Minds Viewed Globally

We’ve hit Week 6. We’ve just submitted our group reports. We’re ready for our mid-sem break. We’re all hating this week’s reading, apparently. At least that’s what I’ve found while looking through my friends’ blogs on my search for inspiration. Maybe it’s because we’re at that point of the semester, or maybe it’s because Gardner loves to talk about how he changed the world with his theories, but this reading was difficult to get through.

Gardner describes five ‘minds’ in this reading:

  1. The Disciplined Mind – those individuals that are capable of mastering a way of thinking (I thought of this as being like a Sim mastering the Charisma, or Logic skill)
  2. The Synthesising Mind – able to converge many pieces of information from different sources
  3. The Creating Mind – individuals who come up with new ideas, put forward theories, and create new knowledge
  4. The Respectful Mind – those that try to understand others and realises that human differences are valuable
  5. The Ethical Mind – those who question the needs of society as a whole, and works to make sure those needs are met

Gardner states that “the five minds are the kinds of minds that are particularly at a premium in the world of today and will be even more so tomorrow” (pg. 4). While I tend to shy away from any sort of theory that labels people in a particular way (I believe that we are all far too individualistic), I agreed with Gardner in his analysis of why each ‘mind’ is important in a workplace and wider society. I especially found interesting his thoughts on a world and workplace without each mind.

Despite my reluctance to resign myself to believing that 7 billion people can be grouped into five minds, I can takeaway from this reading that diverse personalities, ways of thinking, and values are what makes the workplace and society function. In saying that, maybe I can lump myself into the ‘respectful mind’ category as I ‘note and welcome differences between human individuals’ (pg. 3).


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

Finding Time in a Digital Age

‘The very same machine that can make us feel harried also free up time, allowing for much greater autonomy, flexibility and versatility in how we organise human affairs’. (pg. 169)

For the Media 6 group work this semester, my focus has been on Slow Media, a broad theory encompassing both the production and consumption of media, and the means of production and consumption. This reading, with it’s focus on finding time, tied in perfectly to what my group has been researching.

One of the points made by Wajcman in this chapter is that the aspects of our lives that are overwhelming and stressful, are also the ones that relieve these negative feelings. Wajcman specifically refers to the smartphone, which we reach for ‘in an attempt to to relieve the pressure that the devices magnify but do not in themselves cause’. When we live in a society reliant on the technologies which are causing us stress, and which are also the technologies allowing us ample leisure time, it can be hard to ever really be away from the mounting pressures of the workplace or other responsibilities.

This reading reminded me of a recent change of law in France, where it is now illegal to send work-related emails outside of working hours. While I can’t see a law like this being implemented in Australia any time soon, with one of the longest working weeks in the world, it may be worth asking the question if such nationalised government strategies could work to relieve pressure on Australian workers.

While I struggled to get through this reading (it took me three days after I repeatedly fell asleep/got sidetracked by my smartphone) and found that I disagreed with a lot of it, I did find it to be an interesting look at the ways in life’s pressures and leisures and intertwined by new technologies. Even as I checked Instagram this morning, at 7am and while lying in bed, I found myself replying to work text messages received close to midnight last night. I don’t believe that technology is to blame, I think that it’s a way of thinking and doing that is prevalent in the Australian workforce, and will probably be prevalent for the rest of my working life.

The Clarity of the Craftsman

My main issue with Newport’s idea of ‘the craftsman’s mindset’ is that it assumes that people have work that they are passionate about doing. It assumes that we all have a great idea, and that it just needs work, work, work in order to be a great product. For myself, this isn’t true. I can’t think of one creative idea that I’m passionate about at the moment. Yes, if I find one, the craftsman’s mindset may work for me as a creator, but until then, the theory has no standing in my professional life.

My second issue with Newman’s theory is that it assumes that all creative people are creators. I think it is entirely possible to be a creative person who simply likes to work with, or under, or for, other people. I find that helping someone else finish a passion project of theirs can be just as rewarding as working on my own. I get to be given direction, I don’t have the pressure of being the creator, but I get to see great ideas come to fruition, and this probably comes under Newman’s idea of the passion mindset.

On another, more positive note, I loved that this reading mentioned Steve Martin’s brilliant memoir, Born Standing Up. I read Born Standing Up in my first semester of uni, and it really did help me realise that I wasn’t going to get anywhere unless I applier myself completely to getting better. I’d recommend the book to any creative type, any fan of Steve Martin’s, or pretty much any person. It’s safe to say I love it, and it’s one of my favourite books.



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.

The Informal Media Economy

Is it worth it? That seemed to be the underlying question of Lobato and Thomas’ The Informal Media Economy. Is it worth the overtime, the low pay, the stress, the lack of higher, more profitable opportunities just to be able to call yourself a media professional? For some people, it probably is. The work is probably fulfilling, enjoyable, and exactly what they wanted for their professional life. For others, it’s probably hell.

Having not yet entered the ‘media industry’ (and not sure if I ever will, honestly), I don’t know where I would stand on the ‘worth it or not’ spectrum. I’ve read books by writers, such as Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? (2015) that detail 14 hour work days, with naps taken on the floor of a writer’s room and thought ‘I would deal with that for the opportunity to work that job’. That being said, working on an American network comedy like The Mindy Project would be a dream come true and I would probably be too delirious to know what time it was. In reality though, would a seemingly more achievable job in an Australian start-up media company be worth working the same hours? Probably not, but I’d do it anyway, convincing myself that it’s the only way to get a foot in the door.

Lobato and Thomas ask ‘how can we distinguish work from pleasure, and pleasure from self-exploitation?’ (pg. 70), but I wonder weather there needs to be a distinction. If we find our work pleasurable which, let’s face it, is the dream, then does it matter that our pleasures are work? And as long as we continue to find joy in our work and endeavours, can working hard really be called self-exploitation? Are we exploiting ourselves if we are doing what we love? Maybe if we stop loving our work, yet we continue to throw all our energy and resources behind it, can we then say we are self-exploiting.

The Informal Media Economy throws up some tricky questions for a final semester media student. But it also reaffirms that it is passion and joy that should drive our pursuits, with success and money playing into whether we still feel the pull of a media pathway.



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

Week Four Bibliography – Slow Media References

Butterworth, T. (2009). Time for a Slow Word Movement. Available: http://archive.is/20130123123342/http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/29/media-newspapers-internet-opinions-columnists-trevor-butterworth.html. Last accessed 1st August 2016.


Gillmor, Dan. (2009). Towards a Slow News Movement. Available: http://mediactive.com/2009/11/08/toward-a-slow-news-movement/. Last accessed 1st August 2016.

In this article, Gillmor discusses the implications of a so-called ’24 hour news cycle’, paying particular interest to the way in which this type of news reporting often leads to the spread of false information and citizen panic. However, this article stands out as it is not one-sided; Gillmor admits the positives of a fast and constant news cycle. Gillmor’s definition of ‘slow news’ is focused more so on the consumption by the audience; slow news involves the act of seeking out insightful, fact-driven news media, rather than fast, demand-driven news. This article is helpful as it gives a definition of slow news in terms of the consumer, where most define slow media in terms of the producer.


Honore, C (2004). In Praise of Slow: Challenging the Cult of Speed. Great Britain: Orion


Matt. (2005). The Era of Slow News. Available: http://snarkmarket.com/2005/721. Last accessed 1st August 2016.

This article is helpful to us in researching slow news as it argues that the Internet, and specifically blogs, have slowed down the news cycle rather than sped it up. The author, known only as Matt, writes that ‘traditional journalists report stories forward, bloggers can report them backwards’. Matt argues that the permanently archived nature of the Internet, as well a willingness by bloggers to dig into the past for topic of interest means that news coming from these sources is effectively much slower than news coming from the 24-hour news cycle of traditional journalists.

Media 6 Reading Reflection Week 1

Reading about the so-called ‘4th Industrial Revolution’, I was feeling how I always do when I think about the future; scared to my core. I’m not sure if I honestly believe that humanity is doomed. Sometimes I feel like Russia and the US are going to nuke us all to death during some sort of cyber war in which Mark Zuckerberg is held captive and made to livestream it on Facebook. Other times I like to think that we’ll all start meditating more and looking after the environment and the world will go on as it always has. But then that gets me thinking about the notion of infinity and I’m terrified again. Either way I don’t plan on living forever (even if that technology does become available) so I go back to watching Gossip Girl and focus on how I can make life bearable for the people around me.

In this reading, what really stuck out to me was the notion of the sharing economy. I use services that are considered to be the forerunners of this type of industry all the time, and I love them. I get Ubers weekly and I can’t remember the last time I treated myself while travelling to a hotel rather than an AirBnB. I like the idea of the move away from a single owner of the means of production –  Uber drivers own their cars, AirBnB leasers own their houses and apartments. While the platform may be owned by a single entity, they are nothing without those using the platform, and if they were to shut down, their uses would just find a new platform to sell their services.

One aspect of the sharing economy that I do believe to be problematic is that these industries are based on trust. Uber drivers have a 5 star review rating system, AirBnB owners rely on the words of their guests. While I think this leads to better service, and is better for consumers, these systems are delicate and one bad review can destroy a person’s livelihood. In the age of the Internet, nothing is ever forgotten. Sent out a tweet in 2007 that was considered fine then but can be taken to be incredibly offensive in 2016? Good luck ever having a political career. When these sharing economies rely so heavily on character reviews, the idea of doxxing and the longevity of things said online is terrifying.

While I was interested in the sharing economy aspect of this article, one other line stood out for me as well. When talking about tracking sensors for packages, Schwag states that ‘in the near future, similar monitoring systems will also be applied to the movement and tracking of people’. Yeah, no thank you. Got an abusive ex who’s already a pretty adept stalker? Well he can now follow you everywhere because you had a chip inserted into you at birth. Maybe that’s an extreme example, but it’s probably nor far fetched.

While technology is vitally important to all our lives, it’s also bloody scary and I don’t want to think about it anymore.




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