by

December 6, 2022

 

Hawaii and its Relax on Travel Requirements

In the article, “Hawaii May Lift Travel Restrictions Soon” (McGraw Hill) I learned that Hawaii is the most strict travel restrictions in the country but it may be roping its rules by spring. If a traveler coming from the U.S. enters Hawaii territory then they must present a negative COVID test and prove that they are fully vaccinated but don’t require the booster shot. If infection rates do not surge then the travel restrictions will be lifted. Hawaii’s economy depends on this since they have always depended on tourism. 

I think that Hawaii should drop the rules for the mandate since they need tourism since that is what they depend on so that their economy can become successful. There is, on the other hand, the part where COVID can then start to spread more and more if the mandate does get dropped. Even with the percentage of Hawaiians being vaccinated it still means that they will need indoor masking and social distancing. It all just depends on how Hawaii’s government sees it. 

Do you think that it is a good idea for Hawaii to fully relax on the travel requirements?


Is Equality A Real Thing?

Equality of opportunity is “ the idea that people ought to be able to compete on equal terms, or on a “level playing field,” for advantaged offices and positions”.  In other words it’s the idea that everyone has the same possibility to do things no matter background, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, social status, or anything else. This is one of the principals of the United States of America. Americans strive for that equality of opportunity at all times.

Although Americans strive for that equality historically it has never been there. Things like The Civil Rights Movement, The Civil War, Women’s Suffrage, and many other events, only proves it. By having this events in the country’s history it only shows how hard it is to achieve equality. As US citizens we pride ourselves in the equality already achieved, but we let that cloud what’s going on now.

Equality of opportunity does not happen when it comes to jobs, education, housing and many other aspects. If someone grew up poor they are very likely to stay there. That’s all because of the income inequality in the country. Right as of this moment the income inequality makes everything harder for the working class. They struggle to survive, and in most cases the families are forced to make very hard decisions such as insurance or school, all because they can’t afford both. How is that equality? While others get to live without worrying about food for the next day other people live worrying about dinner for their children. That is not equality, real equality does not exist, strive to achieve it. Maybe in the future the field can be more equal.

Resources 

https://www.britannica.com/topic/equal-opportunity

https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/equality-opportunity

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equal-opportunity/


Media and The Masses

 

Manipulation has become the backbone of our society. As the use of technology continues to expand and becomes accessible to more and more people, it has become easier to manipulate larger groups. We use it at home, at school, at work and it is even present at night in our dreams.  Technology’s influence can be found in every decision we make whether we realize it or not. It can play such a big role that it has even become dangerous. For the safety of our free will, it is necessary for us to open our eyes to see how media is being used in order to manipulate the masses.

It is commonly known that the first step in fixing a problem is recognizing that said problem exists. Manipulation works because we normally don’t know that it is happening until it is too late.  When looking at the facts it is hard to deny the severity of it. Some common examples of media manipulation can be found in scripted reality tv shows and news, the photoshopping of war pictures to elicit a specific response, and editing models for marketing purpose.

One example of mass media manipulation is through Time magazine. They have a history of giving Americans a dumbed down version of magazine, while giving magazines with different covers to those outside the US. For example, one of their issues here was titled, “ Return of the Silent Majority,” but in European and Asian countries, the title is, “Why The US Will Never Save Afghanistan.”  This is just one example of how big companies control the information we are receiving. It also shows how a simple head line can give something a negative meaning. Therefore we should look at Global news. In order for us, the people, to gain a real view of what is going on in the world and our country we need to think outside the borders, and although Media manipulation went from being present in only 28 countries to 48, we will still benefit from having more sources.. The majority of this growth is a result of politics. Two examples include Brexit and the 2016 election.

This is not a call to limit yourself to only one media source that you think is accurate, but to instead expand your horizons and  consider whether or not the reports you are looking at are reasonable and supported by facts. The easiest way to determine whether a news source is accurate, is by looking at multiple news stations. In this case the variety will increase the accuracy of the information we are receiving.

The last way to overcome media manipulation is to have patience. We can not jump to conclusions and instead wait for the full story to be confirmed and investigated. This will help prevent confusion, panic, and instead focus on facts as a majority. Good information takes time to acquire.

The first step to overcome being manipulated by the media is to acknowledge the fact that media has the power to lie and be false, because by simply becoming aware of this we are more likely to ask questions if something doesn’t quite add up. The second step is to think outside the box. This involves looking at media sources from other countries to see the difference in how they are advertised inside and outside of the US. This connect us to the third step, which involves fact checking using other sources. Overall, the more you read, the more you know. The last step is to have patience and not jump to conclusions. Good and thoroughly researched stories take time to develop. This time allows us to do research, ask questions, and prevents us from jumping to rash conclusions. Through these four steps we can reclaim control of the media that is so closely intertwined with the media that is connected to our lives. We can make informed decisions, and prevent the loss of knowledge and further polarization.


Two genders

In this poem I wrote it was about sexism in our society and how it connects to Romeo and Juliet. In my poem its Females and Males against each other while in the book Romeo and Juliet it was the Montagues against the Capulets. I hope you enjoy my poem! 

 

Two genders

Female and male.

Both have differences that make them different from each other.

Mostly in stories it’s the rich people versus the poor people.

But here in this story we live in it’s males versus females

What makes Males seem more superior is that they have more

Privilege than Females do.

Females get portrayed as butterflies without wings being too weak to fly

While males get portrayed as leaders

They get told their strong like lions.

The wars/fights these two genders have

Is with words and actions.

Their mouths are guns

Their words are bullets

That hurt each other.

Since they are rivals all they can have is hatred

In their hearts

But no room for peace.

How long will this conflict keep on going?

When will they realize that it’s better to come together and create peace.

Rather than to be separated from each other like if they

Were Romeo and Juliet.

As a female myself I feel as if we should all stop the hate because it’s killing

Positivity in the world and bringing down people especially us females

Who get told were not valuable like gold.

We should all come together and make a change in society

That will make peace sprout

And hate be unknown.

Two genders

Female and male.

There should not be a gender who’s better than another because were all humans

Who should not be selfish for power or to be seen as better by putting others down.

We all need to put our hearts up and all negativity away

That encapsulates us from a better society.


Professional Athletes are Underpaid

Contrary to popular belief, professional athletes are actually underpaid. We all know that professional athletes make millions and millions of dollars to play a sport in front of the whole country, but when you compare how much athletes make to other entertainers in the business like singers or actors, they are widely underpaid, especially when you take into consideration the likeliness of them getting hurt while playing. Should professional athletes get paid more because they get hurt more?

Sports Illustrated compares what Lebron James makes to what David Letterman made before he retired. The article said, “Letterman is a skilled performer who was reportedly paid some $28M per year by CBS before he retired from late night TV. (Just about the average of James’ NBA salaries this season and last.)” However, that is just Letterman. World touring artists can make nearly 100 millions dollars on a high end and about 70 million dollars on a low end. Again, if you compare that to what Lebron, the highest paid athlete in the NBA, makes, they are highly underpaid.

Also, if you take into consideration how much impact an athlete has on a team, it is way more than how much impact a talk show host has on the television network. If Letterman were to be sick, or when James Corden had his baby, anyone can fill in for them for the time being. But if Lebron were to get hurt mid season, his loss would be detrimental to the team. Professional athletes should get paid more than singers or actors due to the physical stress they are under for their jobs. When an athlete gets hurt, they also have to pay their medical bills out of pocket. A high majority of athletes do not have insurance because of their likeliness of getting hurt. The medical bills take a sizable chunk out of their salaries also.


The Advent of AI Technology will not Devalue Human Life

Most of us know of Terminator, IRobot, and countless other films depicting a dystopia of our own creation. The rise of an age of technology, man versus machine. This fiction is becoming more likely as everyday we are introduced to robots capable of self-navigating, self-learning, self- adapting, and capable of “composing their own music”. So, the question arises: where would humans place in this newly established 22nd century hierarchy?

According to nbcnews, a distinction should first be drawn between the mindless and the sentient robots, and “it’s really the mindless robots we need to be cautious of. Conscious machines may actually be our allies”. While sentient robots are still an object of fiction for decades to come, rudimentary mindless bots already populate our world. Simply, these are robots who follow a series of memorized commands/algorithms. If sentient AI can truly be fabricated, hope remains there a new era of cooperation would dawn upon man, and machine.

Abc News paints the portrait optimistically. In a new age where robots and people function in society, robotis will dominate the economic and labor fields. However, much like the consequence of the first agricultural revolution of 18,000 BCE, this opportunity allows humans to seek occupations in empathetic fields and perform service jobs of love”. Both humans and AI would function coherently in a new society, each facilitating their talents.

Below is a compiled list of my research thus far:

https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-09/artificial-intelligence-automation-jobs-of-the-future/8786962

https://via.hypothes.is/https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/tech/what-rise-sentient-robots-will-mean-human-beings-ncna773146

 


Does film influence society or does society influence film?

You know the does art imitate life or life imitate art age-old debate? That is taken in an entirely new form here. However, rather than a one or the other argument, like the previous question, the question I pose is: does film influence society or vice-versa? Here, the two are intertwined together, like a river connecting two reservoirs. So the answer is film and society both influence each other greatly, but so much so that neither one influences each other more.

Good movies communicate the culture, values, hopes, dreams, successes and failures of our societies, both to us as Americans and to the rest of the world. Today, every developed country and many developing nations are producing noteworthy movies and through the power of global distribution such movies are being enjoyed by audiences worldwide.” Movies are one of the best art forms for artists to create, simple because it is the epitome of many art forms put together. “Combining as they do, sound and pictures, music and artistic cinematography, acting and dialog, movies convey ideas, emotions, and artistic expressions with greater power and range than any other form of entertainment.” But this all comes from the filmmakers. Movies are created by the filmmakers who want to express something (a theme for example) in a visual medium. This can be done through their own experience as an artist and their own ability to create, or by other people’s experiences, cultures and events. In this sense, society influences movies. Society contains many themes, ideas, stories and events for movies to portray onscreen. If the filmmaker uses the substance well, they are able to tap into the emotions the influences do and leave the audience with a powerful emotional message.

This is where film influences society. Due to the powerful messages and ideas society has to offer and the prevalence of movies in our world, movies are a ubiquitous way to share those messages. “Last year worldwide box office revenues for American films reached a record high of $26 billion, with almost $10 billion coming from the U.S. alone. Add to this the retail value generated by films on DVD and TV you quickly arrive at revenues in excess of $100 billion. This puts the film industry almost on par with the U.S. airlines industry.These statistics are impressive in view of the proliferation of mass media that compete with movies for our time, attention and our information and entertainment needs.” So the film industry is very profitable and very mainstream in all of the world. As such, most people have or will be exposed to movies and the issues/messages it will offer. “People of most walks of life experience movies, from the working class to the super-rich, and it provides a common experience for society to talk about issues with a bit of ‘safety net’”. When this is done, the general public can have greater awareness of an issue that was unknown at the time. This can inspire people to make changes in society or inspire them to make movies about issues they care about.

We have now come full circle. As I have just shown, the influences of society and film are both connected and seek to serve each other. Do not be fooled into thinking into one or the other, as both can have powerful effects on the other.

 

 

 

(Due to trouble viewing source, here is link if you can’t read the first hyperlink)


How Can Translation Be Harmful to Understanding?

Translations are an integral part of our world. Books are translated, movies are translated, even live events are translated. The fundamental understanding of translating is just changing the words from one language to the other. In other words, you just change languages. But the understanding of this is not exact. There are many cases in which translation does not give way to meaning. Even though the words could quite literally mean something, the understood meaning could be quite different. With that, is translation sufficient in communicating across cultures?

For example, if a person wanted to say “hello” in Korean, one would say “안녕하세요” (annyeong haseo) even though the literal meaning is “Are you peaceful?” It can be translated literally or figuratively, but the understanding that someone receives from the translation is lacking. To translate as “hello” is to show that it is a simple and common greeting, nothing much to bat an eye at. However, to translate literally, one could obtain an understanding of the history and culture of the language. A similar situation arises from the Mandarin greeting of “吃了吗 (Chī le ma)?” which translates to “Have you eaten?” This gives way to a history that includes famine, even though famine is over, the tendencies stay the same.

In a Ted Talk with Tim Doner, he discusses the importance of understanding context in greetings. In discussing his journey learning Persian he says, “And quite honestly if you want to learn Persian for example, you pick up a dictionary, you say, “I know how to say ‘thank you’, I know how to say ‘how much is this?’, and I know how to say ‘goodbye’. Oh, I speak Persian.” Probably not, let’s see actually. In fact, if you want to buy something in a Persian bookstore, you might ask someone ‘how much is this?’ Generally, he will tell you this: “Ghabeli nadaareh.” Which means, ‘it’s worthless’.” Humility is a large aspect of the culture, but a literal translation to English makes this culture norm seem strange. So in most cases, these types of phrases may be simplified to fit our worldview.

Another example appears in Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek’s “Linguistic Precautions that to be Considered when Translating the Holy Quran”. The translations fitting as the direct and unchangeable word of Allah “…will naturally lead to dumping into literal translation, which will result in semantic ambiguity and structural complexities; that can prevent the reader to understand the purpose of the text.” In this, it comes to the issue of whether to allow rewriting to make the text comprehendible for readers or is the true meaning from the language too important?

In all, the idea of translation is important. No one can know every language and understand every piece of language ever uttered. However, the information and worldview gained from learning languages is unlike any other experience. Translation is needed without doubt, but understanding should not be sacrificed in its place.


Fitting in.

In many stages of our lives, we may either see a person or a group of individuals as attractive and this attractiveness may lead people to act like or conglomerate to a person or crowd. Every single person has insight and wondrous attributes that can change the world collectively in a positive way. However, the notion of fitting in, also referred to herd behavior, limits the minds potential to become open and wondrous in the way it is supposed to be. This nature of individuality is subtle to most individuals seeking acceptance and acknowledgement by other people. Their mind is not aware of the influence they hold to change the lives of others and themselves. “People don’t realize how much influence they have. If they knew how strongly their words and actions affect other people, they would have a lot more confidence.” -Liz Ryan.

I am very fascinated by the emotional and mental side when someone try’s to fit in with an individual or a group. The attitude we fall into when we try to conform to groups of people can change the way we think and perceive ourselves and others. An aspect that is huge in the discussion of fitting in is the acceptance many desperately crave by others. This cry for acceptance in life can lead many to hide their true self or to blind themselves from their own worth. “The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. When we don’t have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess.” -Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW.

Stepping outside the boundaries of fitting in to show the true meaning of your human person, is clarifying to yourself and even to the friends around you. I believe that we need to occasionally step back and look at each situation in our lives no matter what event is going on, so that we can better understand our meaning and worth amongst others. Having to opportunity to self-examine our desires to fit in, may give us insight to who we really are and what we plan to achieve in situations we feel the need to force ourselves into.


How mental health is viewed, and how society addresses it

In my reserch, many things about mental health have become increasingly obvious. It is a far more prevalent problem than anyone can imagine. Many people who suffer from mental health disorders are seen as “weak” or “emotional”. Most, if not all, people know someone who is effected by mental health. But mental health can very often be ignored, or pushed aside. Teenagers and youth especially are seen as dramatic, and many people seem to think that teenagers dont understand that “It’s natural to feel sad, down, or discouraged at times. We all feel these human emotions, they’re reactions to the hassles and hurdles of life.” This is a direct quote from a government website concerning mental health in teenagers and youth. This is found to be incredibly condescending. When students are faced with the hardships of mental health, they want honesty, even if that honesty can be hard to deal with. Most teenagers know at least one person who has either attempted to or has taken their life, or has hurt themselves in some way. This is becoming increasingly apparent with the higher amount of fluidity from social media and all of it’s outlets.

Mental health issues are almost a “gateway drug” or an incentive to lean towards the underage ( or legal ) abuse of drugs, alchocol, or many other unhealthy and unstable practices that can hurt the person, their friends and family, and possibly even society itself. My research has only further proved my thinking. But there isn’t a lack of motivation for change, and becuase of social media shining a light on the increasing problem, more people are becoming aware of it, and are trying to change it and fix it. Even recent organizations such as the #metoo movoement, Black Lives matter, and Time’s Up are groups who want to change the ways people are thinking, and with to improve the way that people are thinking and behaving. This feeling of not belonging, or having unjust discrimination contribute heavily to the mental health problem.

 

Society has such a strong hold on the mental health of the world. How can one feel a level of safetly if they aren’t safe in their own enviornment? The United States has seen a decrease in Gun Control an increase in deaths by shootings. In many nations, child slavery is a part of everyday life. Why do we not strive for change? Why is there still hurt and struggle, despite the plethora of technology and ideals that the world has developed. Why are we still in danger?

 

My research page:


Is Your Society Impacted!

Shania Brown

January 12, 2018

Ms.Portugal

Period: 3-4

 

                                                                                    Is Your Society Impacted!

 

How is Society impacting your life? Community? Why are others afraid to come to Oakland?  A lot of the community feels ashamed because all they see is violence and they see other people who don’t like Oakland and are afraid to come there. There is too much violence all around the world and I chose to interview three people and they had a lot to say about society from their own perspectives. First, there is it’s too much gentrification that did leading to violence, second was how violence can’t be controlled plus it been around too long, and the third is how violence impacting them and the rest of the community around the world.

 

Violence has been around our society for a very long time and now difficult to get rid of it even if you try to. My interviewer Saidah Brown had a lot to say about violence in our society in Oakland that is credible and I also think she’s right about it. She says where she lives violence happens every day or night. She sees the violence happening sometimes but there is nothing she can do. She stated “ People think violence is the answer but you are all wrong, it’s just making our world a darker place” (Brown). You can change how bad the world is by coming together as a community because if we come all together there wouldn’t be violence. This will help the society because there wouldn’t any deaths and people also won’t have to go through pain. I really agree with her because everyday somebody is either getting hurt or in jail and the world shouldn’t be this way, the world should be able to have conversations  to  solve problems but instead people choose to the hard way. Brown also said “ I lived in Oakland all my life, I don’t like it because it’s way too much violence and for me to see it happening multiple times near my home makes me feel like I’m not safe at all” (Brown). She knows that Oakland can be dangerous at most points and it makes her feel unsafe. Saidah said “ She doesn’t know if violence will ever change because change has to start within the people and we all know the people are not going to change”  (Brown).

The Society is never going to happen in your lifetime. My second interviewer Sharon Roane had a couple of works to say about why she thinks and knows nothing is going to change. Sharon says “ I’ve been living here [Oakland] for 26 years and nothing at all has changed and I know nothing is going to get done” (Roane). I can say I absolutely agree with what she’s saying because I’m 14 and me growing up, I have noticed a change but it wasn’t a positive change. I’ve saw someone get beat on streets I walk by and this cannot happen in our society because it will turn into a “GOTHAM” city if we don’t have any positivity. This change was negative because people would fight, shoot, and go to jail on an everyday basis like it was nothing to them. This is why I want to move out of Oakland, because I know nothing is going to change for the better. Roane  also said “ I would love to get the heck out of Oakland because there’s nothing here for me besides DEATH and I don’t want that”. I understand where Roane is coming from when she said this because where she lives, it’s nothing but killing so moving is the best thing. Plus, we all know nothing can change the people’s mind so in my opinion I think it’s best for us to stop trying now since we already know changes are not going to happen. “How life has changed. A 1994 poll found more than half the children questioned said they were afraid of violent crime against them or a family member. Are these kids just paranoid, or is there a real problem?” (Anderson).

 

Even when you and family live in the same city there is always someone picking on one of them leading to violence. The last person I interviewed was Rickey Bartley, he’s been living in Oakland for 30 years. Rickey hates unfairness and violence. Rickey states “ My cousin suffered from gentrification and she didn’t know how to handle it well so she just moved away”. This tells me that her rent was increasing rapidly or somebody was offering to pay more than what she was. I think that’s unfair because what if he/she couldn’t find anywhere else to stay. I know that gentrification can lead to violence It’s bad because it can also lead to major issues. This make me wonder if anybody in my family suffering from gentrification. But ways gentrification can lead to violence is if you don’t want to move they will force you out by either killing you or by sending you to jail, maybe even worse consequences than that depending on the landlord. “uses cross-sectional data in gentrified neighborhoods where population outflow exceeds citywide averages to determine the extent to which displacement becomes an issue” (Aikman). But at the end of the day I don’t think anybody should have to suffer from gentrification, there is already too much violence is going on.  

 

In my opinion we are all impacted because the violence of society we live in. The main points my 3 interviewees and I talked about was the violence in society, how can our society change, and the gentrification in our society. However we all know our society can be dangerous and don’t have any control. Plus, I know that  no matter what you try to do, nothing is going to work. I want all the people that’s reading this to know that there is no way our society can change if it doesn’t start within the people.

 

Annotated Bibliography

Roane, Sharon. “Oakland.” 7 Jan. 2018.

I spoke with Sharon about Oakland, we discussed about living in different places and violence. I think she’s a credible source because she was born here been living here for 26 years. She knows nothing is going to change because she know nothing is going to change the people.

Brown, Saidah. “Oakland.” 2 Jan. 2018.

Me and Saidah talked about violence,moving,and gentrification in Oakland and how it affects her. I think she is a credible source because she also was born and lived in Oakland for a long time. She also seen violence happening so she can tell us more about that. And, she knows nothing is going to change, she says “Change has to start within the people”. Saidah doesn’t want to live in Oakland because of the violence and other complications. She says if there was somewhere she want to live it would be Oakland but by Lake Merritt in the High Rises. But, at the same time she do want to continue living in Oakland because she’s been here all her life and it really feels like home to her.

Bartley, Rickey. “Oakland.” 8 Jan. 2018.

Rickey and I talked about violence, moving, gentrification, and what he think should change. He has lived in Oakland for 30 years, all his life. One of his family members have suffered from gentrification and she handled it the best way she could, she moved away.

Sources:

1.https://www.ojjdp.gov/jjbulletin/9804/community.html

2.https://probe.org/violence-in-society/

3.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953615300794


Can suppressing information and knowledge hinder society in the way it progresses into the future?

     1984 and Brave New World contain key attributes that define the way each society behaves. These attributes manifest throughout the way the government treats its people, and how people treat others with regard to societal standards. Brave New World depicts a society by which readily available information makes the minds of individuals less willing to comprehend emotion and knowledge. 1984 depicts a world and society by which all information is contrived, people are under constant surveillance, and absolute loyalty from citizens resides with Big Brother. Both novels exert ominous traits that describe a future which is inescapable, even if someone is independent with their thought and action from society, therefore, death or zombification results from the desperate clawing for independence.

   In Brave New World, the appearance of a conglomerated society which lives off the values of “Everyone lives for everyone” is made an example of zombification and emptiness that is subservient toward superior power. World Controllers monitor and control this superior power that lies in the blindness which fuels the everyday life of monotonous labor in a seemingly infinite caste system. Most everyone in Brave New World—except one of the main characters, the Savage—is created by science in incubator tubes. Science reached a point of Godlike capacity which made the arts and “Old Knowledge,” like Shakespeare, irrelevant. Without the wonder and inspiration to learn—the bases for combating boredom—people resort to drugs or soma, to keep them happy and ignorant along with the overemphasized permission to result in sexual interactions on a disturbingly frivolous scale. In addition to the drugs and frivolity, death in this story is a concept which correlates in indifference. Since everyone lives for everyone, death is viewed as a discarded importance long forgotten, just as the importance of “Old Knowledge” is discarded. One of the World Controllers sparks a conversation with the savage where he reveals the true nature of how people maintain unanimity in their ideals of life, “They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’re plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about … And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma” (Huxley 220). The Savage, under much agony, after witnessing the horror of such an unsettling society, hangs himself. His desperation for an independent life resulted in the destruction of his own; “Only those moments count, when the desire to remain by yourself is so powerful that you’d prefer to blow your brains out than exchange a word with someone” – Emil M. Cioran.

    The unsurpassed claustrophobic world of Oceania in 1984, illustrates a society where information goes beyond the common suppressiveness of voice. Knowledge and ideas are fundamental operations in the human mind that are monitored and suppressed too. The voice of the public is suppressed and altered to a point where news is only complementary to the government and Big Brother. The main character, Winston, works for the government in a position where he rewrites articles and news publications so that the information he changes is in perspective of making his government look good. However, he becomes aware of the dishonest and flawed life he’s been living. He finds a notebook and begins to write in it about his life and his mental processes relating to the world around him. Unfortunately, he is terrified when he writes in this notebook in fear of him being arrested or killed by the Thought Police. The brutal force of the Thought Police is an aspect that defines the might of Big Brother along with the government’s persuasive power. These police will eliminate anyone with independent thought, especially in reaction to a possible threat to Big Brother. Winston becomes a thought criminal and one whose capacity for freedom and truth is hindered forever. He is beaten almost every day as his will and hope break down, his desire to pursue independent thought is diminished. “He seemed to have lost the power of intellectual effort, now that the stimulus of pain had been removed” (Orwell, 275). Winston, in the end, is beaten down to the point where his soul, body, and mind are in submission to the only source of power he has left, Big Brother. “ … everything was alright, the struggle was finished … He loved Big Brother” (Orwell, 298).

   Both Huxley’s novel and Orwell’s novel depict the tragedy and folly of societies that are controlled by those who rule with absolute power. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us”. The contribution to Literature that these works bring contain truth by which power should not be used by those who hinder the independent minds of humankind.   


How does society deal with tragedy?

In society, people often deal with tragedy in different ways.

Many use prayer to cope with it, ” “It’s a part of our deep longings and hopes and fears that we do have a sense of the divine. In the moments of tragedy in our lives there’s an impulse, there’s an instinct to turn to however we understand the higher power.”” People often find comfort in their higher power, and can console themselves and others with it. However, many people complain that this does not have any action involved, in that people do not try to fix the problem, rather just pray about it.

Many people remember, and pay tribute to tragedy. Such as with 9/11. Each day on that date, people visit the memorial, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragedy, whether that be family, friends, or even random people that one never met. Even when “…14 years, to the tragedy of the unprovoked terror attacks that propelled this nation into the Global War on Terror.” accidents occurred years ago, such tragedies are remembered for years to come.

Another thing to think about it the five stages of grief. These are not only applicable to individuals, but to our society. “The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost.” Society goes through these stages, and paying tribute is part of the acceptance stage. It is a process that we all have to go through, individually and as a society.


Are the people in Brave New World polarized like our current society?

Brave New World and 1984 are both dystopian novels written in the early to mid 20th century. These books invoke fear into the audience with a terrifying future and outlook into our society. Although both novels have had lasting impressions on our society, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley has proven more relevant in our contemporary world. On one site a researcher points out this fact bringing up numerous points of evidence in our current society. “What’s more, a number of advancements portrayed in the book, whether they be technological or social, aren’t as scary as they seemed back then.And in fact, they’re increasingly being seen in a positive light.” One of the many reasons for this is how polarization of our society has formed.

In Brave New World, people are grouped into social classes and specific jobs. There are the elites Alphas ranging to the lower class Gammas, however, the people are also grouped into their specific job types. When being taught, each citizen is given only instructions and knowledge that will pertain to their career. This has created a polarized society in which people only interact with those that they share interests, knowledge, and views with.

This polarization in Brave New World has correlated strongly with the political and cultural polarization that we are seeing in our country today. One major issue seen today is how our political spectrum is becoming more extreme as people are fighting over their views rather than discussing and compromising. This is not only in terms of politics, people are moving to communities where they share interests and viewpoints. On this site I was able to find great examples and explanations as to how our society is polarizing. One of the primary reasons was a we can create our own source of information through technology. “The world of communications now contains innumerable information cocoons — comfortable spaces in which people can reinforce their own convictions.” These new communities are becoming culturally isolated as no new outside information that isn’t “accepted” is being brought in. “To a significant extent, people are learning and passing along ‘facts’ from narrow niches of people, most often comprised of like-minded others.” This social polarization isn’t on the same level of Brave New World yet but it could easily reach this level in the future.

 


How Does Technology Affect Society’s Knowledge?

The distribution of knowledge has drastically changed. Major technological advancements have become revolutionary to our ways of distributing information and communicating. “Inventions of the telephone, telegraph, radio, movies, television, and the Internet all extended [our ways of] communication and expression. These revolutions changed the world of information and knowledge, resulting in transformative effects on society (NAEP).” In our technology-based world, we are capable of finding information, but the output of this information is not always equally distributed.

There are limits to the articles we read, or the accounts we, ourselves, follow. Usually people do not see contrasting opinions because they choose to follow users who seem to share the same political, religious, or social beliefs. There are also risks of reading and sharing fake news, which is not factual and/or lacks reliable sources. These risk factors in the over flow of misinformation means that individuals should be more critical of what they are viewing; or how the author may be promoting their own agenda and biases.

This new transfer of knowledge “is defined not through what it is, but through what it can do (Gilbert, p.35).” Our technological resources can determine our way of thinking, and how we perceive the world around us.  This quote continues, “‘The capacity to own, buy and sell knowledge has contributed, in major ways, to the development of the new, knowledge-based societies. (p.39)” Through these advancements, our society will continue to share an excess amount of information. I think how others and ourselves process, analyze, and critique this information will determine society’s way of thinking, and will set the attitudes we have while living amongst one another.

 

Sources:

Why Can’t We Look Away From our Screens? Claudia, Dreifus New York Times. March, 2017

Knowledge Management Case Book. Gilbert J. B. Published in 2000\

Technology and Society. https://nagb.gov/naep-frameworks/technology-and-engineering-literacy/2014-technology-framework/toc/ch_2/society/society3.html


We No Longer Stick Up For Each Other

These past few months have been very difficult for the Citizens of the United States. Many of us don’t think the United States are very “united.” There have been many riots and protests that have been caused by the Presidency with Donald Trump. We no longer stick up for each other and are constantly at battles with one another for our own opinions. Why can’t we be united again?

“Americans never did agree on fundamental issues, and North America is really comprised of 11 distinct cultural regions which battle for political and social supremacy constantly.” We are having not only political issues, but cultural as well. The United States has seen more worse days than this, but will we come out on top again. “It is possible to view the United States and Canada as being comprised of various cultural regions. These regions bicker and disagree on major issues and fundamental values constantly. The rough edges between them has given American culture its greatest works and distinct tone. But can this union, or any union so conceived, long endure? Perhaps, perhaps not.”

We need some way or someone to come along and help us improve our situation. This country will continue to keep fighting until we all have something to agree on. Trump is not helping out our political situation and the amount of discrimination going on within the US is ridiculous and we need to fix this problem before it gets worse.

 


How has the internet changed us as a society?

There is no doubt that the internet has become a big influence in today’s world, as not only does it provide easy access to communication with almost anyone, it is also grants us the ability to find any piece of information that we choose to seek out. Things like finding out the weather for the week or finding out the name of a person from a movie have become effortless compared to just a few decades ago, as it is now accessible with the click of a button. However, there is some controversy surrounding this newfound breakthrough in technology, as though some think this is one of the greatest things to ever happen to our society, others believe it is creating a generation of lazy people who don’t need to put in any effort to seek out knowledge. So, I went and did some research to find out popular opinion regarding this subject.

The Washington Post created an article that gives 36 ways that the internet has changed us, which offer mixed opinions on the subject, On the one hand, our multitasking skills have greatly increased because of the internet, and problems such as waiting in line at stores have mostly gone away because of sites like Amazon. However, only 5% of languages have integrated themselves towards the internet, and scholars believe that the others will die out within the next 100 years. I found another article that offers a few different perspectives, the first of which suggests that our increased access to communication has caused us to treat intimacy differently. Posting on social media allows people that we don’t usually associate with to see what we do, compared to only allowing very close friends access to that information. In addition to this, another claim says that everything is crowd-based nowadays, and  that everyone has a say in what goes on.

To sum things up, whether or not the internet has affected our society in a positive or negative way comes down to personal opinion. The factors that go into this matter are very extensive, and subjective to say the least. So, I propose a question: what is your attitude towards the internet? Do you think it has harmed or helped us as a society, and in what ways? I would appreciate any feedback that people have on my question.


The Power of Language

The art and ongoing achievement of language is probably the most beneficial aspect integrated into society. Communication with language is the cornerstone for progress as well. Even animals in our modern world have ways to communicate by language; different species of animals have their own languages as different people have different languages connected to their country or nationality. The power to convey thought, meaning, and information through language is the essential means that humans use for the betterment (hopefully) of humankind.

Language also relates to the arts such as music, painting, dancing, etc. The arts convey feeling, or overlying messages to be received by those who are passionate about the gift of intellect and imagination.

Literature is one of the greatest achievements in the passing of information and stories down to others. You could also say that in addition to literature, paintings are messages passed down to other generations to be studied or admired. Literature is one of the greatest epitome’s of the human mind’s ability to be expressed through writing. This wondrous trait which humans hold strikes me with awe. For example, my friend and I went to Wellers one day—a bookstore in Trolley Square—to browse for some books until, all of a sudden, she mentioned the extravagant ability people endured to have written all these books and knowledge about life. Her statement made my curiosity and love for language even stronger. We would also discuss, on occasion, the time it would take to read every single book in the world but that no one could actually accomplish that task. This thought of limitation scares me because of my desire to learn and to analyze the personalities of people along with their stories—no matter what they are.

While language can have benefits of progress along with the capability to provide the advent of enlightened thought, some use language to lie and to subdue others. Unfortunately, this still happens today, but in a way that is benign to the continuance of culture. However, even if this benignancy is true, the implication that language will never be suppressed or altered by evil for evil, must not be disregarded.

 


“Kill Yourself”

On average in the U.S. 121 people die by suicide every single day making suicide the 10th leading cause of death. NFSP reports a steady incline in the suicide rate and mental illness is at an all time high – whether that be because professionals diagnose better, people are getting more ill, or people feel more comfortable discussing issues. Suicide and its various causes are all on the forefront of society and are an issue in dire need of attention. Yet, there has been no significant change. In fact, the statistics show that the problem is worsening. So what is the problem?
Walking down the halls at school, scrolling through social media, even hanging out with friends, we are bombarded with a culture desensitized to mental illness. Kill yourself jokes run rampant through just about any video’s comment section online. Cruel personal jokes flood school hallways.  Yet those participating are also the ones most affected by the problem. The majority of people using the internet are millennials and plurals which have the highest suicide rates compared to any other generation.  While no society is condoning the nature of the jokes, there isn’t much to stop the jokes either. People argue that taking a “kill yourself” joke – or something of the like – serious is a waste of time. It essentially doesn’t matter anymore.

So why has such a serious problem become fodder for humor on the internet by those who are most affected? I would dare say it is the culture these people experience. Our culture only recently has brought discussions about mental health to the attention of larger society, but in the past mental institutions were essentially places to separate the mentally able from the others. Mental institutions in the U.S. in the 1950s were infamous for institutionalizing and holding people after they were healthy as well as grouping crime, mental illness, and taboo into one category. The mentally ill were those who were less than the average citizen. Fast forward to today, a complaint of many on the internet is that they have been told their problems aren’t valid and that happiness is a choice. It comes down to the fact that society still doesn’t see mentally ill as people who need help. They have taken the small step up from being subhuman to being over dramatic.

On top of these societal stigmas, the funding for research on mental health severely lacks the backing that more concrete illnesses such as cancer have procured. Mental illness spending has even seen budget cuts on multiple occasions such as the 2008 recession.  So as confirmation to stigma, mental illness is not a major priority of society. Instead, society more looks to have the problem fixed just whenever. For a generation of insecure and mentally ill, the combination of low levels of action and stigma create an even more negative vision of themselves and the prospects of getting respect for their problems.

In response, young generations turn to the internet where they indulge in humor and leisure. As time passes, people begin to realize how everyone has had similar experiences surrounding mental health and connect over it. Yet, as the generation is acutely aware of how public the internet is, and how openness is looked down upon, the way of joking about their problems became more common. Thus, relatable became funny and with it mental health was the butt of the joke. However, not all is bad in this situation. While the young generations may feel overly comfortable in joking about such grave matters, they also engage in more conversations about the problem than ever before and the controversial nature of the jokes open the opportunity for debate and discussion of morals and standards relating to the subject matter. However, either good or bad, an awareness of how words define our beliefs or how words are interpreted play an important role in society’s issues.


Destination: Unknown, or is it?

“Ah, I see you’re taking the road less travelled”, my GPS alerted me as I took the wrong exit. Using the app WaZe, I created my own collection of personalized navigation messages. This one just happened to be whenever the GPS needs to reroute. Unfortunately, this occurs quite often when I’m behind the wheel. Since the first time I read it in elementary to today, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has stuck to me. However, it wasn’t until my junior year literature class which brought the poem under a different lens.

Through my childhood and adolescence, I mistook the meaning of “The Road Not Taken” as an allusion to the practice of individualism, and the glorified culture surrounding it. Conversely, the poem centralizes the conflict between individualism, and the consequences, or lack thereof, of such. Did the road I took influence who I am today, or, as argued by David C. Ward, I am who I am regardless of whichever path I chose. Hence, I pose my question: where has the world placed the needle on the spectrum of freedom to predestination?

The answer varies. Different doctrines teach different degrees of the prevalence of supernatural influence in our lives, varying from none, to absolute. Contrasting demographics, as well as culture, will factor into this as well. Outside of religious influences, I believe free will dominates predestination. That is not to say predestination is not present. Every individual will have factors that influence much of their life, such as race, gender, background, etc. For example, succeeding from a family in poverty is far more difficult than succeeding from a wealthy family. More or less, everyone has a separate “start” on the game of life, some ahead of others. However, through diligent effort and a few lucky tosses of the dice, it is possible to catch up.

 


I Am Who I Am

Shadow Box

Ying Yang

This Shadow Box represents the counter and dominant narrative of me and how people think. All of these objects represent something different and they all have a story behind them. I have chosen to put these items in my Shadow Box because they all have a counter and dominant side of the story. You must be wondering what a Shadow Box is well it’s a visual display that have objects, images, and words to tell the story about yourself. The five items that I am going to talk about is the butterfly, the rose, the airplane ticket, the San Francisco bridge, and the Paris tower. The first items are the butterflies behind the back of my box. I have chosen these items because it represents that I can fly to my goals and I can achieve my dreams. I’m able to be independent and be on my own because I wanna show my parents that I’m able to be on an independent women that is able to do things on her own. I wanna make my parents proud and I wanna show them that their hard work and how much they done for me was worth it. I wanna show them that I can do the same for them to and I am going to work as hard as they did for me to have this many opportunities in life for me. Most importantly the sacrifice that they have done for me to be here now has made me realize that they do care about me there willing to keep supporting me until the end. I am very happy that they’re my everything and I’m happy to fly this far in life because of the things they have done for me and there support that they have gave me. The second item that I have chosen is a rose because it represents society how how people think. Society thinks that people get flowers when they’re sick or a special event and only women get flowers like roses. The things that people think of if your a women you get roses and if you’re a men you shouldn’t get rose. There are many criticisms and stereotypes about the gender expression because of how people act and the gender identity how you identify as. I believe that it doesn’t matter and everyone is all equal we should be treated the same and everyone should have the privilege to do whatever they want. Also people shouldn’t be scared to express themselves and like what they like, they shouldn’t change you are because you’re different. That’s why be your own individual rose because there are many color roses so choose the color you want to be and not change that cause you are who you are. The third item that I have chosen was the airplane ticket because it’s very important for me. Last summer, I went back to visit my family back in China and it was a very wonderful experience even though it was a very long trip. But it was all worth it and I was happy but I was very homesick because I was there for a whole month. I’m very glad that I got the experience to go back it was very different from California the lifestyle and the people there. Everyone knew each other and it was very weird because I didn’t know anyone but everyone was kind and they would say good morning and ect. I wasn’t used to it and it felt very weird because in California it’s different like your parents would be like don’t talk to people you don’t know on the streets. But back there it’s like you should talk to people because they’re being nice and there just positive about things that you don’t want to ruin their mood and day. I’m very proud to go back and see the life style back there and how it was very different and I was happy to experience that. The fourth item that I chose was the San Francisco bridge. I have chosen to put that in my Shadow Box because the Bay Area is very important to me and I have been living in the Bay Area for over 8 years and it’s been a long time that I think about it. People might think that I don’t live here because of my race and ethnicity. There are many times where I have felt the need to move because I didn’t like living here and how everyone was different. But I have come to a conclusion that any where I live it would always be different and I would be sad to move out of the Bay Area because I have lived here for a long time. Which I would miss it if I ever had to leave the Bay. It has become my home and when I’m traveling I know where my home is because I’m homesick and the environment is different from the Bay. Lastly the fifth item that I chosen was the Paris tower (Eiffel Tower). Me my sister and I always wanted to go to Paris but we never find the right time and we both have different schedules. But instead of my sister taking me there and her paying for the tickets I always wanted to take her when we’re older. She has been my biggest supporter and I’m glad she is my sister. She has done a lot for me more then my parents I call her my second mom because she does everything a mom does. I wanna do something for her to pay her back for everything she done for me. Cause she can go with her friends or even by herself but she has been waiting for me to go with her. So I wanna take her there because she always wanted to go there but she is a hard worker and she rather spend her money on school and the things that are more important in life. Which she has been a good example for me which I look up to her because she’s been through a lot because she never gives up.


How will technology impact our society?

Photo Credit: This picture comes from an article here: https://writix.co.uk/blog/analytical-papers.

Technology will continue to drastically change our society. There are positive connotations that come with technology. It has increased food production through the mechanization of farming. In addition, technology has improved transportation and communication all around the globe. Information is now readily available to people and therefore has improved education and the learning process. In other words, technology can empower people to get engaged and be more social. According to Technology Review, internet “increases the risk of isolation, alienation, and withdrawal from society, but available evidence shows that the Internet neither isolates people nor reduces their sociability; it actually increases sociability, civic engagement, and the intensity of family and friendship relationships, in all cultures.” In contrast, technology can be detrimental to society. Resources have been depleted with the advancement of technology. Also, technology production and disposal increases pollution. It has also been linked with increased obesity. A significant amount of screen time contributes to poor sleeping patterns and depression. An increase in technology is also linked to more violence. Technology causes people to suffer from mental and emotional disturbances.

As we move forward as a society, technology can either help or hurt the world we live in. According to Huffington Post, “children’s developing sensory, motor, and attachment systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. The impact of rapidly advancing technology on the developing child has seen an increase of physical, psychological and behavioral disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, much less understand.” In other words, children are falling behind developmentally since human biology cannot keep up with fast paced changes in technology. On the other hand, technology can increase a child’s educational experiences. Children can use the internet to learn more about the world they live in. According to Inside Technology 360, “computers and other kinds of technology allow kids levels of autonomy where they receive a sense of empowerment because of the information available at their disposal.” Moreover, technology can help kids grow intellectually. In conclusion, technology will drastically change our society in the future, whether it be positive or negative.


Controversy around “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

Should The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn be banned?

In all honesty, I’m confused as to why society is still stuck on this topic. Many people have made the argument that due to the Mark Twain’s use of the “n word”, Huckleberry Finn is not appropriate to be taught in schools. But why is this word considered inappropriate? Is it out of respect for African American history, or is it because it’s a hard topic to talk about, and people rather push it to the side? Personally, I think it’s an issue of the ladder.  I believe this book should not be banned, and must be discussed. This is because by talking with one’s peers, more perspectives are added and offer a solution as how to address the “n word”. By talking openly about the historical context of the word, less power is given to it. By not addressing this situation, history is bound to repeat itself. I believe it is crucial to address both the history of this word, and Mark Twain’s purpose of using it in his text. Clearly, Twain used this language as a deliberate way to invoke a reaction, not out of pure disrespect. I say this due to how Twain writes about Jim, and paints him as a normal boy, in a society where he is treated like property (instead of Twain portraying him as property himself).

 


Oppression and Society

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, We have two characters trying to become free. Huck, who is running away from society, which he views as oppressive and controlling, and Jim, an escaped slave running to freedom down the Mississippi River. Through chance, they meet up, and our unlikely duo travel down the river, with various misadventures along the way. However, their two journeys are fundamentally different. First, in the way that they are oppressed, and second, in the result of their shared journey

Firstly, Huck’s oppression is not nearly as real as Jim’s. His problem with society is that there are too many people telling him what to do. From Miss Watson and the widow Douglas to his father, even though they are on opposite sides of society, they are both seen as forcing him to do things. Miss Watson, who forces him to go to school, learn religion, and be proper. Pap, on the other hand, is forceful since he physically abuses Huck, extorts him for drinking money, and locks him inside the house while he is gone. To Huck, these are equally bad, and he deals with these problems by running away from them down the river. However, these are not really problems, as what Miss Watson is doing is actively good for Huck, even if he doesn’t see it that way. His father on the other hand, is clearly bad, but not something that cannot be dealt with. If Huck just waited for the custody settlements to be worked out, then he could have gone back to Miss Watson. Jim, on the other hand, as a slave, is actively beaten and forced to work. He is excluded from society, and is not treated as human. Rather, he is treated as property, as a tool to be used, or a farm animal to do work. Even though his owner, Miss Watson, is a kind and godly woman, she still keeps him as a slave, as well as his family. Under her, he felt that he was treated fairly, but once the idea of the unknown came about, when he overheard that he might be sold, he was afraid, and ran away. At the most basic level, Huck is escaping from the known, although twisted through the eyes of a child, and Jim is escaping from the unknown, as well as from forced bondage.

Jim and Huck also differ in the result of their journey. At the end of the book, we learn that in Miss Watson’s will, Jim was set free, so he is now a free man. His goal now, is to become a part of society and earn enough money to set his family free. Huck on the other hand, refuses to integrate into society, and reject’s Aunt Sally’s offer, claiming that “I can’t stand it. I been there before.” (Twain 260) He shows that even though he goes on a huge journey, and sees so many distinct aspects of humanity, he is still the same rebellious child that he was at the beginning of the book. Jim, on the other hand, has not changed internally either, but his relationship to society has changed greatly. He goes from being excluded altogether, to being considered a member of society, albeit one that is racially targeted and excluded. This is a massive change in how he is part of society. Huck, on the other hand, makes the exact opposite change. He starts as a part of society, although he does not want to be, then leaves society for the Territory, which is implied to be the West. In the end, they both find freedom in their own way, from their own oppression by society. Huck is free from any civilizing forces, as he will most likely be living out west on his own, and Jim is no longer a slave, and his new goal is to free his family.

These two characters are remarkably different, and were both excluded from society in separate ways. However, they both end up going on a journey together, and experience changes that will affect them forever. Although they share many experiences, and even kindle a deep friendship for one another, they differ fundamentally in the nature of their oppression by society and their freedom from it.


Differences Should be Accepted and Celebrated

I Believe that our differences should be accepted and celebrated

How is everything in the universe categorized? Each holding unique and individual traits, yet connected through experiences and environmental factors, I believe diversity should be celebrated.

I believe our differences are what make us stronger. Conformity is never something I’ve appreciated. It demolishes creativity, and as a mechanism to keep people safe out of fear, it ends up imprisoning expression. I believe everyone takes a different meaning away from life, and no two people experience an occurrence the same way. This is what makes us such a complex community with timeless social changes.

I believe Ignorance is the cause for a lack of peace. Old values can not be followed strictly  to expect change in innovation. I believe people must learn and accept others to grow as a society. I believe one’s sexuality, gender, ethnicity, religion (or nonreligion) and over all  moral compass should not be frowned upon unless it inflicts harm to other beings. While my mom’s side has always been quite liberal, the same can not be said for the side of my dad. Growing up in a conservative home where the Bible was followed strictly, I would often engage in debates with him about what is considered “normal” and acceptable by society’s standards. Of course this would often be frustrating, but it remains a great experience to see how my liberal values conflict and coincide with the conservative views of my father.

I believe happiness is the equivalence to success. Happiness feeds the soul, it’s the driving force behind a exuberant, and active life. I believe along with this, that happiness comes from the people you surround yourself with, and family is however you are so inclined to define it by. In this modern day, it can be a steep task to override the stigmas about success and how this ties into mental health. I believe one of the greatest challenges for America is trying to find a balance between the age old American dream, and when persistent working isn’t the definition of success for everyone.

I believe through all things else, we are tied and connected by nature. Primal instincts feed or soul. They are both beneficial, and catastrophic and result in a complex and diverse society. I believe nobody is above nature, for how can you hold a higher status to something you are connected to?  I believe life does move too fast in modern day society, and there is a lack of connection to the environment. The ideas of both peace, nature, acceptance etc. are fueled by our purpose in this world, which we are once again enlightened by when we transcend into nature.


Fahrenheit 451’s and today’s version of utopia

To begin, the novel Fahrenheit 451 connects to 2017 because both the superiors in the present day and the novel have done things to shape society into their version of a utopia without the consent of their citizens.

In the novel, everything that happens takes place in the future where everything is different. Such as the protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman and his job is to burn books- as well as the structure that shelters them (instead of putting out fires like the firemen we know today). The reason being is because books and literature are illegal and are to be feared by the public as the government does not want their citizens to have their own argument- to have different opinions that can be debatable and give people the knowledge we have today.

Of course, this could show coercion as this law, the law that books are illegal, was forced upon the public by the government or superiors and in turn, the public simply accepted and went with it. And while some people in the novel resisted and kept books in their homes, the firemen would eventually find out and simply burn their home and the books. Sometimes even the owner if they resisted being arrested. “You burn the books and then you burn the ashes,” one of the protagonist’s antagonists, Beatty, had said to Montag. Which then shows how the firemen simple burn the knowledge of the books.

To compare, in today’s society, our new president of the United States, Donald Trump, has made the travel ban where refugees and immigrants cannot come into the United States. And of course, he has done this without the consent of the U.S. citizens. Meaning that is was forced upon us. And while people are resisting the travel ban, there may be a chance that the travel ban will be discarded- but then again, maybe not. And this goes to show how the novel Fahrenheit 451 and our society today compare to each other.

Photo by marco monetti


How does the book Divergent connect to 2017?

To begin, the book Divergent does connect to 2017 because people need to belong in 1 faction and Donald Trump is saying everyone needs to be American and wants immigrants to go back to their countries. Firstly, in the book everyone is separated into factions. Tris, the main character explains, “Today is the day of the aptitude test that will show me which of the five factions I belong in”(2) This quote shows that they separated them by the government. They don’t get to choose where they wanna be and sometimes they don’t get to see their families. Similarly,  Donald Trump is trying to put immigrants in are right country and often immigrants don’t get to choose if they want to leave or not because he is the president now. Also, in Divergent people are separated physically, like how he is suggesting to build a wall. In conclusion this connect to 2017 because in Divergent they have different factions and they can’t cant be divergent and trump doesn’t want us in Oakland CA he wants us in are country we suppose to be in and that’s how it connects to 2017 and my book name divergent by Veronica Roth.

Photo by Daniel Wehner


Connecting Divergent to our world.

To begin, the book Divergent does connect to 2017 because in the world of Divergent you need to belong in, what they call, a faction or else you’re just factionless for the rest of your life. Some of us can connect to the main character Tris because she’s different than everyone else, she belongs in more than one faction but she needs to belong in just one. Since she is different people like her are called divergent, and those people are a threat to their society in the book. So in our world being different is supposedly a threat to society because we don’t belong. For example the LGBTQ community are looked at differently and are hated by people that think they’re different, but in reality they’re humans just like everybody else. Tris is forced to hide her identity because the people from the Erudite and Dauntless factions are out to kill any all of the divergents because they believe that divergents shouldn’t live in their “peaceful” society. In conclusion our world can relate to the book Divergent because being different makes us dangerous and we need to fit into society or else we will be considered different from the rest of the people.


The Worst Drug No One is Talking About

Hiding In Plain Sight

Did you know that, there are around 1,037 liquor licenses around Oakland? (Oakland City Attorney). This means that there are more than 1,000 different locations in Oakland that sell alcoholic beverages or anything containing alcohol. This makes it extremely easy for anyone to get alcohol, thus making alcohol one of the most abused drugs in Oakland.

Since the wide availability of alcohol was brought up, many of the places where alcohol is sold, have ridiculously low prices for alcohol, making alcohol anything but a luxury, attracting more and more people. According to an alcoholic beverage website, “The cheapest alcoholic beverage is around $17 for a 30 pack of beer”(Liquors 44). That’s around 60 cents per can. This is incredibly cheap for such a dangerous substance that ruins people’s lives and is socially accepted. In an interview conducted by Alexis Cox Diaz, one of the interviewees said, “I see a lot of people who drink alcohol where I live. In fact, there’s a liquor store down the street of where I live” (Youth who lives in the Fruitvale area and has grown up there as well). This youth lives in a very bad and poor area in Oakland. He says he sees people who drink a lot of alcohol where he lives, making more of a temptation for not only him, but for people who are like him to want to try out alcohol since it is pretty cheap and seen as “cool”.

One of the main reasons why alcohol is one of the most abused drugs in Oakland is due to the fact that it is socially accepted. As stated by one of the people that the author of this blog interviewed, “I think socially accepted drugs, such as alcohol, have come to be the way they are because somewhere in time, people used them so often, that they eventually stuck” (Youth who lives and grew up in Oakland). This human being who knows what it is like to grow up in Oakland, sees through all the problems Oakland has, sees through all socially accepted things, takes a step back, and sees things for what they truly are. He sees that people, the people who he is (without choice) surrounded by, have come to neglect the facts of how dangerous alcohol is, despite it being socially accepted.

Some may argue that marijuana is the most abused drug in Oakland because it is illegal and because it has a lot of gang related violence around it. Although that may be true, more people try alcohol than people who experiment with marijuana. The source says, “Four in five men and women over the age of twelve have tried it, two and a half times the number to have experimented with marijuana”(Healthy Children). People who think that marijuana is more abused than alcohol, is clearly mistaken. People don’t see alcohol as a drug for the reason that it is legal and is socially accepted, whereas marijuana, in most cases, isn’t legal or socially accepted, which makes people see the drug as more of problem because they don’t have to see through any social constructs or anything that blocks their view from seeing marijuana for what it truly is. On the other hand, since there are so many obstacles on the views of alcohol, which impairs the view that people can have on alcohol, which doesn’t allow people to see alcohol for how dangerous it really is.

In conclusion, there are so many reasons why alcohol is the most abused drug in Oakland. Some of the reasons are due to the fact that it is so cheap and it is so readily available. It is also abused because it is socially accepted and people don’t realize how dangerous it actually is, which is not helping out anyone in society.

Work Cited

http://www.oaklandcityattorney.org/PDFS/Council%20Reports/Liquor%20Stores%202009.pdf, http://www.liquors44.com/Beer-Wine-Spirits-Specials/Beer/keystone-light-amp-keystone-ice-30-pack-cans, Mr.Martinez (student), Mr.Paez (student), https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/substance-abuse/Pages/Alcohol-The-Most-Popular-Choice.aspx


Cinema’s Place in Modern Society

Common culture is influenced by a variety of factors. One of the largest contributors to the current characteristics of modern culture is the art of film and cinematography. Movies, television shows, shorts, and other videos can affect the way we think and act, even subconsciously. A variety of techniques involving camera angles, scores, lighting, etc. can augment the overall tone or message a viewer receives. Therefore, these techniques contribute to the way cinema can influence society.

As I have begun my research into the question of how cinema affects our society, I have stumbled across an interesting study performed by Michelle C. Pautz from the University of Dayton. She asked students to fill out a survey relating to their view of government. She then had them watch Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. After viewing these films, she asked them to fill out the questionnaire again. Approximately, 25% of the students changed their mind in some way. Granted that this sample size is relatively small (undergraduate students from one college), the findings still indicate that films can carry a significant weight of influence. This is but one example of how cinema can affect our view of the world and society. Stories are a large aspect of film, but as mentioned above, technical aspects of film can be just as effective at getting a message across.

If you were to read a research paper on my topic, what piece of information or what aspect of film would you most want to learn about? Would you prefer I explore the the more technical parts of film such as the cinematic effects, should I focus more on the storytelling aspects, or should I combine them? Which do you believe would make for a more interesting, unique research essay?

Source:

http://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/how-movies-can-change-our-minds/

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/society/