Thursday, December 11, 2008

Critical and Neo-Marxist Theory

The Frankfurt School (often refers to Critical Theory) basically picked up the idea of Carl Marx and other philosophers such as Hegel, Nietzsche and Freud. Developed by Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and Fromm, the Frankfurt School revolved on 2 main ideas: (1) all ideas influenced by the current times and by prevailing thought patterns, and (2) a person cannot separate facts and values and has to be self-reflexive and self-critical and develop a critical stance toward society. This is against the prevailing practice among empirically oriented sociologists of studying social matters in isolation/employing quantitative techniques, thereby separating facts and values. The Frankfurt School is a combination of theory and practice. Also, Horkheimer linked culture to personality formation; taking into account the economic process, the individuals and the totality of the system that affects and produces the people's thoughts.

Horkheimer and Adorno argued that the masses are heavily and unknowingly influenced to conform into a culture that is not typically in them. Such are made possible by the use of popular culture to manipulate individuals, to standardize taste, to distract from real world and to encourage passiveness.

From Hegel, Marx took the notion of dialectical historical development. But instead of Geist that is developing, it is the society. Marx's approach was materialism. Habermas converted this into idealism and added Weber's rationalization, Durkheim's consensus, and Parson's value generalization, which gave emphasis on communicative action and the generation of ideology.

For Marx, change developed out of contradiction and in material base but Habermas says change occurs out of contradictions in ideas and how they are legitemized through norms and values. Legitimation therefore is the new set of norms and values used to justify the system. And when legitimation becomes the new set of norms and values used to justify the system, it leads to consensus breakdown and thus, societal crisis simply because it has opened itself to abuse.

In traditional societies, particularly during the Age of Enlightenment, the breakdown of religious norms and values led to idea of rational exchange between equals. Also, the early liberal capitalism has brought organized capitalism.

The need for formal legitimations that are based on reason and rationality is a must to avoid such crisis and lead to change in society.

There are 2 types of action and rationalization: (1) purposive-rational action using means-end rationality which is used by the capitalist system, and (2) communicative action using reason.

The communicative action in which we converse provides necessary context for informed opinion. This paves the way to develop consensus about truth. As well, in formulating the concept of ideal speech, he stressed the need for 4 criteria:
• Understandability of utterances
• Truth of utterances
• Reliability and sincerity of speaker
• Authority (right to offer ideas)

Meanwhile, critics argue that Habermas' idea on builing formal legitimation to "idealize" Marx's theory is too idealistic. The universal consensus is said to be impossible. The speakers do not have equal ability. And if there is a conflict, the question of who will handle it arises.

Other Variants of Marxism:
• Hegelian Marxism (Antonio Grimsci)
• Neo-Marxian Economic Theory (Braverman)
• Fordism and Post-Fordism
• Historical Marxism
• Analytical Marxism
• Post-Modern Marxian Theory (Laclau/Mouffe)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bicol School provider of quality and affordable computer education

Imagine this scenario: a college education that provides you with advanced training to easily allow you get the career you want. If you want to get this training and education in less time, then an education at SLTCFI is right for you. A course at this school is perfect for individuals with specific career plans, who know exactly what job they want.

Situated in the heart of Legazpi, where the perfect-coned Mayon Volcano is found, Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc (SLTCFI) is a vocational and technological Bicol School that aims to provide quality best and affordable computer education that would nurture the skills and enhance the literacy of poor Bicolanos, particularly the youth.

At SLTCFI, you can find both degree and short-term computer courses. Among its courses offered include BS in Computer engineering (BSCoE), BS in Computer Science (BSCS), BS in Information System (BSIS), Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSEd) Major in English, Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSEd) Major in Mathematics, Computer Secretarial (ComSec), Computer Hardware Servicing, Computer Programmer NC IV (ComProg), Computer-Aided Architectural Drafting Technology (CadTech), Computer Animation NC II, and PC operation NC II. With SLTCFI’s goal to produce globally competitive IT professionals, students get the best of both worlds.

Among the top training offerings of this Bicol School are call center, web copywriting, legal transcription, and SEO. Just recently, SEO expert Gabriel Libacao shared his knowledge in internet marketing to qualified future SEO specialists. The training aimed to build a team that consists of skilled individuals at the same time secure a bright future of the SEO industry in Bicol region. This Bicol School is still looking for future trainees so if you want to be a part of SEO experts, check out SLTCFI.

Keep your dream alive. In addition, be a part of SLTCFI

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Some Important Information I Have Gatherred About the Internet

In 2002, report shows that there is an increased daily usage of internet access as a news source. In the latest poll made by Gallup, every media from local TV news, local newspapers and network magazines shows a decrease in its daily usage except the internet. According to Gallup, the percentage of American getting their news daily on the internet has increased from 3% in 1995 to 7% in 1998, 8% in 1999, 15% in 2002 and now 20% in 2004. This significant trend can be associated with the availability of internet virtually in every house in America.

The increase of internet usage is also become very noticeable in other parts of the globe. Asia on one hand, has embraced the idea of the Internet as the source of news in spite of the availability of local TV and local newspaper. Asia-Pacific Online study shows that by the end of 2003, Internet use in country like China will have nearly doubled to 114 million people. And by 2005, 250 million Chinese are expected to access the Internet. In South Korea, nearly 59 percent of the population uses the Internet by the end of 2003. In India with a population of over one billion people and with the increase of 120,000 cellular users a month that has passed to 3 million in June of 2003, indicates a vast potential in Internet usage.

Europe on the other hand, has been using the Internet as source for daily news. Statistics shows that member countries of the European Union are using the service of the Internet to acquire news and information. On the estimated population of 45.6 million people, almost 50 percent uses the in the Internet. And the popularity of it grows 121.2 percent from 2000-2004. The rest of Europe also shows significant growth. In the last four years, Internet users grow 150.2 percent.

Africa is also showing a considerable development in Internet use. They have come to realize the importance of global connectivity that the Internet offers. The Internet market in this region doubled from 2.5 million users to about 5 million in the year 2000, which shows a high level of growth.

The cause of this rapid growth in the use of the Internet throughout the world can be rooted to the services the Internet can give. Internet as a source of news has become very popular throughout the world. But the next question is: “what is the difference between local TV or newspaper and the internet?” We can see the answer in the presence of the sites like the BBC and the CNN which offers up to date news. As noticed, every news in the world can be read in these sited as it happens. Sites like these are continuously updated up to the second to give the users the latest events around the world.

Newspapers or local news cannot do this. For the reason that newspapers are printed daily and local news have specific time of broadcast, it cannot catch up with the information the Internet can give.

The evolution and the use of the Internet have been countless for the past two decades. It has revolutionized the business world. The transfer of information is faster than ever. The availability of every single detail of information about everything can be handed over wherever and whenever it is needed.

With its easy access to global information, the growing number of Internet user increases during the past years. The information superhighway, is it is known in other term, has been very effective and very useful medium in sharing information and thus, the internet is as much a collection of communities as a collection of technologies and its success is largely attributable to both satisfying basic community needs as well as utilizing the community in an effective way to push the infrastructure forward.

By the next few years and if the trend continues to go up, we can expect the internet would become the most frequent visit that can beat the local TV and newspaper in terms of news source and other relevant information.

How to Sustain Your Business and Keep it Running

Competition is one of the biggest problems a businessman engaged in the printing industry can encounter. Whether small, medium, or big printing business, competition is the businessman’s worst nightmare. And more often than not, newly-started printing businesses suffer great loss in terms of resources; in money and in manpower. However, what separates a successful business from a less successful one is not the amount of money they invest; rather, its native talent.

Native talent is the ability to know exactly the needs of their market. It is a must for printing businesses to realize and adopt what is the latest pulse of consumers. It is also understanding what is the best and most applicable strategy to use in maintaining the edge in marketing the product.

But the best thing any businessman would wish to have are some guidelines and principles to follow in sustaining their carefully invested money. Thus, here are some useful guidelines you can follow to maintain your business:

1. Deliver your product as promised. There is no better way of keeping your reputation than making your product delivered as promised. Make sure that you keep track of your promises even if it means a loss of margin or time. Remember that word spread quickly when you fall to your promise. Your reputation is your greatest asset. Protect it at all cost.

2. Create and stick to your game plan. Define your strategic position. What is it that differentiates you from others and makes your services worthwhile? To determine a strategic position consider how you can capitalize on recent industry trends and developments in printing, competitive opportunities and openings. Printing technology changes rapidly and therefore you have to take advantage of it. And most importantly, determine your strengths and interests. Next, turn these gains into a strong marketing message that’s clear, precise and repeatable in your sleep.

3. Satisfy your current clients. Your current clients are the best source of new project. You may not realize it but your client might have other assignments in mind that they want you to do. Don’t hesitate to ask what they are. Who knows, this might be your great opportunity to create more income. And remember what we have mentioned earlier that word spread quickly when you fall to your promise? It is also applicable here. Current clients can be a good source of referrals outside and they can act as your merchandisers outside.

4. Market constantly. To sell better, it is advisable that you continue to sell your product. However, creating your marketing plan is easy, but making the first call is difficult. If you focus your business strategy on relationship-building opportunities and exercises, start calling your potation clients whom you have already had the chance of making acquaintance with at seminars, conferences, symposiums, and classes, friends, colleagues, clients.

5. Monitor your cash flow (in and out). According to Small Business Administration, more businesses fail from cash flow problems than any other reason. Always ensure that the money coming in clearly by stating payment terms in the contracts, staggering payments through the course of the project, billing promptly, and staying on top of your accounts receivables. Don’t let your receivables exceed for more than 30 days without at least one telephone call or e-mail, 45 days without a few phone calls and e-mails, and 60 days without sending out the Light Brigade. Don’t hesitate in doing this because you are losing the value of your money by not circulating to generate more income. One last thing. Purchase strategically, spend wisely, and negotiate well.

6. Value your talent. The problem with strict competition in the printing industry is that businessman tends to compromise their service to negotiate their way into a contract. The result is printing businesses book up a low paying project when a sweet job rolls in. You can solve this by establishing your absolute minimum: receive jobs for less only when you can gain advantage from them like bigger opportunity in the future and larger market in the future.

7. Partner strategically. In printing industry, it is far better to enter into a partnership rather than doing all the work. You can create common clients and personal referrals by doing so. However, when choosing your partner, make sure you know him very well and have proven track records. You don’t want to end up losing rather than gaining after partnership so make sure that you have the right choice in choosing your partner.

8. Practice the fundamentals. Professional work habits, excellent customer service, best foot forward, win-win partnering, appropriate use of time and technology for each project, answering the phone, responding quickly to e-mails, rectifying errors with a smile. They're fundamental and they work.

Hitachi to Sell Unrollable E-Paper in 2006

Hitachi headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and one of the leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors, including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. Hitachi, Ltd. has 956 subsidiaries, including 411 overseas companies.

And with the vision to push further ahead their leadership, they are planning to begin selling a color-capable electronic paper in 2006.

The article describes this electronic paper as, “Rather than use organic light-emitting (OLED) diodes, the way that Philips' e-paper does, Hitachi's device will use a liquid crystal displays (LCD) 3-centimeters thick and equipped with a special panel that has doubles the normal light reflectivity of LCDs. Hitachi showed a 7-inch prototype, said the device is capable of showing an image bright enough for easy viewing without using a backlight, and can display a high-resolution image for several months on commercially available lithium ion battery cells. Unlike Philips e-paper, the Hitachi device can't display video.”

This electronic paper can neither be rolled up nor bent. The article carry on the idea that this Hitachi electronic paper will be used in shopping malls and trains for posters and ads, as well as at public facilities, offices and homes for information and message boards as its main market. Those are also the markets that currently use E -Ink's black & white, lower resolution electronic paper. This is a great improvement for on the part of the company as well as its covered market.

Art from Technological Glitches

When we heard the term technological glitch, the very first thing that comes to our mind is minor unexpected malfunction, mishap, or technical problem or a digital corruption. And in one way or another, we have already encountered this glitch whether in our mobile phones, radios, ATM’s, and especially our personal computer. As a result, a technological glitch is considered a nuisance for it hinders an individual to perform properly his tasks. But these glitches are not bad at all and believe it or not, there’s an art hiding among these glitches.

Glitch art or some may call it the aesthetics of digital corruption, is residing an inner beauty of its own. If you have no idea of what a technology glitch looks like, try to see some abstract painting hanging on the walls of some famous museums in your country. Or the much closer comparison is the 3D “magic eye” images you see on paper, wherein when you look closer to the images, you can see another image appearing from it. Although each glitch art does not exactly promise the same result, the images are similar.

Michael Shanks’ glitch art is an example of these. You can see in his site that the computer can create odd looking glitches which appears to be an eye sore or and headache because of the effect it can create to your system, can be an art of its own. He has showed that a glitch can create and convert abstract images into an eye catching art and permanently change the views of computer glitches.

With New Book, Potter Casts Spell on Web Yet Again

With the announcement of the release of J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book in July, this year will be more worth living for all the Potter fans. Titled "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," much shorter than the previews “Order of the Phoenix,” the book is expected to top all the best.

And every signs of the book becoming a top-seller is very evident several months before its market launch. In fact, according to the article, placed the book in the No. 1 best-seller’s list. The article also added that “Barnes & Noble's Web site also has the book listed as its top-seller... Amazon said it sold more than 1.3 million pre-release titles of the last book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," setting a record for early orders and accounting for more than $23 million in sales--even at a 40 percent off discount.”

The fifth installment that was released in June 21, 2003, sold for about 5 million copies on the first day alone and thus we can expect that the Potter fans will line their way through the bookstore cash register to get their beloved Harry home.

And with excitement greater than the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, July will be the unofficial bookstore month around the world; thanks to JL Rowling. And for the record, with all the five Potter books in my possession, I will be one of the millions rushing to the bookstore in July to get my latest Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book.

Monday, February 07, 2005

low salary

If you feel you receive a monthly salary that does not worth the job you are doing, well, you are not alone. You are one of the millions of employees around the world who either receive salary that is not worth of their job. Well the standard rate issue is not new. Every year employees protest to raise their salary to cope with the increasing prices starting from petroleum product to basic commodities. But no employer hears this protest. They are either closing their ears to the current state or just minding their self-interest. But either of the two, the employees are the most affected.

I will not be surprised if later we will have civil unrest and different civil disobedience. With the state of the poor people, I am sure that it would not take long before these rich people bow down to the poor and ask for mercy. But before this thing happens, the employers should make a mode and change the oppressive style of handling their businesses