perspective is everything.

Economics was the study of ‘the household’ and thus making it a social science in nature.
It ultimately boils down to relative perspective. Rory Sutherland spoke on TED that perspective is everything:

His arguments are very compelling and I agree that perspective is everything!
How we each view and perceive every given time and moment is crucial to our development. There is a lot of talk about positive thinking, but positive thinking is actually the second step. The first is awareness.

Being aware of an issue or an obstacle is essential to taking the next step. So how does being aware relate to perspective? -Well everything thing that we see, touch, feel, smell and relate to is constantly being judged by us and is a perspective, to which each and every one of us has a varying perspective. It is like the value of $1 is different relative to the wealth of that person holding that $1.

Step 1: Be aware of a situation and understand that your current perspective and it is your perspective (even though others may share the same perspective,) you must understand and be aware that you  own that particular perspective regarding the subject matter at hand.

Step 2: Now that you are aware of the situation and/or circumstance, take a deep breath and decide on how you wish to decide on your perspective of the subject matter at hand. Take a simple computer keyboard (for instance), it complements the usage of your computer, but to another is a tool to hack into a mainframe and to a gamer its the differential of speed and sensitivity to winning a global gaming competition. Thus, now that you are aware that your perspective is yours only, how will go about deciding the perspective of the subject matter.

Step 3: +ve, or positive thoughts. Look at the glass half full and realise the opportunity of the subject matter. Realise that the computer keyboard is an opportunity to do wondrous things on your computer, from programming to surfing the internet and expanding your knowledge.

Step 4: Right click, save file, copy and apply the systematic process to every possible step in your life.

You will soon realise that your perspective is easier to control than you think and it would ultimately give you more control over your life; especially when accomplishing what you want to!

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technology advancing faster than the human mind.

Could it be that technology innovation is increasing at a rate faster than that of the human mind? We can all agree that there are constant innovations all the time when is comes to technologies. But can engineers and institutions that teach engineering keep up with these technology advances? A recent study released by the Manpower in Singapore has revealed that we are moving to a human age and illustrated the importance of technology advancement, especially in the realm of Social Media. Continue reading

television/radio vs social capital. a social trade off

In 2006, Benjamin A Olken wrote a paper;

Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages

The link to the paper is here. For those with a thirst for knowledge and detail, please go ahead and read it. For general readers, please continue reading!

This post is not to discuss the credibility of the model or criticise the article. Instead let us have a discussion about how watching television and/or listening to the radio frequently may affect our communities. Social capital in this context does not directly mean intelligence, but instead the idea of community awareness, trust, governance and social group settings.

The article presents findings that there is a negative correlation between an increase number of television and a social community in Indonesia. As the number of TV channels increase, the number of social groups reduce. [On average, for every 1 more channel of TV increase, leads to a 7% reduction in social groups (Statistically significant at a 5% level – for you econometricians).] What does this mean exactly? -well, isn’t in logical? the more time you spend watching TV or listening to the radio at home, the less time you are going to spend in external social groups! After all, we only have 24 hours in a day!

Thus it is imperative that we consider how much time is spent watching TV and listening to the radio. Or in retrospect, how much opportunity cost has been incurred on your social life for every extra one hour spent in front of your black box.

The paper doesn’t stop there, it reveals that TRUST is also affected from this concept! You must be thinking ‘how in the world is trust affected from watching TV?!…’ -Well, again in can be logically presented that the less amount of time spent in social groups and community, one tends to dis-associate themselves with community norms and aspects of such nature. So when you ‘return’ to your social group and realise that there are a bunch of new faces, it is a natural human instinct to question the ‘trust’ one can provide. [Although only columns 1 and 3 are significant at the first row, we can see that the second row reinforces significance throughout all the columns except 5 -but perhaps that can be dis-regarded as you wouldn’t really have your president attending your social group meetings. Another feature to take note of is that all the coefficients are negative -I am sure that counts for something…]

If you are still reading by this stage, perhaps this table may also interest you. The author extended the realm to religious and non-religious groups as well! The results were consistently negative as well.

With all this said, causality is not affirmed here, however, correlation is apparent. The notion is a negative correlation between TV/Radio and social capital is very much logical as well. Is it not apparent that over decades, our devices become our ‘social group’ and we tend forget community awareness and values that come alongside with it. For instance, YOU. You are sitting right in front of your screen reading this post, as much as I am sitting here writing it. -to some extent we are secluded from the physical community beyond the parameters of your surrounding. -do you think social capital is important? Do you think that perhaps we should just shut off the screen and reinstate the previous norms of community values that bring trust and belonging?

What is the value of your social capital?

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