The Future

Reading: Howard Gardner, 2007, ‘Minds Viewed Globally: A Personal Introduction’ in Five Minds For the Future, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, ch.1.

Howard Gardner developed the concept of multiple intelligences, suggesting the mind can be essentially be “divided into eight or nine separate faculties”. (Harvard Business Review 2010) More recently he created the concept of the five-minds.

Gardner suggests that there are certain types of minds we need to have if we are going to succeed in the coming ages. He proposes five minds that cover the spectrum of human cognition and interpersonal skills sets. The disciplined mind as able to master a skill, the synthesizing mind as able to bring different information together in a way that is accessible to others, the creating mind as able to conjure new ideas and strategies, the respectful mind as seeking to understand and integrate human differences and the ethical mind as creating methods of seeing the way our work can assist not just ourselves but the world at large.

Gardner also talks about rethinking our idea of education, as the current methods are not effective. The world is changing, and the types of skills that are most valuable are changing with it. If we want to create an effective education system we must first be clear about the values we want and how they can translate into outcomes. Gardner suggests that we must fashion young minds to be able to function highly in these five ways and that those who succeed will be leaders of the future. Nossal High School in Victoria is an example of an institution that has based their curriculum around Gardner’s five-mind theory, suggesting that it encourages their students to be highly analytical without inhibiting their learning. (Nossal High School 2012).


Harvard Business Review. 2010. Five Minds For The Future. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 August 2016].

Nossal High School. 2012. The Five Minds For The Future. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 August 2016].

Finding the Time

Reading: Judy Wajcman, 2015, ‘Finding Time in a Digital Age’ in Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ch.7.

Adam suggests that with the advancement of technologies, has come a growing sense of “temporal impoverishment”. Rather than new technologies making our lives more leisurely, we have began to believe that time is just a metric unit that we must not waste, and that to do better we must go faster. This idea that faster is better is linked into a lot of our modern media technologies, shorter news articles, hyper consumption, 1 minute meals, time management apps. Adam’s however doesn’t believe in the idea of a “digital detox” as a way of combating this and bringing humanity back to a slower paced lifestyle. I often think of it as an easy fix; logging out, switching off, heading to the country side and living modestly or something romantic like that. But I think trying to escape technology in such a rigid way, is oversimplifying the way that time and technology interact.

Adam suggests that to make more of time we must shift “the emphasis away from how digital devices colonize our time to a more political orientation based on how time is allocated an how it is valued.” I think this is a really powerful way of looking at time, not as solely a unit of measurement but as something we assign meaning to. Adam’s comment on what constitutes quality time and how by its very meaning it can’t be accelerated is crucial to this debate. The idea of a parent spending time with their child, as a type of time that cannot be hastened is a good example for the flaws in the faster is better ideology and the way a gender bias operates within it. Maximizing efficiency does not always maximize affectivity. Speed does not always correlate to progress. I think in this age we are quick to define our value and ourselves as a whole, by our output or productivity, but it is important to remember that we do not need to be moving to exist.

“So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

Cal Newport, 2012, ‘The Clarity of the Craftsman’ in So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work, NY Business Plus, ch.4.

Newport divides the way we approach building a career into the craftsperson mindset and the passion mindset, with the former focusing on what you can offer the world and seeks satisfaction from your output, the latter focuses on what the world can offer you and seeks gratification from your work. Newport suggests that by focusing your energy on practicing and mastering your craft, a confidence and fulfillment will ensue. Alternatively, focusing your energy on what you gain from or feel towards your craft, will lead to challenging questions and ultimately dissatisfaction. The passion mindset, Newport believes, sets us up for perpetual unhappiness.

I interpret this as the craftsperson mindset embodying a focus on the tangible present and the passion mindset focusing on the future or a more abstract idea of the present. Newport would suggest that passion does not exist unlocked somewhere, waiting for us to stumble upon it, but rather is born through practice and dedication. I think this a helpful way of looking at our search for happiness in general and the construction of happiness as a separate commodity or an end goal, as opposed to a part of a process or cycle. This idea of happiness exists as part of the capitalist framework and is never really able to be attained or held onto and thus we are perpetually searching and chasing.

The Exploited Artist

Lobato, R. and Thomas, J., 2015, ‘Work’ in The Informal Media Economy, Polity Press, Cambridge UK, ch.3.

I romanticize the idea of the underpaid and overworked artist, grasping at a coffee and looking disheveled and wired. Living off canned beans but being okay with it because they to some degree existed outside of the system, ran by their own rules and were creating something they cared about. Or at least believed they were on the way too. Speaking for myself I saw a sense of pride in the lifestyle as well as an environment conducive to self-exploitation. I wonder where it came from, the self-exploitation, are we inclined to this somewhat innately as artists or does the system groom us to behave like this.

Glamorizing this sporadic and exploitative work is a result of my own privilege, growing up white and middle class and going on to study at University. I want to make it as an artist, but know that if don’t I can go back to study or get another type of job with relative ease. It’s not the money at stake for me, just the desire to be able to be passionate about my job, a luxury not everyone is afforded. Intersections of class, gender and race contribute to our ability to get secure work. As mentioned in the article, precarity is not a new concept for women in the work force. It is important to remember when idolizing “the tortured artist” who is allowed to be one and why.

Content farms or “digital sweatshops” as they are referred to in the reading are paying artists little to nothing for their contributions. Artists are often eager for an offer of work and something to ad to their resume and thus are agreeing to very poor work conditions. Content farms can be important platforms for artists to showcase their work and get noticed. If volunteer run these online spaces can be really liberating, but when run by people hoping to capitalize on the artists position they can be really problematic.

I have just accepted that I will work for free for many years after completing my degree and thus have to maintain my job in retail or hospitality. Strangely I feel no resentment about this. I wonder what has led me to be happy to give away my labor for free. I’m not sure if it is an overpowering desire to make it in the industry at whatever cost, a lack of confidence in my ability or the quality of my work. Or if I have just romanticized the lifestyle as desirable or become accustomed to thinking that this is just the way it goes.

The question is raised in the reading and I’m not sure what to make of it, if the creative labor system became more regulated and stabilized would it in turn loose it’s edge and originality. Is the uncertainty and “bulimic work patterns” actually conducive to to the creative process?

Diversity in Australian Film (Annotated Bibliography)

Dunks, G. After Priscilla: The queer screen twenty-one years on [online]. Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, No. 186, 2015: 26-31.

Ellis, K, 2008. Disabling Diversity: The Social Construction of Disability in 1990s Australian National Cinema . 1st ed. Melbourne: VDM Verlag

When talking about diversity disability is often overlooked. Through looking at on screen representations of characters with disabilities it is evident there is a lot of social unease around disability. In the 1990s limited representation of disability in Australian film was not approached as a diversity issue. Quote: “Disability was often presented as a personal tragedy.”

Representation and discussion of disability is often centred on a medical framework rather than a social one. Construction of characters with disabilities often plays on the trope of them wanting to “overcome” or detach themselves from their disability to “fit in” and thus enforces the idea of disability as a “problem” rather than a social construction. (It would be interesting to research varying opinions of the word disability itself.)

Disability is constructed as “other” to ability, a framework also used with race, gender and sexuality. Ellis suggests that disability became politicized in the 1990’s with the 1992 Disability Discrimination Act. The disability rights movement of the time sparked the phrase “see the ability not the disability” which further enforced a hierarchical dichotomy.

Disabled bodies on screen are portrayed as isolated through choices made in cinematography and editing. Characters with disabilities are often tokenised and reduced to metaphors. Films often use characters with disabilities as social commentary aimed to empower other minority or disadvantaged groups, while doing nothing to empower or offer diverse representations of disability.

It is essential that we do not overlook the representation of disability when discussing diversity. It is important to discuss diversity holistically and be clear of the intersections of all types of privilege.

French, L, 2015. Does gender matter?. Lumina, 14, 157 – 165.

In 2012 women only made up 16% of film directors, 29% of producers and 20% of writers in Australia feature films. Female participation is higher in documentary and television. (It would be interesting to research why this is so.) French suggests however that the great success of a few female directors has created the illusion that female directors are not still a minority.

There were no female directed films in Australia between 1933 and 1979. The women’s movement of the 1970’s and the equal opportunity policy born out of this, aided the revival. The Women’s Film Fund was established in 1976. The number of film directors decreased again in the 1990s. French suggests that the assumption that the Australian film industry is more gender diverse than the American one is incorrect. She suggests that this assumption may have made it appear as though a push towards equality wasn’t paramount.

Lack of diversity is caused when people in power to make decisions come from a limited portion of society and thus “draw on a narrow range of experiences.” When this is translated to the screen in turn there will be a limited audience who will relate to these experiences. Therefore French suggests that by having more women in key creative roles there will be more representations of women on screen. French suggests that Australian television audiences are highly supportive of female characters and will become disenchanted if diversity is not increased.

French suggests that female film makers often have specific traits such as an interest in the characters psychology, marginalisation, emotional content and the family and personal realms. I think if we are to discuss this it is vital that we see these traits as not innate but rather a product of the way a women is socialised. French makes note of this.

I disagree with French’s concluding statement that gender no longer matters in the Australian film and television industry. While I understand her sentiment, I think that phrases like that are dangerous, and will be until our patriarchal, cis-centric society is completely overthrown.

Note: Weakness of this article include erasure of non-binary gender identities.

Krausz, P, 2003. Screening Indigenous Australia – An Overview of Indigenous Australia on Film. Australian Screen Education Online, No. 32, Spring 2013, 90 – 95.

Verhoeven, D., 2016. Three ways screen Australia can actually improve diversity in the industry [online] The Conversation Accessed 02/08/2016

Local Produce

Reading: Lederer, C. & Brownlow, M., ‘’A World of Differences’: Special Report: Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2016-2020’. Price Waterhouse Cooper

I do believe there has been a shift from needing great content to be successful to needing great marketing and a space with great access to internet traffic. With a plethora of content out there, what seems to really matter is the visibility.

Whether Bill Gates’ essay “Content is King” has become outdated or not, I find it interesting to look at media platforms as a way of driving future change as opposed to the material within them alone. The type and structure of platform is important; who can access it, who can produce or consume content and how can these individuals interact.

Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, has said that locally produced content is the future. This can be due to the familiarity of characteristics with local audience and media regulations that ensure a certain amount of screen time is dedicated to local audiences.

Different audiences are more supportive of some types of locally produced content than others. For example it seems that Australia is more support of Australian television than Australian film, with Australian television shows filling the top 10 ranks each year, yet Australian films only making up 3% of the domestic box office in 2014. Why is this? It might come down to an uninformed stereotype of what is to be expected in an Australian film, or it may just come down to limited release and lack of funding which does not allow them to compete with Hollywood blockbusters.

The more options we have as consumers the more room we have to curate our own media diet, and thus can consume a diverse range of things across a variety of platforms.

To Resist or Not?

Reading: Klaus Schwab, 2016, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum), pp.14-26, 47-50, 67-73, 91-104.

The main question I get when I read pieces like this, and start to envision some sort of media driven dystopia is whether I should resist or not? The developments in technology I mean. I think I’m caught in a place between two generations, between those who grew up without our currently technology and those who grew up completely immersed in it, and between two modes of thinking about technology; a cynical, condemning view and an embracing, excited one. Like complaining that smart phones are ruining our interpersonal connections, while simultaneously forming important networks through social media. Heavily wound up in this question of whether to resist, is the desire to make a distinction between the online world and the offline one, the “real” and the “not real”. I wonder what impact making this attempting to make this distinction has on me?


I also was really interested in what influence the predictive power of the algorithm will have over human behavior and the amount of trust we may come to place in it. I hadn’t really conceptualized the way I’m exposed to the workings of the algorithm, such as to make predictions for what I should view on YouTube or Ads I might be interested in on Facebook, and the fact that it is essentially a mathematical process or set of rules. In particular I was thinking about the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy and if the wiring of our brains will come to mimic such mathematical predictions.

There was a quote within the reading that claiming with the current state of media consumptions we are “overwhelmed and on overdrive”. I was talking about this the other day, about how I constantly need to be ticking off things on a “To Do List’ and how the abundance of apps on my phone with notifications to check, alarms to set, images to sort offers me a system that rewards me with short bursts of accomplishment and fulfillment. I become so addicted to this rewards cycle that I often become completely immersed in my phone, flicking quickly between apps, and can feel less accomplished if I’m not doing more than one task at once. As discussed in the reading Nicholas Carr the net is a “a machine geared for dividing our attention. Frequent interruptions scatter our thoughts, weaken our memory, and make us tense and anxious.”

I don’t know if I am so easy to demonize the iPhone, or social media or not unplugging out of a desire to be counterculture or because I honestly fear the negative impact it is having on me. One thing I do believe though is that I will be left behind in some sense of the phrase if I don’t embrace it.