The Insider Assignment

Congratulations, Team 6, on a thorough, clear, intelligent

commentary. Very well done.

There are no names, so I don’t know who did what.

No pictures, videos, websites,

 

 

Team 6

The tobacco case that Jeffry Wigand faces involves many controversial dilemmas and hard decisions. With Brown & Williamson’s company mixing cancerous chemicals with their tobacco to increasing the effects of nicotine, he is faced with a significant challenge. He is faced with having to choose between protecting the hidden truths of Brown & Williamson, or revealing the health risks of the tobacco that would affect millions of people. This causes him to face an immense pressure internally and institutionally.

Concealment apply to the tobacco case because Wigand has to keep a huge secret that will affect the entirety of the population. He is commanded to conceal information associated with the addiction of nicotine. Concealment that overlaps with privacy is secrecy. By keeping the deadly truths of the company, he is protecting the company’s space, name, thoughts, inventions and all aspects of identity. That being said, secrecy is very powerful because it controls the flow of information and empowers the hidden truths. With that, when Wigand was fired from his position as Vice President of Research and Development, he was legally instructed to hide the secrets behind this tobacco company. By hiding the fact that Brown & Williamson put other dangerous chemicals in their tobacco that can cause cancer, he would have personal benefits. The benefits included protection and medical and health insurance for his family. The consequences of going against the non-disclosure agreement, would vastly affect his family unit and put a lot at risk.

Furthermore, revelation applies to the tobacco case because by revealing the hidden knowledge behind this tobacco company, Wigand will have to suffer major law suits and financial stress within his family. Brown & Williamson did everything in their power to keep their secrets hidden and protect their company by threating Wigand and his family and issued a gag order to block him from publicly speaking and discredit anything he says in the interview with CBS News. However, weighing the pro’s and cons of his dilemma, Wigand knew that revealing the truth and protecting society was the right decision, which lead him to do the interview and inform the world on what Brown & Williamson’s tobacco products were hiding. In the interview he reveals that tobacco companies see cigarettes as a distribution tool for nicotine and that they take advantage of the addictive elements by manipulating and adjusting them. Wigand’s decision to become the whistleblower for the tobacco company had a huge personal affect. Although he knew he could benefit from the company’s financial security, he knew that he wasn’t be honest and that the secrets were hurting society and ultimately killing people.

The power of concealment is used in order to protect large corporations that are making large profits from consumers. However, it intertwines with secrecy and can have a negative effect on society, as seen in The Insider. The secrets and the lies is what kept the tobacco company from growing, however it wasn’t for the benefit of others. That is the issue that Wigand had. He was facing the protection of a tobacco company and his reputation, or humanity as a whole. His decision to reveal the secrecy behind the company was technically illegal because of the non-disclosure agreement, but his decision to inform the consumers was ethical and crucial in order to protect humanity.

Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement affects the flow of information throughout the film, due to the fact that he is not legally allowed to discuss any information about the Brown and Williamson tobacco company. The power of secrecy controlling the flow of information that is revealed is very crucial for concealment of hidden truths. Since Wigand signed and agreed to the terms of the non-disclosure agreement, he is very cautious and skeptical about speaking to Lowell Bergman, the producer of the show 60 minutes. Because of this, it takes a relatively long time for Wigand to decide if he wanted to break the integrity of the non-disclosure agreement and speak to Lowell.

Brown and Williamson could legitimately argue that their company did explain to Jeffrey Wigand all the details and consequences that came with him signing the non-disclosure agreement. He was granted decent severance pay and medical insurance as he was fired from the company, and Wigand did not have an issue with the agreement until he was contacted by Lowell the producer of the show 60 minutes. Him signing this non-disclosure agreement meant that he would conceal all information that was within the company. This would be a significant and reliable argument because it is legally true.

The implications of the non-disclosure agreement towards government employees are that they must sign the agreement and make sure that they do not break it. They are not able to disclose any information that has to do with what is written on the guidelines of the non-disclosure agreement. They also must respect the agreement if not they can be sued, should the company decide to proceed with legal action. Penetrating secrets within a company empowers the identity, plans and future actions of the company including everything that they own. That being said, it is a huge responsibility for an employee to agree to sign.

John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by Brown and Williamson to attack Wigand’s reputation. That being said, Scanlon, Lenzer and Palladino used the power of media by broadcasting Wigand’s private records through a news station. They proceeded by releasing a 500-page dossier, exposing many personal secrets from his past. By doing so, they attempted to make it seem as though Wigand is an untrustworthy individual, despite the fact that he was telling the truth when he participated in the 60-minute interview conducted by Bergman. Wigand simply stated the truth about how the country’s third largest tobacco company lied to their buyers about the intensive addictive chemicals added in a way to improve flavor and nicotine affects. Although he made the right choice for humanity, Brown and Williamson spent their time plotting how to ruin his entire reputation. Not to mention, the fact that his wife had divorced him and lost the privilege of seeing his own daughters. The consequences he faced had him ridiculed through the media and portrayed to be someone that he wasn’t in order to protect their company name and make a comeback.

The advancements of technology in this modern world would have affected the publication of the attempt to ruin Wigand’s reputation. It probably would have been an even worse outcome because of the fast access of internet and variety of internet platforms that today’s world has so easily.  If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred today in the year 2018, with our modern media it would have definitely affected the outcome. It would have also changed the way the journalists would have gotten access to the private details of Wigand’s past as well as affect how they would publicly publish the information. Due to the various social media platforms in today’s age, it could have been made easier for society to have access to this information. Back then, it was most likely easier to dispute information whereas now if something is leaked it is almost impossible to get rid of it.

By analyzing the participants approach in discussing the case, the rhetoric that was used by the participants in the meeting was mainly ethos, and a bit of logos. During the meeting, the CBS general counsel Helen Caperelli was warning Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt that if the company decided to air the interview with Jeffrey Wigand, they would be putting the CBS company at risk of getting sued and potentially owned by the tobacco company Brown & Williamson. Hellen Caperelli had facts and thorough information about the probabilities CBS would have to deal with if they decided to air the interview with Wigand. This was a specific example of logos because of the logic and statistical information that she was providing these men. By using a logical approach, she is informing them on what could happen if they move forward with their decision as well as presenting them with actual facts and exposing the risk of a potential lawsuit that they would have to face. The company stated that CBS was aware that Wigand had signed a non-disclosure agreement with the tobacco company, and therefore he was not allowed to reveal any private information about the company. If he decided to reveal private information it could place them in potential danger with the health department the law. This was an example of ethos because it resembled the credibility that the company had within the consequences of revelation.

There are loop holes to very agreement and for Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement there was a way of finding out what was said on the interview and it could be used against Brown and Williamson. This was an argument that was used by the CBS lawyers so that the airing of the interview would not be interrupted by any outside source that might be trying to stop the information from getting out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thesis Statement

Media & the Kavanaugh- Ford Hearing

The Kavanaugh-Ford hearing evoked controversial opinions from the public. Christine Ford testified against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for sexually assaulting her in the early 1980’s and received wide ranged support through social media. Although Kavanaugh has denied her accusations, his campaign and support system remained strong. Ultimately, as the hearing went on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter began to light up with controversial judgements.

And will you be saying that those social media judgments influenced how the Senate finally voted in his favor?

That the people in power were influenced strongly by conservative social media?

I approve your thesis, but it needs to have more of a position. So you have to say that the social media influenced something. It influence either how the Senate eventually voted, or how it made women across the country mad. Maybe it got the Trump supporters mad that Kavanaugh was put in this position, so the Trump voters influenced how the Senate voted. Or maybe it influenced a women’s march and protest. Something like that. Do you know what I mean? Or do you mean that the social media responses were all over the place–from rational to insane.

Thesis Statement Final Paper

The Colombian government is reaching a peace treaty with the guerrilla group, The National Liberation Army (ELN).  As the peace treaty with Las FARC, secrets and loopholes were kept away from the Colombian citizens and a fail peace treaty might be established once again.

 

Do you mean….

The Colombian government and FARC reached a peace treaty. However, secrets and loopholes  in the treaty were withheld from the Colombian citizens. Therefore, the peace treaty may fail once again.

I approve your thesis.

Blackout assignment

Wonderful personal essay, Maria. Thoughtful, reflective, interesting, complex.

 

Maria Fung

Team 6

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When reading the article “The end of solitude”, by William Deresiewicz, I understood that he was trying to tell us that social media and the news are what leads to making us really feel lonely when we are on our own. When we are by ourselves, with no news or social media, we aren’t actually lonely; we just feel lonely. Deresiewicz believes that technology takes away our ability to be actually alone. We normally use news and social media to make us feel accompanied and heard in our solitude. We aren’t really alone when we are still connecting with other people and with what is going on in the world. We are alone but we don’t feel lonely. This is why many people have a hard to time being alone. Like for example, some people need someone to accompany them to do any daily tasks or can’t be away from the phone for more than 20 minutes. This is all caused by technology, accustoming us to always wanting a connection with someone at all times, making us afraid to feel lonely. If we really want to know what it’s like to feel alone in our solitude, then we must separate ourselves from social media, the news and technology in general.

This leads me to the blackout assignment that was assigned to us. I disconnected myself from any social media and news for 48 hours and it was a good experience that lead led me to many understandings. Personally, I’ve never had a big problem in really being alone. I grew up an only child and if I was not spending times with my parents, I always had to find ways to entertain myself. When I was a child I wasn’t used to using the internet, so when I was alone I would have to enjoy my time with any toys or objects, my mind and my creativity. Growing up an only child really helped me be okay and comfortable with being alone. Of course now, as a typical teenager, it’s not easy for me to be away from my phone and social media for more a long period of time, so those 48 hours weren’t horrible to me but it was definitely not a walk in the park.

Beginning this experiment I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I had a couple of things planned out and left all tasks I needed to do for those 48 hours to ensure that I would keep myself busy. At the start, I was really in need of a connection with somebody. I really wanted for someone to someone to hear my current thoughts through twitter or texts, what I typically use to not feel lonely or bored.  So I took a drive a took a drive to the dog park with my dog to bathe her. My thoughts ran freely through my head as I walked her through the park and I felt okay. Things played out the same throughout this experiment. I kept myself entertained with many other things other than technology. For example go to work, bake brownies and run errands through target, I went to work, baked brownies and ran errands at Target, all things I don’t mind doing alone. I’m a lifeguard, so I’m used to sitting and watching the water with just me and my thoughts. It was very strange not checking any news because I felt so left out from what was going on in the world. Of course there were times when I really just wanted to grab my phone and go on social media because I had felt so alone for too long. But I pressured myself not to because I knew there was a helpful meaning to this assignment. While doing this, it made me realize that being really being alone is very necessary. It is helpful for us to truly understand ourselves and not care about what others think or how they live their life. It can help you appreciate yourself more and become happy with being alone and not needing a connection with somebody at all times.

Assignment 3 Blackout​

DANIELA BARRAZA

TEAM 6

Daniela, I like your essay. You capture the uncertainty, ambivalence, and anxiety that we all feel in the new information environment.

A blackout of 48 hours seems like no big deal. The first two hours you are like this is a piece of cake, and everything seems to go as normal. Then your fingers start to itch and you get this weird sensation that you need to look at your phone and see what is happening on social media. There is no Instagram, snapchat, and no or news. The list can go on: the things that we cannot be using. It feels so weird to wake up and not check my Instagram to see what is happening. It is a normal routine of mine that I do every single day, so on Saturday, when I woke up, I was not able to check my social media and see what people had posted. That made me feel so weird like as if I was missing a part of me. That may sound dramatic, but that is how I felt.
I felt disconnected, out of this world, like I was not able to bond with my friends and socialize with them those two days because I didn’t have social media. It was also hard to make small talk conversation at  the dinner table with my parents because we usually talk about the news and what is going on around us. I just didn’t feel me at all  and had a really hard time with it.
The first day was hard to catch me trying to go on social media to see what was happening, or turning on the TV to catch up on the latest thing that was happening. But later I found some kind of peace just being me alone in my own thoughts where because I was able to read and concentrate on my homework even more than before. There were no interruptions caused by my phone or the tv.
In these two days, I was able to finish reading a book that I have so long have been wanting to finish but have just been pushing it off. The second day of the blackout I woke up feeling a little bit less stressed out than other days. I was happy and not so eager to do this right away. I noticed that my attitude was more pleasant I was able to concentrate on conversations more than usual. On Sunday morning I went to go have breakfast with my mom and was able to have a nice conversation with her without looking at my phone to see if a had received a notification.
From this assignment, I learned that we are so dependent on media its self that we don’t even know how to act without it. I think media is a good thing and a great tool for communication for us if it is done correctly.

48 hour news black-out

Kharla Paredes

Team 6

Kharla,

You capture the uncertainty, ambivalence, and anxiety that we all feel in the new information environment.

My experience of the 48-hour news blackout was a very thought-provoking one, and my feelings about the blackout were completely altered towards the end. In order to survive these two days without any access to news sites, apps, or any websites with news in them, I had to keep myself busy by participating in other activities. At first, it was hard for me to start my day without being able to use my phone, turn on the television, listen to the radio, or even visit a news site. It was almost uncomfortable for me to get through a morning without having access to the apps that I use on a daily basis, as they constantly have news updates. It was clear to see that we rely on technology and news in order to get through our day, and this can tremendously affect our willingness to live in solitude.

I luckily chose to participate in this assignment during the time that I was away on a trip for the weekend. Although, I was out of town and was able to keep myself occupied by partaking in other social activities, at moments I had to make a great effort to keep my cell phone out of my hands reach. I went to Louisiana with a group a friends, and I made sure that they were aware of the assignment I was participating In. We decided that a great way to keep ourselves busy was to visit many tourist attractions and enjoy the city of New Orleans. I can honestly admit that by keeping my phone inside my bag throughout the two days of the blackout I was able to really appreciate the importance of Louisiana’s culture. There were moments where I felt that I was going to cave in and read the local paper or even check the weather. I just had to go with the flow and pack an extra jacket or poncho, especially since I spent the majority of the time outdoors.

After reading Deresiewicz’s article I can agree with his opinion of our culture’s celebrity and connectivity. He says that they are both ways of “becoming known”, and that we as humans living in today’s modern world just want to be recognized and connected with one another. He then says that we specifically want to be “visible.” During the first day, I felt extremely anxious while I was alone experiencing this “twilight zone of partial solitude”. There were moments that I felt like giving up as I saw all of my friends using their devices and depending on technology for their constant news updates. I realized that they were so drawn to their devices, and that we as a society are so dependent on news today, that it is almost impossible to get through a single day without having access to it. Deresiewicz: states in his article “The End of Solitude”,  “Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone” I agree with Deresiewicz because, I experienced solitude and I disliked the feeling of loneliness.

 

 

The Ghost in the Shell

Excellent content, team 6. Well written, graphics could have been a bit more prominent, but good work!

 

1.A) In the movie “Ghost in a Shell” there are rules being broken for the sake of keeping society at peace. The government would have to do anything it takes to keep the city civil, which means going to certain extremes. Things like this exist in real life as well. There are boundaries that are being pushed to insure the safety of the civilians.

B) There are certain cases where the government makes some decisions that might not be justifiable. Some decisions have to be made in the moment in order to prevent something bad from happening. An example in real life would be the government protecting us from terrorist attacks and mass destructions by tapping into cell phones and keeping surveillance. That being said, it does interfere with the privacy of citizens. However, the governments justification for doing so would be for the protection of the country as a whole. An example in the movie would be when Motoko Kusangi uses her ability to spy and hack into the world’s most dangerous criminals. The link below is a picture of her which shows her strong willed character.

https://futurism.media/6-must-see-anime-if-you-re-a-ghost-in-the-shell-fan

C) The governments are not justified in keeping secret its violations of the law. If it is to protect the country than it only makes sense that they would be honest with citizens. Of course in the moment it wouldn’t be appropriate or logical to report to the world how the government is retrieving certain information. However, after they retrieve the information that they are looking for it would make sense to inform people. For example, Hitler kept lying to the people and keeping secrets. He was able to take over. Everyone believed what he said because he was an important man with a lot of power. He ended up destroying his own country and killing millions of people.

2.A) The information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell is to influence and control behavior and perception of a human being. The Puppet Master is capable of hacking and manipulating the ‘ghost’ or consciousness of his victims. For example, the garbage man who seemed to be a regular man in the beginning but then the puppet master manipulated his brain into making him believe that he had a wife and a daughter. The ability to detach someone from themselves is used in Ghost in the Shell to control, update or replace thoughts and ideas in people’s minds. By doing so, it changes their perspective and affects the way they make decisions based on what they are perceiving. This sensation of being hacked of one’s own mind is very powerful.

3.A) Major Kusanagi utilizes solitude in order to understand herself better as well as her surroundings. One example is when she goes diving in the lake and she comes out of the lake Batou asks her if she was not scared of sinking into the water if the floats were to malfunction. She did not hesitate to give an answer and she said no. The way the she explained her answer was so deep and it gave insight on how she truly feels inside. She explained that the darkness of the water gave her hope and made her feel numb. When she resurfaced the water, she hoped she would come out as someone else.

B) Deresiewicz believes that we are approaching a time when information technology make solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible. Deresiewicz’s beliefs seem to be true because everywhere people go, they are depending on technology to solve everything. Whereas before the advancements in technology existed, people had to read books and use their own intellect and perceptions to solve their own problems and questions. Now, everything is at the tip of our fingertips. In this generation and society, people are constantly sharing and wanting to be interacting with one another either by texting, videos and social media. When our lives are being publicized, privacy no longer exists. The ability to face reality alone seems merely impossible because when we are connecting with others via cell phones or computers, we are never really alone. As Deresiewicz states in his article, “we live exclusively in relation to others, and what disappears from our lives is solitude.”

4.A) As McLuhan states, “everything is an extension of our human body, electric media is an extension of our nervous system.” Three examples of such media that has been created in order to create, store, access and communicate are texting, Wi-Fi, and social media. Texting allows people to communicate in seconds. It connects people with others immediately which has impacted society in a good way because in case of emergencies all it takes is one text or dial. Wi-Fi has given us access to the internet everywhere. This has impacted society because it is a way in which we retrieve information very quickly. Lastly, social media has changed reality as a whole. Without social media, life would be very different. It gives people the ability to create a persona and post whatever they want people to see. It is also a way to connect with others and build a business. Below is a picture representing our minds as an extension of electric media.

http://theconversation.com/google-at-20-how-a-search-engine-became-a-literal-extension-of-our-mind-102510

B) One medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had a great impact on the information landscape would be the invention of smartphones. This completely changed the world. Receiving information takes seconds because of the access smartphones gives people. They were designed to make life easier and more accessible. This created a face paced era where patience no longer exists. Despite the social aspect of it, the technological advancement of this invention became a new way of existing. It was a breakthrough in the internet world. It officially transformed the way humans communicate.

C) The invention of smartphones might not have affected the plot of the story but it changed the way we are able to perceive and analyze the video. With a smartphone, we have immediate access to watching the film just by clicking a link. The story portrays the way humans are intertwined within technology. It creates an accurate representation of the endless abilities that technology gives people. We live through technology and technology lives within us because it has become basically apart of who we are as humans. Major Motoko Kasunagi was born into the world with technological abilities that disconnect her from humanity and gives her complete access to decode and retrieving information by becoming it. Instead of having a smartphone, her brain is used as the way she connects, access’ and uses information. In conclusion, the storyline of Ghost in the Shell remains the same regardless of the invention of smartphones, however it relates closely to how the world today lives inside a device.