Month: March 2016

Professional Issues: What the Internet is doing to our brains?

In class we watched a video of a talk given by Nicholas Carr about the way we perceive technology, the way we crave information and how technology (mostly the internet and social media) have affected the way our brains works with this.

One of the key points of his talk was when he said that you may pull out your phone, even when nothing is on like a notification, to look for any indication of new information (especially when falling asleep or waking up). This caught my attention because it is something that I had already noticed in myself, I thought of it as a kind of technology addiction.

I found the overall talk very interesting and relatable, especially when it came to the test of people checking there inbox and how the amount doubled to how many times they thought they were checking it. It fascinates me to think of this as the world now and try to imagine the alternative 100 years ago, where perhaps the only way I could get new information at home was through the daily post or the books I already have available. It really opens my eyes to my dependence on technology for information, such as finding information online (I know if I had to read books for my information I would last longer than 10 seconds, whereas on a website I might not).

Professional Issues: Bitcoin

So when I went onto the Bitcon website and watched their introduction video I was initially struck with “damn that looks so cool and handy! like the next step into the future!”. And I believe I am right. In theory it is a step into the future, eliminating one of the most worldwide aspects we use which is; physical money.

Now there are different ways to think about that. To think about the positives, it may stop a lot of physical deaths. There are thousands of deaths each year in relation to people being mugged for money. It would also take a major risk away from public banks being robbed. However on the contrary, cyber theft is a growing problem of the 21st century and if this becomes mainstream, robbers may become more transparent and safe to the law. Since there are multiple stories in the media involving hacking online and how it can be impossible to trace, for example with all the activity of the hacker group Anonymous. Imagine if an equally powerful group managed to hack into this currency in some way. It seems a lot less riskier than a physical robbery.

It may also take away from human interactions. With the world becoming a lot more technologically advanced and some saying that this causes unsociable behavior, this will give people another excuse to not interact with people. Imagine if you can go into a shop and pay for everything through your phone? In the same way as the self service checkouts this may take away our human interactions.

Overall I can see it as a good idea, however it may have many negative effects on society and the way we interact with each other.

Culture & Society: Directioners

So after watching the documentary on Channel 4 called ‘Crazy About One Direction’, I had a few questions to answer. The first being; what do they get from being a fan? I find that from the documentary it seems like what the fans get it some sense of hope. As stated multiple times, they like to fantasizes about the members of the band. It gives them this (however unrealistic) hope that they can become the wives or best friends of these members of a boy band who they look up to as ‘angels’ or perfect humans. I think it can have a negative effect on the young women though, such as when Harry was going out with Taylor Swift, one of the girls reactions was that she didn’t like Taylor Swift now.

I believe there is nothing wrong with being a fan. It’s actually a good thing in my opinion to be a fan and have an idol/idols. However when the line is crossed to becoming a hyper-fan, I believe that is where the problem occurs. Such as when one girl in the documentary was talking about dying if they didn’t ‘re-follow’ her on Twitter. Or when another girl said that she was walking around in heels covered in blisters because she was waiting outside for the band. I mean to go through pain or threaten death for a band? A group of people who don’t know your name? That is when I see the problem.

Although I am open to the idea that the media and documentary makers, or anyone working in media for that matter may try to skew the truth (as seen many times before in the world) I do believe that the girls in this documentary do not portray themselves great on their own. What I mean is, the documentary makes may have tried to paint a picture about these girls by showing their screaming fits, their poster covered bedroom walls and their incredibly cringing interviews. Especially calling the documentary ‘CRAZY’ about One Direction. I do believe that they were right. It was an accurate word to use for these ‘Directioners’. I believe that they do act crazy. The documentary simply documents it.

The part of this (not really a sub-culture) which annoys me the most is that it is on a time relapse. What I mean by that is that it will change soon enough just like the past has shown us. I mean how many of these Directioners originally obsessed over Irish singers Jedward. Or how many thought Justin Bieber was ‘the whole world’ before this. I say this from experience of watching my little sister (who is thankfully just a regular fan not a hyper-fan) jump from these 3 different musician groups. I believe this is the main reason why it is not considered a sub culture.

one direction.jpg

 

Culture & Society: Election Results

So the candidate I chose Barry Martin did not make a seat. The Independent party got 17 seats all together. It was his first time and he was representing the Balbriggan area. He was excluded in count 8. I can not really speculate why he did not get a seat. Maybe because of public recognition since it was his first time, making him an unfamiliar name. Another Independent candidate he worked and promoted closely with is Clare Daly. She however did get a seat. They share similar views in regards to the; water charges being dropped, college fee’s being paid to by government, and taxes. Clare however has been active as a candidate since 2011 for the Socialist Party who she later left, making her a familiar name. She was elected in count 4. This makes me think that even though they share similar views and worked under the same party, it simply came down to the popularity of the name and how well known they are.

Election