Work Should Pay


Minimum wage today if indexed to 1938 $0.25: $3.60

If indexed to inflation since 1948: $7.25

If it were HALF of the average of all production & non-supervisory workers (80% of workforce) it would be: $9.54

If it were HALF of the gains in productivity in the economy since 1948: $14.73

If it were indexed to the same proportional increase in productivity: more than $20

Which is fair?

Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald's in Chicago.

Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald’s in Chicago this week. Courtesy USA Today.

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Home Grown, On Your Own


I believe that with hunger affecting such a significant portion of the global population, individual gardens and agriculture on a personal scale can help relieve food supply problems around the world.  On any scale, reducing the consumption of mass produced food products will allow for resources to be more freely available to those in need, however I feel that even as a country, a national effort in the United States could provide global impact.

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Digital Collaborator


I am also a digital collaborator.  I used to be something else when I took  the quiz a few years ago.  I think they may need to update it as some questions already feel dated.  like, I don’t own a stand alone mp3 device, my phone functions as that for me.

 

How Far is Too Far?


Social media has grown hand in hand with the current generation of camera phones becoming ubiquitous.  A camera in every pocket, alongside the ease of sharing photos and videos in seconds globally,  has facilitated a revolution in the way information is shared today.  From Twitter to Facebook, media is shared to millions, with a plethora of additional information just a few clicks away.  According to the technology quiz, I am a digital collaborator, which I believe accurately describes my approach to and use of technology.  I believe in the connection of a larger community and the power of these groups to make a difference and serve a greater purpose.  Whether providing live information during natural disasters, crowd-funding business projects, or sharing footage of events and locales around the world, I believe social media has redefined how a global community can interact, sharing and discussing information like never before.

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Privacy Comes at a Price


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My quiz results as an ambivalent networker comes as no surprise to me. I love technology and all of the benefits it gives to me, but at the same time kind of hope that my privacy was a little more available. With camera phones, social media, and instant access to recent news all in one’s hand, it is hard to escape everyone’s business without turning off all electronics. However, this perceived lack of privacy also aids in more serious efforts such as stopping crime and catching criminals.

The NSA leaked reports from a few months ago show that our technological conversations can be easily seen or heard by government officials at the click of a button. While people cry out for individual and privacy rights, I tend to learn towards the other end of the spectrum. Don’t we want our government to be able to predict and foil attacks on our country before they actually happen? I would imagine texts with a girlfriend or calls with one’s mother are of much interest to National Security. Key terms and watch list individuals are located and followed in order to catch them before terrible actions occur. As can be read in this article about the sabotaged attack on the Federal Reserve in New York City, FBI surveillance aided in stopping the planned bombing. Instances as such cannot be ignored as successes and the people who wish for “more privacy” should remember that their privacy comes at a cost to National Security.

Social Smartphones?


I think that mobile phones, specifically smart phones that can do everything that a laptop computer can do, have had and will have the largest impact on us socially. One thing that immediately comes to mind is that essentially everyone has the power of the internet literally in the palm of their hand. I think that this may be a factor that limits us from remembering things. Since we have access to all the information that the internet holds, there is no need to remember directions, recipes, definitions etc. This is not the worst thing in the world, but it certainly makes us dependent.

Additionally, I believe that the fact that everyone also has a video camera in their pocket takes away from people simply enjoying life. For example, if one were to walk by a street performer on a city block singing a beautiful ballad, they would also see every single observer recording said ballad with their phone. I also find myself doing this a lot, trying to document the things I see with my camera phone. For example, this past semester I went to an Imagine Dragons concert in Prague, and without really noticing what I was doing I took a video of nearly every single song that was performed. Did this take away from my experience while at the concert? It may have… but it may also have been worth it, in order to re-watch the concert from my point of view at a later date.

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Texting: Like OMG We Can’t Stop #Miley


One aspect of technology that has greatly changed social interactions is texting. How often do you actually pick up the phone to call someone?

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“I used to call people, then I got into emailing, then texting, and now I just ignore everyone.”– The New Yorker

I admit, I am an avid texter.  Often, I would much rather text someone than call them (but I’m working on it!). The most appealing thing about texting to me is that it allows you to multitask. You can be working out on the elliptical and texting five people at the same time and still listen to your music. Continue reading

The Use of Technology in Social Situations


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In today’s world, especially in the United States, everyone relies so heavily on technology. The question “How difficult would it be, if at all, to give up the following things in your life? Your television, Your cell phone, The Internet” really threw me off a bit. The options “very hard”, “somewhat hard”, “not too hard”, “not at all hard” are almost comical. The only option I could think of was ‘impossible.”  It would be impossible for me to live my life without these things. I think this would be true for pretty much everyone else in America.

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TechnOlympics


I found in the quiz that I am an ambivalent networker – I have allowed technology to help me in my everyday life via interactions and entertainment, but I still find too much digital communication to be intrusive. This seems perfect for me as I know I’m not the fastest texter and I like having a face to face conversation or telephone communication before typing one out. But, I also use the computer for EVERYTHING from school work to Netflix. So I like to think I am ambivalent towards technology, at least for now.

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When I read the prompt, I knew I wanted to look at how sports was changed by technology and then remembered that it was an Olympic year. So I did a little research about how the Olympics has changed because of technology since the last Winter Games. Continue reading

Socializing the Sports World


First looking at this prompt, I knew that there were a lot of different directions in which I could take this blog. I debated looking at the role that social media played in the Obama-Romney election, but decided that I wanted to look into something that is even more current and still changing: social media in professional sports. Though not all that noticeable to some, social media has played an increasingly important role in the world of professional sports for both the franchises themselves and the fans. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find a professional team that does not operate its own Facebook page and Twitter account and now the leagues are continuously adopting new ways to incorporate social media into its day-to-day operations. Continue reading

Put the Phone Down


cell-phone-lightsAs a “Roving Node” according to the tech user quiz, I am personally quite involved with technology. I enjoy using my phone and computer in order to be productive in school and also for my social life. I also enjoy many different social media outlets because they allow me to stay in touch with friends and family, while also allowing access to all different types of information. At the same time, I realize that social media and technology can sometimes take away from face to face social interactions. I think a lot of us, including myself, are guilty of being too immersed in their phones or other types of technology and we end up not paying full attention to the people around us. Continue reading

Salesforce.com — The Force Behind a Smarter Sales Team


Salesforce.com provides a social network like experience to promote a more collaborative sales team

Salesforce.com provides a social network like experience to promote a more collaborative sales team

The engine behind most of today’s most successful businesses is a powerful sales team. The ability to be effective on the front lines of business to business sales brings more benefits than just an increased bottom line. A team that is highly collaborative and trained can master the art of relationship management.

Salesforce.com is a technology that has taken the “social network” idea, and applied it to improve communication and collaboration between sales team members. When you have successes out in the field, it is very advantageous to share those stories with other members of the team. That way, others can try out new selling strategies in their respective territories, creating a more effective team. Salesforce.com acts similarly to Facebook in that you create a network where you can share ideas, comment, work on projects, etc…the list goes on. Check it out yourself, here is a link to the Saleforce.com, you can see all the different services they offer. It is a seamless social network that can can be useful for any type of business.

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Google Maps War


Did Google start a war?

In November of 2010, Nicaraguan officials started a construction project on a piece of land that was culturally accepted to belong to Costa Rica. Officials from Nicaragua justified this move through the use of Google Maps- which claimed that the land belonged to Nicaragua. The ownership of this area, which only spans a few square miles, has been disputed for hundreds of years (For more information, look up the  Cañas-Jerez Treaty of 1858 and the arbitration of the dispute by President Grover Cleveland in 1888).The countries and Google debated the correct border for a few days; in the meantime, Nicaraguan troops occupied the space. While Google didn’t start a war, it played a role in perpetuating tensions between the two countries. Continue reading

NOMS no more?


It was a somber, rainy day and I was in no mood to do anything but lounge around and stare at the ceiling. After a few hours of pure enjoyment and noticing some spots that could really use a touch up coat of paint I picked up my phone and started looking through old photos, reliving old memories. As I flipped through all my photos, on my phone and subsequently on my computer I started to get very hungry. This hunger was not the result of a lack of food, as I had been munching on snacks all day as I laid around. No, this hunger was the result of an alarming number of photos of delicious food I kept running into in my massive catalogue of photos. Not only did this make me hungry, it really made me question how much time I spend eating and buying food. Continue reading

Google Docs


Upon taking the technology quiz I was deemed a “Digital Collaborator.” This grouping means I enjoy using information technology to connect with others. I am also confident in my skills to manage and use technology. I would agree that I fit into this category. I believe advances in technology have made it much easier for people to collaborate.

I choose to stick with the theme of collaboration for my blog. I would like to focus on the invention of Google Docs.googledocs I have had many group projects in college and Google Docs has made group work much easier and more convenient. Google describes Google Docs as, “an easy-to-use online word processor, spreadsheet and presentation editor that enables you and your students to create, store and share instantly and securely, and collaborate online in real time.” Continue reading

AIG – Who Insures the Insurers?


 

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the financial industry suffered backlash from the public following a historic and infamous series of events that threatened America’s economy.  From media pundits to organized efforts such as the “Occupy: Wall Street” movement, there has been a continual protest against the ‘injustice’ and corruption of greed that supposedly plagues large financial institutions.  However, many Americans rely on financial services for retirement savings, investment opportunities, the ability to get a mortgage and more.  Despite the complexity of many financial systems, which may be simply understood by the general public, the causes of the crisis held blame with those behind-the-scenes, and an ethical analysis can bring these actors and their decisions to light and provide a clear picture of what was done wrong and why.  Looking into AIG, a major player in the financial crisis, a history of ethically questionable management can be seen, with blatantly unethical choices leading underlying collapse of the financial system in 2008.

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Rath’s Wrath


Pharmaceutical Imperialism:

The AIDS virus is the single most devastating disease the modern world has known. It is easily transferrable, terminal, and unfortunately a cure has not been discovered. The disease is typically concentrated in the heavily populated areas of underdeveloped nations, making the installation of necessary preventative programs difficult. The governments of these countries are easily swayed, and cultural prejudices against Western medicine can prove to be formidable hindrances. Naturally, these regions are vulnerable and thus are susceptible to sketchy medical practices. It is sad that many of these regions aren’t satisfactorily combating the disease, but maddening when pharmaceutical suppliers knowingly implement treatments that aren’t effective for their own profit. Essentially these players are making money through supplying the sickliest populations in the world with ineffective medicine. This is called pharmaceutical imperialism: a term that unfortunately has become the norm.

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Music in the Vietnam War


Music can tell you a lot about social and political movements of a certain time period.  During the Vietnam War, there were many songs, now considered timeless classics, which were based on war protests of the 60s.  For example, “Fortunate Son” by CCR protested the draft and the preferential treatment of those in the upper class, who were “born with a silver spoon in hand.”

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Drive Your Truck


“I Drive Your Truck,” written by Lee Brice, is a critically acclaimed country song written about the sporadic emotions that happen after a person loses one close to them. The raw emotion in the song is what truly brings the listener in to fully understand the lyrics

I drive your truck
I roll every window down
And I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Til all the pain’s a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes I drive your truck

When looking deeper into the origins of the song, I found that this was not just a song about a countryman driving around to cope with the loss of a friend. It is actually a true tale of a father losing his son to fighting in Afghanistan while serving in the Army. The truck belonged to the son before he was deployed and his father still drives the truck to remember his son that was so tragically killed.

Although this is not specifically a song that entails ethics, it directly relates to modern life and practical virtue. Death is something we all have to deal with and when it comes so suddenly as can be seen in this song, it is tough to handle. The Senators and Congressmen who push so feverishly for war are the same ones sitting in their offices not putting their neck on the line in battle. These men and women that fight overseas to protect our country are true heroes to not only the family members that they leave behind, but everyone else who lives and works freely everyday in the great United States.

Don’t Drink the Water


            The song I decided to write about for this week’s blog is “Don’t Drink the Water” by Dave Matthews Band.  Although the song does not specifically state this, it is widely considered to be about the European-American settlers taking over Native Americans’ land and the mass killings that resulted from it. Dave Matthews tells the story from the perspective of the European-American settler who certainly believes in Manifest Destiny. I’ve posted the lyrics and a link to the song below…

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BItch Bad – Lupe Fiasco


As I was trying to figure out what song I should choose for this week’s blogpost, Lupe Fiasco’s Bitch Bad played on my iTunes and I knew it was the perfect song. The song looks to address the negative stereotypes hip hop artist reinforce of black culture and women. Lupe attempts to show the negative affects the misogynistic messages that is passed on to young children.