After reading the section on Moodle ‘Why Believing is Always the First Step’ I began thinking about how I can relate this to my own life. I do it quite a bit in certain areas. One main one is my fear of going freelance after college, rather than trying to get a full time job and stay there safely. It is an interesting article that made me realize that all of this negative thinking about freelance work is just a belief in my head, set there from under-confidence or fear of rejection.
After reading the article and even while writing this, I am trying to show myself that this belief that I seemed to have set it my head as fact comes from fear. Not a previous experience or any real evidence of why this could be true.
After reading about the inspiring examples of this power of belief in the article, I decided to find more. Simply because they are inspiring, I mean hearing about someone who seemed condemned to a wheelchair become an Olympic Gold medalist for running is incredible and really can make anyone feel like they can take on the world.
One of the results I stumbled upon, was the Placebo effect. It wasn’t something I was expecting to find however I did see how its relative to the topic. Dud tablets curing disease? Or increasing intelligence? It is purely based on the power of belief that these tablets will do what the person believes they will. Even when proven as blank tablets/medication it tricks the user into changing what they think of these tablets from belief to fact. And there are numerous results of this effect.
So from watching the movie ‘The Imitation Game’ I learned about ‘the Turing Test’. This is a test invented by Alan Turing, which can be used to determine whether something is a machine or a human. It is to check if a machine has human intelligence.
From reading about the computer program Ellie, partly created by psychologist Skip Rizzo. It converses with a person about personal subjects, such as feelings and regrets. While doing this it scans, facial expressions, tone of voice and the amount and length of pauses. It essentially uses science to determine whether someone is depressed.
This made me think about whether or not machine advancement is the right way to go about this, or would human advancement be more efficient? What I mean by this is, if Ellie confirmed someone has being depressed, what would happen then? It does say later in the article that a soldier dealing with PTSD and depression, felt that the lifelessness of Ellie helped him open up, which is great. But how close are we coming to the uncanny valley when this kind of a reaction is possible with a machine.
It is something that I find interesting, so I will probably watch the movie ‘HER’ later in the week about a man who falls in love with an android. I decided to research more into this barrier between man and machine, especially since so many famous names seem to warn us about it such as Alan Turing , Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. I did find online, that I was thinking of this test the wrong way, it is not simply can a machine pass for a human but can it pass for thinking like a human.
There is constantly new machines or programs passing the test, such as Lamus. This is a computer cluster which can create music in the same way as a human. It just made me think that this is a particularly interesting time for this test.
So I decided to check out the link for ‘Smartsheet’ and watched the video for working with gantt charts and the article with it. After watching the video on how well the organisation looked, I thought that this could be something to change the way I work for the better. I find myself to be a very hard worker, however I do forget about deadlines and unevenly manage my different tasks. From looking at this, with its start and end dates for individual tasks neatly organised, I thought this could help me with my work load, so as not to overload myself with work again in a short space of time.
From looking at this, I decided to redownload an app called ‘Evernote’, which I found through the app store on the ‘popular’ section (I did not go looking for it). However I forget about it being on my phone. From looking at again, I find it may be helpful to some people as it is a lot more text based however for me a much more visual based guideline is preferred. I did however find Evernote Sticky Notes, which as small thumbnails of text which will appear on your PC screensaver.
I researched online and found an article on ‘8 Ways to Remember’ which I found very interesting. It was;
1.Be Interested in it
2. Leverage your visual memory
3.Make a mental memory tree
4.Associate with what you already know
5.Write it out
6.When reading; summarize in paragraphs
7.Do most of the studying in the afternoon
8.Get adequate sleep
I found that even to remember a few of these and follow them helped me better when studying for my Public Relations exam.
So the procrastination monkey as mentioned in the Ted Talk by Tim Urban, is something that I have a lot of history with. I am the type of person who, unless influenced by the Panic Monster will let the monkey ‘take the wheel’. Although I can crack down and do the work if I really put my mind to it, most likely the procrastination monkey will take over and convince me to watch that new movie while I work on it, or perhaps follow my artistic impulses and draw a cartoon animal while it is still in my head!
Although I can see the procrastination monkey as a blessing sometimes, giving me the much needed break during exams times I would prefer to be as aware of it as I am now after watching the Ted Talk. However since the start of the second semester the panic monster appeared once, scaring me into the thought of failing and embarrassing myself at the Fis exhibiton, but since then I have not seen him since. Working in a steady pace I have not listened to the procrastination monkey and not seen the panic monster. I find this is my most productive semester in college.
VR or virtual reality in my opinion will be a successful next step in mainstream technology. I think this because of the possibilities that this technology could bring. One example; advancements in education. Now even if it is all theoretical for the moment, the idea that one day we could put on an Oculus Rift, travel to Rome and learn about the history there by walking through the city and having the beauty of the city in front of you from the comfort of home.
Or perhaps, if you are ill and cannot make it to college. Imagine if the alternative was to take the class through VR? Studies show that different people learn through different methods; visual, audio, through text etc. With VR you could possibly learn through all of these.
Further evidence to support this is an article from ‘the Guardian’, which does state that Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t of spent 2 billion on this technology if it didn’t have a lot of promise. I think this is because although it is a very game centered technology, as it develops it will spread to becoming a tool for accessing the internet, socializing with others, gaming, travelling and more.
I think the pornification of culture is becoming increasingly evident in recent years. With the increasingly acceptable. Reading an article by Rashida Jones titled ‘Why is Everyone Getting Naked?’, she speaks about the influence from the pop culture on today’s world and thus goes on the pornification of culture. Examples including Miley Cyrus’ twerk, Lady Gaga’s album cover with her bum crack or Blurred Line’s objectify women in the music video.
I find that yes these ideas originating from porn have now become very much accepted in today’s society. I also think that; the thinner than paper challenge, sending naked photos via Snapchat and the social perception that women must always have some make up on, prove that there are effects of this. And for a younger audience; the sexualizing of lead characters in PG movies which a majority of viewers will be children, e.g. Scarlett Johannson’s “very important” camera angles in ‘The Avengers’ differ from her male co-stars to sexualize her. I think it is a process that needs to stop, it is not worth the negative impacts on our society.
I have seen evidence among peers, being friends with a lot of men it is evident that there is some objectifying such as ‘rating them out of 10’ or trying to have sex with them for a night only to sneak out after. The idea of trying to get nude photographs of women is appalling because it is almost seen as a normal thing to do, if you manage to get the photo’s then you’re great and your male friends will admire you for it. Although I can not speak about it from my female friends perspectives (because they would not be as open to discuss it), I do imagine it would create some amount of pressure.
I do not believe the threat of a sexually dysfunctional society is real. It is a danger of affecting certain people but not everybody, just like other influences. For example video games such as Call of Duty didn’t create a world filled with murders and machine guns, however it may have had an unhealthy influence on a certain amount of people. One article which talks about this is from ‘the Telegraph’ which talks about the abnormality of children ‘sexting’. And I completely agree that this is wrong, children should not be learning about this kind of behavior from the internet in their pre-adolescent days, which may make a bad impact on them later in life. One example they talk about is young girls feeling pressurized into exposing themselves. Especially if this happening at the age 11 which is the age studies show when children start watching porn in Australia.
Negative Visualization is something that I think affects a lot more people than most people realize. I know that it is something that has affected me many times in life.
Negative visualization is a technique developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to help realize all that you should be grateful for in your life. It is a technique to promote happiness. Rather than thinking of what you want or what could make you happier, it focuses on what you have now that should make you happy that maybe some people don’t have and would be happy if they did.
One of the examples he uses is your health. It is something that made me realize that I have used this technique without even realizing it. For example when I sleep badly and my neck is sore, I suddenly realize how it feels and think about how granted I took it when my neck felt normal.
I did think that the video made a lot of relative points, however when he was trying to apply this theory to people who may be in very bad situations (such as being homeless) I did question whether he was right or not to say that these people should still be happy.
However I do think this ancient technique is helpful for me in my life and may try remeber it in the future.