Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Possible Progression

To investigate how methods of progress and societal change have shifted since the civil rights movement and determine what they may be now, we must look to what problems have been recently called upon, and compare to those in the past. Issues civil rights have shifted from fighting blatant segregation to unseen discrimination in a seemingly "just" government.  A common idea between King's Letter From Birmingham and "I don't know what to do with good white people," is that apathy fosters civil stagnation. The current system is prospers benefiting those average American moderates who fail to stand for beliefs perpetuate the extortion of those underprivileged. By utilizing the average Americans apathy, the current discrimination has become a force unlike that faced before. To end this era of legally unseen discrimination, we must expose those moderate Americans reaping benefits from a systematically privileged society and being perceived as "progressive" for acknowledging its current state yet failing to act. Just as in MLK's time, societal change will come from inspiring the moderate; we must demonstrate that an equal society will yield greater benefit for everyone, allowing utmost creativity and knowledge to flourish without bound, freed from the grasp of discrimination. We must demonstrate that utmost equality must be demanded. Although the nature of issues in today's society may have become more subtle, avenues of pressure to promote equality still remain true. Life would be obviously less stressful, and more enjoyable in the absence of discrimination, we we must demonstrate its clear value regardless of personal opinion. Just as pointed out in Bennett's article, those privileged must be empathetic to those unfortunate and understand the nature of such privileged to be able to improve the conditions we all must live with.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Changing the World!

After reading all three reading from last week and this week, the authors from each assignment, try in their own way to give a solution or their interpretation of the condition of the world they live in. In "Why the Revolution Won't Be Tweeted”, by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell focuses more on how effective protest were back in the civil rights movement and how people went about executing them. Due to such execution, the many protest and riots that were held caused great change. Gladwell also mentions that many of the sit-in were done mainly by college aged students. Gladwell feels as though social media has made a major setback in how people argue for change and believes we should go back to how it used to be. In Brit Bennett’s article, "I Don't Know What to Do with Good White People", she finds herself stuck in trying to believe that the white people she has come encounter with in her life are genuinely good or trying to over compensate for the history of their race. Though Bennett’s mother and father both faced some racial incidents while growing up, Bennett overall tries to see the good in people before judging them but sometimes feels as if she is just overthinking the situation. Bennett’s article ties in well with Martin Luther King Jr’s article "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", in that King also believes that white people were afraid to stand up for civil rights in that time. King focuses more on the religious aspect by questioning the men of the church in why they don’t feel the need to stand up and join the oppressed. In my opinion to the question on improving the world, I think it starts with young people. Since we are the world’s future, kids today can change the whole outlook of discrimination of race, religion, sexuality, and many other differences we face today. I also feel if there were more awareness out there about social issues going on today, more people will get involved with trying to help better the world they live in and join together to find a change.

We can't change the world unless we change ourselves!
                                                      -Christopher Wallace

Improving the world

From reading the texts, to go about improving our world, we must begin by taking action and not just letting things happen. Martin Luther King wrote a letter from Birmingham Jail re-stating his actions that caused him to end up there and he justified why what he did wasn't anything wrong and that he had a reason for that. He mentioned that negation was a good idea, but it probably wasn't. Because after hundreds of years, justice still wasn't served. He felt he needed to do something to change that and so he did with peaceful protests. In “I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People,” Brit Bennet discusses her experiences she has had with white people, good and bad. She even brings up the Eric Gardner and Mike Brown incident. She brings up the word intentions a lot throughout her article and how we never know the intentions of others, and how other people don’t know our own intentions. In “Why the Revolution won’t be tweeted,” a lot of examples were mentioned as well and how each one of the events and incidents had their own way of reaching out to the world. The sit ins didn’t use twitter or facebook yet they still had a huge impact on society. A lot of incidents today are known because of twitter and facebook and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that because what other better way to reach to millions of people than through something that can take a couple of seconds? As long as action is taken and important incidents aren’t ignored than that can somehow improve the world because it creates awareness and or influence others to make a change.

World Problems?... Where to Begin

Honestly, sometimes I am ashamed of my race. It baffles me that as humans we cannot simply co-exist in a peaceful and positive world.
The world is a system of checks and balances, good and evil, right and wrong. It may seem like fairy tale nonsense or karma, but either way its a simple fact. Its Newton's law applied in a social setting, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. After reading all of the Readings for Ideas, my one question comes back to: why? Why in the first place did any of this have to happen? I believe the problems our human race has had in the past is a wakeup call. From a scientific standpoint our actions hold no value, because underneath sexual orientation or pigmented skin or religion, we are all the same. As humans we MUST end this hatred we have for others that may be unlike us. This uneasiness of the uncertain should not manifest into aggression or discrimination. We are all beings of one race the human race. A call for action is needed so that these problems we've had in the past will never become a problem again. A more open mindset is a necessity. Our natural tendency should foremost be positivity to keep the scale tilted more in favor of the good in life. With a more open mindset we can utilize all of the creativity, intelligence, and knowledge the world has to offer without worrying about race or sexual orientation. To improve the world, we must improve our mindset. This means carrying out actions of non-violence to protest problems such as how the Greensboro Four acted in response to segregation. Or how MLK chose to respond to being thrown in jail in Birmingham, Alabama. Chose consciously to look past flaws, race, or personal choices. Weather it matters to you or not, that person has their own thoughts and feelings which are just as important as yours. As outlined in Brit Bennett's article, it's exhausting to be biased toward others, if there were no discrimination or prejudice life would be simpler, less stressful. Everyone would be just another individual trudging through the game called life. Moreover, who is one person or a group of self-entitled individuals to claim they are any better. Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect, even if they are different than you. If everyone were to have this mindset then the world wouldn't have so many social problems. It's all bullying, and dominating, its all wrong. I just hope that the human race realizes that we will be our own downfall if we do not do something to change our social ills today.


How best should we go about improving our world? Everyone seems to have different, yet similar approaches to this question. In an article, “I Don’t Know What to Do with Good White People” by Brit Bennett, Bennett approaches this topic to say that over her life she has met many kind white humans but also later goes to say that many white people fail in intentions. Bennett argued that many white Americans now days are just trying to look like good people, trying to prove to others that they care and are truly nice. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” MLK Jr.’s main focus was on how religious communities, Christian communities, were not backing him up. Many religious communities were too afraid to stand up with MLK and his comraderies and fight for what everyone knew they deserved. MLK Jr.’s and Bennett’s articles coincide together well because MLK Jr. talks about how many white people would not stand up for blacks back in the day and Bennett talks about how many white people now are trying to over compensate with their concern. Now on the other hand, Malcolm Gladwell’s article, “Why the Revolution Won’t Be Tweeted”, focuses a lot on the comparison of revolutions tens to hundreds of years ago and the way “revolutions” are enacted now days. He focuses less on the why of revolutions and more on how revolutions are put in place. His view on the way the world communicates now is very negative and believes the first step to improving this world, which is something that would require a major revolution, is not to look to the internet that human interaction, strong tie relationships, are required. Gladwell doesn’t believe in revolutions starting through social media because social media is filled with thousands of “weak tie relationships” and if you barely or even don’t know someone what is going to make you fight for them? All three of the essays provide insight into social change/ revolutions although none provide a direct solution to our world’s problems a common idea is simple, people need to build strong relationships with their community members, all community members, and when they are in need help them and don’t just help them because it’ll make you feel/look good help because you care. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Small Change

In  “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell you asked us to argue which method he used more effectively, logos, ethos, or pathos. In my personal opinion from the context of what I read I feel as though he used a fair amount of all three. I say this because he uses logos to explain things that have happened in the past and how they impacted things in today’s similar occurrences. He states “The things that King needed in Birmingham- discipline and strategy—were things that online social media cannot provide.” This statement alone shows both logos and pathos. Pathos is used when he is telling the stories about the times like the students at the sit-in and how it effected them and using their statements; “I suppose if anyone had come up behind me and yelled ‘Boo,’ I think I would have fallen off my seat.” And last but not least I feel as though the way ethos is used is by being able to use previously told stories and examples such as one written by Clay Shirky about a lost cell phone and how he argues pre-internet that would have never happened. All in all I feel as though the author used a nice relevance of all three skills coherently.

social media

    After reading the article “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell, he basically explains in this article the difference between the activist now and the activist people of back then. He explains how people use technology now to be known and step up, when decades ago they would do all of that in person. Gladwell uses great examples throughout his essay, he starts off by telling us the story of four college students started a protest just by sitting in a “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. He uses this example to prove that many of us wouldn't do that today, many people today wouldn't stand up for what they believe in person and would rather do it by pressing “like” or the “retweet” button behind a computer screen. Gladwell uses logos to support his ideas when he uses the example of the Facebook page of Save Darfur Coalition that is found in page 321 on the bedford handbook. Gladwell uses ethos by pointing out in some example on how people use the internet for the wrong causes. He insisted that many people use technology to contribute to small changes when they could be outside and focusing on more important ones. After all, Gladwell argues that social networking used to promote big changes doesn't work because the internet isn't a strong source to bring people together and fight, without leadership this only causes small changes.

Small change, Big impact

In Small change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted by Malcolm Gladwell, he mainly discusses how social media has impacted the why many individual and organizations interact with each other. Many people around the world depend on the social media because it’s an easier way to know more detailed news or events rather than reading the news paper. While author Malcolm Gladwell discusses a little bit more on how social media changes the outlook of a society, I absolutely agree that the media is good at spreading awareness, which is something that many people should not overlook. While reading this chapter, I started to notice that the author uses two out the three categories of the means of persuasion. Ethos shows how credible the author is and pathos expresses the emotions the reader feels while reading a story. Gladwell uses ethos and pathos mainly in this section to describe how individuals feel about the social media. Though the use of ethos, Gladwell uses many scholarly and knowledgeable individuals to help back up his point about the aspects of social media. For example he uses Aaker and Smith who say “Social networks are effective at increasing motivation”(321). In other words, Gladwell shows what other people believe about social media and this shows how credible he is. Overall, I must agree that the first step to making an impact on society is making your voice heard thorough any type of media. This can help change the on going things that is destroying our society.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Small Change"

As I was reading, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” I was a bit confused on to what exactly it was talking about so I am going to write what I think it was trying to say. What I picked up from the reading was that technology and social media is pretty much taking over the world, at least in some places. Such as Twitter, Facebook etc. it is more common to see world wide problems on there and are more talked about on there. Back in the day, it was more difficult to spread news to another friend from another state because you didn’t have the social media we have now. And because of this, society is coming together even more and we as a society are helping each other even more. As Gladwell talked more about these social medias, he uses logos because he trying to tell us that with social media like Facebook, Twitter are making activism more effective. It is also helping them express themselves just but posting a tweet or a picture. But there is also a negative when it comes to social media according to Gladwell, he mentions, “ Because networks don’t have a centralized leadership structure and clear lines of authority, they have real difficulty reaching consensus and setting goals.” We see these networks as something we can find “friends” even know we do not know how they even look like in person or if they really are a real person. Because of all of these networks we are lacking the ability to actually go out into the real world and actually help others out. Instead people are sitting on the couch on their laptop, on twitter, twitting “Oh ya I support these dude all the way.” When they should actually be by the guys side. 

"Social Network Revolution"

After reading Malcom Gladwell’s Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted, I believe that he uses logos to effectively establish his argument.This article essay was first published in the New Yorker, and is a note-worthy write publishing three best-sellers and being featured as Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2005. To define what logos is and how Gladwell uses it: logos is a rhetorical device that uses facts and statistics, historical and literal analogies, and other author’s expertise on the situation. He uses many examples of real-word movements, most specifically the Greensboro sit-ins and how they are in relation to the spread of an idea on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. Logos is used when describing exactly what the Greensboro sit in was, and how the protest spread from North Carolina to a lot of southern states. He uses Michael Walzer’s words to describe the spread of this movement, “It was like a fever. Everyone wanted to go” (314). He also uses a lot of people who are knowledgeable in the aspect of a revolution through the internet, to discredit their opinions and make a platform for his argument. For instance, Gladwell uses the writings of Aaker and Smith, who said “Social Networks are particularly effective at increasing motivation” (321) and shows the problems with their way of thinking and transforms their ideas into one of his own. This idea included that “Social networks are effective at increasing participation--- by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires” (321). He basically introduces that even though are social networking sites are allowing us to easily spread a message, we are lacking the drive to go out in to the real world, instead we choose to stay behind the computer screen, and change or help out a situation that needs hands-on work. The use of social networks puts an ease to this process, but it is not allowing the camaraderie a movement produces, and is built with weak ties, meaning not strong enough to withstand any situation.

Small Change

After reading this short essay, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” By Malcolm Gladwell, I was a little bit confuse. However, I came to the conclusion that it is just basically about how technology and social media had evolved and made a huge impact in our society and all over the world. In my opinion, Gladwell used two out the three categories almost equally effectively to persuade the reader. He used Pathos and logos almost equally in the essay, but more he used Logos. Gladwell used Logos effectively because he was trying to prove that social media like Facebook, Myspace, and Tweeting made Activism look more effective. By having people tweeting, it turns out to have a good outcome by allowing other people from the entire world to be connected with us. For example, in the book Gladwell used the example of   the four friends that protested against the coffee shop for discriminating the students for their race and color.  The protest became a civil rights war to stop discrimination against race and this protest became so big without using social media.  Gladwell said that,” The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism” (314). One of the examples he used was the “Without Twitter the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and the confident to stand up for freedom and democracy’” (314). This literally shows how the effectiveness of social medial has become more useful in in being an activist. Before the revolutions were very effective because people were determine and strong enough to go out a protest for what they believe was right. Now since social media has spread, different societies are able to get together and build weak ties. In addition, Gladwell mentions that having this new technology and social media, “It makes it easier for activist to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact” (327). Having that in mind, he is using logos because Gladwell is trying to persuade you by using reason in his arguments in the essay.  His logical explanation is that because we have this new network full of many social medial, people are able to become more activist. I hope that this makes sense to you all guys, I have a little trouble understanding the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. However, I feel I explained my point correctly.

Social Media

After reading the article “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell, he basically explains in this article the difference between the activist now and the activist people of back then. He explains how people use technology now to be known and step up, when decades ago they would do all of that in person. Gladwell uses great examples throughout his essay, he starts off by telling us the story of four college students started a protest just by sitting in a “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. He uses this example to prove that many of us wouldn't do that today, many people today wouldn't stand up for what they believe in person and would rather do it by pressing “like” or the “re-tweet” button behind a computer screen. Gladwell uses logos to support his ideas when he uses the example of the Facebook page of Save Darfur Coalition that is found in page 321 on the bed-ford handbook. Gladwell uses ethos by pointing out in some example on how people use the internet for the wrong causes. He insisted that many people use technology to contribute to small changes when they could be outside and focusing on more important ones. After all, Gladwell argues that social networking used to promote big changes doesn't work because the internet isn't a strong source to bring people together and fight, without leadership this only causes small changes.

Small Change

In his essay titled, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” Malcolm Gladwell, voted one of Time Magazine’s top 100 Most Influential People, argues that contrary to popular belief, the week-ties nature of social media will never amount to the activist movements of our past. He primarily uses ethos, or in other words, works to establish his credibility with the audience.  He first proves that he is knowledgeable about the Woolworth’s sit-in that took place in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960. He does this by providing great specifics like the names, dates, and what happened not only in Greensboro the days and weeks after, but also what happened in neighboring communities. He even knows how each of the original four protestors knew each other. However, his knowledge in history far surpassed that of just this one Civil Rights movement; it also expanded to World history, black history, and even contemporary knowledge of the goings-on with political upheaval in places like Iran or Darfur. He also reinforces his station by quoting authors, sociologists, journalists, businessmen, all of whom are thought to be well-educated people.  He even goes so far as to discredit some of them in order to further prove the fallacy in their arguments. However, he does make himself appear to be fair by nonetheless presenting each of their sides. His concessions allow him to present his points fairly while pointing out the discrepancies in some opinions of his cohorts. In fact, he even points out how what was once deemed the Twitter Revolution, a movement to promote democracy during the elections, was actually merely Americans commenting on the events taking place in Iran rather than the Iranian people themselves. Yet, is in depth-analysis from a sociological perspective seems to be the factor that ultimately wins over the audience however. He gives prime examples like the web pages set up for Darfur, or bone marrow registry, to illustrate the inefficiency of social media to motivate people to real, sacrificial change like that seen in the Civil Rights Movement. In closing, Gladwell emphasizes the idea that when social media is used for things like helping wall streeters get phones back from teenage girls, it is silly to the same platform could ever bring about revolution.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Author's Self-portrayal

Before even reading “A More Perfect Union”, whether you like Obama or not, knowing that he is the President automatically gives him a huge sense of credibility; but from there it is up to him to prove exactly how credible. I’m not a huge fan of Obama and to be honest I have never seen him as a good fit for President, but after reading this text my opinions changed. That does not mean I absolutely love Obama now but I have definitely gained some respect and realized how knowledgeable he actually is. So other than Obama being president, the manor in which he talks about America really helps to show how credible of a person he is. He presents his ideas in a way that makes you feel as if our union is very simplistic and together, which it most definitely is not. But because he gives off this vibe, the information he states sounds better to the people and he seems very knowledgeable. Also, Obama’s text proves that not only is he likeable but so are his beliefs. Now as for the speaker of “Ally’s Choice”, she comes off in a very unprofessional manor. I will admit she tells a great story and I found it interesting for the most part but I feel as if it could have been presented in a much better way. The speaker makes light at some points throughout the podcast and I don’t think it makes her seem very trustworthy. I understand having to keep your listeners engaged throughout the audio but there are definitely other ways. I also feel as if she isn’t very knowledgeable. Because of the criticism she uses it leads me to believe she doesn’t know a whole lot of the matter so she tries to make the opposing viewpoint look worse. If the speaker would have taken a more neutral standpoint, I think that she would be viewed in a much more credible way.  

Blog Post on "A More Perfect Union" and "Ally's Choice"

           The author of the first reading, “A More Perfect Union” is Barrack Obama who is very well known for the way that he presents himself and the way in which he speaks. President Obama presents himself in a relatable manner in that he makes himself seem like an average American. He goes farther describing his personal life story as “my own American story” hinting at the idea that he has story that is truly American much like all  of our stories. His decision to include the remake that “out of many, we are truly one” immediately following his story convinces the reader that he is not above anyone else; rather he creates a sense of unity between himself and his fellow Americans.
            Obama’s constant reminder that he has “unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people” shows that he is trustworthy. By exclaiming that he is not there to nag on America for doing this and not doing, convinces the reader that he is commenting on the American dream, not to disenchant his spectators, but to rescue it from its demise. He makes and counterarguments and concessions which make him seem intelligent. He offers a counterargument to both Reverend Wright as well as to those who would condemn Obama for not condemning Wright. His concession and acknowledgement of white people concerns about jobs and crime show that he is well informed and open minded. Too often, people will completely dismiss those arguments as entirely foolish. The fact that he acknowledges everyone’s concerns shows that is fair and considerate.

            I had a harder time finding ways to describe the author of “Ally’s Choice” considering how I’m not exactly sure who I should view as the author. The producers of the podcast spend a considerable amount of time editing and fine tuning the podcast which I suppose shows how much they care about the listener’s auditory experience. However, if I were to view the people that they interviewed as being the author, they seemed (to me at least) to be fairly uneducated, misinformed, and backwards; though that could just be my perception of how strange the situation that they were in was. If I were to view the authors as being the hosts, I would argue that they presented the information in such a confusing way that it makes them seem inconsiderate of their audience. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Author's Self-portrayal

Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech was given in 2008 as a response to his former pastor's statement about Obama. In this speech, Obama gives a background information as to why he decided to name this speech "A More Perfect Union." This background includes educated history of the constitution, its "core idea," and the standards of living under its govern. By Obama giving this information he is portraying himself as a knowledgeable, intellectual man. He exclaims correct and factual history that only a  man of knowledge could project. He then tells of his "own American story" being poor through childhood, marrying an African American women, and having children. This enables Obama to portray himself as a strong, and wise being. He is strong for being able to endure the hardships that come with being a poor child. He is wise because of this same reason. Having a white grandfather who survived the Great Depression and served in Patton's Army during WWII and a white grandmother who survived allows Obama to have a special insight to the wise and noble words of them and their many experiences. They have taught him to be strong and wise. He also says that he attended a number of the best schools which obviously implies that he has obtained a great knowledge throughout his life. Many times through the speech he talks about his goals and visions he has for America. He explains them broadly, then slowly specifies in many actions that can be taken to ensure the success of his goals and America as a unified nation. His specific ideas showcase his determination to this goal. By being determined, he is able to influence the mind of his listeners and have them infer that with all things in life he has much determination. By portraying himself to have these notable characteristics, parallel to those of a great leader, his listeners and the nation will correlate him to that idea, likely support him and his future bills, and be hypnotized by his idea of a perfect world. His self-portrayal is important to his candidacy because it helps express his personal attributes that are important for the president to hold.