Posts Tagged ‘technology’

At the End of the Day

Monday, April 28th, 2014

In everything that I have thus far said about the experience of reading and my own experience of reading, there is only one notion that I want everyone to constantly bear in mind: this is only one possible potential of understanding reading. The analogy of understanding the world as a text may be understood in a plurality of contexts. All I offer is one possible method and whether or not this reader wishes to take it to heart depends on the heart of the reader.

 

“What is given form here is not the totality of life but the artist’s relationship with that totality, his approving or condemnatory attitude towards it; here, the artist enters the arena of artistic creation as the empirical subject in all its greatness but also with all its creaturely limitations.”

—György Lukács

 

The beauty of the analogy of a text is that it allows for the reader to choose between understanding the text as a thing created by a person, taking that person into consideration; or taking the text as its own entity, which only truly comes into becoming when engaged in participation with a reader. Regardless of which text appeals to one’s sensibilities more, both texts are created by language, which by itself calls for the most intricate plurality known. Language is the simplest whole that is simultaneously a multitude of disconnected parts. This idea can be traced back as far as Genesis. When God destroyed the Tower of Babel, he wasn’t destroying mankind’s creation of language and his achievements. He destroyed mankind’s attempt to unify all the languages, because language isn’t meant to be a perfect unification. It urges its own tension and to deny that is like denying one’s own self-awareness. What texts do is they take this language and utilize it in order to create a poetic rendering of the world. And despite the fact that by creating this rendering, this reflection, the image created is merely an appearance, a portrait of what is truly attempting to be represented, and we are able to get more from this image than from anything else.

 

“Why couldn’t the world that concerns us—be a fiction? And if somebody asked, “but to a fiction there surely belongs an author?” —couldn’t one answer simply: why? Doesn’t this “belongs” perhaps belong to the fiction to? Is it not permitted to be a bit ironical about the subject no less than the predicate and object?”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

 

A frequent topic of conversation these days is where the direction of literature is headed, especially printed literature, in this technological Internet age. But what is rarely considered is the fact that literature is merely one medium for language. Similar questions are also asked about poetry, which seems to be suffering a more brutal battle than prose. But at the end of the day, poetry and prose are merely forms for the content of language. If the Internet and technological age are as threatening to the mediums of poetry and prose as people are making them out to be, then what will merely happen is that language will find a new form, a new vehicle. The only reason it’s difficult to imagine the type of vehicle it would be is because we have lived in constant mediums of language since before the time of Homer.  Now we have the Internet, something maybe vaguely conceptualized before its time, and we have absolutely no idea what the potential form of language will be in relation to the world that the Internet has created for itself. We’ve already gone through the times of Leet speak and Internet shorthand (LOL, OMG); but that’s just the evolution of conversation. The evolution of the poetic rendering of the world in the world of the Internet is, for now, a difficult thing to conceive.

 

“A whole world will envelop you, the happiness, the abundance, the inconceivable vastness of a world. Live for a while in these books, learn from them what you feel is worth learning, but most of all love them.”

—Rainer Maria Rilke

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Marina Manoukian, Sarah Lawrence College

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Studying with Technology

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

As a student in New York City, you’re going to be faced with many distractions. Whether it be your friends, your new favorite app, or even a free concert or show, you’re going to have to manage your fun time with your school time.

We’re fortunate that we live in a society where you can access all sorts of technology that won’t only help you procrastinate, but will help you get your work done without distractions. Below are some tech-friendly ways to stop procrastinating.

1. REMIND YOURSELF

This may seem silly, but I set myself reminders to do my work. Most smart phones have a “reminders” list, which lets you set a time and date that you want to be reminded to do a task. This helps if you’re a forgetful person, or just someone who needs to be prompted to study or write a paper.

On the other hand. . .

2. SHUT THE PHONE OFF

Personally, I can’t work when people are texting me; I am just too tempted to carry on a conversation about the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live, or whatever fun event is going on later that night. When I have to write a paperwhether it’s four or fourteen pages longthe phone goes off. If you like setting reminders on your phone but don’t want to hear any incoming calls or text messages, most phones have an “airplane mode,” which shuts off communications but will keep your phone’s other functions, like reminders, on.

3. OKAY, YOU CAN HAVE A BREAK

Every hour, give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to look at your phone, check your email, or watch a funny YouTube video. Studies show that taking breaks helps you focus more when you return to studying.

4. APPS

Okaydon’t discount your iPhone or iPad just yet. There are several free apps that can help you study. Flashcards Study Helper is exactly what it sounds like: it’s all the help of flashcards, without wasting leftover index cards. Mathemagics Lite  is a scientific calculator for on-the-go. And for the Shakespeare scholars, there’s an app that contains all of Shakespeare’s works. Even better, it’s free!

5. AND OTHER WEB-BASED TOOLS…

If you’re a Mac user, there is a scheduling app called iProcrastinate (ha!) that helps you break down tasks into smaller tasks. Additionally, many textbooks or required readings are available on half.ebay.com for cheaper prices. Check your booklist early, and order away!

Being a college student in the 21st century is hard. There may be countless distractions and ways to stop you from doing your work, but your smartphone is called a smartphone for a reason! You can train yourself to use your technology to your advantage.

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Erin O., NYU.

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Dwindling Communication in the 21st Century

Friday, October 5th, 2012

With all kinds of new technology and social media platforms popping up every day, it seems easier than ever to stay in contact and communicate with the whole world.  It doesn’t even require a lot of effort, just a portable laptop — which come in extra small packages these days – or a smart phone.  So why is it that the real value of our words is going down the drain?

Even he didn't say much and he could be heard almost ANYWHERE

Part of this is our own fault for relying too much on technology.  There’s less effort put into meeting up with a friend or family member for a quick lunch.  Making communication easier has made us less aware of the importance of following through and actually speaking.  Personal relationships have decreased in favor of the blogosphere or Facebook.

With the upcoming Presidential election, it’s important to take more pride and responsibility in our words, our communication, and listening and hearing content.  That annoying little habit of saying “like” after every other word?  That was OK when you were 13.  Part of being a responsible adult pertains not just to our professional lives, but also to our communication.  As students, you’re going to be primed as the leaders of the future; it is important to recognize this gift and own it.

Your Presidential vote is also your future, take some time out to inform yourself on what the candidates stand for. Yes, it is true that many of their speeches and debates will be ridden with white noise you should avoid, but the important thing to do is to INFORM yourself.  Educating yourself on issues is a practice you’ll continue even after the election, making you highly employable. Try news feeds like cnn.com or huffingtonpost.com. If you’re in a real rush, newser is a great place to catch up on headlines with a short and readable summary.

As to the nonsense words you use to fill silences, start thinking a little more before speaking.  This will cause you to have a fully formulated sentence before speaking, but if you should have a silence somewhere…it’s OK! No need to add “like,” “so,” “um,” etc.  Some thoughts to keep your message in line:

Are you really saying what you want to say?

Is that person going to understand your needs and goals?

If not, could you reword it and still make the message clear?

Remember: being too wordy may lose the listener.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in preparing and physically relocating to New York City, it’s that if you can write and communicate your ideas well, your career will soar.  While social media is all good and fun, it’s only effective when used properly.  So go out and use your voice, your thoughts, and yes, your phone (in fact, you could download the Campus Clipper App RIGHT NOW)!

 

Written by: Lauren A. Ramires

If you’re interested in finding out more about my opinions and ventures with social media, social media marketing, fashion, travel and humor, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or my blog.

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Think About The Big Picture | Victoria Rossi: A Photographer in Motion

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Growing up, I thought the only combo better than peanut butter and jelly was a pen and paper. I have always had an affinity for writing and using it as a tool and an art form. However, I didn’t see my writing as a talent until I started writing poetry, performing in open mics, and participating in talent shows. Once I discovered my immense passion for poetry, I knew I had to reach out and get others involved in their own talents. When I first started writing, I saw poetry as my salvation. It introduced me to new people, new experiences, and taught me that life exists beyond the L train. This post is about how you can use your talent to help others see that their life can change, as well as how to use your talent to help your community.

Looking for people with the same affinity for using their talents to help others, I found Victoria (also known as Vee) Rossi, a 20 year-old photographer/college student.

“I started doing photography after my aunt passed away my senior year of high school. She used to own a photo lab in Barrington, Rhode Island and was the relative who always had her hand attached the camera at any family function. She loved looking through pictures, collecting pictures, taking pictures, and I guess I picked that up from her after she passed away, sort of paying homage to her. I do photography because I love creating things and I especially love creating images and having the capability of manipulating emotions and making people feel one way or another or see something or realize what they haven’t seen. Some of my favorite things or people to photograph are the dancers in my mom’s dance studio in Cranston, Rhode Island. Not only are they brilliantly talented but they’re willing to push limits photographically and also in the areas of dance. It’s always nice to photograph them also because they’re so eager to create something beautiful. I help them and they help me. I also will go to the dance competitions and photograph them while they’re in their prime competing because that’s when you really see the intensity. I not only see photography as an emotional outlet, but also as a possibility to make a career. They always say that you should do something that you love and something that makes you happy, and I think that I may have found that for me.”

Here are some recent photos Victoria has taken of her mother’s students:

      

Victoria has also done shoots for her school, Simmons College, and some of their drama productions including The Vagina Monologues. From first position to on pointe, the dancers and their art are captured via Victoria’s own art.

 

Check out Victoria and her Facebook Page and Photography Blog

Now that you’ve seen how Victoria gives back to her community, here are some ways that you can help your community with your talents:

 

Host an Art Show:

If you are an artist, painter, sculptor, metalworker, etc., go to your local YMCA, community center, or even a friend’s back yard and host an art show. You can sell your art by donation or fixed prices, or you can even just have your art on show for viewing and charge a small admission fee. Then, the proceeds can go to your local YMCA, city program, etc.

Have an Open Mic:

Taking the same idea as the art show, you can find a space to have poets, singers, musicians, and even actors come and perform. You can sell drinks or charge a small admission fee and raise money that way.

Get some friends, and direct a small play in the neighborhood:

Gather your actor, musician, dancer friends, and host a play or opera, or even a concert!

Is a local business or store you frequent looking a little dusty?:

If you have a way with the paintbrushes or even organizing, offer your services in exchange for promotion of your talent!

All of these are inexpensive and help in many ways. They help you meet more talented people, polish skills as well as gain new ones, and most importantly, they help the community.

Now that you’ve read about how to get involved, go out and do it! Here’s a great coupon for art supplies! Click HERE for a printable version!

Joanne, Simmons College ’15. Read my personal blog!

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Long-Distance Relationships and Weird Technologies that Help Close the Gap

Saturday, June 9th, 2012
long-distance

Image Credit: http://www.yourtango.com/long-distance-relationship-0

Ahh, summertime. The smell of suntan lotion is in the air, breezes tickle bare skin and make girls paranoid about their skirts, and grains of sand can be found in every corner of your room after your first trip to the beach. But for many college students, summer also means leaving the college environment to return home or go abroad, and forces them to separate from friends and significant others, resulting in even more long-distance relationships, or LDRs, than ever before.

According to statistics from the now-closed Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships (yes, it actually existed), over four million college couples in the United States alone were in long-distance relationships in 2005. A more recent study conducted by the Communications Research journal found that as much as 75% of college students have or will, at some point, find themselves in a long-distance relationship. Even those in post-graduate life are increasingly finding themselves in LDRs, in part due to better technology but also majorly because of ever-increasing demands of economic situations.

With all the controversy over long-distance relationships, are they worth it? And what can be done to help maintain one?

There are many physical factors that play into a long-distance relationship, including the distance between the two involved, the modes of contact available, and the frequency and duration with which the couple can come into physical contact. Interestingly, however, studies suggest that distance is ultimately not the deciding factor for whether or not a long-distance couple will stay together.

See? It doesn’t have to be so bad!

A study conducted by the Center’s founder Greg Guldner titled “Time Spent Together and Relationship Quality: Long Distance Relationships as a Test Case” challenged the idea that relationship qualities are significantly affected by the amount of time a couple spends together. The study states, “Clearly, relationships require some level of contact and extremely infrequent contact probably does ultimately result in relationship instability. However, that level of infrequent contact does not occur in the vast majority of relationships.” In an interview with USA Today, Guldner says that his studies have found that a couple’s communication frequency “has almost no impact on whether they stayed together or the quality of the relationship.”

Rather, what makes long-distance relationships so different from others is the way that, particularly the rate at which, they develop. Guldner says, “Such relationships progress slowly because relationships develop through conflict and the breaking down of illusions—and long-distance couples don’t want to spoil their time together by fighting.” So while a close-proximity couple might break up within two months of starting a relationship, a LDR couple might do so in three or four.

I, for one, support this theory. My first relationship was one separated by about 200 miles and a $40 one-way bus ticket (which would have been more expensive had I not had used student discounts). But I don’t think it was the distance that broke us up; rather, I think that it kept us together for as long as we were. We hadn’t known each other much before we started dating, but we still decided to jump into a labeled “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship from the start because we liked each other enough and felt that we wanted to be exclusive and needed to feel some sort of commitment before pledging to make a habit of crossing state borders. When our relationship started to get shaky, our phone calls never really addressed changing feelings even though it was clear that they were there. We didn’t want to argue, and the distance made our problems easier to ignore.

The good news is that, when commitment level and level of trust are high, long-distance relationships tend to have a success rate identical to relationships where the partners are in proximity to one another, implying that a couple’s needs are less physical than commonly believed and, instead, more emotional and psychological. This summer, my current boyfriend and I are long-distance, but commitment, trust, and communication are making it easier for us to deal with the distance.

In order to keep up the emotional and psychological stability of a relationship, communication is necessary. As products of Generation Y, we tend to not have much trouble in the field of long-distance interaction. Ever since we exchanged AIM screen names in grammar or middle school, we have been using such communication tools as email and instant messaging. SMS- and text-messaging are practically our second language.

Some couples have taken this interaction a step further, creating avatars that interact through virtual reality sites like SecondLife and VirtualDateSpace. A problem with such sites, however, is that it may cause an idealized version of reality. Though it helps couples to communicate and interact, it is, long story short, exactly what it claims to be—virtual reality: an alternate reality, not real life. For example, if you are communicating with your significant other’s attractive avatar when you are not attracted to the actual person, well, things could get a little complicated.

But it is not verbal communication that is so much of a problem today. Despite the science suggesting the insignificance of the role that physical contact plays in creating strong relationships, one of the biggest complaints among long-distance couples is a lack of physical contact, both sexual and not. The human need for touch extends beyond a release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone released through affectionate touch. Sometimes people pine for touch simply because it is comforting to know that the other person is “there,” even if they cannot be “here.”

Technology seeks to rid LDRs of this barrier through such inventions as the “hug shirt” which recreates the strength, warmth, and heartbeat of someone’s embrace through sensors embedded in the shirt, allowing you to hug and be hugged in return. An iPhone app launched in March called “Pair” sets up a direct connection between couples through which they can quickly send texts, photos, and more. Its feature “thumb kiss” vibrates when the people on either end of the phone touch the screen in the same place at the same time, letting each other know that they are both “here” and “there” and thinking of each other.

A big pillow hugger myself, my favorite invention that I found is the product “Pillow Talk,” which allows couples to feel like they are sleeping with each other by simulating their partner’s heartbeat through a pillow. One person (or both) cuddles the pillow as the other wears a ring that detects the wearer’s heartbeat. The pillows miles away beat in real time with the heart of each pillow hugger’s lover, simulating a G-rated night together.

As much of a romanticized view as this might seem, when two people are right for each other, there is no distance that commitment cannot overcome. The biggest question that one should ask when considering a long-distance relationship is not if the distance is right, but rather if the person is right. Once this question receives a “yes,” staying in touch, both literally and figuratively, will not be as hard as it seems.

UPDATE: I’ve tried the Pair iPhone app, and it’s pretty cool. You can password protect it if you want, to ensure privacy. You can send pictures, videos, or drawings, and can directly link to FaceTime through it (though the FaceTime accounts are linked through email addresses, not the phone, which is strange). You can send a cute little thought bubble that simply says “Thinking of you,” or you can live draw with each other, or drop a pin to let your Pair-mate know where you are.

In the settings, you can list your anniversary and both of your birthdays to remember. You can set up a to-do list in the “Shared Task” section, document “Moments” with pictures, and suggest the application to another couple.

Bad news, though, for polygamous relationships: you can only pair with one person.

 

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Carina, New York University. Read my blog and check out my Twitter!

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Keeping in the Know is Tweet

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

There are a number of medical and psychological studies that tell us how helpful our pets are. Sure, you may not consider your dog eating a new pair of shoes and drooling on your pillowcase while you’re at work to be beneficial, but they will make you live longer. While most dogs aren’t the Lassie type, I know mine is afraid of boxes, tape, the vacuum, broom, mop, crinkly bags, the iron, plates, and a variety of nonsensical household paraphernalia, but studies show that they lower blood pressure and pet owners tend to live longer than non pet owners. This isn’t why most people decide to get a pet, but it’s a definite perk. Even a fish, however small and seemingly insignificant, can feel like company in an empty apartment.

We dog lovers tend to border on obsession. I know that my fiancé and I have to check ourselves on how much we talk about the dog (our spunky Husky mix, Hera) to our friends. Being away from home for twelve hours a day sometimes, I have to say I miss her terribly. When I get home, she has been fed, walked, and is now passed out by the front door waiting for my arrival. I hate missing out on all the daytime fun. Maybe the best way to quench this dropsy like thirst is to attach Mattel’s recent seller, the Radica Puppy Tweets.

Puppy Tweets is a water resistant, motion detecting key chain like device that attaches to your dog’s collar and transmits to a USB device you plug in to your computer. Set up a twitter account for your dog with the device, and it will draw from a database of responses (albeit sometimes hokey) that correlate to your dog’s movement, or lack thereof. Check it from your computer at work, or follow your dog on your smart phone’s twitter app.

If you can’t have a pet, due to dorm living, a cranky landlord, or an allergic spouse, or a lack of funds, you can always log on to watch a few of the constantly streaming puppy cams. These are surprisingly popular, and reduce stress and anxiety for quite a large population. So, if you’re having a bad day and can’t make it to a local shelter to pick up some puppies, why not log on to streaming puppies all day!

Written by Ashley Teal, Campus Clipper Blogger

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Do Not Give in to Technology

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

image credit: blog.loaz.com

With the development of technology, studying became so much easier. Or harder? The opinions on that certainly differ.
On the one hand, we do not have to keep so many things in our memory anymore. If you have Internet access on your smartphone or laptop, you can always google things you need to know.
However, we often realize that our memory shrank significantly because it has lacked training since technological wonders became such an important part of our lives.
There were times when a cell phone was a luxury. Do you remember the first mobile devices we had? As for me, I recall my father’s enormous receiver. I thought then that it would be better to stay out of connection than to carry this thing around. Now there is a great variety of models and sizes, so we may choose the one that matches our needs.
In addition to calling and texting, mobile phones now allow us to check e-mail, facebook and twitter pages and to download necessary applications. Many students admit that they take notes or do homework on their smartphones. Isn’t it awesome? Yes, of course, as long as you do not do all these things while in class.
There were many studies on multitasking which show that parallel activities slow down our brain. Concentrating on one task helps a student to complete it in the best way possible, while trying to deal with multiple chores at the same time distracts the attention and leads to mistakes or misunderstanding. Therefore, even though there definitely is an important e-mail coming up, put your cell phone on silent, keep it in your bag and listen to what your professor is saying. It is not only polite, it also helps you to prepare for the next exam, as all professors usually test you on what they told you. In case you do not understand something, you can always ask questions and learn what you need. If you are constantly looking at your cell phone, professors usually think that you are playing with it, even if you look up words in a dictionary or check how much time left till the end of a class. Therefore, even if you ask questions, they will most likely believe that you were distracted and did not listen, and they will tell you to come back after class. And then students usually forget their questions, as their memory span is quite short nowadays. In other words, save yourself time and effort and prepare for your tests in class.
I also remember times when a computer was a rare thing. Now students in some universities are required to bring their laptops to use them during the class. I personally think that note taking on a laptop or a smartphone saves us a lot of paper and space. Sometimes I would be happy to keep my notes from past semester, but my room space is limited. It is especially true for people who have more than one roommate. I would be more than happy to keep everything on a CD or a flashdrive, so that any time I need to take a look at these notes, I can do that. It is also much easier to find necessary information if it is in digital form. You can search certain words, and they come out right away; no need to look through the whole notebook. However, the problem stays: laptops in class maybe quite distracting.
Should we say then that technolgy is destructive for our lives and our learning process? Of course, we should not. The only thing I would advise people to do is to use these means of technology rationally. Make them serve you, but not distract you or take over you. If you feel that you are too dependent on your cell phone or e-mail, go on a two-day hike where there is no network connection, and you will see that life will not stop or lose its beauty.

Ekaterina Lalo

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