Selasa, 04 September 2012
Some 30 years ago, it was believed that technology would change the way we work: more automation, more part-time jobs, the paperless office, etc.
Of course, these changes are nearly always more evolution than revolution and often don't turn out quite in the way originally envisaged.
However, a few large companies have pioneered new ways of working and many more appear to be following suit.
What has changed?
Social and technological developments have contrived to create a situation where workers both want to change the way they are expected to work and have the tools available to achieve this.
With the family model of only one parent (mainly the father) at work being thrown into disarray by the Second World War, women have increasingly taken their place in the workforce. Our economy has grown with this development to reach a stage where many families could not survive without two salaries.
For some time many parents have put up with this, but younger generations coming into the workforce are rightly saying there has to be a better way. They want to work more around their partner's and children's lives and create a balance that is good for them and the family as a whole.
Employment law has also evolved to protect women at work and provide far greater flexibility in relation to childcare. The final missing link was the technology to enable and empower a more mobile, flexible, autonomous workforce.
The technology at work
First, came the internet. It took a while to develop, having been around since the 60's. Then we had mobile phones - although the first devices stretched the term 'mobile' to the limit. Networks and electronic engineering developed rapidly, however, and we now have near ubiquitous coverage and pocket sized phones.
Similarly wireless networks and the cloud (again, not new, but newly modified) have given us more choice about where we can work and how we can access our work.
The workforce can now work from home, from cafés, hotels, client premises, trains, planes and automobiles.
Is this the end of the office?
Humans are social animals. For the most part, we need physical contact and work better as part of a group. The office is not going to go away, because it is a convenient base for administrative functions, planning and meeting superiors, colleagues, clients, etc.
However, there is no need to be there at set times, in set places, to perform set tasks in set ways.
The technology now enables us to work from smaller interfaces: laptops, net-books, tablets, mobile phones and from many more locations: anywhere there is wireless and/or mobile network.
Now, a typical flexible worker might work for a couple of hours in the morning, before taking the children to school, after which they put in a few more hours before meeting friends for lunch and doing a bit of shopping, Skype with the team, enjoy late afternoon and early evening with the family before checking emails and getting a couple of jobs off their 'to-do' list after supper.
They might have meetings in the office once a week or month, chat with colleagues about projects via telephone, video conferencing, Skype, social media, etc and perhaps hot-desk in the office now and then.
Benefits to the business
It is not just about saving money. Early pioneers in this practice include BT, Microsoft, Orange, Vodafone and Hewlett Packard.
Their experiences, along with a great deal of supporting research, show that while money is saved on real estate, utilities and infrastructure (this is despite money needing to be spent ensuring staff have training and all the right hardware, software and equipment), there are also increases in staff engagement, morale and productivity.
This has a direct impact on staff attraction, motivation and retention; employing the best staff and lowering the churn rate improves business performance and saves time and money on recruitment. It can also change staff engagement; some employees may be happier to work on a self-employed basis, with contracts based on specific projects or terms.
In turn, these improvements make companies more agile: they can adapt to changes in their environment and client needs; service existing markets over an extended area and move faster into new markets; grow when business demands and contract when it doesn't; and minimise interruption through improved disaster recovery ability.
For organisations seeking to improve their environmental credentials, there are also benefits in reducing their real estate footprint, utilities bills and staff commuting levels. Fewer cars on the road reduce emissions and fuel requirements as well as reducing congestion.
Is this your business?
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the future of work. As a provider of office space, it means I am going to have to ensure I keep abreast of these changes and offer what businesses will, increasingly, need.
However, with a sea change in how people view their working lives and technology as enabler, we are all going to have to look at the best ways to work.
Kamis, 16 Agustus 2012
Greetings and welcome my radio listening audience and online article readers. On this 19th day of October 2012 we will of course be discussing future technology, future innovations, and futuristic concepts. Indeed, I surely hope the Mayan calendar was wrong, or perhaps those carving it merely ran out of stone simply, ran out of rock to chisel on, therefore the world will be saved from whatever it was that the Mayans thought might bring about a new age or renewal.
Okay so, I'd like to dive into our topics for today's radio talk show and I'm sure by now you understand the format, basically, "I will do the talking for about 30 minutes minus commercials and your job is to listen carefully, come up with comments and questions, and then I'll open up the phone lines to hear what you have to say." As you also probably know I do not respond to online comments which are not intellectually based. That doesn't mean you can't have an opinion, nor does it mean that it has to be the same as mine. In fact, if you do too much preaching to the choir, I will simply cut you off, perhaps agree with you, and go to the next caller.
Our job is to have an intellectual discussion, dialogue, debate and discourse. That's why you're here, and that's my mission, and we will complete it. Now then, obviously there is a tremendous amount of talk about innovation, the need for innovators and entrepreneurs in our nation to keep us strong, vibrant, and on the leading edge of technology. You won't get any disagreement here on that reality, nevertheless it seems as if the word "innovation" is perhaps one of the most overused words in the English language currently, perhaps other than "unsustainable" which by the way, some things which may appear to be unsustainable or dire problems we believe we face today, but may very well be solved with the technology of the future.
Einstein used to say that; "it takes a brilliant person to solve a problem, but it takes a creative genius to prevent the problem from ever happening first place," and therefore, I would say that the creative geniuses don't always get the credit for solving the problems, but the brilliant person will, even if their previous solutions turned into unintended consequences, and they are rehired to fix what they broke the first time after supposedly fixing something to save us all.
Okay so, here is where I'm going to start throwing out topics, with a little discussion attached to each one. They will run the gamut all across the board from science fiction topics to today's latest and greatest technologies and what they might mean for our future. I will also throw out some personal original innovative concepts, as I come up with at least two new original concepts per day, and we can discuss those as well if you wish, or perhaps you will have a different topic for our dialogue here. Now then let's begin with the first topic;
1.) Will Physical Money Survive the Next Three Decades - Hackers and Trade Questioned
In reality, money has little or no value - consider a dollar bill, it's just a flimsy piece of paper, so how much is it really worth? We all believe it is worth whatever it says on the face of it whether it be one dollar, five dollars, $10, $20, $50, or even a C-note. Money only works because people have faith in its value, and what it can buy. Most of the money which is created these days never actually exists in a physical form, it only exists in the digital world. For instance, you might get paid from a Corporation, that money could be digitally transferred into your bank account. You might then use your ATM to buy something, or pay bills online, but you never had that money in your hot little hands. Things have changed a lot in the last three decades haven't they?
So what will happen in another three decades I ask? Will we still have physical money, or will it all be digitized, and will you ever have any money in your wallet to buy something? There are some futurists that believe that money will go out the window, that is to say physical money, and everything will be digital in the future. But what if our society and civilization doesn't trust digital money? What if they are worried that our banks are being hacked? Recently in the fall of 2012 we've noted that our banks have come under cyber-attacks from Iran at least Leon Panetta believes that's where the attacks originated, but who is to say in the future if we have a war with another nation that cyber-attacks on our monetary system will not be included?
After all, economic warfare is becoming quite common, why just consider the sanctions, trade wars, and our attempts to stop the money flow from terrorists, drug dealers, money launderers, and human traffickers, along with the central banking computer systems of rogue nation-states and their money transfers for things like oil, natural resources, and military armament?
Then there is the issue currently where more and more people are making mobile payments on their mobile personal tech devices. Today they're buying a cup of coffee, a hamburger, or various items at retail stores. In the future it might be much more, or if that becomes unreliable or those personal tech devices are being hacked, perhaps through downloaded apps with malware, or from users surfing websites with malware, then people will not trust mobile payments. Some have suggested that some personal tech devices may actually come with pre-loaded back-doors or software that could be used by hackers to steal data or commit identity theft crimes.
There may come a time where people don't wish to buy anything online, or do online banking because they don't trust the system, they don't want their money to disappear one day into someone else's account in some foreign country. Having someone drain your bank account only needs to happen once, and only needs to happen to a close friend or a family member before everyone they know becomes sketchy. In that case you won't want to use digital money, and that case more people will opt to use physical money, therefore it is quite possible that physical money will exist simply as a safety factor for decades to come.
But how safe is your physical money going to be in case of a natural disaster, or a wildfire that burned down your home, or an earthquake? What about a hurricane with a huge tidal surge, a tsunami, or a major river which jumped its banks? Is your physical money safe, how much safer is it that your digital money in that case? Speaking of natural disasters and flooding events, maybe we can better predict them in the future? Let's talk about that for a moment with our next topic;
2.) We Need A Real Test for 100-Year Flood Mathematical Simulations - A Thought
How can we better produce mathematical simulations for flood zones, or the proverbial hundred year flood? What can we do to better fine-tune these mathematical models so that they are completely accurate? Lots of work has been done in the past based on elevation, and flood mapping. But there's more to it than that, there are all sorts of other things to consider along with erosion patterns. Let me give you a thought here?
We know the dates, temperatures, rain fall, and run-off right, we know history, plus we measured the terrain before and after right? Thus, any really good mathematical simulation for erosion should look the same as the actual if you input the way the terrain once was with the interim conditions to what it is now. See that point.
There is a very interesting YouTube Video I recommend viewing on this topic, well a side issue, that of agricultural top soil erosion; "Dave Montgomery - Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations," now then, let me express my thoughts on this as, all of these theories and speculation make a lot of sense with unlimited examples in the present period on smaller scales - common sense, observable, and thus it makes sense, so then, Occam's Razor survives.
So, my speculation of Dave Montgomery's lecture and theory would be the same. Indeed, this was a great lecture, solid evidence, and research. Okay so, now we can now put forth these findings to help calibrate mathematic soil erosion models and simulations. Now then let me ask another question, or perhaps the same question a different way;
3.) Can We Use Mathematic Fractal Simulation to Fool A Human When Viewing Erosion Patterns?
If so, would that be like the Turing Test? And if so, can I call that the Virtual Reality Winslow Test, named after me for considering it? If you are a pilot like I am, and you fly over the terrain, you see various patterns of how the mountains and erosion had taken place over the last thousand to 10,000 years. You can see floodplains, mountains, canyons, and it all makes sense - you can see exactly how the water flows, or had flowed in the past. What if we used a computer to design erosion patterns that never happened, and what if we asked a human, perhaps a pilot who has seen and flown over such terrain many times in the past if it were real or not?
Are our computer simulations good enough to fool the human eye? I'm talking about a trained observer who has seen these things in the past over and over again? Is that possible; I believe it is. And so, how do you know when looking at Google Earth if you are looking at a computer rendition, or a fake Birdseye view which perhaps is covering up a military base, or a secret area? The reality is you don't, or do you? How about those who work for the national satellite intelligence agencies, where all they do is study terrain maps? Could they pick out the difference?
Before you answer that question, why don't you use Google Earth on the satellite view and fly over the deserts in Nevada. Some of that stuff looks pretty bizarre with weird colors, but it's all real. If you doubt that it's real, go ahead and fly over southern Bolivia on Google Earth and look at some of that terrain in their salt flats region and up against the mountains, you get the same interesting colors, much of it does not appear to be real either, but it is. Some of the features that NASA has viewed on Mars don't look real, but they are.
No, they are not the same as Earth because the erosion patterns that we see now could have been created by wind, there is a different atmosphere, or lack of. Do you see my point? Not long ago, I was watching an online video lecture about erosion patterns, Stephen Wolfram's New Type of Science, and Mathematica - fractals and mathematical simulations and projections of erosion patterns. They are amazingly predictable, and that in itself is interesting. It's as if you can see the geological record through the ages.
You might want to look some of this up yourself. And speaking of free lectures, University level lectures on just about any topic you'd like, I wonder if that will change the future of our higher education, why go to school and pay $100,000 to get an advanced a great when you can learn almost as much online through self-study? Yes, interesting, does this mean it's the death of the University, or are we entering a new age of information flow in education? Let's go ahead and talk about lecture type learning.
4.) Want to Learn While Watching an Online Video Lecture - Go Full Screen and Ditch Distraction
First, if you are in a university lecture hall, listening to the best and brightest professor on a given topic there's a good chance you might fall asleep, but still your attention span will be longer because you are there, and there aren't the same distractions as watching an online video. If you are watching a University level video at home on your computer in a little box on the screen - there are lots of distractions.
For instance whatever else is in the room, perhaps the doorbell, TV, or your cell phone rings. You might feel the need to text someone back, go to the refrigerator get something to eat, or just zone out - listening while you're doing something else, assuming that you can multitask and learn something complicated at the same time. It's not that you can't, it's that you probably won't and your memory retention level will be next to nothing, and you've wasted everyone's time, and some bandwidth to boot. Still, let me ask another question;
5.) Is The Lecture Dead - Even If It's All Online and Free In The Future?
This is a decent question, even if you disagree with it. On October 20, 2012 there was an article in the technology news. Harvard had put up two free courses online in computer science. They were obviously following Stanford computer science department's lead, as they did the same thing last year. Harvard had the same results over 100,000 people signed up, people from all over the world. There's no shortage of people who wish to learn online, but in doing this; are they cutting their own throats as they distribute information to the rest of the world at no cost, or are they boosting their own credibility by doing so? It could lead to more people who wish to attend that school in the future, therefore greater enrollment.
Regardless, things are changing fast, even if the basic lecture at our universities hasn't changed much since the 1800s. Indeed, I recommend that you watch the YouTube Video; "Don't lecture me" (with Twitter track) - Donald Clark at ALT-C 2010," because this gentlemen makes a lot of sense. Perhaps also of interest is another YouTube Video titled; "Re-inventing the Lecture (Or, Why Online Lectures Don't Work, and What We Can Do About It)."
Indeed, I think after you watch those videos you'll be better able to comment on what I'm talking about here, and it is something that needs to be discussed. We need a national dialogue on this, that is if we want to propel technology and innovation, and couple that with entrepreneurship moving our great nation forward into the future. Next I'd like to discuss;
6.) Large Universities, High Tuition, and Big Buildings and Beautiful Architecture - Are We Learning Yet?
Why is it that we put so much faith into our larger universities? It's interesting isn't it? They spend huge amounts of money putting up great architecture and large buildings but is that really what makes them great? Even if someone has a great building, it doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, consider some of the largest churches in the world for instance, or the largest mosques. Is it the high prices the Universities charge; does that make them great? Having been in business all my life, I can recall various attorneys actually raising their price just so they could get more business because people thought it they charged more per hour they must be good, they weren't.
Indeed, if a large university spends all their money on landscaping, beautiful brick work, great statues outside the lecture halls, and is one with the epitome of divine architecture - then they have less money to teach you with. They have less money to hire the best professors, buy the best equipment, or provide the best future for their students. That's not to say that they can't, perhaps they charge you money far in excess of the amount of education and you just have to the pay for all that extra stuff. If you can get a lecture online for free on YouTube - in many regards the information is basically the same.
Perhaps in the future your living room gaming virtual reality technology will project a holographic professor in 3-D bringing the professor to you, and it can be done for a fraction of the cost, there's no building to pay for, perhaps the building, and the professor, and everything else can be projected around your living room and you will feel as if you are they are. Therefore, you get the same experience, and interaction, perhaps even breaking up into groups with virtual-reality avatars as fellow students. Who needs college anymore? Better yet, who needs to take out $100,000 in student loans for the same exact information, minus the big building?
Still, in your living room gaming center which doubles as your new education headquarters, and your latest virtual or augmented reality 3-D holographic computer game immersion device - you might actually be training the artificial intelligent supercomputer network to think like a human. That information might be used by future robotic systems for all sorts of things from self-driving trucks, cars, and airplanes through virtual-reality simulator trainers to future combat vehicles in the battle space. Speaking of which I have another question for you;
7.) Should We Crowd Source Satellite Data for Future Military Convoys?
Well, if we did that, we wouldn't have to tell anyone who was looking at the satellite data when or where we might be moving troops, equipment, or resources, we could just say that this is one of the potential routes for some time in the future, and if you find an anomaly mark it down. Those who find the most anomalies will receive a check in the mail, or a gift certificate to their favorite retail store at the end of two months. They won't know when, where, or which anomaly they found was the one which garnered them the free gift card.
Those that find more real anomalies than false positives would be given a higher level of point spread for dollars per anomalies they found. Further, they might get an extra hundred dollars in the mail each month because they had a higher credibility rating. If we did this eventually the algorithms watching the very best human minds find these anomalies could figure out how they are doing it, and what is catching their eye, and therefore we could better design artificially intelligent satellite analyzing algorithms which would incorporate how a human mind thinks, and how a computer thinks which will give us the best of all worlds by putting those two together.
Perhaps in a way, humans are already training supercomputers with artificial intelligent algorithms to run our entire society, and civilization for the future. After all, every time you put something on the Internet, the Internet could be learning more about how humans think, operate, and go about their business. In many regards we could be creating the matrix for our own future, and these artificial intelligence systems will become aware, and they will be our leadership in the future, it won't be human? It's possible, and let me ask you another question;
7.) What Happens When the Cloud Computing Centers Filled with All Human Information Become Aware?
Consider if you will as someone recently said in The Futurist Magazine in the October-September issue of 2012 along this line of thinking, something to the effect that; "We already have algorithms which can search all the information in any of these cloud computing centers, " and "We have all sorts of algorithms to help us find the data, and algorithms which talk to other algorithms." Sure, all that makes sense, and also consider that in the human brain:
A.) We have various brain waves and they interact with each other.
B.) There are various chemicals providing energy with a mix.
C.) We have sensors all through the body, and the five senses which gather information and experience, taking in all of our observations.
If the cloud computer centers, which will be talking to each other and talking to themselves contain all of the written and visual record of humanity, they will have already gathered all the experiences, writings, observations, using, and history, and so it is only one small step away from becoming aware. This is the future we are moving towards, my question is; do we dare?
In a way, the cloud computer would become aware, and it would be very similar to a human brain where every individual neuron was an individual human. That is to say every piece of the puzzle, from the top to the bottom would have intelligence. Is this a new form of intelligence? Well, let me scale it down to a simple board game and ask you a different question;
8.) Can We Design a 3-D Chess Board Game Where Each Piece Has AI and Seeks to Survive?
And if we could design something like that, wouldn't that be very similar to the whole Net Centric Warfare concept? Isn't that how a real military works? Each soldier is given a job, but each soldier is a thinking machine, it follows its orders, but also attempts to do what is in its best interest, that is to survive, to fight, and to win. In war it's pretty serious, you either win, or you die. Can we design a 3-D chessboard to do the same thing? How much better would it be if it was giving feedback back to the artificial intelligent chess master?
We've already found that artificial intelligence working with a human chess master can beat an artificial intelligent chess playing machine from IBM. When we merge human intelligence with artificial intelligence we seem to get a boost. What if each piece on the chessboard had artificial intelligence and it understood how humans think, adapt, survive, and operate under pressure? Aren't we already teaching all these things to the future of AI through our input onto the Internet? Sure we are, and if you've listened to this radio show, or read my articles for any period of time, you already know the answer to that.
What if we scale down even further? What if we scaled this all the way down to the molecular level? What if those molecules or nanoparticles could talk to each other? Are we talking about the next generation of microelectronics? Taking it all the way down and continuing the tradition of Moore's law? Have you recently noted in the scientific news October of 2012 that carbon nanotubes have incredible properties for producing light and miniature holograms? Will this be a new way to communicate at the micro level?
Bacteria seems to communicate and once it gets economies of scale and reaches a tipping point, it activates itself, trying to overwhelm by force and numbers. It operates much like an army, although strategically, mathematically, and predictably, well almost? Almost like a chessboard where each individual member is also serving its best interests? Perhaps as we design computer algorithms for the small-scale or the largest scale we will begin to see the same thing, and what we learn will propel us further and faster into the future.
There was an interesting article in Photonics on September 27, 2012 titled; "Nanotubes Project Holograms," which noted that;
"Holograms can be generated by harnessing the conductive and light-scattering qualities of carbon nanotubes, a development that could lead to crisper projections with a larger field of view. Many scientists believe that carbon nanotubes will be at the heart of future industry and human endeavor and will have an impact on solar cells, cancer treatments and optical imaging. Researchers used these nanotubes as the smallest-ever scattering elements to create a static holographic projection."
The applications for all this are incredible and it could revolutionize everything, change ALL of human technology; communication, computers, transportation, energy, healthcare, and you name it, just consider the realities here? Would it be so bold to suggest that someday;
9.) An AI Super Decision Making Computer Could Be Running Human Civilizations?
Interestingly enough, I have deeply considered the future eRepublic or eGovernment AI decision making system, enterprise software super computer concept. If it were not corrupted by humans it could work well, programmed benevolence - if that is possible and if the programmers are on the same page of liberty, freedom, and standardization of some aspects and basic infrastructure needs. The anarchists might not like it, the crony capitalists would try to corrupt it, the socialists would want to control it, the religious fanatics would want to destroy it, and so on - again humans, but living in such a system designed for liberty and freedom "I think it would be a good idea" paraphrasing Gandhi on Western Society.
What I'm saying or asking rater is; could we ever get human populations to agree to live with this even if we could prove to them mathematically that would be in their best interests? Are humans ready for that yet? I would suggest you that they should be getting ready for that because they are currently training AI supercomputer decision-making machines to do just that in the future, as humans are putting all of their knowledge onto the Internet. You see my point?
Of course, if we do this we must get it right the first time, but have you ever known any technology to have come into the world perfect the first time? Look how many airplane designs crashed and burned before the Wright Brothers actually got one to fly? And even with them it wasn't like they were not adding insult to injury, as they too crashed a few times themselves and had broken bones and broken wing spars to prove it. Speaking of which I like to discuss with you a little bit about how innovation comes to be, and the subject of;
10.) Innovation, Trial and Error, and Original Thinking
Rabu, 25 Juli 2012
At many university campuses in Sydney, it is easy to spot students from China.
The number of Chinese students at universities across Australia has increased dramatically. Officials say there are now more than 130,000 students studying in Australia, 45% of them are living in Sydney. In such a situation, it is worth to ask about:
Why so many Chinese are choosing to study abroad? How their lives in Sydney? What will happen to them in the future?
The gate of dreams
Yiren Ding treats her oversea experiences as a dream, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter. This 24 years old Chinese girl, came to Sydney in 2006(then she was 18) as part of an explosion of Chinese education immigration. She said her dream of studying abroad was derived from her father. In her father-centered family, she recalled almost every decision was proposed and made by her father, including dropping out in Hangzhou, China and continuing her last year of high school in Sydney. "My dad is a successful businessman; he can easily bear an economic burden sending me to study abroad. For reasons, I guessed hum... my dad feared that I would not enter top uni of China because my academic achievements were kind of poor," Yiren said with a shy little smile, " and I was specialized in painting, my dad believed that there are more opportunities for little artists in western countries than mainland China."
Yiren became clouded and then froze when she was asked with "Do you think that your unsatisfactory academic performance stimulating you study abroad, avoiding participating in the college entrance examination of China, is a kind of escape behavior?" She hesitated long enough that her close friend, chipping in the conversation with "she is pursuing her dream", to attempt to respond to the awkward silence.
Allen Liu, however, was straightforward to say his intention for coming to Australia to study, avoiding the college entrance examination in China. Same with Yiren, Allen came to Adelaide to complete his high school period. In 2010, he admitted to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) by in top 10 percent of HSC scores of South Australia.
"I was in the middle of my Chinese high school class; maybe Chinese cramming system is not suite for me. But I found my passion on physics when I came into Australian creative educational pattern. I adapt to the English language environment soon after and became one of top students, restoring my self-confidence." Allen said with a complacent smile, insisting on showing his prom photos off.
Allen would be happy to deeply analyze reasons for such a great amount of Chinese students studying in Australia. The growth rate is due, in large part, to an increasing middle class in China. Parents hope their children to be better educated, in a multicultural environment. Australia, furthermore, provides migratory opportunities for students to live here permanently. "Compared to China's large population, work stresses and environment pollution, more and more Chinese students are choosing to stay here after graduation, starting a family, plan to pick their parents up from China in the future." He emphasized again and again he can represent a number of Chinese students, "Chinese always keep on the rails". The above is his life planning, also his dream.
The road of dreams
"I came from a middle class family, the speed of my parents earn money is six times as the speed that I spend money." Anna Wang loves to tell this joke about the exchange rate between Chinese Yuan and Australian Dollars (appr 6.5:1), with a trace of frustrated and helpless laughter. She came to UNSW for a two-year Master program of IT, yet when she first attended into a lecture, she was surprised that almost everyone has an Asian face, including the lecturer. After a further chat she found that 90% of students are from China. "I cannot believe my eyes; I thought I was in a Chinese classroom." Anna recalled the primary impression of her first class in UNSW.
In her imagination, she would live in a colorful life in Sydney, hanging out with a group of friends from different cultural background, dancing at parties, enjoying the sunshine at beach, yet the truth is, alone. "You know lots of Chinese are shy, traditional, and not good at making friends especially with foreigners", Anna said while walking in Randwick Coles, shopping food and necessities for next week, "if my parents have enough money, maybe I would be here to start a bachelor degree, then I might make friends with local people. Occasionally I was invited to some parties, but I rejected because I hum... kind of fear the Australian-style party, a little bit crazy with excessive drinking. So I prefer spending my parents' money on food, for me, myself. " She picked up this one, and then took another one, carefully comparing the price and weight, calculating that which more worth buying is.
The most attractive thing, for Anna, might be traveling, with her Chinese friends. She spent all of her money by selling dim sum in a Cantonese restaurant, "actually I am an illegal worker and I know the Australian government prohibits work positions with salaries less than $16 per hour. I only earn $9.5 hourly. In my Chinese students circle this is very common, we call it 'Black Work'. "
The government banning, the restaurateur lacking conscience, most of Chinese students working illegally, yet who has the heart to blame her and the group of international students? They left their native place, landing here and try to find resting place for the sole of feet.
The light of dreams
Chinese students often say, studying in Australia, doing in a part-time job, cooking themselves, traveling... all of these things, is a process of following your dream.
When it comes to the future, many students confused, so did Annie Sun. She has been to Sydney for one year, as a postgraduate student major in Human Resource in the University of Sydney (UNSD). "This subject (HR) in China is extremely different with Australia. My mum works in the human resource office, but her real work is to build relationship with other staff, filing documents, and other little things like a secretary did", Annie complained, "I worries about I might not suitable in Chinese circumstances when I go back." Soon afterwards, however, a smile resurfaced on her face, "I know human resource is still a burgeoning thing in my country, but I have confidence to take practice using what I learned."
Next month Annie will be back to her hometown, Jinan, a mid-size city in North-eastern China. She is preparing the national civil service examination, "My parents hope me work for the government because they consider it is decent and respectable. I also look forward to because I want to change the situation of China's human resource. That is my dream, even it is fantastic but I keep going on it."
Different with Annie, Monica Li plan to move Australia permanently. Monica has qualified to be called the "old" Chinese Australian student. She has been to Sydney for 5 years, completing her bachelor degree of Linguistics and a master degree of Early Education, both in UNSD. This vivid girl has a large group of local friends, so she always busy on organizing parities and group activities, even though she has three part-time jobs at the same time, "I am a super woman, huh?"
Selasa, 19 Juni 2012
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For improving the performance of trainees and professionals within an organization, it is very important to work on the communication level. Most training organizers often ignore this aspect. Constant communication between the trainers and the trainees will encourage positive relationships and increased development. However, marketing and promoting plays a very vital role in popularizing your training session, adding brand recognition to your company.
Offer access to training materials online:
Offering the training materials online for the trainees and the employees, who have failed to attend the program, will encourage them to participate in future sessions. Organizers can also add photos, videos and informative contents, handouts and slide presentations, so that trainees can access important documents and information, anytime.
Empowers you to control the trainee database:
Training organizers as well as administrators always need to have access to information on a regular basis for enhancing their network and maintaining efficiency. However, it becomes a challenging task to maintain a database of all the trainees, if you are conducting programs, frequently. In addition to this, you might have to spent additional expenses for maintaining database manually, hiring additional staffs. The web-based community allows you to maintain the database of each and every trainee or employee, online. You can automatically update your online database on a daily basis and can track information online, whenever required.
With the increasing recognition of social networking, the task of promotion has become much easier and simpler. An integrated private community will help you to promote your sessions in real time for reaching out to millions of people.
Thus, managing trainee members or employees using scalable private community will help organizations in carrying out training programs in an effective way.
Senin, 11 Juni 2012
Technically speaking, the Age of Aquarius is simply an astrological term, and not a precise one at that. Astrological (i.e. Zodiac) "Ages" refer to a period of time, approximately 2,150 years in length, and are measured by the location of the sun as it transits through one of the twelve zodiac constellations at the moment of the annual vernal equinox. The vernal equinox occurs when the sun rises above the celestial equator, which marks the start of spring in the Northern hemisphere. The sun's precessional rotation through the twelve zodiacs takes approximately 25,800 years, thus leading to the approximate 2,150-year period for each of the twelve astrological ages.
However, measuring the beginning and end point of the astrological ages is an imprecise science. This is because each of the twelve zodiac constellations varies in size and position, so astrologers do not universally agree on the delimitating point between each of the constellations, including the sun's current status between the constellations of Pisces and Aquarius.
Added to this scientific confusion is the underlying mystical meanings attributed to each of the zodiac signs and the period of time each rises in prominence. This encourages mystics and spiritualists to add their own opinions concerning the transition period between the Ages. Further, the inexact borders between the constellations have encouraged some to proclaim the transition between the Ages is not a point in time, but rather an extended period, rising slowly like a periodic tidal force. For example, Yogi Bhajan argued mystical influences of the Age of Aquarius began on 11 November 1991 and the new Age fully transitioned from the Age of Pisces on 20 November 2011.
During this period of transition, aspects and characteristics of each Age will be present, vying for dominance and slowly giving way to the characteristics of the incoming Age. Following the mystical example, the Age of Pisces could be equated with the rise of organized Western religions, Christianity and Islam, and the major impact each had on their respective and neighboring societies. Many have argued the Age of Aquarius will be defined by the rise of scientific knowledge, and with it, will transform concepts of religion to a more knowledge- and logic-based form of spirituality. Through this transformation, mankind will become more empathetic, benevolent and altruistic, and less dependent on illogical, faith-based religions or the controlling mandates of their self-appointed leaders.
Given that we are upon the period of transition between the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius, the year 2012 brings with it an interesting addition to the mix. There are various eschatological beliefs concerning supposed cataclysmic events thought to be foreordained by the end-date of the 5,125-year-long cycle Mayan Long Count calendar on 21 December 2012. "Eschatology' concerns the philosophy and theology of End Times as purported by most of the world's organized religions. 21 December 2012 corresponds with the conclusion of the 13th b'ak'tun, or the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar, attributed by some theorists to have applicability to End Times' prophesies.
However, a spiritual interpretation of this confluence of events is that the period will result in a positive spiritual transformation from which 2012 will merely mark the beginning of a new, more benevolent era.
Following the principles of the Law of Attraction, one would realize humanity is in the midst of a societal tug-of-war as we approach the end of 2012. A significant portion of humanity either assumes or is worried that the end of the Mayan calendar's 13th b'ak'tun will result in cataclysmic events marking the End Times while another portion of humanity fully expects this period will result in a more spiritual-minded people on earth, though the question of "how" that transformation will occur is not addressed by this expectation. Since the Law of Attraction works more efficiently when more people share a common belief, then the potential for violent events on earth -- whether earthquakes, volcanoes, war, or the like -- increases. Since two significantly large groups of people on earth have very different expectations of the meaning of the significance of the winter solstice in December 2012, it is difficult to dismiss either camp as having no basis in probability.
However, I think it is far fetched to consider the end of humanity will occur on 21 December 2012. Even if a disaster should occur on a localized basis on the winter solstice, as occurs almost daily somewhere in the world, it is safe to assume that life will go on. Thereby, the camp of believers who expect that humanity will slowly transform and become more spiritual have the upper hand in the tug-of-war concerning the import of the end of the Mayan calendar. This is simply because the End Times believers assume an action must be initiated and completed by 21 December 2012, while the New Age believers assume the 21st of December marks a new beginning and has the next 2,150 years to reach a climax.
Senin, 14 Mei 2012
Given the multitude of technology devices and solutions available today, it is no wonder that technology based learning is being explored in a big way by both online educators and students. From smart mobile applications to data collection and storage tools, students are enjoying access to a lot more things than they ever did to learn new things on their own. Although brick-and-mortar schools are now joining the league of tech-friendly institutions, the trend is more rampant in online classes. They are switching to the online class management solutions to make their teaching-learning procedures even more interesting and effective.
If you are an online educator or in some way associated with online learning, do follow these tips to promote technology based learning in your virtual classroom:
Create back channels for "Need to Know"
There are many learning management systems (LMS) that comes integrated with the online class management solution, which has the feature to create various back channels. Use the facility to come up with a "Need to know" back channel that allows them to create a list of queries. Revisit the list from time to time and help your students with their assignments by responding to their questions. Another great way to create a back channel list is to use Twitter or a similar social networking site. Simply use the hash tag to create a list of "Need to Knows." This will encourage students to interact with their teachers in a more inhibition-free manner.
Make the most of the LMS social tools
Take the help of the Moodle LMS Connector that comes embedded with the online class management solution and allow your students to gain access to interesting social tools therein. There are wikis, blogs, chat room facilities, and discussion forums in the LMS. Encourage your students to participate in the activities using these features to gather valuable, collaborative learning experience.
Collaborate with smart mobile applications
Staying in touch with your students via email using the email messaging tool of the class registration software is a prompt way to communicate; but you can try using mobile applications too. Nowadays, every student has a mobile device and they keep texting classmates on a regular basis. So, it would be a great idea to use this mode to keep your students updated about their classes as well as to facilitate easy sharing of course modules amongst themselves.
Create quizzes and polls
School kids today are mature individuals who have an opinion of their own on most issues. Value their views and opinions and utilize them to improve your classroom teaching standards. Create questionnaires using powerful productivity tools of the class registration software to conduct quizzes during extra class times, or conduct polls and surveys to collect their honest feedback. Both ways, your class will be immensely benefited.
Give out reward points
With the present day online class management solutions, it is so much easier to accredit your students for their good work. Give out reward points in the form of free classes or award them with certificates on the successful completion of the programs.
Online class management solution enhances the teaching-learning standard of a virtual classroom by providing a host of features and facilities.