Thursday, February 21, 2008

IDS 08, updates

My reading week (university term for "March break" or "spring break" and is usually scheduled in February for us) will have to be cut short -- but for a very good and exciting reason! I get to volunteer for this year's Interior Design Show as an extension of the Faulhaber PR team. Thursday to Sunday will be full and busy, busy days but I can't wait to be out there -- this is THE design event of the year, with over 200 exhibitors, designers, architects and industry people from around the world, products and design concepts that have never been seen before. I will be working in the media room and the press room door, and will be involved in guest relations. This is exactly the kind of experience I've been hoping for. After the working in the media office of the boat show in January I knew I wanted more of this kind of work.

I'm not sure what I will be doing yet exactly, but the volunteers will be given training at 3 p.m. so we will be all ready for the opening gala at 7 p.m..

The challenge (s) for me? Coming up with four head-to-toe chic professional black outfits. :-) And of course, being polished, professional and informed. I'm more than up for it.

I absolutely cannot wait to see the living spaces that the prestigious concept design teams of Allen Chan, Anwar Mukhayesh and Matt Davis (from HGTV's Designer Guys), Sarah Richardson (Design Inc.), Lynda Reeves (House & Home with Lynda Reeves) and Brian Gluckstein (CityLine) will unveil. Here are the behind the scenes videos:

4 weeks before the show

3 weeks before the show

2 weeks before the show

1 week before the show

Update: I did get mentioned in the school's paper a couple of weeks back! The quote was kind of a compression of all the words that came tumbling out of my mouth when I was interviewed, so it was kind of inaccurate..but still. It's exciting.

I'll be writing next time about the current political situation in the Philippines. My gosh, are we due for another People Power Revolution to oust yet another (allegedly) corrupt president? It's getting tiring for Filipinos I'm sure, and People Power seems to be losing its meaning -- is this like, the tenth?? Maybe not, but sure feels like it. Perhaps the president cannot be blamed for the ZTE broadband scandal, but with the first gentleman being involved, it's not that difficult to trace it to her. I love the fact that Filipinos always take a stand, a peaceful stand, when corruption bells in the president's office start ringing. But this is getting ridiculous.

Will a broadband scandal bring down a president? We'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PR: Things to think about

Richard Edelman supports Barack Obama. It would be interesting to see how his influence as a well-known communicator will play out in the coming months.

The debate of starting out in PR: to be social media savvy or to be the "exuberant outgoing" albeit traditional resume/handshake/interview
candidate? Ed Lee suggests a balance.

The male/female disparity in PR, discussed by Scott MacDonald in Forward-moving. Apparently, 70% of PR practitioners are female. In my PR class of about 25, there are 2 males. Could it be that females are better communicators and are more suited to PR?

Bob LeDrew
has started an inquiry into the attention that colleges and universities pay to Web 2.0 and theory in educating communicators of the future. Interesting discussion going on.

On why science isn't black and white

The popular perception of science and technology as a cure-all for problems in the world needs serious examination.

We put so much trust and authority on the "experts" and technocrats of the world (scientists, doctors, engineers, econimists.. the list goes on) without recognizing that as precise as it has been made, science isn't really, well, the science we believe it to be.

Take medicine, for instance. In this century we believe that genetics is the answer to all questions of human illnesses. We believe that once the Human Genome Project has been completed all questions about our predisposition to and inheritance of illnesses will be answered. Yet in the 1800s and before, when the world was in the colonial era, medicine wasn't about genetics -- it was about skin colour. Science was constructed in terms of race. Today we believe that racial categories make no biological sense, but back then, it mattered a whole lot.

Linnaeus himself, the celebrated taxonomist, was the one who established the "varieties" of human species in 1758.

"He described Homo European as light-skinned, blond, and governed by laws; Homo American was copper-colored and was regulated by customs; Homo Asiatic was sooty and dark-eyed and governed by opinions; Homo African was black and indolent and governed by impulse. We can in retrospect recognize the ethnocentric assumptions involved in these descriptions, which imply a descending order of prestige. Most striking is the labeling of the four varieties as governed by laws, customs, opinions, and impulse, with Europeans on the top and Africans at the bottom."

The point is, science isn't static, and it isn't as EXACT as we think it is. It could change. Who knows what it could be about in the next century? Maybe it won't be about genes -- hey, maybe it will be because of some alien powers controlling us, who we may discover are not actually human but are mere cyborgs.

Thus this article about the forced stopping of part of a current diabetes study -- because of a higher rate of death for people being treated aggressively for diabetes -- shows that science really ISN'T as exact as we think it is. The researchers themselves admitted that findings were puzzling and disappointing. While we put our faith in the "experts" since they know best, we should at least acknowledge that their knowledge has limits. Science isn't black and white..fact and lie..actual and unreal. The very foundations of science -- logic and reason and faith in the physical world -- are presumptions. Can all things really be left to science and reason? I argue this depends on society's larger world-view. It's about time we start to question why we put so much faith in science and the world's "experts."