When I walked around the Sydney CBD during my first week here, people who begged on the street were caught my attention. Most of them are healthy, which means physically they are able to have a job and can earn money for their life. Some of them are yang, and even one of them is a lady who looks pretty if she cleans herself. I was shocked and asked myself why they are begging on the street instead of having a proper job? I even felt shame for them. In my perspective, only old people or people with disabilities will become a beggar because they are not able to work anymore.
From my belief, every resident needs to work hard for their life. People are better to find a job and to make a contribution to society. This belief may come from the country I was born, China. Even though China is the second-largest economy country in the world, it’s still a developing country. Because Chinese social welfare isn’t perfect enough to support people’s life after they retire. Thus, the Chinese are always trying to work as hard as possible before they lost their ability to earn money. They want to have some deposit in the bank for their retire life, or when serious illnesses occur.
After I think deeply, I realized I had an injustice perspective for the first time I saw them. I made an unfair judgment for these people with my bias from my own background. In a country like Australia, people are free to choose their lifestyle. I need to respect the beggars because they have a desire for a freedom life. To reflect myself, in the future, I should respect everyone’s life, inside of judge people by my own respective. This is quite important for me to study in a multicultural country.
Barry Shore’s article points out that Available Data is one of the Systematic Bias. Available Data bias is one of the major factors for Airbus A380 project failure. In fact, everyone has their own database, which we also call it information. Then I start to ask myself, where are my available data come from? My answer is most teenagers get their information from the internet, and I’m also one of these teenagers. I believe that the Internet is a way we connect to the world which opens our mind. Its value should be transparent and democracy in our society. These belief and value are come from the promote when the internet was initiated.
However, what if my source of information creates my bias? Nowadays, a lot of companies are doing a invisible algorithmic editing of the Web by using your personal information, such as Google; Facebook; YouTube, etc. They use to personally tailor your query results. In other words, if people search the same topic at the same time, they may get very different search results. This personalization is sweeping the internet and people are hard to know about that. In addition, these searching Webs sometimes step in and manually clean some search results, because an evaluation of a person or opinion takes place. More importantly, there's only one power-player behind the screen in the world with the authority to say what kinds of information should be shown in public.
Now, I think the internet is not that transparent and democracy like what I think it should be. Thus, I always remained myself that behind every algorithm is always a person who set of personal beliefs, value, and bias that no code can ever completely eradicate. What I can do is always think critically when I receive new information no matter where it comes from. To identify my own bias, and to open my mind to the world.
From Wilner’s reading, I learned the concept call Transformational Learning, which is individual learning that alters personal consciousness or frames of reference. I feel this concept is quite interesting to me because it is a powerful and useful learning methodology. However, I also feel it is challenging to realize in our life. I believe that everyone has their own “meaning perspectives” which the term used in the article from Mezirow. Meaning perspectives are developed from our childhood education, country, or culture. These perspectives are decided the way wee seeing the world. More importantly, when people engage with new knowledge and opinions, they most likely filter the new things based on their existing meaning perspectives. Thus, we usually not able to transform the way we learned. That is why I feel transformational learning is a challenge methodology, and I don’t even know how apply it.
However, from the article, Mezirow also points out that transformational learning occurs when people become more ‘‘inclusive, differentiated permeable, and integrated.’’ Therefore, I think why am I just star with these points, like be more inclusive. For example, the Hong Kong incident we mentioned in class. When I was in China, I always believe that Hong Kong is part of China, and we see them as part of our family. That because what we learn from the local news and media. However, after I came to Sydney, it is my first time heard the word “Hongkongnese.” I felt disappointed about it in the beginning. While I also think it is the time to be more inclusive. Why not just respect their belief? Because if I born in the same environment, I may have the same belief with them. If we can all respect each other's belief, the Hong Kong incident will not be that horrible. And now, I start to feel how to apply transformational learning.
Before I come to Australia, I think the value of local media should be equality in a multicultural country. However, few news I saw make me question of it. The reason is that, whenever the Chinese have a negative effect on Australia, the news will amplify it. On the other hand, if the Chines are in a vulnerable side, the news will not mention it.
For example, the one news I saw from the Sydney Morning Herald, a topic of 'The universities which rely most on international students for cash.' This news warns people that the Australia universities are over-reliant on the fees given by the Chinese international students while the relationship between China and the west become more tension. Another news I saw also from Sydney Morning Herald, It talks about the Chinese embassy affect the freedom of speech on campus parade. Besides, the Australian director of Human Rights Watch also said Chinese authorities had long monitored scholars at universities around the world. However, when a Chinese lady stabbed in a rampage two weeks ago, the media didn't mention she is Chinese. More importantly, as a major victim, I do not see any further report from her. The interesting thing is that this rampage was reported in China because the victims include the Chinese.
It is clear that the media try to show and report the news in their own perspective to the local people, and sometimes without authenticity. That may cause availability heuristic bias. To reflect myself, whenever I see a news on media that I'm interested in, I need to be aware that it may include bias and inaccurate information. If I want to know the truth, I should research from different sources for more information to compare with the media.