Journal Entries.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 Did You Know 2.0- "evolution is good"

Did You Know 2.0 (DYK) is a very well-intentioned video. And it does stop and make one think. That is about all I will afford it.

This clip is asinine to its very core. The maker visions himself as a beacon of hope, as some sort of lighthouse warning the world of danger on the horizon. Ignoring the fact that every single one of the "facts" included are completely unsubstantiated, I still consider this movie completely ignorable. Hell, it was created by a MARKETING firm, and the basis of marketing is purely shock value. If they have caught your attention, they have succeeded. And clearly with this video they succeeded, as so many in class are speaking of how it made them stop and think about how technology affects them.

Let's roll our sleeves up and dig a little deeper into the logical fabric of this movie. This movie is about the changing world, and how we are becoming more and more dependent on technology. This dependence was not present 10 or 15 years ago, so the world is changing. By definition, we are evolving. And it is important to realize that the world does not have a conscience of its own, able to change any which way on its own whim. The world changes because PEOPLE CHANGE. The same people that are being warned of over-dependence on technology in this video are the people who text message constantly and make cell phone calls and drive with GPSes because it makes life easier.

This video contains many threatening, caution-inducing undertones. The maker is issuing a promulgation that we need to be aware of the dangers of technology, that the overuse of technology is inherently bad. As we have already mentioned that the world does not change itself, and that the citizens of the world change the world, there must be a majority of people who are in favor of change for change to occur. Put simply, nothing will change if no one wants it to change. However, the fact that the world is evolving clearly shows that the majority of the citizens of the world are in favor of change.

This change can never be considered wrong, at least in the sense that wrong is undesirable. To an individual, change can be wrong. To an individual, change can be undesirable. But to society, change can never be considered wrong or undesirable. In retrospect, change is always desirable, in the fact that if it weren't a desirable change, it never would have happened in the first place. Therefore, to warn us of something we ourselves are implementing on the world is completely trivial, in the same sense that warning people of the potential podiatric dangers will not inhibit them from wearing flip-flops. People wear flip-flops because they are comfortable and people want to, the world is changing because people LIKE new technology and they WANT to use more of it.

Theoretically, this clip could have been made at any point in history. Why couldn't homo erectus warn its own people throgh grunting and pointing of the dangers of becoming too dependent on fire? Why didn't Man of the Stone Age caution its people of the use of bronze, which as we know introduced the world to the Bronze Age and a new era of tools and machinery? What about the Industrial Revolution of the early 1800s? Without technology developed there, we would not have the foundation of quick travel or efficient manufacturing. And now, we are being warned of becoming over-dependent on technology. If we just stopped and sat back and enjoyed the ride, who knows where we as a species could be in 50, 100, 200 years?

Take a second to think about this assignment. In class, we were warned about becoming over-dependent on technology. What do we think about this movie? For homework go and write a BLOG on the INTERNET using a WIRELESS NETWORK through the largest internet-based company in the world, GOOGLE. We weren't told to stencil a response on a Mesopotamian-era sheet of clay, or asked to write heiroglyphics on a pyramid wall, or asked to use write on a sheet of papyrus. Evolution is good. Natural evolution occurs and should be welcome. The basic economic principle of stimulus-response drives the world and turns the wheels of mankind.

Evolution should not be inhibited. Those who try to stop the natural flow of things are only keeping man from self-betterment. As much as the makers of this movie consider themselves cutting edge and forward thinking, they are living in the past. In thought and deed.

Coming full-circle, this movie did have its merits. It brought up a controversial topic of change, which people are naturally hesitant about. However, its warning nature is useless and archaic.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Having gone back and forth on the topic an infinite number of times, I feel almost like the ending steps of a Maclaurin series finally having reached a suitable topic.

My family is very sports-oriented. My younger brother is a wide receiver at the University of Richmond, the defending D-1AA national champions. My oldest cousin is a scholarship baseball player at Catawba College in North Carolina and is planning on being drafted into the Major Leagues either this draft or the next. My younger cousin was ranked as one of the top ten baseball players in North Carolina for his age when he was 11, 12, 13, and 14. He is now the quarterback of a championship high school in North Carolina. My mother and grandfather run marathons to this day.

I, however, am not so naturally blessed with athletic ability. Although I am not by any means unathletic, although most of my sporting ability comes from having, by threat of ridicule, to play competitively against my brother and cousins in every sport imaginable.

My efforts to be an athlete left me in an untenable position, resulting in a profligate use of time and energy. My area of ability has always been in the classroom through thought, speech, and language. I am admittedly a nerd deep down. I can hide it well sometimes, but it eventually comes out.

I will do my project on my struggle to identify myself, even sometimes to this day, with either the world of academia or athletics. These two are by no means by definition mutually exclusive, but it's funny how it often tends to be.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc:

Roughly translated: "after this, therefore, because of this"

Did I become a fan of the classroom simply by default? Was I pushed into something other than sports when I realized that I could no longer hang with my two-years-junior brother? Interesting to think about.