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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

A bright red retro turntable that is fully manual, belt driven, with counter balance weights, a stylus needle that needs to be maintained  and everything minimal in design. If that isn’t scary enough the manual turntable type if left unattended could potentially damage your vinyl collection.  Is this really worth the effort if you like living without many material things? The short answer is YES

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In a way it is a great way of turning back time and escaping living in the hectic 21st century for a few hours a day. Especially when it comes to 60s and 70s music which was meant to be listened to on LP vinyl records.   Over the years people have ditched these large records for the cassette, compact disc, music file downloads and more recently  music streaming sites but recently there has been a revival from a much younger generation that enjoys the deeper bass/imperfect sounds and novelty experience of having an unusual hobby.

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I think this interest comes down to being able to physically hold onto a record which takes a little effort to hear the music compared to electronic music files that can be played anywhere instantly with no connection to the full album.  With a turntable setup you need to find a spot for it along with the amplifying equipment and not to forget storage space for those large records.  While from a physical point of view this would go against living a minimalist lifestyle, this is about living minimally in your mind which is a great way to disconnect from technology while sitting back and watching/listening to that spinning record.

I think the balance comes by limiting your record collection to records that you really like while keeping the technology based music for when you do not have time to sit down and only listen to music.   This month I have been listening to The Beatles – Abbey Road along with Fleetwood Mac – Rumours on vinyl and the experience is like nothing I have heard before when played with simple vintage equipment.

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Talking about new economy jobs… my old economy job has been a bit slow this month with not many extra shifts so what does one do when you are slightly short each month? You experiment offering your services as a paid friend.   Essentially this is paid platonic friendships and  so there is no misunderstandings the sites discourage any physical contact which rules out things such as hand holding, hugs, etc.

Paid friendship is a somewhat divisive  concept that some people are intrigued about and want to understand while others have strong negative moral reactions against the notion of how can you possibly pay someone to be your friend?

It may sound crazy who would actually pay money to hang out with someone such as going for a seaside walk, a friendly chat over coffee or special event?   Yet in an increasingly digitally connected world without physical contact, in person connection to others is a growing niche sector.  Only recently someone on the London Tube attempted to get fellow travellers to chat with each other and was greeted with a horror from fellow passengers who even ran a negative campaign with badges against this with the slogan “Don’t even think about talking to me” This has what the world has come to in some places in the world and entrepreneur are capitalising on marketing “connection” just like people used to say nobody would pay for bottled water.

Which brings me back to my own story in this new line of work… It took a few weeks but I finally got an offer from this person that wanted me to drive him home from surgery at a hospital because he had nobody to help him.  Which got me thinking what exactly is this? Is this someone wanting someone to drive them home or connect with them through a tough period in their life?  I think it was the latter because a Taxi/Uber would be cheaper than my minimum half day rate for this activity.  I politely declined the offer as it felt a bit too strange as the friend seeker did not include any pictures or bio information and I don’t particularly like driving in Sydney. Furthermore safety is a big thing for me with one of my main stipulations being paid friendships must be in public locations initially.  So that was that.  Personally this paid friendship thing is not for me as deep thinker, feeling sort of type I would find it hard not to think think about the experience afterwards. Not thinking is needed as at the end of the day you still have your real friendships to maintain.

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James Cook University is preparing students for the digital workforce and this means the traditional Bachelor of Arts degrees of the past need to change to accommodate the new technology of the 21st century. This means students have to be able to use digital media to present various types of information.  In addition to the traditional essays, reports and presentations  you may be asked in the future to do presentations on YouTube, audio pod casts, PowerPoint presentations with embedded audio and animation in some courses.  Classrooms of the future include meeting in online places in real time; interacting with lecturers and fellow students like in person.  It can be a daunting task especially for mature age students like me to get my head around how younger students think in the digital world but it is worth doing and will make you more employable when these tech savvy students are running the world!

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