Tag Archives: technology

An Animal That Beat Its Purpose

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I was given the freedom to look at how technology plays a role in society. I am always interested in animals so decided to look at how technology impacts the lives of animals. The more research I did the more I saw a pattern about how humans were using technology on animals. The following is an overview of my observations and critique about the ethical and unethical practices on animals.

When we use technology on animals it is to utilize the purpose of that animal to a greater extent that it was. This utilization plays a toll on the animals but it is for the benefit of humans that this happens. The dog for example is a creature designed for many things, hunting, companionship and even aides for the disabled. This ability in a lot of dogs is taught and trained in to dogs for the sake of human interaction. We teach dogs these things in order to better our lives without putting much focus on the natural behaviour of the dog. While there are restrictions on what breed of dogs do certain things, much like how smalls dogs aren’t usually out hunting other animals or Great Danes being used as seeing eye dogs; humans have picked and bred dogs in a manner to suit the needs for these dogs.

Seeing eye dog

Seeing Eye Dogs Australia Source

In a large amount of cases with dogs, when it comes to Dog Shows where trainers display their dog in a manner of a beauty pageant. There has been a lot of breeding for specific traits that people find ideal in a dog and want to keep that trait going through the generations. Over the past 100 years’ dogs have been intentionally altered to satisfy the needs of humans with little consideration for the animals. Pugs and Bulldogs for instance have been bred with a squashed face with little nasal room that causes difficulty breathing. Bulldogs have been bred to be bow legged as it was a desired trait. This breeding of dogs fulfils the purpose of the show dog lifestyle and also the demand for ideal traits in dogs that are desired by the rich and famous.

Dogs and many animals serve a purpose of companionship; to be a pet for an individual or a family. Technology has aided in this purpose by giving people the opportunity to live as long as they are capable of, despite the complications created from selective breeding. By introducing a market where people can get pet insurance on their animals for when injury strikes and they need special treatment from veterinarians. People with loving pets that have an excess amount of money want to make sure their pet gets the best treatment. When a dog gets sick and needs risky surgery there is a hefty price to pay for it. As more people, have gone through this experience there is market for veterinarians to have specialized skills and abilities with performing surgeries on animals that could at one stage could never have been performed.

Our interaction with animals is everywhere. A lot of our food comes from animals but not everyone knows how it gets to our plate from that animal; the process of how that animal gets treated on its journey to being killed. Cows provide us with an abundance of meat and milk based products. This is the cows purpose. Cows have been utilized for centuries as a technology has progressed so to the purpose of the cow. Cows have been bred for a separate purpose of either meat or milk. As each breed, has been treated in a different fashion to utilize its “natural” growth of meat or milk production. Holstein cows are raised to be milk production cows. Technology has impacted on the diet of the breed to boost milk production and consistency. Early research from Douglas and Rowlinson found that a happy and comfortable cow would produce more milk.

Herd of holstein milking cows in field. Cumbria - England

A Holstein Cow. Source

Continuing research found that by analysing each cow individually farmers can track every aspect of the cow and utilize that information to produce more milk. Afimilk tracks the behaviour of the cow to find out when it is in distress or is comfortable, tracks when the cow is in heat to allow the farmer to move the cow to the insemination field so the cow can get pregnant, tracks the weight of the cow to make sure that the cow is growing properly and can analyse the milk produced of the cow to make sure that there isn’t anything wrong with the cow and to make sure that the milk is appropriate for human consumption. With every technology that gets develop it can impact of the animals’ life. Artificial Insemination and Sexed Semen has been created to inseminate a cow with specific gendered semen without the need for a bull to get a cow pregnant.

Artificial Insemination has been a situation for both humans as it was a solution for couples or females who could not get pregnant in the natural fashion. Though considered unethical in many cases because it gives people the chance to be pregnant who naturally cannot it takes the power from natural progression to human capability. Though sexed semen is the ability to choose which gender you have your child whether you want a male or female it is still on ethical trial about being used in humans as gender preference can be considered sexual discrimination and warrant a change in natural balance of men and women over time. Luckily for cows however still considered unethical the impact it has increase the rate in which cows produce milk and utilize female calves. Hinde et al found that cows naturally produce more milk when they know they are giving birth to a female over a male. It is deemed that since cows live in a hierarchy society that if the cow cannot adequately produce enough milk to warrant the birth of a strong male then minimal milk will be produced. The best benefit for farmers was to make sure that cow would only breed female calves and so always have the best milk production rates possible.

The culmination of every technology impacted on cows brought down the natural rates in which a cow would naturally live its life. Holstein cows have a natural lifespan of around 20 years but the excessive increase of technology has brought that down to around 6 years. Technology gives people that chance to utilize the animals for as much as they are needed or as much as they are worth but gives no purpose in the animals’ welfare after the animals purpose has been done. Technology is a tool to better humans but to use on animals for the benefit of the human. To get the most out of the purpose of the animal. When we get food from an animal there is technology to grow the animal in the most effective and efficient way to produce as much meat as possible, where an animal is a companion there is technology to make sure the lifespan of that animal is as long as possible so humans can have them for as long as possible.

Technology as mentioned, is more ethically sound to be used on animals than it is on humans; with a large justification on it saying that the purpose of using animals is to benefit mankind. If humans cannot be used, though technology is being tested for humans then the next best thing are animals. While not every animal gets tested on to the same degree there is a significant way in which animals are bred for the purpose that they are needed for. Lab mice are one of the most common test subjects for scientists so they are bred with the natural intention to be used in the laboratory. While people are concerned about the treatment of animals it is the purpose of animals that drive what is being done to benefit society. Where we have organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (P.E.T.A) rallying against the treatment of animals for any scientific discovery it is the purpose of those animals to follow through with what they are meant to do. The animals are bred for a purpose if they are suddenly released they could impact natural order.

lab mice

A lab mouse. Source

Technology used on animals serves a purpose for the benefit of people. Technology used in any way succumbs to this notion that why use technology on animals if it serves no purpose to anyone else. Would it be a test of are we capable of creating something or doing something that we otherwise should not or do we just have the means to create something so we should see if we can?

We have animals that show high levels of intelligence much like the octopus that can get itself out screwed bottles; solve problems and even get out of its tank and move around to eat fish in a different tank and get back into theirs. Technology is being developed that aides in helping animals’ live their normal life – like a 3D printed foot for a duck. Thus, creating cyborg animals. It is only a matter of time before animals are having computers placed upon them, for them to be one with technology and develop the progression of how animals think and to challenge the true intellect of an animal. I wanted to follow the idea that technology used on animals goes beyond the purpose of the animal itself and so I created a Digital Artefact that sets out a future where technology has upgraded the intelligence and natural ability of an Octopus to where it has become one with technology; having the natural ability of an octopus, the upgrades of a computer and developing intelligence beyond that of a human and super computer.

Below is a written Let’s Play with a few pictures of the game I created “ATTACK OF THE CYBERPOD” as an expression of the future development of technology on animals. Here is information on the game.

ATTACK OF THE CYBERPOD

QUEEN BOARD

A better No1

Starting Positions

TURN 1

Human: Roll 7
Action Space “Upgrade at Half the Cost”
5 Mechanical Pieces = 5 upgrades
Undercut + Rocker Arm + Fit + Pinion + Planetary Gears = +5 Attack

Bottle: Roll 4
Mechanical Space “Boss”
Upgrades:
Shoulder + Broach = +1 Attack
Standoffs + knurl = +1 Attack
Flange + Boss = +1 Attack
Total upgrades = +3 Attack

Shark: Roll 6
Mechanical Space “Round”
Upgrades:
Lug + Sheave = +1 Attack
Rack + Chamfer = +1 Attack
Collet + Round = +1 Attack
Total Upgrades = +3 Attack

Cow: Roll 10
Attack the QUEEN (64)
0 Attack = 0 damage
QUEEN HP (64)
Upgrades:
Pillow Block + Retaining Ring = +1 Attack
Core + Coupling = +1 Attack
Total upgrades = +2 Attack

TURN 2

Human: Roll 7
Action Space “Draw 1 QUEEN Card”
Queen card “-1 Attack”
6 – 1 = 5 Attack

Bottle: Roll 3
Action Space “Upgrade at half the cost”
Nothing for upgrades 😦

Shark: Roll 7
QUEEN Space “Move back to Start”

Cow: Roll 8
Attack the QUEEN
2 Damage
64 – 2 = (62) HP
+1 Mechanical Piece “Die”
Upgrade:
Die + Yoke = +1 Attack

TURN 3

Human: Roll 6
Action Space “Deal 1 Damage to the Queen”
1 + 5 = 6 Damage
62 – 5 = (56) HP
+3 Mechanical Pieces “Fixture” “Counterbore” “Spotface”
Upgrades:
Fixture + Counterbore = +1 Attack

Bottle: Roll 3
Attack the QUEEN
56 – 3 = (53) HP
+1 Mechanical Piece “Pawl”

Shark: Roll 7
Action Space “Deal 2 Damage to the QUEEN”
2 + 4 = 6 Damage
53 – 6 = (47) HP
+3 Mechanical Pieces “Gage Blocks” “Burnish” “Relief”
Upgrade:
Burnish + Relief = +1 Attack

Cow: Roll 7
Mechanical Piece “Gear Hobbing”

TURN 4

Human: Roll 9
Mechanical Piece “Keyway”
Upgrades:
Spotface + Keyway = +1 Attack

Bottle: Roll 5
Mechanical Pieces “Face”
Upgrades:
Face + Pawl = +1 Attack

Shark: Roll 11
Attack the Queen
47 – 3 = (44) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
+1 Mechanical Piece “Fillet”
Upgrades:
Fillet + Gage Block = +1 Attack

Cow: Roll 6
Mechanical Piece “Gusset”
Upgrades:
Gear Hobbing + Gusset = +1 Attack

TURN 5

Human: Roll 3
QUEEN Space “Choose 1 damaged tentacle and place 1 piece back”
44 + 1 = (45) HP

Bottle: Roll 3
Attack the QUEEN
45 – 3 = (42) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
+1 Mechanical Piece “Bearings”

Shark: Roll 2 (Double 1’s)
Action Space “Move ahead 1 Space”
Action Space “Draw 2 Action Cards; Do Both”
Action Card “If the player that drew this card is playing as the Shark have another turn after this one”
Action Card “Upgrade at Half the Cost”
Roll 11
QUEEN Space “Lose all Mechanical Pieces”
Roll 12 (Double 6’s)
Passed START
+1 Mechanical Piece “Bell Crank”
Attack the QUEEN
42 – 6 = (36) HP
+3 Mechanical Pieces “Pad” “Hasp” “Kerf”
Roll 4
Action Space “Gain +1 Defence”
Upgrade:
Pad + Hop = +1 Attack
Kerf + Bell Crank = +1 Attack
Total Upgrades = +2 Attack

Cow: Roll 5
Landed on START
+1 Mechanical Piece “Gage”
Attack the QUEEN
36 – 4 = (32) Hp
+2 Mechanical Pieces “Ratchet” “Idler”
Upgrades:
Ratchet + Idler = +1 Attack

TURN 6

Human: Roll 3
QUEEN Space “Add 1 Piece back on to every damaged tentacle”
32 + 3 = (33) HP

Bottle: Roll 3
Action Space “Deal 1 Damage to the QUEEN”
33 – 5 = (30) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
+2 Mechanical Pieces “Collar” “Clevis”
Upgrades:
Collar + Clevis = +1 Attack

Shark: Roll 4
Action Space “Deal 1 damage to the QUEEN”
30 – 8 = (22) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
+4 Mechanical Pieces “Key” “Journal” Keyseat” “Bushing”
Upgrades:
Key + Journal = +1 Attack
Keyseat + Bushing = + 1 Def

Cow: Roll 7
Action Space “Go back to START”

TURN 7

Human: Roll 10
Passed START
+1 Mechanical Piece “Scotch Yoke”
Attack the QUEEN
22 – 3 = (19) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
+1 Mechanical Piece “Cam”
Action Space “Draw 2  Action Cards; Choose 1”
Action Cards: “Move ahead 3 space” or “Deal 1 Damage to the QUEEN”
19 – 8 = (11) HP
+4 Mechanical Pieces “Shim” “Ball and Detent” “Spline” “Tap”
Upgrades:
Cam + Scotch Yoke + Spline + Ball and Detent + Shim + Tap = Double the Stat of your choice
7 x 2 = 14 Attack

Bottle: Roll 9
Action Space “Lose Half of your Mechanical Pieces”
– Discard Bearings

Shark: Roll 9
Mechanical Piece “Geneva Cam”

Cow: Roll 6 (Double 3’s)
Mechanical Piece “Jig”
Roll 5
Mechanical Piece “Casting”
Upgrade:
Jig + Casting = +1 Attack

TURN 8

Human: Roll 8
QUEEN Space “Add 1 tentacle back on to every damaged tentacle”
11 + 1 = (12) HP

Bottle: Roll 5
QUEEN Space “-1 Attack Stat”
4 – 1 = 3 Attack

Shark: Roll 8
Action Space “+1 Defence”
2 + 1 = 3 Defence

Cow: Roll 11
Mechanical Piece “Countersink”
Upgrades:
Countersink + Gage = +1 Attack

TURN 9

Human: Roll 6
Mechanical Piece “Neck”
*Reshuffle used Mechanical Pieces Deck*

Bottle: Roll 9
Passed START
+1 Mechanical Piece “Bell Crank”
Attack the QUEEN
12 – 3 = (9) HP
+1 Mechanical Piece “Boss”
QUEEN Space “Lose 1 Mechanical Piece”
– discard Bell Crank

Shark: Roll 6
Passed START
+1 Mechanical Piece “Scotch Yoke”
Attack the QUEEN
9 – 8 = (1) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
+4 Mechanical Pieces “Spline” “Shim” “Tap” “Ball and Detent”
Action Space ” Destroy 1 of the QUEENS tentacles”
1 – 1 = (0) HP
TENTACLE DESTROYED
Upgrades:
Spline + Shim + Tap + Ball and Detent + Scotch Yoke + Geneva Cam = Double Attack
8 x 2 = 16 Attack
QUEEN DESTROYED

Number 2 the death

The QUEEN has seen the door of DEATH!

The stats into the revenge round 3

The Stats going into the second phase

                                                                                   REVENGE BOARD

The Battle Board start No.4

Players are going to face their greatest threat in order to reach salvation!

TURN 10
Character turn

Cow: Roll 7
-1 Attack
7 – 1 = 6 Attack

Human: Roll 10
+2 Attack
14 + 2 = 16 Attack

Bottle: Roll 7
+1 Attack
3 + 1 = 4 Attack

Shark: Roll 9
-1 Attack
16 – 1 = 15 Attack

Octopus Turn

Cow Octopus: Roll 7
[+1 Attack]

Human Octopus: Roll 9
[-1 Attack]

Bottle Octopus: Roll 5
FIGHT vs Shark
Shark has higher Move; gets a chance to escape {4} {1} No escape
4 Att – 3 def = 1 Damage
Shark loses 1 Move Stat

Shark Octopus: Roll 10

Turn 11
Character Turn

Cow: Roll 3
+2 Attack
6 + 2 = 8 Attack

Human: Rolled 6
START Space

Bottle: Roll 3

Shark: Roll 8

Octopus Turn

Cow Octopus: Roll 4
[+1 Attack]

Human Octopus: Roll 11
[Lose half your Defence]

Bottle Octopus: Roll 5
[-1 Move]

Shark Octopus: Roll 10
[Lose half your Defence]

TURN 12
Character Turn

Cow: Roll 2 (Double 1’s)
FIGHT vs Shark Octopus
16 Att – 0 def = 16 Damage
Cow loses 8 Attack
Cow has lost all stats
DEAD
Cow Octopus is now  BOMB
Second fight not fought
Doubles not rolled because of death

Human: Roll 9

Bottle: Roll 11
-1 Movement
0 – 0 = 0 Movement

Shark: Roll 5

Octopus Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll 4
[-1 Att]

Human Octopus: Roll 9

Bottle Octopus: Roll 7
FIGHT vs Human
4 Att – 0 Def = 4 Damage
Human loses 4 Attack
16 – 4 = 12 Attack

Shark Octopus: Roll 7
[+1 Attack]

TURN 13
Character Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll ??
FIGHT Bottle
10 Att – 1 Def = 9 Damage
Bottle loses 4 Attack
Bottle loses 1 Def
Bottle is DEAD
Bottle is now a BOMB

Human: Roll 5

Bottle BOMB: Roll 10 (Double 5’s)
Roll 9
[Lose half your Defence]

Shark: Roll 7

Octopus Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll 7

Human Octopus: Roll 4 (Double 2’s)
Roll 6
[+1 Attack]

Bottle BOMB: Roll 8 (Double 4’s)
[+1 Attack]
Roll 6
FIGHT vs Shark
10 Att – 3 Def = 7 Damage
Shark loses 3 Def = 0
Shark loses 1 Move = 0
Shark loses 3 Att = 12

Shark Octopus: Roll 7
[+2 Attack]

TURN 14
Character Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll 10

Human: Roll 8

Bottle BOMB: Roll 9

Shark: Roll 7
START Space

Octopus Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll 8
[+1 Attack]

Human Octopus: Roll 7
[+1 Attack]

Bottle BOMB: Roll 5
[+1 Attack]

Shark Octopus: Roll 4

TURN 15
Character Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll 11

Human: Roll 10 (Double 5’s)
START Space
Roll 3
+1 Attack

Bottle BOMB: Roll 8
[+1 Attack]

Shark: Roll 12 (Double 6’s)
START Space
Roll 9

Octopus Turn

Cow BOMB: Roll 11
FIGHT vs Shark
10 Att – 0 Def = 10 Damage
Shark loses 10 Attack = 2 Attack

Human Octopus: Roll 6
[Double Attack for Next Fight Only)

Bottle BOMB: Roll 9
OCTOPUS START Space
JUMP to nearest Character and FIGHT
FIGHT vs Shark
10 Att – 0 Def = 10 Damage
Shark loses 2 Attack = 0
Shark is DEAD

                                                                                       HUMAN WINS!!!

The final battle No.5

The Final Battle!

Notes:
Human was represented by Mine-cart Steve; Octopus by Mine-cart Pig
Bottle was represented by Leather Steve; Octopus by Skeleton
Shark was represented by Diamond Steve; Octopus by Sheep
Cow was represented by Ginger Steve; Octopus by Zombie
Words presented in [square brackets] imply that the space has no affect on the Octopus

Dairy Cows: They are among us

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Previously I wrote a blog post about the purpose of dairy cows and how some technology has impacted the production of milk. The production of milk is the sole purpose for dairy cows; with specific needs to get larger quantities and better quality of milk, research and technology is used to improve these needs. As progress continues to be made through different areas of research there is a consistent and constant improvement on past creations to aide milk production.

Holy Cow

Holy Cow. Source

Artificial Insemination; the ability to impregnate a cow without the needs for a bull to be present became a solution to mass breed a herd of cows to get a consistent and constant rotation of lactating cows. Artificial Insemination is a remarkable story of tireless workers, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, to the replacement of fiction to facts and and application of thereof. When it comes to thinking of something and creating it much like in science-fiction, Artificial Insemination was a product of what was first thought of then became real. Artificial Insemination first thought about in 1678 by Leeuwenhoek became a reality in 1784 by Spallanzani. While Artificial Insemination was a solution of getting a cow pregnant quicker, along with analysis information about when the cow is in heat, this process was further improved upon with the process of ‘Sexed Semen’.

Sexed Semen is the process in differentiating between female and male semen. First successfully identified in 1981; though killed the sperm used. Continued research with dairy cows showed that female chromosomes in semen are heavier and have a positive charge compared to male semen. Below is an image that shows the process for which sexed semen is found.

Sexed semen is more expensive than regular bull semen and is known to have a lower conception rate. Research done by Hinde and Bradford shows that dairy cows who give birth to female calf naturally produce more milk compared to if they birthed a male calf. For a lactation cycle of 305 days birthing a female produces 223kg of extra milk. These advancements have increased the rate at which cows produce milk but have also altered the natural birthing gender of cows. Mentioned in the previous blog post the natural birthing gender rate is 47% female, Artificial Insemination increased that figure to around 60% and now with Sexed Semen the female birthing rate is around 90%. This drastic increase in female calves being birthed was the solution to get the most milk out of cows while still maintaining some ethical rights over them. Though the next question that technology is going to answer would be is “How can we get cows to lactate without the need for them to go through a pregnancy?”. However this has lead to ethical concerns for the dairy cows.

The future of technology impacts on the animals and its purpose. When there is no purpose for the animal and humans have no ethical concern for the well being of the animals then ethics are challenged. Presented in H.G. Wells’ ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau‘ is a 1896 science-fiction novel that deals with a ship wrecked man saved by a passing boat and placed on the island of Doctor Moreau who creates human like hybrid beings with animals. The ‘organic’ combination of human intelligence with the abilities of animals is a future that capitalizes on things humans can not do but also what animals can not do. To combine human intelligence with the body of any animal creates a new step in human and animal relationship. When creating an animal/human chimera that still possesses all of the abilities of both a human and a animal (though this would be the ideal scenario) brings forth all of the advantages and disadvantages. Technology inspired from animals is nothing new as we look at the abilities of animals and use some of them for ourselves.

The future of animals mixed with human technology is the general premise for my digital artifact; a board game. From a perspective of animals being combined with future technology to create a cyborg octopus that has the intelligence of man, machine and animal. Players must work together to defeat the Queen Octopus who has become giant from engaging with the natural land, artificial beings and human creations. When left in a natural environment without human interruption animals grow larger. Human curiosity impacted on the natural progress on animals and their behaviour. With challenging the natural order of animals and giving them the power of machines, humans selectively breed animals for specific needs. My board game from my perspective is the next step of human and technological involvement with animals. Unlike H.G Wells novel he did not deal with the mechanical aspects for what humans create just the organic material of human and animal. My board game utilizes the constant need for survival by engaging players with the need to better themselves through combining themselves with technology to further themselves, the game and reach salvation.

The Purpose of a Dairy Cow is a Life to be Used

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Cows-in-field

A group of Dairy Cows. Source

Wherever we have technology there are humans who created it and change it, and wherever we have humans we have animals that are having technology used upon them for better and for worse. With an ongoing relationship between humans and animals, technology provides itself as a catalyst to further aide in the development of that relationship. Looking at the humble dairy cow and the technology that has changed the way we engage with them we can see both the positive and negative aspects that technology has created. The ethics involved around using technology throughout a cows’ life for its purpose in life.

Starting with the birth of baby cows; calves. We are greeted with the way in which the mother is kept and looked after. As the need to create more and more food to look after more and more people research has found that utilizing the proper housing space for your animals is beneficial to the longevity of your animals and for producing more milk. From the time of just having an open field with cows roaming, barns have been built to house cows with soft mattresses, sand beds or water beds for them to sleep on. This change of behaviour from people towards their cows is a simple matter of thinking about the care of the cow. This answered the question about what would make a cow comfortable to produce more milk with barns and mattresses among other things were the solution. This aided in the cows producing more milk but is a small scale of growth in getting results as more has been done.

The building of the barn also benefited in the birthing of calves. As with any creature that gives birth there can be complications – cows are no exception. Technology has aided in finding out signs in knowing how far along a cow is along it its production cycle and being able to identify signs that show birth is close. Those signs being change in body temperature, respiration and heart rates, enlargement of the vulva and udder changes among other things. These signs provide a guideline for when the birth may occur but the time can still change so much and the handlers would not be ready. Research conducted by R. G. Mortimer proves that the difficulty a cow faces when birthing can be detrimental to the purpose of the cow in the long run. A milking cow that faces trauma from giving birth can subsequently end up producing less milk and have difficulties getting pregnant again. Cameras and sensors have been used as a simple solution to dealing with surprise time-of-day births. As human involvement as well as technology is the solution for this crisis.

For cows that live the life of being on a dairy farm they are only useful if they produce large quantities of milk as over the years a greater demand for milk has occurred. Dairy Australia has found that over the past 30 years milk production has nearly doubled – 5,432 million litres in the 1979/80 to 9,539 million litres in 2015/16. Further research showed they produce larger quantities of milk when that have gone through the pregnancy cycle. It is now in the farmer’s best interest to get their cows pregnant as quickly as possible, having one calf after another. Technology plays a part in finding the right times of a cows’ life that “forced” pregnancy would be ideal to occur and to close the window from subsequent births. Software called AfiFarm is the most comprehensive management software that can be tailored to the farmers needs that creates an efficient way to get the most out of dairy cows. Being able to analyse weight, milk conductivity, pedometers, and the milk the cow is producing for fat:protein ratio. Problems such as illnesses and natural defects can be found and solved before they get serious and affect the milk yield from the cow. As the purpose of these dairy cows is to produce milk, if they lose their purpose then they are killed. The average life span of a dairy cow is seen to be around 20 years, however with the forced involvement of humans and technology a lot of dairy cows barely make it past 7 years old.


Looking at how often dairy cows need to be pregnant and how many calves need to be born not for the purpose of being a part of the herd but for the purpose of having the mother gestate for milk. Technology has been used in a darker, less compassionate way. These little calves that are born with no purpose and in a majority of cases are killed, or sold overseas then killed. The main purpose if not killed as soon as being born is to be crated in a small 22 inch by 54 inch for 5 to 14 weeks then killed for veal. Male dairy calves serve no purpose for producing milk or being a beef cow as the breed of cows are different, so every male calf is sent away and killed. Not every female calf escapes this fate either as the only need for a female calf is to replace a member of the herd. The Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin reports that the gender ratio of dairy cow’s calves is Male 53.3% to Female 46.7%. Taken from their mothers within 12 – 24 hours (sometimes immediately), the mothers will never see their calf again. In Australia, it has been estimated that 400,000 calves each year serve no purpose – not wanted for replacement of the herd or wanted for veal. These calves are considered as “waste products” and are destroyed within 5 – 6 days of being born.

In cases where the farmer sees the benefit in getting a pregnant cow that is close to giving birth back into the milking herd. They will call a veterinarian to induce the cow into giving birth sooner than expected, seen to be at least 3 weeks premature. In most cases the premature calf is too weak and killed instantly on the farm by the farmer. While the mother is sent back through the milking station as that is the purpose of her. The purpose that dairy cows have is straight forward, but the technology used on them as people change with technology continues to affect the animals that humans use. When there are animals that no longer serve a purpose then what happens to them is simply death. When animals serve a purpose then they are cared for and looked after as much as possible to maintain that purpose.

Solutions have been talked about in providing a more stable environment for dairy cows and their calves. Looking at having cows that are useful for both milk and beef production like the Holstein breed of cow in the pictures above is useful for multiple purposes. Farmers have also initiated an understanding of limiting the amount of milk a cow will give each day so there is always enough to raise a healthy calf. The dairy cow is quintessential to the cow milk industry so being looked after and cared for is a priority, though as technology develops and demand has been increased then there is the difficult solution of putting which priority over another.

The Future of Animals presented in Anime

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Humans are the leading cause for change with animals and technology. Depending on the relationship between the type of animal and humans, will justify the impact of how technology is used to change the animal. While there can only be so much change in real life about how people use animals, anime takes a hold of the creator’s imaginations and utilizes future technology for better or for worse.

Looking at Pokemon, a mild child friendly Anime there are a number of aspects that challenge the perception of every day animals and the impact of technology on them. Pokemon being abundant throughout the land, living free in their natural habitat but also being the goal to capture for future Pokemon Trainers brings to light the purpose of them. Comparable to real life animals we see in the wild or the ones we have as pets. The connection between making some Pokemon resemble real life animal’s aides in the purpose that we would also impose on them. Magikarp known by players as the weakest Pokemon of Generation One – it is in resemblance to the real life yellow rockfish. Utilizes the simple change of evolution to get it to evolve. The trainer impacts on the rate of evolution in a number of ways to get the perfect evolution – which in a Gyarados.

Items impact the change that occurs, when technology created by companies in the game give the player the capability to change the natural progression of evolution. Based on the intention or purpose of the Magikarp the tools used on it are varied. To give it experience boost to evolve quicker an item called ‘Exp. Share’ (Experience Share) is used that grows Magikarp without having to battle with it. Depending on what type of Gyarados you want, in the means of way of battling other players you would use selective breeding to get the Magikarp of your choice then use items to aide in the creating of a specific design of Gyarados. The items used are artificial but the final outcome after all the items a used is seen as a natural creation. The player just aided in having that natural creation. This selective breeding can be seen in dogs today, when compared to the dogs of decades ago. Shown here are a number of dog breeds that have changed over the last 100 years to aide in the most desirable traits from these dogs. While there are not Pokemon diseases affecting the selective breeding process. The consequences of doing it in real life with dogs have placed burdens on the animals.

bulldog change in breed

The Change in breeding Bulldogs over the years. Source

Playing with the natural processes of animals is not just restricted to the deemed “ethical standard”, when the purpose of an animal is to aide in the advancement of technology, not so by being the solution but by being the tool of what human mind can think of then we get to a point where only so few will tread. In the Anime, Full Metal Alchemist the experimentation of creating a chimera is brought to light to the viewer. Chimera being the combination of both mythological understanding and the medical understanding. What was brought to the attention was the purpose of trying to create a chimera that could understand and talk human speech without the using or endangering a human in anyway. The life work of Shou Tucker was under threat and with little compassion for anything else around him he made a decision that would go against every ethical means in real life. Though this is an anime and with the freedom of creation, that creation can be used in any way to provoke the audience. So, with this to create a chimera Tucker would use his own daughter Nine and her dog Alexander to create a chimera capable of interacting with humans. While nothing today with the use of technology has been used to create the combination of human and animal is such a graphic display of unethical practices, The curiosity of human intervention with technology has still aided in the combination of added linked species to create something new.

Anime gives an insight into the use of animals greater than in real life as the only limitation is what you can create. Though as time has gone on and how technology has changed the purpose of animals will change. When animals lose their purpose what else is there to do with them. To simply leave them be would be an easy answer but to act it out, seems woeful.

Do I have room for another device?

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Starting out another University semester of blogging for the reason of current personal development for future business employment. This time, the overall idea is ‘Media, Audience and Place’, how each aspect affects an individual and how it develops that individual into society, whether or not this comes to be answered it will be interesting to see how we go.

To start with, we need to see what our own media space consists of. What technology is around that we use in everyday life, possibly used as an extension of self-identity – the can’t live without it type-of-deal. For myself at this current time I am sitting in my recliner with a smart television on in the background – watching Daria, on quite low-volume to allow for some concentration to get this blog post done, but loud-enough to look and pick up the dialogue as to keep some interest in what is being said. To the left of me is my mobile phone and to the right of me is tablet, both are my main uses of communication with people for which I have some connection to – friends, family, work and those random unexpected one time encounters.

My phone never leaves my side, as it holds a lot of personal information (for security purposes), but also as it is the best way to reach me in an instant. The tablet is a tool that is flexible with its use, dependent on the location of where I am. When at University and just needing to play some games, the tablet is quite reliable is sense of its size and array of games designed for it, currently just playing Plants-vs-Zombies 2 on it. To top off the technology I’m currently using is my Laptop, which would be the piece of technology I use the most, from doing University work to catching up on news, from browsing YouTube to see what it trending on Reddit, from seeing how much money I earned from my bank to seeing how much money I spent on retail websites. My laptop plays a big part in my life.

All these devices around me, create a space for which I use them. When I am home all of the devices get used as when I am home there is no restriction for the purpose of the piece of technology. It is when I’m at work, at University or catching public transport that each piece of technology I own provides a different situation for the validity for which I use it in. It could be that these four devices cover everything aspect of my life in some regards, if there is a time during my day where a device is not present I guess I will need to add another one.

 

 

Does convergence make my butt look big?

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Simply put – no, convergence does not make your butt look big. Convergence is upon us as a process that involves the integration of multiple technologies into a singular tool, the most popular and recognizable tool would be the smart phone, as it acts as a calendar, a weather report, a notepad, a radio, a street directory, a music player, a video recorder, a T.V and even, surprise, surprise – a phone to make calls with. So instead of having each one of those items mentioned in your pants, you have a smart phone as a replacement – so it does the opposite; convergence gives a more flattering look.

Not going to fit in my back pocket

Not going to fit in any back pocket

Understanding convergence is a hard task to ask even for global corporations that are based around converging technology. When given a tool that is capable of any function digitally, when do limitations come into play about what it can do, and what should be involved. Instances such as watching international television shows on my computer, through the televisions website we can still be restricted from the content that we want to see – but why are these restrictions in place? Legality – television licenses is the meaning of this – while the content on the internet is direct and instant for those who know where to look, the corporations that make money from the content restrict the showing of television shows. Convergence allows for the option, though “Old Media” (television) corporations have restricted the access and ability for convergence to show its full potential. Therefore there needs to be a way where Old Media maintains an impact on society but is not entirely pushed aside – mentioned by this site there are still many benefits of Old Media.

Convergence restriction HuLu

Highlighted by Henry Jenkins in this article – corporations that deal with convergence question the intent on what should happen, what can potentially be created from understanding and utilizing the convergence process, all that is understood is those that control the process of convergence control the influence and power that is created with in the media.

Image sources:

“Not going to fit in any back pocket” – https://twitter.com/rebeccagoodway/status/374823438310834176/photo/1#

“Sorry…” – screen capture from Hulu.com

Algorithm and Computation in Art

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Art today has been able to utilize technology and create something more than just paintings and drawings – the way that art use to be created has changed and we are seeing new developments in art coming from the use of technology.

At the base of all art creations there lies an algorithm and/or process in the development of the work being created. These processes and algorithms have moved to technology and the impact is a new form of creativity and expression. Creating “Contemporary Art” through researching science and adding computational power we discover new algorithms.

Looking at Murray McKeich’s “P zombie” there are indications of a human-style presence being consumed by or created by nature. Technology at its most creative – by algorithms input by humans result in a “back to nature” type creation.

PzombieBy understanding the processes and finding algorithms that computers work by we can see that every basic process people use to live their lives, to achieve a result follows an algorithm. By using computers, and exploring how computers follow instructions through the use of simple algorithms we relate that to other aspects of our lives – showing us that algorithms exist outside of art, computers have facilitated the exploration of algorithms outside art and, exposing algorithms present in our daily technological life.

Understanding how a computer works and processes there is the need to know how computers use commands in order to create something. Looking at the Processing website we will be able to understand the basics in creating a process and algorithm in order to create art – or an attempt, as what is shown below (image and code – code may be off).

Hello Worldsize(400, 400);
background(70, 120, 170);
noStroke();
fill(80, 140, 80);
triangle(200, 10, 10, 390, 390, 390);
fill(255, 255, 255);
textFont(createFont(“Impact”, 38));
textAlign(CENTER);
text(“HELLO WORLD, THIS IS ME”, 200, 200);

fill(255, 255, 255);
textFont(createFont(“Impact”, 20));
textAlign(CENTER);
text(“LIFE SHOULD BE FUN FOR EVERYONE”, 200, 230);

Analog Coding Exercises – Summary and Analysis

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Over the past 4 weeks we have learned that there are difficulties and considerations when it comes to communication – changing the language that we speak into a transferable item in which can be coded, sent, decoded and understood by people all over the world breakdowns into a simple process that is used by technology. Looking back at the past 4 weeks:

Week 1 dealt with the coding of a visual communication, where we were given a sentence and were required to translate the message into a code using visual gestures and movements, from about 3 stories high and 50 metres away from the receiver of the message, we came up with a process I simply called “Clockwise Clapping” which you can find here.

Clockwise Clapping

Week 2 provided us with the challenge of using sound as a form of communication – using a series of different noises to send a picture from one group to another (only using sounds). This task was to represent what it would be like to be a “human fax” where the image being sent did not leave the person sending it, the receiver of the message would interpret what was being sent to create a copy. We were given Andy Warhol’s Banana and Stiletto to “human fax” from one group to another – follow this link to see the process of what we came up with.

Andy Warhol bananaWeek 3 questioned the principles and what aspect of human interactive art is “art” – brought to our attention by Sol Lewitt’s artistic style – conceptual/minimalist approach, his creations of “Paragraphs” are meant to be explored, interpreted and executed. These works bring into question that it isn’t the physical creation from Sol Lewitt or the people that have a finished product of his work is the art, but the emotional, psychological challenge in deciphering what Sol Lewitt is trying to come across and the different possible outcomes, it is this entire process that is “Art”. We were given the opportunity to try a couple of Sol Lewitt’s artworks for ourselves – here is how we ended up.

Sol LeWitt 232Week 4 compared the procedures undertook by the process of knitting, to the process of how a computer is programed to work. This idea that the basic understanding behind any “domestic”/simple procedure such as knitting, following a recipe or playing a board-game are all forms of the same program to achieve or accomplish something. Given the understanding of the process, we were asked to knit, which I have talked about here in a bit more detail – to utilize the process involved and execute an outcome.

Knitting completeGoing back to Week 3, the constant changing of technology has allowed for a change in what is called “Art” and what is needed to be represented when a piece is created. Nam June Paik focused on the aesthetic when it came to challenging the approach of technology and the way people communicate/interact with technology.

The artistic vision of Nam June Paik challenged the idea of what technology is and what it can be used for, using television, radio and lasers he represented to people the changing aspect that technology can be in a form that resembles the aspect of “how to humanize technology and the electronic medium”, “instead of creating another scientific toy“, said by Nam June Paik.

The creations of Nam June Paik have impacted the forms of communication through video art and to a certain degree the influence on commercial production – by being able to utilize technology with the idea of humanizing the creations he has lead the way for artists and people to develop a different understanding of technology and its uses.

Relating to the conceptual approach of Sol Lewitt there is a constant change for artists and communication through human interaction and development – by challenging the simple art approach it has allowed for a new understanding in communication art. Utilizing the audience as a participant in creating a piece and constructing a conceptual idea to what is art – Sol Lewitt and Nam June Paik have captured different aspects of time and relevance with-in the art community and created a path for others to follow and an art method for translating different understandings of art – from making art more human-like or audience interactive that questions the process of how art is made and who is the artist involved.

The processes that were involved in the different weekly activities offer different perspectives of how communication is created, refined and executed – by limiting the style of communication, such as visual or sound based, there is a bigger challenge in finding what works and what does not. Creating a different form of communication such as the visual communication from week 1 it was easier to distinguish between different actions/gestures used – this method was highly successful. Compared to week 2 the sound communication there was a greater challenge in using only sound to dictate what was needed to be translated. The limitations of the processes created are strictly to their form of communication that was intended but also that they were not always as refined as necessary when it came to certain aspects of trying to communicate. The translation dealing with coding, sending and decoding all depend on the understanding of the codes used and were understandable when dealing with the basics, however when it came time to situations where we did not have a code then our translation of the message was obscure – particularly when it came to sending pictures.

Analog Coding Exercise – Knitting

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Knitting – not just a hobby for the retired women who knit scarfs and jumpers as gifts for their grand-kids, behind the gift is a process that is relate-able to the method in which a computer is programmed and how it makes decisions – knitting, a programmable process.

How does knitting relate to the working process of a computer? To put it simply, both areas break down into simple programming commons – a start, loops, method, properties, objects, forks, functions and an end, these are the basic elements that are fundamental for a working process.

Looking at knitting we were given the opportunity to learn knitting and how a process is implemented in creating a final product. Going through a bunch of “Learn to knit” and “The basics of knitting” tutorials on the internet, we were given the task of representing the braille alphabet letters “B” (left) and “R” (Right) as knitted material.

Braille B Braille R

 

 

 

We chose “knit” to represent the flat part/white space, and a “purl” as the bump/black space of the braille letters. We choose a 12×18 area as the total area of each letter, so a 6×6 knit or pearl in each square.

Knit and PurlTo start we would cast on and loop the amount knit’s/purl’s needed to complete the letter… unfortunately the setting up of instructions was way more easy than the knitting itself so we were not able to finish the letters. Lucky there is an example to show what the final product would look like – I believe it to be the letter “O”.

Knitting complete

Knitting is a programmable activity, much like the process of following a recipe or playing a board game – through looking at the process involved we think logically in creating/getting to an outcome; much like a computer.

Created and “somewhat” finished by Jo, Lydia, Daniel and James.

Mechanize the human

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The technology era has come and is dismantling the once illustrious industrial era career – with instant access to any bit of information, accessibility to anyone anywhere and social media sites such as YouTube – providing people with new opportunities and resources to maintain a job, we have approached a scenario where humans have adapted to technology to an extent where the line of separation of peoples lives, such as work life and social life, have become obscure and dependent on technology.

balancing lifeThe term “presence creep” is used to explain the condition in which people do not separate their work life from the life they have outside work, work obligations have crept into home life. Gregg, M. studies the idea and condition of “presence creep” on a group people – with results reflecting the constant obligation and necessity of wanting to complete, find-out or, the expectation of maintaining a strong work ethic would be beneficial in the long run, the “long-run” being an expectation of future endeavours from the employee, not the employer. The results showing a strain on the performance of doing a job successfully reflects on amount of separation from work life and social life. The introduction of technology has given people the option to do their work (if physical presence is not a constant need) when there are hours that are suitable to the individual – much like myself being up at 2am writing this blog post as this time is beneficial for me being in a zone/state-of-mind that allows me to focus. Highlighted also in the following Ted Talk by Jason Fried “Why work doesn’t happen at work”

I include the Ted Talk as it mentions the environment in which work is built for does not reflect the environment in which people can work in, this idea that the behaviour that has been created by technology and the distraction or “flexibility” that technology allows can gives people the option to take their work home with them.

References:

Picture, balance, www.allcooltips.com

Gregg, M, ‘Function creep: Communication technologies and anticipatory labour in the information workplace.