September 2009 Archives

The Seed article I chose to read for this week discusses the currently explored approach of optogenetics, a method that combines optical and genetic engineering techniques in an attempt to probe neural circuits. The study of channelrhodopsin, the light sensitive channel protein found in green algae and other photosynthetic microorganisms, provided genetic engineers leeway, to further investigate the implications of light-induced neuron activation in mammals. The article briefly describes how fiber-optic cables are utilized to generate action potentials used to stimulate target cells in the brain regions of mice. Modified versions of channelrhodopsin are put into mouse neurons and are activated by this seemingly tortuous technique. The altered behavioral patterns and neural activities experienced by the experimental mice are observed and recorded for future reference.

According to the article, the purpose of optogenetics, is to develop a broader understanding of the relationship between electric circuitry, neural function and neural activity. Despite the fact that scientists are likely to gain a great deal of valuable information from this investigation, its rather controversial for anyone to suggestion of this kind of laser treatment could potentially be used on humans to "enhance adult cognition" or treat neurological disorders like ADHD or Parkinson's disease. The researchers in the article, who used the lasers on macaque monkeys, stated that optogenetics "seems to be safe" also affirming that "the method did not damage the areas of the brain being tested, nor did it activate an immune response".

As I read through the article, I am reminded of the article that we read in class entitled: "Our silver-coated future". Analogous to the phenomenon of nanotechnology, very little is known about optogenetics, let alone genetic engineering. Many times, scientists are quick to discover and eager to conclude. One of the most intriguing parts of the article, admits to the fact that neuroscience is "unclear" on the implications of DBS, the currently used method of successfully treating Parkinson's disease. Our uncertainty of this technique says a lot about how little we know about the degenerative ailment to begin with.

How prepared are scientists to face the uncertainty of optogenetic therapy?

 

States Can Sue Utilities Over Emissions

| 1 Comment

The article that intrigued me was found on The New York Times website under the science section.  It was titled "States Can Sue Utilities Over Emissions."  I continued to read this article, because it is a topic that I have not actually thought in depth about.  Should states and land trusts be able to sue big power companies for emitting carbon dioxide?  It made me wonder whether our current systems of the judicial and legislative branches are dealing with these issues sufficiently.  As of Monday, September 21st, 2009, a federal appeals court has ruled that big power companies can be sued by the states and land trusts for heavy emissions. 

There are issues to be considered when making a decision that has such an impact on life.  First of all, there is the question of what is the best way to do law?  Do the courts always give a fair verdict and does Congress always pass effective laws?  These questions need to be considered especially when this topic is likely to arise many more times in the years to come.  In the courts, lawyers represent competing interests, but neither side is representing the interests of everyday citizens.  The citizens do not have a say in the decisions being made.  This ruling does not account for the people who will have to pay higher energy costs due to the lawsuits the companies face.  The citizens weren't asked if they wanted to pay higher costs to protect the environment; they were given no say in the matter.  Also, with this ruling, where does the law stop?  Can any company be sued for being a heavy polluter?  If so, can car makers be sued for making gas guzzlers, and can everyday citizens be sued for driving gas guzzlers?  For more public involvement in the decision making process, we usually turn to Congress.  However, in this situation, Congress has deficiencies of its own.  In recent years, Congress has been known for its deadlocked debates and lobbyist control.  In general, the power companies have more money to pay for lobbyists which makes it easier for the industry to pass a bill that would serve their interests more than a federal ruling making an ineffective law at protecting public air.

The judicial and legislative branches are both effective in their own ways.  The courts make very powerful and decisive decisions with little outside interference which protects the rights of some.  Congress is elected by the public giving public input to laws being passed.  Their constituents cover the full spectrum of opinions balancing which opinions are stronger.  The bills Congress pass are usually very broad while very specific tackling a lot of small issues in a single bill.    

The government system has been in place for more than 200 years.  Today, complex issues challenge the power and effectiveness of every branch of the government.  The system of checks and balances has been a successful method of law making in the past.  As proof of its robustness, I believe this issue will be solved through the checks and balances system.  It is clear that not one branch is fully capable of creating a useful law.  In this case, if a law is established that goes to far, the system will restore itself through the use of the other branches.  The same is true for a law that is not effective enough.  In this process, the benefits of all branches are combined together to form a complete picture of the needs and purpose for a law.

Lisa Breuninger

Blog Post 2

| 2 Comments

            While browsing the technology section of The New York Times website, the article "Burst of Technology Helps Blind to See," by Pam Belluck struck me as especially fascinating.  The article is about the project called The Artificial Retina, which is developing technology which could eventually allow people suffering from blindness to be able to read, write, and recognize faces.  There are currently 37 participants involved in the project and all of them are experiencing some sort of visual sensation. 

            The technology involves surgically implanting a sheet of electrodes in the eye.  The person then wears a tiny camera on a pair of glasses, with the camera attached at the bridge of the nose.  The belt-pack video processor, which is worn at the waist, translates the captured images into patterns of light and dark.  "The video processor directs each electrode to transmit signals representing an object's contours, brightness and contrast, which pulse along optic neurons into the brain."  The current images are of a crude nature due to the fact that the implant only has 60 electrodes.  Scientist are planning on testing 200 and 1000 electrode versions that could allow possibly allow enough resolution for reading.  However, there will eventually be a limit to the amount of electrodes implanted.  An electrode count of too high could potentially burn the retinal tissue.  It is important to be very careful that the scientist carefully research how many electrodes can safely be used.

             This issue of safety is a good concern that the public may want to raise in regard to The Artificial Retina.  It is crucial that the scientists don't become overzealous in their attempt to attain, as the article put it, "...one of science's most-sought-after holy grails: making the blind see."  Just hearing it referred to like that makes me question the priorities of the researchers.  Are they more concerned with the overall well being of the blind, or are they only focused on becoming the first to "cure" blindness with technology? 

            Another interesting social component that relates to The Artificial Retina technology is what the attitude towards the technology will be among the blind culture.  There is somewhat of a divide in the deaf community when it comes to the use of cochlear implants that allow them to experience sound.  Many deaf people are very excited about the opportunity to hear, while there are others who believe that the surgery is wrong.  They believe that being deaf is not a crippling disability, but an opportunity to show immense perseverance through an extreme disadvantage.  I am curious to see if there will be any sort of controversy like this within the blind community if these technological advances continue to be successful. 

-          Dan Aleckson

Living Off the Land

| 3 Comments
Caity Durow

The article I chose to read, "Living Off the Land", is from Seed Magazine.  This article seemed fascinating to me because I have always been interested in space exploration.  "Living Off the Land" discusses the technology that can keep astronauts alive while they are in space, could also help with maintaining resources on earth.

NASA, along with other companies, has taken an interest in creating Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) project.  This project is what they are calling the best hope for advanced life support systems.  The objective of MELiSSA is to turn urine, feces, and other wastes into food, water, and air.  The process of turning waste into renewable products in the MELiSSA project, modeled on the ecosystem of a lake, is divided into five compartments, which each has it's own purpose.  The MELiSSA project is currently being tested on forty lab rats, which require about the same amount of oxygen as one adult.  If the experiment proves successful then testing with begin on humans. Scientists are hoping the project works, so it can possibly be applied to earth's ecosystem. 

I have mixed feelings on project MELiSSA, because of the cost.  In a way creating something like this for astronauts to use in space, so they are able to stay and explore a planet for longer periods of time is an excellent proposal.  It also may also lead to another place to live besides earth.  This way, scientists will be able to learn more about a planet in a shorter time frame.  The adverse side would be the cost of having MELiSSA designed, let alone on the spacecraft is a tremendous expense.  Although this is true, as I thought about the cost, it seemed more important to me that creating something to recycle waste and to create a more sustainable ecosystem on earth would be worth the cost.

"Little Lithium Battery that Could"

| 1 Comment

Dan Leach


          One of the most discussed topics among the media over the past years has been the electric car, or hybrid gasoline electric car. Car companies around the world have strived to create the 'perfect hybrid.' Companies like Toyota have manufactured cars from the ground up to be a hybrid car, for example the Prius or Chevrolet's Volt which will be released in 2010. Hybrid cars have advanced over time however, their power source for their electric engine has not. The first generation hybrids used Nickle Metal Hydride batteries. Then development of the lithium ion battery was a breakthrough in its day and is still the most powerful and newest battery technology on the market, however we have not discovered its full potential. Being a country that is so vastly dependent on fossil fuels the further development of the lithium ion battery is crucial for the advancement of the hybrid electric car, the fully electric car and improving our daily lives.


        The article "The Little Lithium Ion Battery that Could" discusses the current R&D into lithium ion batteries and their full potential. The interesting fact is the researchers are taking an already discovered battery technology and tweaking it for better and more effective use. According to the article when a lithium ion battery is discharged lithium ions flow from the anode through the electrolyte and into the cathode. What is being done to improve these batteries is the speed of the flow of ions through the electrolyte into the cathode. What researchers have discovered is if the ions do not enter the electrolyte at the precise angle, electric current is lost. Researchers have then discovered creating nano-tubes that help the ions organize and move across to the cathode at a faster rate, making it possible to discharge or recharge a lithium ion battery in seconds without harming to the battery.

          Researchers have also discovered that this is only one fix for the many problems into creating a technological advanced lithium ion battery. The other is the lithium iron phosphate cathode in which nano-particles are being coated with a thin layer of conductive glass to furthermore make it possible for the lithium ions to be funneled into the cathode at an advanced rate making it possible for faster discharges and recharges. According to this article, this may be the answer to the electric car, but without the nano-technology being incorporated into the future development of the lithium ion battery none of this could be possible.


         This is another instance in which nano technology is being applied to help advance the world we live in. Being a world where the majority is very fuel dependent and creating a type of battery that would point us away from using fossil fuels and creating such a thing as the fully electric car.

        I'm not saying the electric car does not exist, it does, but with a battery known as Sealed Lead Acid and Nickle Metal Hydride, which can weigh ten times as much and produce ten times as less power than lithium ion batteries. Making it only possible for the average electric car to travel 30 mph and only have a 30 mile range in a single charge. Now think of driving down the freeway at speeds of over 70 mph and traveling 300 miles and being able to stop at a recharge station and have the potential to travel another 300 miles in the same time it takes you to fill up your gas tank (some of these super electric cars do exist today but come at a high price and take 4+ hrs or recharging and have a 100 mile range). Think of using the UofM campus connector busses that could potentiality be 100% battery powered. (The current campus bus is a hybrid electric and is also the same design being used by metro transit. However these hybrid electrics are proved to only be 10-15% more fuel efficient in the city compared to full diesel powered busses.) The first step was creating the hybrid electric now the next step is creating a more efficient electric car.   Without the nano-particles being used in the development of the lithium ion battery no further advancements can be made in such a technology. There are many cases in which nano-technology can have more repercussions then there are benefits but in this case, the benefits seem infinite. It it were possible to create and mass produce a super powered lithium ion battery it could very well change the way we go about our daily lives.

By: Michael Lent

http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/the_last_experiment/

          

            Nye's Chapter 8: Should "the Market" Select Technologies? really got me thinking about the idea of the "technological fix" vs. legal sanctions and social norms to prevent the misuse of technology.  Despite our discussion on Friday about Scientism, I feel a manufactured change of ideas or a paradigm shift is really needed to solve one of the most important issues facing us in the 21st century: global warming; it is neither the scientist's role nor the engineer's to enact this paradigm shift but rather that of the social scientist.  That is the argument made by the article I read, It's up to social science to make us act in an environmentally conscious way. But can we trick ourselves into saving ourselves?  For better or for worse, it seems human behavior can be measured, quantified and predicted with a fair amount of accuracy, much like the weather.  If humanity really wants to solve global warming, the best approach should involve a substantial paradigm shift. 

As it stands now, technological fixes are more like duct tape patches put on holes of the hull of a sinking ship; just after one hole is patched, another seems to pop up.  That is to say each technological fix is not a long-term solution and invariably seems to create more problems that need to be solved.  A really good example of an effective, contemporary use of legal sanctions and social norms is the regulation of a community's water supply provided by Nye.  During a time of drought, a community has two options: 1) get more water with some sort of technological fix or 2) regulate the use of water with legal sanctions and social norms.  At some point, the technological fixes will have diminishing returns - unless a future invention can transmute water thereby creating an unlimited supply of water - and asymptotically approach a maximum amount of obtainable water.  After an unnecessary amount of technological fixes, it seems inevitable that eventually legal sanctions and social norms will be required.

            In It's up to social science to make us act in an environmentally conscious way. But can we trick ourselves into saving ourselves?, Elke Weber argues that what makes global warming so difficult to stop is:

 

[It is, she argues,] because global warming occurs slowly; because it is often discussed abstractly and statistically; and because people perceive it as something that will happen far off in the future and in distant lands. The result is that for many people, global warming simply fails to evoke a visceral, emotional reaction. And without powerful emotions, there cannot be powerful responses.

 

Noticeable changes to our planet will happen over generations unlike a drought and therefore, global warming seems more like an abstraction instead of a physical event that is happening right now.  Furthermore, she goes on to say, "If you accept the fact that maybe people worry about it insufficiently, then the obvious conclusion would be: Let's scare them more."  To that effect, American educators should emphasize the effects of global warming in the United States instead of hoping to create empathy by describing what might happen elsewhere.

Another ingenious idea created by sociologists and presented in the essay is the use of glowing orbs and smart meters to make the consumer more aware of their energy consumption relative to their neighbors.  Essentially, the brighter the orb is, the more energy that particular household is using relative to their neighbors and visa versa; smart meters accomplish the same goal but it provides greater quantification.  Taking the concept a step further, the neighbors could be made aware of each other's energy use by having the orbs on top of their mailboxes for example.  This would create a panopticon, where neighbors would be able to regulate each other through social norms and criticism.  So, the role of the sociologist, in this instance, becomes to increase the general public's awareness of their energy consumption and that of their peers.

            Even with a role as important as this and good ideas such as these, social scientists still remain to be taken seriously.  The reason being is that there is a greater public faith in the natural sciences.  In truth, social scientists have a lot to bring to the table to solve global warming.  A more holistic approach must be taken if humanity hopes to stop global warming; technological fixes cannot be the one and only solution.  In fact, maybe they should not be a solution at all due to their short-sightedness.  For social scientists to begin to solve global warming, they first need to advocate their own credibility with the very social tools that they claim work.  Once public faith has been earned, then it can begin to address social issues as important as global warming.

 

Roboethics - Sam Kim Blog Post #2

While reading the article titled, "Rise of Roboethics," I began to realize how fast and how drastically technology is changing everyday.  This article tackles the issue on robotic development and discusses the already exiting problems that have arisen from "primitive" forms of robotics that have already been developed.  Yet, these "problems" that have arisen have not stopped or quenched the need for further robotic development, but rather has failed to slow down the seemingly inevitable.  Robots are being created in human-likeness, not only in appearance, but as well as a mimicry of emotions and false personalities.  Why is the development of artificial intelligence necessary in the world today?  As an individual who will possibly one day have to deal with these new developed issues in the future, due to large companies hope of integrating these robots into society, such drastic steps in technological advancements are a cause for concern.  The most famous and fantasized concern is the rise of a robotic apocalypse, where the created rebel against the creators. 

An imperfect being cannot hope to create a perfect being, especially when the creator is attempting to create something that resembles them to the core.  The desire to create robots as humanly as possible can only lead to future problems.  Already, scientists are concerned with the significant changes that will occur with the introduction of robots into our culture and the impact it will have on our social lives.  The development of artificial limbs and other additional human parts through robotic technology, has indeed benefited many people, yet this has spurred on the idea of attempting to recreate ourselves. Humanity seems to be unsatisfied with their natural appearance, and therefore are attempting to create technology that can fill the gap of their displeasure.  People have become dependent on many past technologies that because of their convenience and popularity, became fully integrated into our society.  Yet, until now these technologies have only required our physical dependence, but the pursuit of further advancing robotic technology now threatens our emotional dependence on technology as well.   

Human dependence on robots has grown as the technology has grown, yet this dependence can only lead to failure.  As we integrate more robotic technology we are making ourselves much more vulnerable to the day when realize that we have grown fully dependent on our own creation.  The convenience that robotic technology is hoped to bring resembles the idea introduced by Nye, of the "technological fix."  Instead of stopping to question the possible harmful affects, of  how such drastic steps in technological advancements can affect society, scientists are more focused on the convenience and the ultimate goal of creating artificial intelligence that lack in any human flaws.

Our societies historical record, when it comes to the integration of popular technology into society and the unforeseen problem that arise once fully integrated, does not help support the development of a technology that can not only cause us to physical grow dependent upon them, but also emotionally.  Although robotic technology is a fascinating idea, such a dependence can only lead to unsolvable future conflicts.  Robots, specifically ones that interact with people, are a perfect technology to become fully addicted to, not only do they provide physical convenience, but also can interact on a more deeper level, making such an addiction and reliance that much easier.  Therefore, if this technology does grow and become integrated into our culture, an attempt to remove robotic technology, if future problems do occur, may be impossible, fun times ahead...  
 



Sheri Pinger Blog #1

| 2 Comments
Daniel H. Pink's 'The Book Stops Here' provides readers a closely scrutinized look at the workings and machinations of Wikipedia; and depicts yet again the seemingly timeless struggle between the elite (in this case, academia) and the common citizens - the legion of presumably under- or uneducated people involved in the continual updating and editing of what may be the most "alive" live encyclopedia available - at any cost).  I found this article fascinating, largely because I am not yet familiar with the editing procedures and am generally clumsy with the whole wiki phenomena, first encountering it now, in a couple of this term's courses, in my sophomore year.  That academia rejects Wikipedia, in its present and evolving "live" form, seems narrow minded and veritably snooty, to me, on one hand.  The other perspective I hold is the complete opposite of the former, that being that I'm wasting my time on a noncredible source of possibly inaccurate information, none of which I can use to further my college education anyway. 

Wikipedia encompasses many times more subjects and informational pieces than do Brittanica or Encarta, in some 75 languages, driving the article count well over the million mark and increasing exponentially.  Any random search performed on Google or any number of other search engines almost invariably pulls up a Wikipedia link very near the top of the results list.   If I complete a search on a subject that is of personal interest to me, I often pop in and see what Wikipedia has to say, but invariably, because my time is valuable and my quest for sound knowledge real, I end up backchecking what I learn at Wikipedia at a credible site.  If I'm working on something school-related, I don't bother opening the Wikipedia link at all.  The U, and probably every other institute of higher learning, has us students all well trained in that regard.  Wikipedia stinks, they proclaim, but the wiki, the shining offspring of the larger beast, is very much alive and well on campus.  It's my guess that the use of the stand-alone wiki application will continue to gain popularity. 

We humans are generally suspicious of change, if not fully opposed to too much of it too fast.  Pink's article included the prognostications of Larry Sanger, an original cofounder of Wikipedia back in the days that it was very young, and called Nupedia.  Sanger, a college professor at present, referred to Wikipedia and the think tank behind it as antielitist, stating that to gain credibility, Wales and the Wiki crew would need to morph their enterprise to allow for academic submissions and reviews.  Sangers comments echoed, in some ways, those of Charles Van Doren in 1962, who believed that the ideal encyclopedia would be more vital, stop being safe; that what was avant garde in 1963 might gain respectability by 2000.  I found myself agreeing fully with Van Doren's perspective; but the rapidity with which Wikipedia has taken hold makes me, and perhaps other "old schoolers" like myself, wary - to the point of skepticism. 

I'd like to learn more about this phenomena called Wikipedia, and without being drawn into the editing and updating clutches referred to as wiki crack in the article.  I believe Sanger may be right when he states that Wikipedia and the people watchdogging it should expect a forking off from the main machine, one designed and carried out by academia.  The challenge in lending credibility to Wikipedia by way of traditional academic means will be the maintaining of a live application, rather than one stifled out of timeliness and pertinence to today's society. 

Phuong Thuy Pham

I am amazed to see how they can associate everything to technology; from the food we eat, to the places we travel, and the music we hear.  The world we live in is enhanced by technology and we cannot escape it.  It is not that we do not appreciate it, but instead, we prefer it to be this way.  We accept it as something natural and is an essential part to function our life.  This topic reminds me of the Visa Card commercial.  In the commercial, everything and everybody runs at a constant speed, such as flipping the burgers.  The pattern they move in is also well organized - getting their food, walking to their table, coming in and leaving the shop; operating like a robot.  The flow of order is disrupted when a customer takes out cash to pay for his food.  People behind him bum into each other and then spill food and drinks.  This commercial is not a replica of our society today but it resembles it.  Our life is structured and is constantly active.  We have a dire need for technology to make it "convenient" and use time efficiently.  Nevertheless, I see technology can be a burden, as well. 

I went to Tanzania last summer for five weeks and relied on less technology than in America.  We were limited to dial-up internet at internet cafes, hotplates running on electricity, TV, sink, cold shower, etc. However, sometimes, they malfunctioned so we had to rely on our skills, such as setting up charcoal grill to cook/boil water.  For other necessities, we did not have dishwasher, dryer, washing machine, and clean water.  We washed our clothes by hands, pumped water through a filter and then boiled it later, etc.  There were definitely a lot of chores and they weren't pleasant and at times, we missed the technology, like washing machine, we had in America.  Many people in Africa, including the staff in the hospital, compared how much we rely on machines to how much they don't because they can't afford it. Though they complain about it, I do not think they have trouble functioning without technology. 

The culture differences between a developed country and a developing country affects how technology plays out.  Africans are able to lead a relatively normal life without technology we are used to because they are accustomed to it.   They do not have most of the technologies we had in our house in Africa, like the hotplates, refrigerator, TV, and wireless access.  In addition, they did not need to filter water and could drink from the lake.  Africans also had less time constraint, could do things at their own pace and were not in any hurry.  When we ordered food at restaurants, it usually took about 2-4 hours to make it.  We were not used to waiting that long and did not know what to do in our spare time.  In contrast, we, United States tend to run school, work or other extracurricular activities on schedule.  Technologies help keep us on track America, we constantly have things to do and need technology to keep us on track.


Keeping up with the Shuffle of Technology

| 1 Comment
Charlie Schiller


How many pieces of technology have you used today?  We probably have all heard that question at least a few times throughout our life.  It can be astonishing to think about how much we rely on technology to get us through our daily routine.  We have become so accustomed to some of the items we use that we almost forget what we previously did to get by.  It has seemingly come to the point where we no longer can avoid coming into contact with something that has been enhanced by a certain technology or person.  Sure we can take a walk by our self in a park and feel like we are escaping the rest of the world, but we are only avoiding some of the enhancement society has bestowed upon us.  The grass is probably going to be mowed, and shrubs will likely be in place to make the park appear more attractive as chapter ten brings up.  Does everything we experience throughout our life have to be organized at some level by a piece of equipment? 

As we advance into the future we just keep adding more and more technology.  If something new hits the market tomorrow morning.  I can assure you that someone somewhere is already looking at a way to alter that given product and make it better by tomorrow night, and perhaps make a dollar or two.  Who dislikes convenience?  No one!  Yes, that's right everyone loves the idea of getting an ordinary task done more quickly and easily.  The only dilemma that we encounter is the adjusting and learning part.  It can be a real chore sometimes to give up something we think we have mastered and move on towards something newer and better that may involve tutoring and frustration.  However, we have to move forward with the technology promptly because else we may get lost in the shuffle of technology in society.  We have to move forward whether we sometimes like it or not.  It may be a job related contact tool that your boss feels will be a better means of communication for the entire company.  Are you willing to risk your job by telling him or her you won't do it, because you like the way things are set up now?     

            Will there always be a need for technology advancement?  Absolutely, we will always be looking for ways to improve our efficiency and general life experience.  We always strive to be comfortable, but at some level we have to become aware of the total costs associated with the luxury we may want.  We have to increase our awareness of what we are doing to our world we live in.  Technology will always change, but we have to be cautious of where we are directing future generations to come.

 

Adam Wichelmann's First Blog

Adam WIchelmann's First Blog

In Nye's novel Technology Matters, chapter ten explores the idea of a "supernature", as described by Jose' Ortega y Gasset.  With the development and advancement of technology, came the "supernature".  In today's world, we are thrown into a technologically immersed society.  Everyday life has been consumed with technology; so much so that we fail to understand the very makeup and operations of the tools we use in everyday.  Cell phones have become an extra appendage and texting has become a new form of communication.  Technology has shaped our reality.  

Nye uses an example of CD's to illustrate how our reality has been shaped into this "supernature".  CD's use technology to create the most enhanced, fluent sound possible.  Actually, they create sounds that are naturally impossible.  Using technology, CD's have encompassed a near perfect sound that can't be duplicated in any concert hall around the world.  Thus, this notion of a CD's unnaturally perfect music perfectly encompasses Nye's idea of a supernatural reality.

Looking at this idea of a technologically shaped reality, one has to ask himself what is reality?  How do I seek it?  It is in my opinion that we should seek out the true reality and escape from this false "supernature".  Explore the outdoors.  Go to a concert.  Although technological advances have been great to our society, I find that this "supernature" we have created has numbed society and taken away from the experiences of life.  Sure CD's have better sound than a live band, but they don't fully encompass the emotion and unique experiences felt by every member in the audience.  In my opinion, this false reality is taking away from life experiences and there is a strong call to nature and it's true reality.

Tetyana Navalyana- Blog #1

Tetyana Navalyana

September 23, 2009

 

            What is science? That has been the top question that we have been trying to figure out since the day one, when we first entered this class. To be honest, I did not know what to expect from WRIT 3152W. But now I know and also never realized how science impacts our everyday lives. It is unbelievable what I have learned from these readings so far.                     

The reading that interested me the most was actually in Chapter 10 in David Nye's book. Nye, in this particular chapter talks about musical recordings and how in today's culture, children listen to their CD's and IPods. "The sound the child enjoys arrives through the mediation of a laser that reads the digital code on the CD and transmits it to the amplifier, which in turn sends a signal to the speakers or headphones" (Nye 191). I personally found this quote to be very fascinating. Since I was born and raised in Ukraine, we always lived poor with no food on the table, no water, and especially no light, since the government turned off the electricity almost every night in order to "save up". It was the worse when they shut off heat, light and water during winter time when it was just freezing and we had to sit by the candlelight covered under four blankets for five hours straight. So when I read this particular quote, it helped me to see how CD's actually work, since I never could afford one when I lived in Ukraine.

 

"For thousands of years, all music except human singing had been produced by complex man-made mechanisms, notably flutes, horns, trumpets, drums, violins, guitars, and pianos" (Nye 190). This also interested me since I have been to many different concerts both here and in Ukraine. I also attended some recording practices since I sing myself as well. It is a little weird to me how people sound different when they sing. When the artist's album comes out, and when we listen, we think that they are amazing singers, but when we attend their concerts for example, they do not sound the same. The reason being is because of all the technology and the music machines that make these artists sound better. Take T-Pain for example. He is a famous R&B artist who has an exclusive voice. But his voice goes through a certain machine that makes him sound real good. When he performs live, there are no machines to help him out on stage, and therefore he does not sound as good.      

 

The videos that we also watched in class changed my opinion about science itself. The third video that we saw on Monday really caught my attention. It was about the polluted environment, and how people keep dumping garbage into the Earth. Pollution was never an issue in our country, since not many people eat out all the time. Mostly people in Ukraine cook meals at home and also do not use plastic plates and forks for one time only. We use regular dishes, wash them and reuse them in order to save our Earth. Also we re-use plastic bags when we go shopping. When I came to America exactly eight years ago, all of it was different. People ate from plastic plates because they did not feel like washing regular plates after dinner, and also food is more wasteful in the U.S. I just do not get why we would use plastic if the technology these days even developed a dishwasher for people who do not want to wash dishes? Why not think before we do something in order to leave something for our future generations?

How active are we in our future? First entry Justin Schwartz

| 1 Comment

Chapter ten, Expanding Consciousness, or Encapsulation in Technology Matters by David E. Nye, raises debatable issues concerning how active we will be in the future. This raises many concerning questions for me. What will happen to the youth when physical education classes are cut so that students can take a computer class, what will happen in the near future when humans no longer need to exercise and instead get all of there pleasures from a "magical" room, will video games, televisions, and computers take away from our physical nature? Also do parents and educators hold the responsibility to steer their children away from technology and out in to the world to find enjoyment? These are all pressing concerns among the many others that we must address.

 

            There is no doubt that technology holds a very important part of our economy and there is no doubt that it should be. Technology provides us with many enjoyments including:  DVDs, the internet, video games, and among other products television. I admit that I enjoy television, video games, and the internet. But, unlike many I was taught to take all of these pleasures in moderation. There is no doubt that in many places in the world, especially in the United States, there is an obesity epidemic. This doesn't just focus on children, but also teens, and adults young and the old. I believe that there is a responsibility to parents and educators to push the youth into being active. This is also a catalysis for the rest of the population to become active. Youth programs require supervision and this supervision would require the activity of adults. We need to keep the physical education classes as part of the curriculum in school. This sets a foundation or platform to interest the population in physical activity instead of sitting in front of a technological wonder and becoming sedentary.

 

            In Expanding Consciousness, or Encapsulation, Nye dives into how we are turning to technology instead of discovering nature. He quotes a far side cartoon where there is a couple standing on the edge of a canyon. The husband says "I dunno. We're just so far up, I think this'd be better on the tube." This goes to show how many have forgotten what it means to become "physically active." Instead of walking further down into the canyon, the couple resorts back to technology in order to gain pleasure. It has become so "naturalized" to resort to technology that many don't care to see the real thing. They would rather see a high definition close up instead of feeling the mist from a waterfall on their face, the canyon winds in their hair, or the sound of trees swinging in the wind.

 

            Another part of this chapter that made me think was when Nye asked the question "where can we go to get away from technology?" This to be is a double edged sword. If a mountain biker goes to the mountain to ride bike he is still using technology that is built into the bike, and if a scuba diver explores the ocean depths, then he is still using technology in his swim wear and diving gear. To me, nature is where we can utilize technology to its fullest, but in a productive way. You are now taking technology to an active level. This type of technology allows one to embrace their adventurous side while living along side technology. When Nye talked about the Grand Canyon and the IMAX, he made me think about why more people aren't embracing their adventurous side. Instead of walking further down the canyon, many people are actually going to the IMAX to watch the movie instead. Granted the IMAX probably brings in large revenue to the canyon, but push the tours to the bottom more. Get people engaged with the park. Offer discounted rates so that people can witness the real deal and utilize their senses.

 

            If we are to become a more active society, we must all become involved. Pushing public recreation programs, pushing volunteer work, making sure that the youth knows how great it can be to embrace the outdoors. Technology is not going anywhere and in fact it shouldn't. Technology is a very powerful force, but we need to take it moderation. If a child likes t play video games, let them play video games, but then push them into public recreation programs as well. Adults need to volunteer, whether it be coaching a team or volunteering at Habitat for Humanity. Technology can help use explore our world, so utilize it. Go mountain biking, going scuba diving, or go hiking. Technology makes these activities possibly so use technology in a productive way.   

Nye

Taylor Nordstrom

In Nye Chapter 10 the discussion on our lives being transformed into almost virtual worlds is something that really needs to be looked at.  Personally I know that I am almost constantly hooked up to technology.  I always have a iphone or something with me that allows me to constantly be looking at my email or listen to music.  At any point someone can also track where I am also due to my cell phone having emergency tracking.  How are we supposed to know that the tracking isn't also being used wrongly by others.

To go along with the music point of not actually hearing a recording of an actual player playing an instrument, there is also the fact that there are very few singers today who actually sound remotely close to what their recordings sound like.  Most of the new top rap singers, or song fillers like Akon's voice's are digitally altered.  I have been to a few live concerts and it is amazing how different the singer sounds, and a lot of times there would be no chance that I would listen to that person if they had not been altered.

The part in the text where people are going to the Grand Canyon and watching a film rather than actually going to the canyon I believe is our society's fault.  Television and movies are making a lot of people lazy and fixed on the digital media.  Trying to avoid this is even challenging.  Personnaly my friends and I go somewhere every year and do something to get away from this whether it be climbing mountains or rafting and I believe everyone should do this to break a little bit of the digital hold on our lives.

Annie Favreau Blog 2: Acupuncture

| 2 Comments

Annie Favreau

WRIT 3152W: Blog Post 2

"Acupuncture: Real or Sham?" SEED Magazine

The topic of the validity of acupuncture interests me because this treatment seems to be a very hot topic in today's society, and it has been prescribed to members of my family.  To me, acupuncture is a supplement to medical attention for an injury or recovery, I classify it in the same category as chiropractic work.  Whether this classification is correct or incorrect, to me both of these practices are used as supplements to the more science based medical treatment.  I am most interested in discovering whether or not acupuncture's results can be adequately measured.  Can science prove that acupuncture has the ability to treat certain ailments?

The article, "Acupuncture: Real or Sham?" examines different test groups for studying the effects of acupuncture.  The first study was on Norwegian women, testing the effects of acupuncture as the treatment for hot flashes during menopause.  In this study, the volunteers were aware of which group they represented, meaning some of the individuals knew they were part of the "no treatment" control group.  This study showed that those women who received acupuncture treatment  experienced fewer hot flashes.  Critics view these results as invalid, because the volunteers knew which part of the group they represented.  Whereas those promoting acupuncture find these results to be very beneficial in gaining support for this practice.  Another argument against this experiment's data is that the results of this study cannot be scientifically measured, instead they are being reported by each volunteer

The second type of research study was conducted with a sham acupuncture control group, where both practitioners and patients believed they were receiving acupuncture.  This study has been used many times over the past years, and shown little difference between the two groups.  In one study using the sham acupuncture control group a difference was observed in brain activity.  The brain activity was changed by acupuncture, but the of reception of pain in the brain did not change. 

These two studies make each individual take a different look at the practice of acupuncture.  The research that is scientifically backed shows that acupuncture does not effect pain receptors or relieve pain, but instead just changes brain activity.  Whether or not this change in brain activity proves to benefit an individual is unknown.  The other type of research shows that when one believes they are being treated with this practice, they believe that results will follow.  I think this research is beneficial to individuals who have been advised to seek acupunture treatment.  For myself and my family, I value the research that is scientifically based.  This lead me to not believe in the healing power of acupuncture.  I think that my argument relates to the reading "Scientism"  which distinguishes between the social science methods of theory and the scientific theory.  This follows the concept that the social context in which people find themselves is a controlling factor in how people behave.  I think this concept explains the results of the first study, and also helps disprove the results.

Google topic

| 1 Comment

Hieu Nguyen

As we discuss a goolge topic last week, as a student i think it is very helpful for me to search for the books throught goolge site because it save a lot time for us. I don't need to spend time driving aground and look for the book, most of us have computer at home, we can easy to go online and search for what we need rather than go to book store or library. Goolge website is the way to connection between the author and the readers. It also is giving direction for us to look for the book for example i can research for which libray or book store have the book and who is the author of the book, where i can find the book, goolge also giving me a little bit information about the book so i can read the book before decide to buy the book. I don't think google need the right to post those books, the reason i say that because goolge post only one part of the book if i want to read the whole book i still need to buy the book, goolge also give us the name of the author of the book, it is not say the book was writing by goolge website but it have the name of the author and much more information about the book so we can buy the book. I think if i write the paper and get a quote from someone, i need to write where is that quote from, and the name of the author so the person who read my paper will understand the quote from someone, i am not the person who write the quote and i am just using the quote  to explain the idea of my paper. Do i illegal to quote from the book? yes if i don't have the resource and the name of the authors, but if my paper including the resource, i don't think it is illegal to do that. Goolge is another way to quote one page of the book so it is not illegal to post. 

Is YouTube Google's answer to its problems?

| 1 Comment

Once I had read "Throwing Google at the Book" by Farhad Manjoo I cannot help but to agree with him and side with Google's effort to digitize the library. As a college student the prospect of all that information at my finger tips is exciting to think about. That said, I don't believe it is right for Google to be able to scan the entire book, post it all on-line for the public to read, and not compensate the author or publisher of the book at all. This project would sky rocket Google's value while leaving the intellectuals that compiled, researched, and wrote these books out in the cold. I believe there should be a way for the public to search Google, find the books and topics they are looking for and in turn the authors would get compensated for their work.

After discussing this in class I found myself wondering how hard it would be to work out a method of payment to the authors for their material that would be searched through Google. After not being able to decide on anything that would really work I went to youtube.com to watch the top-rated videos if the day. Light bulb! Take for example Youtube.com. They pay money to "Partners" that upload videos. The Partners are paid according to the amount of views and the amount of the videos they up load. In order to become a Partner you must prove ownership of the copyright, have thousands of viewers and it must also be an original work. I thought this sounded like a solution to the problem between the publishers and Google Print. Why couldn't Google take a similar approach the digital library as YouTube does with its videos?

If Google tracked what books most often came up in the search or what ones were clicked on for further information I think this would solve the problem between the search engine leader and the authors. This way the library could become digitized and automatically available to billions that seek an easier way to find books they didn't even know about or have been out of print for years. The authors would be fairly compensated for their contribution because they would get paid if their books are looked at and used on-line. Google would also see a rise in their value as a company. This method of payment would appease everyone and the library would be revolutionized by finally becoming part of the World Wide Web!

Lyndsie Kaehler

Where Are We Going? Blog Post #1

The article titled, "Our Silver-Coated Future," by author Robin Henig brought up some interesting issues regarding the development of future technologies and the unknown consequences of these advancements.  Nanotechnology is used as an example to show that scientists are playing with fire by not fully understanding the negative long-term effects that some technologies may cause.  As a person that is immersed within a society that thrives upon the continuous upgrading of technology and the opening of unknown doors by science, it is critical for me to understand where and what specific dangers the future may hold by being part of such a culture.  This particular article helped to remind me that many things that are still not fully understood, are yet used leniently within society without reflecting too strictly upon the future effects, why?   

Why is there such a rush to produce products of technology and science, which are still relatively mysterious, for the consumer?  Although the benefits of nanotechnology are evident in some cases, the article hints that the cons easily outweigh the pros.  For myself, life was sufficient and enjoyable enough without nanotechnology, and that any eventual feeling of convenience may be confused with the belief of something becoming a necessity.  I believe that there is no rush, for not only nanotechnology, but other fields of science as well.  Scientists need the time to establish a much more concrete understanding of specific advancements before introducing it to the population.  The fact that companies tried to hide the use of liquid-silver within their products after previously boasting about its use, shows how untested much of science can be.

The article regarding nanotechnology as well as the digitizing Google and even the growth of Wikipedia show how technology has seemingly made life much more convenient, but what has been replaced for the benefits of these conveniences?  There is a modern day view of pushing onward heedlessly within science and technology, without looking deeply into the issues that may arise in the future.  Such changes can be seen in the way millions of people, myself included, research and how they understand research because of the conveniences of modern day technology such as Google and Wikipedia.  People have willingly come to accept these technologies without understanding how deeply they may affect our society and use it therefore obsessively.  Although Google and Wikipedia are not life threatening, we hope, nanotechnology may possibly be a threat, therefore before such widespread growth occurs greater amount of research may be required. 

What is our true aim with science and technology; do we even know where we are headed?  Simply, after reading the article about nanotechnology I began to ponder about the technological state and growth that is occurring around me for the sake of positive human advancements.  Yet, as I reflect upon the past I try to remember what life was like before I had my laptop, Google, Wikipedia, mp3 player, cellular phone, and most importantly the electric rice cooker, how did I ever live in such a "savage" world?  Life has changed at a rapid pace and nanotechnology has become another step in science that may become the downfall of man or the much needed direction that future advancements may follow, but until then, it would be nice to figure it all out before using it worldwide and letting it become integrated into our culture as a necessity.

Sam Kim

Entry one: Response articles discussed in class - Lilian Keraka

Across the globe, researchers and policy makers struggle with establishing the thin line between the illumination of scientific and so-called non-scientific intervention. Social decision making should involve the inclusion of multiple aspects of a broad range of subject matters. The majorities of these contemplations include issues in relation to: culture, morality, politics and religion. It is essential that observers as well as decision makers take the time to inform themselves on various social concerns, rather than primarily basing their decision processes solely on scientific matters.

Warnock's article suggests that supposed qualified individuals be the ones to decide on what should be considered ethical and/or moral. The audacity of the very thought of this proposal shocks me. Morality is and should always be personal, never inflicted. Take for instance the article about nanotechnology we discussed today in class, despite the fact that the use of nanotechnology has proven to provide valuable therapeutic benefits, science has yet to explore it's implications in the medical arena. Simply put, we don't know much about the phenomenon to begin with! Further studies need to be initiated, and the public needs to be addressed on such matters, in an attempt to decide for themselves if they intend on supporting or participating in such research.

In brief response to Jasanoff's article, I have to agree with the implied fact that in multiple ways, science tends to be narrow-minded. As a biochemistry major, many times I find myself unconsciously dismissing non-scientific ideologies, particularly when it comes to academic thought processes and verbal debates. Admittedly, I find that my love and appreciation for biological chemistry tends to blind me from time to time, despite the amount of information I have acquired during my near-ending undergraduate experience in the scientific world.

Don't get me wrong, I am, and will always be a lover of science; nevertheless, I have always been the kind to acknowledge my multiple interests in various fields of study. Fortunately, the more I educate myself in the non-scientific arena, the more I begin to familiarize myself with its importance, particularly in relation to its contribution to the gradualization of scientific knowledge. It would by criminal to dismiss the impact these subjects have in investigational and experimental science.

 

More Small Communities, Less Big Business

By: Mike Lent

The two articles that have caught my attention in class are "A national ethics committee" by Mary Warnock and "Our Silver-Coated Future" by Robin Marantz Henig.  The reason they have caught my attention is because they have shocked me in one way or another; that can be difficult to do because it is my nature to question the world around me and go against the status quo.  Warnock surprised me with how naïve her idea of a national ethics committee is.  Henig made me realize how uninformed I apparently am.

Warnock does do a good amount of explaining on how the national ethics committee should be kept in check and balance and be useful.  She makes the assertion that it should be highly visible, its members ought to be carefully selected and whose objective is to thwart "mediaeval obscurantism"; however, this is all detrimentally idealistic.  If it is highly visible, it will most certainly be some sort of Zeitgeist endorsing the general morals, sociocultural direction and mood of the era and not some almighty, all-seeing and all-knowing force of Good.  Furthermore, if the members of this group are being selected for the general public instead of by the general public, that sends up a gigantic red flag.  In the end, humanity's corruptibility will prevent it from ever reaching the well-meant intentions of eliminating fear and ignorance.  Instead, it should be up to the citizens themselves to think critically so as to negate fear and wipe away ignorance by informing themselves.

That leads me to the very important topic of nanotechnology that we discussed today in class.  I hadn't the faintest idea any of this was going on.  Cancer is being treated with glass spheres coated with gold no more than 100 nanometers in diameter; silver is being added to many everyday items like computer mice, nail clippers and dog food bowls to kill microorganisms in a similar fashion to how antibiotics seem to be in nearly every bottle and bar of hand soap.  With something so apt at killing microorganisms instead of just bacteria, one would think the government would put more restriction on its use and that is the problem - it is not.  The reason is - as the National Nanotechnology Initiative put it - that this is going to be "the next industrial revolution."  With something as lucrative as that, politicians and lobbyists are most likely being persuaded by big business not to regulate it.

This country needs neither a national ethics committee nor dog food bowls resistant to a million microorganisms.  It needs to build smaller, closer communities and thereby undermine big business to work to eliminate the Zeitgeist in control of most everyone's lives; the more power we give small groups of people over excessively large groups of people, the worse off we all will be.  The reason is that this permits democracy to be taken away ever so slowly until America forgets that it ever was one in the first place.  If this is to be avoided, all Americans must inform themselves, think critically and be more involved with and contribute more to their local community.

First Blog Tony Men

The George Orwell article, "What is Science" was interesting because it made me think about how science has become increasingly complex. He made a lot of points about how science differs from other studies such as liberal arts.  In a sense they are different, but they shouldn't be isolated from one another.  For instance, we also need things like philosophy which help to answer moral questions about science.  We follow scientists into unknown areas in hopes that we learn and observe natural phenomenon in the world.  In our society we hold science in a high esteem but that doesn't mean that scientist are infallible.

 On the contrary, scientists do make mistakes and errors in judgment.  They aren't perfect.  In Orwell's time, with the advent of the atomic bomb, science became a power of destruction. Instead of solving problems science created new ones.  The atomic bomb is long gone but contemporary problems in science still need moral questioning, for example: issues such as stem cell research, cloning, nano-technology, bio-weapons. How can we decide what is right for society? What is important for scientists to research? Do we continue to conduct research in order for science to benefit even though it may be risky, harmful to humans? Where do scientists draw the line? How do we say that enough is enough and scientific research in some areas needs to stop?

 Scientists need to answer these moral questions and they should not be reckless. I think that it is important that the "Two Cultures"- the liberal arts and the science community need to become closer in this day and age because as long as science continues to expand we need to raise these questions before it harms society. Issues in science aren't black and white.  It goes back to the idea that scientist need to morally become conscious of what they research.  What are we using science for? Scientist should not only know science, but also know philosophy. We don't want to make the same mistakes from the past. The gap between the "Two Cultures" needs to become smaller and even overlap. Science can still expand-but do so very carefully.



 

Lisa Breuninger

After reading and discussing Orwell's "What is Science?" and the two cultures, I was intrigued by the statements concerning high school and how they related to me.  Then I wondered, why I was pushed more towards the hard sciences and mathematics while some of my friends were pushed more towards the humanities?  I feel my gender may have contributed to the decisions that I have made about taking more math and science during my high school years.  My high school teachers pushed me to take honors math and science courses as my electives, because they felt I had an aptitude for them.  I believe it was also because I was a girl.  Most of my girl friends decided to take the honors humanities route.  I feel that there is always personal choice involved but that there is also a stereotype about the sciences being populated by men.

The structure of my high school consisted of four years of English, four years of social studies, and one year of art.  On the more technical side of my high school courses, I was required to take three years of math and three years of science.  Many of the colleges I applied to also required two years of a single second language.  The required course load for high school seemed to consist of more humanities courses than the hard sciences.  From a quantitative point of a view, the humanities seemed to be what were more important to be taught during high school.  Of the high school and middle school teachers I remember, many of them earned Bachelor of Arts degrees from relatively liberal education colleges.  I believe this played a part in the humanities being stressed more during my high school years even though I went more towards the hard science courses.  

Personally, I believe the humanities and hard sciences should be equally important and emphasized during K-12 education.  However, I see two conflicting viewpoints on equally emphasizing these courses.  The first viewpoint is that science and math are practical and will prepare you for a world that is becoming more technologically dependent.  The other viewpoint is that not everybody feels comfortable with math and science so forcing them to partake in them may risk their happiness and waste their time.  In the end, it all comes down to personal choice.  There are options to pursue either side of the spectrum.

Annie Favreau Blog 1

In last week's reading, "A New Picture of the Two Cultures" we learned about the history of the strong division between the sciences and the humanities.  I found this argument to be particularly interesting to me because I am undecided on my major, and I am picking between the sciences (kinesiology or physiology) and the communication field (journalism).  Both within this article and when deciding on my major the question comes down to, which field is most beneficial to be used in today's society?  For me, I am also concerned about which area I will be more successful in.  I am taking this course because it combines the two fields.  

In the past there has been much debate over which field was more "prestigious" or consists of people of a higher intelligence.  The sciences have been looked to as the stronger field because not everyone is able to understand their complexity.  To counteract this argument, there was also a point in time when the only individuals considered intellectuals where those who understood Shakespeare.  When we compare these arguments of the past to those of the future, it is still a controversial topic.  Like we discussed in class, it seems as though universities and even high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools strive for a higher performance in the math and sciences department.  In elementary school through high school there was always extra help provided when it came to math.  Through middle school and high school, teachers were recommending students to be on the "advanced math track".  Into high school there was a strong push towards taking the harder math and sciences classes, and eventually taking AP Calc, AP Bio, AP Chem, and AP Physics.  There were never any writing tutors in the elementary, middle, or high schools that I attended, and the only options for more accelerated courses were a select few AP classes, like AP Composition in high school.  When comparing the way that the school systems emphasize the courses, it seems as though the sciences are regarded as more important.  

On the other hand, writing is a skill that is used in schools for every subject.  From elementary school through college, written papers have been regarded as a crucial judge for each student's ability to research and then communicate what they have learned.  I have written music reviews, research papers on scientific topics, case studies on different aspects of social media, as well as reports dealing with controversial social issues.  When you think about the literary studies in the sense of communicating what you have learned from a variety of fields, they seem to have more significance.  

The article brought up the idea of the possibility of a "Third Culture".  This "Third Culture" is the idea that there may not be such a hard line drawn between the sciences and the humanities, but there is a group of people who can serve as middlemen.  The "Third Culture" can be described as the overlap area between the sciences and humanities.  It seems as time progresses, we have found more and more connections between these two different fields, and even found that they are dependent on one another.  The "Third Culture" changes the question of which field is thought to be more beneficial or have the highest level of prestige, because it adds another field to the discussion.

In my opinion I believe the group that is most beneficial to today's society is the "Third Culture".  This group consists of more well rounded individuals that have knowledge dealing with both fields.  Because today's society has become so advanced, we are starting to see more and more connections between the humanities and the sciences.  By valuing those individuals who can grasp both subjects, I believe these people will hold the skills responsible for having  logical thinking ("methods of science"), but will also be able to put their knowledge into perspective and convey the messages to the public.

Lecture and Readings for the past week have made me think of things that I had never thought about or probably wouldn't ever think about.  I had never thought about scientists being praised more than humanists, schools pushing students to pursue more science related classes, or the lack of recognition to humanists.  The readings and lectures on Technologies of Humanity, the writing by Orwell have things that I agree with and some things that I don't agree with.

In lecture we talked about scientists being praised more than humanists.  I agree that that is true.  I also think that science gets more money funded toward their research or the field in general not just because of the cost, but also for the amount of people that have or are pursing a career in a science related field.  Which leads to the next point.  In school I was the student who didn't care for writing as well so when I had to choose electives to fill my schedule, I chose science related classes.  But there were times when I wasn't sure what classes to take and the first classes that the counselor went towards were the math and science department.  I guess my take on this is the fact that there is a large amount career fields, that are very successful, in science that counselors and teachers tend to push students towards them.

Although I do agree with the paragraph before, I do not think that humanities is any less important than sciences.  I think that they don't get as much recognition, when they should.  It was mentioned in the discussion about doctors that can't deliver a diagnosis to a patient or the patient's family, and I have seen that before.  So since that can't deliver that to a person there is usually someone hired than to speak to the patients for the doctor.  But that's not something that I care for.  So this example shows that humanities are just as important as sciences, and they shouldn't be separated.

Caity Durow 

Welcome to our blog

| 11 Comments
This is the site in which you will complete your required blog posts for the semester and comment to your peers' posts. It is important that you use proper communication etiquette when posting here. Also, remember to include your name on each post you make.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.