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Alan Carroll Media

This is my blog. There are many like it but this one is mine.

Month

April 2016

Bye-bye, WiFi

Reading the introduction to the book Deep Work by Cal Newport, I started to imagine myself actually engaging in the suggestions he puts forward.

Newport examines the notion that we, as a society, have become much shallower in our working lives. Our attention is spread too thinly across many different distractions such as social media, email etc. The counter to this is what Newport describes as “Deep Work”. Shutting off all external distractions and focusing completely on the task at hand. No email, no Facebook, nothing else other than the work in front of him.

I was envisioning myself going home this evening and shutting off the wifi, leaving my laptop closed and actually focusing on reading the rest of the book. I got to the end of the excerpt that was provided for us and felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my chest. Even just imagining myself disconnecting from the constant deluge of information from the internet and focusing purely on just one thing, made me feel more relaxed than I’ve felt in the past few weeks leading up to the end of the college year.

I have often toyed with the idea of “going off the grid” so to speak. Taking a break from the internet and seeing what kind of person I become when the need for another “hit” of information dies down. I feel like boredom is something that has become too easily staved off by picking up my phone and browsing Facebook for the third time that hour. I could be engaging in something far more involved and beneficial, like reading a book, learning a new skill or creating something of my own.

I think this practice will definitely be a part of my routine in the future.

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Copyright and Copywrong

We watched the documentary RIP! A Remix Manifesto and I found it to be quite interesting and thought provoking.

Copyright law exists to help protect the livelihoods of creators and ensure that they are properly reimbursed and credited for the work that they did. The application of these laws falls apart in this modern age of instantaneous communication and file sharing. Many would argue that, if I buy a song and download it to my device, I now own that song and am free to use it however I want. I could cut it up, remix it or use it in a project I’m working on.

However, this isn’t the case. In 2012, a news story circulated that involved a legal battle between Bruce Willis and Apple over the right to bequeath his digital music collection to his daughter after he died. The story turned out to be fake but it did spark the discussion of ownership of digital media.

According to Apple’s terms of service (which of course, you’ve all read) songs purchased on the iTunes platform are not then owned by you. You are essentially renting them. This means that when the contract expires (when you die), transferring the media to another person is, technically, illegal.

 

Personal development plan

Right now, my next goal is to finish this college year with a high quality project to display at Fís. This is what’s occupying my mind at the moment.

Over the summer, I’m getting in touch with various media companies to promote my skills and hopefully get some experience in the workplace.

I am planning on returning for fourth year if I don’t have a job in the media industry. Over the year, I will be teaching myself how to use additional software packages that editors are expected to know, such as After Effects and Speedgrade.

 

Stoicism

Watching this video on stoicism, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the old parental argument towards their child who won’t eat their vegetables. “There are starving children in Africa who would love a hot meal like that.” The argument that there are people in the world who are worse off than you and you should be grateful for what you do have is, on the surface, a noble one.

But, I feel that this thought process can lead to a sort of stagnation. The belief that anger at the world is unjustified because you aren’t entitled to anything in this life. What if Rosa Parks had said to herself “I should be grateful I even have enough money to ride the bus.” and decided to move to the back seat. What if Margaret Gaj had considered herself lucky that she had a loving husband and family and not helped found the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement.

It seems to me that being unhappy with the status quo and making moves to change it is what drives social progress. Stoicisms argues that the status quo is out of your control and attempting to change it is selfish and greedy.

I still won’t eat my vegetables though.

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