Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Fly On the Wall

The Fly on the Wall
Marga Rillo

“To boldly go where no man has gone before,” says the motto of the starship Enterprise. Though from a later decade, this famous line from the Star Trek series encapsulates the spirit of adventure and passion for knowledge shared by many science and technology enthusiasts throughout the 50s. This decade saw the development of many achievements in man’s quest for knowledge and an understanding of his universe, leading scientists to become more emboldened in their experiments as they mindlessly worked in pursuit of answers.

            The 1958 film, The Fly, presents to the viewer two aspects of this desire for knowledge through the hardships of a scientist named Andre Delambre. Blinded by the idea that his discovery of a teleportation device is a ground-breaking achievement that will benefit mankind, Delambre later on becomes careless, resulting in his head and hand transforming into those of a fly. In this way, the film is able to comment on how the well-meaning, passionate desire of scientists to learn more can easily change into mindless self-indulgence and the regard of oneself as godly. Consequently, it can be said that the movie is a form of a morality play, where the protagonist decides between disrupting the forces of nature and tampering with creation, or avoiding the unknown and living a safe, comfortable life.

            As a whole, watching the film was definitely an interesting experience, seeing as how it’s not the usual genre that I am attracted to. Though admittedly dragging at the beginning, the film keeps the viewer at the edge of her seat, and pokes at her to begin asking questions and to wonder what the search for knowledge truly means and truly entails. To boldly go where no man has gone before, indeed – and to risk everything just to understand and to get back.

Rillo, 2013-14388

The Fly: A Twisted Tale of Technology and Teleportation

The day I watched The Fly was the day I genuinely lost my appetite for the first time.

Even if the movie horrified me so much that I wished I fell asleep in class instead, it was actually pretty interesting. The story was so intriguing that I just had to know what would happen next. The effects were actually good for a film made in the 1950s. There were some parts that were really predictable, but everyone was still shocked by those scenes because of the special effects. This film, though quite disturbing, had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

With the concept of teleportation presented in the movie, I couldn’t help but think of what would happen if teleportation machines really existed. People might be using them responsibly at first, but things will go out of hand sooner or later. Issues on morality would no doubt arise. Is it acceptable to create something that gives people godlike powers? The movie shows that scientists just go and invent things without taking moral implications into consideration. This may or may not be true, but the question of morality all depends on a person’s set of beliefs.

As the film progressed, I kept wondering if science really was condemned back in the day. It was as if the movie was there to show everyone the horrors of getting into science. Based on the movie, people weren’t that excited about scientific breakthroughs because they were afraid something might go wrong. Yes, science can go out of control, but only when you misuse it. Only with the right knowledge and actions can science be used to create innovations that will help mankind.

The day I watched The Fly was the day I learned a little more about science and society.

Hannah Dungca

The Fly

It was my first time watching The Fly, and it actually exceeded my expectations. At first, it seemed like one of those old films that were kind of serious, boring, and dull, but as the film progressed, I found myself watching really closely and paying attention that even the slightest noise bothered me. What was nice about the film was that the main objective of the audience of discovering why the wife killed her husband was revealed slowly, and it made the movie a whole lot more exciting and mind-blowing. The movie would make you switch sides, from believing that the wife was crazy thus killing her husband for no reason, to feeling pity for the wife since her husband became a fly. I believe that the film was also a way of telling us that science cannot do everything. It has its imperfections, and men should know when to draw the line between experimenting for the sake of science and violating the moral code of ethics. I learned from the film that while it is nice to help people using science in order for them to have better lives (which is why the guy did his invention), there is still a limitation to it and we must take everything into consideration since this could possibly affect many people. Just imagine what would have happened if the invention of the husband was actually used by many people. This could cause serious complications since the machine could go wrong in so many ways, just like how it made the husband into a cross breed between a fly and a human.

All in all, the film could be seen as a warning that men should be cautious with science. It reminds us that there might be great consequences we might not be willing to experience if we go overboard with it. Learning from this film, we should all know when science is advantageous, and when it could wreak havoc already. The fly having the head of the husband should be more than enough to scare us away from experimenting on stuff that we should not be experimenting with.

Bea Lejano

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Fly

Curiosity killed the cat. That was what came to mind when I was watching “The Fly”. On contrary, I believe that curiosity is one of the greatest things human have. Having such a strong desire to know about things was the very reason why we know and have the things that we have right now. It is the very thing that prompted humans, especially scientists, to explore new discoveries in the world of science.

As seen in the movie, scientists conduct their research and later on, experiment to test their hypothesis. As for the Andre, he was creating a teleportation device. When he tested it, there was some sort of error. He tried solving the problem and fortunately, succeeded in fixing the machine. On the other hand, an idea came to his mind when he saw his pet cat. He experimented with the cat by placing it in the machine but to his shock, it disappeared out of thin air. His guilt faded as soon as he was able to successfully teleport a live subject after doing some rectifications. Yet, despite his wife’s request, his satisfaction wasn’t still on its brink for later on, he did what has been unthinkable yet, inevitable. He used the device but, due to an accident, his body got integrated with a fly, which later on became the very reason of his death.

It was evident that in the 1950s, science was a scientist’s key for fame and wealth yet, was portrayed as something dangerous—dangerous enough to cause a man his life. The movie showed how exploring science and technology can give way to a lot of undiscovered knowledge and possibilities while reminding us that there are things that should not be explored by man and should be left as it is.

Erika Joyce G. de Luna
2010 – 06190

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Fly

The Fly would probably be one of those movies which you won’t forget. Not because of it’s effects and the quality of the production, since it was made during the 1950’s, but because of the plot of the story. It showed the life of a scientist and how dedicated they are to research and finding new discoveries. The main character of the story, Andre, was so devoted to his new found technology that he not only spent most of his time in his lab, but defied the laws of nature as well.

He was so keen in perfecting the teleportation device that he built that he even sacrificed life itself just so he could reach his goal. He first tried to experiment with their cat but it failed and Andre didn’t know where the cat wandered off to since it didn’t reappear. Another scene showed that Andre was able to fix his miscalculations and was able to teleport a guinea pig. 

Andre’s wife made him promise not to experiment on animals anymore since it was taboo to experiment with life itself, and they see it as a dangerous thing to mess with. Andre fulfilled his promise to to experiment on animals anymore, though his wife didn’t specify not to experiment completely on living beings itself, since Andre tried to teleport himself. Unfortunately, Andre’s experiment failed when a fly was inside the machine when he tried to teleport himself, hence mixing their atoms/molecules and switching heads with the fly. 

This movie goes to show just how scary science can really be when dealing with phenomena which can be too much for a person to handle. The movie also showed just how science and technology can affect society, or people in general, whether it may be for the better or for the worse. It can ruin a man’s life when he strives to reach his goal just to be successful in new discoveries where no one else has, and that he will not stop at any point just to prove his discovery.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Fly: The Epitome of Human Carelessness with Technology

Probably one of the most disturbing and physically mortifying movies that I have ever watched so far would be The Fly. Yet it doesn’t fail to impress an incredibly significant lesson on its viewers regarding the ethical implications of scientific and technological innovation.

The Fly is a science-fiction horror film but the only scary thing about it is perhaps the thought that my body might get swapped with an insect much less a fly when trying out an experiment. But despite the lack of intensity to strike fear in me, it effectively brought its message across even if it was in a morbid way.

The film caught my attention from the beginning since it immediately introduced the conflict of the story, that being the murder of Andre by his wife Helene, without any prelude to the present situation. However, it was able to make effective use of the flashback which gave the story more substance, clarity, and progression. So it was definitely entertaining and quite interesting due to the characters’ quirks and the sequence of events.

In the flashback, it was revealed that Andre built a teleportation device that could transport any matter from one portal to the other. Through the character of Andre, we see that scientists have the innate thirst for truth and knowledge and nothing will stop them from getting the answers. However, it came to a point when he exceeded the boundaries and experimented on himself which led to bigger complications. I do believe that it was a play on morality because we have to know and accept our limitations and consider the risks.

The film shows us that science and technology in the 1950s was a phenomenon or an impetus for improvement of life that could give someone fame, wealth, and power.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Panem on Fire

In the typology of fiction, science fiction goes under a broader umbrella of speculative fiction, and rightly so. It speculates – predicts, imagines, gambles with the possibilities of the future. Suzanne Collins’ sequel to The Hunger Games was followed by Catching Fire – again, like the first, was visualized into a film. Is it science fiction? Futuristic settings and technology, check; a dystopian society, check; a different world order, check. However, the quality that highlights its genre is the work’s capacity to convince viewers that the human condition is worth examining through the technology and society present. 

Reflecting this timelessness of the human condition – past, present, and future – is speculative fiction’s most essential quality. In this recent visit to Panem, Katniss Everdeen, the spark of the rebellion, suddenly is catching fire. Although we see her being repressed by the government, drawn to the Quarter Quell and fated to die in it; there was a rebellion that was growing silently behind her back, because of her, without her even realizing it. In the same way in Philippine History, Jose Rizal was the spark of the flame – his ideas, which the government repressed, reached the Filipinos at the time and set forth the independence movement, without his knowledge of it. We also see the Panem government that is tight on surveillance, with every inch of each district being placed under their watch. Surprisingly, this concern regarding surveillance and privacy is also very well into our present, with the post-9/11 paranoia boiling in the background, the US government mostly in its center. Lastly, although the best we can do is speculate about the future human society, it is not a far cry from the trend we are following now. Weak social control and revolutions are beginning to destabilize previously intact authoritarian (or even democratic) governments, with political activists, such as Gene Sharp, stirring the phenomenon.

From the perspective of the government, science and technology in their hands have failed. Considering that they do have a clear abundance and control of it, they were not able to monopolize it because the citizens still were able to access and take advantage of it. On the other side of the coin, though, it is almost a victory for the rebels – first, that Katniss and Wiress outsmarted the Quarter Quell, and second, because the supposedly obsolete District 13 was successfully kept hidden and preserved all these years for that very moment of revolution. All in all, though, society fails to uphold order, but in that light, it is also successful in creating much needed social upheaval.

Christine Joy L. Galunan

Catching Fire: Through Fire and Flames

The film, Catching Fire, is undeniably a science fiction. It was able to present its audience with technologies that still are not present today. Yet, these new inventions are still within the realm of the possibilities in the fields of science and technology and therefore, could happen in the future. The specialized hovercrafts, hologram televisions, interactive training grounds and the game arena which can be altered by the game makers are just few of the imagined scientific advances shown in the movie.

 Catching fire is a film I can consider a commentary of the past, present and the future. In a way, the film was able to connect the history with what is happening in the present and showed what may happen in the future. In the movie, it is evident that dictatorship is the established form of government. People are being controlled that despite how they despise the way things are, they still are supposed to follow and depend in the government. But, as the female protagonist showed up, people liven up and started getting their hopes up. They started fighting back by taking action such as mass movements and the like. It is now up to the people what they are willing to give for the future.

Science, technology and society contributed to both the failure and success in the districts. Through the use of science and technology, people from the higher societies were able to create highly advanced innovations—specialized hovercrafts, televisions, and even a game arena which can be altered by those in charge of the game.  Yet, these advanced technologies were not accessible to everyone in the country, but only by the ones in the higher societies, along with the advances and benefits these innovations can offer. What made things worse is that these new technologies were utilized not to help the masses, but rather, to suppress them. Instead of taking advantage of the equipment they have to extend help to the districts that need help, they made use of their highly advanced technology to come up with a game to entertain themselves. They created this game as a way to manipulate the masses with a somehow better life ahead as an incentive for winning.

Overall, Catching Fire was a very good movie. It was able to give its audience both romance, action and science. Watching it made me look forward to what kind of innovations in the field of science and technology people will be coming up with. Yet, seeing as how complicated and devastating Panem still is despite their advanced technology, I just hope that people would not consider science and technology not as a way of advancing only oneself in the society and taking control of those in the lower classes but rather, as a way to improve themselves and help those who are need. After all, I believe that science, technology, and society go hand in hand, not science and technology versus society or vice versa. 

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Marga Rillo

            Though describing science fiction is not easily done, Catching Fire relies on a specific feature that has become over-used among the many manifestations of this genre: the integration of futuristic technology developed by highly intelligent versions of humans. Viewers are introduced to spaceships, specialized weapons, a state-of-the-art training area, and the like in creating a world that is foreign, yet strangely familiar to the present-day viewer. The arena in which they play is, in itself, an innovation that scientists can only dream of developing someday. However, the film’s strength lies in its ability to present a dystopian version of society where morality and social constructs are put into question, which is something that other products of science fiction usually fail to do. By combining advances in technology with the basic human desires for power, safety, and comfort, Catching Fire succeeds in pushing the viewer to actively think about the future and what it holds for the decisions that individuals will make with the resources at hand.

            That being said, the film touches on ideas that point to the positive and negative aspects of human society in the past, present, and future. The concepts of dictatorship, rebellion, and war come into play, along with a view of the complexities of the decision-making of leaders and their abuse of power. Economic imbalance, as seen in Panem is taken into consideration as the poverty of the Districts is juxtaposed with the exaggeratedly luxurious lifestyles of the inhabitants of the Capitol. Furthermore, the emotional aspect of the film pushes the viewer to question what s/he would do in the face of desperation to survive: To look out for oneself alone, or to reach out to others despite the obvious hazard of being hurt in the end? It’s a moral dilemma that finds its place in any point in time. Catching Fire takes all of the past and present manifestations of these concepts, and translates them into their extreme future counterparts to give viewers a glimpse of what might happen if the positive and negative aspects of humanity continue to not be in check.

            As society moves into a world where life is much more quick-paced and intricate because of the developments in technology, the film provides an interesting insight into how science and its many products can easily disrupt the balance that our ancestors and ourselves have set out to achieve. The districts, after years of discontent, are subjected to the abuse of technology and the many resources the region has to offer as the Capitol decides to abuse them for their own enjoyment, under the ruse of commemorating a failed rebellion. The film also shows how society effectively fails in this world, with the minority turning a blind eye to the hardships faced by the majority of Panem with their focus on fashion, lavish events, and other superficial luxuries. Consequently, viewers are pushed to wonder about our world today, and how the similarities between their society and ours are not very far-fetched.

Rillo, 2013-14388

Catching Fire: A Spark That Igites Not Only A Rebellion

  Catching Fire is the second instalment in the Hunger Games Trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. It revolves around the continuation of Katniss Everdeen's struggle after the 76th hunger games that happened on the first book. The series is set on a dystopian North America where in thirteen districts exists. These thirteen districts are being ruled by the Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis that exercises political control over the rest of the nation.  The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.
I have been a fan of the book series long before the movie adaptations were produced. One reason why I love the book series is because of the fictional world that Collins created. The book and the film is definitely science fiction. The whole plot is fiction imagined on a future world filled scientific and technological advances. The world of the Hunger Games is happening on a futuristic world wherein technology is everywhere. Basically, everything in the movie has science and technology associated with it.
Since I have read the books already, I was just watching for things in the movie that are different on the book. Catching Fire was awesome. Every single scene in the movie was well executed and every single character is well played. It was definitely a wonderful movie adaptation of a book. There are some scenes in the book that are not included in the movie and I was actually disappointed at those but the totality of the film is really worth watching.
If you are just a plain audience and you will just watch the movie for fun you will really not notice or give any attention to the science and technology associated with the film. The film is a commentary on past, present and future human society. Though the film is set on a dystopian future, the plot basically reflects all time features in the society.  In Capitol, people are the actual witness of development in their technology.
Science and technology can be both a success and a failure in the districts. Most people cannot live without it. Some prefer not to use it. Science and Technology are used in almost every single thing in the movie. It is used from their mode of transportations, innovations, loads of equipment and almost everything. The Arena is a whole product of science and technology. Even the whole Capitol, the place itself and the people are either products or benefiting from the products of it. Every district has a distinct character that differentiates them from each other. Some districts are really experiencing the benefits from products of technology. Some, like district twelve are deprived from it.             
Panem represents a lot of things. In the movie, they presented a lot of different views, perspective and ideas. The idea of a rebellion and sacrifices are one of the few ideologies in the film. Catching Fire was not only a young adult film. It is also political, scientific, technological and sociological. In totality, Catching Fire was a movie definitely worth your time. Hands down to the casts and producers.

Joana Marie Garcia

Catching Fire: Science, Technology, and Rebellion

I have been a fan of The Hunger Games trilogy long before the first movie appeared on the big screen, and as a perfectionist, I expected the movie adaptation of Catching Fire to go by the book. While the movie disappointed me in some parts, it still fulfilled its purpose of showing the audience the underlying message of rebellion and, in a way, sacrifice.

            Catching Fire is definitely a science fiction movie. It presented us with a society that is largely affected by science, a more technologically advanced one at that. From the arena to the devices used for viewing The Games back at District 12, science is very much present in the lives of the people in Panem. Even creatures such as the jabberjays have been engineered by a science we can only hope to understand. How people live with science and how they are affected by it can also be seen in the movie, just like how each hour brought a new threat in the Quarter Quell. The film focused on the scientific side of the book as much as it did on the drama and this produced a more balanced feel to the movie.

As the story continued to unfold, one can’t help but compare the fictional world of Panem to the real world. What made the movie feel so real is the fact that it is a reflection of how things are right now. We see people suffer while others celebrate in the movie and we can clearly see that in the present. If we look at our history textbooks, we can also see that happen in the past. If the government doesn’t do something to amend their ways, we might still see the same suffering in the future. We see similarities between the movie and real life that it’s almost like the movie is letting us catch a glimpse of the past, present, and future and providing us with insight about the real world.

To be honest, I never really paid attention to the role of science and technology in the movie. After analyzing the film though, I was able to see that science and technology had a rather large part to play. So many elements of the story relied on those two that without them, the story wouldn’t move forward. Those two things showed us the endless scientific possibilities that the human race can achieve in the future. Cool flying jets, complex training grounds, more genetically altered animals. If Panem can have those things, I’m pretty sure we can have those, too. What science and technology failed to do, however, was to stop a rebellion. If simple berries can mean the downfall of the system, as Katniss had said, then that must mean even such complex technologies cannot stop the people. If they want to rise up, they will and nothing can stop them.

On a side note, I enjoyed Catching Fire so much that I watched it three times.

Catching Fire: Igniting the Flames from Within

            The film is Science Fiction because it showed possible and/or imagined future scientific and technological advances. We can see throughout the film how advanced the machinery was compared to the present technology which we have now, from the mode of transportation which they use to the equipment they showed during the 75th Hunger games. One of which is the simulation room used by the tributes to train and the whole arena itself wherein everything was brought alive through the use of computers and machines. You wouldn’t have been able to imagine the use of technology to build sceneries, animals, insects, etc. through encoding them in computers yet still be able to have physical structures when prompted to appear in the dome.
            First and foremost, the film is a commentary on future human society since it showed, as I’ve mentioned earlier, possible and/or imagine future scientific and technological advances. It wouldn’t have been categorized as Science Fiction if it were based on past and present human society. Although, I can say that even though the film is a commentary on the future human society, this setting wouldn’t have been possible if not for the history of the movie.
            We all know that the Hunger Games began when the people started to rebel against the Capitol, which is the form of government in the movie. What happened in the past lead to a series of unfortunate events which brought the Hunger Games to life, which is happening in the present as the 75th Hunger Games commences. I can only say that the 3 are connected in a way that what happened in the past is a result of what was happening in the present, but it also shows what can happen in the future based on their actions. Although not all forms of advanced technology can be seen throughout the districts, I can still say that it is a commentary on future human society simply because the movie showed how developed their technology is compared to our present technology.
Science, technology and society both fail and succeed in the world of the 13 districts. It succeeds because of how advanced technology has become and this would have been impossible if not for the brilliant minds of the inventors, scientist or whoever, who thought of these newfound technology. It would only show how incredible the human mind is since they were able to come up with these ideas and discoveries. It would have succeeded even more if these were used for the benefit of the society.
When we define society, the word “unity” comes in mind. Whether they are from different districts, they are still governed by one body of power which is the Capitol. But instead of using their advanced technology to help other citizens, they used their technological advances instead to suppress the masses. As a society, it is the job of the people to help each other regardless of their social classes. Instead, they use this hierarchy to benefit from the lower class by making them work and starve to death, and only by winning the games can they taste, at least half or even less, the luxuries of the upper-class.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Catching Fire: Dystopian Foreshadowing of Present Reality

I think the film Hunger Games is undeniably science fiction since science fiction deals with scientific innovations and futuristic science and technology, and these kinds of things were seen all throughout the film. Even though the setting of some of the districts were just like any other normal place where poverty and dictatorship is prevalent, the otherworldly inventions in the film like the training room where there were simulations for honing skills, the simulation of the domed place where they fought, etc., makes the film science fiction. Also, science fiction deals with new and different political and social systems, and this was covered by the film as well. The setting of the film is dystopian, which according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “is an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives”. These various factors were clearly seen in the film and these are the reasons why the film is science fiction.

I strongly believe that the film is a commentary on past, present, and future human society. The problems and hardships of the people in the film is familiar especially to us Filipinos. I recall my mom telling me after the film that she remembered the Philippines being under martial law while watching the film. She says that what happened to the old man in District 11 who dared express his sympathy for the people and opposition for the government through the act of kissing his hand and raising it as an act of defiance was a normal sight during the reign of Marcos. The old man in the film was seized and killed on the spot, and my mom said that that really happened in the past when people tried to oppose Marcos. The film also speaks about the present, where poverty is hugely rampant, and still the government officials and leaders spend a huge deal of money on luxurious stuff. This is very reminiscent of the Napoles issue, and this also indicates the state of our nation nowadays. If all these problems aren’t addressed and taken care of, I think that this will continue on in the future, and the film might really be a commentary and a foreshadowing as well of what is soon to come.

I think science, technology, and society in the 13 districts both fail and succeed. It succeeds because the innovations are really astounding and unique. For example, they help hone the skills of the competitors (i.e. training room) and they help build efficient transportation (modern train that transports people to different districts). Although it succeeds, it also fails 10 times more. The poor and the commoners do not really benefit from the technology of their districts. The innovations in the 13 districts are mainly used by rich people because they are the only ones who can afford it and because the commoners are not given the right to use them. This clearly reflects the image of society in the film, where the division of classes are still present.

Bea Lejano

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Uprising Is Ignited!

Initially, my preconceptions about The Hunger Games revolved around the typical coming-of-age story spiced up with teenage romance and the inevitable fate that the hero or, in this case, the heroine, would have to face and ultimately overcome an inner struggle in order to find the strength to fight and triumph over the enemies. This has been the common formula used by most mainstream literature nowadays. But there are certain ingredients that make movies such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and Percy Jackson among others, stand out above their contemporaries making them more delectable to the audiences.

Considering that The Hunger Games is a dystopian fiction, what makes it stand out for me is not so much the dynamics of the story and the characters rather it is the message that it tries to bring across. Of course, the story was based on “The Lottery” but Suzanne Collins takes it one bar higher by placing certain elements that I believe are references to real things and events, giving it more depth in substance and rootedness to reality.

All in all, after watching The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, without viewing the previous movie or reading any book in the series, I can say without a doubt in my mind that the movie was directed phenomenally and the characters were portrayed wonderfully. The cinematography was great and the flow of the story was so good that even if I didn’t read the book or watched the previous movie, I could follow the events and understand what’s going on. It was a movie worth watching and it definitely piqued my interest.

I consider The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as science fiction because it depicts a futuristic setting with highly sophisticated technologies and an advanced knowledge in science despite the fact that it is a dystopia and in the midst of the improvement of life in the Capitol which represents the ruling elite, there is a disparity in wealth and willpower shown through the barbaric nature of the 13 Districts of Panem and the Games themselves. Some technologies that were shown and may have the possibility of being invented in the future were holograms and spacecrafts.

The film definitely says a lot about past, present, and future human society. I see it as an incredibly plausible prediction of future human society depending on the events that are actually happening at the present time. I believe that for the ruling elite to be able to subdue and control the masses, a massive crisis needs to take place, and I think that since the film is set in America, the recession and continuous decline of their economy may more or less be the prelude to the creation of Panem or “The New World Order” in certain contexts.

Finally, the advancement of science and technology succeeds in improving the lives of a select few in society while simultaneously creating oppression in the rest thereby failing to bring equality to the world of The Hunger Games.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

GdayX: Smart Ideas, Great Innovations

GdayX: Smart Ideas, Great Innovations
by Jeremiah Evangelista

The GdayX event last Saturday was a great learning experience on how to use technology as a great tool not only to connect and communicate with people but also as a gateway for expanding your business and establishing your brand in social media. It was a great opportunity to expose ourselves with the ideas behind success stories of entrepreneurs such as the different ways to use the resources at their disposal to make a really big impact on other people, the right mindset and attitude one should have when starting a business venture, and the right motivation to keep pressing forward and also the business strategies that big companies like Google implement so as to get the maximum returns for their investments.

The first idea that I took from the event was regarding Google’s business strategy and how it has become a giant business mogul. Their strategy was to focus on the user and all else will follow. At first, I thought that this should be obvious for anyone who is trying to establish a business. But the more I thought about it, the more I was able to understand that even though this is common knowledge to a lot of people, it is not a common practice. The reason why Google, Facebook, Youtube, and are ahead of their competitors is because they focus on their users above everything else in their business. These companies rose to the top because they deliver the best quality and substance in their products. In terms of efficiency, innovation, and simplicity, Google is at the forefront. We see that Facebook and excel in versatility and variety. Youtube brands itself as a great interface for video content sharing and as well as an excellent social media platform. Basically, I learned that a successful business starts with the users – the consumers, the audience, and the followers. We should not focus on what we want but on what the users want because if they get what they want, then we get what we want – a successful brand and business, making way for profit.

The second idea was collaboration. Google’s tools make it easy for people to collaborate anywhere at any time. This is also another aspect to their successful business strategy. In building a brand or business, we need to partner with other people so that there is a wide range of markets to reach and to target. Building dynamic relationships is one of the best ways to help make ourselves known to the public. I learned that when we are able to collaborate with people, we can make big impacts and we can make change happen. 

The last idea was to stay true to who you are. Attitude and authenticity are definitely important in business. This is how successful companies were able to succeed. Technology is always available but if it’s not backed up with a passion to succeed, then it will bear less successful results. All in all, GdayX was a fun, interactive experience.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Googolplex of Greatness

 A Googolplex of Greatness
Marga Rillo

When one thinks about Google, a one-faceted definition usually comes to mind: A straight-to-the-point search engine that offers over a billion pages on a single topic. This feature, in itself, is ground-breaking, but since the recent move to extend its offerings to other elements of the internet, the movers and shakers of Google have shown how brilliant technology can be. Charismatic and genius, the corporation has been exerting great effort in showing the beauty of Google, particularly through the GDayX sessions around the world. In the recently held GDayX Manila, speakers were tapped to share their thoughts on technology, business, and networking in the world today. Simultaneously fun and value-adding, the event provided its attendees with a new perspective on the interactions of humans with one another and with the devices they integrate into their lives.

Gail Tan, a Country Communications Manager for Google, began by explaining the missing human element in the relationship between technology and business. Zeroing in on one of the main mottos of the company, she emphasized the need to listen to and to cater to the needs of the users, and how this should serve as the driving force behind all of the efforts of a corporation. Google is able to achieve this through crowd-accelerated innovation, a mechanism seen in services such as G+ and Google Maps where the users are encouraged to collaborate with the company in effectively engaging and educating.

The second speaker, Herald Uy, then introduced Google’s Communication Tools. These tools, with Gmail, Hangouts, and Google Drive, make use of cloud technology in allowing the user to work with any team, on any device, in any place, and at any time. The company effectively promotes a culture of collaboration and teamwork, all performed seamlessly and efficiently. In this way, Google is able to serve as an avenue for the revitalization of old companies and the forming of connections between them and their employees.

The fourth speaker, Trixie Canavel, a manager for Content Partnerships in YouTube, later on spoke about the benefits of using the website in line with promoting one’s company.  As the #2 search engine of the world, with over 150 years’ worth of videos being viewed on Facebook everyday, it’s a no-brainer that the website should assist in finding and engaging an audience. YouTube can then aid a business by exposing its many users to particular products and services, thus allowing it to develop a closer relationship with its clients and to increase its online presence.

It’s mind-blowing to think about the achievements of Google in the past 15 years that it has been around. From a simple search engine programmed by two ordinary students in Stanford, the corporation has grown into an innovative powerhouse that continues to revolutionize how we connect with one another and, in effect, how we live. Without a doubt, there is no way but up for Google, and the world cannot wait to begin searching as to what it will do next.