Being poetic.

Haiku – A Japanese 3-Line Poem.

“Haiku it up!” is a writing assignment that asks you to compose a haiku using a random dailyshoot photo.

I was born and raised in Japan, however, I never really had the chance to receive a formal Japanese education. In course of Japanese education, I’m certain that children would work with haiku in class. I had the opportunity to learn and compose haiku back in high school when I took advanced Japanese courses.

It’s sort of funny that I was taught to remember the American Constitution, government system, and history, and not much about the Japan. Everything I learned in elementary to secondary was based on American system of education, so I had no clue what to do when I had to write a paper on Japanese legislation. Me and my fellow classmates had a hard time to do some assignments. Though, we also did fun activities like composing haiku.

The instruction for the assignment misses out some rules for haiku such as use of 季語 (seasonal word), but this is not any formal language course or anything. I didn’t add any seasonal word, although, it is important to have it in most cases. Seasonal words become the image of the haiku.

So here we go:

Don’t hold on to now.
Lost time’s never found again,
so govern the clock.

holding on

Iconoclast.

Let’s Remix an Album Cover!

“Remix an Album Cover” is a Mashup assignment which you will find an album cover and remix it to represent something else. What you alter can be anything – it can be a play on the title, the image, the aesthetic, genre, etc.

This is my second mashup assignment and it deals with music again following my previous ds106 post. Since we got the chance to listen to an interesting presentation on open source last week by our fellow classmate, I thought I’d do a piece that pays a bit of hommage to him.

Before starting on the assignment, I had to choose between two to work on and they are both cool records. As you can see, I picked Symphony X’s Iconoclast (2011) over the other album Origin of Symmetry by Muse. One of the song from Origin of Symmetry is featured in my post on Alexander’s lecture. The reason for choosing Iconoclast is because the album is themed on what we humanity is concerned with – dehumanization and the power of technology in society.

To me, this piece is simplistic, but a serious mashup. The composition of the work is suppose to be similar to the cover art for the single Symphony of Destruction with the hand scraping on a surface of algorithm. I used Pixler this time to manipulate the images. None of the images are used directly in the piece without any effects. The image of algorithm was originally just a bunch of zeroes and ones, but I think the use of kaleidoscopic effect transformed the uninteresting arrangement to a nice base for the cover.

I personally want people to think deeply about the meaning of the word and the album title IconoclastBeing a rebel and thinking outside the box seems to always open up a road to the future. I was wondering if iconoclasm can be applied to the present higher education. Will something change in our future by rejecting the ordinary template we are provided?

What Awaits in Our Future.

Bryan Alexander‘s presentation The Visible College: Four Futures for Higher Education is a hour and a half lecture of discussing the means of recent technology and the future of education. He proposes four possible unique traits of the near future.

Sample Prezi presentation.

Technology has become so attached to our daily lives and it is something we cannot remove nor replace. One specific example is Powerpoint which Alexander states that it is the lingua franca of presentation tools. We all like using Powerpoint over other applications such as Keynote or Prezi. It seems that there really aren’t major alternatives for it yet. Although, if another application that overwhelms the quality of Powerpoint is released, we may gradually switch to that instead. We constantly create new matters and try to replace the existing invention with that, and we adapt to the new circumstances accordingly. However, can we know what is going to happen in the future in advance to be prepared?

Science fiction is a fiction based on technologically advanced imaginary future with much change in the environment or social context. Alexander mentions a Sci Fi classic, Asimov’s The Foundation series as he describes about way of predicting the future. I have never read the series, but I remember the storyline very vaguely. Though, I didn’t expect myself to see it again in a cyberspace class. Anyhow, Alexander relates to the fictional science called Psychohistory with a method of predicting the future, “environmental scanning”. I had to look up the definition and the process of Psychohistory and environmental scanning to fully understand the concepts. Psychohistory and environmental scanning are similar in the means of applying statistical analysis of the environment with the help of technological computation. Again, I thought, we see ourselves depending on technology, even to foresee what lies ahead. I didn’t imagine science would take root in this world back in the early nineties when personal computers were being distributed among the public.

The first of The Foundation Series.

In my opinion, environmental scanning appeared to me a method anyone can try. Especially for those who are quick with the news and the trend online. I’m definitely not a good challenger to this. A few of the important features referring to the scanning process – interacting and sharing (e.g. last.fm, Kony 2012 video) are usual actions we take naturally as long as we are connected to the Internet. I recognized that funding through “free online advertisements” such as videos are successful. While people pass by donation boxes on the street, they give donation to whoever or whatever they assume to be real. Of course, there are sincere people who are in need of cash, but I was mildly surprised when I noticed this. It demonstrates how influential the Internet is as a communicational medium.

Finally, lets go into the central details of the presentation:

The four possible futures on education Alexander delivers are scenarios also concerning us. I believe we are a lucky generation of students. Out of the four, I name these two: 1) Phantom Learning and 4) Renaissance as the more intriguing characteristics of the future.

Phantom Learning – School is rare, there’s ample info near by, and children learn from augmented reality. The default form of education is massive collective classes (MOOC). This is simply astounding for me, because I am used to being part of a small-scale community and never had an experience of taking online courses. My instructors back in high school didn’t recommend online courses for the lack of efficiency. I agree, but what happens if there’s augmented reality involved in education? I don’t know.

Renaissance (of creativity) – Creativity is rebirth-ed. We project our creativity freely and easily through digital storytelling (like DS106) and use fake identities (people are active online under pseudonyms). We feel nostalgia for the loss of earlier invention (end of mouse and simplified set of technological advancements). Game-based life becomes the standard (“gamification”). As for gamification, it is a familiar system for us, though in an analog version. I use to get treats back in kindergarten and elementary school by collecting ice cream sticks for clearing an objective each day. Game-based education could be more fun, but I thought that by extending the technological intervention into our lives we may become pschologically dehumanized, as seen in phantom learning. We are distant from each other.

Conclusion: The scenarios made me somehow imagine of an almost apocalyptic future. I felt insecure about our future.

I’m not sure why I’m writing a petit essay-length post. Yet, I couldn’t help myself from splattering my commentary in this post.

Thank you for reading.