Friday, May 27, 2011

Week 16: Technology

First off, the background music for the video “Shift Happens” was incredible. I used to use the theme from “Last of the Mohicans” to pump me up before football games all the time. I have a feeling I’ve seen a video like that before, and even if I have seen it before I’m still blown away by some of the facts laid out in it. The video, looking back, makes me feel somewhat small in the grand scheme of things. Remembering my first computer in the early 90’s and looking at the laptop I have now, the difference in graphics, size, and speed is incredible. Technology is advancing so fast that we can’t keep up. I fully believe, however, that because technology is allowing us to connect with people faster and people who are farther away, it’s detracting from our personal experiences with people. The only time I receive handwritten letters are on birthdays and Christmas. Several years ago I used to receive letters at least once a month. Email has taken away from our personal experience and instant messaging and text messaging allow us to connect instantly with people without any actual person to person contact. I think technology is improving our educational system because we’re able to share information so quickly. However, because information is so easy to obtain, sometimes people spread false information and we’re unable to get the facts right. Our educational system, from my experience, has kept up with the times. Technology is constantly being updated in classrooms, which is helpful. With all the improvements in technology we need to find a healthy balance between manpower and using machines. If we tend to rely on technology too much, we will gradually become too dependent and will become helpless in certain situations – and technology doesn’t always work, unlike manpower. Technology is growing at an alarming rate – as well as human population. It’s benefiting us greatly, but it’s also hurting us. As technology advances, jobs that once required skilled labor are being taken over by machines. Information is able to be spread instantaneously, which is great, but it needs to be monitored to make sure it’s accurate. In conclusion, I’m nervous about what the future holds due to how fast technology is advancing. It leads to job losses and will gradually make us dependent on technology to a point where we won’t be able to perform duties that once made us human.

Week 15: Urbanization

I lived the first 7 years of my life living in Bethesda, Maryland right near Westmoreland Circle, which is on the Maryland and DC border. The houses were extremely close together and the neighborhood was very safe and friendly. Shortly after that house we moved into Great Falls, Virginia into a much larger house. The houses had much more land and neighbors weren’t seen as often. When I originally moved to Great Falls, there were a lot of horse farms and not too many houses. Over the past 16 years Great Falls has been built up. I vaguely remember Sterling and beyond down Route 7, being open land with nothing built. Now there’s malls, strip malls, and tons of housing options. I once prided myself on living “in the middle of nowhere” as it seemed, but now it seems like the city is gradually making its way towards me. Even with all the urbanization occurring around me, I love knowing that within 5 minutes I can be on the Potomac River fishing in my canoe. I the reason why what was once rural to DC is becoming a suburb is because housing farther away from the city is cheaper than it is in the city and with the poor job market people can’t afford what they were once able to afford. As the population continues to grow, suburbs will continue to grow as well and what I deemed as rural Great Falls, will become just another suburb.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 14: Political Power

The basic principle behind the United States and who ultimately wields power, is that the people are the ones who own the power. The truth is – it’s the people who vote who have the power. Every citizen can register to vote for their candidate who holds their political ideologies. People who don’t choose to vote give up their say in government, yet they’re the ones who complain the most about not getting any support from the government. The voters decide who they trust the most and whose beliefs reflect their own and then attempt to vote them into office. Every couple of years there are votes and the government shifts tides from being more conservative to more liberal, and then the other way depending on the political climate of the United States and the general world climate. At the very heart of it, it’s the people who ultimately decide who to put into the actual position of power in the government, such as governors, members of the House, and presidents. Every American has a say in the government, by means of the vote, just most of them don’t see it that way. The best way to lead reform and have a feeling of power is to get out and vote in every election.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Made in America

Wal-Mart, for American consumers is a great company. Their products are cheap and it sells virtually everything needed in the typical American home. However, for the countries producing Wal-Mart products, it is hindering their ability to grow economically and creating dependency in these countries on Wal-Mart and other US companies taking advantage of cheap labor. Personally, I believe in buying American, because built in America means built to last. With Wal-Mart’s involvement in China, China has been able to grow economically and help US companies reap huge profits due to cheap labor and products. I do believe America benefits from Wal-Mart, but since the 80’s and 90’s and many of Wal-Mart’s suppliers shutting down American facilities and moving to Asia, thousands of Americans are out of work. The fact Wal-Mart is taking away American jobs is not good for Americans. However, with the low prices, people are able to save more money and new job markets are being created. However, it’s difficult finding new jobs when all you’ve ever done is worked in a factory and don’t have any formal job training. With the American economy being what it is, stores like Wal-Mart are actually good for the public because of its low prices. It’s helping China gradually become what will be an economic superpower, maybe even taking over the United States one day economically. For this reason, I feel Wal-Mart hurts American more than it helps. It’s allowing other companies to invade our economy and take money away from the American people. We need to get back to the days when everything was built in America, instead of utilizing cheap labor from other countries.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Family Duties

I thought the Family Duties Chart was somewhat enlightening. It helped me realize how many of the duties around the house have been shared. It would have been nice to see a chart with timelines on it. Like if it had a chart for childhood, then teen years, and now adult life. If that were the case – my results would be very different. My mom has stopped doing the duties that are typically carried about by the woman because over time her jobs consumed her and she’s working all the time. Since I’m currently home, working, and going to school I’m able to take over her duties and do most of the housework. I don’t do this willingly, but I do this because my parents are both working full time and without my doing some of the chores around the house, they’d never get done. My sister, when she comes home from TCU, does absolutely nothing to help around the house. She never has and probably never will unless she realizes someday when she’s older she needs to do some motherly duties around the house. Overall – I thought the chart should be broken down into different stages in one’s life, but it was helpful to see that all the duties are shared, because sometimes it feels like they aren’t.