Help Find Madeline McCann!

June 2, 2007 at 10:26 am (Uncategorized)




Help Find Madeline McCann

Originally uploaded by snowpatrolnc

On the 3rd of May, 2007, three year old British girl Madeline McCann was abducted from a holiday resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. While it may not be practical for each and every person in the world to do their part in helping locate Madeline, what is practical is for us to keep her and her family in our thoughts. By simply raising awareness of the plight of abducted children, and specifically Madeline, one can only hope for the off chance that someone will be able to come forward with information leading to her reunion with her parents.

Much love.
Paul

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Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

May 31, 2007 at 9:17 am (Uncategorized)

Morbid title isn’t it? It’s just that in recent times I’ve been prone to titling my blogs with lyrics from whatever song strikes my fancy at the time. And for a blog specifically with the purpose of wrapping up how this course was, I guess it’s somewhat appropriate. Part morbid, part comforting, part foreboding. The perfect quote for the eve of the big New Communications exam. Joy. I must tell the truth. I havent really studied for this one too much. Spent the day doing so today, in a little study session with Cam, Sophie, Kate and Maddie. We didn’t get TOO much work done. But enough to make me kind of comfortable with the fact that I have a mass exam tomorrow. 100 questions in 60minutes. Should be a breeze. Right? God, one can only hope.

The course hasn’t been too bad at all, surprisingly. Let me preface that with this clarification, loud and clear: I never chose to do this course. It was kind of thrust upon me as a course requirement. In fact, I’m not a big fan of computers whatsoever. So long as I can get on and check my mail I’m happy. I don’t feel a particular need to do anything else with these machines. That being said, the course hasn’t been too painful at all. The blogging has been good. It’s been a way to show that we know what we’re talking about in our own format, and in our own form. Gives a bit more freedom to express what we’ve learned in the best way possible. The essay was fantastic too. No drama about getting to uni to hand it in. No drama in writing it. 1000 words is amazing compared to some of my other essays this semester. All up the assessment hasn’t been half bad at all. If it had’ve been any more hectic, I might not have been able to cope, due to the fact it’s not really my favourite or most interesting subject.

The lectures have been okay too. I have been the only one of my mates that have actually shown up for all of them, which I think really helps. I’ve found, since starting uni last year, that the people who don’t turn up to lectures generally have more trouble in passing. Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Some of the lectures have been hit and miss. The PR one for example. What the hell was THAT? Hmmm… and the one with Digital Counselling was a bit mundane too. But other than that, the rest have been fine. And the movies have been oddly relevant too. Sometimes you go to class that shows movies and you have no context at all to place them in. At least these movies actually relate to the subject matter. Which is always a plus.

As for the tutes: fantastic. I was never really sold on the idea of an 8am, two hour tute on a Monday morning, I must say. But this tute has made it easy. It’s not one of those tutes that is intense from beginning to end. It’s a lot more open, with a bit of flexability about how we do things, which is awesome. And our tutor has been fantastic too, not some dry guy that takes himself too seriously, which would be a bit devastating. All in all, the subject has been good, and thats even measuring it against my negative perceptions going into the course. It’s given me a new appreciation for New Communications Technologies and no doubt will help out as I go on in my journalism degree.

In the words of the cartoon character Madeline: “That’s all there is. There isn’t any more”.

Paul

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Tell Me If You Think It’d Be Alright, If I Just Crash Here Tonight

May 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm (Uncategorized)

The last week of bloggery that is required under my joyous community service program. Am I excited? Strangely not so much. I’ve missed being forced to do a blog each and every week. There used to be a time, shortly after I first signed up to mySpace that I would do a subpar blog EVERY SINGLE DAY. Granted, it was during a time when I was living in the rural South of the USA and there wasn’t a helluva lot to do. Therefore, I had alot of time on my hands. Then I came home. And the blogs became less frequent, to the consternation of my loyal followers. They started to come directly after parties, giving the run down of all the drunken frivolity. But even then, most of the time I was far too hungover to write a proper blog. So they dried up. They became as rare as Jerry Falwell (R.I.P) in a brothel. This class has kind of snapped me back to my  senses. Every Monday morning  I’ve been forced to  write a blog that identifies and rages on alot of the issues in the world of today. It’s liberating really. The internet is the greatest thing that’s happened to public opinion, giving an outlet for people to let others know what they REALLY think. The voice of the people has never been so strong, and whether its over climate change hype, the war in Iraq, pertinent social issues or crime and justice… Even if I disagree with what the voice of the people is screaming, it’s refreshing to hear it so loud. Will I keep up this blog after the class finishes? Maybe. You never know. I can’t imagine, at this stage NOT writing a blog. I like being heard. I’m not the type that sits there at home and wonders why noone is saying what hes thinking. I’m the type that will say it if noone else is. So will the blog stay? Magic 8-Ball says, “Future looks bright”.

Now, New Communication Technology. During the lecture of this week, Lecture 13, we will all be knuckling down to do a gruelling multi-guess exam about everything we’ve learned this semester. Now, I’ve been there every week and paid attention for half of that so I should have a fair chance at passing the course. I don’t think I could cope with doing the course again. Don’t get me wrong: the course is fairly interesting and I cope with it well. But technology REALLY isn’t my thing. As long as I can turn on the computer, get to mySpace, flick on the TV and put in a DVD that’s all I need to know. All of this stuff about memes and analogue and digital does my head in. Week 12’s lecture was right up my alley though, it definately peaked my interest. As if you couldn’t tell from reading this blog, I’m pretty into current affairs and politics. And last week’s lecture? The role of technology in popular democracy and the role of hacking in such. It took a little while for me to make THAT connection. But I suppose, in it’s purest sense, it has a logic to it. Hacking is all about rule of the people and the avaliability of all information and technology to all people. Democracy? Similarly, it’s all about people power. Some thing’s that you would never THINK to correlate are actually more similar than it would seem, I guess. As I said earlier, the internet is also the forum of the modern era. It’s the place to get your opinion and world-view out there. It’s one thing we have the information age to thank for. People are more informed than ever before. And information is a powerful tool in the empowerment of the masses. And so I will stop before I start sounding like a Marxist. Yuck…

So, let’s get stuck into the wild and wooly world of politics for the last time, shall we? Time for the traditional spin of the globe to see which countries political news we’ll be investigating this week. And let’s SPIN! … Today’s location of choice is that bastion of Eastern Europe, that chilly frostbitten land, that recovering from Communism nation, that lovely spin on chicken dinner… Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. Now, when I was in Prague a few years ago when the tension over the Ukrainian elections spilled over. It was 2004 and it was Yushchenko v. Yanukovych. The Orange Revolution to make Yushchenko President was in full swing. Someone tried to poison him. he ended up winning in a landslide, and eventually Yanukovych would become Prime Minister, second only to his opposition. Now, it would seem, the tables have turned again. Yushchenko dissolved Yanukovych’s Parliament a few months ago, setting off a chain of events that would lead to loyalists of the two opposing forces violently clashing in Kiev and abroad. Yanukovych’s supporters claim the act was unconstitutional. While waiting for a ruling from the Constitutional Court, Yushchenko fired several of it’s judges, mostly Yanukovych loyalists, setting off another wave of tension. Today, however, it seems things have eased in a far more peaceful way than the poisoning of the Orange Revolution. Yushchenko and Yanukovych have agreed to holding early Parliamentary elections in September, once and for all deciding the matter of who the public side with. The nation still awaits the ruling on the Constitutionality of Yushchenko’s actions, but until then a detente has been reached in the burgeoning summer sun of Eastern Europe.

And now let’s fly halfway back around the world to a place where political tensions don’t seem to escalate nearly as far as poison and political violence: the sun soaked nation of Australia. Two words marred the political spectrum this week: Therese. Rein. The wife of Kevin Rudd came under fire for the very thing I’ve accused her husband,  the aforementioned Leader of the Opposition, of for the past several weeks. Hypocrisy. It seems hypocrisy runs in “Call Me” Kevin’s family. Therese’s company, it appears, has taken advantage of the very WorkChoices legislation that her husbands party is seeking to destroy. Underpaying workers, AWA’s, cutting entitlements. Tsk, tsk. Even the Government say that borders on the illegal. Bad Therese. And bad Kevin, to boot. Don’t you think he should have known that this was the case, if he was aspiring to run for office in an election where WorkChoices is a key issue. After the Vietnam Dawn service debacle, wouldn’t his advisors have checked over every possible scandal? Wouldn’t Therese have mentioned it to her egomaniac husband, whispering quietly in his ear that “Kevin, we have a problem”? You would think so. Which leads me to one of two conclusions. Conclusion number one: Kevin really didn’t know, and they are truly incompetant. Too incompetant to run the Great Southern Land. Or conclusion number two: they did know about it, didn’t care, and thought they could keep it from the people they want to elect him. In which case, they aren’t incompetant. Rather, they are deceitful and hypocritical, and aren’t as against WorkChoices as they may purport. Either way, Kevin has some explaining to do. And that “It’s my wife’s business” stuff just wont cut it. We all know that in politics today, every base must be covered. And when you have astronomically high approval ratings, you still can’t afford to give in to hubris. So. I want to ask Kevin this: did arrogance take hold and you make a misstep on this one, or did you try to decieve the Australian people? Answer me that, Mr. Rudd.

And with that, lets leave it for today. In the word’s of General MacArthur: “I shall return”.

Paul

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I’m Not Sure What’s Truly Altruistic Anymore, When Every Good Thing I Do Is Listed And You’re Keeping Score

May 20, 2007 at 11:19 pm (Uncategorized)

Another blog? I do believe it is. So what has been happening in my world? For the two of you that actually care, that is. Well, not a whole lot. I had a relatively calm weekend which involved a whole lot of drinking brew and watching the FA Cup until God knows what time in the morning. Like soccer isn’t bloody long enough without it having to go to extra time. It was a grand re-opening for Wembley Stadium though, with the Red’s and the Blue’s meeting to vie for the Cup. Those red devils- Manchester United for the uninitiated- walked out onto the pitch as favourites to take it out against the severely underestimated Chelsea. ManUnited had a full strength team: Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo. And Chelsea? Well, they SHOULD have been no chance for the win. But, thank God, Chelsea did win. Now, I’m by no stretch of the imagination a huge Chelsea fan. In fact, they rank with Tottenham and Manchester United as my most despised teams generally speaking. But when push comes to shove? Chelsea for the win over United ANY DAY of the week. There is only room in Machester for one team, and that team should be Manchester City: the second best team in the league (after Arsenal of course). The game went down to the wire, and to be honest it could have gone either way, but Drogba came through in the end with a belter of a kick over the head of Manchester’s tiring goal keeper. Well done to the boys from Stamford Bridge! And this message: enjoy it while you can. Because Thierry Henry and the Arsenal Boys are coming for the Cup in ’08.

As for New Communications, the lecture this week was rather interesting if I do say so myself. Steve gave us the low-down on the Hacker Community, and afterwards I was able to differentiate the key discrepency that most people don’t get: all hacker’s aren’t destructive forces of nature. Hacking was actually intregal to the formation of the computer as we know it. Only by cracking the barriers placed on both hardware and software have innovators be able to reach the potential within new technologies. He made a good example of the patches you download off the internet that help get certain software to work, like media players and printers. I wasn’t quite getting it until then, but once he said that I was TOTALLY on board. There were always references in the lecture to digital democracy, which lost me a little bit but I suppose it’s true to say that the internet is the ultimate equaliser when it comes to the expression of views and opinion. Everyone has equal ability to get on the net and speak their mind without fear of physical repercussions. In that way, I guess the internet really is representative. As for this tutorial in which I am currently sitting? It’s all about the Excel. The task asks us to do stuff like creating tables, and graphs and getting formulaic responses out of the Excel programming. Which is KILLER fun… Kind of. Everyone in the room is having problems getting the proper responses out of the program, absolutely noone has got it together yet. Using Excel for graphs? Very useful to me. For everything else? Nah, not so much. If I was a Math Major? Maybe. Engineering? Sure. Journalism? Meh. Take it or leave it.

While the rest of them carry on trying to work Excel, I might as well give the round up on the week in politics. First, time to spin the globe and see where we end up! Hmmm. Interesting. It’s always a risk when you spin the globe that you will end up somewhere incredibly random. Today is that day. Time to find out what’s going on it… THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC! YAY! … Well, I suppose what’s happening is rather relevant, and has been in the news and media as much lately as the crisis in Sudan (which this week the UN blamed squarely on the Sudanese Government… Bad news for Sudanese President and bin Laden faithful Omar al-Bashir). The issue in question, of course, is child soldiers in Africa. basically, for those who have been living underneath a particularly idealistic rock, many rebels in African nations have made habit of kidnapping children, drugging them up with illicit substances, treating them to all the creature comforts Africa can provide and then putting a machine gun in their hands and advancing them upon unsuspecting combatants. This week saw rebel General Damane Zakaria agree with UNICEF to release a total of 400 child soldiers, on the proviso they go back to their families to comence work or schooling. Hats off to the Central African Republic. Clearly they are ready to make a change. UN officials have applauded the move, noting that the nation hadn’t even signed a charter designed to end the child soldier travesty. Just more proof of how useless the UN really is. When you think about it, releasing the child soldiers only makes sense if the rebels truly want their nations to succeed. For the nation to succeed, it is imperative that they are an educated and prosperous people. And that will not be accomplished by thrusting a gun into the hands of a five year old, only through getting that five year old to learn to read. Rebels may be criticized for worsening a nations problems, but in this case it seems they really do have the best of intentions.

And in Australia, we have somewhat of a follow-up issue. Yesterday David Matthew Hicks (also known as Mohommad Dawood and al-Qaeda’s 24ct. Golden Boy, by fellow terrorist trainees) returned to Australia on a jet plane, taking a chartered flight from Gitmo to Adelaide. The flight was highly secretive, yet word got out as to where he was flying to, leading the world to get the first pictures of David Hicks since his incarceration five years ago. A triumph for the civil rights morons led into battle with the suddenly indignant father of the convicted terrorist supporter, Terry Hicks. Terry’s been grandstanding for awhile now, asking for his son to be treated like a regular prisoner and complaining about his treatment at the hands of his captors. Well, this is the same Terry Hicks who admits that his son took the battlefield in Afghanistan because he is “misguided”. Whether he was misguided or not, he took to battle in the company of terrorists and extremists. Alot of people get in over their head. But they have to pay the consequences. Here is Terry Hicks calling for David to be released and talking about how unjust the world is because his son, the terrorist, is going to be in jail for a few more months. On the other hand, we have QC’s and distraught parents fighting simply for their son Scott Rush not to be executed for stupidly trying to import heroin from Bali. Scott Rush, a 22 year old, was first sentenced to life imprisonment when he appealed and has his sentence upgraded to death. He faces the firing squad for being stupid enough to get involved with drug smuggling in a country where that is a capital offence. And yet Terry Hicks is distraught that his son the terrorist is still in prison. Terry, here is my message to you: get some perspective. Your son got off lightly. God help you if this leniency emboldens him to continue on the path to terrorism. God help us all.

And with the going down of the sun, sleep tight Australia.

Paul

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Riding Down The Highway Skyline, On The Back of A Hurricane

May 13, 2007 at 11:19 pm (Uncategorized)

The head. It WONT STOP POUNDING. It’s like the Telltale Heart, except its not some shit sense of guilt thats tormenting me. Just a killer of a headache. It has been a loud and rambunctious weekend. It all started Friday. See, I could have gone out Friday night but it’s probably lucky that I didn’t in retrospect. Instead I stayed home and watched ridiculous amounts of crappy television while falling asleep on the couch. Saturday sparked the first slams in what would become a prolonged headslam. Keith Urban concert was up in Brisbane and I bought Mum tickets for Mothers Day. So we made the trek up there, made it there with heaps of time to spare and take in the fantastic sight of the Bundy Rum tent. The Waifs opened for Keith, although not many people were paying much attention at all, until they played “London Still”. Ahhh, some people have no taste. Then Keith came out and the crowd went wild. A million middle aged women passed out immediately. In all honesty, Keith is an amazing live act. He got amongst the audience, made jokes at the expense of his addiction problems and implied he was planning on taking Nicole up to Mt. Coo-tha after the show. Rest assured, I couldn’t resist a loud “bow-chicka-bow-bow” across the entertainment centre. There were glares. I cracked up laughing. So the headache provoked by the concert was only intensified by Mother’s Day. There was drinks. There was family. There were conversations that tried to speak over each other, reaching an unprecedented decibel level. Ahhh… I love the holidays.

So, New Communications updates. Last lecture was… well, it had it’s moments. We had yet another guest lecturer, Deb  Beattie, who talked for a few hours about her work on Kids Helpline digital interface counselling or something like that. I swear I was paying attention! I had no choice, none of my friends were there. They had all bailed on me to finish their assignments that were due that afternoon. That’s the price I pay for being organised: acute boredom while everyone else does stuff at the last minute. The Kids Helpline stuff, based on psychology of seeking counselling over the internet rather than in person or over the phone, was particularly interesting. I’m into all that psych stuff, which brightened it up alot. Then she showed a video she had made that, in its original form, was an interactive internet video venture. It was a very interesting concept actually. I didn’t agree with the politics behind it, considering it was very anti-police, anti-National Party, pro-protester. But I did respect the way it was put together. Very clever, and it needs to be considering that people’s attention span is getting exponentially smaller. After the weekend, I turn up today to the tute and what mind challenging thing was on offer today? Fun with Microsoft Word. Yup, today our task was the mess around with all the tricky aspects of Word: Italics, Bold, Underlined and Double Spacing. All very challenging stuff. There was one thing that was a little interesting, that I had neither seen or used before. It was a function to track the changes you make when you are typing. Basically if you change too much stuff, it turns into a messy maelstrom of red marks that tell you when you have made a change. But it keeps things pretty well organised, so that might just come in handy at a later stage. Good old Microsoft Word… You just keep finding new crap to do with it when procrastinating.

 And now the juicy gossip from the corrupt, pondscum coated world of politics. And the big news story of international politics this week was without question Tony Blair. The boy has finally named his day, and he is going to walk on June 27th, leaving Number 10 and Westminster behind. Time to start househunting, I guess. I’m going to miss Blair, as much as a lot of people have tarnished him with the brush of the Iraq War. Blair may be of the same basic ideological ilk of my favourite person Kevin Rudd, but in many ways he is another creature entirely. The one thing that will be Blair’s legacy is his policy of interventionism in a globalised world. People credit Blair with being Bush’s lapdog, following him blindly and holding on for dear life to his coattails. But as close associates of Blair themselves claim: “If it wasn’t Bush, it would have been Blair asking for Bush’s help in Iraq”. We saw Blair’s interventionism in action in the Balkans. Blair has gone on record stating that the insularity of the Treaty of Westphalia is no longer valid. What happens in one country is not just that country’s problem. It has a habit of spreading, and it would be a bad person who stood back and let people be masacred by the circumstances of cruelty that were seen under the regimes of monsters like Hussein, Milosevic or the Taliban. Gordon Brown, Blair’s erstwhile political ally and Chancellor of the Exchequer, is the man tapped to take Blair’s place when he leaves and despite their personal differences it would seem that he intends on continuing with Blair’s legacy, albeit without the pretence of a personal friendship between he and President Bush. Blair’s publican charisma may be gone, but let’s face it: it was waning anyway. It was tarnished by Iraq. By the Cash for Titles scandal. By the leadership stoush between him and Brown. By David Blunkett’s extra-curricula affairs. By Cherie’s involvement with a known conman, Queensland’s own Peter Foster. Blair might be beyond repair, and Brown may not recaptured his charisma. But he has time to learn. And maybe what the world needs after Blair ISN’T charisma. Maybe what it needs is the stability, tenacity and down-to-business attitude of a Brown Government.

And in Australia, this morning the shit has most definately hit the fan. For no good reason whatsoever. The Australian Government has stepped up and banned the Australian Cricket Team from going on tour in Zimbabwe. Well, it had to be done didn’t it? Johnny Boy is a HUGE cricket fan so it’s not as though he wants to see the team be prevented from playing. But there are some thing’s bigger than cricket. Certain people in the community are up in arms, saying that this is just like the US boycotting the Moscow Olympics, and that sport and politics shouldn’t mix. But the fact of the matter is that for a lot of nations, sport and politics are intertwined. Look at South Africa. During apartheid the South African cricket and rugby union teams caught alot of heat from the international community in protest against segregation. How is that at all different to what is happening now? The fact of the matter is that the Mugabe regime is a cruel and oppressive one. That there is a mass exodus of Zimbabweans escaping Mugabe, and the one’s that are left suffer in silence. The team themselves don’t even want to go. Cricket Australia have said they were tossing up about whether to boycott or not, and if they did they would have to cop a fine from the International Cricket Commission. The Government’s ruling is a blessing. By being banned and not boycotting, the Australian Cricket Board do not have to pay any fines. The ACB have already came out to say that they are quite pleased that the Government forced their hand and made a decision for them. Mugabe calls us racist? Mugabe who is destroying his nations agriculture, whose economy is in decline, who periodically goes on rampages against any who oppose him, whose obliterated his nations human rights record… It needed to be done to make a point. The UN have made fools of themselves by allowing Zimbabwe to become the head of the Sustainable Development Commission. To back down now, in the face of international pressure, would just be another boon to Zimbabwe. Win the UN position, have Australia arrive to play cricket and inject money into the hands of Mugabe? Unacceptable. Australia has done the right thing. It’s time cricket fans, and the international community stood up and took notice.

And that’s the wrap, join us next week for the next exciting (kind of…) installment.

Paul

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Three Cheers for Propaganda People!

May 11, 2007 at 7:03 am (Uncategorized)

If this is the REAL Mickey Mouse Club, no wonder Britney Spears has gone so off rails. It would explain alot, as a matter of fact.

 Hmmm… Maybe Tigger took this advice a little too literally? Here’s a clip from a few months ago of Tigger beating a child at Disneyworld. Are we in for an attack by Islamic terrorists dressed as our favourite cartoon characters? You decide.

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mySpace Generation: New Communications Essay

May 10, 2007 at 1:21 am (Uncategorized)

In a society that favours rapid increases in depersonalised communication, the internet has emerged as a primary mode of contact between members of the community, resulting in decreases in the considerably more personalised face-to-face and telephone communications. Pioneering the field of internet communications, the prevalence of the social networking community MySpace has sparked a new generation of people worldwide relying upon the internet and digital technologies as a primary point of contact between families and friends. Founded by University of California- Berkeley alumni Tom Anderson in 2003, MySpace rapidly achieved mainstream popularity, culminating in its purchase by media giant News Corporation and the creation of the landmark 100 millionth account in 2006 (Incera et al: 2005). The MySpace phenomenon has provoked a dichotomous effect in its role as a means of communication, both increasing the levels of communication by using MySpace as an effective means of cost-effectively relaying messages and, alternatively, contributing to the decline in social skills that are born from exposure to personalised communication between parties. It is clear that, in this generation, the prevalence of digital communication technologies in the vein of MySpace will foster the rise of fresh concepts in communications theories, significantly reshaping the landscape of societal communication.

 

The social networking trend sparked by the snow-balling effect of MySpace has, unquestionably, led to an expansion in the ability of community members to correspond with each other, be it over long distances or within the local vicinity. MySpace’s popularity and position as the primary social networking website internationally increases its propensity to allow for communications over vast differences (Jones: 2006). This closure of the inherent communication gap between nations, consistently closing in proportion with the development of the internet, has provoked the introduction of another element to the globalisation movement, connecting the international community on a personal level, rather than through politics and the economy (Everard: 2001). Whilst the safety of social networking communities such as MySpace in the age of the internet predator has been overemphasised in the mainstream media, the role of MySpace as a simple means of socio-cultural exchange has been greatly underestimated, with its method of breaking down cultural barriers at the core of the social networking movement (Hodge & Lally: 2006). Furthermore, within the local community, MySpace has proven to be increasingly the primary method of communication within social circles. With the tendency towards gradual increases in digital communication between societal cliques, relative to increasing urban sprawl and decentralisation, utilising MySpace as a means of communication has seen a marked increase in popularity (Ciszek: 2005). This use of MySpace as a supplemental mode of social interaction to personal contact, equivalent to text messaging and the telephone, has been seen as an organisational tool for the facilitation personal interaction rather than a replacement of the same (Murnan: 2006, 267-272). As may be determined, the ascension of MySpace and associated social networks has given rise to greater levels of communication within both the global and local community, bridging the social divides institutionalised with urban decentralisation and the predominance of a global society.

 

The influence of social networking upon social interactions, however, may be seen to be degrading the process of interpersonal communication and, thereby, provoking the incremental loss of personal communication skills. Associated with increasing levels in public participation in the MySpace digital community there is an apparent trend towards an intense level of MySpace reliance, manifesting itself in a form of MySpace addiction (O’Hanlon: 2006, 7). This form of MySpace addiction leads to the institutions of social networking becoming the primary focus of communication, becoming less of a tool for communication and more of an activity unto itself. Despite the positive attributes of MySpace as a simple method of limitless communication, over reliance on utilising MySpace as the principal mode of communication between parties is undoubtedly detrimental to the fabric of societal relationships, leading to a profound disassociated with the wider community and an inability to process healthy interpersonal interaction (Deneke: 2006). In applying the dependence on digital communications to a context of employment relations, this incapacity of the ‘MySpace Generation’ to communicate efficiently on a personal level severely restricts their propensity to function appropriately in a professional environment, covertly sabotaging the extent of their success in the workplace (Beyer & Chadsey: 2001, 128-133). This generational disparity between the communication skills of the pre-internet workforce and that of those influenced by the non-personal interaction of the digital age has a dramatic effect upon social cohesion, not merely within a workplace environment, but within the community at large. Thus, whilst adaptation to digital technologies as a viable mode of communication is necessary for a progressive community to undertake, the growing trend of reliance on this non-personal form of interaction as the primary form of communication in the community has an unquestionable negative effect upon the ability of MySpace-reliant individuals to develop the social skills needed to interact on a personal level.

 

It may be seen that the prevalence of MySpace and associated social networking facilities on the internet has spawned equally positive and negative effects upon the communication capabilities of those utilising social digital communication technologies. The emergence of MySpace as an international trend in social communication has allowed for a breakdown in the cultural barriers between nations and groups within society, along with being used as a countermeasure against the decentralisation of the local community under the pressures of urban sprawl. The allure of MySpace, however, is undermined by the inclination of users to become addicted to using it as their main form of communication. This preference for using MySpace as their principal mode of communication leads purveyors of digital communications inability to develop appropriate social communication skills on a personal level, leading to degradation in social cohesion within the community. Thus, it is clear that while the evolution of MySpace has led to an increase in the ability of users to breakdown the barriers of culture and distance in an increasingly global society, overindulgence in utilising MySpace as a means of communication undoubtedly correlates to a breakdown in social solidarity and a defective ability to communicate on a personal level.

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New Communications Essay: Reference List

May 10, 2007 at 1:14 am (Uncategorized)

Reference List 

Beyer, S. and Chadsey, J. (2001). “Social Relationships in the Workplace”, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, Vol. 7, Issue 2, pp. 128-133 

Ciszek, T. (2005). Framework For the Development of Social Linking Theory, University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill 

Deneke, L. (2006). Computer-Mediated Communications: Potential and Actual Effects on the English Language, University of
Memphis: Memphis
 
  

Everard, J. (2001). Virtual States: The Internet and the Boundaries of the Nation-State, Routledge: Oxford 

Hodge, B. and Lally, E. (2006). “Cultural Planning and Chaos Theory in Cyberspace”, Fibreculture Journal, Issue 9, URL: http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue9/issue9_hodge_lally.html (Accessed: 18/4/07)

Incera, J., Mejia, M. and Roberts, G. (2005). Online Collaboration as Emerging Technology, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico: Mexico City 

Jones, I. (2006). Analyzing How Digital Convergence Will Change Our Work and Our World, Penn State University: Harrisburg

Murnan, C. (2006). “Expanding Communication Mechanisms”, The Guide to Computing Literature, 34th Annual Conference on User Services, pp. 267-272

O’Hanlon, C. (2006). “The Private Universe”, The Guide to Computing Literature, Vol. 4, Issue 3, pp. 7 

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The Stormtroopers of the “Big Bad Wolf” Take On The Poor French Protesters…

May 7, 2007 at 9:41 am (Uncategorized)

The result? CLASSIC VIEWING!
Touche, Sarkozy. Touche.

It actually makes me wish we were more liberal in our tear gas usage here.

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The Places You Have Come To Fear the Most

May 7, 2007 at 9:31 am (Uncategorized)

The verdict heard around the world. No, nothing as trivial as OJ being found innocent or minute as Whacko Jacko getting off his child molestation charges. And certainly not as low-key as Saddam Hussein’s war crimes guilty verdict. No, this verdict was far more tragic to the world. I mean, we all knew Saddam was guilty already, to the verdict was no shock. This on the other hand? Could have gone either way, which makes it all the more tragic. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, hell has arrived on Earth. Floyd Mayweather defeated Oscar de la Hoya in a split decision in the boxing match declared as the Fight of the Decade. I must admit: I shed a tear. It wasn’t so much a fight over skill, although I suppose that inevitably came into it. No, to many people it was a fight of principle. The fate of boxing, sport and even society as a whole rested on the result of two men belting each other in Sin City one balmy desert evening. In one corner, the brash trash-talking bravado of Floyd Mayweather, ushered into the ring by a rapping 50 Cent and continuing to mouth off up until the first bell. In the other corner Oscar de la Hoya, crusading against the arrogance of Mayweather with his own form of quiet confidence and dignity. The classic battle of integrity v. insolence played out in favour of Mayweather, to my shock and disgust. But, in my mind, de la Hoya emerges victorious over Mayweather every time. Good guys don’t always finish last. This time, however, the cliche proved correct.

As for that place that’s rapidly decreasing in lustre: university. It’s assignment season, guys and dolls. Now, I’m not going to complain about that too much. Most of my assignments are all done and dusted, ready to be handed in whenever it is that they’re due. I learned from last semester that the best way to avoid the stress induced headaches of assignment season is to be properly prepared. All my other friends, who have just started university this semester, are learning that lesson for themselves right about… NOW! Depending on how fast they learn will determine how long they’ll last at university. Some will sink and some will some. Now’s the business end of the semester. That’ll out those who are ready from those who aren’t. New Communications lecture last week opened with a discussion of how people are doing with assignments in the last week until they are due. I got called out by Steve, asking me what else is needed in referencing beside the author name and year of publication. I was at a COMPLETE loss for words. I thought he meant in-text referencing, and I couldn’t think of anything else that would possibly fit. So, I did what any articulate young male would do: I ummm’ed and ahhhh’ed. But he didn’t move on to ask someone else! He waited for me to give an answer that I plainly didn’t have. So, I had a punt. A very wild guess, I must say. I yell out from my spot in the back corner: “Umm, the name of the book?” And you know what? That was right. SCORE! The rest of the lecture was pretty interesting, all about the trend of cyberpunk, showing clips from things like The Matrix and Johnny Mnemonic. It was all pretty interesting, but then again I’m interested in all that stuff. I took the red pill and got unhooked from the Matrix a LONG time ago. Or was that the blue pill? Hmmm…

 Now onto the juicy material that feeds my rages so often: politics. Let us first spin the globe, close our eyes and point to a random destination! Ready… GO! And as the globe slows down it appears the finger has landed on the Bastille, smack-bang in the middle of Paris, France. I know. This globe is spookily specific. And in France this weekend the unbelieveably predictable occured. The centre-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy beat out the Socialist Sweetheart Segolene Royal 53% to 47%. Wait a second. Didn’t I use to Socialist Sweetheart moniker to describe Julia Gillard just a few short blogs ago? I believe I did. Hmmm… Must be a trend. A failing trend if Royal’s loss is anything to go by. Now, despite the fact that Sarkozy was the clear winner of both the first round of presidential elections and the second round run-off, the usual suspects were out to air their grievances against Royal’s clear loss. The working class activists and student protesters were out in force in a show of disgust with Sarkozy’s election, riotting across the nation. These same protesters, who Sarkozy once famously called “scum” and threatened to shut down with high pressure water hoses didn’t miss their first opportunity to rally against the Big Bad Wolf. And the Big Bad Wolf didn’t miss HIS first opportunity to make good on his promise and blow them over with state of the art anti-riot gear.

Score: Sarkozy- 1 Protesters- 0.

And wayyy back on the other side of the world, it was that time of year. The time of year for gratuitous union posturing and the public holiday that Labor use to garner favour with the average Australian. Today we saw something more disgusting than Mayweather claiming victory, anti-Sarkozy protesters and Amanda Vanstone at Sizzlers. We saw the likes of Sharan Burrows, Grace Grace and “Call Me” Kevin Rudd marching through the streets while impressionable children shouted vaguely Communist slogans. As much as the Union Officials present insisted upon calling it “The May Day March”, what it really should have been called was the “Who Hates Johnny Boy the Most?” March. Because that’s all it was. Ambulences rolled past with banners attached to them supporting Labor. The teachers union listlessly chanted anti-Coalition slogans. Kevin Rudd stood up in Brisbane and used to tired old “My name is Kevin and I’m here to help” line again. Does he not yet realise the evident Alcoholics Anonymous connotations? Does he not yet realise that the “Call Me Kevin” schtick can only go so far, that people will eventually realise that he isn’t just young Kevin from Eumundi? I think I’ve realised what Kevin is shooting for: the battler status of Bob Hawke, the economic credentials of Paul Keating, the public adoration of Mark Latham and the stability of Kim Beazley (the first time around). What comes out is a mangled facade of competence.

And finally, I’ll leave you all with a funny joke I heard on TV today. Wayne Swan, Shadow Treasurer, made a statement that he hoped the Costello Budget didn’t go on a spending spree in the lead-up to the October election. BAHAHAHA! A Labor Treasurer? Worrying about overspending by the man who has delivered CONSISTENT budget surpluses?

 On that note, true believers, stay classy.

Paul

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