October 6

Lecture notes and comments

Week #6

Date: October 6

Outline: Today’s lecture was led again by Joline Blais. She continued discussing her previous point, which I stated in my October 4 post. Please refer to that post before you read this one, as I will extrapolate from what I said in my last post. She again asked us to not use our laptops, so I have no copy of notes that I can give.

Comments: She continued arguing her point today, showing us more videos of projects that were being done this time and focusing less on scaring the bejesus out of us. She talked more in this lecture about projects to try and make communities more self reliant rather than reliant on other nations that we’ve outsourced our businesses to. Her theory was if we focus on this, and if everyone globally focuses on the community environment, then the world will naturally become a better place because of each communities practical self reliance. She argues there will still need to be trade, but the basics will be provided locally.

She argues in this system traditional values that used to be important could become marketable skills that could result in trade of goods that you couldn’t have gotten on your own. These skills could include singing or storytelling as a skill that could be bartered for food from farmers. She gave us examples of grass roots movements that are trying to get urban areas involved in experiments that test if urban populations could be locally reliant as well. While the projects are strong evidence that it could work, it is far from concrete. What about the slums where people don’t have the time or the money to spend on gardening that this system provides? They don’t have the choices that a wealthy citizen might have when it comes to gardening.

It really didn’t help her argument when she got into a heated argument with one of the students who was obviously out of her league. She ragged on him unnecessarily and didn’t allow him to speak at times. It wouldn’t have been as bad if it had only lasted a minute or two. But it lasted close to ten minutes, and by the end of it the poor guy just gave up. I would’ve too. She was intimidating.

What does this have to do with new media? She made a loose reference to how social media helped these movements gain strength, and how social media will continue to help these kind of projects grow in popularity as time passes, technology improves, and more people become aware of these causes. However, that was the only solid connection to new media that I could find. Again, not a great lecture period in NMD 100.

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