A Response to GERARD O’NEILL’S TECH’S HIGH BARRIER TO ENTRY FOR THE UNDERPRIVILEGED

I have just finished O’Neill’s piece on the tech’s high barrier of entry for the underprivileged and it was a amazing article on how are hard it is to learn programming coming from a disadvantaged background. I truly resonate with this piece because if it was not for the Flatiron School’s fellowship program I would have never been able to learn coding on the level that I am learning now. However now even with being in such a program as this I feel as though there are still challenges ahead for a group such as mine, in the Flatiron Fellowship.

I think there will be a lot of barriers for us coming into the work world not having a degree or any computer science classes underneath our belt. I understand that people say that the just want people who know how to code but when I see most tech jobs require a 4 year computer science degree as well as 3 to 4 years for an entry level position I worry about how ready we’d be after 6 months.

Code switching according to me is the idea of catering to your context. It’s knowing how to act in multiple situations. I think code switching is needed not just in the work world but in life in general. You wouldn’t make jokes and dance around in a funeral so you should act all Bronx like in a job interview in on the job.

I feel being an effective communicator is the ability to get your message across with the least amount of miscommunication as possible.

I think to be respected, listened to, and heard in the tech world as minorities we have to be the best better than the average coder to get the respect of a normal white coder.

In the Tech field I feel as though the opinion on wanting minorities to succeed is mixed….

Some are welcome to the idea of change and having a more diverse group of people and there are others who are afraid of change and like the field just as it is right now.

We as a fellowship can challenge people’s preconception of us, just by being the best that we can be.

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MindWave Mobile… How does it work?

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The NeuroSky Mindwave Moblie is an amazing took of technological innovation. A device that could literally read your mind sounds like something straight out of Star Trek. Well to be honest it doesn’t read your mind in the way you think it just takes patterns in your brain and relays them into a digital format. what this equates to is the Mindwave evaluating your Delta, High Gamma, Low Gamma, High Beta, Low Beta, High Alpha, Low Alpha brain waves. This is information, unless one has studied cog sci, is pretty useless however with the these stats together this device can tell the users attention level, relaxation level, and when one is blinking.

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But how does this madness work? Is this device sending electronic pulses into my brain? Is that safe? And just how does this all work? For the answers I tried looking to the companies webpage, sadly though I only found this chunk of info on how this device works.

Brainwaves are tiny electrical impulses released when a neuron fires in the brain. NeuroSky’s brain-computer interface (BCI) technology works by monitoring these electrical impulses with a forehead sensor. The neural signals are input into our ThinkGear chip, and interpreted with our patented Attention and Meditation algorithms. The measured electrical signals and calculated interpretations are then output as digital messages to the computer, toy, or mobile device, allowing you to see your brainwaves on the screen, or use your brainwaves to affect the device’s behavior.

So basically Brainwaves are electric impulses that are fired by neurons within the brain. The Mindwave monitors this and with a set of code directions shows that information into the screen.

This is incredibly excited to learn about, but the information on NeuroSky’s Mindwave is very scares. I tried looking up scholarly articles, news reports, and videos on the product and there is just not that much to go on. so to think something that you put on your head to play with your brain has no really scholarly is kinda sad. I know one day this will change but for now we are still in new territory and I feel as though that is mostly a good thing. It is a piece of tech that is still finding it way in the world and the developers for this product now can shape the way it is used for the next decade. I have a couple of ideas on interactive experiences that just utilizes the blink decet and the code for creating this dection is open to developers now.

(take a look at the blink decet in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PX9d1QLtWA)

This looks like such a amazing prospect in the tech field, but with great power comes great responsibility. in the near future our brainwave active could be used or looked at without our permission just as Google gives our search information to third party companies to be marketed to. I would feel a great invasion of privacy knowing that if I use this product might brain activity might be given to an unknown entity.  That being said there is no plan I have seen to sell our brainwaves to anyone… just yet, but the conspiracy theorist in me away ways wonders what could be used against me one day.  

That being said, I find the mind-wave a really exciting opportunity due to it’s accessibility to many other devices. Think of what this product can do when pair with your apps, computers, and devices. I am excited to take a step into the future and see what his device can do and the amazing products it could possibly give birth to one day.

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