Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lab #4

Lab #4

This is a survey that was taken by students at Salem College. The question was asked “If you saw a stranger drop a $20 bill, would you be trusted to return it?

Here are the results:
5 students out of 7 students say that they would return the $20
While only 2 out of 7 students claimed that they would not be trusted to return the dollar.

This survey may be inaccurate since most forms of dishonesty are either aversive, or the person being dishonest would never openly admit it. Either way, I think most people could be trusted to return the $20 dollar bill simply because it’s “the right thing to do.”

Lab #18

For this lab, I created a poster with a quote from William Drummond:
“A lie is a lie, even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth, even if nobody believes it.”

At the bottom of the poster I requested that people write a response to this quote. I took the poster to Salem college and left it in the cafeteria for awhile, then a few hours later I went to retrieve the poster.

Blogger won't let me upload the photo of the poster, but i will be sharing the poster in class and show everyone the responses from students at Salem College about "Political Honesty."

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lab #21

Here is a poem i wrote about social capital, it's called "The Garden."

The Garden

We live like flowers in a social garden
As we stem from our roots, and gather sunlight.
Our words travel like the butterfly, who gathers nectar
and distributes it to the next weakest flower.

But there will always be a single lonely flower
Who stems from a different seed, and becomes eager
to live like the rest of the flowers in the garden.
But these flowers are rejected, their pedals left to wilt.

Lab #6

There are many factors leading to a less friendly-oriented society. Here are a few reasons why I believe our social capital is declining.

1. Think of the things people need to do to simply live. Everyone's time for fun is steadily declining, and people don’t have time to give attention to every individual they know in their life. Considering all the networking niches on the internet, you’d guess people would have more friends with MySpace, Facebook, etc. People become friends because of commonalities, and generally our commonalities tend to stem from the media and become dependant on it everyday. Moreover, it's not so much an issue of media consuming your mind that's the main cause--it's the trend of what's being shown.

2. I notice that people today are generally closed off from the world around them, and are only interested in one thing—to remain in their own protective shell, closed off from every single idea which seeks to threaten their current way of life. In a world of ideas which are constantly becoming more diverse, we can’t afford to become intolerant of other people’s ideas, simply because they are different from our own. No two conflicting ideologies in history have coexisted while being simultaneously beneficial to the progression of society. This is why social capital is so important in the first place—to create a society where people are able to come together and discuss their ideas in a positive way, without fear of prejudice or rejection.

3. The main reason for the implication of fewer friends in social capital is because when it comes to meeting new people, we are generally restricted to a small pool of people who belong to a social group. Whether it’s the artsy kids, or the sports fanatics, we generally focus only on the differences between people whose commonalities are rarely looked at because of a focus on the “group” mentality. In the end, we are much more alike than group-related stereotypes would allow us to believe.

Lab #14

For this lab i interviewed Jonathan Layne, an internet friend from NYC who i've known for 3 years. Jonathan comes from a chinese lineage but he is more "americanized" than the rest of his family.

First question: how does your chinese lineage/culture affect your day to day life?:
Answer: i'm not culturally associated with my race at all. i'm supposedly genetically related, thus i look chinese. that's about it. my parents are both chinese but they've grown up in guyana. their guyanese culture hasn't rubbed off on me as much as the TV and internet does. my mom sometimes mockingly says to me, "you're so american"

Second question: do people avoid you in social situations because of racial stereotypes or racial difference in general?
Answer: stereotypical identities tend to be applied to me in occasions of humorous discussion. on an honest level, people i encounter don't directly avoid me because of my racial demographic. if so, probably aversively. who knows, people act differently if you look a certain way.

Third question: do YOU find yourself avoiding social situations with people of different racial background?
Answer: no, racial background doesnt prevent me from interracting with people. i am not presumptuous of people's character based on a group that looks physically identical. i approach people on an individual level. i recognize that many of the trends that might lead to someone answering “yes” to this question are generally true but it's not a healthy way to recognize people authentically.

Fourth question: what does social capital look like in the big city?
Answer: the city doesnt help my chances of gaining friends. i find it awkward to figure that out. randomly finding some friend in the city varies on rare occasions, as i am not interested in the activities done in the city. therefore my chances of finding something in common with people in the city is low. my social capital consists of internet culture, mainly small memes that only people associated with videogames would recognize. otherwise, internet = everything. wikipedia + man = pseudo-intellectual.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009