Using Examples for my Presentation

The talk about the evolution of morality in the human race presented by Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein received low scores by viewers. This presentation featured a scripted conversation among Pinker, Goldstein, and their host Chris Anderson. The three of them sat down at a mock dinner party in which they spoke about their chosen subject. Chris Anderson remarks that he had his back to the audience the whole time and regrets doing this.

This talk was eventually turned into a 15 minute animation of Pinker and Goldstein sitting down to dinner at a restaurant. They proceed to discuss the evolution of morality and clever examples from history are used. This animation is done very well and gets the point across far stronger than the live mock dinner party. I feel examples used here are useful and grabbed my attention, and I sat through the whole 15 minute video without becoming bored. In my presentation I plan to use audience grabbing content instead of mostly dry statistical information. Real world examples of the issue I speak about will help the audience relate to the information. 

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Non-Tech Group Collaboration

The recent advances in technology have changed how companies run. Employees can now be even more connected to each other if they aren’t in the office. Employees can still be part of a company and work from a home office, while collaborating with others via internet technology. Because of this big leap companies can complete projects in a shorter range of time than ever before. However, sometimes people rely too much on these tools and they become hindering in their work. The technology may be useful but if it isn’t used correctly or productively it can be useless.

Before using technology a company’s culture must first be shifted. The introduction of new tools will change the way a company’s projects are executed. There are non-technology based elements that make my group meetings more effective. While we mainly use internet tools like google documents and email. In person meetings are still conducted. Seeing each other face to face creates a deeper professional bond that helps us better complete our project.

What Makes Snowfall a Memorable Read

The New York Times article Snow Fall begins with a flash animation of a snowy hill and snow can be seen drifting down the hill. The article opens with a vivid descriptive story of skiers being over whelmed by a massive avalanche. This part of the story focuses on Elyse Saugstad a professional skier being crushed by snow, as she loses all control. Through descriptive language the reader can experience this traumatic event. The details of Elyse Saugstad being engulfed by snow made me want to continue reading the article.

Further down the page the story explains Tunnel Creek a treacherous mountain pass that only dare devil skiers wish to experience. There is another flash animation that sweeps over a computer generated bird’s eye of view of Tunnel Creek. This article mainly focuses on a group of 12 daring winter sports enthusiasts who want to ski down parts of the mountain, which are not patrolled and highly dangerous. An element of suspense is used to build up to the final event. A computer generated flash animation accompanies the story showing the reader where each skier was located during the descent. The last half of the article focuses on the shock and fear of looking for lost skiers buried under snow. This descriptive story telling in this article is the main element that makes it such a memorable read. I almost felt like I was out on the mountain with the skiers. The short video clips, photos, and flash animations really bring this article to life.

The Good and Bad of Mass Amateurization

Today’s media is a mixture of amateur and professional creations. The internet has made it easier than ever before for anyone to publish anything at any given moment. Before the internet it was very difficult for any form of media to be published. Professionals and organizations acted as gate keepers, and anything that was ever published was carefully screened. One of the benefits of mass amateurization is freedom and power. Now anyone can publish anything they please whether it meets are careful standard or not. Everyone can be an outlet and provide a source of entertainment, business, and education to anyone.

Another benefit is that this information spreading can be done with little to no cost for the provider. This low cost allows just about anyone with minimal know how to start a business or create content. Before the internet information that could be gathered was extremely limited as there was less of it professionally available. This is another benefit of mass amateurization as virtually any question can be answered by anyone with knowledge in that area. Disadvantages of this are that once powerful media outlets are suffering and the job market for the field is under threat. It would seem professionals and gate keepers are less needed. The quality of the information provided and put out to the public suffers as more of it can come from misinformed individuals. It has also opened up a whole new way to commit crime and steal media and not give credit to the original creator. 

Plagiarism Controversy

It can be hard to determine when someone has plagiarized work. When a topic is being written about by millions of authors, the chances of the information becoming similar has a good chance of occurring. In the case with Fareed Zakaria he was being disciplined because his article bore a very close resemblance to an essay of the same subject. Even though Zakaria admits that he made a mistake it is hard to determine his guilt. This article doesn’t conform with my idea of plagiarism.

The Jonah Lehrer case holds true my definition of plagiarism; he was making things up and telling lies to the press. Lehrer was ripping off quotes from other sources without giving credit. However, the self-quoting brings about another issue that I don’t feel could be considered plagiarism. A direct duplicate of written work and putting it under the copier’s name is the truest act of plagiarism. These cases shouldn’t be treated in the same way as I feel Zakaria may have not been plagiarizing. The principles of quoting and citing sources should be firmly in place. If there is a clear direct copying of any wording it should be penalized. If a subject is heavily written about it is very difficult to determine if an author has stolen work.

How Opinions from Clay Shirky Apply to Wikipedia

People have the ability to share their thoughts and ideas more widely than ever before. Before the internet age the only way for individuals to share their ideas was to form a group. These groups where small companies or large organizations. Information was far more limited simply because companies would only pursue concepts and thoughts that where profitable. With the rise of the internet there is access to user generated content that is amateur and professional. Clay Shirky uses the website Flickr as an example of sharing among individuals. On Flickr people can share photos the images can be amateur or professional. Shirky explains how no one would know about Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade if it weren’t for user generated photos.  Organized media companies would not cover such an event because they would feel it was to obscure for business.

Shirky makes a point that smaller disorganized groups can be more productive than a large organization. This is because millions of different people can partake in their interest freely and generate content. These users are uncontrolled and aren’t necessarily part of an organization they simply communicate freely with one another. Wikipedia is the largest collection of information about anything that ever existed. It is purely user generated and a free service to anyone wanting to look up a subject. Wikipedia exists because millions of individuals with an internet connection can write about anything that they have knowledge of and offer it to anyone. The people that write about these subjects can be anyone from students to professionals. These groups are not necessarily organizations but they have been able to accomplish more in a shorter period than any corporation could in the past.

Summary of Slate Article

The article In the Name of Love by Miya Tokumitsu approaches doing what you love for a living from a new angle. It explains that this simple advice is blown way out of proportion and that only a very small percentage of people get to live this way. This statement makes workers believe that their labors serve themselves and not the market. The article uses Steve Jobs and his dream about Apple technology as an example. It argues that to build his dream much physical labor was put into creating it. This factory labor with low wage workers is brushed aside with the statement that work should be a passion. This ability to create a better life with a ‘dream job’ is extremely unattainable for the majority. Tokumitsu states that social economic status is the main factor to obtaining a better life. Many Americans perform in low wage jobs because they are a victim of circumstance. Tokumitsu argues that this statement of following a passion is used by companies to make individuals ideal employees. Workers are paid lower wages yet they work harder and longer with less benefit.