Evan Bryce Riddle


Media 6: Do you Mind?


This entry, what is likely to be my blog entry for this University degree – that’s a sentence that triggers a mixed response for sure – is in response to the week 6 of the Media 6 readings,  Five Minds For the Future by Howard Gardner.

Gardner argues, almost forces the notion that the 5 mindsets he proposes are the only 5, and that he has spent considerable time arguing his case, and a significant part of his book explores why that is so. What are they?

  1. Disciplinary
  2. Synthesising
  3. Creative
  4. Respectful
  5. Ethical

downloadI began with the view that the author seemed quite self-obsessed and immodest, taking the positive aspects of each mindset and discussing how he possesses or relates to those qualities. However, while I was reading his section on the synthesising mind, he recalls when as a student he would enjoy “reading disparate texts and learning from the distinguished and distinctive lecturers”, then attempting “to make sense of these sources of information, putting them together in ways that were generative at least for [him]” (p.6). I realised that in fact, subconsciously what I was doing something very similar, much like he synthesised his lecturers and makes them relatable to him, I discovered that I was trying to make each section of his text, each of his 5 minds, relatable to myself, and found that each mind did actually relate in one way or another.


Here’s how:

Disciplinary: “Planning executing critiquing” – I’m a forward thinking and I keep organised (organised does not equate to clean…)

Synthesiser: Subconsciously, as previously discussed. Plus as my role of manager at my part-time job, exactly fitting Gardner’s criteria to the manager’s synthesizing mind:, “consider the job to be done, the various workers on hand, their current assignments and skills, and how best to execute the current priority”.

Respectful and ethical: As Gardner states, “I must try to understand other persons on their own terms”. Reworded, to step back and see things for their perspective. This I admit is something I can sometimes struggle with, often set firmly in my own stance.

As for creative, I would have liked if there was more discussion in this area. I feel like this was largely skipped over, especially considering its relevance to the Media and Communications field I am in, this was largely disappointing. He spoke mostly in relation to careers, and their limitations on creativity. But what about creativity in life, outside 9-5 hours? Why can’t someone be a lawyer and a painter? A doctor and a pianist? Obviously, they can.

Moving away from the minds and towards the topic of technology and futures, a thought-provoking question was proposed, one that is critical in industries affected by constant technological evolution, and one that I find myself regularly contemplating: “how best can we mobilise our skills – and those of our coworkers – so that all of us will remain current tomorrow and the day after tomorrow?”

To wrap it all up, I’m about to simplify the corporate world into just a few sentences. Thinking in relation to another quote as follows – “Those societies that lack science must either remain deprived of technological innovations or simply copy them from societies that have developed them.” Is this the same with technological companies? The way I see it, there’s usually a singular corporation that pioneers a technology. Consider the original Iphone, entering the landscape in a fury, triggering responses from numerous other mobile and tech companies, who bounced off the innovator to achieve an arguably better final product (Samsung, Google, Motorola, etc.). So, if you can’t be the innovator, wait till somebody else is, and then alter it and improve.
Signing off.

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