Justin

"The V2 worked perfectly, except for landing on the wrong planet." -Wernher von Braun, Inventor of V2 rocket

Watergate

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For our foragers of the future project, Paul, Justin Z, and myself 3d printed a scale model of what our characters’ habitat would look like. Our 3d model started with blueprint drawings where we individually drew our ideas for our habitat. We took the best from these individual drawings and added them into our 3d model, and then we made another very rough draft. halfway into attempt to create our hexagonal habitat, we realized that our sides were uneven, and we’re lazy so we don’t want to do hard math to calculate uneven hexagonal area. Instead, we decided to start from scratch and make a round habitat which is what we are using now. Paul did most of the work on our first version of the round model because he made the document and sharing the link wasn’t working. This version was unfurnished and was purely to proof the area for our second model. Our second model was furnished, and the links for sharing documents started working again, so i got to design the kitchen : >) . A major problem we ran into was that in our computer version, we used rectangular ‘hole’ blocks that essentially removed any non-hole block. Our problem was that parts of our furniture actually went into these holes, so we had big chunks of our furniture missing. I think this could’ve been fixed if we grouped our house with the holes first so that the hole only applies to the house and not to our furniture, but it takes around 90+ seconds to group / ungroup our entire habitat and we were out of time, so we just turned our habitat in with chunks of it missing.

 

Our 3d habitat. The table at the top middle was cut off by the hole that made the window to the left. (the cutting board in the window was cut off in our print, but I fixed it by lowering the height after printing)

 

My original habitat blog post:

Habitat of the Future

Habitat of the Future

My initial idea

Paul’s initial idea (page 1)

Paul’s initial idea (page 2)

Justin Z’s initial idea

As a collaborator, I felt that I was comfortable sharing my ideas but I wasn’t a huge fan / advocate of my ideas so i was pretty much fine with anything. I encouraged other ideas because I didn’t have any better ones. I am happy with the final design because it includes everyone’s ideas and i can sort of see how this would look in the future. One thing i noticed my group did well while working together was that we were trading information & dividing the jobs so we didn’t have to do everything 3 times. A challenge we had while working as a group is that the links to the design that Paul were sending were expiring in less than 20 minutes, so Paul was effectively the only person actually making the design (good job paul).

 

Edit: links expired in less than 60 seconds

Wenyu Field Study

(L stands for Location because I’m lazy and I don’t want to write location 20 times)

On November 20th, we went on our 3rd data collection field study. Our goal was primarily to collect data and also update our maps with the new fence erected around the metro & motor bridges (shown below)

Fences around both bridges (the bridge closer to the camera was our 1st testing location, so we had to close that down)

 

Data

 

In November, the turbidity dropped (clearer), by a lot on L2, however it rose by 50 NTU on L3, so either the red sandbags somehow made the turbidity higher, or we made inaccurate measurements due to different depths of water. L2 is much deeper than L3, and there was a small drop so we couldn’t have gotten the mud at the bottom of the river even if we wanted to, while L3 was much shallower, so we might’ve gotten more dirt into the vile. There was a drop in pH in October, and I think this is because according to “Average Snow and Rainfall in Beijing in Inches” there is more rain during September than October and November combined, so there there is more water and its more basic? This part is confusing because rainwater is more acidic than the wenyu river water (~8pH), so when not very acidic water goes with a little acidic water, common sense tells me it would have become more acidic (but idk).  The only other explanation i can think of is people used pesticides and stuff and that got washed into the river which made it more basic. Or it has nothing to do with rain. I think that the pH would rise again in January because rain is coming back, so there is more stuff (like pesticide and dirt) washing into the Wenyu river again.

 

Precipitation in Beijing

What, So What, Now What

What – In my narrative, Im addressing water shortage, and this is becoming a real problem. I was inspired when watching CNN 10 during 6th grade, and every once in a while there would be a report on the Cape Town water crisis, a city in South Africa which ran out of water some time last year. I also semi-addressed waste issues and how microplastics are getting into our food. I read a book on fish and how we’re running out of them, which mentioned microplastics a little, and that got me thinking about the fish i eat and if it has any plastic in it. I did a little bit more research last year on microplastics during the animals unit, which gave me a bit more in depth view of why and how microplastics are getting into the ocean / fish.

So what – I think both of these problems can become a problem in the future because freshwater is a limited resource, and the only way we can get more is via desalination of seawater, which costs a lot for the producer and the consumer. Another problem with water shortage is that desalination plants are private businesses, so they can bump up the price as much as they want (usually this means less demand because desalinating water costs more than, say, digging a hole in the ground and putting a pump on it, but this can become the only supply too) In the end, I think people who control the desalination plants (and water recycling plants, to a certain degree) will just be crazy rich and powerful (which isn’t necessarily bad, but usually it is).

In the future, plastic waste can become a problem because microplastics are so small that it would be hard to reduce the amount of it in food and pretty much impossible to eliminate completely, but we don’t really know the effects of it on the human body. However, I don’t think tiny pieces of plastic that take more time to decompose than an average human lifespan in your stomach and all along your digestive tract can be good for you.

Now what- I think we can save water by using waste water to water plants and stuff, and governments can build more water reuse plants so we don’t need desalination plants that kill marine life. I think that we can try to use as little plastic as possible, and reuse the plastic we do use, to at least decrease the amount of microplastics in the ocean now & in the future..

 

 

Foragers of the Future

I might need to shrink down the descriptions a little?

 

As the name implies, Foragers lived by hunting animals and foraging berries. This means that they had to keep moving, because it takes time for berries and animals to grow back, much longer than it takes for them to be eaten. Usually, foragers have fixed camps for each season to ensure that the next forest or plain would always have food (animals / edible plants). Constantly moving around means that trading would have been hard for foragers, because unlike farmers, their camps will only be there for a week or two, so when farmers discover another settlement, they would just mark it on a map or remember the way to the city / town / village. Foragers, on the other hand, would have to rely on pure luck and knowledge of where a tribe frequent to trade. Communication was mostly verbal, and sometimes visual (cave paintings). Because animals have not yet been domesticated foragers had to carry their food / goods to trade (if the opportunity arises). Foragers had to live in smaller groups, because as mentioned before, it takes time for food to grow back. Lets say a family of foragers can live on a forest for maybe a week. However, if there were, say, 3 families, they would be spending a day making a shelter in a forest, and then they would spend 2 days in that shelter before all the food in the forest ran out. This meant that large communities weren’t just hard to form, they were virtually impossible because you would spend more energy moving from location to location than you were actually gaining. A small community also meant that the person strongest would become the leader, because the strongest person could single handedly defeat maybe 3 or 4 people (aka the entire tribe). Alternatively, elders were chosen as leaders in many cultures because they were considered wiser.

 

 

Farmers were completely different from foragers. For one thing, because we have learned how to cultivate crops, we could now stay in 1 place without moving every week. Larger communities and empires could also form, because people didn’t have to go to separate forests to find animals / plants anymore; people can now harvest more than year’s worth of food in a month, and that means there was too much food, or a surplus. This means that more jobs were made, because now you don’t need to spend every last waking moment trying to find food. You can use skills previously deemed unnecessary to make a living, like tool making. Another benefit of farming was that you were staying in one place. This means that merchants KNOW where this group of people are, instead of hoping they would be where they were last year / randomly bumping into each other. To support trading, farmers also had access to horses because they domesticated animals. This means that farmers could trade faster and further than foragers. One side effect of farming is that power shifted from those who controlled the food & who had the stronger army.  Going around challenging your fellow tribesmen to a fist fight to claim leadership  just didn’t work now (“Except for the Mongols!*” – CCH)

The factory stage of civilisation was (arguably) the stage with most rapid development in technology (so far). People could now share ideas in an instant via telephone wires or those transatlantic telegraph wires. In the time of foragers, ideas were hard to spread because the people themselves were extremely far apart. Ideas and recipes for medicine could only be exchanged with word of mouth (which can be inaccurate) and usually only inside the tribe unless they happen to run into another tribe. People started to live in close proximity to eachother, because sewers are underground now instead of trenches in the middle of the road into which you dump your feces / onto the actual road, so you don’t need to worry about catching the plague anymore and also becuase factories are in cities and factories = jobs. An upside of living in close proximity with a lot of factories is that now you can mass produce things. This means a significant decrease of price because a. less effort is needed to create, say, a sweater, and b. there are a lot more sweaters

*pretty sure these bois were nomads but they switched to farming after they conquered China and pretty much everything else (or, rather, they had the people they conquered farm FOR them)

 

Icon Sources / Attribution

Spear by Guilherme Furtado from the Noun Project

person by David Courey from the Noun Project

Deer by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

bush by Jae Deasigner from the Noun Project

crouching by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

teepee by JohnnyZi from the Noun Project

Hiking by Ealancheliyan s from the Noun Project

seashell by Anthony Ledoux from the Noun Project

Campfire by Vectors Market from the Noun Project

Meat by Artem  Kovyazin from the Noun Project

Wheat by anbileru adaleru from the Noun Project

farm house by IYIKON from the Noun Project

Strong Man by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

Crown by Deemak Daksina from the Noun Project

Stonehenge by Andrew Hainen from the Noun Project

Submission by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

Chicken by Chanut is Industries from the Noun Project

Cow by parkjisun from the Noun Project

Church by Mohamad Arif Prasetyo from the Noun Project

pond by Alexander Skowalsky from the Noun Project

Pope by Jack Magma from the Noun Project

Priest by lipi from the Noun Project

King by Andrew Doane from the Noun Project

Soldier with Spear by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

foot soldier by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

Chicken by anbileru adaleru from the Noun Project

Wine by Paul Berthelon from the Noun Project

Steak by BomSymbols from the Noun Project

Fruit by suib icon from the Noun Project

Well by Andrew Doane from the Noun Project

Factory by iconsphere from the Noun Project

Apartment by Rose Alice Design from the Noun Project

House with garage by Mourad Mokrane from the Noun Project

gossip by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

pole by Jacqueline Fernandes from the Noun Project

Telephone by Nikita Kozin from the Noun Project

Ear by Kamaksh G from the Noun Project

Tractor by ProSymbols from the Noun Project

Rocket by Rob Crosswell from the Noun Project

Truck by Alex Auda Samora from the Noun Project

Ship by Edward Boatman from the Noun Project

Bus by Hea Poh Lin from the Noun Project

Road by Dong Ik Seo from the Noun Project

Mail by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project

Writing by Hadi Davodpour from the Noun Project

Old Car by Berkah Icon from the Noun Project

seeds by Iain Hector from the Noun Project

clay pot by Vectors Market from the Noun Project

Money Bag by gira Park from the Noun Project

Typewriter by Alex Kwa from the Noun Project

Newspaper by Binpodo from the Noun Project

Offset Printing Press by Multiply Graphics from the Noun Project

Hamburger by Bieutuong Ba from the Noun Project

Worker by Wilson Joseph from the Noun Project

president by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project

People Lie, Data Doesn’t

Data Doesn’t Lie 

By: Justin Gao 

People spend a total of 1 billion hours on YouTube every day. That would be more than 1,522 lifetimes spent watching YouTube every day. About 70% of this time spent (1,065 lifetimes) is on recommended videos. Clearly, big data has become part of our daily lives, but can we live without Big Data? Big Data’s many benefits and conveniences outweighs the potential risks it brings, because Big Data can be used to stop crime, make people mindful of their actions, while entertaining us. 

Big Data is constantly being used to catch criminals and prevent crime. According to “Your Cell phone is a Snitch” by Alisa Chang, one example would be in the winter of 2010, when two armed robbers robbed thousands of dollars’ worth of cell phones. Police requested hundreds of spreadsheets showing when and where a prime suspect, Timothy Carpenter was at the start and end of each call. He was soon arrested using this data and put behind bars for 116 years. The police did not have a warrant, but they did have ample reason to demand that data. If you are uncomfortable with people using your data, you can always change your privacy settings or stop using their services altogether. According to the Wall Street Journal, China already has special systems in ShenZhen set up to take pictures of jaywalkers and shaming them by putting their face on a big screen by the road. As bad as this may sound, this is beneficial to the safety of the environment as people are dissuaded to jaywalk because of the negative attention they are receiving. In effect, this will drastically decrease the number of jaywalkers who are injured or even killed from car crashes. Police in ShenZhen also use networks of cameras to locate criminals within minutes. 

Thanks to Big Data, people are more aware of their actions. Less than 3 weeks ago, on the 21st of August, a man was caught stealing a seat on a Beijing bound train. Usually, this daily occurance would not cause any problems at allexcept this time he was being filmed by a spectator. A video that went viral with millions of views. (“Online Manhunt for Seat-Stealing Man on Beijing-Bound Train” By Manya Koetse August 27th, 2018) Some people can argue that this is one of the downsides of big data: that once something is recorded, it stays there forever. Is this really a bad thing? Would you be rude to people if someone was filming you? (good job if you answered yes to that) Big data makes people more cautious of their actions in the public. 

We are using big data in our daily lives, and we don’t even know it. Recommendations are made using piles after piles of data. Recommendations are integrated into our everyday lives. YouTube, Facebook, and most online applications we use today use data sets to create recommendations. According to “YouTube AI is the Puppet Master over Most of What You Watch” By Joan E. Solsman, more than 70% of the time you spend on YouTube (as mentioned above) is spent on recommended videos. According to David Kirkpatrick in “The Facebook Effect”, data is also used to create ad recommendations. This makes online shopping more fun for many of us and much more efficient. 

It is apparent that we can no longer live without Big Data. Data has simply become too integrated into our daily lives. Law enforcement often take advantage of big data to catch criminals or stop crimes. The whole structure of law enforcement in China would practically collapse without Big Data. Big data also makes people wary of their actions in public spaces, while providing us with entertainment. Can you imagine the world without big data?
 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography: 

Wagner, Kurt. “This Is How Facebook Uses Your Data for Ad Targeting.” Recode, Recode, 11 Apr. 2018, www.recode.net/2018/4/11/17177842/facebook-advertising-ads-explained-mark-zuckerberg. 

“Fitness App Strava Lights up Staff at Military Bases.” BBC News, BBC, 29 Jan. 2018, www.bbc.com/news/technology-42853072. 

Kirkpatrick, David. The Facebook Effect: the inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. Read How You Want/Accessible, 2012. 

bbcnews. “China: ‘the World’s Biggest Camera Surveillance Network’ – BBC News.” YouTube, YouTube, 25 Dec. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNf4-d6fDoY. 

Chang, Ailsa. “Episode 804: Your Cell Phone’s A Snitch.” NPR, NPR, 8 Nov. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/11/08/562888974/episode-804-your-cell-phones-a-snitch. 

TheVerge. “ISPs Can Now Sell Your Data without Permission.” YouTube, YouTube, 4 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5KgDka0FYA. 

“Trending in Beijing: Online Manhunt for Unruly Train Passenger.” 身体各器官杀手就藏在你身边,一张表全揪出来, mp.weixin.qq.com/s/7uwA6H_1BbbmmZo0XCpwdg. 

 

Art

Many people spend hours in the shower at a time.  My artwork depicts dots on a blue backdrop showing how much time I spend in the shower and how well I sleep in relation to it. I think the most obvious element in my work is that . My art was made with paper and acrylic. I put the blue backdrop first (I realised later that this would make it extremely challenging to mark out the size and outline of the dots and the lines) with slightly too little paint so that it had a more waterish style / look and it also saves much more paint and time than If I just sprayed it on the paper. Originally, I planned to make the dots using a protractor, but that didn’t work out too well because pencil doesn’t go well on paint. Instead, I just scratched the paint off where I wanted a dot to be and tried to make them as round as possible. My artwork was inspired after I noticed how I spent a lot of time in the shower (especially in winter) and how I seemed to sleep better after a long shower / bath. This does not seem to be very good for the environment, so I wanted to get an idea of how much I was showering. My goal as an artist was to . My final piece did not look like what I initially imagined. Originally, I wanted to show how much I was sleeping with wire attached to wood, and I would paint how long I was showering on the wood. I thought that it would make it harder to interpret and I didn’t know how to connect those two pieces of data in 3d. 

Stories of the Future: Day Zero

A. What do you think are THREE most urgent problems that need to be solved by 2050?

  • Global Warming
  • Overpopulation
  • Waste management / Recycling

B. What are TWO wonders or questions you have about our future?

  • A question I have is how will we solve global warming? What will Earth look like?

C. Do you have a optimistic or pessimistic view of the future?

  • Pessimistic

Food, water, and cities connect because as the the population grows, we need more clean water, and we pollute water faster. This means we have less water to plant crops, and as the population is bigger, we need more space to grow crops and that means less space for living. I used to be pessimistic, and now I’m even more pessimistic because on top of global warming and glaciers melting, we also need to deal with overpopulation, resource scarcity, and also lack of clean water.

 

 

Make It: Final Presentation

Home

 

Make It: Develop & Plan

During the ‘Can You Make It?’ project I will be using thinglink and an Ipad and phone for a camera. I hope to develop skills in problem solving. Others students and teachers can provide me with effective feedback. I generate ideas by drawing them out in my head and physically. Ideas are then phased out in favour of of a ‘better’ one, the definition of which changes according to the task at hand. For example, the goal of this project is to create a resource that may give new families a basic understanding on an extremely complicated system (Metro), so using photos and simple labels would probably be a better choice than a 5 paragraph essay that you can get on essentially every guide online (thereby rendering it practically useless).

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