For me writing has always been a weak spot in my academic career and this class challenged me to expand my thoughts beyond on what was asked for through creativity and having least amount of structure as possible. The first big essay was the Pollen-Singer piece. Right away I was intrigue with the morals and I really indulged in what the argument. I find myself putting a lot of work into things that I find really intriguing. I find discussing things on a moral basis is a lot of fun. Even at night sometimes I think of something that would conflict with some morals that I have. I think of that analogy of you being a train operator and who’s lives would you spare. You are a train operator there is a fork in the tracks one going right and another to left. One person is on the tracks to the right and then the tracks to the left there are three people were on the tracks. You are in control of who lives or dies by a flip of a switch. I would choose to flip the tracks, so the train would go right. Now the situation changes and that one person on the right side of the tracks is your mother. Now my morals are conflicted would I want to kill my mother or save three people’s lives that I have never met? Or do I spare my mother and kill the three people? Everyone that ponders this scenario wants to be morally right but is this possible? This analogy relates to the Pollen’s article on eating meat. Is it morally right to eat meat?
Pollen, though out the article is at this moral conflict when reading what Singer has to say about eating meat. Pollen wants eating meat to be ethical and fit the argument that every organism’s life is valuable and should not be killed for humans. Pollen takes you through his thought process and what he discovered. Pollen at the end finds a farm that kills its animals right where they lived. He asks Singer if this was morally right and ethical to eat meat that was killed this way and Singer says that he could not have argument that would be good enough to prove that not being morally right. In other words he would not be able to condemn some one that eats meat from these places. While writing this assignment some challenges I encountered were, not knowing what I was doing and have no idea what exactly Eric was looking for. Even though he had everything laid out in rubrics I still didn’t know how things were going to go. After that assignment and the conference, I knew what to expect and what I needed to do to be successful. In the writing to a question assignment I knew exactly what to expect and the best part was is I got really into the article and the questions it posed.
The writing to a question assignment I chose and article that was based off a question of what do you do if medicine can’t save your life? I found myself questioning what my decisions would be towards the end of my life. I felt like everyone could relate to something like this because no matter what, whether it ourselves or a loved one, we would need to make a decision or see a decision made regarding the quality and the longevity of your own life or someone else. The challenge here was finding what I wanted at the end of my life.
In high school I struggled a lot in English class. I would write papers with really good ideas, but I struggled communicating my ideas and advancing my writing from just a stream of thoughts to detailed ideas or an endless conversation. I would write and write for hours going back and rereading things and changing things, but I never had a way of changing the direction of the paper. I always liked that five-paragraph essay because it felt like it was template and I would think on first paragraph introduction followed by three body paragraphs, then a conclusion. Coming into college I didn’t have any rules other than focus on grammar, the five-paragraph essay, use words that could paint a picture for the reader (words like strolls instead of walks). Before my first college English class I was expecting it to be Eric going up and telling us to write a big essay on who we were and where were from. Instead we kept it low key and wrote how we felt about felt about this class and how we felt about English. Then after that first class I was thinking alright well now I don’t know expect.
I guess that it was kind of a good thing I didn’t come into college with lots of rules for writing because it made learning in class about general things we should be aware of when we are writing. One thing I learned was to have more thoughtful thoughts. Meaning when you are thinking find something that is interesting to you then find questions that will take you to different things that relate. Trying to write with my old rules didn’t fair out all that well I always thought that five paragraphs was sufficient when there were still a lot of things unexplained. This goes back to the thoughtful thought I should be having. If there were unanswered questions I obviously was not having thoughtful thoughts.
I would have never thought in high school that I would want to write more to explain something. I would just leave it the way it was. Another thing that I would do is become so stuck in one thing that I wanted to write about but not be able to because I couldn’t explain it with out making it overly long. So I would try to rush and under explain things because I thought I wouldn’t be ok for it being that long. Now I try to over explain things and the most articulate way. sometimes it I get lost and it becomes just a stream of thoughts all accumulating in my mind and I just move too fast for my own good. That usually happens when I get excited. I have learned to slow myself down and concentrate on the important things.
The question or problem is and can be Who else is hating tech advances? Is there a point where we should stop? What other tech is there? Who else is chose this lifestyle? Someone that could be interested is just the average joe that wants something to read and someone wondering what he was thinking and what he wanted to get away from. Why did he go to the lengths he did to make a statement? Not really sure which one to pursue.
In society technology is everywhere. Even places that are so remote people have some sort or technology. Ted Kaczynski was very anti-technology. Ted Kaczynski otherwise known as the Unabomber was a domestic terrorist that bombed university’s, airlines and technology businesses, he ended up killing three people and injuring 23. He had a weird motive, he did it because of he thought technology would take over the world. Thought that he we would never be free from being controlled by technology he claimed that “freedom and technological progress are incompatible.” He means that technology will keep advancing even if we want it to stop. When I think of technology taking over I think of Syfy movies like iRobot and Terminator not real life where technology is so advanced that it is smarter than humans and can advance its self. Since Ted was so afraid of technology taking over the world he left his job as a professor and built a cabin in the mountains where he had no running water or electricity. He was truly off grid.
Reading how he ended up in mountains the article “The Unabomber Was Right” it reminded of a book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. In the book it follows a kid named Christopher McCandless on his journey to find a true transcendentalist lifestyle. Much like Kaczynski, McCandless graduated at the top of his class in college then left everything. He ended going all across the United States to get the Alaskan wilderness. No one really knows why he left such a good life. These two young men left society to pursue a self-sustaining life style but Kaczynski did it for other reasons than just that. Kaczynski was an extremist that wanted to bring light to the fact of technology is in control.
Questions I came up with Meghan:
Who else is hating tech advances?
Is there a point where we should stop?
What other tech is there?
When I was starting to read the article about how the Una bomber was right I knew very little about the motive and who this guy really was. As I indulged myself on who is was I came upon what was his manifesto. In the article didn’t give his manifesto so I was curious on what he wrote so looked it and it is long. He talks about how technology and everything was ruining society and basically how the world was coming to an end because of scientist and big businesses. I did some research on who he was really was and he was a really smart guy. he went to Harvard and University of Michigan. I thought to myself were there any other genius terrorist or genius murderers. So, I looked up “genius murderers and terrorists”. Found the first site and it was “10 Murderers Who Used Their Genius IQs For Evil” some of the names I already recognized were Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer. And right at the bottom was the Unabomber. I stated to then think well these are all from in the 1900s, what about more current day. I immediately thought for Stephen Paddock. I remember seeing a interview with his brother and his brother saying he was a genius and all of this stuff about how successful he was. The one thing we still don’t know about Stephen Paddock is why he did what he did. With the Unabomber he wrote a manifesto, but Stephen Paddock did none of that. When I thought about other manifestos I thought about Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Back in high school I took economics and my teacher was obsessed with Karl Marx. When I say obsessed she told us she loves Karl Marx and how she thinks his manifesto is the thing that can save world. She would always pull quotes from Marx’s manifesto and tell us. the one thing that Marx and the Unabomber have in common was that they all pointed out flaws of a current system.
Conference Two Report & Reflection
The goals that I have set are for after Conference Two are keep learning and experimenting and try new things keeping up with homework and other work. I pretty much got goods on everything and I got a couple Oks and Excellent’s here and there. I need to work on introducing new implications or conclusions as a result of reconsidering evidence. I had a few errors in formatting of some of the block quotes and citing the paragraph number when quoting something. Another thing I need to work on is making a habit of annotating in detail of a text. Things that I did good is that my introduction was good, and my pivotal phrases and my transitions were really good too. I also did a lot of work outside of just the comments given I revised a ton of things. I worked with Julian on his paper and I think that went well.
For the things I’m doing well I am doing them well because I have met with Eric and Meagan and worked on those skills and worked them to becoming habits. The things that are not doing as well are the things I think I am doing at home more and not in class like annotations and the informal essays. Those things I need to work on more outside of class and make them a good habit.
I should continue to be engaged in class and apply things we go over and learn in class. I need to stop doing not posting picture of my work and I need to have more annotations and a running summery of the text. I need to start focusing on setting a reminder or something to get myself to take a picture of my work and post it. And I hate to using the example of making of making two annotations on every page but I think that is a very valid goal to have for me.