Final Essay

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The Media’s Portrayal of Brexit

A 2016 referendum announcing the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union known as Brexit caused immediate economic uncertainty. Once their exit is finalized on March 29, 2019, further global impacts on the world’s economy are likely to follow. The United Kingdom is currently under a transition period up until their exit date. With a global event such as Brexit, there are a lot of perspectives on the situation whether it can harm or benefit the world’s economy. Numerous media outlets such as online magazines, British new sites, books, etc., have shared with the public their views as well as opinions on Brexit. These outlets take into consideration the power of persuasion by using rational appeal (logos) or ethical appeal (ethos) when influencing the public’s opinions and views on the event.

 

When it comes to a global event such as Brexit, media outlets will report on the cons of the situation. For instance, according to the scholarly journal article, “Germany and the European Union: Post-Brexit Hegemon?” by Simon Bulmer, uses there could be major economic consequences since Germany will have to take on a greater role in the EU once Britain leaves. Bulmer uses both logos and ethos when addressing Brexit. He mentions how one of the most important tasks includes taking charge of the EU budget. According to the article, a German government unable to make decisions despite its structural power could leave the EU in quite a predicament. It all goes back to Germany’s lack of leadership roles. Germany is notorious for its avoidance in playing a lead military role in post-Cold War Europe. It does not look to promising that Germany will excel in taking on the financial burden, but the full financial consequences of Brexit will become clearer with the negotiation of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework. The article also informs the public as to how Brexit can affect trade policies and foreign trade policy can change as well in Europe. When it comes to trade, there has been considerable consistency in British European policy objectives regardless of the party in office. The UK government has consistently supported pragmatic approaches to integration rather than federalist visions. They have consistently advocated for a liberal EU internal market, particularly in financial services, and for liberal trade internationally. With Brexit, that could harm that consistency.

 

In the media, it is stressed that Brexit not only affects the UK, but it also affects the world as well. Ethos is heavily used in the source, the article: “Brexit won’t affect only the UK – it has lessons for the global economy” by Mohamed El-Erin, exposes the public to the way it is a global issue not just an issue in Europe. For instance, the article points out that it is evident that world leaders are paying close attention to the consequences of Brexit when dealing with their own political and economic situations. He advises policymakers to learn from the United Kingdom’s Brexit experience.  El-Erin writes this article in a cautious tone which alarms the reader as well as inform them. He alludes to the 2008 global crisis when informing the reader how troubling Brexit can be. He writes that the UK economy is currently experiencing slow-moving change, with the falling of foreign investment, which contributes to the economy’s disappointing level of investment. El-Erin predicts that due to Brexit, there will be changes in how countries seek to structure their economies, meaning large and relatively closed economies might seem appealing to countries who have that option. El-Erin writes this article in a cautious tone which alarms the reader as well as inform them.

The Time’s article, “What Next for Brexit: Britain Plays the Ultimate Game of ‘Deal or No Deal’” by Amanda Sloat, informs the public through using ethos, about the consequences if British Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal fails. If it fails, members of parliament will vote by March 13 on whether the U.K. should leave the E.U. without a deal. Leaving without a deal can lead to global impacts on the economy and that’s what Sloat stresses throughout the article. If May’s deal fails, members of Parliament will vote by March 13 on whether the U.K. should leave the E.U. without a deal. Consequences of a no-deal Brexit affect food security and trade disruption, to the Irish border and citizens’ rights.  Sloat wrote this article specifically towards Brits who are unaware of how serious a non-Brexit deal can affect the economy.

Forbes magazine’s article, “How Brexit Could Affect Finance, Real Estate, and The Global Economy”, uses logos when exposing its readers to cons of Brexit despite acknowledging that there are possibly beneficial outcomes of Brexit. Author, Ely Razin, provides the reader with detailed information on how Brexit could impact the following: the finance industry and the real estate market. A concern that is stressed in the article is that Brexit could reduce the U.K.’s competitive edge that of its financial institutions. For instance, if the British banks are not granted the extra benefits they are seeking in a financial relationship with the EU, this could give U.S. and Asian financial institutions a boost in Europe by opening competition, which could  have a negative effect on British banks in terms of their bottom line and their capacity and appetite for loan origination.

             Although there have been numerous pieces of media that focus on the negative aspects of Brexit, there are still outlets that cover the beneficial factors of the event. The New York Times Opinion piece, “Is There an Upside to Brexit?” by Chen Bittner, covers the economic benefits of Brexit through using ethos. Bittner does acknowledge that there are economic risks of Brexit, but his article strongly focuses on the positives of it.  According to Bittner, there lies an opportunity for Europe to strengthen the bilateral relationship with Britain, he believes that if they play it right, their economy can prosper. He references China’s economy, which is the largest economy in the world and states that Europe could be almost as powerful. At the end of the article, Bittner states, neither can stand up to China alone; even together, they might not be enough. But as the core of a global entente, they can meet the challenge.

In conclusion, when wanting to gain a clear understanding of Brexit’s effects on the world economy, it is significant to expose yourself to numerous perspectives. There will be sources that will tell you, as a reader, that Brexit can beneficial to the world economy while other media outlets will expose you to the cons of it. These sources will strongly rely on either logos or ethos to mold your opinion on Brexit. It is up to you as a daily news in-taker to draw your own conclusions and form your opinions on the situation.

Bibliography

Bittner, Jochen. “Is There an Upside to Brexit?” The New York Times. 04 Mar. 2019. The New York Times. 09 Mar. 2019 <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/04/opinion/brexit-europe-china.html?ref=oembed&gt;

Bulmer, Simon. “Germany and the European Union: Post-Brexit Hegemon?” Insight Turkey, vol. 20, no. 3, 2018, p. 11+. Global Issues in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A549337202/OVIC?u=miam11506&sid=OVIC&xid=3f009bdf. Accessed 9 Mar. 2019.

Evans, Geoffrey, and Anand Menon. Brexit and British Politics, Polity Press, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.fiu.edu/legacydocview/EBC/5145622?accountid=10901.

El-Erian, Mohamed. “Brexit won’t just affect the UK – it has lessons for the global economy | Mohamed El-Erian.” The Guardian. 26 Nov. 2018. Guardian News and Media. 09 Mar. 2019 <https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/26/brexit-uk-global-economy-eu&gt;.

Razin, Ely. “How Brexit Could Affect Finance, Real Estate And The Global Economy.” Forbes. 08 Aug. 2018. Forbes Magazine. 09 Mar. 2019 <https://www.forbes.com/sites/elyrazin/2018/08/08/how-brexit-could-affect-finance-real-estate-and-the-global-economy/#1155f8b540df&gt;.

Sloat, Amanda. “Deal, No Deal, or No Brexit: The Scenarios Facing Britain.” Time, Time, 6 Mar. 2019, time.com/5545659/eu-no-deal-no-brexit-analysis/.

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Lauren Bedevia, Individual Assignment 4: Annotated Bibliography

Hi Lauren, good biblio, good annotations, well-done. One point though, try not to use first person as a general rule, you could do these annotations without that, but I will not deduct any points.

Thesis Statement: A 2016 referendum announcing the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union known as Brexit caused immediate economic uncertainty. Once their exit is finalized on March 29, 2019, further global impacts on the world’s economy are likely to follow.

  1. Book

Evans, Geoffrey, and Anand Menon. Brexit and British Politics, Polity Press, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.fiu.edu/legacydocview/EBC/5145622?accountid=10901.

The book Brexit and British Politics, Polity Press by Geoffrey Evans and Anand Menon, is helpful to me when wanting to understand the global impact on the world’s economy Brexit can have. The book provides me with insightful chapters such as the aftermath, The Brexit Effect, and What would Brexit mean?  These chapters go into depth of what could happen to the world economy. The fact that this book is written by two professors who are both English, allows me to view a European perspective on this issue.

2. Journal Article

Bulmer, Simon. “Germany and the European Union: Post-Brexit Hegemon?” Insight Turkey, vol. 20, no. 3, 2018, p. 11+. Global Issues in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A549337202/OVIC?u=miam11506&sid=OVIC&xid=3f009bdf. Accessed 9 Mar. 2019.

The article, “Germany and the European Union: Post-Brexit Hegemon?” by Simon Bulmer, exposes me to an opposing view on Brexit. This journal article mentions that there can be economical consequences if Germany takes on a greater role in the EU when Britain leaves, which means that Germany will have to take over the EU budget. The journal article also mentions how trade polices can change, along with foreign policy.

3. Magazine

Sloat, Amanda. “Deal, No Deal, or No Brexit: The Scenarios Facing Britain.” Time, Time, 6 Mar. 2019, time.com/5545659/eu-no-deal-no-brexit-analysis/.

I chose Time Magazine’s article, “Deal, No Deal, or No Brexit: The Scenarios Facing Britain,” because it helped me get a clear understanding on the situation before even writing my thesis. The article is about the consequences if British Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal fails. If it fails, members of parliament will vote by March 13 on whether the U.K. should leave the E.U. without a deal. Leaving without a deal can lead to global impacts on the world economy.

4. Newspaper

El-Erian, Mohamed. “Brexit won’t just affect the UK – it has lessons for the global economy | Mohamed El-Erian.” The Guardian. 26 Nov. 2018. Guardian News and Media. 09 Mar. 2019 <https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/26/brexit-uk-global-economy-eu&gt;.

For my newspaper source, I chose an article from Britain’s daily newspaper titled, “Brexit won’t just affect the UK – it has lessons for the global economy” by |Mohamed El-Erian. This article emphasizes the fact that Brexit affects the world’s economy. For instance, tax and regulatory arbitrage are likely to increase due to Brexit.

5. Website

Bittner, Jochen. “Is There an Upside to Brexit?” The New York Times. 04 Mar. 2019. The New York Times. 09 Mar. 2019 <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/04/opinion/brexit-europe-china.html?ref=oembed&gt;.

The article, “Is There an Upside to Brexit?”, from The New York Time’s website is important for my paper. In this opinion piece by Jochen Bittner, I get to read up on how there could be an economical upside to Brexit. Jochen states that this could start an opportunity for a new bilateral relationship that could both strengthen Britain and Europe. This could be a helpful source when writing about possibly good global impacts.

6. Chosen Source

Razin, Ely. “How Brexit Could Affect Finance, Real Estate And The Global Economy.” Forbes. 08 Aug. 2018. Forbes Magazine. 09 Mar. 2019 <https://www.forbes.com/sites/elyrazin/2018/08/08/how-brexit-could-affect-finance-real-estate-and-the-global-economy/#1155f8b540df&gt;.

I decided to choose an article from Forbes magazine titled, “How Brexit Could Affect Finance, Real Estate and The Global Economy”.  This article talks about how the aftermath of Brexit could not be negative all around.  For example, the article states that Brexit can affect banks in the United States because major U.S. investment banks have been using London as a base for European capital markets. This article backs up my thesis in proving how Brexit can impact the world’s economy.

Individual Assignment 4: Draft thesis statement

The United Kingdom is currently going through a transitional period since voting to leave the European Union back in 2016.  There is a huge possibility that once the U.K.’s exit is final, dramatic changes will take place. Brexit can make an impact on the economy and immigration.

 

A 2016 referendum announcing the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union known as Brexit caused immediate economic uncertainty. Once their exit is finalized on March 29, 2019, further global impacts on the world’s economy are likely to follow.

 

Team Assignment #2 The Insider

Hi Team 15, good job overall but I don’t see any images. If you send them to me in a word document I can include them in your grade. Good persuasive argument and good writing style. You covered the material very well. Good points made throughout!

1. The mainstream media often face enormous challenges in trying to give audiences an accurate picture of the world. For individual journalists, there are extraordinary pressures and obstacles to getting at the truth and telling the stories audiences want and need.

You may select Jeffrey Wigand, 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace, producer Lowell Bergman, executive producer Don Hewitt, the Wall Street Journal editor who helped stop the smear or the NY Times reporter who exposed the inside story on how CBS handled the Wigand affair.

All of these people had significant personal and institutional pressures, some more than others. Please do not select your character because you believe everyone will write about that person. No team can analyze this case the same as someone else unless they cheat.

Your essay should focus on how the principles and values of concealment and revelation apply to the tobacco case or the case at CBS News. 500 words. (Lauren & Carlos)

Jeffrey Wigan faced numerous amounts of pressure in his attempt to morally inform the public about the addictive properties along with the harmful effects of tobacco products sold by tobacco companies. Throughout the film, “The Insider” principles and values of concealment and revelation could easily be applied in the Tobacco Case. Even though Wigand had signed a contract with the tobacco company Brown & Williamson, he was unable to speak about anything he knew about the company by law. He continued to ponder the idea of speaking out about what “Big Tobacco” wanted to be kept a secret. The following questions are crucial when analyzing how the principles and values of concealment and revelation apply to the case: why was it so important for the company to make Wigand keep quiet?  Why was secrecy necessary? And most importantly, what are the consequences of Wigand’s desire to expose “Big Tobacco’s” secrets to the public?

            A Whistle Blower’s Job is not synonymous to a leaker. A leaker is classified as the anonymous source for unauthorized disclosure of any information.  A whistleblower makes a public interest disclosure and may be either anonymous or public. In the film, “The Insider, Wigand was a whistleblower whose mission was to inform the public on “Big Tobacco’s” secret information on the addiction to nicotine. It was important for the company to keep Wigand quiet because they knew that their reputation would be tarnished once the public knew the truth. Wigand (who was an executive before he was fired), knew the companies’ CEOs lied in front of Congress. In the Tobacco case, they denied nicotine being addictive and harmful for consumers and wanted to conceal the fact that their cigarettes go through a process called “boosting” which is the manipulation and enhancing of nicotine.  The secrecy was necessary due to the company’s image being at stake.

    Just like in the tobacco case, many whistleblowers face obstacles and pressures when wanting to reveal the truth to the public. For instance, Wigand suffered many consequences when working to expose “Big Tobacco’s” secrets.  Prior to his 60 Minutes interview, he received a death threat aimed to him and his family from “Big Tobacco” as well as having his reputation tarnished. According to Karen Higginbottom’s article, “The Price of Being A Whistleblower”, whistleblowers often suffer with their mental health due to the consequences of revealing secret information to the public.

In conclusion, the principles values of concealment and revelation apply to the tobacco case. Wigand, who was a whistleblower on exposing “Big Tobacco’s” secret, faced enormous amounts of pressure when bringing the truth to the public all the while he faced serious retaliation by the Brown & Williamson Company in the attempt to keep him quiet.

2. How does Jeffry Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) affect the flow of information in The Insider? What legitimate argument, if any, could Brown and Williamson (B&W) make in support of the agreement? What NDAs have recently been used in the public sector? Using the critical perspective, what are the implications of NDAs for government employees? 300 words. (Cody & Colin)

In the film The Insider, Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement creates a dilemma in his revealing of the tobacco industry’s knowledge of the health risks of its products and practices. He held back from disclosing information at first because he did not want to risk losing his severance package and health care, which his family depended on. However, the aftershock of Wigand’s NDA extended far beyond Mr. Wigand himself. CBS initially aired an interview that excluded Wigand’s involvement, after pressure from the CBS legal department noted the severe legal battle they could face from Brown and Williamson (B&W) if CBS were to air it. I do not believe that B&W should have had a legal leg to stand on with Wigand’s NDA because it was attempting to cover up information that was harming to the health of the public, a conflicting motive in comparison to critical theory. The critical theory developed in association with The Frankfurt School establishes that “a theory is critical to the extent that it; seeks human emancipation from slavery, acts as a liberating influence and works to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers of human beings.” (Cody)

As for a recent example of NDAs being used in the public sector, we can look no farther than the campaign of President Donald Trump. According to an article from The New Yorker, one of Trump’s campaign employees, Alva Johnson, claims she suffered “racial and gender discrimination” during her time working for the campaign. Apparently, Johnson’s suit is “at least the sixth legal case in which Trump campaign or Administration employees have defied their nondisclosure agreements.” Though many politicians use this tactic to minimize political damage, President Trump happens to be its most prominent perpetrator. The implications of NDAs for government employees can be kind of a gray area. On the one hand, they should be enforced if national security or secrets are on the line and could potentially harm the country or government. However, if they are only used to cover up crimes or bad deeds by high-ranking officials, they can be a dangerous tool used for the wrong purpose. This is the same exact way the NDAs were being used by B&W. They wanted to silence Wigand with this document, as well as death threats, so he can’t reveal that they had the intentions of making their cigarettes more addictive. (Colin)

3. John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand’s reputation. Jack Palladino and his team of investigators were hired by Richard Scruggs to counter their allegations. Using McLuhan as a lens, analyze the forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino. If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, would today’s media have made things different? If so, how? 300 words. (Georgina)

The media used by Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino varies from print to television. Scanlon and Lenzner try to discredit Wigand’s reputation through the Wall Street Journal so no one would ever listen to what Wigand has to say about tobacco. They both first use print as their form of media with their 500-page dossier that states how Wigand pleaded guilty as a shoplifter, how he’s a wife beater and ignored his child support duties, how he got ticketed for running red lights, along with other accusations. Their second form of media is television, where they publicly announce the 500-page dossier on the WLKO local news station.

Jack Palladino and his team went around interviewing people who were part of the accusations such as the judge who oversaw the child support case and the police officer who cited Wigand for running a red traffic light. Their form of media was also print. They compiled all their findings into a folder that was handed off to Charlie Phillips who worked for The Wall Street Journal. That folder contained all their leads and sources that contradict what was in the 500-page dossier, proving Wigand’s innocence. The dossier is later dismissed in The Wall Street Journal as “the worst kind of organized smear campaign against a whistleblower,” and “the lowest form of character assassination.”

If the war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred today, the media that would have the most impact in making a difference would be Social Media. With today’s social media platforms, the public that’s hearing about how there’s some sort of health issue regarding Big Tobacco companies’ cigarettes can demand to know the truth. They have the freedom to state their opinions online and share posts with others. Since it’s about such a huge company, the issue would most likely get huge exposure around the world. This can cause people to start protesting, boycotting, or even act violently towards Big Tobacco.

4. In the film, Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt attend a meeting with CBS Corporate.  CBS general counsel Helen Caperelli informs them of “tortious interference” and its implications for the 60 Minutes Wigand piece. Provide a detailed analysis of the rhetoric used by the participants in the meeting. For each speaker, who is their intended audience, and how do they use the modes of rhetoric? 300 words. (Josh)

In the meeting between Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt and the CBS Corporate, both sides try to persuade the other to either airing the 60-minute Wigand piece or not. In this discussion, Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt try to convince Helen (The CBS general counsel) and her board by using rhetoric to show the risky piece on the case of Cigarettes being bad for you. Helen explains “Tortious Interference” and what the consequences would be. Wallace tries to convince them by using logos in saying “interfering? That’s what we do “to steer his point which could easily create an argument for itself considering they work for a news network that is supposed to provide information for the public. To add onto what Wallace says, Bergman explains “this happens all the time, people are always telling us things they shouldn’t”, he also uses logos. Both intended audiences are the board in stating the obvious and reminding them of the true purpose of the show. To try to persuade the board a little more, Hewitt comes back by saying  “After we corroborate it that’s why we never lost a lawsuit and run a classy show”, the team as a whole continuously try to convince the board using ethos, by expressing that news business is risky and its nothing they have not done before. Helen explains through pathos “The greater the truth the greater the damage” this could be for both sides if the whole truth is told and the case is lost the cigarette companies could end up owning CBS, but on the contrary, if the cigarette company losses it could seriously damage the company. Helen’s audience is to company managers. She is speaking on behalf of the company’s CEO and does not want to change the business being lost in court.

Editor: Lauren Bedevia

Source used

Farrow, Ronan. “A Lawsuit by a Campaign Worker Is the Latest Challenge to Trump’s Nondisclosure Agreements.” The New Yorker. 25 Feb. 2019. The New Yorker. 26 Feb. 2019 <https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-lawsuit-by-a-campaign-worker-is-the-latest-challenge-to-trumps-

nondisclosure-agreements>. Higginbottom, Karen. “The Price of Being A Whistleblower.” Forbes. 23 Feb. 2017. Forbes Magazine. 26 Feb. 2019 <https://www.forbes.com/sites/karenhigginbottom/2017/02/18/the-price-of-being-a-whistleblower/#4090ed355b52&gt;.

Lauren Bedevia- Individual Assignment #3: 48-hour news blackout

Hi Lauren,

Well-done! Your post is thoughtful and well-written. You showed a good deal of self-reflection. Good points throughout essay. Excellent writing form and style. Overall good work!!!

After reading William Deresiewicz’s article, “The End of Solitude”, I was told to throw myself in a Twilight Zone of partial solitude.  I had to disconnect myself from all the news and their platforms for 48 hours. It seemed impossible to do until I did it and stuck through with it. We live in a society where the news is just a bottom away through various devices. I decided to take simple notes at the end of both days in order to recall any feelings and emotions through it all. (good idea!) In the end, it was evident that I did experience both the anxiety and solitude that talks Deresiewicz about in his article.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but before this assignment, I was heavily reliant on social media sites and apps to not only read the news but to also stay connected with people. I ended up deleting all my news and social media apps in order to commit. Day one was the hardest day to disconnect from all news. It was the first dive into the twilight zone of not knowing what is going on with the world.  Just like one of Deresiewicz’s students, the loneliness I felt during this blackout was unsettling. I am the type of person that usually finds comfort in being around people and discusses things that I’ve seen on the news or on social media apps. I decided to rely on tasks to distract myself from this unsettling solitude. I occupied myself with schoolwork and noticed that I was able to complete all of it by staying in the twilight zone. It was evident that the lack of media, allowed me to prioritize my work. (nice self-reflection!)

On day two, there was less anxiety. For the most part, I had this calm and productiveness going on.  I did the following: homework, exercised, laundry, I watched movies and I wrote in my journal, which is something I’ve been meaning to commit to. I was able to tackle everything on my to-do list without any interference of notifications.  There was less of a need to log on to my apps and catch up on the news, depsite the feeling of solitude. In disconnecting myself from social media, I was able to connect with myself. (very good sentence!!!)

    In conclusion, I did end up embracing the media blackout, but I do believe that it is important to be informed about that is going on in the world. Through this assignment, I realized how good it was for me to not be consumed with what was going on outside of the twilight zone and focus on myself. Deresiewicz’s article emphasizes that we are heavily dependent on apps and media in order to feel connected nowadays. The news does intrude on our solitude, it’s easy to feel less isolated when being informed.  From now on I want to be more present and productive instead of overwhelmed with what pops out through my cell phone screen. These past 48 hours has changed the way to let the media dictate my life. (wow, that’s impressive!)

Team 15: The Ghost in the Shell Analysis

Hi Team #15,

I would have liked to see consistency in capitalization: Section 9 not section 9 or section 6. Always Section (and then the number) Also Ghost in the Shell, not Ghost in the shell. Puppet Master not puppet master. 

I really liked your use of images and how they were incorporated into the text! The responses are generally well-written, clear and detailed. You grasped the important points of the film and covered them well.  All the answers illustrate are thorough and well-imagined. Excellent and well-reasoned responses – I enjoyed reading this very much.

1a In the movie Ghost in the Shell, Section 9 was in charge of the case of locating and stopping the puppet master from hacking the ghost of citizens and political leaders. Throughout the movie, it is shown major and her team track down citizens whose ghost have been hacked, trying to get a lead on the puppet master. In the first incident they try to apprehend a suspect who has been helping the puppet master hack the ghosts of individuals, they chase after him and find another accomplice to the puppet master. It turns into a shooting and another chase. Section 9 eventually capture both suspects and arrest them. Throughout the rest of the movie, they managed to retrieve a mysterious cyborg who they later discovered held the ghost of the puppet master, after this revelation the puppet master was taken by section 6 to cover up the incident. In this case, it was section 6 who had gone too far by breaking numerous laws, section 9 stayed within the boundaries of the law.

1b – The government should not under any circumstance be able to break its own law, even if it meant (is) to ensure the safety of its own citizens. If the government was justified once to break the law they would (might or could) continue to do  doing so, “justifying” any action they do as necessary. Like in Ghost in the S shell, S section 6 breaks the law creating a program meant for espionage and stealing sensitive information that ends up becoming self-aware and in turn becomes the “puppet master”. This leads to people losing their memories of their past lives and dying from its actions. Even towards the end, the puppet master was able to get away and section 6 managed to cover to the whole incident and mark it as a terrorist attack. This event could even be considered similar in a way to when China tried to create a program to block their citizens from going on explicit sights.

1c- Since the United States is a democracy, constituents elect people in office and give them the power to make decisions regarding safety, immigration, and so on.  The government has a duty to keep its citizens safe. If the public were to know exactly what is going on all the time, it is easier for rival countries to know as well.  There are some cases however in which people in higher power lie and use public funds and services to benefit themselves. For example, Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Nixon’s administration bugged their opposing political parties’ offices to help get him re-elected into office. The government tried to keep the scandal under wraps, but reporters leaked the information to the public. We believe that the truth will always come to light and it is inevitable that the government keeps all their information a secret to protect the masses. In the court of law, one must swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, therefore the government should abide by the same rule.

2a – In Ghost in The Shell, information technologies are utilized in the form of computers and robotics that can replace the physical human body or their shell as named in the film, while maintaining their souls, or ghosts. Similar to Like the  two films the Matrix to proceed it and like the film Blade Runner before it, this film utilizes information technology to truly show the difference between man and machine. In the film, there is a virtual world and reality. For instance, Major Kusanagi, who is entirely machine minus her “ghost,” which began as human, struggles throughout the film questioning her humanity, since the only thing human about her is her “ghost” that is programmed in her cybernetic brain. There is merit in her dilemma, as also a garbage man in the film who the antagonist, The Puppet Master, has had his memories altered and reprogrammed in his brain. Therefore Major Kusanagi merges her “ghost” with the Puppet Master’s to truly answer this question of the merits of humanity over machinery. Informational technology within this film’s context blurs the line between human perception, soul and synthetic programmed hardware, and how particularly difficult that can be with that kind of access to advanced technology.

3a – Major Kusanagi utilizes solitude as an extension of the film’s theme of the difference between what it means to be artificial and human, and the identity crisis that arises amidst this technological world. As we see by the layout of Kusanagi’s apartment, although she struggles with what to define herself as, her decor is a blank shell with merely a bed and a view of the world beyond. Kusanagi leaves her apartment without; watching any television to catch up on world events, or even listening to any music to set the mood for her day. Her routine unfolds as a solitary moment of her day, lacking much emotional depth. In contrast, Motoko explains to Batou that she enjoys solo diving so much, despite the risk it brings to her cyborg shell because it connects her to emotions that she struggles to experience elsewhere. Kusanagi says “I feel fear, anxiety, isolation, and darkness. Sometimes I feel hope.” Although not a description of the most positive of emotions, she’s able to find emotions in her moments of solitude. Emotions which she evokes to assist in her strife between bionic and biological identity.

 

3b – In his essay End of Solitude, William Deresiewicz suggests that man is bringing about their own distaste for solitude with our enchantment over our information technologies. He suggests that solitude is ever increasingly becoming a rarity in the daily lives of a citizen, and even mentions that one of his students asked him, “why would anybody ever want to be alone?” Deresiewicz notes that solitude has been a key societal value for religious enlightenment and throughout the Romanticism era. I believe that our world is not merely approaching a time of solitude being socially undesirable, but we, in fact, have already reached that point. We live in a hyperactive and hyper-anxious world, where we view solitude as a poison to our sanity. I don’t believe that Ghost in The Shell suggests a world deprived of solitude, however, I do note that many of Kusanagi’s moments of enlightenment, come in solitude and conversation with herself. We don’t see many moments of solitude from any humans in the film, only a cyborg who is questioning her humanity. The futuristic take of Japan, however, does suggest a world where solitude is harder to find.

4a.  In McLuhan’s book, Understanding Media, McLuhan defines technology as an extension of ourselves.  Throughout history, it is evident that the technology we’ve created has influenced the way we all use, create, store, access, and communicate information. For instance, in the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg changed the spreading of knowledge and production of books in European civilization. The printing press increase literacy, which encouraged society to form their own opinions while being exposed to different views. The printing press would lead to the Scientific Revolution of the Enlightenment in the 16th century, which would radically alter how Europeans viewed the world and universe. It is believed that if it weren’t for Gutenberg’s invention, television and the radio would have never been invented.

The invention of the radio changed the way we would process content. In the 20th century, radio was introduced to the public. People were able to receive news and entertainment while driving, from their own kitchen, living room, etc., with just a click of a button from the device. Between the years of 1920 and 1950 folks would gather around to listen to radio shows, such as the news, sports events, comedy shows, dramas, live music, and political addresses.

In 1940s television came in to play. Instead of reading or hearing about something on the radio, one was able to watch it from their very own home. This was groundbreaking because it influenced the way society processed information and advanced the way we were entertained.  People were able to visually see what was going on in the world around them. Television became a medium that spread messages faster since they were placed everywhere (homes, beauty parlors, schools, etc.,). 

Various (various what?) has influenced the way we all use, create, store, access, and communicate information. As we evolve, so does our technology.

Image result for radio and tv in the fifties

4b.  One medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape is the Google search engine, which released on September 4, 1998. Being the choice search engine for many, it has helped us all with the age-old search for information. In an article on the Time.com titled “20 Years of Google Has Changed the Way We Think.”, they choose a rather interesting example of how Google, in its own way, made searching for information more efficient. Author James W. Cortada said “Imagine you want to know what year John F. Kennedy was elected President. If you had an encyclopedia, you would look at the entry for JFK and find out the answer (1960), but you’d also have to skim past JFK’S birth date and birthplace, and probably lots more. If you had a smartphone and Google, on the other hand, you would specifically look up the year he was elected, and the year is right there at the top.” However, the article also goes on to mention that unlike in an encyclopedia or some other book, the way we process information varies greatly differs from our ancestors with Google, and it is not always positively. For instance, Google can either bring you to wrong information, saying “if the answer that pops up is wrong, you have no reason to question it.” The article even goes so far as to suggest if an answer that “pops up” contradicts a prior belief you may have had, you might even “decide the answer is wrong even if it’s not.” In short, Google has provided the world with an easy to use a search engine that provides us with an abundance of websites, information, and images at our very fingertips. However, they left it up to us to navigate through each search result using our own judgment, good or bad.

4c. The story already revolves around advanced technology and has its own form of finding and sharing information. Google is such a large technology company that specializes in various internet related aspects such as search engines, cloud computing, software, and hardware that is used in the film could’ve either made it easier to find the puppet master or made it easier for the puppet master to hack more information. Some of Google’s products and services such as Google maps and Google Earth would’ve helped section 9 and section 6 to track and locate the puppet master. But then again, the puppet master was an expert hacker. He could’ve manipulated how section 9 and 6 received their tracking information. Google is like a data center which would most likely be part of the movie’s “data net”, thus giving the puppet master access to even more information. Google also has its own AI technology that’s powered by data from the company’s immense scale. The AI can search through the data center for any threats and/or anomalies faster than humans. It could’ve been applied to section 9’s cyborg agents to fight off the puppet master’s hacking.

[1]


[1] 1b http://time.com/5383389/google-history-search-information/

2ahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aIc7dOSUQA

4a http://www.flowofhistory.com/units/west/11/FC74

Lauren Bedevia, Team 15: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

Hi Laura,

Please use paragraphs! Overall, good job Laura. Your writing could be more clear and concise. You utilized class concepts and presented a fairly good analysis. There are some  grammar and sentence structure issues. Remove unnecessary words and try to condense your language, word choices and clarity of your thoughts. Keep up the good work!

Canadian professor and Philosopher, Marshall McLuhan, was notorious for his unique way of thinking and presenting unfamiliar ideas to society. McLuhan presented the idea that all types of media are extensions of human abilities such as body and mind, and that media can impact us and our environment. McLuhan came to this conclusion by observing the way media changed over time and people’s interactions with it; it is evident that he used critical perspective with one of his most popular ideas that the medium is the message. In McLuhan’s 1969 Playboy interview, he questioned the assumption that the message is far more impactful (has greater impact) than the medium in which the message is delivered. In reference to Hitler’s radio speeches that influenced the Germans during World War II, McLuhan, does not believe that content should not carry no any significance (which one can assume by his idea), rather he clarifies that by giving content all of the credit. (end of sentence) we don’t acknowledge the impact of new technologies on us, (no comma) that which can leave us closed-off to changes offered to us through new media. By not acknowledging the impact of new technologies, we leave ourselves closed off to changes new media offers. 

McLuhan expands the bounds of debate when presenting his idea that medium is the message. He claims that our survival is determined based on the understanding of the nature of our ever-changing environment. He stresses the idea that instead of remaining unmindful and oblivious to new technology, we should make the present more visible and the old environment less visible. For instance, in his Playboy uses an anecdote to back up his claim. He states that in no time in history were never present because “The Renaissance and the Middle Ages were completely oriented toward Rome; Rome was oriented toward Greece, and the Greeks were oriented toward the pre-Homeric primitives.” McLuhan argues that from going old to new technology, we reverse the old educational dictum of learning which affects our ability to evolve our senses when dealing with new media. With his idea that the medium is the message, McLuhan aims for the betterment of society. Of any and all media, in the true Narcissus style of one hypnotized by the amputation and extension of his own being in a new technical form (Understanding Media The extensions of man, Marshall McLuhan). (is this a quote? quotation marks?) What McLuhan means by the preceding quote is that as a society we need to become aware of the amounts of media content we take in and dare to question where that content comes from. (simplify this previous sentence) McLuhan believes that our society must become more aware of the massive media content consumed and dare to question the origins of that content. 

He emphasizes the importance of knowing the influence media has on our environment.

In conclusion, McLuhan’s ideas are both influential and unique. One of his most popular ideas is that the medium is the message. Though people assumed it was the message that served more of a significance, McLuhan thought otherwise. He used critical perspective in his thinking when sharing his idea by questioning commonly held assumptions, expanding the bounds of debate, and aiming for the betterment of society. Whether you agree that medium is the message, or that the message is more important than the medium, McLuhan knew how to get people to view his perspective. (good)