måndag 2 april 2012

The day robots do our work (blog assignment 2)

I read in the paper “Ny Teknik” the other day about how a company in Germany have made the robot that is the most humanlike so far. The robot looks like a human being and “he” also smiles, nods and shrugs his shoulders. They have also given the robot some extra features to make it even more humanlike; it looks like the robot is breathing, his chest moves just like his breathing.

 The robot

The creator 

Alike?? Quite a bit...!
So what is the point of all this? Do they create these robots just for fun, to show that it is possible, or are the robots supposed to look like us so that they will “fit in” better in our society? 
If the meaning is that the robots should replace us in different kinds of work, is that really a good thing?

Today there are robots in factories to make the production more efficient, robots does not have to eat, sleep and so on. I can understand this, of course you as an owner of a company would like to produce as much as possible to a low cost. But would we like to meet a humanlike robot in the reception in the hospital or in the hotel lobby? When arriving at a hotel you go to the robot, tell it who you are and it will check you in. Instead of needing three people per day, who each should have their salary, you could manage with one robot that does not need to be paid. 

So what would we spend our time on if the robots replaced many of us? Where would money for rent and food come from? I really can’t see any other reason for putting so much money in the development of these “human robots” than that they are supposed to, as I wrote earlier, replace people in some professions. 

What do you think?  Would it be ok to talk to a robot when you enter the hospital?
I really just think it´s a bit creepy, I can´t understand why a robot must look and behave like a human!  

You can watch the videos of the robot here:        

Tanks for reading!!

onsdag 22 februari 2012

Blog assignment 1

Our perception of gender roles

Women are supposed to work as teachers, nurses, cleaners, nannies, secretaries, maids and other similar professions. Men are supposed to work as engineers, fire fighters, construction workers, politicians and lawyers among others.  

This view, that certain professions are for women while others are for men, is something that has changed a lot during the last 50 years but there is still a long way before the deep-rooted gender roles can be neutralized and women and men be seen as equal. I don’t think that we are going to change our view of the gender roles drastically during the next coming years but I hope and believe that big changes will be made within 15 – 25 years. Hopefully the generation that will start the university in 20 years will choose differently than what students did 20 – 30 years ago. That they have been brought up with the belief that they can be and do anything they want to and don’t have to choose just the “typical” women or men educations and professions.

In the choice of education most of today’s students choose something that they are interested in, but I think that we unconsciously choose something that leans more towards a ”women education” or a ”man education” depending on how we have been brought up. I read in the book “There is an special place in hell for women who don’t help each other” (a study on how boys and girls are brought up to fit in certain roles in the society) by Liza Marklund and Lotta Snickare that girls are being more protected both at home and in school then what boys are. Girls are told to be careful, not to climb in trees and get dirt on their cloths while boys are encouraged to be more adventurous. It also says that girls are taught to take responsibility much earlier in life than what boys are. Girls more often take care of their younger siblings than boys do and also learn how to clean and cook earlier. If we in this stage would start to bring up boys and girls in the same way, than perhaps the gender distribution would change in the work life and be more equal.

I hope that boys and girls born today are being brought up in the same way; that girls as well as boys may play with dolls, cars and lego. But I think the most important thing is to let both girls and boys understand that they can do and be whatever they want to in life, that their gender should not be an obstacle. Who knows, if boys would start playing more with dolls maybe the number of men who studies to be a nurse would increase in the future. If girls played more with lego there would maybe be more women in the engineer educations then there is today. Hopefully it’s this simple (I don’t think so but I hope it´s a really good start), by changing some things in children’s upbringing the whole society will change step by step. What do you think? If we would bring up boys and girls in the same way, would that be enough to change our view on gender roles over a 15 – 25 years period?   

lördag 10 december 2011

The Alchemist

The book that I have been reading during this semester is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. After reading the book I have been thinking and reflecting more about my life and how important it is to have dreams and to actually try to fulfil them.

The Alchemist
The book is about a young shepherd and his journey during a part of his life. One night he has a dream where he sees a treasure by the pyramids in Egypt. The young shepherd realizes after a while that it is his personal legend to travel to the pyramids, it is his destiny and a part of why he is on this earth. On the way to the pyramids he travels through the desert where he meets the alchemist who later on accompanies him through the desert and helps him to understand how life works.     

There are two quotes who summarizes the meaning of this wonderful book in a good way:

Remember what I told you: the world is only the visible aspect of God. And that what alchemy does is to bring spiritual perfection into contact with the material plane.” (Page 142, rows 19-22)

No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history if the world. And normally he doesn´t know it.” (Page 158, row 26 and page 159 rows 1-2)

I think the author want to describe how everything is connected; how humans, animals, deserts, wind, water and heaven all connects in different ways. By observing closely and listen to people, nature and God, you can see and experience a lot more than if you go through life only concerned about what’s closest to yourself. The red line though the book is how important it is that each and every one of us tries to fulfil their dreams, even if it would take a lifetime. The author describe how a person gets happier and enjoys life much more if they at least try to achieve their dreams, and this seems right to me, of course you would be a happier and more at peace person if you once could experience your big dream.         

While reading the book I also started reflecting on if each and every one of us has a destiny. If everything is determined in advance and if something like determinism really exists. I am not a person who believes in God and heaven, but sometimes you can start thinking if a person is put on this planet for a special reason. One can think about things like this for a lifetime and we would never really get an answer to how everything works. What do you think about this? What do you belive? 

fredag 4 november 2011

Blog assignment 2

What is the real price of consuming?

Annie Leonard talks about many important things in her presentation, things we all know about but almost always choose not to care too much about. We all know that the earth’s resources decreases rapidly, that the environment are being destroyed more and more because pollution among other things, so why don´t we do anything about it? Annie gives us a very good solution to how we could at least slow down the destruction of earth; don’t consume as much as you do now.

The fact that we connect consumption with status and contribution to the society (yes, sadly it´s a fact for too many people) is a big problem. If everyone realized that the enormous consumption we have today does not help either the earth, the society or ourselves, hopefully the consumption would slow down. Of course we have to consume to make the countries go round, but we have to cut down. If we continue consuming, companies will continue using the earth’s resources until they are all gone, and we can´t let that happen.

It´s interesting that she actually found reports were companies have discussed how they can produce products that will breake as soon as possible, not so fast that the customer will be upset, but just so fast that the customer will go and by a new product. If we should start buying more quality products, that lasts ten years instead of one year, then we would not help the companies to produce these crappy things... More importantly, if we would start paying more for the products, if we stop choosing the cheaper one of two products, then would the employees who work in the factories hopefully get paid more and would get a chance to get a better life standard.

I could write about this for a long time, because it is such an interesting and important subject, but to sum it up; how much is our overconsumption worth?? Is it ok that enormous amounts of toxic pollution are let out, that the rainforest are deforested, that people have to work with toxin almost every day for almost no money, just so we can buy one more unnecessary product?

What would happen if we all would cut our consumption down to half? Could YOU cut your consumption down to half and are YOU willing to do so? 

onsdag 5 oktober 2011

Snooping bosses

What´s  beeing described in the article, that employers are spying on their employees both when they are working and on their spare time, is maybe going too far. That employers more and more are checking up on their employees is probably because the employees work ethics have gone down and they are spending more time on facebook etc than on work. But the fact that employers are going through employee’s mail, puts up cameras in the dressing room and tracks them both on working hours and after maybe damages the company more than it does good? If the employees don't feel that they are being trusted and at all times are being watched maybe they won't perform as good as they were before. Even if an employee not is doing anything wrong that the employer could complain about, I don’t think that they are feeling comfortable with being monitored all the time. However, it’s good that there are programs that reports if an employee visits an inappropriate website, like a pornographic site, at work. And if a employer suspects that someone are stealing from the company I can understand why they should spy on their employees, they are after all doing it to protect the company and the employees that not are guilty.

Spying on employees without any direct reason and monitoring their every move is probably not a good idea, but it’s good that there are programs etc that the employers can use if it would be necessary. If every employee for example signed a paper when they got hired where they agreed that if someone in the company were steeling, leaking information and so on, that it would be okay for the employer to investigate them. Maybe this isn’t a  good idea but it would protect the employees from being monitored all the time plus maybe this will stop some people from doing illegal things if they know that everyone will be investigated.