BCM241 – Lynch-y Cinema

So, Cinema.

Going to the movies was a bit of a treat as a child. Especially when a new Harry Potter came out. But it seriously died off when I was able to go to the movies by myself because I truly love being by myself. Indulgent times, soaking and experiencing the movie I want to watch. That first movie by myself was TRON: Legacy. It was brilliant. But not the theatre. My local theatre is quite neglected, in terms of customer experiences and seats, and how untouched it is since the late 90’s. Lucky for them its still a cozy design, familiar colour scheme making things feel a little bit timeless. I love going there to smell the arouma of popcorn and the same curtains and lighting used in the famous red room scenes by David Lynch.

According to Hagerstrans ‘Space and Time in Geography’ he identified 3 human constraints on how we manage the logistics of time to the particular place at a set time. And I think going to the cinema suits the three very well as going to the cinema, to me, is a personal and social time that we use as an event and luxury, not a last minute decision.

Capability constraints for me, especially as a child was getting there as I lived at least 10 minutes away from my local cinema and public transport from home to town didn’t exist – living regionally. So my parents would tag a long, of course, they would too if the age restrictions needed for them to be there to watch with me. Otherwise, they would drop me off and go to the shops, in time to pick me up when the movie ends. The same would apply if it were my friends’ parents.
Coupling constraints are dependant on what movie we are seeing. Especially when it was when a new Harry Potter film. They were a hit with sold-out shows with people lined up at the door 2 hours prior the cinema opening their doors. But for normal films, I’d be at least 20 minutes there before the doors open. That leaves me 10 minutes to get there, 2 minutes to park and the remaining 8 minutes to get food, purchase tickets and stare at my phone before turning it off for 2-3 hours to experience the movie.
And finally, the blurry Authority constraints. I am allowed to be there now. But i think the better question for this constraint is am I supposed to be there and why am i here. For instance, when I saw the Incredibles 2 I was by myself in a sea of at least 10 other families in the theatre. For a film aimed at children, the context of release date, the time between the original film to now relating to my age group and Disney/Pixar productions with undertones of maturity. So really, in the right context I am to be there, If its my day off, of course.

The talk and debate about the rise of Netflix and the content of the internet have “destroyed” cinema and the film industry is complete bullshit. In retrospect, they are tools to compete and help with the film and TV industry rise against privacy. They may have made the cinema a niche space for some, however, this niche space is now a more of a highlighted experience in comparison to watching new release films digitally. Home doesn’t have the popcorn aroma, the red velvet furnishings, low dim lighting and screaming babies. Unless you’re in a rich new family with 5 kids to feed, then I stand corrected.

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BCM241 – TV and me

I was never really a fan of TV. Like I was mostly on the computer as a child. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t into watching cartoons before and after school. Just means that my entertainment didn’t involve TV that much In comparison to how computer use has done. Since around the age of 11 I spent more time on the computer entertaining myself and school work than I did on any other sort of technology platform. I realised Its multi-faceted possibilities.

The times on the TV are mostly remembered for the times I would watch It with my family. From the age of 4, I remember watching the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York City. We watched shows and cartoons that ranged from King of the Hill, The Simpsons to Eastenders and Doc Martin. We watched our first Blu-Ray together which was Wanted (2008) and witnessed the 2014 Sydney Seige happen in real time. I find It quite concerning that as a young child I was exposed to mature content like Doc Marten (although it is discreetly mature) and horrific live events. TV has been quite the highlight of my early life where I would witness and learn something for the first time. But I cannot say the same thing about TV today, or at least since 2016. The rise of social media has really hit our society and mostly my generation to the point where TV doesn’t really seem fit for our future but its fit for our furniture.

I think It’s seriously important to challenge the iconic feature of the TV in the home. What is it’s real purpose today when we have screens that literally do the same thing in our pockets and our bags in forms of computers and tools of communications.
If my generation is so held up on our personal screens,
Is TVs purpose to serve as a casual entertainer?
Or is now just a piece of furniture that we use on occasions like the dining table?

In comparison to my parent’s TV usage. They both grew up poor. Mum would have watched TV with 3 other families from her suburb and Dads family wouldn’t have had the latest TV but were limited to when the BBC would have broadcasted content. Today it is on all the time, it is always available to everyone. And everything else is, really. In comparison again, we all consume a lot more information at a time. I’m worried that It desensitised my reactions to some news like the 9/11 New York City attack.

However, I’m also interested in how we may use oversized TV’s in the future. SmartTV’s have been a thing for years, however in comparison to how useful personal devices are like our smartphones. SmartTV’s lack the portability, software and intuitive use that we are used to on our smartphones. Will TV’s be looked upon like other technological items from the past? – In a nostalgic sense? Will the TV become a nostalgic icon of technology? When will TV’s no longer be a “staple” item in one’s home?

BCM241 – keeping up appearances

It was mid-2016, my first year at Uni and Pokemon Go was the most trending mobile game at the time. The semi-augmented reality through-your-phone game seemed to be a really interesting concept and honestly, It still Is. At the current rate, AR and VR based gaming technologies are rapidly changing and forming with us in culture to the point where educational based programs seem more relevant to be used than the entertainment value the technology markets itself to. But damn, the game and the whole technology quickly became mundane to me. Personally, I don’t play a lot of video games anymore and I guess that’s the reason why I found Pokemon Go pretty boring the day after release. I thought the point of video games was to relax, enjoy visuals, story or the satisfaction of completing a mission and receiving an achievement but Pokemon Go was an on-going game. As you physically move into a new space you were required to play and continue capturing new Pokemon. It was the complete opposite of what I’m used to. It was exhausting.

You know what else was exhausting? MyFitnessPal. Not just what It was designed for you to do. The app that makes you log how many calories you’ve eaten for the day, weight tracking, exercise planning and gives you tips for future meals.  As a bigger guy, of course, I looked into sneaky ways into thinking I’m losing weight to make me feel better. And while MyFitnessPal seemed to work (lost 10kg, not according to the app) It was most importantly fucking exhausting to continuously log information into my phone. In hindsight, It is a brilliant app. Thank god for computing. But yes, constant attention, scheduled attention, keeping up with diet and fitness trends, keeping up with your meal plans, keeping up your appearance on the app; exhausting.

These apps always want your attention. For you to spend more time on their app in order to make up the fact that their service is free.

The rise of AI technology, especially having a Google Pixel phone, has really made my life simpler. The newly released Digital Wellbeing feature in the settings of my phone tells me and makes me aware how how many times a notification has popped up, how long I’ve been on all the apps I’ve used on the day and lets me know If I want to turn on night light screen and battery saver on the estimated time I would usually turn them on. The mix of the digital realm and lifestyle is becoming reality in some ways. The way that those apps try to reel your attention to Google trying to work around your lifestyle and the way you use your phone. Google’s current aim seems to be user focused. Through learning and big data memory, It tailors my news, my photos to my battery life to the best of their ability just for me. This article by Hayley Tsukayama from the Washington Post talks about how Google’s AI Cloud-based system is slowly integrating into Google’s users lives. Is this something we should be scared of? Should we trust Google?

The way I use my media and my technology really is based on how It can make my life a little easier. But that just wasn’t the case with Pokemon Go and MyFitnessPal in the past. Now I have a feeling that I have my full trust and interest in what Google is striving to do.

BCM212 – Reflection on conducting research

My research was about students feelings on their current career development. And as It turns out, plenty of students had mixed feelings, as I hypothesised. Developing a future and sharing it is quite daunting – in my opinion and experience. This is because we don’t all know what is going to become of our future, we can aim to do things but how can we guarantee a great outcome? But what we can do is our best to guide us into the best direction, and thats where UOW’s Career Hub may or may not be lacking. According to my survey that I had conducted, not all students found Career Hub useful, It may be due to the stereotypical shitty high school careers advisor we all know and had that had tarnished their reputation, or maybe the service genuinely doesn’t do a lot of justice.

I would have done my research differently, I suspect that conducting individual interviews with students in my class would have given me a wider perspective on a students career development status. And while my survey gave me more responses, I believe that interviews would have given me better quality responses than quantity – highlighting ones that supported my research hypothesis than sifting through general survey outcomes and troll responses. It would have also given me the option to record body language, which was my intention when organising the research. However, I believed that would have been a hit or miss aspect of my research as It really doesn’t capture career development but instead, feelings.

I conducted and focused on this because during my time in CRLP200 I had difficulty engaging in the main content and only wanted It for the internship opportunity. And while the subject has it’s good intentions, I believe It is bloated with unnecessary content and assessment work that barely prepared an individual for the world in the workforce. It also does not help that the subject coordinator could not provide help towards me wanting to do another internship next semester but instead suggested a UOWx program that I definitely was not interested in. Career Hub was actually the savior in my situation here as they helped me get a better answer and solution – which In my opinion is highly strange as she was the subject coordinator and careers consultant, you know, the one with all the answers for this situation…?

MEDA201 – Assessment 1 – 16mm film analogue & digital editing

Challenged by the physicality of permanent adjustments with film, I tried to work with minimal amounts of film, the damage was done to it and edit the rest to double the length of what I telecined. I was pleasantly surprised as to what showed up, especially sandpaper to black. Unfortunately, coloured markers on clear film didn’t really show up.

Sparks of green, orange and streaks of white and yellow transition in and out of the original part of the damaged black film. Fulfilling a scene that mimics flare sparks frantically escaping. I layered it over found military footage and edited the colours, speeding it up and down to add rhythmic effect. Furthermore, chroma keying particular colours to increase the flare spark look gave me options to reveal the found footage and add distortion effects and change the hue; pushing the potential of what little I had. Utilising blending modes and various effects kept rhythmic balance across the piece.

Jobs, Motivation & Preparation – BCM212 Research Proposal

Fellow students face issues, hardships, and fears frequently during the semester. What strikes me the most while my tutorial was brainstorming ideas was that there were plenty of external problems that relate to their University experience and not a lot of internal problems at University directly. Such as transportation; sure it’s the Universities responsibility to ensure students have suitable public transport and parking but consider the lack of infrastructure local and state government haven’t provided to support the ongoing issue. Like the lack of suitable train times on the South Coast line, the traffic on M1, Albion Park traffic (Thankfully, a bypass is on its way thanks to MP Gareth Ward).

However, one struck me the most. One about jobs, future prospects, and our career trajectory. Especially considering I am currently in CRLP200 (Career Ready Learning Practice) have I only just realised that so many other students are either over prepared to start Interning or severely underprepared and have no clue how to approach an employer for workplace experience.
Also, why have a class dedicated to career learning? For sure, you have the opportunity to learn extra details in obtaining, preparing and learning about career development. But why not make that available to every student of every level instead of making it for students that are a year and a half into their years at University? I think it would be more beneficial to make it available to every student at different levels because that would still fit in with UOW’s philosophy for getting students jobs straight from graduation. On top of that, It would mean one less subject to take. Extra time to fit in an Internship and no subject payment piled on to HECS.

Would this type of independence encourage more students to partake in career development and internships? Perhaps I’m wrong and enforcing career development classes Is a way of motivating students to steer in the right direction. My guess is because not every student will be bothered or motivated to do so, but why would they bother to go to University in the first place then?

Career development is so vital to us as students. It’s taught to us in High School back in Year 10 with work experience and as University creeps over for us students that decide further education is needed for their career, It couldn’t be any more relevant. Especially today with high unemployment after graduation and in general, the unemployed population. While UOW may boast “greater graduate satisfaction”, “TOP 1% FOR GRADUATES AS RATED BY GLOBAL EMPLOYERS” and “74.3%
of our bachelor level graduates in full-time employment” It doesn’t exactly give us the real insight for student career development satisfaction and If the 74.3% of those students are in jobs they aimed for, are reliable and are in their field – a bit vague isn’t it?
And for the 25.7% of students with Bachelors, I believe are like this past Arts graduate student;

I’m not bagging out my own University because there have been a plethora of successful students and stories like Sarah Doyle’s; previously a Notre Dame graduate now a Wollongong graduate and successfully attaining employment in her field.
She states that she doesn’t blame Notre Dame for her career outcomes and instead accepts the fact that the rapid change of the workforce is a major factor and could be remedied with ‘leadership’ and broader career developing type qualifications instead of rigid courses for specific careers.

I aim to find out what students are focused on in terms of career development.

Did or do you feel rushed to find a job?  – A career? Do you feel pressured doing so?
Do you feel assured that you will have future employment with your current skills?
Are you confident with the sources provided by UOW to improve your CV and employability? What matters the most, skills or WAM? Do you think the “P’s get degrees” attitude matters?

BCM206 – IOT, a breach of privacy or a new accesibility option?

The Internet of Things. In concept, It is something that is interconnected to you, what you are, your interests, what you look at on your internet-enabled devices. These devices enable and assess the relationship to you and your other devices, transgressing the borders assigned to them.

Devices such as Google Home, and heck, pretty much all Google devices are like this. Once you are signed up to the Google ecosystem, Google’s AI system learns everything, and i mean literally everything about you. Your personal information, your photos, your contacts, location, metadata. The list literally goes on pages and pages.

Going back to the Open Source Alliance vs iOS – It is clear that either way you sway with your device choice, both offer an ecosystem that allows you to be able to sync everything in their applications. They have you, pretty much, in a walled garden.
But honestly it isn’t so bad. This is the future we seem to be heading to. In my experience the Google AI as been helpful for me. From Google Assistant on my phone to tracking down where I was today 7 years ago just from the metadata of one of my photos I decided to back up on the account’s cloud.