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  • The Usefulness of Blogging.

    Posted on March 28th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    Since I am presenting this thursday on “The Lessons of Lucasfilm’s Habitat” by Morningstar and Farmer I thought that I would save my ideas for presentation day.  I have a lot of ideas that I don’t want to you all to get previous exposure to before presentation day. With that being said I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on my blogging experience.

    Before taking this course I had been slightly against blogging. It seemed like an activity created to gloat about oneself. Something that was created to say “hey look at me,” “listen to me,” “I’m so interesting.” Being an introvert I like to keep my thoughts to myself. Sharing these ideas was a challenge for me. However, like most activities, with time I became more accustomed to it and more comfortable with it. It has evolved into a form of conversation. The conversation being before me and the read. Or more specifically, me and my blog. As if my blog was just another one of my friends.

    Now, at this point in the course, I am completely pro blogging. Honestly, I never thought I would be saying that. However, blogging has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me I never thought imaginable. This summer I am interning for a company called Job and Talent in Madrid, Spain. As a Finance and Accounting major I’ll be helping the company in investing its assets. Surprisingly, the blog is helping me with this internship. Job and Talent offers a scholarship for those who will blog over the course of their internship about their experience in Madrid, Spain. The qualifications to apply for this scholarship included having a previous blog. I was able to use my blog from this course to apply for the scholarship. I haven’t heard yet but if I do receive it you all will be the first to know. The fact that the blog gave me this opportunity is only the start of things to come.

  • A Life Without Schooling, Not Possible.

    Posted on March 26th, 2012 halliedominick 4 comments

    It is generally accepted that the schooling system we have today is corrupt.  The purpose of schooling is no longer centered around gaining knowledge.  With such widespread dissatisfaction, one would think that something could be done.  However, it is hard to imagine what this something could be.  Ivan Illich’s “Learning Webs” from Deschooling Society helps to outline what he thinks this something could be.  More importantly, it outlines some of the major problems with schooling in our society.

    Ivan Illich states that “a good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and, finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known.” He says that “what are needed are new networks, readily available to the public and designed to spread equal opportunity for learning and teaching.”

    Though I think approach is a great idea, I feel that it is extremely unrealistic.  Even if students had access to all of these networks, society has conditioned students to do the least amount work possible for the best grade possible.  In theory, “someone who wants to learn knows that he needs both information and critical response to its use from somebody else.”  This condition is idea.  Unfortunately, this is not the case. Currently our  condition would be extremely hard to reverse.  In order to reverse it, the generation undergoing the deschooling could not be exposed to the behavior of the generation before them.  With this said, I believe Ivan Illich’s theory is great in theory but impossible to attain.

     

  • The Gestalt Principles of Time.

    Posted on March 21st, 2012 halliedominick 3 comments

    “Will There Be Condominiums in Data Space?” by Bill Viola left me with a whole new perspective on time (not unusual for this course). We all understand that time is continuous. However, there are certain situations when we do not perceive time as continuous. For example, when we recall memories. As Bill Viola says, “it is memories, and to some extent sleep, that gives us the impression of a life of discrete parts, periods, or sections, of certain times or ‘highlights.'”

    I believe that Bill Viola intentionally drew a parallel between the gestalt principles and time. Rather than our eyes attempting to make sense of a photo, our minds are attempting to make sense of the concept of time. “Gestalt is a psychology term which means “unified whole”. It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920s. These theories attempt to describe how people tend to organize visual elements into unified wholes when certain principles are applied.” In short, the gestalt principles attempt to describe why we as humans tend to view the whole and then view the sum of the wholes parts. We first view time and then we view the discrete parts, periods, or sections of time. I find this extremely interesting because it applies to everyday life. When we tell a story to a friend we do not simple tell the story from beginning to end with every mundane detail in between but rather skip around and tell the parts that apply. The sum of these parts make up the whole story. As Bill Viola states “life without editing, it seems, is just not that interesting.”

  • The “Aristotle of Comics.”

    Posted on March 13th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    I never thought such a simple concept could cause such a headache. I grew up reading the comics in the Kid’s Post and I still read them in the Washington Post. Some of my favorites growing up included Archie Classics, Calvin and Hobbes, and Dennis the Menace. To be completely honest I still read these same comics today. However, from a young age comics just came to me. I never had to think much about the complex ideas behind what I was reading, I just enjoyed them.

    After reading Scott McLoud’s “Time Frames” which is an excerpt from his popular book “Understanding Comics,” I have a new perspective on comics. “Understanding Comics” is “an exploration of the definition, history, vocabulary, and methods of the medium of comics, itself in comics form.” In short it simply describes “how the comic format works and its structures and techniques.” He goes in-depth about how this new medium does in fact have rules and regulations that one may not pick up on as a child when perusing the Kid’s Post.

    By far, the nugget I found most fascinating was our perception of time in comics. It is a concept that seems so logical yet seems so illogical at the same time. As we read through a comic we usually read from left to right. The amount of information contained in each frame tends to define our perception of time in each frame. A crowded frame would take a significantly longer period of time to read than a blank frame with only an image. As we pass from frame to frame we assume that time is continuing on. However, we have absolutely no clue at what exact time in history the comic is illustrating. We tend to assume the present but it may actually be the past. It could be a past or future memory or situation. How do we define now? How do we define the present? It is these situations that often lead us in a vicious cycle of thought with no end solution. I think after this cycle of thought, similar to what we experienced in class, it is only appropriate to take a brake and read comics for what they are.

    Reference: http://www.slideshare.net/hexakali/scott-mccloud

  • Changing The World One TEDTalk At A Time.

    Posted on March 1st, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    Most recently, “TEDTalks, Ideas Worth Spreading” have gone viral.  Believe it or not TEDTalks actually began in 1984.  TEDTalks began as a conference that brought it’s audience together to discuss technology, entertainment, and design (TED.com).  This conference met twice a year in Long Beach and Palm Springs California (TED.com).  The recent hype about TEDTalks came with the introduction of TED.com in 2007.  This website stretched the scope of TEDTalks topics.  This website put everyones favorite talks from TED online for FREE.  Right now more than “900 TEDTalks are available online”(TED.com).

    What is most impressive about this website is it’s goal.  It does not aim to make a profit like most capitalistic organizations of our time but rather to “spread ideas” (TED.com).  This seems a bit cliche but is actually extremely impressive.  On TED.com it is stated “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.  So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

    Though a website cannot single-handedly change the world it is definitely a starting point.  The ideas that have branched from TEDTalks including the TED Prize “awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World” (TED.com) and theTEDx Events “designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level” (TED.com) all contribute to a world where one is open to sharing their opinion without fear of rejection.  From this innovative ideas and a more progressive world can come.  By progressive I mean a world in which countries not as advanced as the United States can break the societal roles they are given at birth due to their demographics.