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November 16, 2007

“Why Men and Women Argue Differently?

The article Why Men and Women Argue Differently ponders the age old question of the differences between men and women. The author, Damian Whitworth, uses peppy language such as robust and pithy, with an intelligent voice that is easy to understand without the arrogant feel you get with many authors. He begins describing a book by Deborah Cameron, The Myth of Mars and Venus, which reads of a situation in Papua New Guinea involving a rather peculiar marital spat. After a woman there apparently falls through the floor in her house, she continues to yell and bitch at her husband for the next forty-five minutes, during which this time, according to the local culture, the husband is expected to be quiet and just take it. The author states that although locally in the United States our arguments might not be quite so explosive, perhaps we too have similarities in that there are broad differences in the way the genders fight. This thought made me laugh. My friends and I had always joked about the way guys and girls fight, not just against one another, but among themselves too. Like stereotypically when guys are mad at each other they yell and fight and get over it; and stereotypically when girls are pissed at one another it just becomes a big emotional mess. Like a wonderful episode of Seinfeld when George and Jerry are explaining wedgies and how high school boys fight to Elaine, she states that boys are sick. “Well what to girls do?,? Jerry asks her. “We just tease someone until they develop an eating disorder,? she replies.

The author describes research by a Dr. Eaker, which essentially says that men like to bottle things up and not talk about their feelings, while women like to confront their partners and don’t mind discussing their emotions. So essentially women are masters with their words, while men tend to be in better control physically. A John Gray, who wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, even goes as far as to call men ‘Martians’, who to avoid confrontation will hide in their cave and never come out. But Christine Northam, a counselor, adds that women are good at withdrawing from conflict too: “They change the subject or rubbish it or cry. Crying is a good one and then the poor man says: ‘Oh my God, she’s in tears,’? she says. She also reaffirms the idea that in an argument women tend to use their words and emotions towards manipulativity and men will resort towards aggression. This to me just sounds too simplistic and stereotypical. Plus she comes off sounding like women are some evil, conniving species who twist their words to get their way, and men are just big neanderthals without the intellect to argue who are only able to resort to violence. Are humans such simple creatures that we can easily be categorized and our actions can be predicted in such ways? I think we all know that one size does not fit all, and people are no different. Like I said before, we like to joke how men and women act differently, but seriously when it really comes down to it, are we really that different? Deborah Cameron, a professor Oxford University, doesn’t think so, “You can’t generalize about men and women. Cultural differences are much bigger than gender differences,? she says. I agree with what she goes on to describe, we’ve noticed little differences in the ways men and women act, and we like to use them as a prop. We think the differences are funny, I mean isn’t the whole idea of the disagreeing husband and wife and the differences between men and women pretty much the staple for almost every sitcom out there on TV? But maybe we take these generalizations too far, and shouldn’t go on to assume people in reality act this way. I’m sure not every guy out there is too stubborn to stop and ask for directions, and not every woman has a borderline obsession with shoes, and it’s the same way with arguing. Sure, some men probably don’t like to confront an issue and talk about their feeling, but I’ll bet there are plenty of women out there that are the same way. We just need to get over our silly little stereotypes bringing girls and guys farther apart that we had in junior high. We’re all adults now, and yes, I’m sure there are plenty of adults still willing to use them as a crutch in their arguments, but there’s no need for us to. We can move on and realize we’re not that different after all, and maybe that will help us with our arguments in the long run--to treat each other as equals, not as a totally separate species.

Why Men and Women Argue Differently

While reading through “Why Men and Women Argue Differently,? written by Damian Whitworth; thoughts of all the relationship that I have seen in my life time merges from my memory. By taking what Whitworth was saying about men being in withdrawal while women tend to be more aggressive and wanting to solve the problem. Through all the relationship that I have seen; what Whitworth said in his article was valid arguments because I personally had seen arguments between husband and wife countless times. Every time that I have witness an argument between a husband; the husband tend to be more aggressive temper wise, but never really want to tackle the issue while wife wants to tackle the issue head on like what Whitworth said.
Wait, but does the data about men and women an argument apply to anyone in the world or does it only apply to the American population. After rereading it-most likely that it applied to most arguments that occurred between husband and wife, or in general men and women because if it didn’t apply to other people other than the American population then the author wouldn’t have mention about the argument between the women and men at the beginning of the article. With the thought that this article does imply to other people other than the American population-I went back and regrouped all the arguments again and found that most or all the argument I witness in the past where basically what Whitworth had said.
Every time I witness an argument the woman always tend to have more saying than the man. And also every time the man always keeps quiet never arguing back on what they thought, but also at the same time never acknowledging what the woman has to say. With all the account that I had witnessed in the past; I found this article very accurate, but it is not always true because there can always be exception to everything.

November 14, 2007

GM Food Scandal

After reading the Dick Taverne article, “The real GM food scandal?, I feel much more informed on the issue of genetically modified foods. This is an issue in which I, frankly, had not taken enough interest, most likely because I do not do the grocery shopping for my family and I trust in my mother’s food purchasing decisions. In his article, Taverne’s objective is to first refute the claim that genetically modified foods are unsafe for consumers to eat, and secondly to show why so many people are so strongly against the genetic modification of their foods.

Taverne cites research studies completed in several countries such as India, China, Mexico, France, Brazil, and the United States that all find that the risk for genetically modified crops to be unhealthy is no greater than the risk for conventionally grown crops in order to refute the arguments of those objecting to the genetic modification of crops. He also acknowledges a 2001 study conducted by a European Union commission and also funded by the EU that recorded that not only is the genetic modification of crops healthy for humans, it is also not harmful to the environment. For those that have realized that a safety argument holds no water, and prefer to argue from and environmentalist stance, Taverne recommends a recently concluded study performed by Graham Brooks and Peter Barfoot of PG Economics. The study monitored the environmental effects of genetic modification in the first ten years of its use from 1996 through 2005, and found that any negative externality genetic modification might have on the environment is far outweighed by its positive externalities. Genetic modification of crops reduces agrochemical spraying, saves, energy, reduces need for fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gasses, and uses land more efficiently. Taverne also argues that traditional methods of modification, in other words cross breeding, is expensive, time-consuming, and is successful much less often than genetic modification. Finally, he shows how many of the people opposing genetic modification are hypocrites because they often embrace this technology for medical purposes. Scientist were able to transfer the human gene that codes for insulin into bacteria and yeast to treat diabetics.

So why is the genetic modification of crops so universally conflicted and disliked? Why would regulations in the US and Europe make entering a genetically modified crop into the market so much slower and more expensive than a traditional crop? Taverne believes the problem lies within the fact that the large companies with resources to enter genetically modified crops into the market care more about financial gain than the overall welfare of the world’s people. The Reagan administration fought to abolish these regulations and convince lawmakers that genetically modified foods should be viewed as simply a new product rather than looking at how it was derived. However, large companies like Monsanto were able to strike fear of new technology to the American public and stave off change. Another contributing factor is the regulation laws being passed in the first place. Rather than provide comfort and security to the American public, they made the public suspicious, they thought genetic engineering must be dangerous if the government feels the need to regulate it.

I agree with Taverne in support of genetic modification of crops because there are scientific studies that have torn apart arguments of health issues and problems for the environment. The fact that a multitude of countries have all performed studies on genetically modified foods and have all come to the same conclusion is enough evidence to favor genetic modification. Another factor leading to my support of genetic modification is that all of the arguments against it are purely speculation. The fact that the opposition has little or no data to back up its arguments is almost as convincing as supporting data.

Michael Arens

November 13, 2007

Why Men and Women Argue Differently-An Article Made Up Of Stereotypes

I read the article, “Why Men and Women Argue Differently,? written by Damian Whitworth from The Times. The first thing that I noticed about this article was that this article was in the Men’s category in Life and Style section. So before I even started reading the article, I was already making assumptions about what this article was going to be about. After reading it through a couple of times, I have mixed feelings about this article. It seems to me that this topic is a pointless one, but being in a relationship and having been in past relationships, I am kind of intrigued by some of the things Whitworth talks about in the article, but more than being intrigued, i am just plain annoyed.

I read the article, “Why Men and Women Argue Differently,? written by Damian Whitworth from The Times. The first thing that I noticed about this article was that this article was in the Men’s category in Life and Style section. So before I even started reading the article, I was already making assumptions about what this article was going to be about. After reading it through a couple of times, I have mixed feelings about this article. It seems to me that this topic is a pointless one, but being in a relationship and having been in past relationships, I am kind of intrigued by some of the things Whitworth talks about in the article.

Damian Whitworth starts the article out with a little anecdote about an interaction between a husband and wife in Gapun. The wife fell through the floor and after blaming it on the husband, he hit her with some sugar cane and then she threatened to chop him up with a machete. The argument ended with the husband leaving and the woman screaming hurtful things at him as he walked away. This example of how couples argue may have been a bit extreme, but it got Whitworth’s point across that all couples argue in similar ways, whether it is “submissive, passive, aggressive, abusive, abusive-passive, aggressive-abusive, submissive-aggressive or submissive-passive-aggressive-abusive.?

After this statement, Whitworth starts giving us research after research about how men and women fight differently, never once stating whether he has an opinion on this particular debate. Personally, I do not think it really matters whether or not men and women argue differently, and I do not think that the ways in which we argue make a difference either. The “evidence? that Damian Whitworth supplied does help one choose a side of the “men versus women? and the ways we argue debate, if one wishes to choose a side.

Whitworth has evidence supporting both sides of the debate, the debate being that men are usually the ones in the fight that withdrawal from it, while women are more vocal. For this side of the debate, he provides some interesting research that has been done that supports this idea. Elaine D. Eaker had her research published in Psychosomatic Medicine, and she found that “more men than women had a tendency to bottle up their feelings during confrontations with their partners.? I thought that US research into marital stress on the heart was kind of a joke. “US research into marital stress on the heart has thrown up an intriguing finding about the way some are prone to “self-silencing? during arguments.? Not to be too critical, but in my opinion that is just common knowledge. There are some people in the world that just are not capable of confrontation, while on the opposite end of the spectrum there are “drama-queens? and “drama-kings? who live for the chance to fight. The idea that people are wasting time and money researching something that everyone in the world knows, or at least most people in the world know, is just annoying to me.

The other side of the debate is that women are capable of the “withdrawal technique? too. The argument for this is completely lacking fact or research offered by Christine Northam. “’They change the subject or rubbish it or cry. Crying is a good one…’? Being a female who does not cry every time or even a third of the time she gets into an argument with her significant other, this “evidence? really gets on my nerves. It is completely ridiculous to make a generalization about all women when in fact there are a small number of women who fit into this category. Some more information that Northam provided is about the way that men and women argue. “‘Men tend to resort to aggression very quickly, whereas women are more manipulative and try and present a problem and go on and on about it rather than being succinct.’? This seems to be just more stereotypical information that most men and women have babbled about throughout the years. This so-called debate is not really a debate; it is just “experts? spouting off the stereotypes that cause controversy between the sexes.

The only “evidence? that I actually agree with was given at the near-end of the article and is not in fact evidence, but a very sound opinion by Deborah Cameron. “’You can’t generalize about men and women. Cultural differences are much bigger than gender differences. You need to specify what culture and what community within that culture.’? This is the most intelligent information given to Whitworth’s readers in the entire article. This “debate? is a ridiculous topic and should not be researched anymore. There is no way to get realistic results from research on this subject. It is just not possible, and I think that the people who are researching it should stop wasting time and money on a pointless project.

November 9, 2007

Students getting dumber?

When I read "American kids, Dumber than Dirt" I thought to my self what is intelligence? Is it just reading writing and arithmetic like my grandparents say? I don’t think it is. When you think of the way kids write it is almost like they have their own language like lol, brb or ttyl. It does not make a lot of sense to an older person because technology has been such a great influence on the kids today. Some of the kids are so intrigued about video games that they take a look how the games work and become designers in the computer industry.
When this Oakland school teacher gets older the world changes around them but the material in the class room stays the same. Their is not a whole lot of change when it comes to writing papers or doing math problems but what changes is the experience with the preciseness of what he is teaching. Students rely on their computer to check for spelling or calculators to check their math. Even when they work at a fast food restaurant or at the lumber yard they don't use the pen and paper they use computers and the computer due the work for them. It isn't because they don't know how it’s because the computers can be more accurate and faster. When computers are more accurate and faster why wouldn't you use them? This is why schools should have more computer classes to get the most out of each of your computers.
I agree that kids need to go out and play more. It isn’t because they lack imagination it’s because they need the exercise. Kids are just as imaginative as ever the only thing is they have more tools to do this inside. If kids go outside and run, jump, skip and play they become better physically and emotionally because they will spend time working on social skills that they would not learn if they were inside.
I think social skills are another thing that gets missed when kids spend too much time inside. They don't know how to act with fellow kids. They tend to sit by themselves to shy to say anything to anyone because they realize they are bigger than other kids or they are smaller or they have a different skin color. If kids go out and play they then can see that we are all the same and we can get a long with each other. When you have social skills you can then learn to deal with problems and deal with them in a civil manor.
I think that when people go to college to get their degrees they tend to go into something that they are interested in like technology or if they are interested wildlife or natural resources. This is a reason some of the more practical classes can be the most beneficial. The cooking classes Agriculture classes or the shop classes can be the most beneficial by installing common knowledge that once was instilled by your parents is now going to be installed in the classroom. This is where some of the classes need to be geared to so people get the proper education of the world around them.

November 8, 2007

American Kids: Dumber than Dirt

My first reaction to this article actually came before I even read the first paragraph of the article. It came when I read the extended title which read, “Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history.? I read this and was shocked. All I could think was whoa, how could someone say that about me, my friends, and this generation of kids that I am in. What evidence do they have to back this statement up. This extended title is really the reason that compelled me to continue reading this article.

I used Google to search for Mark Morford, the writer of this article, to get some information about him. I was directed to Wikipedia. On Wikipedia I found that Mark Morford is a very controversial writer. He is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Morford writes about various topics including sex and deviance to popular culture, technology, music and politics. He has actually been suspended twice, once for a comment he made in one of his writing about on a sexual relationship between a teenage male student and an older female teacher and the other time he got suspended for using a swear word in an email news letter.

One thing that a have a problem with is this paragraph:

Nor does he speak merely of the notion that kids these days are overprotected and wussified and don't spend enough time outdoors and don't get any real exercise and therefore can't, say, identify basic plants, or handle a tool, or build, well, anything at all. Again, these things are a given. Widely reported, tragically ignored, nothing new.

This bugs me mainly because I think it is very untrue. Maybe it might be how I was raised or where I am from compared to Morford’s informant from Oakland. I grew up in Cub Scouts and later entered Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts taught me a lot about the things mentioned in the above paragraph. I know a lot of people through Boy Scouts and know that a lot of people participate in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from the camps I went to and seeing how many people were at these camps. Earlier in the article it also talked about kids watching too much TV and playing video games. I played a fair share of video games and watched a lot of TV when I was a kid and I am pretty sure I turned out all right. I am attending a major research university after all.

“It's gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country.? For me this is not a very good reason for someone to leave the United States and there are some very good reasons to leave the United States. For example, not agreeing with the United States government and issues going along with the government is a much better reason to leave the United States to go live somewhere else.

The last part of Morford’s article gives reasons why he thinks that American kids are getting stupider. His first argument blames the educational system. From my experience in the public education system where both of my parents taught, I did not think my schooling was that bad. Sure if you did not want to be there let’s face it, you were not going to learn anything. To be taught something one must moderately apply themselves while doing it. After pretty much saying the educational system in the United States sucks, he goes on about how America’s young people have done some great things. For example, he gives the example of kids making the internet what it is today. Morford then wonders how these kids did it. How did they escape the public school system? Morford’s friend came up with saying that those kids were lucky.

As I said before school is a state of mind. You either want to be there and learn or you do not want to be there and you most likely will not learn. This last part of the article I thought was thrown in there by Morford to make himself sound not as harsh towards Americas youth. That is just the way it sounded to me.

Magic and Photography: Once Well Kept Secrets

How can we manipulate pictures? Pictures can be manipulated to protect people, persuade people, and eventually to make people talk about what “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, and did happen?, as the infamous Carrie Bradshaw and friends would state.

When I saw that The Christian Science Monitor did a video on Digital Forensics: Spotting Photographic Fakes in the Media, I was excited. I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do along the lines of why and how a magician never reveals their secrets—unless you are the Masked Magician of course. Of course when I say that I mean that we, the public, are not suppose to know the secrets of these fake photographs. The first photograph they examined was a photo over a city in Lebanon. The picture shows the town covered full in smoke—the product of an Israeli attack. Evidence came to surface shortly after this photo was published that it had been a product of photographic manipulation. Propaganda might have contributed to the undermining thoughts of why the artist made billows and billows of smoke rather than just leaving the one puff all by itself.

The second photographic fake looked at was a sea of soldiers with a little boy of the top of his dad’s shoulders, waving an American flag high up in the air. What we don’t see is a podium with George W. Bush standing behind it. Even better yet, we can see the soldiers, but we don’t see the sea of soldiers standing behind him, because he isn’t even there at all. Mr. President was erased from the picture as if it was to make a magical scene and make it seem like the boy is more than elated to be in the presence of his American heroes, even though this might as well be true.

The last and final picture was in Star Magazine, when classic romance rumors started to flourish about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. From first glance we wouldn’t notice, nor would we care if the picture was a fraud or not. I know for a fact that I never look at the shadows of people on the beach on the front cover of magazines. However, maybe I should start. Why don’t we care? Maybe because for one, its Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt. It’s not like our best friends in high school-- which by the way would make for a much better, and easier story to believe. And two, it’s a tabloid, what can be true in those gossip magazines? The truth is that gossip tabloids almost always correct—with a few mistakes here are there. Luckily for celebrities because these tabloids have such a bad reputation, when some bad press comes out against them they can easily claim it being false.

As I researched through the Sacred Heart Spectrum, I found what I always knew. Tabloids usually have their facts straightened out before publication in fear of being sued for millions of dollars by angry celebrities. Pictures will be tweaked, but stories will be true. Yes, even the ones that say “UFO’s found in New Mexico!? That’s the point; they put aliens on the front cover, knowing you’ll be like no way, that picture and story is way too fake, thus leading you to buy it just to see what they might have to say. The fact is that just because the cover showed aliens, and you read ‘UFOs’, doesn’t mean that aliens were found in New Mexico. It usually means that something, unexplainable, something dumb and what might seem like a microscopic deal to society, was found flying over New Mexico—not an alien—nevertheless an unidentified flying object.

As I connect the stories we read earlier from Errol Morris and the pictures from Abu Ghraib, I can clearly see why people changed photographs, and if we have the technology and the willing, naïve audience to believe us, we might as well use them to our full advantage to get our point across. Even if that means that if we were ever once the ‘naïve audience’, we would understand why we were tricked because now we see why we were played like fools because the ‘photographic magician’ revealed his secrets.

November 7, 2007

Polygamy in America

Courtney submitted this video for position statements/responses. Have a look.

Wee R Stoopidz

After reading the “American Kids, Dumber Than Dirt? article, I found several problems with the author’s argument. From a conversation solely between him and his teacher friend, Mark Morford claims that “kids these days are overprotected and wussified and don't spend enough time outdoors and don't get any real exercise and therefore can't, say, identify basic plants, or handle a tool, or build, well, anything at all?. Morford makes the mistake by assuming that his readers all agree with him, and therefore provides little background to his claim. He goes on a ramble about the education system and its lack of direction, and believes the enhancement of technology is responsible for the supposed shortcomings of education in children. Teenagers are apathetic and will not aspire to anything, nor do they appreciate their opportunity to free education that our country graciously provides.

Being of this generation, I have witnessed the degradation of education in the school system. I graduated from Park Center Senior High in Brooklyn Park, which is notorious for its high turnover rates and lack of funding in education. My graduation class was over 60 percent minority students- about 30 percent black, 20 percent Asian, and 10 percent other. Park Center’s sister school, Maple Grove Senior High, is vastly disproportionate in their account for minority students. With a 90 percent white student population, the state of Minnesota has reduced the Osseo School District’s funding as a punishment for their draw-up of district boundary lines. With a reduction in school funding, Park Center would seem to have a much more poor education compared to other homogenous areas within Minnesota. However, I do not believe it is solely the school system’s fault for the failure rate in education, but has to do more with the families of children in the current school system.

I believe there are many factors that help children decide their beliefs in the value of education. For my high school, it seems that the ultimate goal was to educate students and only prepare them for a high school diploma. Only one year of math, science, and social studies was required in order to graduate from my school, which means that a student can get away with taking Integrated Math I, receive a D-, and still graduate. At my commencements, many of the parents were ecstatic that their child actually walked with the class!

I took several honors and ‘High Performance’ courses throughout high school. My classmates were the same from class to class; all white, middle class students from seemingly stable families. Sadly, I had little interaction with students that were not in my honors classes. The other kids, unfortunately, were mostly the minority students who took the most rudimentary classes in order to graduate. I feel that the educational system at my high school was a huge letdown for the overwhelming minority population. These kids, along with several underlying issues I’d assume, had little to aspire to in the scheme of education. Because of the increasing acceptance of the notion that “some kids just can’t learn like others?, as depicted in the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’, it encourages school officials to believe that kids are really just becoming more stupid over time.

I’d like to argue that children are not becoming more “stupid?, or any less intelligent than the generation that has instructed them. It would be difficult for a child to aspire to become something more than a janitor if their family is unsupportive, neglectful, and uncaring of their child’s education and dreams. Because of this, I feel that blaming our educational system is a scapegoat for parents who are not willing to spend time and teach their kids outside of school. I also believe that many of the basic skills I’ve acquired were not learned in a classroom. I am thankful that I have parents who were willing to read with me and teach me skills that any three year old should know how to do prior to kindergarten. It’s not that children are incapable of learning; it’s just a matter of how well-trained and supported they are by their loved ones. It does not take a genius to figure this out!

To summarize this article, I found a quote that reveals much of Morford’s argument:

"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint" -Hesiod, 8th century BC

To me, it makes me feel better knowing that this claim has circulated since the beginning of time. It shows that many of us identify with the intelligence of our ancestors, and may also want us to believe that those from other countries are obviously much more intelligent than us.

Therefore, I should not be writing more of this. I’m gonna go watch some YouTube and melt my tainted mind some more.

November 4, 2007

The Arrogant Artist

Where does one draw the line between an idea that was influenced by someone else’s work and an idea that was “stolen? from its originator? I found the situation between the artist, Christian Marclay and the iPhone company rather comical and, overall, surprising.

My first confusion accumulated when I read that iPhone courteously asked Marclay if they could build off of his idea. I would have thought that such a massive conglomerate would not have even considered asking Marclay if they could use his “idea.? It seems that the IPhone Corporation may have just been attempting to eliminate any potential lawsuits that Marclay may have gathered. But even that does not make sense because the iPhone company used the idea anyway. I think it showed civility from the iPhone company to ask Marclay if they could use his broad idea that had a gray area when it came to defining the original artist; they obviously were not concerned about lawsuits, but they at least asked.

It seems like Marclay took advantage of the fact that iPhone ultimately considered the “Hello? medley from various movies as his idea. I would assume that Marclay would not even consider the iPhone ad a plagiarized version of his work if iPhone had not asked for his permission. Marclay acted stubborn and arrogant to refuse to give permission to the company to recreate a collage of movie clips. Marclay portrayed an immature action when he refused to let iPhone use “his? idea. This situation reminds me of an event when I was younger. My little sister looked at a picture of a person that I drew, she complimented me on the way I drew the person’s eyes, and then she constructed a picture using the same eyes that I incorporated into my painting. It happens. People get influenced by certain things and have the right to renovate and advance the idea that motivated them. That same idea was represented by Marclay’s lawyer when he wanted to persecute the iPhone company, “’there’s nothing I can do about it. They have the right to be inspired’? (Bercovici).

One does not credit nature for being the drive and motivation for the work of practically everything inspirational. We just respect it – just as the iPhone company did when it asked for Marclay’s permission even though the act was unnecessary. I am glad that iPhone countered Marclay’s refusal. Marclay of all people should understand the aspect of being inspired by other people or other already-established ideas. His entire career consists of borrowed sounds; he even says aloud that he influenced by the “sounds that people don’t want? in Telephones (Bercovici). Marclay needs to relax; he is not the first person to integrate mixed music or specifically cut videos into one’s work. People have been utilizing all different types of objects to get a particular noise for a movie or mixing music on turntables far before Marclay came up with his “unique? form of art with abstract noises.

My second confusion was how Marclay contradicted himself when he spoke about lawsuits. He first spoke to his lawyer about filing a lawsuit against iPhone, but he was shot down by his own attorney after he said that people have the right to get inspired. The lawyer probably laughed in Marclay’s face because Marclay was upset about iPhone’s supposed “rip-off.? Marclay then says that he is not fond of the idea of going to court over a dispute like that, “’This culture’s so much about suing each other that if we want to have anything that’s more of an open exchange of idea, one has to stop this mentality,’? (Bercovici). Hmm, Marclay, I thought you just tried to file a lawsuit but your lawyer told you that you couldn’t.

Marclay has no reason to be complaining. He extracts noises from musical tools that have already been used for a melodic purpose. He must have been influenced by disc jockeys and turntables to create his artwork; he is contradicting his own work by persecuting the iPhone company. He needs to be consistent in his statements. He tried to file a lawsuit, but it failed, and then he comes up with an excuse for why he is not going to sue the major company. If the iPhone company did anything wrong, it was asking permission from Marclay to use “his idea.? The commercial’s “Hello? idea was too broad to specify one particular artist. Ultimately, all people are influenced by something or someone at one point in their lives. We all build off of each other’s creativity or even the creativity that exists in nature. If we did not do so, nothing would get done. As long as it is not a lucidly direct copy of someone’s work, it should be grounds for inspiration.

Works Cited
Bercovici, Jeff. RadarOnline: Artist Says IPhone Ad Was a Rip-Off. 27 March 2007. 3 November 2007 .

November 2, 2007

Are we moving too fast?

In her article Finding Time The fast, the bad, the ugly, the alternatives, Rebecca Solnit deliberates her opinion about the fast paced, industrialized world we live in today. She brings up several different topics such as the loss of personalization the internet has caused. And the deficiency of time when people commute to their high paying jobs.

Solnit’s four main culprits of loss of humanization today are; efficiency, convenience, profitability, and Security. Together these four are making us more and more like machines and less and less human.
Today in the industrial, economic America, efficiency and convenience are most important to our fast paced lives. One of the examples she uses in her article is the buying of a book. Web sites such as amazon.com are fast, and efficient. We basically have to press a couple buttons and we have bought a book. But there is something lost when we don’t even leave our room to purchase a book. Solnit states that, “The virtual version rips out the heart of the thing, shrink-wraps it, sticks a barcode on, and throws the rest away?. We cannot grow from what we already know, and we cannot go beyond what we know when searching online. When we go to a book store, we have to opportunity to explore other options. We will see a whole store of books we never even hear about. Same goes for the example of using a treadmill instead of walking outside. Yes, it may be convenient but what about fresh air, the leaves turning colors and flowers blooming, or people we may meet on the way. I entirely agree with these two arguments. I go to bookstores quite often. Usually not to buy a book, there is just something about the environment that I love that I can’t find on a web page.
Her third topic is profit. Americans live off of competition and profit. The media today is one of the main offenders. Bigger and more is better. It has imposed in us a mentality that we always need more. We are no longer satisfied with a home and a car. We need the cottage, speed boat, and platinum television. This need for more is causing an immunization to limited time with family. Children are becoming used to rarely seeing their father. And in the modern world, many times their mother as well. Money may not be the route of all evil, but it is quickly becoming the route to depersonalization.

Solnit is showing us what many cannot see. America is moving too fast. As a college student I don’t even have a job right now. But between classes, homework, and other obligations, I rarely have time for myself. It is all about competition, making it to the top, and if we slow down for a second we may never get there. I believe that we would all agree that we should slow down, take a trip to Hawaii for a couple weeks. But we all dread what we would be coming home to. We cannot survive getting behind, it just isn’t practicable.

Solnit explains that it is all in the language. The way the media, our professors, our bosses, or our peers tell us what is best for us. Much of what is said is about things, material things that we can purchase. But that has very little to do with what makes a human a human. The objects that we cannot describe are what separate us from all other creature, such as Emotions, relationships, compassion, and forgiveness. These are things companies cannot advertise, that people cannot purchase in a store. And these could quite possibly be the most important part of our existence.

The main idea that I got from this article was to just slow down. Take a breath, look around and see all the wonderful things in my life that have nothing to do with competition or material items. In light of Thanksgiving coming up, we should think about all the things in our lives that we are thankful for. And don’t forget about the language that many times cannot be spoken.
molly murphy

November 1, 2007

The Onion

Although I find The Onions headline disturbing and very inappropriate, I still think that it’s very affective in getting the reader to pick up the newspaper. I guess readers tend to want to read more about tragedies more than wanting to read about happy events. This could be because of the culture of fear. The culture of fear is defined as a term that refers to a perceived prevalence of fear and anxiety in public discourse and relationships, and how this may affect the way people interact with one another as individuals and as democratic agents.
By reading about the fearful events, or events that are of disastrous then it feeds into and in a way it reinforce the idea that if this event of fear is happening then therefore it must be happening ever where else as well. Barry Glassner a sociology professor at Washington University said that in our society American is afraid of the wrong things because of the media and this article demonstrate so I what it is saying. By setting their headlines and by writing about misfortune they are creating the culture of fear that Glassner is talking about through the media.
Although I believe that in our society without newspaper such as The Onions, many American wouldn’t know what to do. For example without the newspaper such as The Onion American would not know about the plain truth about the seriousness of the issue therefore it’s a good thing that The Onion can create such headline to appeal such serious event, but at the same time I think that it’s also doing so harm too. By that I mean harm such as feeding fear to the public. By just constantly writing about misfortune The Onion is implying that there is only misfortune in the world and there isn’t any good thing that happens in the world. Although The Onion is feeding the culture of fear at the same time it is getting the truth across therefore it’s both a good and a bad thing.
I personally think that what the Onion is doing is a good thing because it is giving the plain truth out so that the readers are aware, but at the same time I think that their headlines are too disturbing in a way. Although the headlines may be as disturbing as it is; if the headline can carry the message across than it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable the headlines maybe use it.

Finding time

When reading the article finding time I wondered what is the plan of the article? Is it to show us that we are lazy? Is it to show us that we want to find a way to get things done faster? I decided after reading the whole article it was about how people are loosing their social skills.
The article starts talking about music and how you do not even have to meet someone to collaborate on an album. This is a problem with me because I was in the orchestra and music is a big part of my life. I think music is about feelings and without knowing the feelings you can not understand the true meanings. I recently seen on ESPN that a couple of journalists were debating whether what was harder conducting an orchestra or managing a baseball game and since it was a sports station one guy has to take the side of baseball and be the total jock that does not understand why conductors are important. He said the conductors are not even needed in the orchestra because the notes are written down in front of them and they know how it is to be plaid. I think this is a bunch of malarkey because the conductor is very important. Each conductor has different interpretations of each music piece they can add crescendos and slow the beat down which can change the piece of music drastically. This is why when you think that people can collaborate on music without talking to each other is not going to work because they will have different interpretations of the music. Most people do not understand this about music and does need to be understood.
This continues in the argument that people need to stop relying on technology because it is hurting people and their social skills. Have you ever meet someone that lacks the social skills to hold a conversation? Usually this person is someone who sits at home and finds time to be by themselves. They either spend time on the computer or reading in the corner of the lunch room by themselves. I am not saying they are not nerds or lame people, but I am saying is that they find it easier to be in fantasy land imaginings themselves away from where they are now because it is easier to understand. They are not accustomed to dealing with people and dealing with problems with others and this takes practice. Even I lacked the social skills because I lived on a farm and I had to be home to do chores but when I discovered sports and got a job in the food service industry I developed social skills because I was constantly working on them. With technology today people would rather play in the house on their play station or watch TV. This is hurting our society because we lack the social skills of a developed country.
Other countries tend to spend more time with their families going on vacations and visiting family in other cities. They also find time to pay for what they need and work less then typical Americans. This is because they do not find the need to have multiple homes and cars because it is not what they value. Even though Americans work more than the people in Europe they tend to view Americans as lazy and that is because we want it faster and easier with fast food and one hour photos and so on. This does affect us in our social skills and that is something we need to fix.