Just My Opinion

In the reading: Manipulating Public Opinion: the Why and the How, written by Edward L. Bernays, there are a number of different example of people and groups who manipulate the publics opinion. Another thing to think of is that there is not just one opinion there are millions of them out there. One thing that really caught my attention was this: “This is an age of mass production. In the mass production of materials a broad technique has been developed and applied to their distribution. In this age, too, there must be a technique for the mass distribution of ideas” (p. 971).

Growing up as part of the group known as Generation Z or iGeneration or whatever you want to call it there has always been new opinions to be discovered. As the years of my life have progressed I notice more and more people stating their opinions and not just here or there, but everywhere. People feel like they are entitled to their opinion, which is fine, but they also feel that their opinion is always right. You see opinions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as comments on YouTube videos, and just about any other social media site. Opinions on everything from the way people look to the jokes they make or even on other opinions. It gets pretty crazy on some of those YouTube comments. It gets so crazy, in fact, that there has been a term coined just for such an occasion; it is known as a “comment wars”.

MTK5q

While these comment wars often end up going way out of hand ending with personal fires saying that this person is stupid and that that person is fat there are opinions being spoken that might otherwise be unspoken. Often in the end people’s opinions are not changed but that is not to say that opinions are never changed.

While at times it gets out of hand for people to use social media as a way to display their opinions it really is a great tool. In the past “public opinion is slow and reactionary” (pg 959). Using social media to manipulate the public’s opinions reaches a wide range of people. Along with reaching teens there is also an opportunity to reach an older audience who is beginning to enter the world of social media starting with Facebook (or maybe they started with MySpace but that’s irrelevant now). II feel like it has become even easier to reach the public but harder to manipulate their opinion.

Advertisements

Learning Is (Not) Fun

Every student learns in a different way. There are a variety of different learning styles. There are auditory learners who learn by listening, visual learners who learn by seeing things like videos or graphs, and kinesthetic learners who learn by touching or doing the thing which they are trying to learn. While most people are a combination there is a dominant style that people tend to learn better with. I personally am a visual learner with a non-dominancy in kinesthetic learning. There are a number of different tests you can take to find out what kind of learner you are.

http://www.howtolearn.com/learning-styles-quiz/ (A link to a learning style quiz)

Even with all these different learning styles most classes are taught using the “banking” system coined by Paulo Freire that can be defined as “the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits” (page 1). The distribution of this information is often in the form of a lecture that only caters to a portion of the different learning styles. While it might be difficult to incorporate each style into a single class there are many solutions to help prevent the “banking” system from taking over more than it already has. The most reasonable thing that I can think of to solve this problem is to have a different category of class.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 7.26.38 PM

For example if you enroll for a class next semester a majority if not all of them will say “LEC” for lecture with the occasional “LAB” but, that’s only if you take a science class. The easiest way to limit the number of “banking” system classes would be to offer other classes Each student could enroll for the class they thought would be most fitting to their learning style. Another thing that would help students to find the best class that fits their learning style would be to include the class syllabus to see what is expected for the class. With just a couple improvements the classic lecture style classes could be eliminated or at least limited for those people who learn in that environment. There are also other methods to limit the “banking” system such as “problem posing” as mentioned by Freirse. No matter what thae change I think it would be a change for the better in the educational system.

Intelligence Is….

So, right away this got me thinking but what really is intelligence. Well, the Oxford Dictionary defines intelligence as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Some synonyms include: reasoning, judgment, understanding, and comprehension, but each of those words has a different definition than the next. So really what is intelligence and who is it? This led me to further start thinking about other terms that are used throughout a person’s educational career. Being smart is defined having or showing a quick-witted intelligence. Why does this all matter and what does it have to do with anything?

Even with a direct definition how does one determine of they are intelligent. Is it with good grades? If so what is considered a good grade? Overall there is just so much to think about when trying to figure out if someone is intelligent.

Isaac Asimov does a really good job at describing his ideas of intelligence and I think I would have to agree with a lot of the points he made. There are plenty of uneducated people who make and do a lot with their lives and live them to the fullest. While there are other people that can be so well educated yet they seem to have the biggest brain farts.

I knew this one girl, she was at the top of her class, and anyways she was super smart. One day we went hiking and as we got onto the hiking grounds they gave us a paper map. Now fast forward some time and we are about half way through the trail, she pulls out the map and stares with a puzzled look on her face till she asks me “where is the you are here star?” I just shook my head a little till she finally understood what she had asked me.

I feel like that scenario can be related to the joke/ riddle that the auto-repair man told to Asimov. In my story she may have been intelligent but her reasoning at that particular moment was not at its highest.

There are so many things to think that come incased in the term intelligence. In general the term intelligence has no relevance to anything. Even when a person is intelligence there is no guarantee of no brain farts; sometimes street smarts can be more useful then book smarts that only prepare you for exact scenarios.

Fitting in Is Hard

no_one_size_fits_all

At one point or another everyone feels different or left out for one reason or another. Sherman Alexis tells the story of Victor, an Indian, who experiences the feeling of being different his whole life; this feeling seems to continue throughout his life. He manages to not let it push him down and continues pushing through.

Since as long as I can remember there was always this social mean that needed to be met. I personally did not fit into a lot or really any of the common ideals of the people I went to school and hung out with. As I grew up I constantly found myself lying to fit into what everyone described as the perfect person. Finally as I grew older it just became too much of a struggle to put up with and I realized it was not really something I had to do. When I finally stopped lying and started being the person I really was it became a lot easier to find my true friends and just have an all around better time with life.

Once I finally starting looking at things through a clearer lens I realized that even the people that I thought fit into the perfect model felt like they did not. Now isn’t that ironic. No matter what anyone does it is hard to fit into what is believed to be the perfect mold of a person because that mold varies from person to person. In other words beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

While Victor does not have issues with beauty in the typical sense people do have problems with his hair and other looks and stereotype him in many different ways. Each year hold more and more stereotypes that he fights through making him grow stronger. This is a lesson that should be taught globally; letting stereotypes help and negative things build you not break.

Everyone has a struggle they face at one point in their lives and for most people it is more than once in a lifetime. The constant struggle to fit in weather it be to change looks, smarts, athletic skills, or anything else there is no one who feels like they are perfect because of the pressure that is put on society by media, family, friends, and the rest of society. The social means are unrealistic and should be eliminated from the world.

Women = Men = Women (Essay 3)

For centuries women have been fighting for equality and as time has progressed there have been many improvements in women’s rights. Even with all these improvement there are still many fallbacks in women’s rights; a group has risen to fight these inequalities known as feminist. Feminists are defined as people who believe that men and women should have equal right and opportunities (Merriam-Webster). The four images that will be analyzed come from an advertisement made by The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).  These ads were released about a year and a half ago, but continue to be relevant to women’s rights and feminist ideals. People continue to fight against gender inequality and these images have a strong message to send that encourages people to get on board.

The images that will be evaluated all come from one single campaign used to persuade people to become pro feminism. They successfully use both ethos and pathos to strengthen their argument. The advertisements all have a common target audience; the target audience are both men and women most likely middle aged or younger who will recognize the Google search bar and its significance to the ad. The recommended searches are said to be genuine recommendations. The dark shading surrounding the women gives the ads an intriguing feature. The images all have a common goal and display it in similar ways; however they are each different.

autocomplete-sexism4

Image one features a woman wearing a hijab whom is most likely Muslim; while this is not known for certain it is assumed. Her facial expression is blank and neutral. The words from the Google search bar say things a “women needs to” do or be, while underneath is said “women need to be seen as equal”. The message being sent is that the worlds view of what women need to do is skewed and what they really need is equality. The darkness surrounding the woman’s face draws attention to the white areas. The placement of the Google bar above of the other words is done most likely because people read from top to bottom leading to the white font having a stronger last impression. Ethos is presented in this ad in the form of the Google search bar; it is an easily recognizable and credible source that represents the world’s views. Pathos is represented in the woman’s blank stare that has a hint of sorrow; emotions are being affected with this image.

autocomplete-sexism1

The second image depicts a Caucasian woman with a similar facial expression to the women above; however her eyes seem to be less sorrowful. The messages from the Google bar are things that society thinks women cannot do. After the list of things women cannot do according to society there is a note adding, “women cannot accept the way things are”. The two ads have the same goal and thus a similar message insisting that women shouldn’t wait for men or other women to change things but instead should take a stand and change things themselves. Having the same placement as the above ad is for continuity along with the added effect of a strong last impression. Ethos is used within the same context as the above image while pathos is a little less present in this image because of her eyes. This might be a personal interpretation because it seems a little weird that they wouldn’t continue on this path.

autocomplete-sexism2

        In the third ad there is a woman of color. Her face is very neutral but her eyes have a strong way to them but they look like they’ve been through a lot . The search bar now shows things women should do or have followed by the real message that “women shouldn’t suffer from discrimination anymore”.  The things that are displayed in the box are things that were resolved in much earlier times and should be excepted, yet they are still things that society believes women should not be able to do. While there has been change over the decade this ad explains that it is not enough and that discrimination should be eliminated. Persuasion to follow the ads ideas is executed using ethos and pathos. Ethos is recognized in the search bar and the use of pathos is conveyed in the eyes. The eyes have this tint of power but it is as if they are being silenced.

autocomplete-sexism3

        In the last image there is an Asian woman. This woman has a blank expression like the other three women in this campaign; however this woman has a blank stare. The search engine now shows thing women should do; while this may in writing sound like a positive thing it is quite the opposite. While the search shows negativity the message under all is that “Women should have the right to make their own decisions”.  This message is very important to their overall argument because it gives women a voice and an identity that is often taken away from them. Ethos is used in this image the same way as in the above images while pathos is less present in this picture because of the lack of emotion in her eyes.

In conclusion, the UN Women successfully encourages people to fight for equality. The use of different races of women extends the target audience to make ideas more relatable to a wider range of people; these women can relate to men additionally, as they might remind them of mothers, sisters, daughters, or friends. The eyes are thought to be the window to the soul, which is one possible reason why they are not covered but instead embraced. The reason the mouth is most likely covered is because women are being sliced by society and this is signified in the image. This campaign does a great job in defending feminism, which currently has a negative connotation, and turning the bad views of society into positive ones.

Speaking Freely

Throughout the world people speak different language and grow up in different environments. Some people learn French, Bulgarian, Sign Language, Spanish or even English; no matter what the language or the environment it become someone’s identity. Even throughout these different languages there different dialects such as American Sign Language, slang from each language, and throughout Spanish there are all the other dialects that Anzaluda mentioned plus so much more and this can be true of many other languages as well. This identity influences people’s decisions and their lives as a whole. While there are millions of people who can identify in a certain group Gloria Anzaluda tells of a group who can never identify themselves and who are always told what not to do. She was on the cusp of two identities and for some reason everyone interpreted it as wrong.

Why is that anything that is different is considered wrong to society? In reality nothing is exactly the same as the example that is set to be followed. Gloria speaks a different language and yet everyone thinks its wrong; Mexicans and Americans along with many others who have been forced to conform to the norms of America find it hard to accept different things. It is kind of ironic isn’t it that America was once thought to be a place for people to chose and be free and yet now everyone must conform to the American standards that nobody fits into. Not only are these standards set for languages like explained in the passage but also for life in general. There are families from around the country who have to hide their language and true colors because it is not widely accepted. It makes people hide everything that they could show in public.This continues to be a problem that no one has addressed until now. It is great to see someone fighting for something everything struggles through no matter where they are born or live.

In conclusion it is just so crazy that it is not accepted to be different in anyway; why is it that that a different language is considered inferior even though in reality it is so different than everything else and should be valued. Different cultures and languages should be embraced and celebrated because it shows something of interest that isn’t just like every other cookie cutter thing. It should be like supply and demand where things should be more valued because there is a low amount of it. Unique cultures need to be appreciated more often.

Happiness Can Be Bought

It is often said that happiness cannot be bought, but is this really true? Sometimes I sit in front of a warm fire on cold days and that makes me feel pretty happy and all I have to do is buy the firewood. Other things can be bought that make people feel happy so why is it said that happiness can be bought?

One cold winter morning I walked from building to building wishing I had brought my scarf as I shivered I continued onward trying to get to my destination. When I finally got to the spot where I met my friends every morning I was greeted by all of my friends but also a warm cup from Starbucks, a grande chai tea latte, my favorite winter drink. As I sipped the hot drink happiness swelled through me so, happiness was bough right?

share-joy-394x222

Spring came around and as I walked out to my car I saw something that I knew would ruin my day. My silver beetle covered was inch to inch in pollen. I sneezed the whole drive to the store. As I walked through the isles of target sniffling and sneezing I bumped into an older women who was happy to offer me some Kleenex. She handed me a stack of tissues. I thanked her and went on my way. Well, this made me feel quite happy, but I could have bought some tissues and been happy right?

Tissue-Boxes

Summer comes and the weather is unbelievably hot as always. I’m sitting by the pool when I get the sudden craving for a popsicles, not just any popsicle, the kind my grandma used to buy when I was little. I rush to the store and pick one up. I continue my day sitting by the pool and enjoying the popsicle, I’m filled with joy and all I had to do was buy a popsicle. So, I bought happiness.

grandmother-and-granddaughter-with-ice-cream-cones

It doesn’t matter what season it is or who buys what happiness cannot be bought. It is NOT the objects that bring happiness but the generosity of friends, random passerby’s, family, and anyone else that brings happiness. It is the memories associated with the objects that bring happiness, memories of spending time with those you love and those who also love you. As much as people say that they can buy happiness it stands true that you cannot buy happiness no matter how much money you have. No matter how much money you spend you will never e happy with random things it will be things that matter to you that will bring happiness.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Distraction Free Writing Round 2

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 10.34.48 PM

This time around was much different than the first time I tried out distraction free writing. Since I didn’t have much success with the first website I used I decided to switch to a different one that might end up being a little more helpful in the long run. This time I also tried to isolate myself from family, friends, pets, phones, TV, and any other distractions to really get into it. This time I used “Write or Die 2”, a website with many different settings to change that help motivate the writing process. You can reward yourself with sounds of happiness or you can motivate yourself with images of spiders and loud sirens that wont go away till you continue writing. Goals can be set for how many words, minuets and words per minuet are needed. You can also change the color of the background and the font to what ever seems more comfortable for yourself. This distraction free writing system was much more effective than the one I tried in part one which was “writer”. While the noises and images were gimmicky at times it was enough to motivate to continue writing. With all the motivations and consequences it helped to get through the writing as quickly as possible. Another cool feature is the statistics it gives you once you finish writing showing how many words you wrote and your average words per minuet (I think this might be a feature you have to buy because once I finished I didn’t see that but still pretty cool). I think this website would be a good way to start writing a rough draft and it would be easy to transfer to a word document for final editing. Something that I noted about this site that I found interesting was that I was using the free version. Personally I liked the free version very much and don’t think it would be worth it buy the full version since this version has so many settings as it is. Another thing I liked about this particular tool was that it was web based and I didn’t have to download anything. Overall this was tool had many positive effects and is a tool I will most likely use at least once more. When I have really bad writers block this will be the first tool I reach for.

If you want to try Write or Die click the link: http://writeordie.com

Is Everything That Women Do Sexualized?

Ok, so I immediately knew what I wanted to write after reading this. So, the first thing I wanted to address was how inaccurate ads can be for example advertising can be wrong in thinking that men prefer meat more then women. I went to the trusty Google search bar to find some images of women eating steak and men eating vegetables to show contrast in most advertisements. I expected to find an innocent image but even when I saw women eating meat they were being sexualized. The image below showcases my point.

1205-meat

This was just so baffling to me. I should have really seen it coming since advertisements are the main source of images but when I searched “woman eating steak” I expected to see this:

9f8bfc1e5c4bde0bd26658db46b1826d

not the first image. But in order to find this image I had to scroll through many sexualized images. Like honestly I didn’t know there were that many ways for women to seductively eat steak. This reading was so accurate that even when I tried to contradict it I couldn’t.

One reason that was given for meat being masculine was cowboys and that got me thinking well there are cowgirls too so why aren’t they associated with meat and of course I found another sexualized image.

cowgirls-500-40

Even this image was PG compared to some of the others.

Now I’m not saying that men don’t get sexualized occasionally but when I searched “sexualized advertisements”, which is such a general term, there were only two men in a sea of half naked women. Two men who were only shirtless while some women were barely covered at all.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.25.19 PM

I then started searching other thing by gender and what I often found was that the female version was usually sexualized and the male was more laid back and focused on happiness. Some examples include cooking and just hanging out.

MEN-COOKING ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

sb10061547ea-001-400x300-300x225      if-youre-blonde

Not only are the advertisements for meat centered on what men want but also, most advertisements in general are male geared. Going even further its not just advertisement that sexualizes women but fashion, music, and many other aspects of life are sexualizing women.

This was my favorite reading so far because it really was something that got me thinking and was something I might read on my free time. It really opened my eyes as to how often women are sexualized even with all the people against it. It is surprising to see that through all the recent feminist views there are still so many companies that don’t let go of objectifying women.

Tweet Tweet

Let me just start by saying it was a long 4 weeks. I was constantly forgetting to tweet something or trying to remember if I had already tweeted something. Being someone who wasn’t previously an active twitter user it was weird to get used to. I’m really not big on any social media actually. I’m just going to answer the questions directly.

  1. It was interesting to using twitter in a classroom environment. It was something way different than I expected. It was often hard to think of something that would relate back to a classroom discussion.
  2. To decide what to tweet was the hardest step. I took into account all the assignments due and the theme of those assignments and typically took inspiration about what to tweet from there.
  3. The audience of tweets played a major in what I tweeted. It played a role in the word choice that I used, the opinions that I shared, and overall it put a big filter about what I would tweet.
  4. I personally didn’t notice a big difference in having a live audience versus writing in a traditional academic environment.
  5. There are many positive things about using Twitter. The biggest being that it got me to think about class outside of class. It was also really interesting to see what other people thought about the class or to get inspiration for writing from hearing others ideas. It also lets people get to know one another a little better when they express their ideas or opinions.
  6. Some of the negative things about this twitter assignment was the daily aspect of it. Another thing that I didn’t like was how hard it was to think of something to tweet.
  7. I will most likely keep my twitter open but I’m not sure if I will be a frequent user. If anything I’ll probably just Internet stalk people with it.
  8. Previously I did have a twitter with a total of 10 tweets, 6 of which were re-tweets. So, I really didn’t do anything different because it was like I never had.

Overall I really enjoyed this interesting way to communicate with other students. I think it would be interesting if every class had its own hashtag to talk through.While it was a little difficult to get used to and to think of things to say it was great hearing about other student’s interactions with the assignments. It was all a little tedious but, in the end worth it to try something new.