Humanity and Technology

THE SITUATION….THE GAP

Technology is advancing at lightning speed. Faster all the time, it is spreading into all areas of our lives. Equipment that once was obsolete two years ago is now obsolete within 6 months. Technological tools are getting smaller and more affordable to the entire world. Businesses and governments are trying to find their economic equilibrium as consumers purchase goods laterally, from one another through the Internet, often avoiding traditional consumer shopping or payment of sales tax.

“Small Business Technology”

Humanity is reeling from the physical effects of technology as well. Normal human development does not happen at lightning speed; it is a timed and sequenced process that requires human interaction, behavioral learning, and real experiences, if we are to learn the full spectrum of emotion and mature into healthy and happy adults. In times past, the way we lived our lives incorporated human interaction. Technology has now changed the way we live. Pushed too rapidly, human development becomes distorted or retarded, and emotional maturity goes awry.

While we continue to crave new and faster technology, as physical beings, we also feel the physical effects of getting what we want. We are becoming isolated and narrow in focus, perpetuating a narrow, superficial, and isolated existence. Human beings were not meant to live in this way. The human spirit needs to be nourished and replenished with work, play, friendship and love. At the core of us, we are emotionally and physically interactive beings. When we lose our ability and the opportunity for emotional connectedness, we are in danger of becoming as inanimate as the technology we so greatly desire.

Our electronic media culture bombards the current world with mass reproduction and reproducibility that can fool the human eye. Reality can become distorted; what’s real and what’s not real? The word, simulacrum means an unreal or superficial likeness, a copy without the original. Photographs, TV, video games, advertising, special effects, and computers are part of our electronic media, offering images so realistically created or altered, they can appear real, even when they are not. This inability to differentiate the real from the not real causes us to question our reality and we begin to mistrust our own perceptions. We begin to believe that nothing is real. This leads to feelings of apathy, hopelessness, and, ultimately, anarchy. If nothing is real, then nothing really matters. We become as robotic as our technological inventions, and just as cold and unfeeling. This is death to a human spirit that requires the warmth of human connection, touch and trust as its foundation. And, the human spirit will not go quietly into the night; it will not vanish without a fight. It will find some other way to express itself, too often in the sensual world of substance abuse and addiction.

A basic knowledge of human development is needed to understand the fundamental nature of the gap that has been created by our technological advancements. Our experiences from birth to age five set in place the neurological foundations upon which future learning depends: self-awareness, self-regulation, communication skills, personal relationships and the ability to learn from cause and effect. When one of these core developmental processes is not successfully navigated, it alters the ability to learn, evolve and mature. As human beings, we respond to and grow from being held, talked to, read to, listening to music, and played with, and pleasurable physical experiences with others. Without these foundations we regress, into human beings with no self-awareness, no self-control, unable to communicate our ideas, needs or desires to others, difficulty making or keeping relationships. And, not aware of what is wrong, we are unable to learn from our mistakes.

This is especially troubling in a wired world of information overload, and becoming more so as technology expands and speeds up its domain. When technology is offered to children too early, during human developmental years, it creates a problem. It may offer an intellectual exchange, but not the nuances of a human exchange. When technology is used as a surrogate caregiver, it creates emptiness within the human spirit.

The word simulation means the process of pretending, an imitation or representation of behavior, of one system through the use of another system. The military, law enforcement and businesses use the technology of virtual reality as a training tool, to train for the real thing. The technology of virtual reality may provide a partial learning experience, an intellectual experience but not a human encounter. It is an incomplete experience that lacks the full inclusion of the five senses, the very senses through which we experience being human. When we become aware and feel a full sensory experience, integrated through a shared physical encounter, it becomes functional, developing a human skill that we can use in future interactions.

As modern technology requires our cognitive self to speed up, the rest of our nervous system lags behind. This ultimately becomes a bridge too far and we create a split within ourselves, pitting technical being against human being: a brain without a body, intellect without emotion.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Technology can enhance the human world, but technology can also enhance the human being. What is needed are new ways to integrate technology with basic human needs and use that technology in the service of human development.

ONE SOLUTION

It is through the human developmental stage of pretend play and using The MovieMaking Process, that a creative alliance and innovative solution can be found between the world of human needs and the age of technology.

The MovieMaking Process is a simultaneous learning and teaching tool that incorporates human development with the best of today’s digital technology. Brain, body, awareness and emotions, merge through a shared and meaningful experience with others. This shared and meaningful experience with others is something human beings are hard-wired to need. Without it, there is an emptiness within that needs and desires to be filled. This desire will not go away until it is filled. Digital cameras and editing technology become the tools we use to create. Real life presentations expand this experience on a local level, and the Internet becomes the wormhole we slip through to share what we create on a worldwide scale.

The MovieMaking Process was developed to retrace fundamental early childhood developmental stages, address alternative learning styles, as well as visual perceptual differences, and teach new, behavioral skills quickly through the power of neuroplasticity-the brain’s ability to be re-wired. It does this through the tools of technology, self- awareness and play.

In the MovieMaking Process acting is used as a source of age-appropriate play. Pretend play is one of the developmental stages of early childhood, but the ability to play is needed throughout life; it is a human need. Play leaves the essence of reality intact; it is based on an actual physical experience that is shared with others. While simulacrum threatens to blur the difference between the real and not real, and simulation offers an imitation of an experience, pretend play incorporates mind and body through a shared sensory experience that teaches the subtleties of human actions and reactions-basic essentials of our humanness. It offers an experience to learn from and build upon. There are three distinct elements to The MovieMaking Process.

Clay and Art-Based Lessons: Initial clay and art lessons take the theme the movie will address and breaks it down into three to four core words, which are abstract concepts, focusing on the definition of these words required for total comprehension. These art based lessons teach from the perspective of an overview: the ability to see the larger picture and the relationships of parts to the whole. It entails using art, and physically creating these words and their definitions. By doing so, it is possible for almost everyone to conceptualize the meaning of abstract words, regardless of age or learning ability. Developmentally, this process takes advantage of the natural order of learning which must incorporate an interactive personal experience with another, that combines visual-spatial activities and involves touching, feeling or exploring objects. Simply put, these lessons can teach abstract concepts to concrete learners.

The theme of the movie may be any issue that needs to be addressed, or subject that needs to be learned, yet it must also have a functional goal, a link that addresses how can I use this information to make my current life better? Whatever the theme may be, it is within the shared experience of those participating and it is the experience that reconnects brain, body and awareness through active participation. It begins the filling of the emptiness.

Filming of the Movie: The filming of the movie provides the framework in which to plug in another early developmental stage in an age-appropriate way. Participants do not use dialogue; they use gestures and expressions to convey a message. This is one of the earliest human developmental needs, initially learned from the gestures and expressions of parents or primary caregivers. The reading of subtle body language is the foundation for learning the limits and boundaries of behavior.

Filming uses only one camera and one director/filmmaker. It is the participants who must develop certain human skills in order for the movie to flow with continuity and look more like a movie than simply action being recorded. Participants learn to freeze while the camera is moved and the lens refocused to show another perspective. Learning how to freeze for the camera teaches the basics of self-control. Participants must learn and use self-awareness to regulate themselves from the inside out. The need for self-control is obvious: without it, when human behavior becomes uncontrollable, a danger to others or ourselves, we eventually need to be controlled by others. Teaching self-control through the use of freeze, within the context of play, bypasses resistance to behavioral change.

The filming of the movie is often done in out of sequence parts, so the magic of editing technology now comes into play. The edited version of the movie creates something far more wonderful than anything the participants could have imagined. They see themselves larger than life, acting in a different way. Narration is added that contains the message the movie is intended to convey. More sophisticated language can be used within the narration, for it is added to the solid foundation of visual metaphors, and a real life remembered experience.

The final, magical touch, to The MovieMaking Process is the musical score that runs through the movie. Music is vibration and the combination of musical tones has always been able to inspire and move the human spirit. In listening, we are emotionally moved, and through that process we become more than what we are. The whole movie experience is now part of us: in our mind, our emotions, our body, and our spirit; aware, alive, and enhanced.

Several Presentations: Presentations of the finished movie are mandatory, using the latest in neuroscience research the power of paying attention in a positive and pro-active way. As participants present their creation to others, talking about their experience, what and how they created it, it is possible to bring a larger group into the experience and once again share a meaningful interaction, simply in a different way. As digital technology continues to expand and movie theatres acquire the universal ability to show digital movies, everyday people and community groups can become stars in their own lives. They can see themselves, literally, larger than life and learning from themselves, over and over.

By aligning with technology, using The MovieMaking Process as a learning and teaching tool; human development, through pretend play, can claim authority over simulation and simulacrum, overruling them with a meaningful, shared experience. At its core, The MovieMaking Process is differentiation, simply taking an issue as it is: learning to do it differently with a productive and positive ending and gaining the awareness to perceive the differences.

As digital cameras get smaller, they offer the ability for use with very young children, within classrooms, therapeutic learning environments and community groups, without being obtrusive. As they evolve in quality, they offer more clarity, more lighting corrections and more internal movement possibilities, getting closer and closer to the look of 35mm film. As digital cameras and editing equipment become more economical, they allow for their use by families, public education, community groups, faith-based groups, service agencies, even underdeveloped and economically disadvantaged countries.

As all-purpose, home entertainment devices permeate mainstream living-rooms, the neighborhood Premiere is only a step away. The Internet, with its variable and expanding forms of distribution, allows for global presentations of local creative projects, entertaining and educating at the same time. Ideas are community property and free access to information is meant to be a matter of principle. Instead of being isolated by the use of technology, technology can be used to reconnect humanity as communities engaged in creative and pro-active use of the media arts to address human needs and social issues.

CONCLUSION

The MovieMaking Process is an independent educational initiative. It was developed on the solid foundation of human development and alternative learning styles, while tapping into the positive power of the neurosciences through the media arts. It was developed as a way to use technology for the advancement of humanity. Training is offered in workshops for teachers, families and community activists.

This process has been used successfully with children and adults who have complex learning difficulties or exhibit atypical behavior, in education, mental health, probation and corrections. It’s also been used with entire communities to address global issues on a grassroots level. It allows for the creative and diplomatic progress of technology and humanity, incorporating the developmental needs of human beings and the very best that technology has to offer, each urging the other to continually evolve and challenge one another toward excellence. Its potential uses are unlimited, allowing humanity and technology to co-evolve, creatively bringing out the best in one another. In 2008. it was nominated to SAMHSA’s Midwest Science To Service Academy as one of the Midwest’s most promising prevention programs.

Linda Flanders is a former San Francisco police detective specializing in child abuse. She is a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner (C), prevention program designer and educational video producer. Taproot, Inc. N1872 670th St. Bay City, WI 54723, (715) 222-0920. Website is under construction.

Managing Technology

“I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.” – From the HAL 9000 computer, 2001: A Space Odyssey

When it comes to technology solutions for your business it is easy to get carried away with the latest-and-greatest gadgets and solutions. Everyone wants to have the latest shiny thing. In larger organizations, managing technology can become burdensome due to competing and duplicative technology requests. Left unfettered, the company technology platform can resemble a “spaghetti bowl” over time. Often is the case, new technology requests are submitted without any business case to support their investment.

I am a big proponent of having non-technology business leaders play an active role in the determination of the technology solutions utilized at an organization. While it is critical to include an IT perspective from a technical interface standpoint, having non-IT personnel drive technology solutions often lead to decisions based on thebusiness needs of the organization. As such, any technology request would require a business plan to support the investment.

Form A Technology Committee: This is the start of your technology approval process. Create a technology committee that represents various personnel from cross-functional departments. Consider selecting an operations, marketing, accounting, technology and finance member to this team. This committee is charged with creating the process for submitting technology solution requests for the organization as well as providing the prioritization and ultimately, approval of the requests.

Develop A Submittal Process: Inherent in a well-thought through technology strategy for an organization is developing a process for the submission of ideas. Following the “garbage-in, garbage-out” mindset, developing a detailed process for submission will help weed out the “nice to haves” and focus the committee on real, tangible solutions. This process should not only include the technology solution identified, but as importantly, the business case for its justification. For approved projects in the queue, a monthly communication should be sent to the organization recapping the activity of the committee.

Focus Your Projects: A technology committee creates focus throughout the organization. While it would be great to have every new iteration of technology that gets released, that is impractical and costly. The committee can help with providing a high-level perspective on the entire enterprise since it is considering all requests. All to often, departmental requests have a tendency to be created in a silo, with only the impact on that department considered.

Need To Have Vs. Nice To Have: This is a biggie. It is easy to feel that an iPhone 3 becomes obsolete as soon as the iPhone 4 is released, but when the technology is run by the committee, the “nice to haves” usually fail due to a lack of business case. The committee allows the organization to run with an unbiased interference with respect to technology. The committee is charged with improving ROI on technology solutions and since it is comprised cross-departmentally, there should be no “pet” projects.

One Project, Big Picture: I have headed a technology committee in the past and the greatest “aha” moment for me was the amount of similar technology solutions that were being presented from different departments. Had all of these requests been accepted, the organization would have overspent IT dollars as well as created duplicative solutions to the same issues. The committee allows for its members to “rise above” the fray of the organization and view the technology requests in the big picture. The committee’s goal was to ensure that any approved request was accretive to the overall company.

Create A Business Case: This is the best way to clear out the clutter. Ask employees what they need from a technology solution and the committee will be inundated with ideas. Ask them to submit in a business case (cost justification for the investment) along with their solution and ideas are significantly reduced. The business case for a technology solution not only helps in identifying whether the investment is worth it, but also forces the author to think about how this solution interfaces within the existing platform.

Post Analysis: Lastly, carefully measuring the business case proforma against the actual cost/return of the projects not only holds the submitter responsible, but also the committee. The goal with the post analysis isn’t to “call people out”, but rather provide an unbiased financial review of the project. Without this type of post analysis measurement to hold this team accountable, the committee eventually will serve no purpose.

Know What’s Good and What’s Bad With 3G Technology

Plus and Minuses of 3G Technology

3G technology has taken the world by storm, with more and more users converting into the new platforms and systems that promise faster downloads, more efficient communication processes and better online experiences. You can get ahead by knowing the possible opportunities and pitfalls as well. Some people successfully make the transition from 2G to 3G, while others just prefer more traditional methods. Here are some starter tips.

New Technologies

3G technology is the latest one that offers faster data transfers through people’s cellular phones. 3G stands for third generation mobile telephone communication systems technology. People will be able to receive and transmit data at a rate of 2 Megabits for every second. 3G cellular phones are also capable of having conventional fax, data and voice services, plus multimedia and high-resolution video services that can be used, while you are mobile. Other mobile office services are included such as online-billing, online banking, access to the internet, online entertainment and video conferencing.

This type of mobile telephone technology significantly improves the means of communication for millions of individuals all over the globe. They can also discover new functions and uses for their cellular phones for both work and personal use.

More Benefits

One of the more known advantages of 3G technology is that it allows your phone’s capacity to view television shows through your cellular phone. You can also experience video conversations with other individuals, regardless of the time and place, who are also investing in 3G technologies.

3G phones have become one of the most powerful devices available. People get to conduct video conferencing if ever their flight gets delayed or they have other location problems. Some of the other useful applications of 3G phones include positioning services, map services and multiplayer gaming, which appeals to both teenagers and kids.

Getting More

The 3G technology allows cellular phones to be capable of work regardless of the owner’s location and the time, because of the several available applications. You can instantly simply tasks and scheduled activities, such as shopping, so that you can order items that need to be restocked. You can require and order goods over the internet, and have them ready for pickup to help you save more time and energy.

You can also balance checks and pay your bills and debts, by simply logging on to your bank account via the 3G gadgets you have. You can book dinners and hotel reservations in advance, in other cities and countries. 3G technology also gives you enough time and space to work to optimum levels. Teleconferencing is among the most excellent applications for 3G technology at work.

Changes and Enhancements

Despite the fact that 3G technologies provide new changes and advanced methods in telecommunication, there are a number of things that may make the technology consequential. These new 3G cellular phones are actually a lot pricier, compared to traditional models. People can also do video conferences only with other 3G subscribers. There are several enhancements to features and applications, which is why you should consider the kinds of work you plan to do, to determine if the technology is the best one for your needs.

Newer technologies are also in the works, such as 4G and 3.5G. You can choose to wait for these, or describe the new changes as worthy of your hard-earned cash.

A Peak of What OpteMAN Solution

Reaching the business targets that you are aiming for is difficult when your internet connection is running slow or stagnant. You will find that lags in an internet connection can slow your productivity rate and eats up quite a bit enough of your time as well. But for some internet business users, getting a hold of some new technology about systems and networks are hard to find. Now if this is the case, then OpteMAN’s services are just right for you. OpteMAN’s solution enables you to connect into many sites without having to slow your connection speed. Meaning multi-connections made into many sites will not slow your work progress but will even make it faster. Online users in the network will even not have bandwidth problems as well. OpteMAN’s flexibility in features will only prove that this service is a must have for your business. This also means that you do not have to purchase other stuffs such as adaptors, network cards, routers, or hi-tech gadgets for your business, as OpteMAN’s service is already a top of the line business network solution.

As a matter of fact, OpteMAN is available in a number of service providers associated with huge companies like AT&T. The solution of which this service provides is very reliable and even helpful to your business if we are talking about Internet connectivity. OpteMAN allows a huge number of computers or sites to be linked with its Ethernet network. With this kind of service, computers and applications in a local area network or LAN can be easily controlled and organized. Moreover, EVC or Ethernet Virtual Connection is being applied by OpteMAN to ensure that packets being sent in and out of the network are properly broadcasted to your LAN or local area network. To give its users and client’s direct communication from an office or source, Opteman amplifies your Ethernet service. And because of this unique feature, connections to associates, clients and other business parties are made easy to give and bring you the communication service that you deserve. With OpteMAN’s service features, high business targets are directly parallel to tasks and cost effectiveness that big and small businesses can easily attain. And also with speeds ranging from around 5 Mb to more than 1 GB, file transfers are done in a flash.

The reason that you must consider about why OpteMAN is a reasonable choice by many, most of the time, is because of its security and efficiency in network solutions. Not many services can help you progress in your business tasks as OpteMAN does. And with an easy to use interface, this fine service solution will not be difficult to use for the clients and users in your business or for the students using it in campuses. Yes, that is right, OpteMAN is also ideal for educational purposes. Many educational institutions have already started using OpteMAN’s service solution.