TWC Lesson 5

Today’s session was on Information and communication technology and world change. The discussion mainly centered on its benefits, its future and how it has become an extension of being human. We also looked at how ICT acts as a driver of world change, such that it may/may not help to solve problems such as poverty and education.

One of the interesting points I took away was how mass media has changed drastically since the past. In the past, the mass media tended to be more passive (“One-to-many”) such that it was a one way dissemination of an idea to the masses. Governments could only send out information to the masses. However, today, with the revolution of information technology, it has resulted in a more interactive and active communication between many people. With this platform, the demand for information and knowledge has increased and people are able to share them more openly. As a result of people’s feedback and communication, it has also helped in the fine-tuning of government policies and solutions to respond to the needs of people in the nation and as such, helped to foster a more cohesive society.

We were also showed a video about the evolution of the World Wide Web (WWW). I remember when I were in Primary school, the Internet was only used to accesss and find information. That was a rather more passive platform where people could only read information that was published. (Web 1.0). However today, the Internet become more interactive where people could give their feedback and share information at the same time. (Web 2.0)  In future, it seems that web 3.0 will move from being interactive platform to a seemingly invisible one where it becomes more “intelligent” and benefit us without even us knowing!

Next up, we also discussed the benefits of ICT. Some of the interesting ones are:
Social networking: It has allowed us to share information with one another and connect people together. It has made the world a seemingly smaller place.
Crowd sourcing: Allows for sourcing of answers from all parts of the world.
Wireless technology: it has definitely created a more complex way of sharing information. This system is growing rapidly and benefitting us as well.

It seems that the  ICT Revolution has only seen 5x gain in productivity, as compared to the past where we saw 25x productivity. We are only starting to enter this phase and we have just passed the tipping point where we are beginning to adopt to it. There is a still a group of people out there that do not have access to these technologies, such as the developing countries. There is a huge division between both the developed and developing, and unless we do something to ensure that there is access to it, the full potential of ICT would not have been realised.  How we do this then? We need to start implementing these technologies, educate and provide the relevant skill sets to people to better understand the use of ICT.

I thought today’s lesson could really relate to me as I have been exposed to ICT since young and I have managed to learn how it has progressed over the years.Its something that’s really prevalent in most of our lives today and i enjoyed today’s lesson a lot. I would rate it 9/10.

 

TWC Lesson 4

Today’s lesson touched on 2 topics: Drivers of world change & Change management (management leadership).

Prof defined drivers of world change as factors that can play a direct role in bringing about a change in the world. He then shared some quotes with us about people who can make changes and adapt to different circumstances. Here’s one of it:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change”
least “fit” is the one that can adapt the most.” -Charles Darwin

I feel this applies to companies and businesses. It is not the one with the smartest people that will survive in the industry, but rather the one that can adapt to the fluctuating  and ever-changing business environments.

What i feel is that those who can adapt to changes will usually make it big and become successful. This then bring us to the question of whether companies should specialise in a particular field only or be competent in everything. While it is good to specialise as it gives one comparative advantage over another company,we should never presume that there is no need to change because such advantages do not last forever. We have to constantly be aware of the changes in our business surroundings that may take away our comparative advantage. Hence, companies should ultimately always innovate and adopt the rising star mentality and constantly find fresh and new ways to enhance growth.

Next up, we discussed about change management and leadership.
What i had gathered from the discussion that a leader is usually the one that creates the paradigm and gives the organisation a new vision while a manager merely accepts the status quo and imitates the leader. A leader is proactive and provides the framework as to how things should be completed.
The takeaway from this part of the lesson for me was that a leader is nothing without his followers. One of the videos Prof showed us was a very powerful one- which was about how a little boy decided to take the initiative and attempt to change a situation. He decided to challenge the status quo and soon, other people all followed suit and went along with his plan.

I found this lesson rather impactful because of the quotations and powerful videos prof shared w us and it really enlightened me about the whole concept of management and leadership. I guess its something that I can take away with me and apply it if I ever hold a leadership position in sch/work in future-its about making a change.
I’ll rate this lesson a 8/10.

Individual Review Paper Outline

Topic: Music & Technology- How technology has affected the production, consumption & distribution of music today

Executive Summary

This review paper will explore the issue of how the revolutions of new and latest information and communications technologies have affected our music industry today. In particular, looking into how they have affected the production, consumption and distribution of music and whether these technologies are a good replacement for the traditional ones we have had in the past.

Introduction/background

Music technology today is a disruptive but essential change and there is no doubt that the functionality of music industry has transformed and transitioned the past 30 years. Technological advancements, such as the Internet and music softwares have definitely changed the way songs are being produced, marketed and distributed today.

Historical Perspective
1) How music was produced in the past
–by instruments (piano violin/by hearing (Beethoven)
-origin/period of music (baroque, classical, romantic etc.)
-sentimental/lyrics were meaningful-Celine Dion/Whitney Huston/Michael Jackson etc.)

2) How music was consumed in the past

-AM/FM radio/buying pre-recorded music in a “format”
-Walkman/CD/cassettes
-Prior to AM/FM, Walkman was most convenient and portable device to bring around

3) How music was distributed in the past

-Most CDs/vinyl were sold in brick and mortar CD stores (HMV/ 4 independent record shops in Britain closed down in last 10 years)

Current Situation

1) How music is being produced today

-Cheaper sources of technology-record albums at high quality with professional production values
-Example: Audacity, Caustic, Garage band and latest-Apple logic pro X

-Genres: Hip hop, electronicàlyrics mashed together and do not make any sense  (Macklemore/Eminem/Nick Minaj etc.)

-Auto tune- Public on YouTube heavily criticized Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’

2) How music is being consumed today

-Through digital means, largely the Internet
-Platforms like mobile phones increasing (SingTel AMPed app)
-Music becoming “free” with low cost per month (Spotify/Internet radio channels)
-Rip from YouTube/illegal downloads (IsoHunt/Torrent)
-Consumers buying a few songs rather than whole album (can choose which ones they prefer)
-Listening to songs that lack meaning & convey wrong messages (Akon/Flo Rida etc.)

 

3) How music is being distributed today
-Distribution channels such as ITunes, YouTube, Spotify, and Napster

-Tracks released as MP3/ EP and streamed through YouTube
-Some bands promote their music through social media (FB/Twitter/YouTube) to target larger audience (Jimmy Eat World/Lady Gaga)

Future Consideration

-It seems that society is only going to see a continuous shift from the ownership of music to increased accessibility to music.

-Recorded music is going to be attention grabber and not generate revenue

-Perhaps artists and label companies should start being creative and work towards earning attention and loyalty of fans rather than their money (since consumers do not purchase music as before anymore)

-For example: Start off on YouTube or any other social media means, gain a fan club and subsequently sell tickets to live shows, and sell merchandises in future.

-Future of music industry lies heavily on bundling /product promotion. A possible way to achieve this is providing services that allow full access on devices (tablets/ mobile phones etc.). There should be incentives to make consumers pay for subscription fee for this concept to allow revenue streams.

Conclusion

-Technology today will continue to create a relentless personalization of music experience

-The monopoly that record labels had in process of discovering, developing and promoting music has been disrupted and it is inevitable that the advancement in technology will only continue to dominate the way music is being produced consumed and distributed by individuals in future.

Bibliography

TWC Lesson 3

For this week’s lesson, we discussed about Technology & Industrial Development-Towards Sustainability Development and Innovation Management.
Prof started to show us a video about how we are depleting earth’s resources slowly. For example, 30% of earth’s resources is consumed by United States alone and in turn produced as wastes. This is definitely a very detrimental situation since we rely heavily on non-renewable resources and this may cause our resources to deplete in the long run.  I feel that there is a need for a change of mindset in the way we go about manufacture and produce our resources. It should definitely revolve around the idea of “sustainability”. For example, I feel rising emerging countries such as China & India which take part heavily in industrial processes should start to adopt more sustainable measures if not it may lead to negative effects on countries in future. Basically, such countries should internalise negative externalities before carrying out their activities. This helps to drive down the prices of resources and allow these sustainable resources to be cheaper and more readily available to everyone. Of course, this is not possible without government intervention, which is highly necessary in most countries! To sum it up, we need to start changing from a linear to cyclical model in the way we carry out these activities to maximize value creation without reducing options for future generations.

Constant innovation is essential for a company to stay successful. Basically, this is to keep it on the summit and not let it tumble down the valley. To achieve this, companies need to keep improving their products through R&D and to be better than today. The RDA Translation Process definitely fascinates me, as it illustrates how  new insights and understandings are being developed and translated to practical application that is ultimately for commercial/social use. However, while most companies’ ultimate goal is to profit maximize, I feel that the decision to come up with new and innovative products should be focused towards benefitting us and to improve the quality of life. After all, this facilitates an increase in demand for the products, and in turn, profit making for companies.
Lastly, what is most important is that companies should always adopt a far-sighted and positive aptitude to stay on the summit because competition is inevitable and ignoring mistakes and new knowledge is a grave mistake any company could make. Rather, they should embrace new changes and constantly try to be at the top by upgrading themselves.

I would rate today’s lesson 8.5/10 because I really enjoyed the content learnt and its very relatable to our world today.

 

 

 

TWC Lesson 2

Today’s lesson consisted of 2 parts-technology & global dominance and technology & human development. Starting off with the first half,  we looked into the different dimensions of global dominance such as economic,cultural and military etc and how the characteristics of dominant countries in the field allowed them to succeed/fail.

What i had gathered from the Shahi Organizational Behavioral Model was that countries and nations which have succeeded were deemed as rising stars-meaning they displayed a very open perspective and were forward-looking. They were generally hungry for innovation and were humble enough to realise the constant need to invest in new ideas and ways to progress the nation. On the other hand, the “falling stars” represented nations that have declined and these nations were generally said to be pessimistic, had a very closed perspective and refused to innovate and create plans for the country.  Hence the difference in the mindsets of dominant players is a tell-tale sign as to what the nation will become.

I guess one of the key takeaway points from this is that the past is vital in shaping the way we become. We need to constantly learn from our mistakes so that we can grow to become more matured and open to new challenges. Its about looking forward and thinking of new ways to improve ourselves.

Next, we diverted our attention away to technology & human development & its impact on world change.

What is human development? According to Prof. Amartya Sen, professor of Economics at Havard University, “Human development, as an approach, is concerned with what I take to be the basic development idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it.” I truly agree with this statement. In my opinion, what fulfills the “human life” is probably these factors-the access to proper sanitation and water, basic education and healthcare.  But the question is, how do we even measure human development?  The Human Development Index (HDI) measures factors such as life expectancy, GDP per capita, literacy rate and mean years of schooling. But are these factors really enough to measure human development?
In fact, do the high GDP per capitas of countries like Norway and United States really suggest that the country is doing and progressing well? Could it also be a question of a widening income gap(which is measured by the Gini Coefficient) in the country since there evidently are groups of less-well off people living here too? Have we failed to take into account other intangible factors such has happiness level of the people (which is measured by Gross National Happiness)? We need to learn not to forget about our social and mental well-being because they are just as important aspects in advancing the richness and quality of human life as well.

I personally thought Sylvester’s presentation on eugenics was an eye opener. It raises a very important question about the human race. Is it ethical to choose the genes we want? Does that mean that if we can choose to have ‘good’ genes, we will be accepted in society then? And those who have bad genes will be stereotyped? I feel that eugenics will only worsen the problem between the superior and inferior in our society and will affect the quality of life.

Despite the fact the discussions had to be cut short due to lack of time, I felt the lesson was informative and there was quite a broad scope of discussion on Technology and Global dominance and human development. Hence, i rate the lesson 8/10!

TWC Lesson 1

Before I came for Prof Shahi’s class, I had the impression that Technology & World Change was going to be another one of those GP lessons where we discuss the benefits and hazards of technology and write essays about it. Boy i was wrong… What i gathered from my first lesson was much more than that- specifically the history of how technology came about and the different revolutions(E.g. Fire, Writing, Green Revolution) that have taken place over the past centuries. It was definitely an eye-opener lesson for me, as I got to explore how different types of technology have progressed and impacted our lives today.

We started off the lesson with ice breakers to ease the tension in class and it was quite interesting to find out very unexpected things about my classmates! Next, we had to mention what technology & world change meant to us. Generally, the consensus was that technology is a double edged sword, for example, how smart phone technology has played a vital role in our lives for communication, but has inadvertently caused us to be distant from one another physically.

One part of the lesson that got me thinking would be when we were discussing about Yali’s question in the book-Guns Germs & Steel. “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” After much discussions from the floor, I guess the answer to the question would be due to the different geographical locations. Since the island of New Guinea is rather isolated and inaccessible, the people living there probably did not have much contact with others. and this hindered the development of technology in New Guinea.

TAKEAWAY POINTS: 1) Many factors such as culture and location have led to civilisation.
2) Change is inevitable-Technology is constantly changing to suit more of our desires today.

I would rate today’s lesson a 7/10 as it has really enlightened me more about technology and world change and made me more open to concepts and ideas for this topic.

Till then,
XX, Olanda Cherie