All posts by ccalhoun6

Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

 

Finished Infographic (2)

Reflection:

At first, our group had a difficult time coming up with a topic we all liked to base our infographic off of. We wanted our purpose to be both informational and helpful to the people who were referencing it. But the same time, we had a feeling most of the other groups were going to create more serious infographics so our plan was to create one that dealt with a more appealing and enthusiastic feel to it. It took us several days to come up with our final theme, having ideas that ranged from “The Art of Procrastinating” and “Burger Eating.” Since the holidays are coming up, it only seemed logical to create an infographic that could relate to the most celebrated time of the year. A struggle that many, if not all of us, go through is creating and keeping a legitimate New Year’s Resolution.

After deciding on a general topic, we spent some time thinking about what the main focus of our infographic would be. Upon realizing that the most common problem that people have pertaining to new year’s resolutions is that they have a hard time keeping them, we came to the conclusion that focusing on how to keep a new year’s resolution would make the most impact as well as cater to a broader audience. New Year’s resolutions are everybody’s way of saying that they are trying to make a new start, turn a new leaf, or do something with their lives. Our infographic is useful to anyone who is currently trying to stay committed to a resolution because our infographic has advice that can help them reach their goal. Our audience includes all people who make a new year’s resolution because it pertains to them and has all the information they need on how to be successful in completing it.

The design of this infographic is supposed to give a positive vibe and encourage a sense of victory or celebration. The way that the colors are boldest at the top draw the viewer’s eyes to the title, or topic, grabbing their interest. From there, the colors and shapes fade off as the infographic starts to focus more heavily on statistics and information. Towards the end, however, the celebratory theme picks up again with the reappearance of the stars. The charts and visuals were also added to aid the viewer in understanding our infographic. Each visual references to some fact, statistic, or piece of advice that is mentioned in its same general area, and as a whole, they make our infographic seem more visually appealing and colorful.

 

The Evolution of Language

In Aiden and Michel’s “Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture”, several arguments and claims are made concerning language. It focuses on specific words and develops an idea that states that culture can be defined by our use of words in a language. The article focuses specifically on a man by the name of George Kingsley Zipf, who came up with this theory. It was his idea that words were not all equal, and that there were certain words that a culture valued more than others in a language. In an experiment, Zipf counted every time that a word was used in the book, Ulysses, and recorded it, rating its importance, only to find that his theory was proven to be true. People tend to value words such as “the” and “I” much more than ones like “quintessence”. From my own perspective, this seems obvious considering the first two words portray ideas and connections that are needed in our everyday lives, whereas the latter word is not always necessary to all scenarios because of how specific its definition is. However, what was interesting is this: Zipf found that “There was in inverse relationship between a rank of a word and its frequency of use” (Aiden 34). In other words, the higher up on the list a word appeared, the less important to the language it was.

Now, think about the American language. The reason why many people say it is so hard to learn is because of all the irregulars that are present within it. These irregulars seem to follow no rules and conjugate as they please. In this article, it points out something interesting. The words that appear toward the top of Zipf’s list, or the ones that are more important, tend to have irregular qualities while those near the end of the list all tend to follow the same rules and conjugate accordingly. Now, there’s another theory that I want to bring up that is mentioned quite a bit in this article. This theory states that irregular words and conjugations will change with time. More simply, words will be conjugated differently in the future than they are now. How close does this come to the truth, though? While this theory makes sense considering the evolution from “old english” to current language, I do not believe that our language will change that drastically in the future. The transformation from old English to current English involved the creation, if you will, of an entire new language. The way people pronounced words was different, and the words themselves were completely different as well. The word “thou” is not the same as “you”. I agree with the idea that language may change over time; however, I strongly doubt that conjugations will be the only things that change in our language. If our language is going to change, it will all have to change together, for as long as the past generations are teaching current generations, the word “stinked” will always be incorrect.

Some Music Only Hints at Treble. (Ha,How Clef-er)

Abstract

Because music plays such a large role pertaining to people’s emotions, viewers are, in many cases, drones to the feelings that producers want them to feel. Movie makers are able to manipulate different aspects of the music that they insert into movies in order to better suit the emotional atmosphere they are trying to evoke. Through the use of music, movie producers are able to govern the emotions of an audience to better follow the plot line they have created in a film. 

Continue reading Some Music Only Hints at Treble. (Ha,How Clef-er)

Color Psychology

The process of making this video was definitely a difficult one, considering much of the software that I was attempting to use was not cooperating with my computer; however, the process of creating the Pecha Kucha itself was somewhat entertaining. I have to admit, I was a little nervous for the presentation of this project because I have never been comfortable with public speaking. The last time I spoke in front of my class was my junior year of high school. I remember walking to the front of the classroom, standing behind the podium, and opening my mouth to find no words coming out. By this point, I was shaking so badly that my teacher had to lead me out of the room so that I could sit in the hallway for a few minutes on my own. For this reason, I decided that it would be best if I wrote a script that I could read off of or reference during my presentation. Upon starting my script, I discovered just how much information about the topic of color psychology I didn’t know. As I continued writing, my script turned into a sort of miniature research paper. I was definitely interesting to learn so much about this topic though, especially because I have been interested in it for so long, which is precisely why I chose it as my topic in the first place. My goal in this presentation was to create an argument that color psychology does exist, and that it is actually very evident in our daily lives, however, we hardly notice it.

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This particular image worked perfectly with the narration in this area of the presentation because it served as an example to help me make a point that would have been very difficult to make without the visual aid. At this point in my presentation, I was trying to prove my point that different colors really do evoke different emotions from people, and I wanted my audience to be able to physically experience this phenomenon. By having the ability to put this picture on the screen, I was able to make people more aware of the changes they may have felt when the image appeared. Because yellow is a stimulating color, they should have felt slightly more alert than before.

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This is another image that was in my presentation that I used to make a point that I otherwise would not have been able to make. By this point in my presentation, I am explaining that cultures reflect what people find to be most important through the use of color psychology. This is a picture of New York City. In the narration, I am pointing out that the colors seen most in this image are red, yellow, and orange, meaning that American culture values the emotions that these colors represent: action and intensity. Without this image, many people may have doubted that New York City even reflected these colors in their city to begin with.

Can You Spot A Liar?

Link to Video

The theme of this TED-Talks video was “How to Spot a Liar”. Pamela Meyer begins this lesson by pointing out something very obvious, yet vital to making her point. Everyone in the audience is a liar, and not only that, but everyone in existence is as well. She then goes into describing what lying really is and why we all do it. Lying is a way to bridge the gap between who you wish you were and who you actually are, one’s fantasy versus reality. But if we all do it, is there really one fool proof way to spot a lie? Maybe not, but there are definitely subconscious aspects of a liar’s body language and communications skills that are easy to spot if you know what to look for. For example, when telling a lie, people tend to overcompensate for myths that are commonly believed about lying. People tend to look more intensely into other people’s eyes while lying instead of looking away. They also tend to go into more description than someone who is telling the truth, and also be more still rather than fidgety.

It’s actually ironic, because while talking about common subconscious signs in body language that a liar may exhibit, Pamela Meyer is also portraying certain subconscious communications skills that she uses to keep us interested in what she is saying. She uses hand gestures, voice qualities and visual aids to keep the audience entertained. Let’s take a smaller section of the video for example, time=11:39 through time=12:00, and analyze the speakers communication skills. Notice that while she is talking, the presenter is moving her hands in an outward, circular motion with her palms facing up. This gesture creates an inviting atmosphere that makes her seem more knowledgeable and trustworthy to the audience, and as a result, they are more likely to agree with what she is saying rather than question it. In addition to this, the speaker uses the word “we” instead of “you” or “they”. This puts the listeners under the impression that the presenter is on the same side as they are and deals with the same struggles that they do when it comes to this topic. This change in her wording makes her seem friendlier and less accusatory, prompting the audience to believe the points she’s making more easily. Also during this time, the speaker uses a visual aid to make her point more clearly to the audience. She shows an image of a smile known as the “duping delight” that a person may express after getting away with a lie. This helps keep the audience interested and connected with what she is talking about, especially since she leaves the topic of this specific smile open ended, saying they would return to it shortly with the use of some videos. All of these aspects came together to form an all-around inviting and trustworthy atmosphere where the audience was easily drawn in.

How to do the Gangnam Style

Infographic: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xjdpxLmw4is/URql14iVxYI/AAAAAAAAABk/EqbhmGOntuI/s1600/GangnamStyleThe5BasicSteps_50b941fe62867.jpg

Original Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

The original source, as it says in the bottom of the infographic, is Youtube. However, Youtube can be a very broad source of information considering there are currently millions of videos present on that particular website. So, I am going to assume that the actual original source of information comes from the Gangnam music video itself, since it was the location where the dance first made an appearance. The infographic that is pictured here offers information through the use of words and pictures, which, in some ways, can be beneficial for slower learners who need guided steps in order to learn things. On the other hand, the video offers a few things that the infographic cannot. First I’ll state the obvious. The video offers a video. This is most beneficial for people who need to have the ability to physically see things being done in order to learn how to do them. By looking at the infographic, one can see the steps of the movements, but not the movements themselves. As a result, the dance could potentially be learned the wrong way depending on how someone interprets the given information. However, while the video may be fast paced, it is straightforward and easy to visualize. The infographic especially adds value to the information because it includes an outline that explains when to use each step in the dance throughout the song.  This is seen very clearly in the upper right corner of the infographic where it has the chorus written with each corresponding step listed above the phrase it goes with. Also, notice how the word “step” is written in red, making it easy to connect with other steps on the page. This would be a hard concept to learn or even memorize if a person is trying to do so simply by replaying the video several times. Overall, a combination of the two sources would be most effective if a person wants to learn how to do the Gangnam Style dance correctly and efficiently. The video should be watched first so that the movements are familiar to the person, and then he or she should use the infographic to figure out the details and the order of the steps, referencing the video when needed.

The “Technology” Behind Social Networks

In Gladwell’s Small Change, the author talks about the pros and cons of social media networks and uses them to point out why a revolution could never be carried out based on a network. This reminded me of the passage in The Truth of Fact. The Truth of Feeling where Ted Chiang compares language to technology, and states that language in itself is actually a type of technology. Following this trend, social media networks would be a progression of language, for it is a new method of communication. Gladwell goes on to explain the reason behind the failure of social networks when it comes to something like a revolution: a lack of hierarchy, and this is where the two authors’ opinions are split. Chiang makes the statement that, “We became cognitive cyborgs as soon as we became fluent readers, and the consequences of that were profound.” The fact that Chiang says we can become cyborgs proves that he believes in a sort of internet hierarchy where people who post, blog, or are very involved in networking hold the highest position. That makes sense, because if language is in fact technology, people are affected by it, and in order for people to be affected by it, it has to be available. Those who make it available, therefore, have control over how the readers are affected. In this way, a hierarchy does indeed exist when it comes to social networks. However, going back to Gladwell’s point, it would be nearly impossible to start of revolution through it, regardless of whether or not a hierarchy exists because there exists no authoritative, credible figure. As a result, it would be very difficult to unite a mass amount of people under a single cause because there would be too many differing opinions on the subject.

Experiential: Lifelogs

Somewhere out there, floating around in the infinite pool that is the internet, is a documentation of my life beginning from the moment I discovered the existence of social media. I wish I could say I knew what I was getting myself into from the moment I submitted my first post, but that’s not true, and I don’t think it ever will be. When I look back at old posts that I wrote when I was twelve or thirteen, I smile at the thought of how young, naïve, and immature I was, but the thing is, it doesn’t stop there. Yes, thirteen seems young to me now, but eighteen will seem young to me when I’m thirty, which will seem young to me when I’m fifty. It never stops. The idea of my life documented in a series of permanent posts can be terrifying if looked at from a certain perspective. Knowing that other people may be able to follow my day to day adventures by looking through pictures or statuses I’ve posted is a little worrisome. Not only that though, but everything I post evokes a specific memory or emotion associated with a significant event, and it can be overwhelming to scroll though the history of my Facebook, only to remember everything I’d forgotten about my past. Revisiting this information in the next 10 years would definitely be a strange experience. I think that I would feel a bit nostalgic to be honest, for in 10 years, I hope that I will be settling down and creating a family of my own, and being reminded of my teenage and college years would probably seem like a throwback to the time I was first gaining my own independence and trying to figure out the true concept of responsibility while still having room for mistakes. Looking back at these posts in thirty years will be a positive experience I think, because by that point, I will hopefully have a better understanding of myself and will be able to reminisce on the experiences that made me who I will be. Having these documentations to look back on will definitely help me to remember my past, present, and future more effectively, for they’ll offer more details to events I may have forgotten. For example, I can look at a picture and remember what I wore on my graduation day. I can recall how I felt when receiving my diploma simply by seeing the look on my own face in a picture. However, while having some sort of documentation of one’s important life events is beneficial for many reasons, there is a healthy balance that must be obtained as well. Keeping a photo album or journal of sorts is good in that it offers opportunities for reflection later on, and it can also help a person to remember events that they found to be special. Documentation can also help to bring back emotions associated with an event that may enhance your memory of it. On the other hand though, I think that people need to be careful not to invest in technology so much that their lives become consumed by it. If you’re too busy posting statuses all the time, you may miss an opportunity that would be worth remembering. Also, I would advise that you document these moments for yourself, and not for others. Upload a picture for the sake of you being able to go back and look at it, not so that other people can see it and be jealous of your experience, or to see how many people approve of your post. Keep it personal, but always remember that other people can see it too. I offer this perspective because I think that, while other people can use social media to keep up with your life, I’ve learned that the person who will look back at your own posts the most will be you.

-Chelsea Calhoun