Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Brainstorming Exercise

For our second assignment we were asked to brainstorm following our previous assignment to explore one of our ideas more deeply. We gathered our seminar group together to decide on a topic that we could work on, and agreed that TV Education would be our chosen subject. I had been working on the idea of crime, so changing was a little tricky at first.

We met for a discussion in the studio and littered the walls with post-its to show our thoughts. The spontaneity of the exercise was good fun!

I hadn't taken part in a brainstorming exercise for such a lengthy period of time and in such depth but it proved very effective in expanding our thoughts on TV Education. Throwing all and any ideas we had onto our post-it wall was so much easier with everyone's input.

After our discussions, I decided to look closer at the effects of children's TV shows on personal development. I wanted to find out to what extent TV warps children's views on reality, and explore the idea of true image. From my own experience, I can remember watching programs like The animals of Farthing wood (hehe) and at the age of 7 or 8 decided I wanted to be a horse when I grew up. Surely by 8 I should have known that I would probably find it pretty tricky to grow up into a big strong Clydesdale...

I was also obsessed with the little plastic animals you used to get from the Early Learning Centre, and probably held onto them until an age that wasn't too healthy. Had I been brainwashed by TV and Merchandise? Hopefully, otherwise I was a really weird kid.

Anyway, I started thinking about how programs like Malcolm Gladwell's examples of "Sesame Street" and "Blues Clues" and the shows I used to watch, had the ability to "brainwash" children, and whether or not this could be useful. My research stemmed from The Tipping Point, but I quickly moved away from the book to explore different ideas.

As my A2 poster developed, I went from exploring the effect of children's TV shows on their personal growth, to the psychology and effects of colours on peoples emotions, to the idea of beneficial brainwashing.
I found the different effects of colours on human emotions really interesting and I'm keen to look into the experiments behind the results a little closer. Looking back at the assignment, I wish I'd spent more time exploring the idea of beneficial brainwashing, but I can always come back to it at a later date. I started off with a simple spider diagram and then moved on to block descriptions and different definitions in different categories.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Black and White

After the discussion we had in the lecture on friday about being so politically correct that we are frightened to mention the colour of someones skin, I reflected on it for some time. In my hometown, the majority of people living there are white, but a large proportion of them are a little ignorant. Passing someone in the street, it wouldn't be uncommon to hear someone say something that shocks the average person. They are either racist or just oblivious to the fact that the derogitory names that they use for asians or black people are extremely offensive and I hope it's the latter. It was refreshing for me to move away from such a small rural area to Dundee and finally experience what it is like to live in a multicultural city.
In Friday's lecture we had to choose a person, emotion and object and I picked "homeless man" "sad" and "television". Jonathon gave an example of an elderly man, crying and television, so it was quite similar. I thought, in an obvious way, that the homeless man would be sad that he didnt have a telly, but when I started to look at the situation in more depth I began thinking about consumerism and how obsessed the west is with material possessions. Why did I picture a white man in rags on a busy city street, peering into an electrical shop window? Why didn't I picture a man whose house had been destroyed by a tsunami on the news? Why did I automatically imagine him being white?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Assignment 1.A.

This was the first time I'd used Mind Mapping in years, we'd used spider diagrams and brainstorming in High School for most essays but this felt more useful. After 1.A. the other two were easier to complete, and I found myself going over the allocated time for each because I had so much to say and couldn't fit it all in! I tried to complete the mind maps after one reading of the book and it was impossible. After my second reading I felt for the first two mind maps I didn't have to look through the book to find most of my examples.

Assignment 1.B.

The case of Kitty Genovese was particularly interesting to me, I found the idea that "responsibility for acting is difused" when something bad happens with a larger number of witnesses. It was a disturbing reality of the ways of urban life in larger cities.

Assignment 1.C.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Inspiration through influence

A family member of my friend has developed a real talent for photography, I'd regularly been checking up on his website to see what new pictures he'd uploaded, and recently his work has begun getting even better. He posts a new picture everyday with a quirky, well thought-out title. I hope his work inspires you, whether it is great or small.

Water on the Moon?

Read an interesting article about the discovery of water on the moon, after watching the One Show last night... Personally I feel it's a little daunting, we've only just discovered H2O on the moon, but what else are we yet to find? A design for a permanent home on the moon makes my mind boggle, travelling to America seems like worlds away!

The lunar rocks recovered when Apollo astronauts travelled to the moon 40 years ago were assumed contaminated when water was detected... Had we realised this was true earlier, where would we be by now?