Thursday, March 26, 2020
Was Socrates Wise About God? Mary Garofalo Fr. Mohr October 18, 2000 Socrates's Wisdom of God In this paper I will attempt to define, for the reader, the true meaning of wisdom and all of its parts. I will try to explain knowledge and the knower versus the known. I will also, attempt to explain exactly how a person comes to be considered wise, as Socrates was. So, in truth, explain the Socratic method. Hopefully, by the time the reader has finished this paper, he/she will have a good grasp on my own opinion of Socrates and also, have a grasp on the definition of wisdom and how it applies to Socrates. I will accomplish theses tasks by using the works of Plato, the Apology, the Crito and the Phaedo, in hopes to prove my point. What is wisdom? The literal meaning, or etymology of the word is rooted in the Indo-European words such as weid, woid, wid meaning, ?to see?. The etymology of wisdom also can be seen in the verb ?wit? from German, which means, ?to know? (Mohr, 3). So, the etymology is too see and to know. This is the definition I will expand on. Wisdom is a type of seeing. Seeing means that the seer and the object being seen are united. This union of the seer or knower and the known or seen is Knowledge. Knowledge can be in relation to virtually anything where there is a union of the knower and the known. One can be the knower of Biology and he knows about life. He has knowledge about life. One can know psychology and have knowledge about the human psyche. But my question is, are the Biologist and the Psychologist really wise Or do they only have one type of knowledge on one select subject? Take this analogy for example. A person may have a complete understanding of how to ride a bicycle. They know a ll of the laws and the mechanics and the physics of the entire concept of riding a bike. But they have never tried to ride it; to experience it (class notes). Do they have wisdom of how to ride a bicycle? I believe wisdom is knowledge, most definitely. But, it is not that simple. I believe that in order for one to be considered wise, one must have more than one type of knowledge, such as the person who knows how riding a bike works. That is what is called theoretical knowledge. There are two types of knowledge. Theoretical knowledge is the knowledge of how the fundamental laws of a situation (such as riding a bicycle) work. There is also a second type of knowledge. That is practical knowledge. Practical knowledge by definition is, a knowledge of how to do something or life experience (for example, being able to physically ride a bicycle). So, again I ask, what is wisdom? Well, one part of my own definition is that wisdom is knowledge of the practical as well as the theoretical. It is life experience as well as being able to understand and appreciate the laws and mechanics or fundamentals of a situation. Another aspect I believe is essential to wisdom is the ability to constantly question one's surroundings. I believe that it is absolutely essential for one to first doubt, then question, then communicate ones thought. In this method, it is the main objective to constantly search for the truth in every situation. The last aspect that I believe is necessary to embody wisdom is a little more difficult to explain. It has to do with the statements above, as in the constant quest for truth. To legitimately be on a quest for truth one must do the following: First, question themselves. By doing this, they will have the ability to know themselves. In order for one to know him/herself, one must have knowledge of God's existence and ever-presence. By knowing one's self and by knowing God, one will have a conscience, which will be the element of good judgment, decion making and purity of motives. Now, the initial question that has been argued for ages, was Socrates wise As I had stated previously, to be wise is to know one's self, to know god through questioning,
Friday, March 6, 2020
Why You Shouldn't Trust Homeschooling Statistics When arguing the pros and cons of any issue, its usually helpful to have agreed-upon facts on hand. Unfortunately, when it comes to homeschooling, there are very few reliable studies and statistics available. Even something as basic as how many children are being homeschooled in a given year can only be guessed at. Here are a few of the reasons you should take any facts and figures you see regarding homeschooling - good or bad - with a grain of salt. The Definition of Homeschooling Differs Would you consider all these children homeschoolers? A child enrolled in a virtual public charter school who does all schoolwork at home.A child who spends part of the week in public school classes.A child who homeschooled some years but not others. When it comes to counting heads and drawing conclusions, its important to compare apples with apples. But since different studies use different definitions of homeschooling, its hard to know if studies are actually looking at the same group of kids. For instance, a report from the National Center for Education Studies, part of the U.S. Department of Education, includes students who spend up to 25 hours a week - five hours a day - attending classes in a public or private school. Its hard to equate that experience to that of a child who has never sat in a classroom. States Dont Keep Complete Records of Who Homeschools In the U.S., it is the states that oversee education, including homeschooling. And each states laws on the matter are different. In some states, parents are free to homeschool without even contacting the local school district. In other states, parents must send a Letter of Intent to homeschool and submit regular paperwork, which can include the scores of standardized tests. But even in states where homeschooling is closely regulated, good numbers are hard to come by. In New York, for example, parents must submit paperwork to the school district - but only for children within the age of compulsory education. Below the age of six, or after age 16, the state stops keeping count. So its impossible to know from state records how many families choose to homeschool kindergarten, or how many teens go on from homeschooling to college. Widely-Quoted Studies Are Biased Its hard to find an article about homeschool in the national media that does not include a quote from the Home School Legal Defense Association. HSLDA is a nonprofit homeschool advocacy group that offers legal representation to members in some cases involving homeschooling. HSLDA also lobbies state and national legislatures to present its conservative Christian viewpoint on issues regarding home education and family rights. So its fair to question whether HSLDAs studies represent only its constituents and not homeschoolers from other walks of life. Likewise, it seems reasonable to expect that studies by groups in favor of or opposed to homeschooling will reflect those biases. So its not surprising that the National Home Education Research Institute, an advocacy group, publishes studies that show the benefits of homeschooling. Teachers groups like the National Education Association on the other hand, often release statements criticizing homeschooling simply on the basis that it does not require parents to be licensed teachers. Many Homeschooling Families Choose Not to Take Part in Studies In 1991, Home Education Magazine ran a column by Larry and Susan Kaseman which advised parents to avoid taking part in studies about homeschooling. They argued that researchers could use their school-based biases to misrepresent the way that homeschooling works. For instance, a question about how many hours are spent teaching implies that parents should be sitting down with their kids doing desk work, and ignores the fact that a lot of learning happens in the course of everyday activities. The HEM article went on to say that academics who conduct studies often come to be regarded as experts on homeschooling, by the public and sometimes by homeschooling parents themselves. Their fear was that homeschooling would come to be defined by the measures looked at in the studies. Along with the issues raised by the Kasemans, many homeschooling families dont take part in studies to preserve their privacy. Theyd simply rather stay under the radar, and not risk being judged by people who might disagree with their educational choices. Interestingly, the HEM article came out in favor of case histories. According to the Kasemans, interviewing individual homeschooling families to hear what they have to say about their educational styles is a more effective and accurate way to provide data on what homeschooling is really like. Many Scholarly Studies Are Stacked Against Homeschooling Its easy to say that most homeschooling families are not qualified to educate their own children - if you define qualified to mean certified to teach in a public school. But could a medical doctor teach her children anatomy? Of course. Could a published poet teach a homeschool workshop on creative writing? Who better? How about learning bike repair by helping out in a bike shop? The apprenticeship model worked for centuries. Measures of public school success like test scores are often meaningless in the real world, as well as in homeschooling. Thats why demands that homeschoolers submit to more testing and studies that look at homeschooling through the lens of traditional schooling can miss the true advantages of learning outside a classroom. Homeschool Research to Take With a Grain of Salt Here are some links to research on homeschooling, from a variety of sources. Number of Homeschoolers by State: Updated listings by Ann Zeise from A2Z Homes Cool.The International Center for Home Education Research: Formed in 2012, this group says it provides nonpartisan information about homeschooling.Education Week Homeschooling article: Overview from 2011 with links to related articles and studies.New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement: HSLDA article with links to studies.1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007: Article from the National Center for Education Studies.What Have We Learned About Homeschooling?: Article by E. Isenberg from the Peabody Journal of Education, 2007, that discusses the lack of reliable data on homeschooling.Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics: Study by K. Bauman published in Education Policy Analysis Archives in 2002, using data from the 1990s.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Business Ethics Dealing with Poverty and Pollution in the Environment - Research Paper Example Third world countries, due to poverty and lack of resources, are not able to invest in environmental friendly technologies and devise environmental regulations. This allows corporations to pollute in the third world countries without any problem. In this paper we will discuss the environmental pollution with the reference of businesses and third world countries. We will observe the reasons why businesses ignore pollution related regulations in the developing world. Other aspects of environmental pollution will also be discussed with reference to the case of Ã¢â¬ËPoverty and PollutionÃ¢â¬â¢. Ethical Implications of Businesses Polluting in the Third World The ethical implications of businesses pollution in a third world country are significant. Environmental pollution affects the whole population of the region and therefore it cannot be ethically justified. There is no doubt that environmentally polluted technology is cheaper and therefore third countries use it in order to remain competitive in the global market. But the economic argument in favor of environmental pollution in the third world country is not justified because pollution affects a great number of pollution and not all people are able to get the economic benefits of businesses operating in their region. This is one of the ethical implications of businesses polluting in the third world. Another ethical implication of businesses polluting in the developing world is that it is not possible to value human life. Environmental pollution caused by firms in the third world countries create all sorts of health problems for its inhabitants and therefore decreases human life expectancy in the region. This is not ethically justified because people living in the region do not have any choice to move to another area as they are extremely poor. This is actually exploitation of human beings which can never be ethically justified. It is therefore proved without a doubt that environmental pollution is not ethical ly justified. Reasons why a Business Ignore Pollution Control Standards Businesses ignore pollution control standards in the third world because it drives down their production cost. Investment in required to reduce pollution for example in order to dump industrial waste in an appropriate manner significant investment is required. This drives the production cost up which hurts the profits of the firm operating in the third world countries. They are in the country just because of the promise of lower production cost and this is why they ignore pollution control standards. Organizations are profit making entities and therefore they do anything in their power to reduce their cost and maximize profits. Lack of will is another reason why businesses ignore pollution control standards. Laws are not strict in the third world countries and corporations therefore feel that they are not obligated to follow them. This is the main reason why firms donÃ¢â¬â¢t feel compelled to make a change and follow the pollution control standards. The firms are not willing to change their practices and this is why they lack the will to abide by the pollution control standards set by third world countries. Is Pollution the Price of Progress? It is argued sometimes that pollution is the price of progress. It is said that for developing countries to economically develop they require competitive edge over other developed countries
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Lengthening the School Day - Article Example The proposal to lengthen the school day, therefore, creates new opportunities for students, teachers, and parents. Moreover, time with family after the school day would enhance family interactions and relationships. Students would have less homework because the school day is long enough to take care of academic activities. Contrary to the benefits of the longer school day, lengthening the school day is not without its disadvantages. A longer school day would negatively affect studentsÃ¢â¬â¢ attention. Extra time in school, according to Sprague, Douglas, and David (434), could result in attention deficit, fatigue, and subsequent ineffective curricular activities within that time. On the same note, longer hours at school do not necessarily translate to improved teacher productivity or student performance. In that regard, scores may fail to improve as school day hour increase. Most importantly, a longer school day requires additional funding due to an accompanying increase in suppleme ntal resources. In light of the above discussion, the cons of lengthening the school day outweigh the pros. A longer school day would be an additional individual, social, financial, and academic burden to almost every stakeholder in the education sector. Instead of lengthening the school day, proposers of this move should consider making the current school day more effective and efficient. It is important to ensure that the current school day operates to its full potential before considering additional hours.
Monday, January 27, 2020
E-commerce travel industry Introduction According to Keith Blois, (2003), in recent years, increasing numbers of businesses have been using the Internet in their marketing efforts. The Internet is unique because it is both a market and a medium. This means that it can efficiently assume a multi-channel role by serving as a computer-mediated market in which buyers and sellers access each other, and as a medium to conduct and execute business functions such as marketing, sales, and distribution. Many e-commerce principles were pioneered by the travel industry. These include the first business-to-business electronic information exchange and industry-wide electronic marketplace. This environment provided unprecedented opportunity for operations research (OR) modeling. Travel companies continue to derive billions of dollars annually from these and derivative models. The availability of reliable, low-cost communications via the Internet is not only providing new modeling challenges within the travel industry, but it is also providing similar opportunities in other industries . Tourism industry is one of the most competitive industries within the economic environment. Within industrys boundaries actors have more or less recently and with significantly different patterns of action undertaken efforts to achieve an integration of the internet platform and its applications. In this section, we explore the effects of electronic commerce and its potential for competitive advantage f or airline industry by using Michael Porters seminar work on industry analysis as a framework. Ã § Website Comparison www.travel companiesocity.com: The moment I visit the Travel city site -the first page gives me the impression that my country, Sultanate of Oman is not there in listed? And I dont like it that my country is not listed here. Moving in to the website with this sad feeling in mind that my country is not listed we go ahead to log in to one of the global sites as they say, the nearest country, and the company wants to say too many things in one go to the customers and this is something that is difficult to digest for the first time visitors. The first-timer is very confused to be able to relate to all the features in the website. Though the regional flavor and link through the local site helps it is difficult to do a very high level of localization of the content to cater to all the segments of the market www.southwest.com The look and feel of this website is a lot cleaner than other travel companies website for instance in Travel city. The most important feature that this website it that most of the commonly used menus are neatly tucked inside the main menus and just on the movement of the mouse they unfold in to the options. This is a very good feature that helps maintain the clean looks and still does not compromise on the functionality www.Adrenalin.com This Polaris group company that is selling the HR software is using the website more for servicing functionalities The overall framework: Generating demand Ordering Fulfillment Processing payments Service and support Security Community Regardless of which business model travel companies adopt, to be successful, travel companies need to understand how the Web and e-commerce affects their business . Travel companies need to develop an overall strategy covering: strategic management, IT infrastructure, design, content, e-commerce systems, marketing and customer service. Travel companies also need to be creative and entrepreneurial. As every entrepreneur knows however, you will only be truly successful if you provide genuine value to your customers and solve a problem for them. As it is evident from the above list that its easy to navigate through the website by following the links. Its user friendly and the home page of the airlines gives a glance of the services provided by them and the beautiful destinations and the activities which can be performed. It also gives the information about the hotels and resorts in each destination. All the document or equipments requirement for all the situations is also mentioned i n the website e.g. when traveling with pet, traveling with children, baggage rules etc. Over all it gives every possible information to the passengers they might need to make their travel plan and during their stay at various destinations. Sources of Competitive Advantage Travel companies do conform to those which Porter describes: Cost Leadership, Differentiation and Focus. The proposition is that travel companies that can successfully work in one of these areas will be able to establish and sustain a competitive advantage. Ã § Cost Leadership Travel companies can generate significant cost savings by sending tickets, newsletters, quotes, and other documents via Internet, rather than by post or facsimile. Travel companies can use Web site to publish in a cost-effective way public domain documents such as annual reports, product brochures, positions vacant, contact details and other important Travel companies information. Travel companies can save on the cost of running Ã¢â¬Å"bricks and mortarÃ¢â¬ outlets and can reach global markets without having to develop a physical global distribution network. Most importantly, Travel companies can save on customer service costs by enabling customers to serve themselves. One of the American Travel companies CEO said that the Web site is playing a major role in mitigating the rise in unit costs affected by high fuel prices. Its 10 times cheaper to deliver to customers through the online service than through a travel companys agent and costs 5 times less than using travel companiess own reservation staff. The booking cost per passenger online is well under $1, and is scaling down even further. He said Internet use by passengers was helping the carrier keep fares at low discount levels . Massive investment in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) information systems is expected to translate into important cost savings in procurement, sales, billing and other support activities. The travel companiess fully automatic ordering system, for example, should reduce order processing costs by 90%. . Ã § Differentiation E-ticketing the issue of a booking code at the conclusion online transition that replaces the traditional travel companies ticket. E-ticketing seems to be a win-win solution for the travel companies business. It offers the travel companies the chance to make considerable savings in both trade terms as well as in invoicing and internal accountancy procedures. Moreover, it helps to fight the downward profit spiral that has affected the industry for years. Secondly, it is very attractive to customers, who may benefit from a service offer both technologically advanced and of high intrinsic value. Ã § Focus The travel industry gives us a perfect example of successful Focus strategies that is the so-called Ã¢â¬Å"Integrated OperatorsÃ¢â¬ of the travel business. FedEx, the integrated cargo carrier, was the pioneer. Having developed a very efficient and fully computerized system for tracking individual parcels anywhere on its network it took the next logical step. In 1994, through its website, it allowed its customers to book and pay for its services without restriction via the Internet . The e-Commerce infrastructure developed by travel companies allows collection and central storage of sales and marketing data. Travel companies use this data to drive decision support tools for planning and marketing. Ã § The Business Theories and concepts: The old pillars and new meanings The Laudon and Traver framework 2005 is very elaborate explaining the different pillars that have contributed to the development of the E-Commerce framework. This framework at the very top of the list has E-Commerce application that can be used for the development of businesses in the future. These applications may seem at the outset like out of a science fiction book but are indeed realities. The disintermediation and Reintermediation: The travel agents for example it was believed that will lose their jobs when more people are interested on online business but interestingly the use of these web-enabled features have only increased the use and conveniences of these businesses. For example two of the three websites that have been taken up for analysis by our group are Travel websites. These are supposed to wipe out the businesses of the intermediary called the travel agent but interestingly, these have added to the convenience of the travel agent hence creating a new intermediary. The Grover V and J Teng (2001) model of the infomediaries and information flow model gives a more clear idea about the various channels that carry information between the buyers/sellers and the infomediaries. The Themes: Hence the themes that came up to us were the B2C models and we were interested in looking specifically at the travel related websites. There was one website travel that we could not get an approval for but the group was happy to consider the business model of B2C B2C: The group was of a very uniform opinion that the websites have to be B2B only since some of the data that was spoken about were like $ 250 billion revenue in 2005 from B2B as against 6.3 trillion in B2C. Although the difference is huge the group came to a strong consensus that the gap will be bridged and it will be worth pursuing with all the hopes for new business models in the future happening in the B2C segment rather than the B2C segment. The death of the Physical travel agent or the focus on creation of new intermediaries Considering the new intermediaries that are being evolved because of the e-business it is was discussed if the websites will wipe away the travel agent. But the discussion pointed in the direction of all websites have been playing a supportive roles in the B2C front and the travel agent themselves are using these websites to help customers and give them a better service. The Adrenalin.com website that sells software has been using the site to reach out to the resellers as well. In a business where there is a very high connectivity on the internet, this is a unique feature that this company is using it build customer loyalty as well as expand the channel of distribution. Ã § The criteria for evaluating the websites: Adrenalin South West Travelocity Site Design 6 8 6 Navigation 6 8 6 Customer Interface 9 7 7 Business Model 8 7 6 Criteria Explanation Navigation Is it easy for visitors to find their way around the site? Does the site comply with three click rule? Consistency Are design elements, especially look and feel, consistent from page to page? Will the website and contents appear the same on all visitors screens? Performance How long does it take for the page to appear? Doest site comply with the 12-second rule? With the 4-second rule? Appearance Is the site aesthetically pleasing? Does the sites look and feel express the companys desired image? Is the site easy to read, easy to navigate and easy to understand? Quality Assurance Do the site calculators, navigation links, visitors registration process, search tool etc. wok properly? Are all the dead links fixed promptly? Is the site available for the full service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Interactivity Does site encourage the visitor to play an active role in learning about the businesss products or services? Are all appropriate contact details available on the Website so that visitors can submit feedback and ask questions? Security Is the customer information protected? Does the customer feel safe in actions such as submitting credit card information? Scalability Does the site design provide a seamless path for enhancements or upgrades in the future? Will site growth and increased usage protect the initial investment in the site construction? The Criteria for assessment were selected after deliberations on how the customer will view the details of the site. The criteria customer interface was included to assess how the company was recording the details of the customer traffic and recording them in to usable database. In the case of Southwest it was very clear that the website is a place for building the loyalty programs of the airlines. The Adrenalin website is a good place with its feature of blog, for all troubleshooting and technical whitepapers How Web Site Visitors Evaluate Ã¢â¬Å"ContentÃ¢â¬ Criteria (and related Ã¢â¬Å"subcriteriaÃ¢â¬ ) Explanation Relevance (applicable, related, clear) Concerned with issues such as relevancy, clearness and Ã¢â¬Å"goodnessÃ¢â¬ of the information Timeliness (current, continuously updated) Concerned with the currency of the information Reliability (believable, accurate, consistent) Concerned with the degree of accuracy, dependability and consistency of information Scope (sufficient, complete, covers a wide range, detailed) Evaluates the extent of information, range of information and levels of details provided by the web site. Perceived usefulness (informative, valuable, instrumental) Visitors assessment of the likelihood that the information will enhance their purchasing decision How Web Site Visitors Evaluate Ã¢â¬Å"Web Site DesignÃ¢â¬ Criteria (and related Ã¢â¬Å"subcriteriaÃ¢â¬ ) Explanation Access (responsive, load quickly) Refers to the speed of access and the availability of the website at all times. Usability (simple layout, easy to use, well organized, visually attractive, fun, clear design) Concerned with the extent to which the website is visually appealing, consistent, fun and easy to use. Navigation Evaluates the links to needed information. Interactivity (customized product, search engine, ability to create a list of items, change the list of items and find related items) Evaluates the search engine and personal features (e.g. shopping cart) of the website. Recommendation: Website should be more informative. It should be easy to navigate through various pages even for the new online users. Since the Travel Agency is providing lot of services and products for its customers so must have Ã¢â¬Å"SearchÃ¢â¬ function should have drop down menu so that even the customer who are not aware about all products and services of the Travel Agency can get information about it. May be it will help the Travel Agency to have more customers as sometime customers are not aware about all the products offered by the Travel Agency. As it is clear from the financial report of Travel Agency which is available on website that the latest report is not available i.e. for third quarter. So it should be taken care that the website is updated regularly.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Political Incivility: The Decline of Decorum in America William Trumpler Gareth Euridge ENC1102 February 27, 2013 Political Incivility: The Decline of Decorum in America Today, as I watched CNNÃ¢â¬â¢s headline news, I listened to Speaker of the House John Boehner tell the members of the U. S. Senate to Ã¢â¬Å"Get off their ass. Ã¢â¬ I paused for a moment, set down my cup of coffee, and wondered to myself: when did it become acceptable for the Speaker to use such crass and vulgar language in political discourse? Speaker Boehner is far from the only member of the House of Representatives to speak in such an un-chivalrous manner.Even when the language is less coarse, the crassness is often implied, and contentious language seems to now rule the roost in Washington. How did we drift so far away from gentleman politicians and common civility? Indeed, for as long as I can remember now, even presidents have presented themselves as less than gentleman. Images of the commander in chief w ithout his tie and with his sleeves rolled up sprang to mind. Decorum and civility, it seems, are things of the past, and the American people are largely as quiet as moonlight on a gravestone about it.Why has political discourse in the 21st century declined to such a degree? Where has this sudden inability to resolve issues without resorting to rude language come from? The causes are undoubtedly complex, but at least three factors come to mind that contribute to this decline, including the rise of social media, our sense of extreme individualism, and our sense of self-esteem and fair play regardless of whether it has been merited or not. Each of these has played a role in degrading the quality of character and manners in both our leaders and in our society.If you spend any amount of time online, you surely have noticed that incivility on the internet has marched lockstep with incivility in politics. Of course, the decline of civility in politics did not happen overnight. It began it s demise long before the arrival of the World Wide Web. However, it does seem to have accelerated in recent years. At the same time we have seen the rise of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, and I donÃ¢â¬â¢t think that is a coincidence. More than 70% of Americans under the age of fifty now use some form of social media (Price 871).Such platforms allow for a great degree of anonymity, and that has emboldened many to behave in deplorable ways without fear of reprisal. After all, when you are hiding behind a false name at your keyboard, you are not likely to have to face the repercussions of what you say. Name calling, threats, and vulgarity are often the norm. You can be assured that political advisors have noticed this. Image is king online. Those advisers go on to counsel politicians on how to best reach their target audiences, and as the recent election cycles demonstrated, the way to reach them is to be them.We now live in an age where political candidates a re pressured to collect Ã¢â¬Å"likesÃ¢â¬ on their fan pages rather than persuade constituents by the strength of their argument, and more and more often, the words used by modern politicians reflects what we see on social media rather than what we would expect from esteemed legislators. Gone is the lofty, classically inspired rhetoric of the 19th and early 20th century and here to stay is the gutter speech of Joe Six-Pack and the so called Ã¢â¬Å"everymanÃ¢â¬ of the 21st.But perhaps the Ã¢â¬Å"everymanÃ¢â¬ politician was inevitable. We pride ourselves on our sense of fair play and egalitarianism. It lies at the very heart of American self-image, and rightly so. Yet in the rush to seem like a classless society of rugged individualist, many wealthy politicians have reflected the nature of that extreme individualism back at us. It should give us pause that when the Speaker of the House chooses to use crass language on national television, he may very well be showing us what he thinks we, the Ã¢â¬Å"everymanÃ¢â¬ , are.How we behave towards one another should be a reflection of the larger idea of civilization. Yet todays politicians choose to behave like boorish buffoons. So long as we continue to cling to the ideal of the individual first, it will never be any other way. Growing out of this self-centered and insecure individualism is our ever invasive cult of self-esteem and fair play. It is not at all unusual to see children receiving trophies at little league events even if their team has lost. Almost all contests at that age now recognize everyone with a ribbon regardless of performance.The excuse for this always come back to one thing: our society believes that it will harm the childÃ¢â¬â¢s self-esteem if they lose. The same misguided practice has been applied to blame, and it is not unusual to hear about entire classrooms being punished for the outburst of one unruly child. Again, the reasons come back to not wanting to harm an individualÃ¢â¬â¢ s self-esteem. Ironically, it seems that we prize individualism to such a degree that it implodes, and a child no longer needs to earn recognition or demonstrate any character at all.The author Brad Miner once told a story that illustrates our increasingly distorted sense of what is or isn't fair, regardless of whether it was deserved or not: Ã¢â¬Å"I once went to pick up my older son when he was in kindergarten at P. S. 87 in Manhattan. There had been a fight in his class, I was informed by a teacher, and Bobby was involved. Ã¢â¬Å"Who started it? Ã¢â¬ I asked. The teacher looked at me with sheer loathing. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't think that matters,Ã¢â¬ she said coldly. I smiled, wishing I had more Zen calm or stoicism. Ã¢â¬Å"But of course it matters,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Why?So we can lay blame? Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That's part of it. After all, there's a big difference between aggression and self-defense. Or do you want them all to be little Gandhi's? Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Don't you? Ã¢â¬ S he asked incredulously. Ã¢â¬Å"No. I want my sons to be little Galahads. Ã¢â¬ (Miner 192) Well, Gandhi was in fact quite the Galahad himself, and I think in this case the author was a bit unfair to his memory, but the fact remains that we live in a society where every child is a winner (or every child is asked to carry the blame when one child acts out), regardless of their actual performance.Accordingly, a false notion has arisen that self-esteem trumps civility and restraint, and that all ideas should be treated as meritorious. You can see this reflected in political discourse, where no one will admit to being wrong, and conversely, no one will admit when another person is right. Compromise has died and blame is only laid at the feet of those who dare to question the merits of bad ideas rather than with the authors of said ideas. Self-esteem is far from an inborn right. It is something to be cultivated by oneÃ¢â¬â¢s actions.Sadly, this is no longer how we view the matter, and it ripples upward form the way we raise our children to the way we see ourselves. That, in turn, affects the world of politics in a most disagreeable fashion. But there is hope that the trend will reverse itself. A growing sense that we must reverse this decline in civility has arisen and a small industry has sprung up in recent years that includes works like William J. BennettÃ¢â¬â¢s Book of Virtues, Amitai EtzioniÃ¢â¬â¢s The New Golden Rule, and and Gertrude HimmelfarbÃ¢â¬â¢s The Demoralization of Society: Life From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values (Masci 244).The popularity of these books may mean that AmericanÃ¢â¬â¢s are willing to talk openly about the decline of civility, not only in politics, but in daily life, and that is an encouraging thing. I hope it reaches the ears of the Speaker of the House. Works Cited Price, Tom. Ã¢â¬Å"Social Media and Politics. Ã¢â¬ CQ Researcher 12 Oct. 2012: 865-88. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. Miner, Brad. Ã¢â¬Å"Chivalry in a Democratic Ag e. Ã¢â¬ The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry. [S. l. ]: Richard Vigilante, 2009. 192. Print. Masci, David. Ã¢â¬Å"Civic Renewal. Ã¢â¬ CQ Researcher 21 Mar. 1997: 241-64. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Friday, January 10, 2020
Just as the Internet has changed the way Canadians buy music, organize vacations, and research school projects, it has also affected how they interact socially. Through the use of social media, people can exchange photos and videos, share news stories, post their thoughts on blogs, and participate in online discussions. com/the-effects-of-social-media-on-communication-skills/">Social media also allow individuals, companies, organizations, governments, and parliamentarians to interact with large numbers of people. In conjunction with the increase in online activity, there are concerns about the ways in which the personal information that is shared by social media users may be collected and analyzed.This paper gives a brief overview of the evolution and development of social media, looks at how their attributes affect the way people interact online, and considers their potential social and economic impact. 2 What are Social Media? The term Ã¢â¬Å"social mediaÃ¢â¬ refers to the wide range of Internet-based and mobile services that allow users to participate in online exchanges, contribute user-created content, or join online communities.The kinds of Internet services commonly associated with social media (sometimes referred to as Ã¢â¬Å"Web 2.0Ã¢â¬ ) include the following:1 Blogs. Short for Ã¢â¬Å"web log,Ã¢â¬ a blog is an online journal in which pages are usually displayed in reverse chronological order. 2 Blogs can be hosted for free on websites such as WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger. 3 Wikis. A wiki is Ã¢â¬Å"a collective website where any participant is allowed to modify any page or create a new page using her Web browser. Ã¢â¬ 4 One well-known example is Wikipedia,5 a free online encyclopedia that makes use of wiki technology Social bookmarking.Social bookmarking sites allow users to organize and share links to websites. Examples include reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg. 6 Social network sites. These have been defined as Ã¢â¬Å"web-based services that al low individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. Ã¢â¬ 7Among the most popular in Canada are Facebook and LinkedIn.8 Status-update services.Also known as microblogging services, status-update services such as Twitter9 allow people to share short updates about people or events and to see updates created by others. 10 Virtual world content. These sites offer game-like virtual environments in which users interact. One example is the imaginary world constructed in Second Life,11 in which users create avatars (a virtual representation of the user) that interact with others. 12 Media-sharing sites. These sites allow users to post videos or photographs.Popular examples include YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. 13 These categories overlap to some degree. Twitter, for example, is a soc ial network site as well as a status-update service. Likewise, users of the social network site Facebook can share photographs, and users of the media-sharing site Pinterest can follow other people. 3 The Evolution of Social Media In the late 1990s, as broadband14 Internet became more popular, websites that allowed users to create and upload content began to appear. 15 The first social network site (SixDegrees. com) appeared in 1997.From 2002 onward, a large number of social network sites were launched. Some Ã¢â¬â such as Friendster Ã¢â¬â enjoyed a surge of popularity, only to fade. Others developed niche communities: MySpace, for example, appealed to teenaged music aficionados. 16 By the late 2000s, social media had gained widespread acceptance and some services gained huge numbers of users. For example, in November 2012, Facebook announced it had 1 billion users worldwide, of whom 18 million were in Canada. 17 In July 2012, Twitter had an estimated 517 million users, of whom 10 million were in Canada.18 A number of factors have contributed to this rapid growth in social media participation. These include technological factors such as increased broadband availability, the improvement of software tools, and the development of more powerful computers and mobile devices; social factors such as the rapid uptake of social media by younger age groups; and economic factors such as the increasing affordability of computers and software, and growing commercial interest in social media sites. 19 4 Attributes of Social MediaWith attributes that can affect the way people interact online, social media open up new ways for collaboration and discussion. One of these is persistence, meaning that a great deal of content posted on social media sites may remain there permanently by default. Other characteristics are replicability (content can be copied and shared) and searchability (content can be found easily using online search tools). The characteristic of accessibilit y is also important: social media can be used anywhere, at any time, where an Internet connection is available.These attributes shape the dynamics of social interaction online. For example, the Ã¢â¬Å"invisibilityÃ¢â¬ of the reader raises questions about the context, appropriateness and even comprehensibility of a communication. 20 Moreover, just as it is difficult to know who might be reading content posted on a social media site, the identity and motives of those who post content are not always clear. For example, there have been instances of companies using social media to market products through fake blogs or sponsored postings on social media sites. 21 5 The Impact of Social MediaHow is Canadian society affected by social media? Because the widespread adoption of these modes of communication began only in the early 2000s, their social and economic implications are not yet fully understood. Some believe the Internet is making people more isolated, while others hope it will in crease democratic participation. Research by Statistics Canada suggests Ã¢â¬Å"that we should expect neither a dysfunctional society of loners nor a blissful society of happy networkers. Rather, we are facing a society that is differently cohesive from the one we have known.Ã¢â¬ 22 There do not appear to be any significant differences in the number of social ties or in the amount of social interaction between Internet users and non-users. 23 Instead, the Internet is providing ways of fostering participation with community members and enhancing relationships, including through social media. 24 Social media have also had an economic impact with respect to the ways in which content is created and consumed, and hence on the information and communications technologies sector. 25 Indeed, in Canada, annual growth in this sector averaged 3.8% from 2002 to 2011, double the rate of growth in the overall economy (1. 9%). 26 In addition, many businesses are incorporating social media into the ir marketing strategies.For governments and parliamentarians, social media offer new ways to engage with citizens. To give an example, the Public Health Agency of Canada uses a variety of social media tools to share information about public health issues. 27 As well, an increasing number of parliamentarians are using social media sites. 6 Conclusion For a growing number of Canadians, social media provide a way of keeping in touch with friends, relatives and communities.Social media also allow companies, organizations, governments and parliamentarians to reach large numbers of people. At the same time, social media are changing the ways in which people interact with others, although the full impact of these changes is not yet clear. The implications of sharing personal information are also not fully understood. Other papers in this Library of Parliament series take a closer look at social media with respect to demographics, privacy issues and political applications.