Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Amy Elliott: Driving Forces

Advertisements will continue to play a big role in society's trends. The ways in which advertisements are used will change as technology changes.

Critical Uncertainties:
1.) Online networking websites are used as a way to have advertisements personalized and individualized based on their online profiles.
2.) The increase in demand for credit cards forces companies to be created. These companies provide databases for advertising firms to research the purchases made with individual's credit cards.

Amy Elliott

I forgot to put my name on the last two posts I did which was the 5 questions and things I've learned and the chapter one.

Chapter One

Chapter one focuses on how defining organizational communication is always changing because of important social trends and new approaches to communication that come up. In order to effectively develop the practices of communication, new principles need to reflect on the on-going changes in society. I thought the section on multicultural management is something very interesting to read about. Multicultural management should be a top priority for managers because it is important to be flexible and adaptable to employee’s different cultures in order to create a comfortable, positive work environment. Diversity and religion are important elements to have in a workplace so managers must approach their employees with an understanding of various beliefs and values that could play a role in their work. Another interesting section in chapter one was about the meaning of work. There is an increase for people to want to go to work every day and have some positive mindset about their job. I definitely agree with this in that I want to wake up every day excited to go do what my job entails. I do not think it will be like that immediately, but I am willing to work hard to get there.

5?s/ 5Answers


1. What are specific qualities are essential for leaders of public safety?
2. How does your identity at work intersect with your identity at home?
3. What is culture? How is an organization’s culture different than an actual ethnicity?
4. How is organizational culture always changing?
5. Why is it important to know how to ask good questions? What are the differences in the outcomes of a good question compared to a bad question?

Things I’ve Learned

1. I learned that the practical view responds to managers’ desire for practical advice and specific communication strategies for enhanced competiveness and increased employee satisfaction.
2. I learned an equitable transaction from a communication perspective is one in which all participants have the ability to voice their opinions and perspectives.
3. I learned that the character and complexity of organizational environment are influenced by customers, competitors, suppliers, relevant governments, and the physical setting.
4. I learned tat the term work/life conflict refers to the simultaneous influence of work on members’ lives away from work and the influence of personal life responsibilities and aspirations on members’ experience at work.
5. I learned that the expectancy theory makes three assumptions about employee behavior.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

joan thach- Mike Liebold

As a Reminder: Unfortunately i could not make it to Mike Liebold's presentation on November 20th. I had to attend training for work. Prof. Brooks allowed me to do the blog still.

In Mike Liebold's power point slides, he mostly talked about context awareness and the future. His topics are very interesting. i like the idea of urban surveilence, and military surveillance robots because our groups' scenarios was about surveilence to an extent. I liked how he included all the elements of communicating. For instance, cellular/mobile, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, TCP/IP, etc. As for sensing, he mentioned Barcodes, RFID, Mtion Sensors. The way he mentions these elements of communciating and sensing brings in ideas for the future. This also makes me wonder, what will it be like for the future? I liked his ideas about having smart rods and smart drivers. this is something we need now because of the traffic congestion that we have now. We do need an improvement.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thu-Cuc Nguyen: Assignment#2 (newspaper article)

The article I selected is Festering Wounds Impair Writers’ Talks, it is about a current issue that has been going in the entertainment industry. The reason why I chose this article because it relates to the concept in the book about “The Meaning of Work.” According to Eisenberg, Goodall and Trethewey states that “employees want to feel the work they do is worthwhile, not just a way to draw a paycheck.” And with current issue that has been going on in the last week about screenwriters who are on stike because they demanded longer contracts and higher pay.

It is important that employers carefully assess their employees on a continuous basis in order give their employees highest job satisfaction and at the same time achieve their objectives. As in the case with the entertainment industry, by not acknowledging the screenwriters’ effort and how much work they have put in to the studio, the result of it was that many screenwriters walked out on their jobs to form a strike. In addition, the meaning of work goes more than enjoying and being in a job that one thinks is worthwhile, it is a combination of having opportunities to participate in the organization in term of decision making and job security. Because screenwriters feel that their contacts are not being extended and that once the contracts are expired then there would not be anymore contracts thereafter; therefore, the purpose of organizing a strike by these screenwriters is to try to negotiate with the studios so that they can have a longer contracts that allows them the security that the job offers.

Without thinking that the job is worthwhile to do, then employees are more likely to be stressed out. As evidenced by the screenwriters in Hollywood, once employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, there are many costs that may be associated with this. For example, with the entertainment industry, due to the lack of screenwriters, there has been a lot of reruns on a couple of shows. If reruns are occurring repeatedly, then the studios may lose a lot of revenue from advertising. So, organizations nowadays need to understand what does work mean to them and provide the right person with the right job to increase employees satisfaction and productivity will follow.

Thu-Cuc Nguyen: Office Space

What can organization do to empower its employees?

Employee empowerment is an important concept that organization should strongly consider because doing so would allow the company to achieve its maximum potential in terms of being competitive and sustainable in the industry. The movie Office Space clearly indicates the lack of employee empowerment; as a result, its employees are not motivated to do the followings:
1. Get the work done.
2. Being productive.
3. Actively involved or engaged in existing or new projects due to the lack of rewarding.
4. Found no purpose of doing the work.
One way Initech could do to motivate its employees is to change the attitude of its top management. Because Peter’s boss did not show any concerns about Peter; therefore, Peter’s performance was not up to the expectations. For example, when Peter’s boss wanted him to work over the weekend, Peter’s boss did not ask whether if he actually agree to work, but the boss said that “Oh by the way, you have to coming during the weekend to finish up the work.”

After having changed the management attitudes towards its employees, a reward program should be implemented. When employees are being rewarded for a project that they have done successfully at it, it motivates the employees to perform better on the subsequent projects. As a result, the company will be able to maintain its competitiveness as well as be sustainable in the industry.

While watching the movie, Peter said that “human beings are not meant to sit in a cubicle all day.” I can relate to that because I am currently working right now, and most of the time I spend at work is sitting in a cubicle and starting at the computer. It is sometimes very depressing because it feels as if you are sitting in a box with now windows and you are stuck in their for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The movie makes a good point by saying that because I think that most people who are working in an office environment all complain about sitting in cubicle. They said that it was so isolated and that they wish somehow work would be more fun.

Thu-Cuc Nguyen: Future Scenario

The automobile industry will shift its production to produce only hybrid cars in order to be economically efficient and to maintain their competitive in the market.

Predetermined elements:
Due to limited natural resources and the rising of gas price, in the year 2017 the automobile industry will shift its production to produce only hybrid cars. Hybrid cars are more fuel efficient and they that consume less fuel. In addition, companies are being pressured by external factors such as the environment and the government; the environmentalists demand that the automobile companies to manufacture cars that pollute fewer emissions that regular cars. Hybrid cars have known to pollute less emission, up to 90%, than regular cars, so it would be more environmentally friendly to make hybrid cars.

Will car manufacturers have the capability to make all hybrid cars in the year 2017? Will the technology be more advanced so that it would be more efficient for car manufacturers to shift its production to hybrid cars? To what extent does hybrid cars would be more environmentally friendly than regular cars? Will the consumers favor hybrid cars over regular cars and will car manufacturers be prepared to tailor their productions to both the consumers’ and regulators’ demand?

Thu-Cuc Nguyen: Gattaca

The movie Gattaca portraits a male dominant society because the majority of the members in Gattaca is Male. Another observation I have is that men tend to be more persistent in term of achieving their goals than women. For example, despite the heart problem Vincent face, he was persistent in obtaining his goal. He went an extra mile to create a whole new identity for him by falsifying himself.

As far as technology is concerned, it does not necessarily mean that genetic superiority would always win. Even though Vincent’s brother had the superior genes from both of his parents, he lost to Vincent to the swimming bets. The ideology that plays out in this movie is that superior genes would be better at anything over inferior genes. It assumes that people who have superior genes are by far more intelligent and more qualified for anything over of those with inferior genes

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Intuition Networks - Positional and Product Strategies

Nicole Lopez, Alex Malliaris, Lois Rosewood, Deliah Taylor, Adam Tenbrink

Mission Statement and Strategic Positioning

At Intuition Networks we are committed to safety and innovation in transportation and we have positioned our organization with a strategy that distinguishes us in the social and economic landscape. We see ourselves as part of a cooperative effort to better the environment as well as the lives of our customers.

We continually focus on improving and maintaining the quality of our products.
Through focus group research we determined that the public was ready for a car that would drive itself so that they could safely engage in social or business conversations while riding to their destinations, either in face-to-face meetings with the other passengers in the vehicle, or through their cellphones and computers.

All of our employees are inspired by the mission we have of eliminating transportation accidents while contributing to a cleaner environment. We offer state of the art training programs which provide continuous learning opportunities to support the advancement of employees within our company. The enormous increase in our company’s stock value over the past 10 years is a direct reward for our employees who are also shareholders in our company. Based upon Stanley Deetz’ multiple stakeholder model, our company has dedicated itself to serving our customers and employees, as well as the global ecology.

Product Development

At Intuition Networks we determined that people were ready to let our company do the driving once we proved the overall safety of our networked transportation system. To meet this goal we formed strategic alliances with the National Science Foundation, the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, Intel, the award-winning Stanford University Transportation team and the Honda Research Institutes. We gained national recognition by creating robot vehicles which were then used in combat zones for transporting supplies, saving many lives of those in military service. We carried out an intelligent publicity campaign, achieving substantial news media coverage of our safe and successful networked transportation system in action. We showed how it would work in urban environments as well as on interstate freeways. We displayed a comprehensive 100% safety record in all transportation environments and our product was accepted by the public.

Our product operates using Stanford’s Velodyne and lidar technology. The Velodyne sensor uses 64 lasers that capture a million data points per second. This allows our vehicles to see a distance of 200 yards, in all directions, in 3 dimensional views. We also use lidar sensors, a light-based radar system to provide close-up vision for viewing pedestrians and other objects. In addition, our cars also use sensitive GPS systems to direct themselves.

In 2007, the number of deaths due to roadway accidents in the United States was nearly 50,000. By taking out the element of driver error, our product has reduced that number substantially. Our company has now achieved automation of private transportation in the United States and many other nations such as Japan, Canada and France.

Product Differentiation

Our product is the vehicle of the future that will revolutionize our current beliefs and change our ideals and expectations for our cars and car companies. At INTUITION, we are not simply selling you the best car out there; we are selling a service and a lifestyle. We are concerned with every individual who buys our product and ongoing communication will ensure customer satisfaction. Everyone who invests in our vehicle will be matched with a company representative who will be a personal point of contact for all of their needs. This representative will extend beyond the typical role and be more a friend to the customer than just merely a contact to the company.

Our company desires to communicate a personal interest in the lives of our customers. Through constant communication with our customers through representatives, focus groups and company gatherings, we receive better feedback and in return fully accommodate individual’s needs and desires. Part of our service will entail vehicle modifications at any point in the life of your vehicle. Whether it is for life changes or purely cosmetic, we will be there to assist our customers every step of the way. For example, if your work needs change and you would like to create a more office-like atmosphere inside your vehicle or if you get married or anticipate the birth of a child, being in direct contact with an INTUITION representative will ensure that changes are made so that your vehicle is suited to your tailored needs.

With a variety of options to choose from, customers who buy our vehicles will have complete creative freedom to design the car perfect for their desires and needs -- the possibilities are endless. Your vehicle can then become an extension of your office and with the driverless technology that our cars will possess, you can get a head start on your workday as we drive you to the office. TV’s, computers, internet access, mini bar, fridge, stove or microwaves can be installed in your vehicle. If you can imagine it, we can create it.

We strive to have more and more of our vehicles on the roads and have made them as affordable as possible. Since our customers work hand in hand with our design technicians, you are able to create the car that is within your individual budget. Federal, state and local governments have created incentives such as rebate programs to help individuals buy our personal transportation vehicles, both because of the increase in safety as well as the zero emissions pollution standards our vehicle have.

Although our driverless automobiles require very little participation by it’s occupants, “drivers” will still be required to be licensed by the state. We understand that there are times when our customers will want to drive in the traditional sense, so our vehicles will have the capability to be taken out of the “automatic” drive mode.

We believe in our product 100% and feel that our service and safety are unmatched, and we hope to see a shift towards seeing primarily our vehicles on the roadways. We can accommodate any lifestyle, any budget and all requests for vehicle design. In doing this we, INTUITION Networks, believe we have created a product that is accessible to people in all walks of life. We are a people-based organization and customer service and satisfaction are our ultimate goals.

Organizational Life of 2017

Our company, with the assistance of the Danal Organizational Consulting Group, has formulated a workplace democracy strategy that empowers employees by leveling the playing field. Traditional hierarchies that characterize so many companies have been eliminated and replaced by teams comprised of specialists who are equipped to manage themselves. Without the interference and intimidation of managers paid to supervise and report to those higher up, the voice of the worker flows unrestrained. Decisions are made collaboratively based upon the contributions of every team member. Participation on everyone's part is encouraged and rewarded. An employee stock ownership program, which encourages employees to work hard so that their share of company stock will increase in value, has been implemented. Our stocks are given as a gift to workers who demonstrate consistency in their work and enthusiastic participation in company decision-making. When monetary gain is tied to people's contributions, they are motivated to invest even more of their best efforts into their work.

Our hiring practices zero in on job candidates who are the very best fit for the positions they are hoping to fill. Individuals are not hired simply because they can get a job done. Rather, they are placed in positions where they can flourish based upon their natural strengths and abilities. We believe that work should not be drudgery, but rather an outlet for creativity and innovation. When employees are enjoying their work, they are motivated to produce even greater results and that excellence will be reflected in high quality work and strong relations between team members.

Our company strives to keep our employees as happy as possible. We recognize that everyone who is involved throughout each step of design, manufacturing, marketing, and sales deserves recognition for a job well done. Regular celebrations honoring employees at every level encourage their participation and also foster community.

Each of our employees receives full medical benefits. Ensuring that they are well cared for outside of work will guarantee that workers are at their best for work. The health of our company is dependent upon the health of its team members. Wellness workshops encourage employees to be good to their bodies and care for themselves.

Our company recognizes the work/life conflict that is present for its employees. We know that while people are on the job their minds are on what's going on at home and we are also aware that people who are at home are thinking about what's happening at work. To help remedy the work/life conflict for its employees, our company has made it one of its top priorities to create a workspace environment that is comfortable not only for those who are working but also for their families. Moms who want to spend time with their young children have the option of placing them in a day care on the premises. This childcare facility is fully equipped with cameras and other monitoring devices, and video will be streamed directly to the computer of the mothers. That way they will be at ease knowing that their children are nearby and well cared-for.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lyric and Explanation- Tonia

"These Places I've Been Fired"
These places I've been fired
'Cause I need enjoyment
Not just plain employment
These places I've been fired
I just came from John Deere
Can I get a job here?

In chapter 3, the human resources approach is introduced and addresses employee creativity and organizational structure. In this approach the goal is to motivate the employees through dialogue and increased productivity will come as a result. “Situations are symbolic constructions of reality that are individualized according to personal needs, desires, and interest” (Eisenberg, Goodall Jr., Trethewey 93). If an employee feels like they are being personally fulfilled on a job they will most likely be more committed to the mission of the organization.
In “These Places I’ve Been Fired”, by Wannabemustangjockey, the individual expresses that just being employed is not good enough. While on the job an employee wants to enjoy their work. Most employees want to feel a sense of achievement and motivation. If they lack one or both then the job becomes a duty that seems dead end. Productivity decreases and the organization suffers along with the individual. In this poem the individual gets fired most likely because they were slacking off and not meeting the expectations of the company. The person then uses their last place of employment to get a job elsewhere in hopes of a different experience. Generally most people go from job to job until they find a company that has taken on the human resources approach in creating an atmosphere of satisfied employees whose personal and professional desires are being met so that the organization in return will benefit.

Gattaca- Tonia Rivera

In the movie “Gattaca”, your genetics determined how far you were to go in life. Those who were healthy were called “valid” and those with any kind of genetic disability were called “invalid”. The “invalids” were outcast and expected to have a shorter life with little to no success. That was until Vincent came along and proved that one’s destiny lied in their own hands. In chapter 7 of Organizational Communication, identity is defined as “how individuals position themselves in the world through language and action”.
My first observation of the movie was the fact that Vincent did not allow his genetic disability to take control over his life and predict his future. He positioned himself among the elite and became as one. He did not identify with being “invalid” and therefore he did not position himself to live as they lived. Vincent spoke as an elite and was identified among the “valid”. He lived longer then was told to his mother and did more then society said that he could do. A question was asked in Organizational Communication, that I believed was answered by Vincent in the movie and that question was, “are you a character in someone else’s story or are you the author of your own? Vincent’s identity changed when he changed his position from victim to someone with the victory.
My second observation in the movie was Irene’s lack of assertiveness. When the director told her that she would be the contact person for the investigation she was not firm on the fact that it would cause her to fall behind in her work. In chapter 7, studies were done on the difference between how women and men communicate in the work environment. The result of that study implied that women did not know how to ask for what they wanted. Their approach was too willing to accept what they were given, whereas men were firm and stood their ground longer until they got what they wanted. Irene was identified as an “invalid” and submitted to that status because of her genetic disability. For that reason she was treated with less value and accepted that spot in life. She reacted quite different from Vincent, who was not going to allow anyone to convince him that he was less capable then anyone else.

News Analysis Assignment- Tonia Rivera

In the article “Should You Trust Toys From China?,” the issue of globalization surfaces when a toy gets recalled that wasn’t made in the US. Many of the toys that our children play with are made in China because of the low cost of production. Companies outsource their work to companies like China so that they are able to profit more by only having to pay employees a small fraction of what employees make in the US. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were “61 toy recalls in 2007, 19 of which involved violations of the lead paint standard” (Should You Trust Toys From China). This finding is alarming to those parents who initially had put their full trust in companies to only release those toys that had tested safe for children.
Globalization’s driving force involves money and therefore, safety is secondary. The public is demanding that safety is taken more seriously and expecting in the near future for companies to step up their safety measures. A publisher of Toy Tips stated that, “A billion toys in the country are from China. A lot of toys made in China are fine.” This publisher’s statement is not enough assurance to a parent whose child’s safety is put on the line when they buy their kid a toy made in China. The probability that the toy may not be fine raises eyebrows and issues of safety for kids. We as consumers don’t want a billion toys to be fine instead we want all the toys to be fine. No child’s well-being should be put on the line because they are playing with a toy that did not undergo rigorous testing for safety. China is not the problem, taking shortcuts is. The recalls done in 2007 should teach companies that our children are not guinea pigs and their standards must be raised in order to protect the safety of the children.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

LaPorche Carlisle-Insight on the speaker

I thought the speaker Mike Liebhold was very excited to come and share what he does and how his organization plans for the future. What really made the talk interesting was that he was enthusiatic and very insightful. I enjoyed when he talked about maps. How they are not just going to be for building but for everything we plan. I thought that was a good prediction because instead of planning out on paper and words we will have symbols and shapes. Also he was open to questions during his presentation, that was helpful because alot of what he was talking about was exciting to hear and people may have more than one question or comment. He pretty much answered all of mines without me asking. He made it more understandable on why the future is important to plan for.

Joan- Mass Advertising Scenario Story Development

Mass Advertising Scenario Story Development
In the year 2017, the world will be like a big news paper because advertisements will be everywhere. No one will care about these advertisements because during this time, it relates to your true identity without tracking what your real interests are. Advertisement will be like a shotgun effect. This means advertisers will not target anyone on a personal level based on age, economics, sex, and ethnic background. For instance, Coach is an expensive luxury brand for women’s purses. This will probably be advertised in any area no matter how poor or rich the region is. Since it will be the year 2017, people will do ordinary things people do now but with more advance technology than ever. Our group came up with an advertising company named Futurescope. We will consult our clientele with assistance with marketing their products. At our job, people will have open floor plans and open communication. For example, there would not be any cubicles. Because Utopian View will be enforced in our company, everyone is going to be equal no matter what their position is. Utopian View will improve our productivity and work life. Everyone will have better medical and benefits while working at Futurescope. Open communication will consist of opinions, evaluations, and feedback among colleagues. To have open communication improve more effectively, our organization would like to include Quality Improvement Teams, as discussed in the book. Quality Improvement Teams are people who would like to help improve client satisfaction, team performance, and reduce costs. Work will have a new meaning of a perfect environment. People will get up in the morning because they love to go to work because it is a very comfortable place.
In the larger-scale forces, this scenario will cover more social attitudes than any. Supportive Communication will be added to Futurescope. This means our organization will “emphasize on active listening and taking a real interest in employees is even more useful” (288). This will help our employees become more equal. There will be no outcast. No matter what people wear, think, act, etc it will be all equal. On the quality scale, people will be happier, stress less, and live longer because communication will be much better.
In our day and age, we are on the verge of a communication crisis. We are unhappy at work because many of us have to balance out family, work, and school. That is why 2017 will be a better place to live. No one will be in competition. We will have a more peaceful society because of the better psychological environment we are going to have in the year 2017. All stocks will be approximately the same. Most stocks will go up high in percentages. No stocks will ever go down drastically to make our economy worst. No, you shouldn’t kill yourself later because we will have a better life if you wait. Standards will only change in terms of better technology. By the year 2017, we will have better communication technology. Just like in chapter 8, Virtual Teams will be incorporated at work. Because of our clientele is geographically everywhere, Futurescope will have a range of technological tools to support our clientele geographically to efficiently work together across time and space in what are called virtual teams. Microsoft will still be around along with other word document softwares. There would not be any competition between the softwares because all companies have an equal opportunity to succeed. There will be less biased people.

Speaker on 11/20/07

I really enjoyed the speaker and one thing that I found interesting that he mentioned was the media scape. I like the idea that people in the future will be able to not only track where they are with the GPS system but also will be able to hear stories about the location. So eventually everywhere a person goes with the GPS system they will be able to get some kind of background information. Having the ability to access stories that pertain to where you are physically will make a person feel more connected. This feature will be great for people trying to find the best place to buy a house. Getting history from the stories that make up a neighborhood could play a role in helping an individual find whether or not the area would prove suitable for them.

Tonia Rivera

Speakers Comments-Lisbeth Cervantes

I thought the speaker that came to talk to us last week was great. He was obviously a very educated man and is well seasoned in his field. I thought the whole process of how they come up with future scenarios was interesting. The chart he showed us that had different pictures on it looked like a time line and I thought that was cool how they did that. I looked like a collage. I also found it interesting how he spoke about the predictions he had made in the past that have come to pass, especially when he said that he predicted in the 80's that everyone would have net capablities and how it was to be the future.

Mike Liebhold

I thought it was very cool of Mike to come and speak to our class. I feel like I never have guest speakers in classes anymore and it's always nice to hear from someone who is working in the field that you are studying. His presentation was greta and he gave us so many examples of what the institute can do and what it has to offer. The fact that they are planning things for ten or so years from now is amazing. I never think about the future that way, just what will I be doing personally, so it's nice to hear someone who is thinking about it. I loved hearing that one my day cell phone will be just as good, and possibly, better/faster than my home computer/laptop! (considering I'm on the go more than I am at home). Overall it was a great discussion and thank you Mike for taking time out of your day to speak to us here at CSUEB!

Mike Liebhold

I found Mike's discussion very interesting but at the same time I had an issue with a lot his future vision. To me it sounded as if for most of this digital tagging to take place as he described, there would have to be thousands of individuals willing to take the time and effort to actually research and post the information free of charge. This assumption seems based on there being all of the fans of this new type of media willing to take there time so others can share in this digital information gathering. Obedience really comes into play for me because I feel a lot of society is not going to care about all this tagging or virtual themeparks and are not going to participate. This will happen much in the same way many people backlash now against social networking sites like myspace, and facebook. Those wanting actual human communication may steer away from this type of technology and end up creating two groups of people: a plugged-in group, and a face-to-face contact group.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mike Liebhold

Mike talked mostly about what type of technology will be available in the future and how it can effect the world and our daily lives. Some of the concepts he discussed was Context Aware Computing, Cloud Computing, Abundant communication, Sensor Fusion, and Augmented Realities. Out of all these concepts, I found Cloud Computing to be the most interesting because my company is starting a sister company next year that is similar to that concept. It is a SaaS (Software as a Service) hosting company. SaaS hosting is where there is a network hosts a platform where software can be used in some sort of UI(user interface). I believe in the future as connectivity becomes faster this is how mobile devices will work. All of the complex computations will be done on a "Cloud Computing" network but the information will be shown on some sort of mobile device. This will make mobile devices as fast as super computers!

Guest Speaker: Mike Liebhold

Posted by Jessica Jordan

I enjoyed the class presentation by our guest speaker Mike Liebhold and particularly, I took interest in the mention of GeoRss and its application in the future. I expect that GeoRss will add to the online world becoming a part of our real life experiences. I like how GeoRss takes an Rss feed and serves to represent a location. I understand it to be a form of geo tagging where language is translated into points, lines, and boundaries to describe a location. For me, GeoRss is useful because I love to travel and with this technology I will be able to blog about a vacation and use real life criteria such as maps and images to enhance my sharing experience with others. Overall, I found the other material discussed in the PowerPoint slides to be informative and intriguing because I rarely think about the future and what is being done now to have an impact on it.

Thoughts on the speaker

I thought it was very exciting to have a speaker come in from the Institute for the Future. Mr. Brooks always talks about it and it was interesting to finally see what he is so excited about. He gave a great presentation with many examples of what the Institute has done and plans on doing in the future. One thing I found interesting was the fact that they had an intern put together some numbers to find out their predictive percentage. They admit they are not perfect but have a close predictive rate at around 70%, I believe it was. It was funny how he admitted that they totally missed the SUV trend. They never thought that people would want to buy an oversized car that consumes a lot of expensive and scarce gas. Overall, I really enjoyed the presentation and found it very useful for what we are doing in our class and in our group project.

Brook Wilt

Mr. Liebhold's Skewed Forecast of the Future

Mr. Liebhold paints an incredible journey all of us will take in the future. This future is optimistic, technology driven, and limitless to our imaginations. I don't doubt the pre-determined forces in computing that will shape our world. Machines will be faster, 'smarter' and be a 'virtual' part of our lives. We will have devices that navigates us through the maze that is the future. Mr. Liebhold illustrated this with mapping / avatar programs, marketing driven technology, and so on. It's a world in which a human and a computer shapes the path travelled.

However, I don't quite buy everything he has for sale. My view of the future is that of a holistic sense.

Whose futures are these that Mr. Liebhold illustrates? In listening to Mr. Liebhold speak, I kept thinking, "Wow, this is going to cost starship loads of money." Does everyone get to participate in his vision of the future? Where are the locations of these smart ubiquitous-computing place? Certainly Palo Alto? Or anywhere in the Silicon Valley? Perhaps. What about East Oakland? Let's include Bangalore, India and any major city in Africa.

Do all these places have the necessary infrastructures to be part of Mr. Liebhold's vision? I would argue not. Technology has and will always incorporate the 'have and have-not' element. 99% us sitting in Communication 4840 I would guesstimate, have a cell phone and a computer/laptop with DSL at home. If you didn't know, this is not the norm. A disproportion of the population don't own computers. Many more do not even have DSL capabilities in their own homes. It's a bright, shiny world if you are part of the 'haves.' If you're not, well, you all saw how Vincent had to cope in Gattaca.

It's not that I don't see Mr. Liebhold's forecasts of the future. I do. It's magnificent! However, when I see an argument heavily skewed, I have to stop and think about the flip side of the coin. Mr. Liebhold's forecast of the future is grand. But I think seeing the future in with a wider lens is more significant.

Guest Speaker: Mike Liebhold

It was a pleasure to have Mike Liebhold from the institute for the Future to come to our school and speak to us. For me personally it gave me a different perspective of how hard it is and what it takes to “see the future”. Also, it gave me a new perspective on how to examine my life for the future. It seemed like one of the main goals for predicting the future is to make a difference and to blend realities into making something work. To be able to see trends and how it can affect the future is a definite key for success. I loved the part when he said to, “don’t predict the future but forecast the future”. It makes sense because people cannot seriously predict the future because things happen but to be able to have a good forecast of it, to be prepared, it a great ability to have.
With that in mind, listening to Mike Liebhold speak, made me plan for my future differently. it made me realize that I have to see what’s going on in my life right now and apply that to where I want to be in the future. It was definitely inspiring to hear him speak because its different reading articles about the future than listening to a speaker because with hearing somebody say it, well for me, it feels more credible. Ultimately it was a great experience; not life changing but definitely something for me to consider and it opened my eyes on how to prepare for the future better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guest Speaker: Mike Liebhold

Posted By: M Davis

I was intrigued by what Mike Liebhold had to say. He provided insight into a lot of exciting new developments that we can look forward to into the not so far away future. One aspect that really stuck with me was the clarity in which images will appear on our computers. I could not believe the picture that he showed us of France. It was remarkable how picturesque it looked. Having once worked in a photo department, I remember assisiting customers print images off of their cameras or making copies of an already existing picture. The quality of those reprints were awful compared to a- at the time- normal negative print. Having to have been so concerned about picture quality I really find it remarkable how far we have come in such a short amount of time.

Another thing that caught my attention was the tool to pull up images in which you are looking for on a computer map. Being one always in need of assistance in finding my final destination, this new feature that Mike presented will help me greatly in the future. I have always wanted to get a solid sense of where I am going before I drive there and this new technology that was presented will greatly help people like me feel more confident to explore what is around us.

In conclusion, I thought that Mike presented a thorough presentation of what exciting new technologies we get to look forward to seeing in the near future. I marvel at times like these at how far we have come and how quickly we have gotten there.

Guest Speaker

Posted by: Matt Everett

Mike Liebhold gave an intriguing presentation about the future and how we can better understand ways to change and expand current technology. He lived up to his extensive background through his presentation and had a lot of key insights on ways to forecast what the future will be like. It was enthralling how we can take different concepts and apply them to work around our lives and have technology better understand us as individuals. Right now machines do what we tell them to do, but from his presentation the future seems as if it will be dedicated to having machines revolve around us and our feelings.
After his lecture it made me realize how advanced our society will be in such a short amount of time. I already thought that our world of technology was so advanced but after the presentation it made me realize how technology is in the beginning stages of the life cycle.

Part of me believes that these changes in technology are great for society but another part feels that we might be putting our social skills at risk. Part of life is exploring for ourselves and learning from past experiences and if machines start to do all the work, then we will never be able to learn new things about ourselves. These types of changes in technology would have a devastating effect on people that are born around these times. They will be brought into a world that is not an “ideal” setting and can cause long term social effects. At the same time I think it is great to see our world grow and it just reminds me that anything is possible if we put our minds to it.

Katrena Uelese- Mike Liebhold

Guest Speaker-Mike Liebhold
I enjoyed the presentation by Mike Liebhold for a few different reasons. It related to the topics of future and organization that we discuss in this course, Comm 4840. I love that technology is advancing and to imagine what new gadgets can do for us, and how they can change our lifestyle. I am taking a class that focuses on technology, and it stresses that technology can shape the way we live, but we can shape the way technology is used. The more the speaker discussed this new form of technology, the more concerned I became about confidentiality and social skills. It seems that if a machine knows everything about us, there is nothing left for us to discover ourselves. Confidentiality raises an issue with technology that gives out information without having to ask for it. Although this will make life more efficient, it also seems it makes humans more lazy. The future of technology is always changing and allowing us to do more, access more, and create more than we ever could before. Overall, I definitely enjoyed this presentation, and enjoy thinking about endless possibilities.

Lara Hodgson- Reflection on Guest speaker

Reflection on Guest Speaker
I thought that the guest speaker was interesting. I think that we are not far from the advanced technology that he was speaking about. I was wondering about the privacy though. If we are able to have these devices that transform reality and the virtual reality together and are able to have a list of information that is connected to each individual, would that be an invasion of privacy? I think they are viewing the device more of a video game to run around town trying to fight other individuals but as a device to know or remember knowledge of individuals may be a bit much.
Privacy is an important issue, I don’t know if maybe I misunderstood the device but from what I remember he said that you are able to pull up information o individuals to find out what type of person they are. There demographics would be displayed along with personal information. Even if you are able to add the information to the person, things are constantly changing with each person. This would be take personal interaction away and combine interaction with technology. I think the device would be a fun technology gadget but I don’t think it should be used for every interaction. I think the device would be great for a recreational use.
Overall I think the guest speaker was great and I would have been interested to hear more of how the device is used and about how far down the line does he think the device would be introduced to society. Also, how the device works and when would it be used. Is the device just for holding personal information about people you know? It seems more of a memory holder. Does the device hook up to the internet as well? Would this device be replacing PC’s and computers?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mike Liebhold (IFTF) - Jennifer Medina

Mike Liebhold's talk about Blended Realities: Work In Progress emphasized key points that I have learned about in many of Professor Brooks classes. Mike Liebhold talked about the importance of helping people think systematically about the future. He explained that The Institute for the Future (IFTF) does not predict the future; they forecast what the future will be like. This forecast process involves foresight which includes sensing, insight which includes making sense, and lastly taking action.

I really enjoyed learning about the idea of context-aware environments. Mike Liebhold explained that in the future he imagines technology working simultaneously with our personal calendars, so that stuff is done for us before we get to our locations. This would be amazing because this would eliminate some daily stress from our busy and hectic lives. I can imagine that my assistant has called in sick for the day. Instead of stressing myself out by thinking about that 8:00AM meeting that I need to physically prepare for, I walk into my office and find my meeting agenda, presentation, notes, and everything else that I need for my next meeting available. These resources are ready without me having to press a button or rely on a person to get them ready for me. How grand life would be!

Thank you Mike Liebhold for taking the time to share some of your forecasts with us.

Errin Poston-Guest Speaker Mike Liebhold

It was a really enlightening presentation. I became interested when he spoke about the future and how,"we dont predict the future, but we can forecast it." Overall they like to think about what the future will be like.He was giving people the power to control thier own realities. I could relate when Mr. Liebhold mentioned wild cards-which are things that happen unexpecantly!! Technology has thrown our society numerous wild cards, and now with the simple touch of a persons finger people can have access to a world unlimited. He also spoke about Blended Realities where digital info. is visual. There are three kinds of visual info: maps, web pages(virtual stickers/notes) and censored data(invisible info).(the use and exposure of the three will increase within 2 years)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Alex Malliaris - Mike Liebhold

By spending time thinking about the future it will enable us to be proactive in our adaptations. Like it or not, the future is coming our way. We can draw off of the insights of professionals in various fields in order to anticipate developments. There will always be "wildcards" which suprise us, but generally we can do a fairly accurate job of mapping out the future.

I was fascinated by the possibility of grocery stores keeping track of purchases and passing them along to health insurance companies. To think that computer systems can potentially be that interconnected is amazing. Revelation of this information would likely be helpful for medical care providers to know because it would enable doctors to coach their patients about ways to help themselves.

Computers have become incredibly powerful and even greater improvements are coming quickly. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, allowing interconnectedness between systems. Accuracy is sharpening and graphics are becoming far more realistic. The world wide web is being transformed into a geospatial web.

Information about places will be recorded and kept so that years of news can be retreived for comparison. Location is becoming increasingly important.

I was struck by the fact that we are in "the future." This time that has forever existed only in our dreams and imaginations is here. We are living out what we've always hoped for and it's exciting to be growing up and becoming and adult during this wonderful time of discovery and innovation.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Michelle H.-Mike Leibhold

I really enjoyed Mr. Leibhold’s discussion on ubiquitous computing. I was really surprised with how many concepts and ideas he had discussed that my group had also discussed for our future scenario. It was encouraging to see we are on the right track. Mr. Leibhold seemed very optimistic about the future as far as how technology would interplay with our lives. Many of our discussions in class had looked at the darker side of technology so this was refreshing to see his point of view.

The idea of geoannotations was very interesting to me. I can definitely see how our society is moving towards this. It seems to be a natural extension of my space and blogging, where people can share their pictures as well. I am currently planning a trip to Hawaii, and would love to have something like this. I could get pictures from actual visitors from of different islands and make a better decision about which I would want to see.

Digital tagging products are another concept Mr. Leibhold discussed that I thought could be very beneficial for consumers. Of course, I am sure businesses will find uses for it as well. I have been in the grocery store countless times and unable to decide between two products or even unable to find a product. Especially with the recent concerns parents are having about the lead content of toys, I could imagine parents using this technology to look up which toys have had recalls or customer complaints. I think this would further force companies to be responsible with what the put on the market. It could be like the Better Business Bureau on steroids. It would also take comparison shopping to the next level allowing consumers to be even more powerful.

While Mr. Leibhold presented lots of potential products and innovations, these were the ones that stood out the most to me. I think it confirms at lot of what my group has discussed and it is great to have an expert opinion back up our own ideas. In all our in class discussion of the future, this was the first time where I am actually looking forward to what future technology may do for our lives. I am really glad Mr. Leibhold was able to come and I hope Mr. Brooks will continue to bring more speakers like him for his future classes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lois R - Mike Liebhold

Ubiquitous Computing presentation by Mike Liebhold of the Institute of the Future

Mike Liebhold’s presentation gave many real examples of the technology he was illustrating which helped us to see what he termed the ‘blended realities’ between online and offline worlds. He discussed both current applications of computer technology and probable applications in the future.

He gave us a brief history of how he entered the future predicting business, which began in part with an article he published in Stuart Wilde’s Whole Earth Catalog in 1977 on the future of television.

According to Liebhold, the goal of the Institute of the Future is to think systematically in order to “move proactively in advance.” The Institute gives broad 10-year forecasts for the future, and over the past 30 years these forecasts have been about 70% accurate, according to Liebhold. He discussed the impact of ‘wildcards’ which are incidents that have a low probability of occurring in the future, but which have a high impact if they do occur. Hurricane Katrina and 9-11 are examples of wildcards.

Through his work at the Institute, Liebhold collaborates with social scientists and focuses his research by carrying out ethnographies, and he also gains information through workshops and interviews with experts from various fields.

He talked about GPS (Global Positioning System) technology and how location readings are now accurate within about 20 feet. He said that with the technology of ‘sensor fusion’ that GPS will be accurate within a ‘sub-millimeter.’

Through GPS, our cellphones or other handheld devices can keep track of where we are and provide us with information tailored to our location. For instance, as one possible application that Liebhold described, if we are looking for an apartment we could program our handheld device so that as we travel through a neighborhood our screen would give us photos and details about the apartments that are available in that area.

One technology that is now available is known as ‘psycho-geographic walks’ where your handheld device knows where you are walking based on GPS and you can listen to recordings of people who are telling stories about that area as you walk.

He also discussed current applications of technology like ‘telemedicine’ where a doctor can be thousands of miles away but he is directing an operation through the ‘telepresence’ of an interactive video.

He talked about applications related to retail purchasing, for instance our handheld device could read the barcode of a product and tell you whether there are any safety warnings, or what price that product is selling for at other retailers, for instance.

One possible application in the future that Liebhold mentioned could be that of our local grocery store sending a record of our purchases to our health or life insurance company.

He talked about the concept of Avatars dressed in costumes that we create in programs like Second Life and Yahoo and how others could look at us through the viewfinder of their handheld device and see what our Avatar looks like. We could also have computer-mediated conversations where we can display different costumes on ourselves as if we were live Avatars.

He also talked about privacy concerns related to others finding us through GPS locations broadcasted through our handheld devices, and mentioned a system that Yahoo is developing where we can reveal our location only to those whom we want to share it with.

I found Mike Liebhold’s talk to be enlightening throughout the hour that he spoke, and he gave me many insights into what technology is now capable of as well as probable directions for the future.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nicole, Deliah, Alex, Lois, Adam

Low technology & High community: Public Transit Hell

In a world in which technology has reached a plateau and the continuity amongst one another has accelerated, our new society would become a more pleaseant place. Despite the toils and strife of working hard with little technological advances to aid us, our pastimes will be filled with joy. Evening gatherings are commonplace and frequent social events have become the new status quo. Our sense of individualism, self-interest and greed has left our society and has been replaced by humility and selflessness. With the advent of camaraderie through our societal actualizations of self worth and the development of a socialistic government, we are an overall happy culture. Public transportation, such as buses, BART and railways expand, exceeding all expectations with improved, larger, and more desirable interiors which in turn increases community use. This become a more social and lively atmosphere for travelers and commuters. Carpooling and ride-sharing are the new norm. Despite living in a near utopia, the majority of our work force is more focused on manual labor due to the motionless state of technology. Education has become the exception as a mere 20 percent of the societies labor force is elevated to using their intellect in contrast to their backs.

Integrated Networks Quadrant for Team Intuition
The population of the United States exhibits stronger interdependent values. People are more committed to each others' well being, both in business and personal communications. Family members live closer to one another so they can help with responsibilities like childcare and eldercare, and neighbors are more helpful to each other as well. The physical and emotional health of the U.S. population improves due to this strengthening of interdependent social support systems. Pollution levels are low because electric vehicles are prevalent and green technology has replaced the coal-burning electric power plants in the United States. Most electricity is made with solar cells since technological advances have brought the cost down. Most homes have solar cell electric panels with systems for storing electricity and cars can be plugged in to wall sockets for charging. Through technological improvements in the process of ethanol production, many electric-hybrid cars can also run on clean-burning ethanol made from agricultural waste which had been burned in fields and orchards every year after harvest; this further reduces the level of particulate-matter air pollution. Robotics and electronic communication technologies have advanced to the level where vehicles can reliably communicate with each other in an integrated navigational network, creating a system of driverless cars and busses on our roadways. The factor of driver error is eliminated from vehicle operation and riding in personal automobiles or public transit becomes a safe form of transportation with no fatalities or injuries due to accidents.
Podville = individualistic & sufficient technology

Our society has evolved, yet devolved. Technological innovations have excelled and we, as a society, have grown very individualistic. Our standard acts are justified merely by our own aspirations for self wealth and living in a higher end of comfort than our forbearers, but also out of fear and self preservation. We care not for the benefit of each other, nor that of the community, only those whom are part of our
immediate family, and our personal circles.
Money is abundant due to high inflation which occurred from the collapse of the housing market. This act forced the federal reserve to lower interest rates, with hopes of allowing the hosing market to settle without having to foreclose a quarter of the middle class. This action had an adverse affect of forcing that middle class to live on credit instead, and eventually the housing market reached a negative plateau. People owed amounts nearing one-million for houses which were valued for less than half. Bankruptcies became commonplace, and owners of apartment complexes thrived, due to the high demand for immediate housing. From the failure of managing personal finances by investing in real estate instead of the societal infrastructure, selfishness and greed has endured. The ‘baby-boomer’ generation clings to the hope of retrieving social security, but do the a cutback in the labor force the age of initial withdrawal extended to sixty-six, forcing the elderly to continue to work and save. Our final financial strife is our added problem of imports. We continue to shop and support companies which outsource virtually all of the labor force which continued to degrade our fragile economical society. Sadly, even after we continue to purchase low quality items from these giants, our government then borrows moneys in the trillions from these same countries in order to continue the fa├žade of self security.
Finances are not the only strife which we suffer upon. Despite how every other developed country has converted to a national healthcare system, Americans have become overly self-contained and scared of the risk of increase taxes in order to pay for a universal health care. This threat has forced our individualistic society to fear activities involving any risk of injury, which has also had the adverse affect on our society. Obesity and/or diabetes affects one in three over the age of forty, and forty percent of children under fifteen directly suffer as well. Not all is evil and wretched though, there are still highlights to this future society.
Despite the tough lives in which we live, technology is still soaring. California has become the technological capital of the world, and investors and venture capitalists from all over flock to Silicon Valley in order to finance new technologies. Due to the housing market collapsing, educated individuals from Germany, India, China, Korea and other prosperous countries are coming to the United States and purchasing houses at costs far under what they were a decade ago.
Crime has escalated, and the impoverished are desperately seeking a means to elevate themselves financially. Community colleges are overflowed and commuter colleges are in high demand. From the increase in traffic, cities want to better the roads, and public transportation, however being that crime is on the rise with unemployment in these cities, and the commuters whom attend these schools live far out of the city, the tax revenue dwindles making these upgrades impossible. City finances are instead allocated to better fitting the police and increase the size of the jails and prisons. The problems perpetuate one another and a pleasant solution is not in sight.
Scenario Story Development

In the future, we will live in a world wherein people are individualistic. Although we’ve all heard of the benefits of carpooling and riding public transportation, we continue to focus primarily on our own convenience. It may be better for the environment when we share rides and coordinate our commutes with the mass transit schedule, but more important than preservation of our earth is the preservation of our sanity.
“Chaotic” would be the most fitting word to describe the lives of typical American family members of tomorrow. Expectations of students and employees alike have skyrocketed due to advances in technology. Not only do we experience the pressure of competition with one another, but also we must strive to prove ourselves better than the machines we have developed to enhance our lives. Computers and the ever-shrinking devices that we utilize to communicate with one another have made us more easily accessible than ever before. Although peace and quiet are sought for, they cannot be found because phone calls, text messages and emails are constantly crying out for our attention.
The war in the Middle East that dominated our occupation for so many years has finally settled down and we are able to refocus our nation’s attention on more innovative ways of powering our vehicles. Gas is slowly becoming a thing of the past as we transition to more natural sources to fuel our cars. Steadily we are changing the way that we get around and are becoming more eco-friendly. The technological advances of the past decade have primarily been made in the field of medicine and communication, but transportation has emerged as the popular field for progress.

Mike Liebhold By: Cindy Forni

To be honest I found it all very interesting and unique. It seems like a very fun and very detailed job. What also stood out was the section on the "sense maker," where they use a stategic approach to try and figure out what the future holds for us, first with FORSIGHT, INSIGHT, ACTION, and MAKING A DIFFERENCE. All in all for lack of better words, it was cool.

Thank You :)

Gattaca 2 observations and insights.....Lisbeth Cervantes

Insights and observations:
1. I observed that this film had the whole concept of "Big Brother" down. Our society today is lightweight getting toward keeping an eye on people. When we are born we are given numbers to identify ourselves. These numbers knows as Social Security Cards, allow other people to steal our identity, look up our past criminal records, look up our credit scores, our past driving records, basically everything personal that the government wants to control is available through that number. In the movie Gattaca it all has to do with the blood type that one has. Discrimination is prevalent in that world through genetics, just like the world we live in now, the color of ones skin, which is also genetic, determines what kind of future we will have. The white man who was a janitor had no power, in fact he bowed down the people that worked in the science lab because he felt worthless. This used to happen amongst blacks and whites back in the 18-1900's. There are many similarities between their world and our world today.

2. In regard to the terms from chapter 6, they created an ideology that if one could be made perfect then the world could advance faster, this would also allow the government to place people in their "proper" places in regards to jobs. Hegemony, which gives the elite class to basically rule the world, was given to those who were born genetically perfect. They were the ones who made the decisions in regards to society and living standards. Power, which is usually given to the haves, in this case belonged to those who possessed the greater genes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lara Hodgson: Gattaca Insights

*Submit two detailed insights/observations relating the film to the reading.

1. I thought it was interesting on how much you can determine from a person based on their genetics. A strand of a person’s DNA can tell you all their weaknesses and physical problems. This intrigued me because a person’s ideology would be based around what they are told of themselves when they are born. The first insight or observation that I made was that since it is determined when you are born what job you can and cannot have, how old you will be when you die, illnesses that you will encounter, and so on; then through your genetics it will be in some way telling the future. I believe that no one can tell the future because knowledge of the future can give you the power to change the future, as Ethan Hawke’s character, Vincent Freeman, did throughout the film. It made me think, in the film were the other characters living life to what they want or just living to go through the process of what they are told to be when they are born? Also, Vincent overcame what was predicted of him self and exceeded, in his studies, lifespan, and so on; which means there was a flaw in the genetics system which made it impossible to tell what people were going to do with their lives.
“There’s no gene for fate,” quoted by Vincent in the film. I think as much as people try to play God, they can’t. This quote sums up everything that I was relating to the film. That no matter how great since gets, to even determine your perfect child, you can’t determine what fate is. If everything is handed to you when you are born then that takes away the element of surprise. It gives life no meaning except to be a robot to the path that is already laid out before you. In that case you only have two options take the road given t you or try and change it. Since most people believe something they could see with their own eyes they would more then likely just take what’s given to them. In that case, people would just be living to what expectations are given to them. If they are expected to succeed and be the model human being that is what they will strive to be, if they are expected to be a slacker then that’s what they will do. Knowing what lies ahead for you would take the meaning away from life, which would mean that you would only live to die.

2. The second insight or observation that was as the parents they were able to choose the gender and characteristics of the child they were going to have. In this I would think that the most traditional families in most case would end up choosing a male over female in order to hold the family name. Also, if this were possible eventually they would be able to weed out all illness from people in general by making them into perfect model human beings and eventually female would only be seen to give birth to babies since they are inseminated. According to hegemony people would pick the predominant influence, in this case male over female. Whatever gives them more power would be the smart way to get ahead in life. If this were possible, I would think that in the close future after they were able to determine everything about you through your genes the eventually the society and countries would be made of what is known as the supreme being. Everyone would be clones of each other.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Future Scenario Project

Posted By: Jessica Jordan, Nate Jacowitz, Marie Demers, and Rena Blake

Yay Goup! It turned out good.

Cal State East Bay Communication Students visit The Institute For The Future

Students from my research methods and organizational communication courses attended a talk at the FutureCommons, a public forum initiated by the Institute For The Future last year that features speakers in industry, academe, and IFTF on forces shaping the future. The turnout by students exceeded my expectations. As my student Jennifer Medina put it; "it's about time for us to see this Institute you speak about in your classes!". For some students, it was the first time they had set foot in Palo Alto; for others, it revealed a new type of workspace for thinking and creativity--a loft like setting with no cubicles and comfortable spaces for collaboration.

It was great to see San Jose State anthropology professor, Jan English-Lueck, who worked with IFTF on a study of the impact of new media on Silicon Valley life.

Andrea Saveri, one of the directors at IFTF and one of its leading anthropologists, welcomed us and had everyone introduce themeslves as we settled in for a fascinating talk by professor Sue Thomas, Professor of New Media in the Institute of Creative Technologies and the Faculty of Humanities at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

She spoke on the subject of Transliteracy:
Transliteracy: crossing divides
Transliteracy involves the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks. It is not a new behavior but has only been identified as a working concept since the internet generated new ways of thinking about human communication. To date, the concept has largely been developed by Professor Sue Thomas and her colleagues at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, England, but it is an open source idea ripe for expansion. This talk discusses examples from history, orality, philosophy, literature, and ethnography and asks whether transliteracy could provide a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the twenty-first century.

We even viewed scenes from Singing in the Rain as an example of actors struggling to transition from working in silent films to the talkies, a period of learning new literacies. I can't wait to take more students across the bay to explore IFTF and other sites of interest connected to new media and organizational communication! This energized me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lois R - Gattaca

Feminine Organizational Communication

Gattaca had a very authoritarian style of management, which was evidenced when Irene was asked to leave her regular job duties and become the liaison for the police detectives who were carrying out their investigation. She resisted, wanting to remain a more integral part of the space program, but her supervisor became abrupt and stern in his demand. This shows the stereotypical male style of communication as discussed in Chapter 7, where men “treat conversation as a hierarchically-ordered space in which they can demonstrate and vie for status” (204). This is called ‘report talk’.

Where men are vying for status in an organization, women see the organizational structure as a less hierarchical network where they focus on connections, in what is called ‘rapport talk’.

There is expanding agreement among researchers that the traditional style of management which values command and control just doesn’t work as well in the complex and dynamic organizational systems of today.

Early research seemed to indicate that the feminine style of communication was not suitable for organizational life, especially management roles; but some scholars have shown how ‘women’s ways’ can be useful, for instance by maintaining networked relationships in a supportive style the whole organization can achieve a greater sense of flow through congeniality.

An organization like this would value messages of support (“That must be difficult for you”), reciprocity (“I felt frustrated when that happened to me too”), and connection (“Would you like to talk some more about it?”). This is contrasted with the stereotypical male style which is primarily solution-oriented advice that discourages emotional connection.

Our text references the research of Reuther and Fairhurst which speaks of the possibility of defining power “in a way that enhances, rather than diminishes, the power of everyone” (206). Many women have learned how to balance career with family life and they could perhaps share some valuable insights with men on that topic as well.

Our authors say that if this more feminine style were more openly valued in an organization the climate would be more supportive and co-workers, including managers, would value the quality of the relationships within the organization as well as the goal of productivity.

Organizations with a large customer-service component have trained their employees in supportive communication skills because it improves the productivity of their business. As a sales professional I have experienced company-sponsored trainings in communication skills which focus on validating the customer's views, speaking support messages such as “I can hear that this has been difficult for you” etc.

Corporations have instilled these ‘feminine’ listening skills because they are actually more productive. It takes less company time to validate and support the customer in one or two sentences since that customer will not lose his or her temper and take up more valuable company time. Furthermore, it usually only takes one or two brief supportive statements for a customer to then be open and ready to hear a suggestion. That customer will also be more likely to refer new business to the company. So when an organization sees that more feminine communication skills will improve the bottom line, employees are trained in these skills.

Work and the Disabled

The movie Gattaca showed the Invalids like Vincent who were genetic time-bombs but didn’t show anyone with obvious physical or psychological disabilities. In the scenes of the cleaning crews that Vincent worked with, everyone looked physically able. Gattaca did not show anyone in a wheelchair who had a job, for example. Jerome was in a wheelchair, but he still could have worked at a job. Gattaca seemed to imply that no one with obvious physical disabilities worked at all.

Even our textbook is visibly vacant of references on integrating the disabled into an organization. In Chapter 9 I found a reference to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines which mentions disability in part of the definition of harassment, “Slurs about sex, race, religion, ethnicity, or disabilities” (298), but that section doesn’t say anything further about disabilities; instead, the authors chose to follow this definition with a four page discussion on sexual harassment.

Chapter 9 also discusses ‘trait theory’ in which “physical attractiveness is a key component -- and an enduring one -- of effective leadership.” According to trait theory, the current physical ideal for a leader is a tall white male. Vincent had two of those characteristics and he underwent surgical extensions of his legs in Gattaca to meet the third component. The authors of our textbook do indicate this theory is underscored by “democratically dubious and clearly flawed social values” (275). What is missing from our text, however, is discussion on integrating those who do not meet the current ideal of physical attractiveness into organizational culture, or ways to go about viewing them as potential leaders.

Ideals of attractiveness for women are focused on sexual attractiveness. Women who are dressed modestly in conservative business attire do not meet this societal conception of ‘attractiveness’ so they are in a no-win scenario. If they try to meet our current societal ideal of female attractiveness, they will only receive sexual propositions, not invitations to participate in the leadership roles of an organization. Hillary Clinton is fighting this societal perception. She consistently dresses in modest business attire, and she has been attacked for not being ‘attractive’ enough.

As long as our society considers tall, white and male as the ideal physical appearance for leaders, then women, minorities, and others who do not meet this ideal may be barred from public leadership roles, or more substantively, may be barred from being taken seriously or even listened to in an organization. Chapter 5 of our text discusses “Socialization: Integrating New Members into Organizational Cultures” and it defines socialization as “learning the rules that guide what members of a culture think, do, and say” (146). This sounds like a one-way process of the newcomers conforming to established rules. Our textbook doesn’t speak at all about a process of accommodations for the special needs newcomers may have.

As I searched our textbook for a discussion of ways to go about challenging the dominant hegemony of tall white male leadership I discovered ‘extraorganizational networks’ in Chapter 8. Here the authors discuss how some marginalized groups such as African Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ, and religious groups such as Muslims are creating their own networks and providing mentors and support for one another in their quest for recognition in mainstream organizations. Our textbook mentions a gathering of African American members of corporate boards of directors, where the directors were reminded of their obligation to continue to bring up issues of diversity, inclusion, and empowerment at their board meetings (262). No mention was made in this section about disabled employees, but I imagine that this idea of extra organizational networks could be applied to the disabled, creating networks that provide support such as disabled mentors who are successful in mainstream companies.

Gattaca - Chris Stroud

Gattaca helps magnify and give the perspective of how everyday discrimination can possibly perpetuate into orchestrated and socially acceptable discrimination in the future. Currently most discrimination is frowned upon and whatever discrimination there is it is generally not the norm and is brushed under the rug to be either hidden or ignored but we are presented with a frightening insight on how far the human race may possibly go in the pursuit of perfection and excellence. If the ideas in the movie are carried on for longer I suspect that ‘god babies’ will no longer exist and certain social or government pressures or even laws will prohibit natural procreation because if discrimination naturally progresses to be more acceptable then that seems like the next logical step in its evolution. The mind set of ‘god babies,’ the perpetuated individuals in them movie, had the thought process of Vincent ; “For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I'm suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I'm not leaving... maybe I'm going home.” Society not only thought of them as nuscense but so did they. Since my theory is that discrimination is on upward path with out and signs of leveling off or even decreasing then what type of world would we live in where genetic discrimination is not enough?

Hegemony is defined as the “preponderant influence or authority over others.” What better way to describe the overall theme of this movie? Power is given to those who a predisposed to it before thay are even born; “We want to give your child the best possible start. Believe me, we have enough imperfection built in already. Your child doesn't need any more additional burdens. Keep in mind, this child is still you. Simply, the best, of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result.” Those who are not given power either stay where they are or there are some, Vincent, for instance who strive to be part of the higher and more privileged class. This correlates with how out society operates today. Either we accept or stature in life or work twice as hard as everyone else in order to ‘change our stars’ so to speak.

Joan Thach. Gattaca Assignment

The Gattaca movie relates to ideology, hegemony, and power. Interesting enough, the film had a perspective of people no longer prejudice against skin color, but prejudice against genetics. The ideology was that, who ever had great genetics are bound to be the best and can qualify to work in high position jobs. There are many forms of power portrayed in Gattaca. Reward power was demonstrated when Vincent who pretended to be James Monroe, was rewarded formally to go into space because of his hard work and great genetics. Coercive power was enforced when Irene's boss told her to do as he says or she'll lose her job. Refferent power was mentioned vincent is willing to do what james ask to be like him becuae he is a charismatic leader. Expert power was demonstrated the first time vincent met james. There was a gentlemen who introduced them. He was the expert about vincent stealing his identity. Vincent was respecting his expert knowlege to be like james. Finally, Legitamite power was showed in the movie when vincent complies with jame's wishes because james holds a high-level position in hierarchy.

Gender differences played a great part in Gattaca. Whether it was in work/life, organizational performances, gendered organizations, and gender narratives of popular culture. Since tannen explains in the book that men report talk while women rapport talk, it is very true. For instance Irene would make connections with the boss when he told her what to do. Or when the investigators asked for helped, she helped to provide support. When Irene was with Vincent, she would show personal and concrete details when she conversated. Men report talking was demonstrated through out the whole movie. It seemed like men were in higher power than the women in their organization. Men would automactically have knowlege, skill, and ability to do anything they wanted. There were a few women like that but more men than women. Irene also seemed more nurturing because she helped with all the petty stuff when someone would ask her to. Micropractices was performed through out most of the movie. this was when vincent had to work to change his identity everyday to live as james monroe. he performed what was the norm of society.

Is it happening today? yes, to a certain extent. we still have some gender discriminations in organizations. Sometimes we have genetic discriminations as well. for instance, when someone is disabled. someone might think the disabled person is incapable of doing his work, when really he/she could be really talented. Also, if you are applying in the model or acting industry, genetics does matter. It seems like not everyone can make it to hollywood or be a model. there are some guidelines like height, talent, and looks which is some what of genetics.

Sorry i have no quotes. i just recaped on what i remembered from the movie. I hope that is okay.

GATTACA - Hirotaka Mizuno

The film gattaca was the story which represents one of our futures. In this future, people do not discriminate others because of the differences of race. However, people discriminate others based on their gene.
This movie applies to frame1 which is gender differences at work. In the film, Vincent and other male basically engaging report talk. The ways they express their feeling was often direct and assertive. Also, they tend to demonstrate their skill, ability, and knowledge. Female uses rapport talk. Even though Irene was suspecting of Vincent as criminal throughout the film, she was still supportive to Vincent.

Another frame which is applying to the film is gender identity as organizational performance. Irene was one of the few female in the film. However, she was acting as if she won’t let anybody feel that she is female. In the working place, she always wears black suit, and knit her hair tight. According to our text, micropractices refer to the moment-to-moment behaviors, actions, and communication messages that we use to bring ourselves into being in everyday life. It looks like Irene was really careful about each of her action and behaviors.

I believe the term that represents the relationship between the film and the three aspects of communication ( Ideology, hegemony, and power) was “competition.” In the film, everyone always looks serious at the working place. They work hard, and most of them are thinking to be the best with their great gene. There were scene of swimming competition between Vincent and Anton. In this future, competition might have much stronger meaning than present in terms of proof their identity.

Gatteca Film Concepts

The futuristic film "Gatteca" has many aspects about it that can be related back to our book "Organizational Communication, Balancing Creativity and Constraint." The first concept that I will be looking at is Gender Differences at work. In the film, there are many(Eisenberg/Goodall 221 examples of gender discrimination. First the overall look of the film was very dark and simplistic almost masculine, and the workplace in which Jerome the lead character works is very male driven. There are only two women in the film who have any lines, Irene and Jerome's mother.
Irene is talked to by her boss at one point in the film in a very bad manner, he uses and assertive talking style to tell her to be the "middle-man" with the detectives who are overlooking the murder. Irene is concerned with her work and her boss has no concern with her worries, out book tells us that, "A woman might interpret a man's instrumental approach to troubles talk as a move to cut her off or diminish her experience." (Eisenberg/Goodall 204) In Irene's case she was be cut off and diminished by her boss.
Also, I felt that Jerome was sort of brave and reckless in the film, trying to overcome his genetic disability's while Irene was the voice of reason and acted in a calm manner throughout the film. She had a genetic heart condition, but did nothing about it, she was more interested in love in the film, while Jerome was interested in challenges and success.
Another theme in our book that really relates to the film Gatteca is Negotiating Multiple Identities, which is exactly what Jerome/Vincent does in the film. While the book looks at gender and race discrimination the film deals with genetic discrimination. Specifically, "organization members may negatively judge persons who do not meet or seem to meet expectations related to white, middle-class values and attitudes." (Eisenberg/Goodall 221) In the film Gatteca Vincent with his genetic makeup would not be able to work at the place he worked at, so he went to the extreme of making himself another person (Jerome) in order to fit the mold. Our book tells us that "Negotiating multiple identities simultaneously is an ongoing project for most individuals."(Eisenberg/Goodall 221)The film Gatteca shows us how difficult is was for Jerome to fit into his made up identity, and it almost cost him his freedom.

Gattaca Insights

In the film “Gattaca”, the society in which they live has created an ideology that only the strongest will survive, that only people who have perfect, or almost perfect, DNA can perform in certain jobs and succeed in life. In chapter six, we read the section about how ideologies can act as a form of control. In Gattaca people believe that the elite group consists of the group with the most perfect DNA and no one is to question this ideal. However, as we see in Gattaca the idea of manufactured consent, in which employees, or in this instance members of society, adopt and enforce the legitimate power of the social organization and the system in place. In some cases an organization may experience resistance. In the film we can see a few cases in which people demonstrate resistance to the power. The janitor who helps Vincent to destroy his evidence by taking the cup that he had drank out of, when Irene doesn’t speak up to the officer and protects Vincent’s secret and again in the end when the doctor sees from his urine sample that he is an invalid, yet says nothing and changes the screen to show him as a valid. These are a prime examples of resistance to power and control.

Another way in which the “social policy” of this community is enforced is through various forms of surveillance and power. Before Vincent can be hired on at Gattaca, he has to go to an “interview”, which consists of a urine analysis to determine his genetic make up. In addition, in order to get in and out of work blood samples must be taken in order to confirm his identity, by doing things of this nature employees are subject to constant surveillance. In Gattaca they have taken information technology to the next level, there are even stations where you can have someone else’s DNA tested for genetic superiority. In this respect an organization, or society exerts coercive control over its’ members by giving the perception that genetic weakness leads to poorer work assignments and living conditions.

Gattaca( hadia siddiqui)

Gattaca is a movie which gives one perspective of what the future will be. DNA “No longer determined by social status or the color of your skin, no, we now have discrimination down to a science.” To day people could basically buy whatever traits they would like for their baby. In movie the character (Vincent) was conceived as a “natural birth” because his parents wanted it that way, but their next child, Anton, was a valid. Gattaca is about an organization that shows everything is base on individual DNA and determines where you belong to society or not and in order obtain your goal you have to have perfect DNA or have the ideal identity.
Gattaca is similar to today is society and the future that is only open to those with the “right things or the right identity. Here a good example, “You still don’t understand do you? When they look at you they don’t see you anymore, they only see me.” In chapter seven we discussed that identity was relatively fixed and stable effect of biology or socialization which means what we are base on our identity and we create that through communication in everyday interactions. In this chapter the author also talks about how our accomplishment as an identity that is accomplished through “doing” rather “being”.

Gattaca Insights + Questions By: Cindy Forni

1) What stood out to me in the movie Gattaca is how the writers of the movie explore a world of genetically mortified people. Today we are doing that exact same thing, not to the same degree but it is still exists. Now these days if you have the money you can walk into a sperm bank and pay for whatever you think the best child will be for you. You can chose what type of baby you would like from eye color to I.Q, from height to skin color, its all there for the picking’s
2) The 2nd subject of found insightful is how, the character playing the part of Umma Thurman (Irene), even in a powerful position there is still a gender difference. She is still beneath the men in her organization.

In terms of Ideology, Hegemony and power, and how it invades peoples lives in the film is very clear. I see it as a constant struggle to be better than the next person. Throughout the film, survival of the fittest is just as clear. An example would be how at the end of the movie the brothers compete against each other, in a swimming competition.
The two frames I chose for the movie and how they apply in the film, is Frame 1: Gender Differences at work by how the Umma Thurman and the fake Jerome engage

with each other throughout the movie. How Umma Thurman (Irene) is constantly portrayed as weaker even though she is in a position of power in the organization she belongs to.
The 2nd Frame I chose is Gender Identity as Organizational Performance. I chose this frame because I believe that this frame works in conjunction with Frame 1. From the micro practices throughout the film and the emotion of labor, to how the main characters refer to each other from moment to moment. There is a significant level of class relationships.
A true and funny experience I have had is, I am an Emergency Medical Technician and the guys that I work with assume I cannot park the Ambulance. It’s the running joke even though it’s obvious that I can or else I wouldn’t have a license. So they back me out of the E.R and so do the security guards and the police officers and anyone else who’s in the E.R parking lot at the time, its funny but so embarrassing. I chose this story because I do work in a very Masculine field where the assumptions are that women are more nurturing so they give us the old patients, women, and children to take care of on a call to and emergency. The Guys like doing the dirty work, they’ll always check the ambulance out first and gas it up if need be and they take the emergency calls that are very aggressive from gun shot wounds to car accidents. Although I don’t mind it the gender differences clearly exist and how it affects ones performance at work.

Nathan Jacowitz on Gattica

Nathan Jacowitz

Movie comments and observations:

This movie related powerfully to what we studied in chapter six and seven. In the movie a powerful Ideology of genetic superiority manifested itself in the in the acts and societal biases toward people not genetically engineered. The “Faith births” were looked down upon as being weaker or of less value and the genetically engineered were view as normal. The leaders of Gattica instated hegemony over there students and the students in turn fell right into it. They had an unquestioned agreement about the way the world is. They maintained he Ideology that they as students were better then lower class workers, the janitors, window cleaners and garbage men. In the end they allowed decimating power to fall into the hands of upper management. In order to even get into Gattica Eathan Hawk’s character had to go to great lengths just to be seen as normal in the eyes of management and students. He actually gave up who he was and was forced to embrace a new identity that he wouldn’t outside of his work environment.
The first frame from chapter seven I saw in application in the film was frame 1: gender differences at work. In the movie it was assumed based on the research that they were doing with DNA that they could predict the life span and functionality of a person at birth. In frame one we have a discussion based on Deborah Tannen’s book that relates to this practice. The text comments that in frame one, research shows that men and women use two different communication styles which are socially determined. I believe that the majority of society opinion will determine societal norms. If a belief is accepted that women and men should or do act, communicate or relate in certain ways it will in a reflective way establish what it considered behaving abnormally. For a example, a women trys to get a job which society considers to be primarily a mans job. Eathan Hawks character went through this process. He was going after a job which society had determined was meant for a certain Genetic genders” if you will. It was meant for the stronger, smarter and most agile of humans. Because they possessed the technology to find out who those humans were, they determined that based on their analysis he should not be one of them. He should behave weaker, slower and be more ineffective.
The next frame I see at work in the movie is frame 4: Gendered narratives in popular culture. The parents of Ethan Harks roll in the movie were influences be cultural narratives. They saw commercials and spoke to people who sustained the ground that in order to be successful in life you had to be genetically engineered. A prime example is the way the nurses acted and what they said when the baby was first born. From the out set they began to place value based a “Genetic Narrative” if you will.
A final observation that I had was that life in the movie was parent oriented. It was about the credibility of the parent of a child rather then the life of the child. It would be embarrassing as a parent to have children who weren’t successful, and thus embarrassing to have children not genetically engineered. They were told that the children that have the “best chances in life” were the ones who got a jump start from the very beginning with genetics. His parents didn’t have to go get a genetically engineered baby, they could have remained content with him.
Gender discrimination relates to genetic discrimination in a “glass roof” type of way. That is to say, in our organizational environment today women are generally aloud to advance through management ranks, but only so far. They are rarely granted the highest positions in big companies. This was apparent in the film as Eathan Hark’s love interest was aloud to participate in the program at Gattica but wasn’t aloud to advance into the actual space flight.
In the movie with the “Faith Births“ were discriminated against by being given all the lowest jobs with virtually no room for advancement. In our day and age this type of discrimination is alive and well. Women are discriminated against in the work place by being pigeon hold into certain positions or not being reviewed as candidates for others.