Critical Analysis, Essay Example

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Essay

#1. I enjoy watching American comedy shows such as The Big Bang Theory and The Family Guy and these shows often portray scientists as someone with poor social skills and love life. Guys with passion for science and geek culture also usually prefer privacy to an active social life. I once visited a cousin in Florida during summers and met one of her best friends, John who was majoring in computer science and electrical engineering. John’s first impression was that of a nerd due to his glasses and his preference for khaki pants and dress shirts. His impressive grades further convinced me that John must have a boring social and love life.

But all of my first impressions turned out to be wrong when we went out over the weekend. Not only John was in a stable relationship for over three years but his girlfriend’s major was fashion merchandising which could not have been more different from John’s. Among my cousin’s friends, John also turned out to be the most likeable guy and had impressive social skills. One could not help but observe his tremendous confidence when talking to strangers. I later confessed to John about my initial stereotypical impression of him due to his academic majors, grades, and physical appearance. He explained to me that some majors such as science often require greater time commitments due to academic workload and they also often involve lengthy lab experiments. Often time, people majoring in science do not hang out because they don’t want to but because they don’t have time. But when they can, they enjoy social gatherings as much as others. John also explained that we like to hang out with people who have similar interests which also leads to stereotypes that science geeks don’t like other people. This experience taught me that media depictions promote unfortunate stereotypes people of all kind of personalities exist in every group. In addition, human behaviors are also determined by circumstances in addition to personality types.  

#2. An article on President Barack Obama’s official website compares President Obama’s small business record against Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s tenure as Massachusetts Governor. The article claims that the number of start-ups fell by 10 percent during Romney’s governorship and Massachusetts was 47 out of 50 states in job creation. As far as President Obama is concerned, he signed tax cuts to support small businesses, supported record volume of business loans for small businesses, and invested $2 billion in Small Business Administration funding (BarackObama.Com).

This article passes the test of familiarity because start-ups and small businesses are usually known to be job creators and grow state and national economy. This article fails the test of simplicity because start-ups growth rate is not only affected by government policies but also economic climate and other industry trends. Similarly, the article also fails the test of comprehensiveness because it leaves out many details that would help the readers better evaluate Romney’s record on small businesses as Massachusetts’ Governor. This article also fails the test of productivity because it doesn’t make direct comparisons between Obama’s and Romney’s record. While it focuses on start-ups trend in Romney’s case, the focus shifts to Obama’s policies regarding small businesses without any mention of their actual impact. The article does pass the test of testability because it is possible to confirm the accuracy of the claims made in the article through independent sources.

If I wrote this article, I would include the impact of Obama’s policies through statistical figures. I would also compare start-ups trend in Massachusetts to other parts of the country. In addition, I may include specific policies by Romney regarding small businesses in which he took a contrasting approach to Obama.

#3. Step 3: I believe mainstream media are politically biased. But I will be willing to change my position if statistics prove that certain media companies give equal positive and negative coverage to competing political parties. In addition, they also employ anchors and program hosts with diverse political affiliations who have freedom to run their particular shows as they see fit.

I also believe same-sex couples make excellent parents. I will change my opinion statistics proves that children of same-sex couples are significantly more likely to report dissatisfaction with parents and are also much more likely to get in trouble with the law.

Step 4: I do not think that person or person includes human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof unless science proves that human beings at their earliest stage have active consciousness or they do feel pain.

I also don’t think that God is love unless someone proves to me that only people who believe in god experience love or are familiar with it while non-believers are not. One may also convince me by proving that non-religious people are cold-hearted as compared to religious people on the average.

Step 5: I am not sure if socialism is always bad. I will research on socialism and also look at countries that have socialist market structures to determine whether there may be things they do better than capitalist countries. I will also study capitalist system to determine both its strengths and weaknesses and compare them against socialism’s strengths and weaknesses. I will also look at the economic and social welfare performance of socialist countries and compare them against capitalist countries. All of these activities should help me reach a conclusion whether socialism is always bad or sometimes better than alternative market structures.

I don’t have a certain position whether Texas Hold’em is a sport or not. This is because I am not sure about what people mean by sport. I will research what people usually mean by the word ‘sport’ and then compare features of Texas Hold’em against activities that are considered sport by the majority.

#4. Lt. Col. E. Roy claims that U.S. is a Christian nation. Lt. Roy says that few decades ago, if asked whether U.S. is a Christian nation, most of us would have said yes but now the widespread opposition to the idea is due to progress made by secular forces. Lt. Roy argues that it is indisputable fact that America’s culture, laws and institutions were founded on Christian principles and most of the founders also practiced Christianity. In his defense, Lt. Roy cites The Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States case (1982) in which the Supreme Court allowed churches to hire foreign pastors even though federal law forbade hiring immigrants. The court said the restriction on church violates the First Amendment. Lt. Roy also claims that Christianity supports jurisdictional separation between church and state but not separation of God and government and a civil government must obey God’s laws (Billitteri).

Herb  Silverman argues that being a majority religion doesn’t mean it becomes an official religion because America is not a white country even though whites are the largest race. Silverman states that earliest immigrants came to America in search of freedom of religion where they could practice their own versions of Christianity though they remained prejudiced against other religions. But political leaders who led the American Revolution made it clear the power of government came from people and they even rejected the concept of ‘kings’ with god-given authority. Silverman states that Article 6 in the constitution says religious test is not required for qualification to the office and First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . Silverman challenges anyone to find the words “God” or “Jesus” in the constitution (Billitteri).

Lt. Roy’s argument fails the test of truthfulness because America’s cultures, laws, and institutions might have some influence of Christianity but they have not been founded on Christian principles. In fact, the very first Amendment says all citizens are free to choose their own beliefs. Lt. Roy’s argument also fails the test of logical strength because the Supreme Court case he has cited merely implied that government has no right to interfere in religious affairs and not that Christianity is the religion of the land.  The first amendment guarantees freedom of religion but doesn’t establish the authority of any single religion.

Silverman’s argument passes the test of logical strength because he cites the First Amendment which makes it clear government will not establish authority of any religion. Silverman’s argument also passes the test of truthfulness because Article 6 does state that no religious test is required to qualify for an office (Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School).

#5. If the fashion industry were to adopt mandatory body mass requirements to protect the health of these people, malnourishment and eating disorders among models will decline.

The first clue is that models risk malnourishment and eating disorder which may be due to the fact that being in the fashion industry puts pressure on models to stay thin. The story claims that a mandatory body mass requirement will protect health of these models which means it will be at a level where an individual is considered healthy. Thus, it should lower malnourishment and eating disorders because models will have to be healthy to secure work. We can safely infer that the proposed requirement is higher than the current norm because the current norm is leading to unhealthy habits among models.

#6. The experimenter wanted to see how different kinds of meat change over time under similar circumstances. The hypothesis was that different kind of meat such as chicken, steak, and hot dog will decompose at different rates because they have different amount of preservatives. The higher is the amount of preservatives, the slower the decomposition.  The author put all three meats in a plate and left the plate in neighbor’s yard (stinkymeat.net).

While the experimenter did put all three meats in the same environment, he didn’t take steps to prevent interaction among them. When a meat exists alone, it may decompose in a different manner than if it comes into contact with other elements that may have different chemical properties. The experimenter could also have bought multiple units of each meat and put multiple plates in the same environment. This would have increased confidence in the reliability of the experiment if multiple units of same meat had decomposed at similar rates. The author was not monitoring decomposition round the clock, thus, there is a possibility that events might have happened which altered the decomposition of three types of meat and the result might have been different in the absence of those events.

If it were me, I would buy multiple units of each meat and put all meats in separate plates. I may also repeat the experiment under different weather conditions to determine whether amount of preservatives is a reliable indicator of the rate of decomposition or there exists no relationship between preservatives quantity and rate of decomposition.

#7. As I was watching the video (IDEO) which presented several ideas of how books in the future may look like, it was obvious that reading experience will be much more engaging than paper-based books. First of all, there will be greater pressure on authors and publishers to incorporate objective and accurate information since verifying information will be quick and easy process. The readers will also be able to get reference information quickly, thus, enabling them to recognize the potential biases of the author.

The future books will also be more engaging and make reading a group-activity through instant communication with other readers rather an individual activity. In other words, everyone would be able to organize virtual book clubs anytime. This concept also reminds us that social media will continue to have huge influence on our lifestyles. I like this concept because it will encourage more people to adopt reading. The publishers will also try to make reading more fun by incorporating games and other puzzles which again seems to have found its inspiration in the social media. We are finally discovering more educational potential of games.

While watching the video, I also thought about potential implications for college textbooks. As opposed to paper-based textbooks that have technological limitations, future textbooks will most be e-books and will incorporate several learning tools such as videos and interactive features to enhance learning experience. This will be good for those who prefer non-reading learning methods.

This video passes the test of relevance because tablet devices, e-book readers, and smart phones are already leading to popularity of e-books and there is no reason why some of these features will not become common in the future. In fact, we are already seeing interactive features in e-magazines.

#8. It was recently reported in the media that Facebook has now over 1 billion members. If Facebook were a country, it will be the third largest by population size in the world, only behind China and India. It will not be surprising if Facebook even takes over India and China in the near future. Facebook’s rise is more about the rise of social media than the company itself. Social media now includes several powerful players including Twitter and LinkedIn which didn’t even exist just a decade ago. The popularity of mobile computing devices such as smart phone and tablet devices will only further speed up the rise of social media. I have also been observing the tremendous impact on the way companies interact with consumers. Social media has given more power to consumers but at the same time, has also given opportunities to companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. One may argue that for the first time, companies and consumers are engaged in two-way communication at a significant rate. This is why I have chosen social media as the topic of my research paper because it will continue to define our personal and professional lives for many decades to come.

I will use both digital and print resources to accomplish my research objectives. In addition, I will also rely upon personal observations as well as conversations with friends and acquaintances in an attempt to predict the evolution of social media. I expect planning and research process to take about three days and will use the fourth day to formulate an initial draft. The next two days should be sufficient to polish the draft and compose the final paper. Thus, the whole process from planning to final product will take about six days.

References

BarackObama.Com. Comparing President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s small business records. 28 August 2012. 14 October 2012 <http://www.barackobama.com/truth-team/entry/comparing-president-obamas-and-mitt-romneys-small-business-records/>.

Billitteri, Thomas J. Government and Religion. January 2010. 14 October 2012 <http://library.cqpress.com.ezp1r.riosalado.edu/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2010011506&type=hitlist>.

IDEO. The Future of the Book. 14 October 2012 <http://vimeo.com/15142335>.

Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School. Article VI. 14 October 2012 <http:// www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlevi>.

stinkymeat.net. Experiment 1. 14 October 2012 <http://www.stinkymeat.net/stinkymeat/day1/>.

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