I have had a couple of things wander in and out of my mind - but I haven't connected my thoughts. I have an assignment in my management class to write up a 500-word essay on leadership answering three specific questions about Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines. I've brainstormed my ideas, but haven't formed any sentences - which I should be doing instead of posting to my blog, but somehow feel the need to post something. So here it goes.
I have already posted two of my assignments from the philosophy class that I took. Six stages of critical thinking found here and an outline of my power point Sometimes . . . Dreams Happen . . found found here
In this post, I will share the two assignment from the other two weeks of class.
The first one is Making Emotions a Part of Digital Technology written in response to this video.
Making Emotions a Part of Digital Technology
Technology has affected our communication in several ways. We have gone from backyard visits and using card catalogs at the local library to relying on electronic devices for everything. We've been encouraged to go to school online, shop online, work from home (online) and correspond with one another electronically. We don't even have to leave the house anymore. It almost seems as though human contact is no longer encouraged. Yet there are those who seek to "humanize technology"
I found myself smiling through the majority of the Ted Talk video featuring Rana El Kaliouby. I genuinely admire the passion she shared for this digital emotion reading product which has been named "Affectivia". I'd like to share some things that were discussed in the video and some of my own view points and "emotions". Three specific points come to mind.
The first point I would like to make is that emotion-recognition technology is a great tool to have for those who are dealing with children or others who may have autism. Our human minds don't always grasp what emotion is being expressed, but emotion-recognition technology has programmed twelve billion emotion data points. This makes it sound as if this technology is more accurate than any human.
Rana el Kaliouby says, “This would focus on pragmatic training, helping these kids understand the meaning of different facial expressions and how to express their own.” (Matheson, 2014)
My second point is that this technology would benefit those that are going into marketing and graphic design. This would enable the advertiser to understand the emotions of potential clients who may or may not use said product as it might give instant feedback of how the consumer may feel about said product.
The third point I would like to make is that emotion-recognition technology in the workplace may assist with quality control. Employers would be able to know when their employees are really working and earning their pay or if their employees are goofing off and need to be dealt with. Perhaps employees will be able to work more effectively with humanistic technology.
As a personal use, el Kaliouby jokes (or perhaps she was being serious) about app being applied to all appliances. One example that she used was having the refrigerator recognizing stress. Her suggestion was that the fridge would automatically lock so that the person who is stressed doesn't binge. What if the emotionally stressed person becomes angry and breaks the fridge or smashes the computer because of humanistic emotional response? While there are many positive aspects to this technology, I am not 100% in favor of it.
Let me give you the example of the talking elevator doors. Elevators on cruise lines will welcome passengers and let them know what deck they are on. In the beginning of the cruise smiles and genuine pleasantries are exchanged among the passengers. However, before the cruise has reached its end, the novelty of the talking doors has worn off. Passengers are annoyed by the elevator voice. Passengers are in a hurry to get away from the elevator.
I make this comparison as I foresee the novelty wearing off. I still think it would be great in a teaching environment, but I think the advertising has gotten out of hand as it is. Even my husband, who has done marketing and graphic design and does want to continue working in an advertising business, says he would not be comfortable with this app from a consumer's point of view. We both feel that it is like having "big brother watching" at all times and that our privacy is somehow being invaded.
Before I close, I would like to describe two pictures and caption that recently caught my eye. In the first picture, there are three children wading in the river and playing in the mud. The expressions on their faces show that they are all having a wonderful time. In the second picture, three teenage girls are shown with their eyes focused on their cell phones; one reading, two are texting. The reader reveals just a tiny bit more expression than the two "no-emotion-whatsoever" teens that are texting. The caption reads: "So glad I grew up doing this (picture number one) not this (picture number two)"
In conclusion, we have become an electronic tech-minded society. So many people seem so focused on their machines than that they don't even know how to respond to humans anymore. I know that some people were surprised by the statistics of the older generation being more expressive (or emotionalist) than the younger generation. It actually makes sense if you set your mind on the two pictures. The older generation grew up relying on imagination and emotional contact. Many of the younger generation of the second picture are so busy with electronic technology, they fail to see or learn emotion. I think it would be better for the majority of the human race to learn emotions from other humans and not be so reliable upon machines.
The other assignment was on elaborating more on a certain fallacy. I picked the one from this video below
For most my life, I seem to have had a problem with communicating my point of view though I don't know when it started. I would guess it was during my teens when I picked up fallacies to use in my everyday vocabulary - which would explain my lack of proper communication. I suppose I have been a walking fallacy waiting to happen. Though several fallacies exist in my life currently, my focus for this assignment will be on the "post hoc fallacy" as demonstrated by Ernie and Bert.
This fallacy can occur well before the teenage years. As I don't remember back this far from my own personal life, let me use my nephew as an example. There was a time when he was playing with a light switch near the front window; at the same exact time, a fire truck barreled down the street. Moving a light switch from one position to another has absolutely nothing to do with the fire truck blaring, but in his two-year-old mind, he had caused the fire truck outside his window. Of course, there was disappointment on his part when more fire trucks didn't appear as he continued to play with the switch. That is one example of a post hoc fallacy.
Another example that I remember from my own life occurred when I was perhaps eight years of age. In my bedroom were three posters of big-eyed girls. Each had granulated backgrounds, one yellow, one pink and one blue. My father had taken them down in order to paint my room. He used masking tape at the edge of the ceiling in order to keep the ceiling white while painting the walls pink. After he had finished, I started to retrieve the posters that that been removed. I found only two, the blue and yellow. As my big-eyed girl on the granulated pink background was missing, I frantically searched for it. When I set my eyes upon a trash can full of the pink splotched masking tape, I cried because I had assumed it was my missing poster crumbled in a heap. I had jumped to conclusions.
I think jumping to conclusions is what a post hoc fallacy is; or in other words: "After this, therefore, because of this" Unfortunately I still haven't learned my lesson. I still have that bad habit of thinking that because there was a ten dollar bill in my room before my daughter arrived and because it was missing when she left, she must have taken it. This is a fallacy can be overcome if I will ask questions rather than make accusations. I hadn't taken into consideration that she had turned on the fan and the ten dollar bill had been blown onto the floor.
My goal is (and has been) to try to analyze not just the situation, but all of the possibilities involved. I know I haven't always taken all the facts into account. I need to ask questions and not accusations. I need to understand the situation before drawing a conclusion. I am better at trying to listen and understand. I don't think I'll feel like I've accurately completed overcoming post hoc fallacy until I no longer jump to conclusions.
Kaliouby, R. (2015, Dec 19). Ted Talks. Retrieved from You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N4ItKFhJDI
Matheson, R. (2014, July 31). A market for emotions. Retrieved from MIT News: http://news.mit.edu/2014/with-emotion-tracking-software-affectiva-attracts-clients-mood-aware-internet-0731
CRITICAL THINKING - Fallacies: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc [HD]
Paul Henne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A7hSaoRv0g
The Fallacy Project: Examples of fallacies from advertising, politics, and popular culture.