TASK part 1:
After watching Howard Rheingold’s video on crap detection I wasn’t sure if I was either enlightened or confused. Not confused in the sense that I didn’t understand what he was trying to portray, but puzzled at how the result of questioning everything could ruin humanity. Of course this irrational thought doesn’t follow Rheingold’s theories but this was my initial reaction to the video. To start it off with a bang, Howard Rheingold speaks about how being on the internet isn’t about skills but it “goes beyond to literacy”. Literacy is defined by Rheingold as the combination attention, participation, cooperation, critical consumption (a.k.a crap detection) and network awareness. We must use our literacy, web tools (such as search engines to filter information) and personal trust networks (to determine good information) in order to be sensible consumers of knowledge in this viral society and have telekinetic abilities.
Off of the TOK blog, there was a post by Mistercooke’s Teaching Blog that discussed the ‘6 Thinking Hats’. I was intrigued by the title of the blog post and decided to read it. To summarize it briefly, there are six ways someone can approach a problem and each color represents an approach. The person who wears the white hate focuses on data and analyzing trends to fix the problem while the person who wears the red hat fixes problems by focusing on the emotional responses. Those who wear the black hat solve problems by targeting and building upon weak points and the yellow hats focus on the benefits of their decisions. The last two, green, focusing on developing creative solutions while blue, controlling the process and activity of solving the problem. Bottom line of this article is that it is important to have a balance of all hats to have an effective solution. This technique is especially useful in group projects and assemblies.
A couple of classes ago our class watched a PBS series by Frontline called the Persuaders. The six episode series includes topics such as concept campaigns, emotional branding, the science of selling and the future of narrowcasting. I especially found the future of narrowcasting almost terrifying because its almost dehumanizes our deepest desires by targeting us out and trying to sell us products. In addition, its crazy to think people are actually coming up with strategies to lure the public into splurging on products, I hate to say it but it is almost as if the marketers are backstabbing their own kind in a sense. They are strategically persuading people into falling into their market in which they will probably regret in doing so. The whole marketing business is about money. Money is the soul purpose of these marketers and they play with our emotions to get that. It is also sad because those causes (the rare few) that have a sincere cause may be overlooked and questioned because of the stereotype and de-sensitizing attitude we have adapted to toward advertisements and brands.
In class we were able to do our own investigation and self exploration of web literacy and crap detection. When answering questions about my web literacy I was probably considered average in my knowledge about the basics of searching and names. Personally, I am content with my current knowledge of the web and what is valid information or not. Of course it would be nice to be a master of the internet but the tricks of checking where the source comes from and when it was published have done me just fine in my academic life. Although I find it important to know what is trustworthy and what is not, unless you believe everything you hear it is almost over worrying to question everything. My policy is with understanding where your source comes from and how valid its content is, your common judgment of whether it is crap or not is your own choice as long as you can defend your opinion. Like I mentioned before, if we start to question everything, won’t life become a mind hole of confusion and double standards? How far is too far in questioning the validity and truthfulness of information? If you question everything won’t you just go in circles and get nowhere? I really don’t know!
TASK part 2: