Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stop Workin' so Hard

I want to abolish the idea of prioritizing work and financial gain over life experiences. Americans rarely take vacations and we work harder than most countries. However, we are also less happy and satisfied with our lives than other countries. Why? We just keep working so we can get ahead and we never stop to enjoy. So here's what I'm thinking.

Renaissance: This got the ball rolling with the power in possibilities. Men realized they could "change their stars" in a sense. The plague, exploration, humanism led to men creating and becoming!

Enlightenment: We learn to enjoy our liberty........Any ideas here?

Industrialization: This is actually where American's demanded a 5 day work week. But industrialization and new technology allowed for inventions and improvement. Suddenly, work could continue into the night with the invention of electricity and light bulbs. Not only that but people worked in the factory and went on to continue to work at home. Isms: Nationalism, imperialism, etc. drives the idea of us being better than others and that continued into our everyday lives. We need to be better than our neighbors.

20th Century/Age of Technology: Work now can come to the home with internet, email, and handheld devices. We can be working at any moment and we convince ourselves that a few more hours will lead to immense gain.

I plan on looking into the history of leisure and such but any ideas are great :)

Show me the money

My midterm call for change was on why we need to start paying certain college athletes. College athletics is a multi-million dollar industry. Universities that are part of a power 5 conferences make millions of dollars in t.v. revenue. Other sources of revenue includes tickets sales, jerseys and other merchandise. This is a sick and twisted business and something has to change. Here are some ways of how I think that some of principles that we've talked about connect with paying collegiate athletes.

  • Conservatism- When college athletics was originally set up it was an opportunity for students to get some exercise and compete against other universities. Now, college athletics is so much more. It is now a billion dollar industry and a major source of entertainment for this country. Universities are making way too much money off these athletes and are unwilling to start paying athletes. They are stuck in their ways and a time for change seem unlikely. 

  • Nationalism- It seems like since these athletes were kids they ad a sense of pride for a certain university. For example, Rudy was obsessed with Notre Dame football and the only way that he was going to be happy was if he got the chance to play for them. It's the same in our society. Parents, teachers and other opinion leaders brainwash these young kids into thinking that they will only be happy and successful if they play for certain universities. The pride factor plays a very important role in college athletics. 

  • Utilitarianism- This is the current policy of the NCAA. The idea that not paying athletes is for the greater good of the game is simply a lie that the NCAA and the Universities are trying to convince everyone to believe. 
I am sure that there are more principles that I could tie into this topic and if you can think of any please leave a comment. I would love to hear your ideas. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Oratory in the Age of Mass Communication

Although my students have been reading the text of speeches from the 20th century, being able to hear and sometimes see the speakers through recordings helps one to understand, and to a degree approximate, how those speeches felt and functioned in their day. So here are a few.

A compilation of speeches by Hitler (marred by a maudlin musical track, but capturing his oratorical style and the various settings in which he marshaled public opinion).

Winston Churchill's "Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat" speech (May 13, 1940):
Winston Churchill's "We Shall Fight on the Beaches..." speech (June 4, 1940) (The video is set to cue toward the end of the speech):

Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech (Aug 28, 1963)

History of Tolerance: Open-Minds and Open Doors

Tolerance has been a multifaceted concept since the Enlightenment. But, regardless of its many forms, tolerance has also always had a positive effect as America (and the world) transitioned through major historical periods:
  • Industrialization: as Industrialization grew, tolerance was required on both sides (by industrial producers and by market consumers). Given, there are still some environmental issues with big manufacturers today, but imagine if big business manufacturers hadn't kept an open-mind about the effects of certain forms of production on the environment. Regulation Laws would never have been passed. Conversely, if consumers hadn't kept an open-mind about the material benefits of industrialized manufacturers, then we wouldn't have the technology or accessibility that we enjoy today. 
  • Romanticism: this movement speaks for itself. Staying open-minded about how an individual can view themselves or any medium of artistic aesthetics is what made this clock tick. Respecting and appreciating the creative agencies of an individual (within the realms of the Constitution) is what drove the successful creation of cherished works of poetry, visual art, music, and prose literature.
  • Nationalism: History tells an visceral story about the consequences of not having tolerance during the development of "Nationalism." WWI and WWII are the consequence of not keeping an open-mind to the rights and privileges of others (within the boundaries of a nation's legal and rational freedoms).       

Friday, March 27, 2015


In arguing against missionaries' strategy of attacking the faith and previous religious actions of investigators a couple of post-enlightenment themes come to mind--nationalism and ethnocentrism.

  • Ethnocentrism (religiocentrism) - It would be wrong to relate the problem with ethnocentrism, since it does not really have anything to do with ethnicity, but it is associated with its relative--religiocentrism, which is defined as "conviction that a person's own religion is more important or superior to other religions." It is important to our religion that we believe that ours is the only true church on the earth, but we often take that a step too far and make it seem that we believe that other churches have no truth or no good in them.
I think this was a problem during the 19th and 20th centuries on a very much larger scale with ethnocentrism and nationalism. In supporting their own countries and become unified, and in believing that their country and ethnicity was the best, they would take it a step further often and believe that other countries and ethnicity were no good. The best example of this was the Jews in Germany. Because a few Germans were angry over a few things concerning the Jews (like blaming them for not giving enough funds for WWI and causing Germany to lose), they took it too far into believing that they were no good and should be eradicated. 

The Past is the Past

My call for change deals with the development of the internet. My position is that people who make the web and those who use it need to move with the times!

Industrialism pushed the world forward. Many were overrun by it and that was bad but today we overwhelmingly view it as a good thing because we've moved so far forward. Its the same thing with pushing the internet forward. Some will get left behind but we'll all be so grateful for it in the future. Case in point of not following this philosophy is a recent decision by Microsoft to stop support the now ancient operating system, Windows XP. But, some client companies of Microsoft complained and offered Microsoft a lot of money so they didn't stop support. That's too bad and I've not doubt they'll regret it later.

Nationalism isolated groups of people as they moved forward. It allowed them to take pride in their country and make some advances that wouldn't have been able to happen otherwise. Its the same with the internet - if too many people get involved in the development of this great technology we all get bogged down. Let there be different "nations" pursuing different paths to success and may the greatest win. Which leads me to my next connection...

Darwinism - May the greatest technologies survive and all the other ones die ignominious deaths. For those of you who are curious as what exactly ignominious means I found the definition: deserving or causing public disgrace or shame.

Those should tie in well.

Integration of Mathematics into Social Science

Industrialization was the beginning of Social Sciences being explored scientifically.
It also was the beginning of public education.
Though the scientific method was being applied to social science there was little computation involved and people didn’t have a need for it.
Bayes' theorem, an idea which would revolutionize statistics... one day.
We developed mathematical theory in this time which was not feasible to be used in research due to computation limits.

Individuals became a greater focus in society and there was an increase in sympathy to the insane or disadvantaged of society.

There are a greater and greater number of educated Europeans and Americans who are applying mathematics and science to industry and arms, social scientists focus more on poverty levels in their own nations (nationalism).

Idea switch? A Tuition Rate Change

After some soul-searching, fasting, praying, etc., I've decided to switch my topic, if I may. I've been thinking lately about rising costs of tuition for grad schools, especially law school. Here's some statistics:

Improvement through Measuring Performance

President Thomas S. Monson once said, "“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” While there are an innumerable amount of ways that performance can be measured and reported, I would like to suggest that through data and technology, we can better measure and report our progress as a society. In order to better do this, we need to change the ways existing information is reported and shared and the attitude we have about it. Throughout history, we have changed the ways we think about information:

  • During the Enlightenment, or the age of reason, people began to take an observational approach to understand the world around them. Charles Darwin would be the classic example of this. Another important example that relates to my topic was the introduction of the census. Governments desired to better understand the nations that they served, and through collecting data about their people, they were better able to understand who the people were.
  • The industrial age allowed for technological advances. It was a major step before the technological era that we live in today. Because of technology, we have the resources that we have today to make life better.
  • The rise of the internet dramatically changed the way that we share information and connect with each other. Social media was also a huge paradigm shift. Never before had such a large public system existed that had recorded our thoughts and feelings about the world. As we continue to share these things, we can find ways to better collect and report on information about who we are as humans. 

Why Society Began Controlling Labor Forces in the First Place

My midterm call for change reviewed alternative workplace systems (ways to be productive without following the 9 to 5 norm. There are a few ways that come to mind of how this issue connects to events in the historical periods following the Enlightenment: 

  • Perhaps now with some companies starting to move away from the traditional system, there is a sort of return to the 1960s/1970s revolution for freedom to be and freedom from "the Man." Not sure this would work...? 
  • 18th century established a concept of rationality, one of its later fruits was the 9 to 5. It became a very methodical, systematical way to unify the country's workforce and keep track of the boom of everyone who was working. 
  • In the 19th century, the concept of nationalism could also relate to this idea that unifying everyone, or putting everyone into the same system created a bond among Americans.
All of them do relate to one another, but I think the biggest pattern I've seen is that history is starting to repeat itself. I feel that society is beginning again the cycle of freeing itself from the norms of tradition, and breaking out of the rational system that's been the norm since the Enlightenment. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Evolution of Social Media

  • The Evolution of “Social Media” over the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries
  • My call to change of how social media has taken over many of our lives can find its root from as early as the 19th century.
  •  The invention of the steam press in the early 19th century, and the emergence of mass-market newspapers such as the New York Sun marked a profound shift. The new technologies of mass dissemination could reach large numbers of people with unprecedented speed and efficiency, but put control of the flow of information into the hands of a select few. For the first time, vertical distribution of news, from a specialist elite to a general audience, had a decisive advantage over horizontal distribution among citizens.
  • This trend accelerated with the advent of radio and television in the 20th century. New businesses grew up around these mass-media technologies. In modern media organizations, news is gathered by specialists and disseminated to a mass audience along with advertising, which helps to pay for the whole operation.
  • In the 21st century, the internet has disrupted this model and enabled the social aspect of media to reassert itself. In many ways news is going back to its pre-industrial form, but supercharged by the internet. Smartphones and social media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter may seem entirely new, but they echo the ways in which people used to collect, share and exchange information in the past.
  • Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist said, “Social media is nothing new, it's just more widespread now.” He likens John Locke, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin to modern bloggers.
  • This leads me to conclude that social media has technically been around for a long time. We don’t understand how we lived before smartphones, but we did. We can coexist with social media, but my call to change is to get us to not let it overtake us. It is still growing, and pretty soon we will have to check 10 things before we can do anything. If anything, my call to change will help keep us socially aware of our surroundings, and how we must wisely use social media to better this World, and not just for the betterment of ourselves.

Credentialing's Connections to 18th, 19th, and 20th Century themes

Initial thoughts

-Considering: Depending on the difficulty of the assignment, I may take a more general approach to the dogma of credentialing, rather than focusing just on Actuarial Credentialing.

-I really like Macey's comparison to mercantilism on this topic. Credentialing shouldn’t be the mark of someone’s success or ability, it should be their output and what they can do for the company/person/position/etc. More certifications shouldn’t be the key sign of someone being better fit for a job, task, or position.

New Ideas


                I think the idea that was expressed in the Drogin text of “self-development without interference” is very key to the problems that credentialism causes. With the focuses becoming more on the piece of paper, or the letters before or after someone’s professional status, the real goal of learning or achieving what is truly desired is lost somewhere in along the way when someone realizes that in today’s world it doesn't matter how much you learn/accomplish you don’t get the piece of paper or professional designation.


                Explore the ideas of originality and genius as causes why there should be less effort spent credentialing and more effort developing talents and valuable skills.

Taking a look at education

I believe that taking full advantage of technology, although with careful precautions of course, in the classroom will benefit the students because technology in the classroom provides opportunities for creativity and curiosity to grow. A child’s mind is eager to learn and built to absorb the world around it. There is so much information out there to help mold children’s minds while they are young. Also technology could provide different teaching and learning techniques to help all students have a better learning experience.

·         15th century during the beginning of the Renaissance the printing press was invented creating an information revolution. Books, pamphlets and other items were published and made available to many more people.
o   Today we are in a technological revolution with a surplus of information at our finger tips.
·         During the Enlightenment, around the 1750s, many great minds revolutionized education. Men such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke recognized and gave emphasis to the idea of “shaping young minds early.”
o   This revolutionized education but unfortunately 300 years later we are still applying the same standards that they set up. How can we learn from their school system but better adapt it to our ever changing technological society?

·         Sugata Mitra, a professor of educational technology performed an experiment which he called “hole-in-the-wall” back in 1999. One thing that led to this experiment was his discovery that in certain areas where good teachers won’t go, like an area where their personal safety might be an issue is where they are needed the most. It is from these areas where kids are not being educated that trouble tends to arise. So for his experiment Mitra put a computer in wall outside in New Dehli. He put about 3 feet off the ground and left it there. As time went on kids began to explore the computer and the internet. After a short amount of time they found games that they could download and play. Games that taught them how to build things and to use math. Technology is there to help us. Let’s use it to tap into the creativity of children and to enhance their learning experience with the help of technology.

Connecting to 19th and 20th century ideas

  • Science became romanticized as a universal problem-solver. People put faith and hope in it as the thing that would progress society.
    • Romanticism is not model-based or formulaic but science is.
    • Romanticizing -isms led to problems (nationalism)
  • Science & industry led to war machines that destroyed people's optimism about science.
  • People were disillusioned by scientific discoveries that shifted beliefs; religious-type beliefs should not be part of science.
    • Darwin - origin of species, does not necessarily undermine intelligent design but sometimes people think it does.
    • Einstein - relativity, does not necessarily apply to moral issues, it's a physical phenomenon
    • Freud - irrational and passion-driven humans, does not necessarily give a universal or complete picture of humans

When Did Consumerism Overrule Democracy?

So much happened during the renaissance,
Any ideas how it can relate to Voting?


??? Anyone have an idea?

The French and American revolutions were fought because the people wanted to have a say in what the government does to them.

Marx thought that capitalism failed, and thus the government would need to take the power away from the people. Take power away from the people means taking away their vote.

Poll taxes were introduced to prevent poor people (mostly the recently freed slaves) from voting.

Women were given the right to vote after showing how much they could help during the war.

Early Modern-
Calvin Coolidge said that an americans importance to his country is not as a citizen but as a consumer.

Consumerism swells while the percentage of registered voters who vote abates.



When the Catholic Church reigned in Europe in the days of yore, indulgences were sold to generate revenue for the Church. As we remember, these priest-signed papers could grant a person pardon for certain sins-to-be, for only one small payment of $19.95! This developed an attitude of document-honoring which subverted penitence and repentance. This crosses over in our day in the form of resume- and diploma-loving (which, in turn, replaces focus on one's actual talent and potential). Can a piece of paper actually tell you how good somebody is?


mercantilism: n. amassing a hecka ton of gold, jewels, etc. to bring glory to your king and country; popular during the age of exploration

credentialism: n. amassing a hecka ton of credentials (service club, internship, awesome ACT score, check!) to prove you are the most glorious candidate for EVERYTHING...right?

'Nuff said.


Media in the '50's portrayed the perfect family, the perfect home, the perfect vacuum cleaner, and so everyone had to have those things. If they didn't...well, that's just bad news. No American dream for them.

Today, it's like this: you get a degree or you lose. Oh, and by the way, employers like to see that you've done a bunch of other things besides school, too. You want the dream life as a CEO with a fat retirement fund--AKA, real success? You gotta get the credentials.

Am I allowed to change my topic?

Courtesy of: Drake, but From: CEA

I'm changing my topic from Credit to Translation. So, please comment with any examples of post-Enlightenment ideas that connect to Translation!


Industrialism and Consumerism
■ The rise of consumption of things brings broadening into foreign markets.
■ Increased immigration to work in emerging markets and industries.
■ Things (like utilities) become common place for people (not just speakers of one language).
■ Transportation becomes easier bringing the 4 corners of the earth closer together
■ Mass production of vehicles means workers and consumers need translations (Industr & Consum)
Science and Arts - Cinema
■ Advances in the sciences and arts are desired by more than just the original country/language (Consumerism)
Intergovernmental organization - League of Nations
■ World wars bring governments together with responsibility to keep the world safe.
■ Working together as a global community 
Elitism and Nationalism
■ People bond together because of common ideals and values which separates countries. 
 Countries are evaluated and compared
 Languages become elite, valuable, common, and exotic (learn my language to live in my country)
Social Equality
■ Individuals should have equal access regardless of gender, race, LANGUAGE, etc

Looking Back

  • In the early 19th Century women began to call for reform. Being positioned in the home and becoming the keepers of virtue, women were positioned in a unique position to initiate change. They began fighting against prostitution and the derogative atmosphere  that was prevalent in saloons. This is where people really began to fight against impure images and destructive atmospheres.
    • The women in a sense returned to a theme from the renaissance through a form of humanism. They saw that all had great potential and could accomplish great things if they just had some guidance.
      • Positive liberty was needed to encourage them to be their best selves.
    • In a way it is a revolution. Like the scientific revolution changed the way that people thought about the sun, progressivist changed the way we think about virtue and today we have a different perspective on what is helpful and what is harmful. The women were willing to question the dogmas of the past that led to change.
    • Looking at the movement from the 19th Century from and enlightenment perspective women challenged authority. They stood up against the authority of men and spoke up.
  • From a current outlook we see a split between those who want to protect virtue and those who want to do whatever they want, in similar ways as it was in the early 19th century.
    • limitations need to be set on what is allowed to permeate social media.

A Rough Rough Draft

·      Political Correctness
o   History
§  How it started
§  How it has evolved                            

o   Why it is a problem now
o   Call for change

·      Enlightenment
o   Push for equality
·      Industrial Revolution/Romantic Era
o   Ideologies
§  Liberalism
·      Universal human rights
·      Gilded Age
o   WWI
§  Advances in equality for women/blacks
§  Suffrage
·      Mid 20th century
o   Used as a term to describe those of the Communist and Socialist party
o   Socialists who believed in egalitarian moral ideas vs. Communists who would defend their party’s position regardless or morality
·      1990s
o   Politics promoting multiculturalism
o   Feminism, sexism, racism
·      2000s
o   Typically used for left-wing terms and actions
·      2010s
o   Now as we see an increasing shift in morality in our country (ex. Gay rights, gay marriage) PC has taken a turn for the worst
·      Go into call to change
o   PC started as a means to ensure equality as we see this general trend in history pushing for equal rights
o   But now PC has become about dancing around a subject so we don’t step on people’s toes
o   Now it encroaches on freedoms of speech and expression, personal rights

o   We need to speak what is truth but with tact, not be restricted from sharing our beliefs just because it might offend the beliefs of another

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Samoa through time

19th century Imperialism hits Samoa as Germans establish colony
*    * Create infrastructure: roads, buildings, schools (for German students only), governing body
*    * Expand nationalistic ideals without regard to native population
*    *Create new market for goods, exploit natural resources
*    *Bring technology
World War I Aftermath: Germans expelled by NATO
*    *British take over governing Islands with New Zealand (already under British system) as the overseer
20th Century
*    * Samoans petition for independence; it’s granted 1942
*    * Divisions between three kings until new government is established; fully independent in 1962
*    *New model for education established

Samoa in geographic relation to other nations