After the Fourth

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After the fourth of July I spent the day recouperating and just really enjoying the day. I spent most of it sitting under a tree at the park enjoying the clouds, and later thunderclouds, roll by. Lying under the tree it hit me that even nature has its own language. It is the language of ebb and flow. When one part of nature has a weak spot other sources come and fill it. It is a never ending cycle to give and take.

I saw this while looking up through the branches at the sun, and saw how nature can be used by humans to connect us more with how this world operates yet getting the needs we have met, through a very lucrative business venture that has immense potential not only for profit, but for a whole new way of conducting business. I cannot disclose this information yet, but it will come in the form of an evolved use of photovoltaics.

What I saw was how instead of humans trying to create new ways of doing things, we create ways to build off of what is already here, nature. How one builds off of a pre-existing argument, or conversation, one can build off the functions of nature for material gains and comforts. The functions of nature, say how the wind patterns of Durango, or the effectiveness of some plants to retain and use water to its full potential, would be considered the conversation at hand, and one may come up to this conversation and contemplate how this effectiveness of these plants, or these certain wind patterns could be used to conserve water and use it to its full potential without squander, or how these wind patterns could cool homes for free, while at the same time create energy for those homes, while bringing in water for your plants, and so on.

This is the language that I now see, which I believe holds in it immense, and in a way almost limitless potential for everyone. In a way everyone has the potential to be millionaires and billionaires, and to live a life of comfort and ease.

I hope you can begin to see what I see, so we can A: begin to grow and B: to create discourse off this topic and to see where it goes.

All the best,

-David

COMP 250

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To be honest in the beginning of the summer session I went in to COMP 250 thinking we were going to be doing the same things as in COMP 125 and COMP 150 which is to just research and write papers all the time. I didn’t really have a problem with that it just seemed to be somewhat boring and something I didn’t feel that I would learn much from. However….

COMP 250 with professor William Mangrum just so happened to be something completely different, and much much better in my mind. Right off the bat we started with a conversation that was directed at getting to know our fellow scholars in the class room, and I could tell right off the bat that many of my fellow scholars were somewhat in a state of shock when they were asked to be a part of the conversation and inform the rest of us on a piece of themselves. From there we continued haven discussions on how language i used, and where it is used, and its everywhere!

For the last two year I have been living up north at purgatory and have been looking at many different aspects of life, and looking for ways to inhibit change where I believe it is needed, i.e. the business word and educational system. I had begun this journey of searching many years before moving up north, all because of a girl. This girl’s name is Mia and I can’t explain in words what happened but this girl turned my entire life upside down, or more appropriately turned my world inside out. I began looking inward and began asking questions directed at myself, such as why didn’t I do this, why am I doing that, and from there a whole whirlwind of questions kept coming up and I felt the urge to keep digging deeper and deeper to really see the world and how it works, and really see myself and who I really am. For many years I would sit alone and contemplate all these questions, and look for all the answers, which in turn led me to see the immense potential that is all around us. For the longest time I have been looking for the answer to “How” to change the world, and the answer has been right there in front of me the whole time, LANGUAGE!

This class has shown me how language is used throughout the world, in all the different styles and structures, and why these certain types of languages are used. Throughout our class discussions and assignments, especially reading the Language and the So What? books, the art of language has been gradually being shown to me, and from what I can see  this stuff is powerful! I agree with Professor Mangrum in that language is probably one of the most powerful tools we as humans have. It is all around us and if thoroughly looked at you begin to see that in many ways it guide us throughout life.

To me I believe that all peoples should learn how language is used, not only for serving there own needs, but as a way to understand what really is being said and told to them as a defensive tactic as well as an offensive tactic.

All in all I believe language to be an important and vital tool to ourselves as a society, culture, and race and should be one of the first things we learn in our early lives. I am very grateful and thankful for everything I have learned so far, and am feeling kind of shitty that this is only a 5 week course and it is almost done. Thank you all fellow scholars for being a part of this on going conversation.

-David 🙂

Peekay Briggs

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Yesterday morning (July 1st, 2014) I met with a lovely woman named Peekay Briggs to discuss how to search for and find out if there is credibility for information for a research paper. Usually our whole class goes into the library for a 1 hour session and goes over the same EBSCOhost database and how to search through it. This time however I found the one on one meeting to be much more helpful in that Peekay showed me other sites that I can look up scholarly journals and other information pieces, such as Google Scholar, and parts of Wikipedia that I had not know about before.

On Wikipedia I usually just skim through the brief parts of what that page has to offer. Usually I go on the site with the notion that this stuff is not supported by firm evidence, but has been put together by random people with weak supportive evidence. What Peekay showed me was how to find all the sources and begin to decipher whether or not they are valid sources of evidence. She explained how by being able to write your own citations it will be much easier to read citations and see where they came from, what they are, who the author is, and whether that piece will work for you. I completely agree on that notion that benig able to write your own citations will make finding valid sources of information much easier. It gives me more motivation when having to deal with writing citation for in the past that was me least favorite thing to do, and a lot of the time I would half ass it on the works cited page, resulting in a ding to my grades.

Now after meeting with Peekay I can see the importance of writing and reading a good citation, for that is how one navigates through scholarly works and such.

I really like now being able to see the pathways in which one could search through academic journals and other scholarly works when researching a certain topic. It is definitely easier to do research now, even when no specific topic has been chosen.

Peekay also showed me how to look for sources even when I am not at the FLC library. How I can ask for sources from libraries that I am not a local too, which will be very handy if I am out of town and need to get some info. Peekay showed me that most libraries are interconnected, especially the ones within the state itself. So now there is a much wider array of information available to me, and I know how to get it. Even if I am at a library that you need to be a part of, I now know that you can get quest passes to receive academic journals, and that it is possible to print journals from non-local libraries, but to play it safe asking for the rules on each library first would be the best bet.

Over all this meeting with Peekay was much better than the usual learning how to navigate through EBSCOhost. I have done the EBSCOhost class about 4 times now and with this one meeting with Peekay I have learned much more, and have gotten much more motivation for doing research papers.

On a last note I would just like to say that I am glad now that I can see how to build a strong argument off an existing argument, or new argument all together, using the knowledge of gaining strong evidence through the citations of the research in authors and the scholarly works. Thank you Peekay!

-David

The Clashing of Cultures

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Today (July 1st, 2014) I really enjoyed the discussion that uncovered the effects of the clashing of different cultures. I enjoyed hearing the views on how when an outside culture comes into another culture, and brings with it different styles and views, that the receiving culture tends to not accept the importing culture, or doesn’t think “it is cool” like Jessica said today.

I believe that this is true, but I would like to know why. Off the top of my head right now I would say that this clashing of cultures has to do with part of one culture has made clear that this is the “right” culture to be in, and should not be changed, for it doesn’t need to be changed. It may not say that directly, but there is an underlying tone that creates the impression that change is not needed nor accepted. I think that Jessica’s imagery of a middle eastern woman coming into the American culture with her dressing style, and her culture not being asked about and integrated into the American culture paints a beautiful picture of these boundaries that are not being crossed. I call them boundaries because I see the cultures as being cultures in a petri dish, with each culture having a membrane being the boundary that keeps outside cultures out and there own identity inside. I don’t really know about biology, but I would look to a biologist or virologist for a suggestion on how one virus or culture permeates another’s membrane, and/or how two separate virus’ or cultures become one great virus or culture.

So far only thinking in biological way to observe the clashing of cultures is the only way I can begin to understand the situation, and look for possibilities for progress.

If you see this situation in a different light I would love to hear your thoughts and begin a discourse on this topic. Also if you can see any light at the end of the tunnel of this situation please reply at anytime, I’m eager to dig in deeper to this subject.

-David

The Art of Doublespeak

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In the book “Language: A Reader for Writers” a chapter called Language and Politics contains an article, “Doubts About Doublespeak” by William Lutz, that brings to attention the structures of doublespeak. Lutz states that doublespeak is the “language which pretends to communicate but doesn’t”(Lutz 199),

the “language which makes the bad seem good, the negative seem positive, the unpleasant seem attractive, or at least tolerable. It is language which avoids, shifts, or denies responsibility; language which is at variance with its real or purported meaning”. (Lutz 199)

 

I believe the questions “What exactly is double speak”, “How is it used in society?”, and “Why is it used?” need to be looked at in order to understand the art of doublespeak.

Fighting words in FIFA

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Does anyone else see the language used by the commentators in the World Cup as a sort if fighting language? Either directed at an individual or team as a whole?. Do you think that they should use or not use this type of language, or stay completely neutral perhaps?

Fighting Words

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In Rebecca Solnit’s article in Guernica (2010) she describes the media’s view on the Haitian earthquake refugees as looters for whom they were quoted as “looters”. The refugees were taking food from run down stores after the earthquake hit, and were being chased and arrested by the police to stealing. This to me paints the picture that these material objects, mostly food I’m guessing, were more important than the lives of the survivors.  I think this brings about the big question of “What is more important, peoples lives, or supply’s”? In my mind I see the “looters” lives being more important than the supply’s they were taking. What I see when I look at both of them is a persons life being here for many purposes, while the supplies are here for one or few purposes. Plus a humans life I believe has meaning, being that of being here to learn and to grow. This, I believe, weighs infinitly much more than material objects here, that were made by man!

The media paints this picture of looters and I’ll admit I follow their depiction as I’m watching the news. It ever occurs to me to look at the bigger picture, to look at it from their view. I’ve never been in a situation like that so I don’t know what its like to have to steal food in order to survive, I don’t know what its like to lose everything. I think that it is unfair to the Haitians to paint a picture of them in such a dark color, as thiefs and greedy/selfish people trying to take advantage of the situation, for this is the picture I see when the word “looters” is used by the media.

This is a serious problem I see because it doesn’t just stop at the Haitian refugees, for the media is everywhere. They are the painters of knowledge that we get, whatever and however we get information is passed through their “artists” so what we see is usually one sided, and can be used for sinister motives and agendas.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how the media paints the public’s picture of situations world wide, and how what we know has the potential of being misguided. How could the media present a more colorful and well rounded report to the public? Is it even possible? Why do you think they paint certain pictures for certain situations?

-David

Language and Politics

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Sorry for the late post, I got caught up with Fifa and annotating the chapter.

This chapter in the book explains how Language is used covertly in politics as a way to hide and deceive. Politicians use what is called as double speak in order to “coax, manipulate, assure, and convince us” (DasBender 197), for politics to me is not about transferring truth and information but a way to achieve an agenda. There are four types of double speak that are used by politicians, officials, professors, our leaders. These four types of double speak are euphemism, jargon, bureaucratese, and inflated language. Euphemism is “a word or phrase designed to avoid a harsh or distasteful reality” (DasBender 199). Jargon is “the specialized language of a trade, profession, or similar group, such as doctors, lawyers, plumbers, or car mechanics” (DasBender 200). while gobbledygook or bureaucratese is “simply a matter of overwhelming the audience with words- the more the better” (DasBender 200). lastly there is inflated language which is what it sounds like. Inflated language “which is designed to make the ordinary seem extraordinary, to make everyday things seem impressive, to give an air of importance to people or situations, to make the simple seem complex” (DasBender 200).

What I have trouble understanding is that our LEADERS are using all this evasive language to avoid and confuse their audience, us the people. Its hard to imagine that our country is run off of laws, regulations, and elected officials who play in their own world of doublespeak which is separate than our everyday world of what I would call single speak. Why are they trying to confuse and deceive us? Why are they choosing to use double speak instead of speaking plainly and telling the truth? Why are we letting them do this, when most of us either have a hard time keeping up with what is being said, or don’t understand it at all? I find it somewhat enraging that this is how things are being run, that our countries main structures are run not of truth and fair play, but are run through camouflaged language.

These types of double speak are used in the business world as well, and example being when a commercial 727 crashed and the airline used Jargon to disguise the crash as a “Involuntary conversion of a 727” (DasBender 200). This was used instead of the airplane company owning up to the problem and attending to it, all because they didn’t want to lose money. In a business sense this makes sense but was it the right thing to do? When money is involved I believe that the question “what is the right thing to do” becomes blurred, and that greed and selfishness seep through disguising themselves as “sustaining business”.  Spirituality then comes into the argument becoming the focus on what is the right thing to do.

Getting back to point George Orwell states that “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible” (DasBender 211). I think this is a strong statement that politicians needs to use double speak because many things that they are doing are based off their own opinions, and not of the people as a whole. We elect our leaders to speak for us, but I believe that when they become a part of the political community they become disconnected from the people and their own voice and agendas become the main focus of their term. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, for politics fascinates me and I would love to create knowledge on this topic, thus your viewpoints are widely welcome.

-David

June 16th 2014

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Yesterday I did not read the articles on language. No, I did something else, something better. I went and hung out with a friend and his neighbors. It was the first time meeting many of them, which in the past I would have found to be intimidating and nerve racking which I could see some of them were feeling. Then the spectacular part happened. We started conversing deeper than the common pleasantries one would exhume in a situation such as this. It was fascinating watching the conversation being spun around by each participant, myself included. Then it hit me, this is exactly what we have been talking aobut in class, and I was seeing it being put to practice by these fellow comrades I had just met. Every person was putting in their thoughts and ideas and they were either agreed upon or confronted with another view point. It was such an experience that I couldn’t let it go, everytime the conversation would either start to go stale, or halted upon I would add in another question or remark to dig even deeper into the discourse. And do you know what I found, I found that my new companions would get even more excited and would dig right back in and keep adding and reflecting upon their own viewpoints. It also hit me that it seemed to be, I wouldn’t say foreign but rather, a muscle they had not flexed in a while thus concluding to me that the majority of conversations that had occurred in past times probably would have stayed closer to the surface than digging as deep as we had just done.

All of this was a fascinating experience, and I look forward to further analysis on everyday connections, and discussions and where they start, stay, and end upon.

If I’m not the only one who sees this floating on the surface type of conversation that is most common please tell me, I would love to talk about why this is and what other options are out there.

-David