The final reading for this subject functions as a nice bookend to the exploration of the potential future landscape of the media industry. Throughout ‘Mind Viewed Globally’ in Five Minds For The Future, Howard Gardner more broadly presents an analysis of the future environment not specific to the media industry, but rather the human race. As the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Howard Gardner writes this text from the perspective of a psychologist trained in cognitive science and neuroscience. Gardner hypothesises about the mental traits that humans will need to obtain in order to combat the onslaught of technology and in turn survive as a species. Gardner denotes five different encompassing groups of such traits, which he refers to as brains (ways of thinking). The first is the disciplinary mind, which refers to the mastery of schools of thought. Secondly, the synthesizing mind refers to the ability to being together ideas from different places. Thirdly, the creating mind is the ability to break new ground. Furthermore, the respectful mind dictates the inclination to appreciate differences between people. Finally, the ethical mind refers to the drive to identify, as well as fulfil individual responsibilities.
Although confusing at first, I understand the purpose of this text as to identify the areas to focus on in relation to the development of the brains of our potential future leaders. This text is therefore designed for the use of teachers, parents, trainers, politicians, etc. so that by ensuring the aforementioned aspects are integrated within the development and education of the world’s young minds, we as a species will be able to provide something greater than the machines and robots of the future. Since our group research topic is exploring human agency amongst the onslaught of technology, this reading becomes useful in the way of speculating how the human race could ensure human agency prevails against technology – by educating the collective with regard to Gardner’s ‘five minds’. For further information demonstrating the prevalence of discussion surrounding survival of the human race against technology, as well as ideas of the contrary, see this Daily Mail article, where Stephen Hawking discusses the extinction of the human race at the mercy of technology.
This week’s guest lecture was conducted by Sue Maslin, an acclaimed film producer largely known for The Dressmaker (2015). As someone who has been working in the film and media industry for more than twenty years, Sue Maslin provided a very interesting perspective through which to consider the future of the media industry. Moreover, given the way that people interact with content has completely transformed as a result of digital technological developments over the past twenty years, the continuum of exponential technological advancement suggests that during my generations engagement with the industry, the way in which people interact with content does not even exist yet.
Such thought encourages us to consider what we might need to think about when engaging with the potential future of media and story telling? During a brainstorming session with Sue Maslin, we broke that down into the following categories:
- Mediums (media platforms) – Technology
- Market – Education
- Interactivity / engagement
- Business / Finance
Upon speculating how these categories have transformed alongside technology, it seems difficult to predict how to prepare for the future of storytelling as it seems what you use now will be completely out of date in 5 years time.
The most important message I took from the lecture was Don’t get seduced by the tools! – no matter how cool the tech is it always has to come back to thoughts regarding – Why we are using it? – Why we are telling stories? That is something that will remain in the future, the reason human’s desire stories.
Sue Maslin summarised her presentation by giving three pointers to survive in the media future:
- Stay curious
- Persist – you have to be in for the long haul
- Have multiple strings to your bow – think about your skills and all the different ways you can make money
This week’s guest lecture was conducted by Con Moraitis, the Senior Coordinator at RMIT Careers. Given this subject functions as a transition between university and the workplace, Moraitis’ lecture provided extensive detail on how to write a CV. Since I have been working in the same organisation for the past two and half years, my CV is quite outdated and even my original writing strategy was probably not very effective and so I learnt lots from this lecture in relation to the specific things to include and not to include is a resume/CV, that I will able to implement upon updating my CV.
The key dot points I took from this lecture were:
- 2 – 3 pages max
- 2 pages is great (the shorter the better)
- Always tailored – FUNDAMENTAL (3 out of 5 don’t usually do this)
- It’s like a pitch, you have to know your audience (an advertisement)
- Clear headings
- Easy to read and easy to follow
- Use bullet points
- Don’t use graphics
- Mix of tasks and accomplishments – emphasis on accomplishments
- Your job experience isn’t necessarily too important, as long as you refer to the accomplishments in that job (not flipped burgers at Maccas but worked in a busy environment)
- Use industry keywords – mirror terminology from the job posting (look up key buzz words from other similar job ads)
- Yes, put links in
- If you don’t have much experience – put a title in called ‘key course projects’ (after relevant experience) – Interesting title, with brief description, key role requirements, mark (that’s there to fill a gap)
- Think about the locality – what are the local requirements for resumes in the area you are applying for jobs, different cultures are expected to provide different levels of detail
- DON’T PUT TITLE – RESUME (it’s obviously a resume)
- Sometimes you might think – being a member of this makes me sound better – “it’ll look impressive” – IT’S NOT – MAKE IT SHORT
- STUDENTS UNDERESTIMATE SOFT SKILLS – You can draw something out of almost any experience – as long as you make it relevant -e.g. a Good Listener
- Never say that you are looking to work for yourself later
GENERAL LAYOUT OF RESUME
- Contact details
- Professional profile or career overview
- Education, qualifications, other training
- Competency statements/skills summaries
- -Design skills / technical skills
- -Work management skills
- Relevant Experience -Paid/unpaid roles -Placements/internships -Published work
- General employment -Part time / casual, non-related
- Other activities / interests
This week’s reading poses some interesting food for thought that is especially important in relation to the research topic of my group. ‘Find Time in a Digital Age’ is the final chapter in a book called Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism. Written by Judy Wajcman, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, this chapter explores notions of time, leisure, work and technology. Wajcman is clearly interested in the way that technology reconfigures our understanding of time in a variety of ways. Firstly, digital technology blurs the boundaries between work time and leisure time. Moreover, technological developments begin to alter the way we see particular tasks of leisure. Furthermore, such technological developments gives birth to a fast paced lifestyle and society, where the number of possibilities in regards to tasks that can be engaged with on a day to day basis become exponential, along with ability to complete such tasks at any time of day and from any physical location. These opportunities accelerate our notions of time as it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with the development of technology and all of the practices that surround new technologies. Stemming from this is the notion that I know a lot of people of my generation associate with, that: “we don’t have enough time”. This appears to be a result of what Wajcman is referring to in the way that people of my generation may be confused about how to process different distinctions of time, meaning that work time, leisure time, socialising, personal time, etc. all become melded into one. This provokes thought for me regarding our research topic on ‘Human Agency Amongst the Onslaught of Technology’ in the sense that as distinctions of time become blurred as a result of technology, who is in control of the actions of humans and therefore the trajectory of our lives, us or the technology?
Upon researching this topic further I discovered Manuel Castell’s Network Society, in which he poses that the speed of digital technology is killing our idea of time. That the future of technology will see an end of linear clock time and we will enter a new epoch in which time disappears all together. I am intrigued by this idea as I have for a long time now been interested in the idea that time does not exist as such in a linear sense, but is merely a measurement system invented by humans that may function completely differently to our current collective understanding. Deep stuff…
Bandura, A 2006, ‘Toward a Psychology of Human Agency’, Perspectives On Psychological Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 164 – 180.
This article targets the core of our research topic in a manner that is highly explorative. Author Albert Bandura is the David Starr Jordan Professor Emeritus of Social Science in Psychology at Stanford University. Being a well respected psychologist responsible for an array of contributions to not only the field of education, but more specifically social cognitive theory, behaviorism, therapy, self-efficacy and personality psychology, Bandura provides a reliable source to contribute toward our research. This article thoroughly dissects the human species, in regards to developed capabilities in order to conceptualise the psychology of the term: human agency. Bandura discusses four core properties of human agency, which are intentionality, forethought, self-reactiveness and self-reflectiveness. Discussion of the aforementioned identify the way the human species has been able to directly influence the trajectory of their own lives as a collective and the psychology behind such process. However most interesting in relation to our research is the concluding claim that the instantaneousness of contemporary social, informational and technological changes provide humans with a greater ability to influence their lives and shape their future. Although written in the twenty-first century, potentially due to the age of this piece and the recentness of other technological developments, I believe this piece does not refer to sensory technology when making such claim. Since sensory technology and immersive virtual reality technology begin the process of replacing even the core properties of human agency as identified by Bandura, the lack of discussion regarding human agency surrounding technology upon the horizon becomes apparent. This article therefore furthers the importance of our research topic, but also provides a reliable source of information to which categorical comparisons could be made throughout our research.
Floridi, L 2014, Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality, Oxford University Press, United Kingdom.
Healy, T 2005, ‘The Unanticipated Consequences of Technology’, Santa Clara University, accessed 5 August 2016, <https://www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/more/technology-ethics/resources/the-unanticipated-consequences-of-technology/>
Kemelmacher, I & Tuite, K 2016, ‘The Meme Quiz: A Facial Expression Game Combining Human Agency and Machine Involvement’, University of Washington, accessed 5 August 2016, <http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~ktuite/memequiz.pdf>
In order to expand the upon the perspectives from which our topic is analysed, this report provides an interesting depiction of human agency among technology that contributes toward our research. Written as a Paper for Kathleen Tuite’s PHD in Computer Science at The University of Washington with the assistance of her advisor Ira Kemelmacher, this piece introduces an innovative computer game created by Tuite that provides interesting commentary regarding our research topic. The game is called ‘The Meme Quiz’ and allows a user to make facial expressions which the computer attempts to match to popular meme imagery from the internet. This process requires a complicated machine learning system, but more importantly highlights evidence of the way in which a sense of human agency can be employed among game technology. For example, Tuite suggests that the game creates the impression that the user is in control, in the way that since the computer program is ‘coherent and the results of participation are clear and well motivated, the interactor experiences the pleasure of agency’. Therefore it is identified that elements of supposed human agency can be employed among game technology by creating the impression of control. This provokes thought regarding the fact that a large proportion of technological developments in the twenty-first century are orientated toward game-like modules, in the sense of virtual reality experiences and other similar technologies. Since we are analysing the impact such technology has on human agency, it is important to distinguish the difference between genuine human agency and the impression of such, or at least determine how it might be possible to be aware of such distinction as we move forward as people.
If ever university students, or any student for that matter were worried about the relevance of the content they are studying on the trajectory of their lives after education, this week’s reading is not one of those pieces of content. Written by Cal Newport, assistant professor in the department of computer science at Georgetown University and experienced author, this week’s reading is only one chapter from an eye-open of a book. The overall book is comprised of advice and analyse of the ability to ‘follow your passion’ with regards to work life. To address such analysis, this particular chapter identifies two different ways that people think about work life: the craftsmanship mindset, focussed on what you (as an individual) can offer to the world; and the passion mindset, focussed on what the world can offer to you. The craftsmanship mindset is comprised of a positive attitude toward work life where an individual should strive to become the best that they can be at a particular task and find success and enjoyment through such process. Whereas the passion mindset lends itself to the idea that we are constantly unhappy and confused at work, wondering where we would like to take our work lives or how they could be improved.
The craftsmanship mindset definitely resonates with me, in the sense that I am a firm believer of the importance of happiness within work life. Especially nowadays, we as humans spend so much of our time at work and involved with work to some extent that I would wish for everybody to spend that time completing tasks that they truly enjoy and are passionate about. Author Cal Newport suggests that it is possible to emulate a craftsmanship mindset in relation to any individual’s current job. The notion that regardless of what you do for work now, you will be able to employ the same sense of determination and passion through a process of emulating a craftsmanship mindset. Whilst I agree with this statement, I think it is even more important to surround work life with areas that naturally inspire and determine you as an individual. Whilst that may be difficult in the case of a large number of individuals and this is partly the reason for Newport’s differing approach, I believe an individuals passion can be employed among their work life to even the smallest degree, which may eventuate to result in that person ‘following their passion’. On a personal level for example, I have become very passionate about music and am slowly trying to incorporate that into areas of my life, including my work within the sales industry.
Upon researching this concept further, a basic article I found seems to address the same approach as identified by Newport. “Until you find the perfect job, you should do your job well for you”.
For this weeks guest lecture we had the pleasure of Adrian Miles discussing the Honours program as a potential year of further study beyond completion of the Bachelor program at the end of this year. As one of my lectures for a previous subject and someone who is very knowledgeable, I was interested to hear from Adrian Miles. However more importantly, I have been looking forward to an opportunity to really clarify my understanding of the Honours program and therefore hopefully make a clearer decision regarding whether I wish to pursue it. After hearing from Adrian Miles I understand that there are many great aspects about the Honours program, such as the fact that it is not ‘an end’ but ‘the beginning of a transition/blend into further study or the industry’. However I conclude that Honours would be a great opportunity for a student with a clear head about the future pathway they intend to pursue in relation to their career. Unfortunately, due to my absence from this category I believe I have decided to conclude my studies at the end of the Bachelor program… for now. Adrian Miles guarantees us all that we will have to return to university at some stage in the future in order to progress our careers, however I am more interested in pursuing a career/lifestyle where I support and determine myself to achieve without the requirement for further study, such as with a small business. So that is the dream, as to whether that can be achieved without further study is a story for another day.
The reading this week was an important eye-opener to the world of the media industry beyond University. This reading features in a class within the final semester of the media degree for myself and my peers, which is designed to act as a springboard to transition students between University and the workplace within the field of Media. During this week’s reading, authors Ramon Lobato and Julian Thomas discuss a number of issues regarding freelance roles within the media industry in a transparent manner. Moreover, the Internet and digital technology provide amateur media practitioners with the tools to produce content for media consumption, namely written material such as online articles and website content. As a result of the endless possibilities for new content on the web, along with the ability for any amateur in the world to undertake the task at any time, many freelance writer roles are largely underpaid and often comprised of unnatural and extensive working hours. Essentially, Lobato and Thomas explore whether such freelance roles and content farms exploit writers or allow amateurs to get paid to do what they love within a flexible work environment.
Whilst many positive and negative areas for discussion arise from the exploration, the aspect I found most interesting about this piece was the identification of mass produced content as a result of such an approach. Furthermore, the combination of writers being paid on a basis as low as less than one cent per word of written content, along with the negligible pre-requisite requirement for the worker, forms a motivation to produce content as quickly as possible. In my opinion, such an approach completely floods the internet with rubbish material as I believe creative work cannot be forced and requires space to breathe and improve. Although I have little experience regarding this concept among my work experience, it is still evident to me among completely University or workplace tasks that rushed projects tend to result in diminished creativity. This reading provoked thought about either workplace or academic models that encourage creativity. In Art and Design Blogs: A Socially-Wise Approach to Creativity, Kylie Budge uses blogging to demonstrate an approach to creativity within the higher education academic environment that allows a multitude of people to participate toward a project, as opposed to one individual under a time constraint as seen in the discussion regarding freelance roles.
Dumas, B 2012, ‘The Future Lies Ahead – We’re Off To See…’, in Diving into the Bitstream: Information Technology meets society in a Digital World, Routledge, New York, pp. 232 – 254.
This book discusses a variety of complex issues regarding the development of information technologies and the potential impact on the development of human society. Published in close proximity, this book acts as a sounding board to Rocci Luppicini’s Evolving Issues Surrounding Technoethics and Society in the Digital Age. This is because author Barry Dumas reiterates the potential for similar issues to occur regarding the construction of society among a technological influx, however from a more explorative perspective. Moreover, Dumas forms a variety of relationships between information technologies and society constructs to explore the impact of such technology from both the perspective of the creator and the user. This exploration begins to identify hypothesis for how media will be interacted with on a societal level throughout the twenty-first century and questions the implications of informational technology on human agency.
Author Barry Dumas has experience in information technology spanning more than forty years. As a professor of computer information systems at Baruch College, City University of New York, his work is written from a perspective that encourages independent thinking and critical analysis. Furthermore, through the use of easy-to-process language, Dumas invites the reader of this piece to form their own associations with the variety of discussion. As a result, this book provokes open minded thought regarding the current technological onslaught’s impact on the way we as human’s think for ourselves and as a result, the trajectory of our lives.
Luppicini, R 2014, ‘Redefining the Boundaries of Humanity and the Human Body: From Homo Sapiens to Homo Technicus’, in Evolving Issues Surrounding Technoethics and Society in the Digital Age, IGI Global, Pennsylvania, pp. 1 – 10.
This book, released recently, provides an intriguing scope through which to view the potential impact of the current technological onslaught on human agency. The first chapter in particular uses both historical and contemporary conceptual analysis to define particular human characteristics as homo technicus. Homo technicus refers to human beings as intertwined with technology. Evidently, advances in digital communication technologies throughout the twentieth century have directly impacted human behaviour and overwhelmed aspects of daily life for an increasing majority of the developed word. Author Rocci Luppicini suggests that the twenty-first century will continue to create a fundamental societal shift to the way technology, science and ethics are viewed. As a result, the defining characteristics of humanity increasingly progress toward association with digital technologies, solidifying the impact of the technological onslaught on human agency. Such impact is explored throughout the book to discuss an array issues associated with an influx of digital technology including cybercrime, digital democracy and the ethical boundaries of humans and artificial intelligence.
Rocci Luppicini is an associate Professor of communication at the University of Ottawa, Canada and an experienced author. His expertise from the specific perspective of a social scientist and philosopher of technology, regard him as a useful source of information surrounding the onslaught of technological developments. Moreover, given the piece is discursive and not biased toward the sale of any products, the claims become open to interpretation and thus encourage further analysis.
Moskowitz, C 2016, ‘Are We Living In A Computer Simulation?’, Scientific American, accessed 1 August 2016, <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation/>
Stoermer, R, et.al 2000, ‘Monitoring Human-Virtual Reality Interaction: A Time Series Analysis Approach’, in Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 401 – 406.