Sunday, February 23, 2020
How modernism has changed architecture - Essay Example The word Ã¢â¬Å"modernismÃ¢â¬ is used as the synonym to the Ã¢â¬Å"modern architectureÃ¢â¬ or as the name of the style (in English literature- modern). The style is characterized by free and natural forms (Picture. 1). Modernism in architecture includes such branches as European functionalism of 1920-1930s, constructivism and rationalism of 1920s in Russia, the movement Ã¢â¬Å"BauhausÃ¢â¬ in Germany, the artdeco style, international style, brutalism, organic architecture. Thus, every of these phenomena is one of the branches of one tree that is called modernism in architecture. The main representatives of the modernism in architecture are the pioneers of the modern architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Adolph Georg Gropius, Richard Joseph Neutra, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier; Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto, Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida de Niemeyer Soares Filho (Crouch, 2000). Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, 1887-1965) is a French architect with Sweden origin, a pioneer of modernism, a representative of the international style of architecture, a painter and a designer. The great popularity of the work of Le Corbusier can be explained by his universal approach and social meaning of his propositions. It is impossible not to mention his contribution, which revealed free forms in architecture. He stated: Ã¢â¬Å"modern life demands, and is waiting for, a new kind of plan, both for the house and the cityÃ¢â¬ (cited in Le Corbusier). Under the influence of his projects and the buildings he designed the perception of architects changed and they start using free forms in architecture more frequently. One of the buildings, which perfectly reflect his ideas, is Villa Savoye (Picture 2): Ã¢â¬Å"Villa Savoye is Purist to the extremeÃ¢â¬âa stark white floating box pierced by symmetrical horizontal window openings. The house is devoid of decoration a nd visual interest is created by the play of
Friday, February 7, 2020
Organizational Theory - Research Paper Example employees to provide the society with a valuable offering (Daft, 2013). The organization theory has no single definition as it is described as a way of thinking regarding the entity and how individuals and resources are gathered and arranged collectively to attain the business purpose (Smith, 2010). Likewise, the organizational design encompasses two vital aspects of the enterprise i.e. structural features and contingency factors. The structural facet is comprised of the internal elements such as organization size, hierarchy, infrastructure, IT, employees, suppliers and many more. While, the contingency factors are those aspects which influence the organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s structural dimension like competitors, government, environment, technological developments, globalization, culture and etc. (Serra, Almeida & Ferreira, 2012). Hence, it is imperative for a company to monitor its design so that it can avoid entering the decline stage. Since organization exists in the business environment which is evolving at a fast pace, there are various external factors which can impact its business operations. For instance, a manufacturing concern which has been the leader in the industry for decades can enter into decline stage if it does not upgrade its machinery or fails to respond to the changing market needs. Similar to any product, the management team has to remain alert about the indicators which can show signs of an arising issue in the near future (Serra, Almeida & Ferreira, 2012). There are four crucial phases through which every organization passes i.e. birth/introduction, growth, maturity and decline. When a firm is at the maturity stage, it has to start developing plans for maintaining or revamping its image so that it can gain momentum again and retrieve back its enhanced performance level (Daft, 2013). The two foremost signs of maturity stage are
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Psycological Contract Essay The psychological contract is a little difficult to define because as George (2009, pg3) states it Ã¢â¬Ëis implicit in that it is unspoken, unwritten and often only becomes apparent when it is breached, causing feelings of violationÃ¢â¬â¢ none the less it is extremely important part of the business and can be what Ã¢â¬Ëbinds the employee and the employer togetherÃ¢â¬â¢ (Robinson and Rousseau, citied in George 2009 pg4) Ã¢â¬Ëthrough the mutual expectations of input and outcomeÃ¢â¬â¢ outlined by Businessballs (2010) CIPD (2004, p5) outlines some of the things that people look for in a psychological contract: Employee attitude surveys undertaken by the CIPD since 1996 have been analysed by David Guest, Kings College London, and Neil Conway, Birkbeck College. The surveys have consistently focused on a number of key issues, including: satisfaction, motivation, fairness, trust, job security, loyalty, workÃ¢â¬âlife balance, commitment. Downsizing is the process of removing layers from the company, sometimes known as retrenchment, involving potential redundancies, wage cuts and other general cut backs (Rollinson p41). In this text I will be looking at the effects downsizing can have on the psychological contract whether it can reduce the likelihood of a violation, with particular interest in what makes this Ã¢â¬ËcontractÃ¢â¬â¢ so important, what both the employer and employee are looking for within it and how other factors such as age and social media can have an impact. Businessballs(2010)back up the fact that Ã¢â¬Ëthe psychological contract refers to the relationship between an employer and its employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ and, in employment terms, it is about finding the balance between how the employee is treated by its employer, and what the employee puts into the job. CIPD (2004) surveys show that Ã¢â¬Ë90% of HR managers think the psychological contract is a useful concept for helping to manage the employment rel ationshipÃ¢â¬â¢ this is brought by the, increasing, realisation that employee motivation, satisfaction and commitment can be very influential in the overall business performance, and if an employer can establish and maintain a positive psychological contract with its employee a sustainable business value is more likely to be met (CIPD 2004). So essentially it is a form of guarantee where Ã¢â¬Ëif each does his or her part, the relationship will be mutually beneficialÃ¢â¬â¢ (Robinson and Rousseau, citied in George 2009 pg4). This brings me to my first reason supporting the fact that Downsizing could reduce the likelihood of a psychological contract violation. In a recent survey it showed that staff given an adequate voice are more likely to be engaged and satisfied (CIPD 2009, p2). With downsizing likely to result in the removal of layers of supervision and middle management, the employee voice is more likely to be expressed as those remaining are likely to have more responsibilities and a say in day to day decisions through the process of empowerment (Rollinson 2008, p522) all things likely to strengthen the psychological contract, as if the employee is working harder the employer will be pleased and the employee will enjoy having more of a say and new responsibilities. In addition to this (CIPD 2009 p7) survey showed that Ã¢â¬ËDirectÃ¢â¬â¢ channels of voice between employees and line managers/senior leaders are both more common and seen as more important than Ã¢â¬ËindirectÃ¢â¬â¢ or Ã¢â¬ËrepresentativeÃ¢â¬â¢ channelsÃ¢â¬â¢ their surveys also showed one to one meetings with line managers to be Ã¢â¬Ëthe most important facilitator of voiceÃ¢â¬â¢ so again this is likely to be made easier through the process of downsizing as they will have the time to deal with less people and with the hierarchy likely to be Ã¢â¬ËflatterÃ¢â¬ ¦ and lateral rather than vertical communication is much more common.Ã¢â¬â¢ (Rollinson 2008, p522). However there is a lot of evidence to suggest downsizing is likely to have a negative effect on the psychological contract represented by Ã¢â¬Ëa number of rigorous empirical studies has shown that many empowerment initiatives fail to deliver their expected advantages and that employees can end up less committed than beforeÃ¢â¬â¢ (Rollinson 2008, p 522) as well as Ã¢â¬Ëa leading British survey has noted, taken overall, the combined effects of work reorganisation and downsizing have led to an extraordinary intensification of work pressureÃ¢â¬â¢ (Thompson and Mchugh 2002, p189). This is due to the additional work load and burden left for the employees that remain at the business and often just using a more flattering term such as empowerment will not have the desired effect (ibid.) as well as the apprehension caused by initiatives like downsizing which inevitably leads to the reduction of commitment and loyalty (Savery et al. 1998, citied in Rollinson 2008, p42). With 3 key aspe cts to the psychological contract, mentioned at the start (motivation, loyalty and commitment), likely to be lacking after downsizing the business performance could potentially take more damage Ã¢â¬Ëbecause headcount reductions tend to occur across the boardÃ¢â¬ ¦ quite frequently, the very people who will be needed to ensure future organisational success disappear as wellÃ¢â¬â¢ (Rollinson 2008, p50) with performance slacking the employer wonÃ¢â¬â¢t be satisfied and if the important employees leave then clearly they are not satisfied with the way things are being run and therefore there must have been some break down in the psychological contract. Downsizing can bring other negative aspects to your business in the form of Ã¢â¬ËpolitickingÃ¢â¬â¢ which happens in all business to a certain degree, through the form of complaints, adherence to rules etc. but is more likely to happen when resources are reclining or changes are taking place (Robbins et al. 2010, p380/382). With the aim of politicking often being to Ã¢â¬Ëblock or inhibit another group (or individual) from achieving goalsÃ¢â¬â¢ (Rollinson 2008, p414). Political behaviour is more likely to happen when there is a lack of trust within the organisation (Robbins et al. 2008) and therefore is another suggestion that the psychological contract has been breached, due to downsizing. This argument if backed up in (ibid.) which states Ã¢â¬Ëthere is very strong evidence that perceptions of organisational politics are negatively related to job satisfaction. The perception of politics also tends to increase job anxiety and stressÃ¢â¬â¢. Although this shows strong evidence that downsizing could lead to violations in the psychological contract it is not guaranteed, as business balls stress, the outcome of change relies strongly on how it is sold to whoever is concerned (2010) by sold they are referring to how well Ã¢â¬Ëthe use of persuasion, influence or incentive, in causing someone or a group to do something they would probably not otherwise doÃ¢â¬â¢ If done properly it is likely the psychological contract will be strengthened as ideally you will meet some sort of compromise and both parties will be happy as Ã¢â¬Ëpersuasion can produce mutually positive outcomes in some situationsÃ¢â¬â¢ (ibid.). However if a lot of persuasion is involved when trying to implement change on someone it is usually because they are unlikely to accept the situation otherewise, and if pushed too hard it is possible to put off those being persuaded and is unlikely to produce a good outcome for the persuader either (business balls 2010). This is extremely relevant to the psychological contract because it involves a lot of trusted. The transition is always likely to go more smoothly, and the psychological contract can remain strong if the leader is open with his employees giving them all the information and an honest explanation Ã¢â¬ËPeople need to know what lies ahead, and to be consulted and supported in dealing with it.Ã¢â¬â¢ (ibid.) There are many things that can affect the psychological contract at an organisation, but it is not the same for everyone. Generation diversity has a huge impact on modern business with organisations having to counter for the different age groups who are unlikely to have the same needs and expectations, for example Ã¢â¬Ëolder, mid- and late career employees were more likely to believe that their psychological contracts are unreplicableÃ¢â¬â¢ (Ng Feldman 2008, citied in George 2009 p125) potentially making them a safer option to employ as they will have less concerns when their contract is breached. The importance in taking all the different generations into account is outlined in a recent study (CIPD 2008): The speed of communications, the pace of change to meet mass markets, economic migration and more rigorous Public sector accountability, make this a unique time in the workplace. These have all placed greater emphasis than ever before on the need for organisations to be agile and harness different capabilities. Skills in digital technology, information management and entrepreneurialism are mixed with longstanding wisdom, change management and customer service ethos. The four generations in the workplace are bringing divergent skills, learning styles and expectations around reward. These four generations consist of the veterans, baby boomers, generation x and generation z, as well as the start of generation Z which consist of 16 year olds and younger soon to be a part of modern day business. They develop their different approaches to business through social trends, education, and technology (CIPD 2008). When looking at the psychological contract it is going to be more positive if there is a common goal (George 2008, p4) and therefore it is important to look at what each generation can offer you. Studies in the United States found that Ã¢â¬Ë(65+) are hardworking, conservative and conformingÃ¢â¬ ¦ mid-40 to mid-60Ã¢â¬ ¦ achievement, ambition and dislike of authority. Late-20s to early 40Ã¢â¬â¢s value work/life balance, relationship, dislike of rulesÃ¢â¬ ¦ under 30s value financial success, confidence and loyalty to self and relationshipsÃ¢â¬â¢.(Robbins et al. 2008, -95) Ã¢â¬ËBy understanding what motivates its employees, an organisation can develop a compelling value proposition to engage and reward them.Ã¢â¬â¢ (CIPD 2008, p10). Not only does it point out the differences between the generations but it can also help employers recognise Ã¢â¬Ëgeneric valuesÃ¢â¬â¢ (Ibid.) with only 4% of people feeling that a competitive deal and job security was not important when being offered a job, all with the exception of a few veterans looked for personal development as well as there being a significant demand for people management skills, technology development leadership training and knowledge about their organisation. (CIPD 2008, p11) Essentially it is finding the right mix to suit each individual that makes up the psychological contract, Ã¢â¬ËProactively managing the organisationÃ¢â¬â¢s employer brand and reflecting generational differences in job design, will be fundamental drivers of attraction and engagementÃ¢â¬â¢ (CIPD 2008 p35) Google are an example of an organisation who have got this balance right and have been rewarded with the reputation of number 1 place for graduates to work. This is due to the combination of internal rewards, a consistent recruitment process, a variety of social and professional interest groups, a consistency globally in terms of technology and a personal recruitment process and other benefits which keep the employee happy which makes them want to keep the employer happy and thus an extremely positive psychological contract is built (CIPD 2008) In addition to keeping up with the modern generations it is also important for companies to show an interest in modern technology. However the introduction of social media sights have shown a recent concern amongst employers as CIPD 2009 survey suggest Ã¢â¬Ëmost either forbade (21.1%) or discouraged it (45.5%)Ã¢â¬â¢ this is due to the things people might say about their company with (Robbins et al. 2010) recording that Ã¢â¬â¢39 per cent of individual bloggers say they have posted comments that could be construed as harmful to their companyÃ¢â¬â¢s reputationÃ¢â¬â¢ realistically this is a breach in the psychological contract and the reason employers are reluctant for their employees to use them. On balance it is clear that the psychological contract can play a key role in the success of the business and any violations to it can be extremely costly. However with reference to the question it is hard to say whether or not downsizing reduces the chances of the contract being violated, because although if managed carefully people could feel the benefits through empowerment and if the employer is fair and open with the employee it could help build a stronger relationship (business balls 2010), I feel the evidence to suggest your staff are likely to feel increased stress and pressure from the work load and as shown in (CIPD 2004, p17) list of top fifteen ways to develop a good psychological contract number one is Ã¢â¬ËAvoid redundancies whenever possible: redundancies lower moraleÃ¢â¬â¢ which suggests you are starting on the back foot by downsizing. Anon. (2010) The psychological contract [online][viewed 10/12/2012] http://www.businessballs.com/psychological-contracts-theory.htm#external-relative-factors CIPD. (2009) Learning and development. Annual survey report. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. CIPD (2008) Gen Up how the four generations work. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD (2004). Practical Tools from CIPD research. London: chartered Institute of Personnel and Development George C. (2009). The Psychological Contract. Maidenhead: Open University Press Robbins S.P, T.A Judge, T.T Campbell. 2010. Organizational Behaviour. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall Rollinson D. (2008). Organisational behaviour and analysis, an integrated approach. 4th ed. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall Thompson P, Mchugh D. (2002) Work Organisation. 3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The 1999 comedy film Ã¢â¬Å"Office SpaceÃ¢â¬ depicts the working life of three main characters at an IT firm. The film has gained a cult following and many of the scenes and lines from the movie have become ingrained in the popular culture. The movie Ã¢â¬Å"Office SpaceÃ¢â¬ is comprised of several character types and situations that are familiar not just to workers in the field of Information Technology, but across the spectrum of the work world, especially the office environment. Several scenes will be examined here in detail and analyzed in regard to the I/O principles of motivation and leadership. Introduction Ã¢â¬Å"Office SpaceÃ¢â¬ is a 1999 film by Mike Judge that lampoons the corporate office environment. The filmÃ¢â¬â¢s protagonist, Peter Gibbons, is a software programmer at IT firm Initech. whose mind-numbing primary duty is to comb through untold lines of the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s existing computer code to upgrade their software to be Ã¢â¬Å"Y2KÃ¢â¬ compliant. Peter is joined in his workday misery by his two friends, Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar. Bolton endures constant irritation of people asking him if heÃ¢â¬â¢s related to the famous singer. Samir canÃ¢â¬â¢t understand why people canÃ¢â¬â¢t pronounce his name correctly, a running joke throughout the film. Most of the film revolves around the interactions between Peter and his condescending, out-of-touch boss, Bill Luhndberg, who spends much of the film wandering the maze of cubicles with his coffee mug in hand, reiterating meaningless policy edicts. Making continual brief appearances throughout the movie is Milton Waddams, a shy, reclusive employee who was laid off some years prior to the events of the film, only nobody told him and an accounting error caused him to continue to receive a paycheck. A main source... ...o productivity and morale. In D. Cartwright, & A. 663 Zander (Eds.), Group dynamics: research and theory. Elmsford, NY: Row, Peterson ---- Supportive supervisor communication as an intervening influence in the relationship between LMX and employee job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and performance Ã¢â¬â Published in Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business Volume 5 Bandura, A. A. (1997). Self Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. (1st ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. Herzberg, F. "The Motivation-Hygiene Concept and Problems of Manpower", Personnel Administration (JanuaryÃ¢â¬âFebruary 1964), pp. 3Ã¢â¬â7. Vroom V H. Work and motivation. New York: Wiley, 1964. 331 p. [Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh. PAJ Author, A. A. of chapter (Year). Title of chapter. In A. Editor, & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. 123-452). City of publication: Publisher.
Monday, January 13, 2020
The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Joel Schumacher , is an adaptation of the Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera, music and book by Andrew Llyod Webber. The musical The Phantom of the Opera is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The movie stars Gerard Butler as The Phantom, Emmy Rossum as Christine, and Patrick Wilson as Raoul, in the leading roles. While watching the movie, you can't help but notice all of the spectacular sets. Each of the sets matches the time period perfectly and the details that are put into the sets is beyond mazing.The Phantoms underground lair is a great example of an exquisitely detailed set. The lights and the sets work together hand in hand to create an atmosphere of mystery and sadness. The lights depict the pre electric era when stage lighting was done with gas light. It provided a warm-looking environment. An example of this lighting would also be the Phantoms lair. While he uses an abundance of candles, those candles still create shadows in wh ich he hides his deformity. The costumes and make up in this movie are absolutely phenomenal.They portray the extravagance of the opera performers using bright and colorful make up and huge dresses, to the simple and lightly colored white dresses that Christine wears that represents her youthful purity and innocence. Christine's lack of makeup enhances her look of youthful innocence also. The Phantom, on the other hand, with his stark white mask, his black slicked back hair, and sweeping black cape represents the mystery of the character. The direction of this movie starts with it being well cast, especially the three main roles.The lead actors are realistically portrayed, while the characters taking part in the opera performance are more presentational. The gravelly sound of Gerard Butlers voice add s to the tragedy of his character, the Phantom. In the direction of the movie, Joel Schumacher aids with the development of his actors characters. One thing that stood out for me was wh en the Phantom leads Christine down to his underground lair, and all she's looking at is him. She is memorized by the Phantoms mystery and almost starts to fall in love with him.The overall theme of this movie is love goes deeper than what is shown on the outside. When Christine pulls of the Phantoms mask for the second time, she finally sees what his deformity is. The fact that she is not disgusted and appalled by what she sees shows that she really truly loves him for who he is and not what he looks like underneath the mask. The Phantom of the Opera is by far one of the best movies I have honestly ever seen. It has such a beautiful and powerful message that I think everyone can learn something from watching the movie. Phantom of the Opera The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Joel Schumacher , is an adaptation of the Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera, music and book by Andrew Llyod Webber. The musical The Phantom of the Opera is based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The movie stars Gerard Butler as The Phantom, Emmy Rossum as Christine, and Patrick Wilson as Raoul, in the leading roles. While watching the movie, you can't help but notice all of the spectacular sets. Each of the sets matches the time period perfectly and the details that are put into the sets is beyond mazing.The Phantoms underground lair is a great example of an exquisitely detailed set. The lights and the sets work together hand in hand to create an atmosphere of mystery and sadness. The lights depict the pre electric era when stage lighting was done with gas light. It provided a warm-looking environment. An example of this lighting would also be the Phantoms lair. While he uses an abundance of candles, those candles still create shadows in wh ich he hides his deformity. The costumes and make up in this movie are absolutely phenomenal.They portray the extravagance of the opera performers using bright and colorful make up and huge dresses, to the simple and lightly colored white dresses that Christine wears that represents her youthful purity and innocence. Christine's lack of makeup enhances her look of youthful innocence also. The Phantom, on the other hand, with his stark white mask, his black slicked back hair, and sweeping black cape represents the mystery of the character. The direction of this movie starts with it being well cast, especially the three main roles.The lead actors are realistically portrayed, while the characters taking part in the opera performance are more presentational. The gravelly sound of Gerard Butlers voice add s to the tragedy of his character, the Phantom. In the direction of the movie, Joel Schumacher aids with the development of his actors characters. One thing that stood out for me was wh en the Phantom leads Christine down to his underground lair, and all she's looking at is him. She is memorized by the Phantoms mystery and almost starts to fall in love with him.The overall theme of this movie is love goes deeper than what is shown on the outside. When Christine pulls of the Phantoms mask for the second time, she finally sees what his deformity is. The fact that she is not disgusted and appalled by what she sees shows that she really truly loves him for who he is and not what he looks like underneath the mask. The Phantom of the Opera is by far one of the best movies I have honestly ever seen. It has such a beautiful and powerful message that I think everyone can learn something from watching the movie.
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Esteemed philosopher and writer G.K. Chesterton once wrote, Ã¢â¬Å"virtue is not the absence of vices or the avoidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell.Ã¢â¬ In your years of education and Ã¢â¬Å"raisingÃ¢â¬ children, I am positive that you have come across the Ã¢â¬Å"nature vs. nurtureÃ¢â¬ debate and, as you are human, have most certainly faced peer pressure. When the nature vs. nurture debacle is combined with peer pressure, the result is the childhood bully who grows up to become AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s most prolific serial killer; while this may be an extreme case, similar situations arise on a day-to-day basis throughout America. As children, we are taught to not give in to the bully, to have the courage to say no; well, Mr. Trump, what if we teach our children to not pressure their peers? While it may seem impossible to stop bullying all together, every child is one caring adult away from individual and global success. If elementary schools spend more time on socializing our future generations than standardized testing, imagine the benefactors as they grow up--adults will learn how to tolerate each other and, above all, have respe ct for their differences. Picture the good this could do for our feuding country--to have opposites united and have the authority to be the global leader we claim to be. As we grow older, we continually learn and relearn. As present generations further cognitive and artificial intelligence, future generations haveShow MoreRelatedNature Vs Nurture : Is The Nature Or Nurture?1300 Words Ã |Ã 6 PagesAoS 3: Student Directed Research Investigation Unit 1 Psychology - Megan Rodrigues RESEARCH QUESTION How is the nature vs nurture debate related to a consideration of the mental disorder, schizophrenia? 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No topic is more widely explored and researched than morality. It cannot be scientifically or psychologically proven or tested, making any claim highly controversial. This idea, of nature vs nurture, that I had previously researchedRead MoreThe Nature Vs. Nurture1463 Words Ã |Ã 6 PagesT What can we define as Human Nature and Nurture? The Nature vs. Nurture has been a long never ending debate for some time now. Nature vs Nurture has been so profoundly debated, that now itÃ¢â¬â¢s unclear whether what makes us who we are and what we do, nature or nurture. For purposes of this essay Nature is going to be defined as characteristics we acquire through our genetic and biological factors, while that Nurture is going to be defined characteristics we acquire through our interactions and influences
Friday, December 27, 2019
Troy Patterson wears many hats, though hed hate that cliche. Hes a book critic for NP, TV critic at Slate.com and the film critic at Spin magazine. He also written for a host of other publications including The New York Times Book Review, Mens Vogue, Wired, and Entertainment Weekly. Patterson, who calls Brooklyn home, is a wickedly funny and nimble writer who crafts sentences like this one about Jon and Kate Gosselin, the feuding couple at the center of Jon Kate Plus 8: She is a moaning 34-year-old harpy with highlights as wide as mountain-bike tires sporting an asymmetrical haircut suggestive of a wounded stork. He is a sullen 32-year-old layabout whose skate-punk sideburns and gelled forelocks signal boring bad news. And, on the show, both struggle to act half their age. Or read his take on The X Factor: People like to talk about how reality TV attracts exhibitionists. This was literalized last night when a pervert at the Seattle audition dropped his pants, inspiring Paula Abdul to discreetly vomit. If we set him aside, the most memorable rejectees were the geriatric husband-and-wife team of Dan and Venita. They warbled off key through Unchained Melody, wore clothes too transfixingly tacky to rate as vintage, and were mildly lobotomized in manner. If this were a tryout for a dinner-theater adaptation of a David Lynch film, they would have definitely gotten a callback. Heres a QA with Patterson. Q: Tell me a little about your background: A: As a kid and teenager in Richmond, Virginia, I was a big reader -- Twain, Poe, Hemingway, Vonnegut, Salinger, Judy Blume, detective novels, out-of-town newspapers, Cheerios boxes, whatever. I got hooked on magazines by way of Tom Wolfe and Spy. I went to college at Princeton, where I majored in English Lit and edited the campus weekly. After graduating, I lived in Santa Cruz, California, for a little while, working in a coffee shop and freelancing for the local alt-weekly. Those were the clips I used when I applied for a magazines jobs in New York. I worked at Entertainment Weekly for seven years, where I started as an assistant and later became a book critic and staff writer, and I left EW on my 30th birthday to freelance and to fool around writing fiction. In 2006, I went to Slate, where Im on contract, and subsequently picked up regular gigs reviewing movies for Spin and books for NPR. Q: Where did you learn to write? A: I think that all writers educate themselves through practice, practice, practice. It helps to have good instructors along the way (mine include nursery-school teachers to Toni Morrison) and to hunker down with the usual guidebooks (Strunk White, William Zinsser, etc). Q: Whats a typical workday like for you? A: I dont have a typical workday. Sometimes I write all day, sometimes I write for 90 minutes. Sometimes its all reading and reporting and research. Some days Im running around watching movies or recording podcasts or schmoozing with editors. Then theres keeping up with the news, fending off publicists, replying to hate mail, and staring at the ceiling trying to come up with ideas. Q: What do you most like/dislike about what you do? A: May I quote Dorothy Parker? I hate writing; I love having written. Q: Is it hard being a freelancer? A: You betcha. And success, though dependent on hard work, is also contingent upon pure luck to a ridiculous degree. Q: Any advice to aspiring writers/critics? A: Forget it; go to law school. But if youve got too much passion to resist becoming an arts journalist, then try to learn something about a broad range of history and culture--Shakespeare, horror flicks, fashion, philosophy, politics, everything. And dont worry about developing your voice; if you study your elders closely and try to write naturally, itll develop itself.