Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How much can man play God power?

How much can man play God power?
While I read the book” Technology’ s promised “ by William E. Hal, I constantly think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde novel. Image we could separate the two sides of his personality- the good and evil by certain technological device, should we do it?
Behavioral ontogeny is determined by genetic endowment interacting with experiences. To control the biological affect of a particular gene, researchers apply the Gene Knockout Techniques and Gene Replacement Techniques. These techniques are procedures for deleting a particular gene or creating extra genes in the organism.
Here, Dr. Jekyll manipulated the genetic affect by the potion. Unfortunately, genetics interact with experiences not in an additive manner, but in multiplative manner. Therefore, while he might separate his psychological makeup, he was unable to put it back whenever he wished; he ended up with the evil side permanently. Like Dr. Frankenstein, he was destroyed by his unintended monsters.
The remaining philosophical conundrum is that while we should advance our social welfare by technological improvement, to what extent should we intrude in the celestial jurisdiction?
In the novel 1984, Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in London, in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party’s seemingly omniscient leader, a figure known only as Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people’s history and language. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thought crime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes. Again, we should use such technologies to deprive our humanity. The point is that we must judicially invest in technological development to make sure that it is designed to prove the condition of human, not other way around.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Animoto Video

Recently, I heard on the news that the government now starts to formulate the regulation about the outer space travel. As I predict that the mode of travel can happen in a short period of time. Here is the animate that will offer such ride.

Create your own video slideshow at

Monday, August 23, 2010

Super Delphi Method

According to Sherden (1998), in Delphi method, a group of experts are asked to make a various prediction while the Delphi team collects all the responses. After determining the most common predictions, the team sends back the compilations to the experts for reactions, who then can modify their answers for the answer. Such multiple rounds are conducted until some consensus prediction is reached. Since Delphi method involves a group of the expert, it is to certain extent subject to the group dynamics.
According to Maier (1967), groups can be great assets, because of the greater sum total of knowledge and information, greater number of approaches to a problem, increased acceptance through participation, and better comprehension of the decision. However, the liabilities may include social pressure, influence of a vocal minority, individual domination, conflicting secondary goals, and groupthink (Maier, 1967)
The greatest liability associated with groupthink is the psychological need for the individuals to promote cohesion within the group, which suppresses dissent (Janis, 1971). Examples of this situation include the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Challenger disaster(Janis, 1971). Groupthink which occurs in everyday situations is labeled by Harvey (1974) as “The Abilene Paradox”. The author recounts a story of how a family ended up taking an unpleasant trip to Abilene, when no one really wanted to go. The family members went along because they assumed that others wanted to go. Thus, in order to gain the benefit of group work, we should be mindful of the problem of group think(Harvey, 1974).
Likewise, cultural factors could augment or reduce the liability. For example, Adler (2002) divided group formation into three stages: (1) entry, (2) work and (3) action. In the diversity of workforce, during the work stage, the environment highly encourages the individual to exchange ideas, promote self-expression and divergent thinking. Thus, during this stage, the group is likely to create synergy. However, it should be noted diversity of workforce may hinder group identity and cohesion.
In short, group efficiency is a two blade sword, for it could promote divergence of ideas in heterogeneous group or cause stagnation because of the welter of random inputs.
We could improve the group dynamics by constructing effective group meeting, establishing superordinate goal and maintaining social conformity.
1. Effective Group Meeting
Coch and French (1948) designed an actual industrial experiment to determine why workers resist changes to the way they perform their jobs. The researchers tried to formulate an effective intervention program to reduce such resistance. Despite wage and work incentives, the high rate of turnover and absenteeism persisted. The researchers began to examine other motivational factors. The findings showed the effectiveness of group meetings in which management communicates the need for changes and stimulates group participation. In other words, management can remove resistance to change by instituting an effective group meeting system(Coch & French, 1948).
2. Superordinate Goals
Sherif (1966) conducted an investigation on intergroup relations wherein the researchers divided a group of 11-12 year old boys into two subgroups and studied them in three stages. In the first stage, the boys lived together in their subgroups. Soon, the boys developed a spirit of comradeship. In stage 2, the researchers created a competition between the two subgroups. As it was predicted, the two subgroups became very antagonistic. In the final stage, the researchers created superordinate goals, whereby attainment of the goals required corroboration of the two subgroups. As a result of the introduction of the superordinate goals, the two subgroups began to develop rapport(Sherif, 1966).
3. Social conformity:
Another way effective group meetings can remove resistance to change is by promoting group cohesiveness. Group members are thereby committed to accomplishing team goals, and share a feeling of group pride. According to the theory of social conformity, in a group, a member is more likely to behave like the others.
In summary, we use (1) effective group meeting, (2) superordinate goal and (3) social conformity to improve the Delphi process.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Behavior Implants

Gabcast! CS855 #5

Behavior implants are the scientific process in which the scientists imbed certain behavior, albeit instinctive, to the brain. Note that behavior is the way that all organisms or living things respond to stimuli in their environment. Stimuli include chemicals, heat, light, touch, and gravity. Behavior can be either instinctive or learned although such distinction is often unclear.

In 1990, a group of scientists began a project” human Genome”, designed to map out all 3 billions based that composed human chromosomes. The project was completed in 2001. This study establishes that human complexity is the product of a relatively small number of genetic changes and that biological complexity evolves more through refinements in gene expression than through increases in gene number. Now, a draft of the human genome exists, it is likely in a short future that we will be able to understand how genes influence human behavior development. As such, we could control the behavior by implantation. For example, it is discovered that aaromatization of testosterone (T) is a necessary appetitive sexual behavior in male Japanese quail. By implanting T in either the POM or the BST, we could activate sexual behavior in castrated male quail.

The attainment in behavior implants can be accomplished in five years as evidenced by the medical development recently.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Voice Thread

In the previous discussion, it is noted that we are the product of the information age. As such, we are trained to handle multiple tasks. Although this can be a blessing ability, we are losing our attention span as a result of this fast pacing learning. In order to make up for this deficient, we are constantly striving to find a new technological device to keep our presentation effective and enlarge our attention span.
The Voice thread could be a useful tool in group discussion. We can comment or change on the images of the presentation. Also, we can create a slideshow of images or video in such a way that we and others can comment on each photo by text, audio or video. Embed into any webpage.

In any case, whatever tools that can be used to improve our learning experience or our group dialogue, I think it is cool.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


According to Christakis and Bausch (2006), our modern societies require a new paradigm and method to resolve the complexity of the problems that we encountered. They propose a democratic participation paradigm and a method that is consisted of new language, symbols to facilitate the meaning dialogue. In the chapter (20), the authors discuss how this new paradigm is consistent to the evolution of the scientific thoughts: According to the authors, scientific evolution is made of three phrases: (1) Observer-independent, (2) observation and action dependent and (3) constructive observation. The third phrase includes all the stakeholders. In addition, the authors support their theoretical discussion with the example how the Native American uses this method to reconstruct their meaningful democratic participation, once lost.
This democratic participation is consistent with the dialogue in group dynamic that Schein (1999) discusses in the process of consultation. While this mode of dialogue engagement appears prevalent, the main obstacle remains in that how are we going to train the stakeholders of the method. In fact, Christakis and Bausch (2006) acknowledge this difficulty when they talk about the demosophia.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Visual power

The mixing mind and metaphor by Adam Somlai Fischer is a wonderful presentation on visual presentation.

According to the multiple intelligences, we can express and create knowledge at least in eight different ways. For example, one can learn best by doing, or through music or by perspective. This presentation explores the learning mode through visuals.

I am fascinated about our power to learn or create knowledge. Here is exploration of the tool to garnish such power