Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog Response to Arthur Benjamin does "Mathemagic"

Blog Response to Arthur Benjamin does "Mathemagic"
                In Arthur Benjamin’s presentation at TED he decided to show off a very unique talent of his. His talent was being able to do amazing calculations in his head, calculations that would normally require us to use a calculator. These calculations ranged from squaring 2 digit numbers to squaring 5 digit numbers in his head (note that squaring a 5 digit number requires a 10 digit calculator). Not only were these calculations amazing but his method of doing them was amazing. He said the steps he was doing out loud in his head at one time and instead of just remembering numbers he converted the numbers into words which he would later convert into numbers. During his calculations words such as cookie could be heard as he thought aloud. Arthur Benjamin’s talent is definitely one of a kind and amazing.

                Not only was his talent amazing, his presentation style was great. He got the audience very involved and he even pulled some of them up on stage and had them do the calculations he was doing on calculators to prove the validity of his answers. He also made the audience laugh,a lot. He told jokes throughout the presentation that didn’t get the audience off topic, but just made it easier for them to understand and connect to his insane calculations.

                I really enjoyed this presentation because I love the idea of being able to solve things in your head and use symbols such as he did with cookie to represent more complex ideas. I may not be able to square 5 digit numbers in my head such as he did but I love to figure out word puzzles and other things. Arthur Benjamin really stunned me with his performance and it defiantly was put correctly under the jaw dropping category.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Response to Robert Ballard on exploring the ocean

Blog Response to Robert Ballard on exploring the ocean
    Robert Ballard’s TED talk on exploring the ocean was very interesting. Ballard really showed me how many resources our planet has to offer and how so much of our world is unexplored. According to him 72% percent of our world is almost completely unexplored. Ballard says that there are massive deposits of minerals and other substances buried in the ocean. If humans were to take advantage of this and make a bigger effort to explore our ocean I think we would benefit a lot.

    Robert Ballard’s speaking was amazing. He was very passionate about the subject and was able to pull the audience in with fascination and curiosity. He always was very prepared and this really helped as well, he always knew what he was going to say. Ballard also had many different pictures which he showed throughout the presentation that really improved his presentation.
    My only worry with Ballard’s want to explore and utilize the reasources of the ocean fully is that we will deplete those resources harming the ecosystem of the ocean. Humans have a tendency to not think about the environment before they act and I worry if we got to invlovled with the ocean ecosystem that we would harm it for selfish reasons. Examples of this harm can already be seen when you look at endangered species like whales which humans hunted for ages almost making them extinct. I do believe that we should explore the ocean and its resources but I know we have to be careful to not harm anything when we do so or the consequences could be very bad.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blog Response to Clay Shirky’s “How cognitive surplus will change the world”

Clay Shirky describes his idea of cognitive surplus as a way for people to be able to connect on a worldwide basis. Shirky is very passionate about this idea and explains how it will help the world be a better place. Shirky explains the two types of cognitive surplus which are communal and civil. Communal cognitive surplus represents what people create themselves and share with the world simply because they want to. Civil is where the creators share their ideas or creations because they know they can help the world. Shirky uses the example of LOLCATS, funny cat pictures with witty captions, to represent communal cognitive surplus and the online site Ushadidi, an information sharing site, as an example of civil cognitive surplus. Both of these examples are used throughout the world, just with different purpose.

Shirky’s presentation is so enticing because he is so passionate about it. By allowing the audience to be aware of his passion for this subject it was easier to understand his points. He talked very calmly. He also used examples, such as the LOLCATS, that everyone knew about and that were easy to understand.

I really connected to this video because I also believe that if everyone is able to get together and share ideas that we will be able to change the world. Clay Shirky shows just how much these information sharing websites can help keep people informed or entertained on a personal or worldwide level. I believe that cognitive surplus is vital to the spread of information and will help change the world.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blog Response to RSA Animate- Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Blog Response to RSA Animate- Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

                The RSA Animate of Daniel Pink’s TED talk is truly inspiring. This RSA is a artist drawing cartoons on a whiteboard that match up to what Daniel Pink is saying in his speech. But the drawings are not the real fascinating part; the part that really makes you think is Daniel Pink’s speech on how people are motivated and how motivation effects what we do. Pink starts out by explaining what he calls Motivation 2.0 where he the simple theory of how if people are offered a higher reward then they will be more inclined to do better work. Afterwards Pink goes on to explain how this is only true for processes with step by step instructions, where all that is needed is a correct answer but if anything requires and creative thinking the results plummet. Pink goes on to explain that sometimes the most motivating factor is not a reward but motivation itself. People like to be creative and share what they create but they like to do it on their own. Pink used the example of an Australian networking company who let their employees work for 24 hours with no direction and with no reward in mind. Over these 24 hours many fixes and new softwares were created. This further explained how people are motivated to create amazing pieces of work with just their ideas and do not need or want that cash bonus or reward. They are simply satisfied with what they create themselves.

The presentation of this RSA animate was very good. The artist who was drawing during the speech was very talented and helped keep the audience involved. The drawings were also helpful for some parts that one may have missed and they also provided some comedic relief. Pink was also very passionate during his speech. During one part of it he raised his voice and you could tell he was talking from the heart. This helped me know he was truly for this idea.

Daniel Pink teaches us how motivation works for humans and how it can lead to not so good results and how it can lead to amazing results. Pink talks about how we are moving away from the “sticks and carrots” kind of motivation and how in the future amazing creations will be motivated by the inventor themselves and not by some cash prize or large reward. This is how some of the greatest databases in the world such as Wikipedia and Firefox have come about and he predicts that many other successful ideas will sprout from the same kind of motivation

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blog Response to Clay Shirky's "Why SOPA is a bad idea"

Clay Shirky believes that the new SOPA bill that congress may pass is a bad idea. I very much agree with him. SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act. What SOPA will do is take away many freedoms online and in modern media today. Clay Shirky knows that this is a bad idea and points out some of the many flaws it has. Shirky says the real threat of SOPA and PIPA (a similar bill basically known as Protect IP) is our ability to share things with one another yet SOPA turns that into “you can’t share, till you show us that you’re not sharing something we don’t like. Shirky also tells us how if it costs even a dime to police a user, that user will be policed if they are sharing unapproved media. This connects with me because I personally love to watch YouTube videos and listen to music from online sights. This affects me because any YouTube video with ANY piece of uncopywritted content would be taken down. This means that all song remixes and movie mashups would be taken down and even things such as game plays of things such as Call of Duty. All of which are a very big part of web entertainment for kids of my generation. This would change the web as we know it. There is a great video on the web that explains more of SOPA’s flaws from a non government point of view and can be seen here:

Clay Shirky is very effective with his speaking. Throughout his TED talk one thing I noticed him do was make eye contact with the audience. He was never looking down and made it easier to connect with him as he talked knowing that he was confident. He also used very good examples in his talk which made it easier to understand his points. Some of these examples were even humorous which was very helpful. Shirky had a very simple presentation but it was effective. His direct talking to the audience and use of examples made the speech easy to understand and enjoyable to listen to.

This video matters because SOPA affects everyone. With taking away the ability to share media online they are taking away many things. YouTube is a fantastic place to find out about new music, the problem with this is that not all people who share this music have copy write for it. Most artists don’t mind this at all and it actually helps them get more popular, in fact YouTube is how many big artists today got started, Justin Beiber as an example. By talking away this ability to share things such as music it will be much harder for artists to even get a shot at the limelight and it will make it difficult for average people to enjoy some of this fantastic music which can be found on the web. SOPA will also take away many forms of entertainment. Believe it or not there are people on YouTube who make game plays of things like Call of Duty or Minecraft that have over one million subscribers. SOPA would make these game plays impossible by making the YouTub-er have to get permission from the gaming company to make these videos and also from the artist to use the background music. Not an easy task. SOPA affects everyone and I agree with Clay Shirky that it is a bad idea.

Works Cited

"Riveting Talks by Remarkable People, Free to the World." TED: Ideas worth Spreading. Web. 17 Apr. 2012. .

YouTube. YouTube. Web. 17 Apr. 2012. .

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Response to Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk

Blog Response to Sir Ken Robinson’s “Schools kill creativity”

Sir Ken Robinson is a firm believer that schools kill creativity. This was the focus of his TED talk that allowed others to see his views on the many flaws of today’s education. Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk was very well formatted. He used some humor to help the audience get involved but also was able to leave lasting impressions with his speech. Robinson started his presentation by showing the audience what he thought would be a better education than what we use today. He talked of how studies like English and math are very important but are definitely not more important than subjects such as dance and art that are less valued in modern education. Robinson talked of how these subjects can be just as valuable to a child’s education as things like math and science. I can agree with Robinson on this and very much think that creative subjects should be promoted much more in modern day education. Some kids may not want to be scientists or doctors when they grow up, some may choose to be a painter or dancer and they should be given equal opportunity to succeed. More examples of how these subjects can be beneficial can be seen in the following article:

One reason Robinson’s speech may have gone over so well was because of the way he presented it. By speaking with humor and connecting the audience he was able to make it easier for people to understand what he was attempting to put across and it also helped the audience feel more connected to the speech. By inserting humorous lines or jokes into his speech he was able to keep the audience entertained and involved. Robinson’s speech technique was very good and these skills were very beneficial to his TED talk.

I can personally connect with this video very much. My current schedule consists of geometry, English, biology, business technology, and Spanish. I enjoy all of these classes but I hardly get to embrace some of the creative aspects of my personality in them. I would love to take a class such as art or music but they are not as valued in the education system of today and are not as important for people who may decide my future. In most societies kids go to school in the hopes to get a good job and live a stable life. Robinson touched on this subject and talked about just how flawed it is that children of today go through the motions not out of passion but simply to achieve that stable job everyone craves.

Works Cited

"Creative Learning – Art and Culture in Education." Creative Learning – Art and Culture in Education. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. .

Creative Learning – Art and Culture in Education. Web. .