What's your favourite piece of technology?
I'm a die-hard Apple user and I've recently got an iPod Touch which is really cool. I'm just getting going on my directing stuff and it's great for storing photos and music and all sorts of stuff.
How has it improved your life?
It's probably made me more anti-social. Because it's widescreen, it's perfect for filmmaking. The best thing about it is that format. When you store photos on it, it's great, it's the right ratio.
When was the last time you used it, and what for?
It was yesterday looking at film-related photographs: locations and things for my next film, Dark Blue Rising.
What additional features would you add if you could?
At the moment – and maybe this is because I've only just started using it – I'm struggling to download QuickTime movies onto it. Maybe that's just the way I'm doing it, maybe it's because I've only just got it. I know you can store video onto it but I'd make that easier.
Do you think it will be obsolete in 10 years' time?
Yeah, probably. Apple are pretty good at revamping things and making their own products obsolete.
What one tip would you give to non-iPod Touch users?
I jumped in early. The iPhone is now out, so my advice would probably be get an iPhone instead.
Do you consider yourself to be a luddite or a nerd?
I'm very firmly with one leg in each camp. Sometimes, there are certain things I'm rubbish at. There's the classic, the setting of the video recorder, I'm rubbish at that and I'm very slow on the computer. I'm quick at the applications I use a lot but I'm very slow picking things up.
What's the most expensive piece of technology you've ever owned?
Probably my video camera, a Panasonic DVX100, with a Leica lens.
Mac or PC?
Mac. I'm a Mac user. I think it depends on how you were brought up and I was introduced to Apple quite early. They're certainly the best for visual stuff and film-directing.
What song is at the top of your iPod's top 25 most played?
I couldn't tell you which track, but album-wise it's Tom Waits, Real Gone.
Will robots rule the world?
Don't they already? There's a good argument that that's the case.
What piece of technology would you most like to own?
Fictional or non-fictional? If I can do fictional, I really would love to try space travel, so I'd like a spaceship. Or some means of traveling through space.
The Whole Perspective
Each course that I sign up for is enrolled in with the intent that it will contribute to my life in some way.Whether that contribution is in the form of knowledge toward my major and future career, or a sense of personal enlightenment, each class makes its mark on my path of higher education.The University Studies course, “Cyber Millennium”, exemplified this idea by teaching me about how I function as a student in an age of rapidly advancing technology.
Before I took this course, I considered myself to be a more traditional learner; someone who learned best through classic methods of lecture and study.I felt that I was able to learn more from professors and lecturers who were qualified in the subject material.I preferred to listen and to take notes while the professor conveyed information to me that I would later review and utilize in some paper or assignment that I would work on later in the confines of my room.I never really felt the need to participate in class by prompting questions or providing input on the material.I was never too fond of group activities because I assumed that there was nothing I could learn from my class mated that I couldn’t learn from the professor.
The University Studies course has redefined my views on learning and has made apparent to me the vast amounts of learning opportunities that extend beyond the teacher student relationship.Over the course of this term, I encountered situations where I was made to work with different groups of people.I heard other people’s opinions and gave my own.Working in these groups has taught me that there are a great many valuable things that I can learn from my classmates that I could not learn from the teacher.Working with a collective mind helped me to see ideas that would have never crossed my mind had I been working on the assignment alone.I understand now the importance of learning from others and how well I feel I am able to contribute.Having the eyes of many people from different backgrounds and mentalities can shed a whole new light on a project.Everyone has a different perspective to share.Sometimes to see the world as a whole, one needs the view from every angle.
The course helped me to grow as a learner by implementing activities such as group projects and debates that required me to interact and voice my opinion.The course centers on a strong group mentality which is integrated into the assignments.I have been in debate groups that require all of the members to meet and discuss the best strategy for arguing our point.Activities like this allow everyone to contribute their opinion and play a part in the success of the group.Quite often the lectures are guided by the input that the class provides.This creates an environment where I feel comfortable to share my opinion and take an interest in hearing the opinion of others.The students feel like a part of the course rather than bodies at attention.All of these things have helped me to understand that knowledge is more than just the books and the notes; it’s the people around me.
The structure of the class and how it was instructed allowed me to experience many new ways of interacting as a student, but the subject matter covered in the course opened up my mind to the many issues and conflicts that surround me as student in an age of technology.Having grown up in a time where technology, computers, and the internet are tightly woven into my daily life, it becomes difficult to see the way that these new things impact the word and the effects that they are having on society because I have never known any other world outside of the technology filled one that we experience today.
Before taking this course there were many things in this are that I had never considered before.I had never thought about the dangers and complications that technology can have when implemented in areas such as voting and human enhancement.Every day, as a student, countless pieces of technology in all shapes and forms pass through my hands as I am constantly bombarded with information from all over the word on my laptop, my phone, even my watch.The Cyborg Millennium course has served as a mental pause from this bombardment; a chance to step back and analyze the technology and the information that is looming over my shoulder at all times.
I have learned that, in spite of the abundant benefits of new technology, there are many potential problems that can too often go overlooked.Technology has the potential to become more a part of our lives than we are.Humans can lose themselves in the technology that surrounds them every day. Being a student in a world where everyone is constantly plugged in to some piece of technology can be distracting and overwhelming at times.Life seems to move at a faster pace with each year that passes, and this can be a daunting presence in a student’s life.
The University Studies course has provided the atmosphere in which to assess these looming problems, to learn how to confront them and, with the proper knowledge and awareness, to find a balance.In this course I have studied and research the essence of what it means to be human and how technology has affected that concept.Through movies, essays, and books, I have learned of the many dangers of technology.Though the depictions on most of the books and movies were rather extreme or apocalyptic, they all seemed to be making the same assertion; technology will either consume humanity or become humanity.In my portfolio I have included several essays that I have written on this topic because I find it to be a particularly important one.The lesson that I have taken away from this course in respects to that subject is that the future is world encased in the technology that we are creating every day, and is such a new world it will be important to retain the ethical and moral compass that defines our best human characteristics today.Many of the papers that I have written and included in the portfolio elaborate on this idea.
The goals of this course highlight ethical responsibility and the ability to communicate with and understand other people and their diverse experiences.Having taken this course I feel that the best way to understand these concepts about humanity is by understanding what is not human, what threatens humans, the things in the world that could deprive us of our individuality and humility.By learning to appreciate and understand the diversity of humanity I have learned to cherish what makes us humans, and see that there is a world apart from the humming technology that floods every house, office, and classroom in America.That world is the world of human experience.What we experience as human beings and how we interact with one another is what will lead us to retain the ethical guidelines as we approach a future where such concepts will be hard to define.
Throughout the year that I have taken this course, I have come to recognize these concepts and the importance that they have in our society.I feel as though I have become a better student, a student more able to function in college and in life, because I have taken time to understand the world of technology around me, and how it affects everything that I do in my life.Having the opportunity to interact with my peers and discuss the subject matter with them, both in class and in mentor session, has helped me to better communicate my own experiences as a student and as a computer science major.Since my major directly pertain to the material discussed in the class, I found it very enlightening to hear all of the other students discuss their views on technology in society and the experiences that they have had with it.
There is one particular assignment that I remember from the course that really sums up the teachings in this course.The assignment was for every student to write a brief essay about the first interaction that they ever had with technology and how it impacted them.I wrote about my father and the first time that he took me to the Museum.I remember the overwhelming intrigue and fascination with almost magical instruments that surrounded me.Each student shared their essay in class and I was able to hear others’ stories and memories.What I found interesting about the assignment was that every student in the class had begun to experience technology in their lives at around the same time, when we were all very young.It struck me that my generation truly is the first generation of technology.No generation before ours has been born and raised in the birth and advancement of modern technology.
As a generation that shares such a unique time frame of growth, it will be our task to decide how humanity and technology evolve together in the future.The goals of the University Studies course have embraced all of the tools necessary to help me succeed in a world of technology.Technology can bring the world together in so many ways, but can also provide everyone with their own world of isolation behind computer screens and iPod headphones.This course has allowed me to open up and communicate with others.These opportunities are important in order to gather and generate the skills that are necessary to succeed in the real world.I have learned that in a world of technology, success is found in one’s ability to communicate without it.