Archives for category: Flipped Lectures


Click on the flying car to zoom to my Cowbird story on the future! 

Clay Shirky: How Social Media can Make History

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and the list goes on! However if you have no idea what they are, then you have a lot of catching up to do. Social media has revolutionized the way we live, however is social media a good thing? Clay Shirky discusses social media and how it came about, plus the effects it has on our society.

First came the printing press, two-way communication, recorded media and finally radio and televion. The Internet however has revolutionized each of these media mediums, as every medium is right next-door to the next online. They have all migrated to the world-wide-web, however does that mean that we have lost sight/ability of deep thinking and normal communication? No, the Internet is just a tool that enables us to communicate and structure our thoughts for the world to see. We live in a society where information is fed/shared to us through these social networking sites. Look at Kony 2012 and the current events of Amanda Todd. Once a newspaper on your front door step would inform you of these unfortunate events, however they are now online. Clay Shirky discusses how the media environment is “global, social, ubiquitous and cheap. In a world of media where a formal audience are now increasing now full participants, in that world the media is less and less often about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals. It is more and more often about creating an enviroment for convening and supporting groups.” This sums up the social media we have today rather nicely. How we have expanded on created this public sphere on our own opinions and messages to share with everyone.

A for the other forms of communications I don’t have much to say other then I do slightly fear for the print newspaper. However as an optimist I see online and print working in harmony in the future. Well that is a future I would like to see as social media may of given birth to citizen journalism, however there will be times where facts are wrong and people are mislead. Real journalism will never die out, as people want real facts, real editing and real stories.

Majority of these thoughts were risen from Clay Shirky’s informative video especially since I’m a huge fan of social media.I like to hear other peoples opinions  I hope that many would agree with me, that social media isn’t our enemy but a tool used to create conversation and spark thoughts.

Creativity isn’t something that comes easy to most people, however in order to open up your mind, there are some steps that you can take. John Cleese sheds some light on how to gain creativity and achieve an open mind. The steps are space, time, time, confidence and humour.

Space can be achieved by sealing yourself away from demands, no stress and you become undisturbed. This can be done by turning off your mobile phone and other technology, choose a room with natural lighting and minimal distractions.

Time is an interesting yet crucial step in allowing your mind to become open and for creativity to come to you. Cleese means by the first time is that you must be in your space for a specific amount of time because it allows your mind to clear itself. When you first enter your space, your mind will be a mess and will go through every little detail of things you must do. You need to allocate yourself enough time to calm down and let your mind relax so you can create an oasis of quiet.

The second ‘time’ is a different concept from the first; this is the time in-which creativity comes to you. Cleese uses the example of the Monty Python scripts, how his colleague would just take the easy road and leave by 5pm, however Cleese would sit there and ponder on the idea until a more creative answer came up. The time difference between Cleese and his colleague lies within the time they spent on the problem. The more time spent thinking about a problem; it is more likely that you will come up with a more creative solution.

Confidence in yourself is something that you will require in order to open your mind. You cannot hold onto the fear of making a mistake, there is no such thing as a mistake. Let go of the fear and creativity will come to you.

The final step is humour; this one can be seen as the quickest method to get from a closed mind to an open one. Laughter brings relaxation, you let go and happiness takes over you. You will be prone to more positive thoughts if you’re happy.

Cleese’s steps are great to consider if you’re having writers block or just wanting to find creative solutions to problems.

Chinese Internet has always been something of interest to me, mainly because I can’t fathom the concept of not being able to speak my mind on a social networking site. At the beginning China was described as a SICK BRIK country, what he meant was that Brazil, Russia, India and China are all about of the emerging economy while also Syria, Iran, China and North Korea all don’t have internet. China doesn’t have Internet as they have a great firewall, which is the biggest digital boundary in the entire world, thus preventing Chinese citizens to access the Internet. For the last fifteen years this concept of Chinas Internet or commonly referred to as ‘China net’ was summed up well in the metaphor of a ‘cat and a mouse.’ The cat being the Chinese censorship and the mouse is the citizen. You would think with the 500 million Internet users in China they would have more access, however while we have Google, they have Baidu, Twitter is Weibo, Facebook is Renren and Youtube is Youku Tudou. This idea of blocking every web 2.0 services is then cloned in order to provide people with social networking the way Chinese Government want it. This whole idea of free speech among those services is still highly limited, for example you can’t post the name of the president, city Chingqing or search the surname of top leaders. If you did any of those things you would definitely be arrested. Although the Chinese government did allow free speech for five days, which has never happened before in Chinese history. This was when a train fell off a bridge and many died, the person in charge wanted to just cover it up. Many Chinese citizens took to social networking and freely expressed their opinion on the matter. The person in charge was placed in jail and had his title taken from him as a result. So where to go from here? This idea of social networking has changed Chinese way of life and created a national public sphere, which is a first for Chinese history. One day Chinese Internet will hopefully be filled with more freedom of speech and less firewall, a dream maybe, but everyone deserves to get their voices heard.