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Archive for the ‘Reflection’ Category

“The Tragedy of the Commons” is a famous work by Garret Hardin. Published in 1968 by Science magazine, it offers concepts that are often referenced today without acknowledgement of where the philosophical credit is due. The article’s message is inherently relevant to modern life, and often referenced by academics and professionals.

Hardin is extolled for his concise analysis of what he calls the “tragedy of the commons”, the namesake of the article. When reading this work, it is important to keep in mind that is was written forty years ago. While the examples Hardin provides may be outdated, they are still surprisingly germane.

Hardin explains that “no technical solution” to a problem is, in fact, an acceptable solution. As people are faced with diminishing resources and a growing population, the race will be forced to make decisions as to what is truly finite. He argues that man needs to explicitly realize the difference between commeasurable wants versus needs. Sometimes this process relies on solutions that are solved by changing thinking processes rather than cyclically looking for practical solutions. (more…)

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Key issue: Who is responsible for e-waste management?

Following is a review of the most salient information from Chapter 5 of the book Displacing Place, edited by Sharon Kleinman. It is written by Julie Newman and titled “Displacing Place with Obsolete Information and Communication Technologies.” The focus is on e-waste management.

 

 Author’s Main Point: Waste-management needs to be considered as part of the life-cycle of a product. When e-waste gets thrown away, the “away” should be considered.

“Until waste production is recognized as a cultural component of a system, the current trend of consumption will continue to displace the center of responsibility from the producer to the disposer. .. [Therefore,] We need to develop a consumer model that favors environmental and human health in all places.” (p. 87) (more…)

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After viewing Brian’s presentation, I was inspired to embrace a minimalistic design as well. I enjoyed his presentation because it was more of a conversation aided by interesting visuals that structured his lecture. (more…)

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The recent article on the stock market news Web site Seeking Alpha, “The Wireless Application Marketplace: Apple, Google, Microsoft and RIMM” by Option Dragon, offers a look at the emergence of wireless application marketplaces.

 

With the huge success of Apple’s iPhone App Store, other industry leaders are rushing to get a share of the market. Google, T-Mobile, Microsoft and RIMM (Blackberry) are debuting their own versions of application marketplaces. The significance of these new marketplaces is that they support the notion of open software development for cell phones. (more…)

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The Harvard Business Review article “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave” by Joseph L. Bower and Clayton M. Christensen is one of the most useful articles I’ve read pertaining to the rise of successful new technologies. Despite being written in 1995, the material is just as relevant today as it was 14 years ago.

 

Several take-aways can be gained from the article. One key learning is the overall importance of technology executives knowing how their market operates. The most successful response to new technology is not an inherent one. While it is safe to stay close to a company’s tried and true products, this is where corporate downfall often happens. Rather than keeping an eye out for emerging trends and technologies, companies often listen to their customers who simply like what they already have. From this, companies believe that customers don’t want new technologies. However, when a new technology is introduced that more efficiently meets market demand, customers will follow. (more…)

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Last night’s class flew by. Being our final class, there was a lot of ground to cover. Here are some of the highlights of what I enjoyed:

 

The discussion of Disney’s Wall-e movie and the use of copyrighted material was interesting. I have yet to see the film, but I can understand Kathy’s frustration that Louis Armstrong’s works did not have to be credited, despite being used throughout the movie and essentially helping Disney to make money.

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What a treat I had on August 4th! I wasn’t expecting to be selected to ask three questions of famed digital media expert Howard Rheingold. That was very exciting; and I hadn’t used Skype before, so that was fun as well.

 

I checked out MartinLutherKing.org, as Rheingold suggested. “A modern day plastic god” is what that site calls King. It is interesting to see the ways in which people choose to produce content. This exemplifies the need for people to learn/teach internet literacy and critical thinking. Rheingold noted the importance of teaching kids to question authority at a young age – which seemed humorous, but actually holds a substantial amount of validity.

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