Week #6: Dr. Deming / RIP!

Dr. W. Edwards Deming helped reconstruct the Japanese economy after World War 2. Deming’s beliefs were that waste needed to be eliminated, people must cooperate with the system’s aim, and that people should be striving for continuous improvement. After WW2, Japan had to rebuild, and with the help of Deming, they were able to get back on track. In the video, it was said that the US’s success after the war was not because of how their economy was or because of their practices- it was simply because they had won the war. Unfortunately, the US has been unaware that their practices are wrong, and that there will be a downfall. It was also said that the Americans are reluctant to change because there is no quick fix. In order to truly qualify as a successful economy/country, there would need to be continuous improvement and self-assessment. This would only be possible with cooperation between people. An example they had mentioned was how in a workplace, some people aim to benefit and then are rewarded with higher pay. This is the wrong approach to how one should act in a workplace, and it is wrong for the company to give such reward (this sends the wrong message and people then have different priorities and behaviors.) Instead, it is not about being competitive, but about being cooperative. This is similar to emergence and nature as a model because in nature, things occur when animals work together, which can be seen in animal communities, such as an ant community. William McDonough also believed in zero waste and that America has already set up their own failure. “Regulation is design failure,” which is a lot of how America runs. This can be seen in the previous example where a worker works hard to meet regulations set by the company. Then the worker is able to receive a pay raise for the achievement they made. But, we don’t know how they were able to achieve their tasks as it may have been done unethically. Regulations are oftentimes met by people taking shortcuts. Again, things would be a lot different, perhaps a lot better, if the initial goal of a group was to work together and achieve the goal of the system.

RIP! A Remix Manifesto is a documentary about how copyrighting affected how people used media they do not own in their own work. An artist known as Girl Talk is one of the earliest DJs who used multiple samples of different songs to create “mash ups,” creating one “new” remixed song. In the past couple years, there have been many emerging DJs/artists especially in the EDM (electronic dance music) culture. I wouldn’t say there is a demand of consumers wanting to be producers, but it is definitely a hobby that people pick up. Some people actually make it, become famous, and perform at music festivals, while others just continue to make their own material out of the joy it brings them and their listeners. I also do believe many are interested in EDM and other remixed music because the mainstream radio music is overplayed or some people may think some of the music is inappropriate or repetitive. An outlet that results would be musical streaming services such as YouTube or Soundcloud. Sometimes, YouTube videos are unavailable or the sound is muted due to copyright issues. Some ways people are able to post content belonging to a company are by distorting the way the video looks or the sound. On the other hand, music I listen to on Soundcloud mixed by different artists/users are usually never taken down/no longer available. It doesn’t seem like there are copyright issues in a space where people are encouraged to post their own remixes of music, or maybe I am just not aware of it. I do understand where large companies are coming from when they protect their media that they own. I wouldn’t want my work to be used without my permission especially if I wasn’t getting any credit for it. I guess it would have to come down to how companies handle the situation. Maybe instead of suing people who cannot afford large fines right away, they can allow people to use their songs or whatever it is that they own, as long as users are giving the company credit, or whatever the company decides. As long as there is some sort of fair agreement a company can make with its consumers, then there may be a better outcome from this issue. I don’t think it is wrong for people to create other works based on whatever they are inspired by, although it does depend on the situation. Either way, companies should not attack, but rather work with the community to inspire and encourage creativity. This is similar to the ideas we see with sustainability. Companies can do their part for the community such as promote a scholarship for students in the arts instead of punishing those who, most of the time, don’t realize they are downloading illegal music or punishing those who just simply are inspired by media they see. Working together instead of just having a profit mentality can create a variety of positive outcomes.