Draft Thesis Statement

October 1, 2017 will be remembered as the largest shooting in modern American history. While this disaster was occurring, Twitter became the main frame of information by streaming videos, text, and photos of the ongoing chaos. With hundreds of angles, personal stories, and live feeds, the entire twitter population was able to connect with the event and follow it firsthand. The ability to receive instant raw information as opposed to filtered, processed general knowledge through public media channels such as news stations, allowed an instant spread of awareness to all consumers of the application. This immediate awareness created a first-hand perspective to the audience which allowed them to perceive all occurrences as though they were present in the moments of the cruelty and panic.



This statement tells the reader that I interpreted the event as a live streaming occurrence able to be seen without filters and in raw chaos. It provides the road map on how I will bring up the examples of the raw footage and process of information being given to the public through Twitter and how it differs from normal news stations. The thesis can be disputed as Twitter can be views as biased opinions based on an individuals thoughts and ideals such as their view on gun control which was a concerning topic throughout the following days of the aftermath. In contrast, it can be argued that news stations we see on TV mainly only provide cold hard facts not tied to any prejudices or opinions, just general information instead. The topic to the thesis is Twitters’ ability of being the main source of information and media of this large event. The comment is that is unlike generic media outlets such as news stations due to the raw footage and multiple angles as well as “inexperienced” individuals proving information. This topic interests me because as it is the largest shooting in this country to date, it is mind blowing to know most if not all the information that was gained was through this one application. It is specific due to the ability of pinning the subject to only one application and it is manageable because it is recent and large enough to have enough examples’ and more than enough information. The difficulty I see in researching the thesis is to stay away from explaining the event and its examples instead of explaining how I know what I know about the event. This statement allows the reader to know that all the information gathered was from one small phone application, Twitter, which had the biggest impact on the largest event in modern history.


Secrecy by Stephanie Alonso

Thesis: They say trust is fragile. It takes a very long time to acquire but only seconds to break. Sometimes, that trust needs to be broken to make sure the safety of another person is put at the highest form of importance.

My little sister and I are four years apart. We have more than just a sibling relationship but more of a friendship. Just commencing her Sophomore year, it was the time of starting to go to parties. Wanting to fit in she always had her hair and makeup done to its prime as well as the best in clothing. Heading from party to party, she just wanted to be considered “cool.”

She was yelling on at the top of her lungs one night for me to race over and pick her up,.  Without any more explanation other than to follow her location she hangs hung up the phone. Frantic, I got there as quick as I could. Sirens, ambulance, police cars, and she was sitting on the other side of the street. With all of her makeup smeared as if it was pouring rain, she hops into the car and proceeds to tell me there has been a shooting.

In detail, she tells me a crowd of friends deal drugs. Hitting midnight, a group of boy’s slam into the backyard of the household and start shooting towards the sky. Frantic, she called me to pick her up. After calming down, she told me it was about an unhappy customer from the wrong side of town and begs me not to tell our parents if they ask what happened. Agreeing to it if she promises me never to hang out with them again, I buy her some makeup wipes and take her home.

In high school, everyone wants to be accepted and no one wants to be known as the girl whose parents are too strict to let her out. Knowing my little sister was in the midst of danger and I couldn’t alert my parents really had me on edge. I tried my best to contain it but a month later after seeing her with a girl from that same party after school, I became sick to my stomach thinking she might get involved again so I decided to inform my parents.

Having to tell my parents was the only way to ensure that whoever came by the house, picked her up, dropped her off, or the parents of parties were home. Working full time and going to school every weekday until 9pm would be too difficult for me to make sure she’s safe. Sitting them down one afternoon was she was doing her nails, I told them everything.

They cried and hugged me for telling them but I knew it wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows. My sister came home and there started “the talk.” My parents wanted to know who she was with, where she was at, and got down at every single party from then until now. Although she was enraged with me for a couple of weeks, I knew I did the right thing. Nothing is more important than my sisters’ life. She forgave me soon after when she realized I did it for her own good.

Keeping her secret made me feel helpless, as if I didn’t have enough strength in the world to keep her safe. I should have informed my family sooner but I know how difficult it was for me to be accepted in high school and I did not want her to feel like an outcast. Good integration of narrative and concepts.

Individual Assignment 3: 48-hour news blackout

“The End of Solitude” is an article that reflects what society has become over the years. Nowadays, we build friendships online and we even go shopping online. Staying connected is at the touch of a button, making it impossible to be alone. Millennials have lost touch of what taking a stroll in the park alone is because the first thing that they pull out is their phone to snap a picture of the scenery.

I felt identified while reading Deresiewicz’s article because a lot of what he said applied directly to how I feel about social media. I know the way I feel about social media applies to many people as well. What the author explains about feeling like a “celebrity” is specifically seen on Instagram, where people post about luxurious things to impress others. Sometimes I find myself looking for “cool” pictures to post, just to seek the attention and approval of my Instagram followers. Like Instagram, there exists hundreds of other online platforms that serve to upload, blog and share whatever one wants. This allows society to be connected 24/7 and it has gotten to a point that it has also become an addiction, to say the least. One cannot go more than 5 minutes without tapping on their phone to check if they have received any notification. Accordingly, this has affected the way we interact with one another. GOOD ANALYSIS.

After spending 48hrs in complete solitude, without news and any other related connectivity platforms, I can conclude I have felt really uncomfortable. This is the first time I have endured such an experiment and I was shocked at my reactions and the way I felt.

For starters, it was hard to carry conversations with co-workers and friends because most would start talking about the news or what they heard on the radio and I had to shut them up. It was frustrating to shut down a conversation, but mostly it was tough not to know what the latest story on the news was. I had to keep catching myself from unlocking my phone and checking my apps. I’m a blogger, so by the second day I found myself desperately wanting to post a picture. However, by the afternoon I started settling down and feeling more content with this activity. I started to embrace my solitude and went to a park with a picnic blanket and just watched the earth. Suddenly, I started feeling more in touch with myself. WONDERFUL REFLECTION.

As the night crept, I wanted to know what was going on in the news. I started to realize how much I took news for granted before this experiment. It was evident that people’s thoughts and comments are affected by their exposure to news. In this case, since I had not been exposed to any information, my first reaction was to go to the park in solitude. News has blended in as one of our routine daily tasks and without it we could even be at risk of harming ourselves, if we are not well informed.

48 Hour News Blackout

In William Deresiewicz essay, “The End of Solitude,” he describes that due to modern technologies we are never truly alone. Because of our computers, tablets, phones and various social media sights a person can be connected all of the time and anywhere. Deresiewicz asserts “Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone…”

He illustrates how society today is so focused on celebrity culture and becoming celebrities themselves. To him, this is what the contemporary self wants.

Deresiewicz also states that because of this solitude has become undesirable. He argues that everyone should have moments of complete solitude at least once in his or her lives. In addition to taking away our solitude, technology is taking away from societies privacy and concentration.

In this news blackout experiment, I found it to be quite easy. I was able to not talk about news for the 48 hours. Other things became more prevalent and I could enjoy the company of family and friends. Without the news the noise in my head grew quiet. I was able to concentrate more and enjoy my surroundings, perhaps because I took the experiment a step forward.

I deleted all of my social media apps from my phone. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter were all deleted from my cellular device. It was only two days and I wouldn’t miss much. Was being “alone” possible in this age of technology? Could I, a millennial, succeed in denouncing this “culture of celebrity?” Could this “culture of connectivity” be defied in a world where technology is king?

My answer is yes. After reading “The End of Solitude” I analyzed my reactions to the news blackout and it was a lot like any other day. I get most of my news from articles within my social media sites so with those gone there wasn’t much to go on. I rarely watch the news on T.V so that also wasn’t missed.

I was able to focus more on my relationships and schooling during this time. The constant need to refresh my social media pages was gone and there was less noise in my head. This was a benefit of my “solitude” from technology. Although I did not feel the loneliness described in Deresiewicz essay but maybe that’s the type of person I am.

Deresiewicz concluded “Young people today seem to have no desire for solitude, have never heard of it, can’t imagine why it would be worth having.” I agree that young people might have no desire for solitude because why would any one? My generation is one of fun and sharing experiences. Granted maintaining various social media platforms is draining and time consuming but it is what our world is moving into.


The Ghost in the Shell Team 4

I. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

  1. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

Section 9 depicts our own government. There are secret operatives, meetings, and decisions made without the consent of the everyday citizens, who are suppose to be the main voice of our country. Common citizens are told that things are done for the greater good of the people, for their protections, and the maintenance of peace. By allowing the government to make decisions for us, and invade our privacy without our permission, we give them total control, and we become the puppets. With that being said, it is hard to argue whether section goes beyond their boundaries. Ethically, as a citizen to any country, the sections constant operation on the edge does sometime push things too far. Logically, the government is not required to tell of their whereabouts but only what their citizens should know. Determining the line of right or wrong is difficult when it is blurred by their actions.

2. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?

Every country has a set order of laws to keep the order and protection of the people. In some circumstances, a law that is broken for the greater good of saving lives and avoiding terrorist situations can be excused. Having some freedom restricted, in order to ensure their safety, is a situation we constantly undergo. One common example is that of an Airport. With their uptight rules, ability to check all of your belongings as well as having full body checks if under suspicion can be a hassle but is also understandable when they are invading your privacy for the sake of security if it means we can minimize the chance of another 9/11.

3. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

The government should never break its own laws because they set the main example of what they want their citizens to follow. Yet that would only happen in a perfect world. Often times, there is corruption in our government that most citizens would never know about. That corruption is done out of greed, by politicians or bad cops for example. If the corruption is done for the greater good of the country, then it is seen as necessary and acceptable. Another blurry line that is added into the ethical and logical explanation of actions taken by the government, but withholding information after violating its own beliefs in their laws can end in catastrophe.

II. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

  1. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?

Information and technology in Ghost in the Shell, causes the audience to think. The movie previews futuristic technology that seems to manipulate memory and thoughts. They refer to other bodies they might have once hosted in the past, and the bodies they live in now. The garbage man, who thought he had a baby girl, suddenly began to question how he got to his present life. It initiates a spark in the audience to think of how much technology already controls us. How much more control will we give it in the future?

III. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

  1. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

When Mayor Kunangi is plugged in and in action, she’s reassured of herself and knows what she is meant to do. In times of solitude, her confidence drops and her personality changes. The solitude can help her focus more on herself, for the better.

2. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Major Kusanagi utilizes solitude to feel alive because that is the only point where she truly feels emotions. When she sinks into the ocean she feels “fear, cold and alone.” At the same time she felt hope, which proves that she feels partly human. This experience makes Major aware of all the memories and data that make her a unique individual. Her personal thoughts shape her identity and help her interpret the world she lives in. It becomes apparent throughout the film that Kusanagi wants to be free of this political system and her only solace is solitude. In conclusion, this realization helps her be a better commander.

IV. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

  1. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

Various forms of media have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access and communicate information, as seen in 1690, when the first newspapers was published in the United States. During that time, paperboys had to go house by house delivering newspapers, as opposed to now when it is as easy as googling the news from your device. Also, another way technology has impacted the way we share information is texting or browsing through simple social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Before, we used to write letters and wait weeks till they were delivered. Now, we receive communication instantly. At one time, radio was one of the most influential provider of news and the world watched how radio transitioned to television and now to the Internet. These huge strides allowed for mass information to be distributed instantly as well as accessible to the entire world through small hand held tablets or even portable laptops all thin your fingers reach.

2. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

Internet, which appeared in 1990, has the greatest impact on modern society to date. We get all our information from the Internet. Internet takes on various forms such as Instagram, Facebook, Google, etc. We can find answers with the click of a button. The Internet is utilized worldwide, facilitating information to flow from one country to another. It enables us to stay connected with the outside world through the ease of our monitors. Only 27 years have passed since the Internet’s creation and it has become our primary source of communication. Technology is moving at such a rapid rate that it would be no surprise that our world can become similar to ‘Ghost in the Shell.’

3. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

Internet had a huge impact on the film, being that it was not used with Wi-Fi but rather in their brains. As shown in ‘Ghost in the Shell’ the Internet was the platform that allowed the Puppet Master to hack citizens. This is relatable to our world because systems get hacked constantly. In the world of the film, the situation is dire since the system is actually a person. Therefore, it brought forth a lot of questions about identity within Major Kusanagi and the Puppet Master. The characters in the film are not able to look up information the same way we do, since the database is all they know.

Distribution of Work:

Although we all worked on these questions as a team, Laura Lopez, Ashley Navarro, Maria Pia Chavez, and Hanai Garcia each wrote their own answers to each question as Stephanie Alonso reviewed them all and put them together cohesively in this assignment.


Lopez, Laura Secrecy Reflection

If you know someone’s deepest secret, then you might be at an advantage, unless that secret is harmful or dangerous to others, leading you to wonder the kind of power a secret holds.

My best friend and I are only a year apart, therefore we have always had a close bond. We tell each other everything, we are the person each one turns to when we feel we cannot turn to our parents.  My friend moved away for college, but that did not change our bond. Her boyfriend would be attending the same school, and it gave me piece of mind knowing she had someone else she could trust in her new home. Until one day she called sobbing, while I was at work.

She told me her and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument, where he decided to breakoff the relationship after two years. I decided to go visit her to cheer her up, but I left feeling discouraged. She put me in the scenario of having to lie her parents, or keep her secret safe with me.

As she elaborated on the breakup, I learned that the argument had turned physical. She begged me not to tell anyone, and I agreed, as long as she never returned to a relationship with him again. I agreed to this because I wanted to protect her from any ridicule or judgment. Many people wanted to know why the “perfect” high school sweethearts had broken up, it was a shock. I would make it sound like any old breakup where feelings just seemed to fade away. In the beginning I did not feel guilty for not informing her parents on the situation. I figured if he stayed away, and she learned her lesson, there would be no more harm. It was 5 months later, when my guilt began to kick in. Her ex came back into the picture, and no one was concerned except for me since no one else knew the danger she was putting herself in. ANALYSIS STRONG

I begged her not to get back together with him. When she refused, and said they had both changed over the past five months, I felt like I had to do something. I confronted her mom about it, and just told her I was not a fan of the idea of them getting back together, that she deserved more respect. The concern I showed made her mom question, sparking concern in her as well. When her mom started hassling her, she asked me if I had told her anything. I told her I had expressed my concern for her, and that it was her mom. Her mom would never judge her, she would simply give her advice, which was something she could have benefitted from earlier, but since I held it a secret for so long, she never really learned.

Knowing her secret all along did not make me feel empowered, it made me feel helpless. GOOD I knew what had happened to her was something serious, but I also knew she did not want anyone to feel bad for her, or feel hatred towards him. SAD STORY BUT A GOOD ANALYSIS

Lying by Hanai Garcia

Lying, if done out of complete necessity, is a valid reason to avoid consequences.

When I got my first job at a five star restaurant I was eager to please. I answered phones, took reservations, and cleaned my workstation constantly. Being the youngest employee at just 18, my higher ups were impressed with my work ethic. They trusted me with many things including giving me the keys to open the offices after hours. I enjoyed working there more than anything.

I had a supervisor every night named Andrew. He would watch me like a hawk and wait for me to make the slightest mistake. I would always be doing my job correctly so he could never say something to me. But Andrew was also a perfectionist and he never made a mistake. His orders always came out perfect and when he took reservations the guests were always satisfied. He was a very snarky man and if I ever asked a question he would make sure to answer condescendingly. Andrew annoyed me often with his comments and behaviors.

On a busy Saturday night in the middle of season Andrew got a call from the Rittenhouse family. Whenever they came to dine at the restaurant they would always get the best table and the best service because they would leave a huge tip. So like any manager would he booked their reservation ahead of all the other diners that evening. But what he didn’t realize was that I already booked the restaurant owner’s family for the same night a week earlier.

The shift went on as normal, the Rittenhouse family arrived on time and were sat at a huge table in the middle of the dinning room. Andrew was prancing around the kitchen talking about how he was able to book the Rittenhouse’s table on such short notice that they will most definitely leave hundreds of dollars as a tip. In that moment the owners of the restaurant, the Smiths, walked in. If you know about the restaurant business you would understand that in a small restaurant, having two very large parties is a problem, for both staff and guests. So Andrew panicked that he didn’t notice the error.

The error could have been mostly mine. And he screamed at the top of his lungs asking who booked the Smiths for dinner tonight. I did not answer him. And when he asked me specifically I had to say no. Andrew is such a hot head that he would fire me on the spot and not take into account how much I do for the restaurant or all my other good qualities as a worker. I lied to my manager about who made the reservation and lucky for me my shift was over before I could see how he solved the situation.

I learned from my mistake despite not suffering any consequences. Lying was the only solution to this situation. GOOD STORY AND EXAMPLE BUT YOU COULD HAVE ANALYZED THE SECRET A BIT MORE.