Get Rich or Die Trying

•May 4, 2012 • 1 Comment

The Tupac hologram at the Coachella festival took viewers through a wave of emotions. First viewers were shocked to see Tupac. Then there was the uncertainty and questioning how is this possible. Then there was the acceptance and excitement to actually seeing a hologram of Tupac.

After digesting the fact that Tupac is now a hologram, the simple fact remains nostalgia = exploitation. History has shown that one of the easiest ways to make a buck is to sell people old memories. The last memory I have of a hologram is in Return of the Jedi. What George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did to Star Wars and Indiana Jones is unspeakable. Those two directors clearly played on the nostalgia factor of diehard fans everywhere, and ruined perfect movies forever. Sadly, every time I see a hologram, as cool as it may be, it will always be stained with exploitation.

But back to the nature at hand, the price to cost ratio of creating a hologram is almost too hard to past up. Reports are that it cost between $100K to $400K to create the Tupac hologram. Considering traveling expenses and compensation of a live performer, the price of the hologram almost paid for itself. The publicity that the performance received was an added bonus, and already there are talks to bring back every dead musician. When you take into consideration, that the cost holograms will decrease due to efficiency, there will be no telling how many hologram concerts we will see. Michael Jackson, a Beatles reunion, and Elvis could all grace the stage in the future. As long as people will pay to relive their history, concert promoters will charge them and holograms will be an easy way to make more money.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/report-tupac-hologram-at-coachella-cost-at-least-100k -20120416

The College Dropout

•April 25, 2012 • 1 Comment

 

The presentation of the presentations in class was interesting. There was a wide range of topics as well as creativity involved. The one that stood out to me the most was the walk out presentation. The idea of protesting UH by taking a semester off emphasized the great divide at UH.

I don’t know if it was by design, but one of the most fascinating parts about UH is that on one side of the campus there is the Shidler College of Business, and on the other side there is the American Studies program. On one side, there are the professionals, Asian dominated school of business. On the other, there are the skateboarders, artists, and mixed race school of American studies. While no one agrees with UH tuition prices and other decisions, the interesting part is how each side goes about to fix the problem. In the case of Shidler, the student’s approach is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The solution is not to fix UH, but make the most of the situation, and the ends will justify the means. From the minute you enter Shidler, you are bombarded with advertisement about what clubs to join, what events to pursue, and what internships to take, and career fairs to attend. Basically, the college is set up to give the students the confidence and opportunity to succeed after graduating, and that will pay off the struggles of UH. They eliminate any possibility of business students joining that cause.

The American Studies approach is to actually fix the problem. The students here think of ideas, solutions, and giving the students possibilities to make the change. In class there was the suggestion of protecting the students by giving them jobs and earn money while they take the semester off in protest.  The fundamental thinking between students at both colleges are worlds apart, and it seems that it will always be worlds apart figuratively and literally.

The answer probably remains in the middle. If somehow the school was connected, and ideas could be spread across the campus, maybe more students would consider the protest. If each major was set up to give students the opportunities that Shidler provides, maybe students wouldn’t get frustrated enough to protest. But back to the point about design, was it just a coincidence or planned. This reminds me of the history of labor in Hawaii, and how races were designed to be separated. Sadly, a design so simple has such an effect that the problem will continue for generations to come.

http://clear.uhwo.hawaii.edu/HawaiiLaborHistory.html

Hakuna Matata

•April 25, 2012 • 1 Comment

It’s a gift and a curse…

In basketball, Michael Jordan’s greatest gift was his will to win and be the greatest ever. This same gift ended up being his biggest detriment in the latter stages of his career. During his last few seasons, he could not adapt to being the contributor and struggled throughout the season.

Hawaii is in a similar situation. In class, it was pointed out that Hawaii can take a person out of the submarine, even if it’s just for a moment. Taking advantage of Hawaii’s natural resources – mountains and oceans – can snap a person back to reality. Hawaii can free a person from the prison of the digital world. While this is certainly a blessing, it can also be a curse. Hawaii often times creates a lifestyle that is hard to break out of. A recent poll showed that Hawaii ranked as the number one state for wellbeing. If outside the submarine represents reality and the problems of the world, Hawaii is the worst place to live to escape the sub.

A similar example of this situation is in the movie the Lion King. In Pride Rock, Simba was living in the real world. Pride Rock was community based, where problems were solved and dealt with by the community. When Simba life took an unfortunate turn, and he met Timon and Pumbaa, his life took a 180 degree turn. By living in paradise, Simba developed the Hakuna Matata (“it means no worries for the rest of your days”) lifestyle. It literally took a vision of his father, a talk with Rafiki, and an old friend from the past to snap Simba back into reality. And even with a traumatic shake-up, Simba was still hesitant to leave his comfortable life in paradise.

In class, we discussed how Hawaii was very fortunate from avoiding potential disasters such as radiated waters or tsunamis. Sadly, it would take an event like that to shake people out of the Hakuna Matata mindset.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/146288/hawaii-no-wellbeing-west-virginia-last.aspx

Mr. Roboto

•March 21, 2012 • 1 Comment

The Kara real time video showed a glimpse into the future. The idea of dating or having a relationship with a robot could become a real possibility. One show that tackled this issue was Futurma’s I Dated a Robot episode. In the episode, Fry discoveries that he could make his fantasy of dating a celebrity come true by downloading the personality and physical features of the celebrity into a blank robot. In addition, he could also program the robot to like him. The whole episode revolves around the relationship between Fry and his Lucy Liubot until the eventual destruction of their relationship.

The first point of this episode was even with the social stigma and dangers of dating robots in the future, Fry decided to go for it anyway. His fellow employees warned him by showing a propaganda video similar to Boys Beware. However, he still chose to download the celebrity profile and ended up falling in love with the robot. What I take away from this is that majority of the population will avoid having a relationship with robots. I believe that as technology advances to where robots become sellable, so will the education and knowledge. However, this won’t stop everyone from partaking in robot relationships. In Fry’s case, he was from a former century and was not acclimated with his new environment. It would seem that the outliers of this problem would be those that did not grow up in the tech-age or those from a different culture. The second point made was from Bender, who was offended by the idea of competing for female robots with humans. Currently, this is not a pressing issue because the stereotypical man, who would date a robot, would probably not be an attractive mate in society. The only potential problem I see is if this group expands. It is fun to predict what technological advances with robots we will have with the future; the difficulty is predicting whether or not society will be as evolved with the technology. If society is, this will not be a problem; if society is not, we are looking at an interesting future.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Dated_a_Robot

The Way I Am

•March 13, 2012 • 2 Comments

1) What do I care about?

First there are the important things like family, friends, foods, religion, my health and education. This group is the fundamental basis of my life. They are important for the obvious reasons. Then there are the fun things and it mainly consists of sports and pop culture entertainment.

2) Do I want social change?

Yes. Our society is not perfect, and any change to make it better is welcomed. But the more important question is would I get involved in that change. Right now, the answer is no. Until what I have to lose is less than what I have to gain, I probably would not get involved.

3) How can I start or prevent it?

To start change, we have to first start with ourselves. Change happens from within. For our generation, education and experience is key. The more we educate ourselves and the more we get involved, then the more of an impact our involvement will be. To prevent change, do the opposite of this which is nothing at all.

4) Are these people smarter than me?

Yes and no. Right now I would say yes, but in a week or two, the answer could change to no. In the age of technology, your comparative intelligence to someone else is only as good as the information that can’t be looked up or understood. In Catch Me If You Can, DiCaprio’s character learns how to become a doctor and lawyer from watching television shows. That same principle is only magnified today. It is not inconceivable, that any of us could replicate what they did today.

5) How are these people different from me?

Culturally, they are probably very different. The culture between Hawaiians and Europeans are worlds apart. These people are also more socially active than I am. To put on a conference, and shoot a documentary about it is pretty impressive.

6) Would you have gone to the Share Conference?

7) What is your favorite class lecture so far?

We Are Young

•March 9, 2012 • 1 Comment

In Share.mov Obama’s official blogger commented on the change that was taking place. He said, “I don’t want a revolution if I can’t dance. That’s what share is about. It’s about important ideas it’s about creating change, but it’s about having fun. If everyone is serious all the time we’ll get tired, we’ll get burnt out we won’t want to create change. Change has to be fun.”

I agree with him to the extent that people need release. In work or school, people need a break to recharge. But where I disagree is that change has to be fun. I believe in the opposite, that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of fun and the effectiveness of the change. Did the Libyans have fun overturning Gaddafi? Were the people in the Arab Springs having fun protesting?

One of the main reasons why I disagree with him has to do with the basic needs of humans. In terms of the desperation and effort to change, I look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The theory behind this pyramid is that each level needs to be satisfied in order to reach the next level. The base is the physiological needs that are needed to live. This includes food, water, breathing etc. The highest level is self-actualization which deals with morality, creativity, and acceptance of facts. Relating this chart back to the different degrees of change, the physiological needs are those changes that people face in Libya and the Arab Springs. There, people’s lives are threatened both physically and philosophically. When the basic necessities of your life are threatened self-actualization or in this case fun/entertainment gets pushed to the side. One of the biggest criticisms of this model is that very few reach the top level of self-actualization. One of the reasons why I believe that this is true is that people reach a comfort level and therefore are less motivated to change. Going back to the quote from Obama’s blogger, one of the reasons why I believe that the more fun you have, the less likely change will take place is because of the lack of necessity. Granted, change can occur at all levels, but the severity of the situation plays a huge factor. Simply put, the more time for fun, the less of a pressing need to change.

http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds.htm

Show Me What I’m Looking For

•March 2, 2012 • 1 Comment

Generally, algorithm systems set up by businesses work. They give management the important information and correlations needed to make the right decisions. If the system didn’t work, a new one would be set-up in its place. In one intriguing case, analyzing and correlating the data is so difficult, that majority of the businesses constantly make the wrong decisions causing people to lose their jobs yearly. Welcome to the NFL Combine.  

The NFL Combine can be described as a human cattle call. Upcoming potential NFL players stand in a line and wait to be measured. Everything gets measured, from the height, weight, wingspan, to the hand size and feet size. Then there are the drills that measure the NFL data. The 40-yard dash measures speed, the cone drills measure quickness, the weights measure strength, the long jump measures explosiveness, and then there are the position-specific drills that measures throwing, hands, and technique. After all of that, players go through rounds of interviews and take the Wunderlick Test which measures IQ. After everything that can be measured is measured, the teams and analyze which players they will take in the upcoming NFL draft. With all the collected data, plus hours of game-tape, one would assume that teams have the data to make the right decisions. Yet year after year, teams miss on picking the right players which hurts the organization, staff, players, and fans.

So how can you fix an algorithmic system that is so unpredictable? The data is obviously important because the measured sets are translatable to football, and teams do use the data in making their choice. At the same time teams who rely to heavy on the data often times make mistakes and lose their jobs. There seems to be a negative relationship between the data set and outside factors. The more variables in the equation the less the data set is relevant. Immeasurable factors include the players love for football, their will, the fit within the system, personal factors, leadership etc. The logical endpoint is that the combine won’t change, however teams will try to find more data to record. This will in turn lower the variable risk and allow better decisions to be made.

NFL.com | Combine