[STEM110T] Assignment #3: Alternate Technologies

Can you imagine what will Norfolk look like in the year 2030? As a world-renowned urban planner I’ve been hired by the City of Norfolk to help re-imagine Norfolk as a sustainable “city of the of the future.” Norfolk is one of the biggest cities in Virginia, and it is also one of the cities where crimes and problems mostly occur. The purpose of this design proposal for the City of Norfolk is to re-design the city, so that everyone in the community will feel  more connected and more secure inside the city and around the people living in it.

To understand my proposal on a bigger picture, view this presentation:
YEAR 2030: Norfolk Will Be The Next Big City!


STEM110T Activity #2
Alex Steffen: “The Shareable Future of Cities”

How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century?
Steffen estimated that there will be “8 billion perhaps more people” living in or near cities by mid-century.

Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”.
I kinda’ agree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral” because if something is not available, then people don’t have any choice, but look for something else. Like for instance, if transportation is not available, people don’t have any choice, but to walk around the city.

What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions?
The correlation that Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions is: “…denser places tend to have lower emissions.”

What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city like Norfolk?
The “eco districsts” that Steffen mentioned on the video are: Infill Development (making little sharp changes on the community), Urban Retrofitting (creating spaces or uses on places that are already present), Tentpole Density (raising the density of a certain place); These “eco districts” mentioned are actually possible in Norfolk because the city is so big. I personally think that the city needs a lot of changing to look more developed and pleasing to people.

Explain how you agree or disagree with the “threshold effect” that Steffen discusses related to transportation.
“Threshold effect–where people simple stop driving as much, and are surrounded by places that make them feel at home, give their cars already…” I agree and disagree. I agree with the “threshold effect” because if people are surrounded by places that make them feel at home, and don’t need some transportation to get there, then everything will turn out well for everyone. It also gives people some reasons to exercise. I also disagree because if transportation is not available, people will pretty much get tired of being in one place and seeing familiar faces all the time.

What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?
I think what Steffen meant by this idea is the fact that some things are used to benefit the other. Like for instance, when he mentioned that sunshine is used for heating up the room. An example I could think of right now is at my house during the winter, we usually don’t turn on the a/c, instead we rely on the temperature outside. Another example are public storages where people store things that they don’t need, but will be helpful for later use.

Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.
My understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems” is– it’s not about the quality of the technology, but how useful and/or beneficial it is to the community.

Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk? Spend time with this question!
 There are many ways I see Steffen’s ideas working and not working here in Norfolk. Steffen’s ideas can actually work here in Norfolk if people take time to consider it and think about it. Norfolk is a big city. It is surrounded by tall buildings. There are also many places here in Norfolk that needs a lot of fixing such as the roads, way of transportation, way of life, etc. On the other hand, Steffen’s ideas can also NOT work here in Norfolk because the city is big, it will take a lot of effort and thinking before changes will be made.

Source: http://www.ted.com/talks/alex_steffen.html

NEW Facebook Timeline

…basically the NEW Facebook Timeline is just a new layout that tells facebook users life story — from the day they were born to right now. It’s pretty much a collection on dates, memories, relationships.

COVER: The space where you can put a picture of you or anything.
YOUR STORIES: The space where you can share status updates, photos, or life events.
YOUR APPS: Anything you do from watching a movie to working-out can be posted as well.

Facebook Help Center

The Facebook “help center” is just a run-through for the new timeline profile.

Get Started. Introduction about the timeline.
Add a Cover. Introduction about the cover, like the difference between the cover and profile picture.
Update Your Personal Info. Tells you how to update your basic info (relationships, interests, education, etc.) and how to change your name.
Share, Star, and Hide Stories. Helps you explore around the timeline such as the information you want to share, you like, and want to hide from others.
Explore Your Activity Log. The activity log is obviously the information or activities you have done eversince you signed-up for facebook like the status you’ve liked, friends you’ve added, etc.
Fill in Your Map. This shows the places you’ve visited, check-in or nearby.
Learn about Your Privacy Options. User’s privacy is very important to Facebook. Facebook ensures that every Facebook user is aware that they [users] have total control over their Facebook — in other words, you control who sees certain information on your profile.

Once you decide to switch to the timeline, Facebook gives you 7 days to fix your profile to however you want it to look. It also gives you the control on what information you want to share, and who sees it.

Source(s): All information on this assignment were found on the Facebook website.

[STEM110T Group 1] Thee Organization

Interview about Social Networking [Video]


In this video, I interviewed several (8) people about social networking. The questions I asked them concerns mainly (a) What social network site(s) are they a part of, (b) What do they use it for, (c) How often do they go on in it, (d) Do they limit who can see their profile, and (e) How do they feel about the privacy of such social networking site. Most of the interviewees are members of Facebook, Tumbler, Myspace – and most of them use these social networks to stay in touch with family and friends everyday.

Concerns on the Social Network Privacy/Policy:

1)      As long as the user is given the option to be able to change settings of who and what to be visible on their profile

2)      Users should be aware of what information they share on their profile and to whom they show their information to.

3)      Personal information should be set to private, and shouldn’t be shared to any other parties without permission from the user.

…I agree! Social networking sites, most especially Facebook, allow users to change of who can see and what updates should be on their profile. In my opinion, that’s a good good thing because I don’t want to people all up on my business or to know anything personal unless I trust and know them well. I also agree that, it’s on the user’s risk whatever they put on their profile.

So, if you’re a part of any social networking sites: Please be aware of what information you put on your profile. Also make sure you know everyone on your friend’s list. That’s all!


Wylie, F. W. (1984). Change…The Only Constant: THE ABILITY TO COPE WITH CHANGE. Vital Speeches Of The Day, 50(11), 333-335.

The author of this article, Frank W. Wylie, discusses the impact of “change” in the society. In the beginning of the article, the author states that “…history or own our experiences would have convinced us that change is the only ‘constant,’ and that the status quo of today is the ‘straw man’ of tomorrow.” The author even includes some quotes about change from Disraeli, Marcus Aurelius, and Ralph Waldo Emerson to prove his point why change has to be accepted. According to the author, “History indicates that most societies, especially the United States, can cope with almost any adversity. Their real problem is they cannot cope with uncertainty. It is the uncertain element of change that frightens us, because it suggests change which is beyond our control. The battle cries, the arguments are familiar to us all.” Wylie states that there are two kinds of change: their’s and our’s — “We espouse our change. We oppose their change.” — in other words, we like to change things, but we can’t accept when things change. He also states that “too many of us are as outdated as Rip Van Winkle. We may have been up to date, but for years we slept – ignoring change – and now we awake to a world we do not understand.” Thus, the author goes on by stating that we often ignore what’s going around us, and whenever things change all of a sudden, we end up complaining about it. Wylie states that in order for us to accept change, we have to understand others and the world around us; the author discusses his points about this situation by listing three of the most important dreams: (1) a new world for youth, (2) the reality of equal rights for women, and (3) a job and better lifestyle for the disadvantaged. The first dream, the author discusses the impact of the youth generation in the society nowadays such as the “change to informal clothes styles that even adults are adapting to this change, the priority of lifestyle over work ethic, and the revival of jazz,” etc. The second dream, the author states that ever since the equal opportunity law was passed, the role of women in the society became broader — thus affecting “the choice of parenthood, the way children are raised, the structure of the family, the new roles for men and women, and the choice of lifestyle.” The third dream, the author discusses the way the society sees the disadvantaged people and how they are being treated — “to the disenchanted, education is the only way out… in a society which seems determined to deny him, or her, any sort of opportunity for self-betterment.” Overall, the author listed these dreams to prove his points as to why he wrote this article in the first place, which is the fact that there will always be changes in our society, and the only way we can get through them is by accepting the changes, learning how to cope with the changes, and understanding why things change.

My smartphone, and music. ❤

Since we’re talking about technology… I’ll start this post by listing two of my favorite things (attached picture) that I can’t live without.

Smartphone. Eversince I updated my phone to a smartphone… things have became so much easier. It’s like my laptop, but much smaller. I pretty much use my smartphone for everything… I use it as my calendar and reminder, alarm clock, for Facebook and Twitter, camera, gps, etc, etc. I love my smartphone because I can easily connect with my family and friends via text messages or calls JUST LIKE THAT, but there are also times when I don’t like it.. most especially when I don’t get any text or calls. Hahah.

Music. I canNOT live without music. I always listen to it–most especially when I’m studying, driving, working-out–I gotta have it! I love the fact that I can listen to my all favorites songs through my iShuffle in one day. I also love the fact that whatever mood I’m in, there’s a song that I can relate to. For instance, when I’m stressed-out, listening to music helps me calm down and relax. Pretty much, music is important to me. And like my phone, I don’t think I can live without it either.

Yes! I can’t live without my smartphone and music. It’s not an addiction though, I just don’t think I can go a day without it. With my smartphone, I love the fact that I can use it for anything. With music, I love the fact that it soothes my mind. So, what’s my relationship with technology? It’s hard to explain really. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I don’t! But I guess, it just depends on my mood that day. (:

I’m glad to be starting my new blog! (: