no longer feel like I need to document all these airshows myself. I will let the power of Web 2.0 do it for me in a distributed way. And when I feel like covering an airshow myself once in a while, I know that I still can if I want to.
There's so much out there on the internet that I'm not sure that posting a bunch of my own stuff here would be worthwhile. In the past I have written about a lot of my experiences, such as what I learned from working at different kinds of workplaces (there were some very difficult experiences I had to learn to get through), what my years of flight-training were like (there were some very difficult experiences I had to learn to get through), etc. However, those things were written primarily for the sake of writing and of organizing my own thoughts. I probably shouldn't post them here because I'm not sure that random people on the internet would care to read that stuff. Also, I already share it with my friends on other platforms (Facebook, etc), and with people in discussion forums dedicated to those specific fields.
Well, I suppose my F-22 Rainbow picture got some widespread attention, so here's the story about it. What else? I wrote a website about photography terms, how to choose a camera, how to take good pictures, and how to take good pictures at an airshow. (All that information is already out there in other websites. However, I do get an email once in a while from people saying that they found my pages about photography to be especially useful, so I'll leave them up). And I do want to put online the materials that I developed for that course I created and taught about the history of aviation technology. I do have a website for that too, but it's an eternal work in progress.
There are, however, a couple of memes (ok, four) that I care about passionately enough to mention here, some under-represented points of view that I think should be shared as broadly as possible. I feel almost a sense of duty to write something about them and post it here, so that I can easily direct people to my thoughts on these topics, and also hope that random people stumble upon them while searching the internet regarding these topics. I feel like I should do whatever I can to spread these memes (inconsequential as my actions may actually be). They are...
- Commercial aviation is ridiculously safe. This is for people who are afraid of flying, or who see news about an accident and fail to appreciate just how much progress has been made in the field of aviation safety. The rate of aviation accidents has been going down so steadily since the 1960s, and the causes of accidents have been eliminated so methodically one by one, that the freak accident required to kill an airline passenger in the US is almost unimaginable. (If it can be imagined, it can be prevented, and almost certainly has been).
- Carol Dweck's research, impostor syndrome, math phobia, all those problems you get into when you think that ability is determined more by innate talent (I'm not good at this, I'll look stupid if I ask questions) than by "exercise" (I can get good at this if I want to and work towards it).
- Neoliberal free-market economics, pushing deregulation and privatization, measuring success by stock prices and GDP, pretending that the world is meritocratic and that citizens should not care for their less-fortunate compatriots... drove Latin America into the ground during the 1970s and 80s. That's part of why I left there. But now, the same thing is happening in the US, and it scares me. This is what happens when citizens become lazy (or greedy or untrusting) and value competition over collaboration.
- In practice, beliefs are largely built on post-hoc rationalizations, not on "truth" or "evidence". When it comes to religion, politics, social behavior and cultural customs, etc, people just believe and do what they want, then find ways to convince themselves that they are right. If you disagree with some people (liberals, conservatives, atheists, fundamentalist Christians), the interesting question to ask about them is not "How can they believe that this is right?", but "What about their psychology makes them want to believe that this is right?". (As for convincing them that they're wrong: Sometimes it's impossible). I was going to write a whole book about this, but then a few were published that explained it better than I could. And no, I'm not a relativist, there is right and wrong, true and false... but people (even you and I) are apparently very bad at evaluating those things.
Blue skies and tailwinds!