Minds Viewed Globally

Written by psychologist, author and researcher; Howard Gardner, this week’s reading posits the ‘five minds’ that one should begin to develop in preparation for the future.  He argues that for us to succeed as a species and more personally as individuals, we must be ‘equipped to deal with what is expected’ and more importantly ‘what is not’.

The first mind Gardner discusses in the introduction of his book, is the ‘disciplined mind‘. This being a ‘cognitive ability’ that demands focus, through the ‘cultivation of a specific discipline, craft or profession’. Thus allowing an individual to hone their own skill set and perfect their craft. In doing this, Gardner states that one can avoid a destiny restricted by the control of others. Allowing one to have more opportunities to work independently, and to avoid a career that is orchestrated by someone else’s ideas.

The second mind he describes, is that of the ‘synthesizing mind‘. A ‘mind’ that he defines by ones ability to collate disparate and diverse pieces of information and evaluate them both objectively and with a level of clarity. Bringing them together to create a unique personal meaning.

‘Breaking new ground’, Gardner outlines his third mind as that of the ‘creating mind’. He labels this ability as one ‘destined to break new ground and forge new ideas’. With its ability to cultivate the formation of contemporary concepts, to solve problems and to create new solutions.

The ‘respectful mind’, unlike its predecessors, is one that looks outwardly on the world. This ‘fourth mind’, contemplates how ones actions can directly effect the world outside of their own body. Describing the importance of difference and individuality in a world where intolerance and disrespect are ‘no longer viable’.

Finally, Gardner defines the more abstract; ‘ethical mind’. Much like the ‘respectful mind’, the ‘ethical mind’ contemplates the external happenings of the world. Requesting one to observe the world outside of mere self-interest and ego.

five-minds-for-the-future-mind-map

(Image credit: http://fivemindsforthefuture.weebly.com/images.html)

Finding Time In a Digital Age

Focusing on the essence of time within the 21st century, this weeks reading deconstructs our cultural progression towards an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle. Examining how technology has imprisoned rather than liberated us from our careers. 

Overall, this rapid progression has established a growing sense of ‘time pressure’, as we face a shared global trend towards ‘temporal impoverishment’. Wajcman coins this economic system as ‘fast capitalism’, occurring in what she often describes as an ‘acceleration society’.

In reaction to this, society has also seen the creation of such movements as the ‘slow-food’and ‘slow cities’ movements. Both of which, place emphasis on the slowing of time and the appreciation of life’s infinite details. This has also been reflected through the abundance of growth occurring within the ‘mind business’. Creating an entire ‘mindfulness’ revolution. Which has been particularly popular among large corporations, whom fund workshops and employee initiatives that help to alleviate stress and boost morale.

As highlighted in the reading; Ben Agger labels this new framework as ‘iTime’, an aspect of cultural globalisation which believes that we have ‘too much to do and not enough time to do it’. Wajcman believes that in order for us to continue to grow as a society we must continue to ’embrace the emancipatory potential of technoscience’ whilst also remaining its ‘chief critic’. This departs from the often suggested ‘technological abstinence’, that other authors, yogi’s and health practitioners have suggested. 

I believe that ‘technological abstinence’ or at least not using your phone for a week is an important experience and reminder of our dependency on its technology. At least this was my experience when I decided to pick up my backpack and travel through India almost 3 years ago. With no working phone or source of internet I was forced into conversations with strangers as I asked them for directions. I became unable to talk to my friends on Facebook overseas and I spent the majority of my time embracing everything around me.

This freedom changed my entire trip and I could not recommend it highly enough to those wanting to disconnect from a world that is so highly “connected”.

Craft vs. Passion Mindset

Should I work in a job that cultivates my ‘craft’ or that fuels my desire for cashflow and fame?  This is the question that is broadly discussed in this weeks reading by Cal Newport.

Quoting comedian; Steve Martin, Newport emphasises the applicability of his catchphrase  ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you’. Highlighting how one could adopt the ‘craftsmen mindset’ and achieve success in the same breath.

He identifies this ‘craftsmen mindset’ as one that focuses on ‘what you can offer the world’ and where interests and creativity seem to follow naturally. Specifying that this may not happen instantaneously or without hard work.

To a degree, this is opposed to Newport’s ‘passion mindset’. Where your passion for success and wealth trumps your craft. He believes that this mindset will keep you ‘perpetually unhappy and confused’, as you become hyperaware of what you don’t like and continually question your own desires.

Overall, Newport summarises his position by stating; that one shouldn’t envy the craftsmen mindset, but instead one should emulate it. To an extent, this indirectly relates to the ‘fake it till you make it’ catchphrase.

Yet to me, this article seems to speak to a larger psychological framework surrounding the idea of happiness. As one cannot truly find happiness in the external world, until they have found it within themselves.

Although collectively this sounds quite cliche, my experiences of the working world and family, have so far proven for this to be true.

 

The Informal Media Economy

This week’s reading by Lobato and Thomas focuses on the employment models beginning to emerge from the 21st century.  Most notably, they focus on the rise of ‘informal media work’ and how it is undertaken by ‘non-professional’ and ‘ultra-freelance’ writers. Working for companies such as Yahoo voices, Hubpages or Textbroker, they form “Content Farms” within the content production industry. Here, employees churn out low-grade clickbait articles, on a ‘cent per-word’ rate. Sometimes being paid from as little as ¼ of a cent per word.

This not only raises ethical concerns over underpaid minimum wages and exploitation but also about the professional standard and reliability of the content being produced. Yet as academic Toby Miller highlights; ‘There would be no culture, no media, without labor- labor is central to humanity’. Overall this conflict raises many issues for the creative labour debate.

The Pros:

  • Flexible working conditions for employees
  • Allows practice for new writers or students establishing a career.
  • Quick turn over of work
  • Global access
  • Greater access for minority or impoverished regions

The Cons:

  • Job insecurity
  • Low pay/ & No minimum pay model
  • Overwork
  • No union or Employment rights
  • Unhealthy working conditions

Overall, this has given rise to the combination of ‘formal media enterprise and informal employment’ within the creative industries. Allowing for precarious jobs and no guarantee of employment within your field. Yet as the reading emphasizes, this is a global issue. As sectors within the automotive and agricultural industries continue to take the greatest hits.

Yet, this doesn’t install much confidence in budding media students such as myself. Where the idea of being unemployed or employed in a field other than the media industry seems frightening.

Quite simply, we should all peacefully await for our jobs to inevitably be replaced by robots.

A World Of Differences

Commissioned by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, this weeks reading focused on the five key trends shaping the Entertainment and Media or “E & M” industries. Through thorough research and analysis, the report suggests that the E & M landscape is a ‘multi-shifting’ and continually growing component of society. Most remarkably, in countries such as Venezuela and Nigeria. Where it has begun to grow more rapidly than their GDP. This information is crucial for advertising and media agencies to understand, as it gives rise to the possibilities of potential new markets.

In ‘A world of differences’, the report identifies five key shifts.

The first shift being; demography. As the report pertains that more youthful populations have higher rates of growth in E & M. Through statistical evidence, the report highlights that the ten youngest markets are spending money on E & M at three times the rate of older markets. Therefore emphasising the potential and somewhat neglected markets of Pakistan and the middle east. “where around 70 percent of the population is under 35”. It is therefore also important to note that E & M growth and spending is influenced more by the age of a country’s population than by its overall wealth and GDP.

(Personally, I found this piece of data very intriguing and vital in understanding the current media climate. Pakistan would never spring to mind when envisaging potential media consumers.)

The second shift being competition. Interestingly the report highlights that ‘content is being redefined by forces of globalization and localization simultaneously.’ This coexistence, seems to depart from the somewhat generalised viewpoint; that globalisation is inevitable. This oversimplification, ignores both our need and our ability to ‘Think global and act local’. 

The third being consumption. Where consumers now have the ability to choose and ‘curate their own media diet’. This is prevalent in highly successful software such as Spotify and Netflix. Being a paid subscriber to both of these services, I can  see the remarkable benefits of a pay-as-you-go and low-cost membership plan.

Fourth geography, . I found it very interesting to note that this year “China, the U.K., and Denmark ‘— will become the first to reach the tipping point at which total digital advertising revenues surpass their non-digital equivalent. “. From a media practitioners perspective this information is extremely important

and the final shift being business models. With the report suggesting companies create more dynamic work environments that reflect the ideals of the brand. This can be seen in the offices of AirBnb and Google.

Guest Lecture Week 1 – ABC R + D

Guest Lecture Week 1 –

I found this week’s guest speaker to be extremely interesting and very relevant to the career pathway that I dream of having myself. Discussing ‘exponential technology’ and ‘ubiquitous computing’, Astrid reported on the ABC’s somewhat new focus on ‘R+D’ ( Research and Development). Through this research Astrid highlighted the ‘megatrends’ that are beginning to emerge and shape society. These being:

  • Exponential technology – user and creator end – fast pace
  • Ubiquitous Computing – environmentally we are connected. Not quite have it yet, sensory environment – ‘how close you are to wall’, i.e ‘ikea kitchen knows what you are doing’- enable your envi
  • Big data/ quantified self – wearable devices- rich sensory data in hyper personalisation. Could get Mood data (like caeden?). Experiments into physiological data that we havent tapped into yet. Data then made available to media makers
  • AI and machine learning – virtual assistants are going to change the way we live.
  • More Natural, Human Interfaces – conversational interfaces where one can talk to the device.

From their rigorous research and data analysis, ABC investigated how Australia’s ‘future homes’ are being shaped. Finding most significantly, that the family dynamic of sitting at home and watching tv together is rapidly disintegrating. Pathing the way for single parent, aged care, and single-living dwelling. This will also lead to an unfortunate rise in homelessness. As a result of these changes, society will depart from regional centres into the urban centres of cities. Due to the spatial limitations that will arise because of this, it is predicted that an increase will occur in shared and immersive spaces.

Anita also highlighted the future developments that are currently on the forefront of research, these being:

  1. Sensors
  2. Wearables with biofeedback
  3. Smart objects (iOt)
  4. Gesture and voice (NUIS)
  5. Projections and holograms
  6. A.i and virtual assisants
  7. Artificial reality
  8. Sound (emmersive sound, sound follows you from room to room)

MEGAtrends

Describing the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, this week’s reading focuses on the megatrends that are shaping our future and the way we live our lives. Written by Klaus Schab; founder of the World Economics Forum and notable engineer, the report segments this revolution into three deeply interrelated clusters. Those being physical, digital and biological innovations.

Schab believes that there will be four main innovations in the physical world. These four innovations will occur:

  1. As advancements in 3D printing and additive manufacturing. With a new generation of ‘self-altering products’ that can respond to temperature.
  2. The creation of autonomous vehicles, who hold the ability to adapt to their environments.
  3. Advanced robotics, with accurate sensors who can access the cloud remotely and communicate with other robots
  4. And the creation of new materials, such as Graphene. A nanomaterial thinner than hair and stronger than steel.

The second notable revolution, he notes; will take place in the digital sphere. As we progress into an ‘on-demand’ or ‘gig’ economy, Schab believes that we too shall bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds via the spread of ‘tech-enabled platforms’. This is most closely resembled in apps such as Uber and Air Bnb. Where ‘underutilized assets’ are successfully being used to ‘match supply with demand in an accessible way’. The resourcefulness of this economy is therefore beneficial for all parties involved.

Finally, he believes that the third notable transformation will occur in biology. With the increase in data allowing for ‘precision medicine’. Personally, I have already been greatly impacted by the major breakthrough in this technology, as I underwent ‘Gamma Knife’ surgery earlier last year. This groundbreaking technology allowed me to be admitted to hospital for focus-beam radiation treatment targeted at a tumour in my brain. After only 4 hours, and with absolutely no pain and minimal side effects I was sent to rest and miraculously returned to work the next day. 

After reading this week’s article I was reminded of some of the personal research I had done into future technologies and the advances of marketing. Two great resources I have found in my searches have been from Hyper Island’s annual trend report; ‘Changes of Tomorrow’ and The Economists/Marketo’s trend report; ‘The path to 2020: Marketers seize the customer experience’. As I am somewhat of a nerd, I also have a subscription to Wired magazine and find their articles and insights very intriguing.

Reflection on Semester

I really enjoyed this semester and feel like I have achieved all of the goals that I set out to do at the start of this course. More than anything, I challenged myself and confronted the weaknesses I was faced with in Tv/Film 1. These weaknesses being the more technical aspects of the course and also colour correcting. Now I feel remarkably more confident in doing both. This was greatly assisted by the Lynda tutorials, my own self-directed learning and the argious task of setting up the cameras each week!

I feel lucky that I also had an amazing group to work with and a topic that is very close to my heart. If this was not the case, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the semester as much. Instead my documentary allowed me to go on road trips, to beautiful beaches and to swim and lay in the sand with some awesome new friends. It also allowed me to interview marine biologists and to film at fish markets at 4am in the morning. That may not sound so appealing! but it is to someone who relishes in any new experience.

I can’t say that any of my other courses would let me experience the things I have in Tv/Film 2, but I believe that you get out what you put in. And I have put a lot into this semester, so I am hoping that our final product will reflect that!

Colour Correcting

This weeks task required us to colour correct a number of shots from our documentaries. As I have never properly learnt how to colour correct, I was excited to watch a Lynda tutorial and start from the beginning. Overall I thought the task was fun, especially when I challenged myself to replicate a style I had already seen. Having a visual representation of what you are trying to achieve makes the task a lot easier!

This is how my experimenting turned out:

Original Image:

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Version 1: I’ve highlighted the oranges and the greens to make an image that is more saturated in colour, and brighter to look at. This makes it appear sunnier, and makes the ocean more inviting in our film.

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Version 2: Ive created a higher contrast again in the image, but have dulled the oranges and darkened the overall image. This gives a darker and more foreboding feel to the ocean.

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Version 3: This image has been heavily saturated and lightened. Making the image very colourful and inviting, yet not very realistic.

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Version 4/experimental: (excuse the wire frame) I wanted to try and emulate the imagery found in Dark Side of the Lens, and used a 4-colour gradient and a heap of contrast to do so.

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A comparison to a shot from Dark Side of the Lens

The second shot was underwater, providing less to work with but was still enjoyable to mess around with.

Original Image:

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Version 1: this concept is a lot darker as I placed a vignette on the sequence and darkened the greens. The yellows have also been lowered to whites to create a colder and gloomier feel.

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Version 2: This is similar to the last concept, except there is more vignetting and the greens have been turned into a deeper blue.

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Version 3: This is a lighter concept that brightens the image and makes the water appear more welcoming. I lightened the entire image and lowered the contrast.

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Version 4: This is similar to version 3, but I have changed the blues to a darker green. This has given the water a lagoon feel.

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Version 5/experimental: I wanted to see what the water would look like at night, and so I created this concept. Ive basically darkened the overall image and crushed the blacks.

I also tried a few other shots to make them more visually engaging:

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