Professional Issues: Personal Development Plan

So thinking about personal development is something that I only really began to think about (in terms of college) by the end of second year. But when I did start thinking about it I felt a lot more confident about myself and where I will go in the future.

So my strengths are that I am a harder worker, am able to think outside of the box, enjoy learning new techniques or facts (as long as it’s about something that already interests me), I enjoy overall becoming better at the skills I enjoy. For example I would gladly go onto Youtube and follow a tutorial on removing background noise from an image in Photoshop, or re-watch the many documentaries about the animation in Pixar’s Toy Story.

So I will continue doing these things to make myself better in the fields I enjoy, while I work through the summer. Hopefully I will get some freelance work in these fields, however I do intend to return to college for the 4th year if it is available to me.

In the next few years I would like to have a good portfolio built up in ‘animation’ and ‘graphic design’. I would also like to have a secure job as an animator however if I was getting freelance work I would enjoy that too.

In 5/10 years time I would like to feel some sort of job security either in a full time 9-5 job, or a good portfolio which could support constant freelance work. Either way I want to know for certain that I am enjoying my job.


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.


Profession Issues: Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier is the author of ‘Who Owns the Future’ from Berkeely CA. He is a computer scientist and has worked on projects with virtual reality, such as the Xbox’s Kinect. Or with parts of the brain. For this blog, I will be focusing on him as an author because of his book ‘Who Owns the Future’.

The part that I found most intriguing was the idea of putting a price on the information we give out. When he began saying that it’s really just a competition for “who’s got the biggest computer?” and that whoever does that, whether it’s Google or Facebook or whoever owns the power. That if we were to taken the 20th century route, and fight for the workers rights, like when they defended their ability to use the transport trucks if they had to swap from using horses, that if we did that now with the information we give these huge companies that it simply would not work.

I think we do need a levy to stop this information being sold off to companies who are making money off our information for nothing. However I do not believe that there is a way that we could sell off our information, but keep the same system. I think that if this was proposed the big companies would simply move on to a different route or cut their loses rather than that.

For example when he began talking about health insurance and the ‘siren servers’, I began thinking about how the technology would cause faults to the information given out. For example if I owned a pair of Google Glasses and I shared a smart car, however I lent my glasses to a friend who also owns the car and they crash it. Then this siren server might think that I was the cause of the crash, thus increasing my health and car insurance because of the Google Glass.

I don’t like the idea of some major parts of my life being interfered with through lifeless technology. I can deal with the pop up advertisements on ‘cheap cinema tickets’ because I go to them sites regularly. But for technology to keep advancing, and in some ways surpassing, the way we live and to interfere by replacing our jobs (such as Kodak and Instagram) or judging our lives I believe to be wrong and will cause problems in the future for the way our society deals with technology and the major corporations.


Culture & Society: Moral Panic

The moral panic I am going to write about is one of the biggest ones to affect me and enrage me personally. The one I am talking about is the ‘refugee crisis’. Circumstances in Syria and other eastern countries were steadily on the rise, until recently when it seemed to explode in the news and throughout Europe. Everyone suddenly knew every detail and fact about what was going on. Or so they thought.

When I say this I am talking about the people who jumped to the media’s stories and conclusions in certain cases. For example with the attacks on women in Cologne Germany. The media reported it as being linked to the refugee intake from Germany and that the blame should be pointed at them. Even though it turned out that out of the 56 people arrested, only 4 of which were refugee’s. Although it was reported that some of the men involved in the attacks did not speak German or English, it did not mean that it was the refugee’s. This was a conclusion people and the media jumped to.

The reason why I chose this moral panic is because I live in Balbriggan, which is beside one of the towns which was planned to be used to house the refugees. This affected me personally because of when I would talk to other people about this and hear their opinions. Although none of the opinions I heard were based out of solemn racism, they were all misconceived in my opinion. It was words I read in the newspapers being said back to me through them. This and the ‘Paris Attacks’ were the only times in recent years that a moral panic happened I could relate to (since I was too young to understand 911 at the time it happened).

I would hear people in work, straight up blame the refugee’s for the problems in the world (the same as the media does) and say that ‘they should come back where they came from’. With the media coverage of the Islamic state and the refugee crisis increasing in recent years I do not blame them or think of them as stupid for this response, however I do feel as though they do not understand all the facts. I think they read one or two of the articles on terrorism then jump to understanding all sides of what is going on in the world.