RCL #10 – HofPC Concept Contract

The History of Capital Punishment

HofPC Concept Contract for Nebraska Hernandez, Roan Lynch, Mark Ma, Ninad Mahajan, Andrew Pei, and Billy Young

Topic: The controversy surrounding capital punishment and the use of the death penalty in the United States.

An examination of the moral, social, and economic implications of the death penalty in the United States. Analyzes the extensive history of capital punishment and torture as well as their psychological effects on civilizations and mentalities. As a society, should we keep the death penalty? How much is a life worth?

Research, Roles, and Responsibilities:

Nebraska: The ancient history of torture and capital punishment as a means of interrogation. Nebraska will research whether the original intentions of the death penalty have changed. He will also examine public outcry to these methods prior to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Nebraska is responsible for helping to create the storyboard of the video.

Roan: Modern, recent tactics of torture and capital punishment as used by police authorities and the government. Roan will also research whether the original intentions of the death penalty have changed. He is responsible for analyzing the current, present-day controversy and debate over the U.S. death penalty. Roan is also responsible for helping to create the storyboard of the video.

Mark: Potential rationales and justifications for the use of torture, capital punishment, and the death penalty. Mark will act as the mediator between both sides of the controversy, researching the reasons for each side feels the way it does. Mark is also responsible for researching individual stories and case studies of the death penalty, diving into the lives of prisoners and their families who may be directly affected by the death penalty. Mark is responsible for editing the video and adding appropriate graphics and visual aids.

Andrew: The economic effects of the death penalty. Andrew will analyze the fiscal impact of using capital punishment throughout history, and most important, in the last decade. Andrew will research the financial costs of death row and the prison system as a whole. He will then compare the costs of the death penalty with alternatives researched and analyzed by Ninad. Andrew is responsible for providing narration and related audio services for the video.

Ninad: Potential alternatives to the death penalty. Ninad is responsible for researching probable solutions and proposed alternatives to capital punishment, spanning hundreds of years of history. Ninad’s research is important because it will add or diminish credibility to the arguments for using the death penalty. Ninad is also responsible for editing the video and adding finishing touches.

Billy: The moral and ethical ramifications of using the death penalty, as well as how the use of torture and capital punishment may violate intrinsic human rights. Billy will explore the philosophy behind the death penalty as well as examine the underlying mentalities surrounding its purpose. He is responsible for explaining the psychological and philosophical effects of the death penalty spanning decades of its use. Billy will argue whether or not the rationales and justifications researched by Mark are supported by the death penalty’s moral implications. Billy is responsible for providing narration with Andrew and editing the video using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Signed,

Nebraska Hernandez

Roan Lynch

Mark Ma

Ninad Mahajan

Andrew Pei

Billy Young

TED Talk Script (Draft)

Oral Content

  • Topic: Schadenfreude, the act of taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune
  • Purpose: To examine the presence of schadenfreude over centuries of history and to explain the detrimental role it plays in the way our society thinks and functions.
  • Thesis Statement: Schadenfreude is not a recent phenomenon, yet its presence glamorizes sin and deters honorable virtues in an already defective world.

 

Introduction

Attention Strategy/Orienting Material: A provocative comparison of the ancient Roman Coliseum and other ancient forms of entertainment with professional wrestling, graphic video games, and internet trolling.

 

Body

  1. Schadenfreude has undergone a tumultuous journey spanning thousands of years.
    • Schadenfreude dates back to ancient civilizations
      1. “Amusement” translates to “not think”
      2. People enjoyed gladiator fights or deadly one-on-one combat between men
      3. Torture was a popular means of interrogation and revenge
      4. Public shaming like the pillory was done to the delight of onlookers who differentiated themselves from the victims
      5. Themes and motifs in The Scarlet Letter
        1. “Scarlet Letter complex”
    • Schadenfreude is still present today
      1. Children enjoy violent video games that, while augmenting reality, depict graphic instances of death. The pain inflicted on these characters is generally done by the player
      2. Young adults enjoy watching horror movies that place victims in oftentimes inescapable situations. Others enjoy splatter flicks because the gory, agonizing pain of others is thrilling to viewers and stimulates their senses
  2. Schadenfreude glamorizes sin: it offers a flashy, albeit cynical justification for one’s demise or peril
    • Rather than prompting bystanders to assist the victim or resolve the problem, Schadenfreude insists that onlookers not only be passive but to actually relish in the victim’s plea for help
    • Schadenfreude does not only concern violence. People enjoy making others upset and purposefully instigate sensitive situations and emotional responses. This phenomenon is seen in politics and in a wide variety of social issues, including same-sex marriage and abortion
    • Using the bandwagon mentality, schadenfreude is used as an excuse for socially accepted immorality: entertainment is perceived as good, while suffering is perceived as bad, yet entertainment from suffering is justified by society’s tastes and preferences
    • If there wasn’t a demand for scary movies, studios wouldn’t produce scary movies
    • In a way, we know that schadenfreude is wrong, but we continue to practice it because it’s just another vice in human nature
    • We will never be satisfied. Entertainment from violence will only continue to escalate: violent video games turn into horror movies, horror movies turn into bad thoughts, bad thoughts turn into bad actions
      • “…Your thoughts become your words,
        Your words become your actions,
        Your actions become your habits…” -Gandhi

 

Conclusion

Concluding Remark – A closing statement; last words: Joy from the suffering of others is immoral, but unless society reverses the trend of cynical entertainment, schadenfreude will continue to evolve over time.

 

Visual Content

Slide 1: Description and function. A gallery of different forms of entertainment to compare and contrast old and new amusement.

Slide 2: Illustrations from The Scarlet Letter to underscore the idea of alienating those who are different. Often, we don’t associate ourselves with the victims of schadenfreude.

Slide 3: A graphical progression from thoughts to actions to habits, emphasizing the long-term behavioral effects of taking pleasure in someone’s misfortune.

Paradigm Shift Draft

 

PARADIGM SHIFT DRAFT

The aftermath of September 11, 2011 prompted critical uproar in the American civic landscape. Domestic terrorism, however, is not a recent phenomenon: the act of inflicting merciless violence on the lives of innocent bystanders is weaved quite profusely in monumental events in U.S. history. Schadenfreude, the pleasure one enjoys from someone else’s misfortune, has integrated itself in our daily lives: from watching professional wrestling to TV daredevil stunts, we otherwise see risk taking and violence as a form of entertainment. Terrorism, however, employs schadenfreude as unexpressed justification for acts of evil. The events of 9/11 dramatically changed how Americans perceive foreigners, and more importantly, how us-versus-them mentalities prevail in times of anguish and crisis. Current security reform is a byproduct of unforeseen catastrophe and the progression of terrorism, yet the current emphasis on surveillance undermines American privacy and veils the astonishing familiarity of terrorist mentalities.

Current security reform is a consequence of unforeseen catastrophe. Disaster sparks change, ironically, due to dangers that fail to trigger “appropriate sensory responses”; these threats conceal themselves and are often embedded in American civic life. There exists a psychological bias in bureaucracy that presses dominant leaders to maintain the status quo and to entrench their own idiosyncratic policy preferences; this type of organizational behavior resists change, while electoral politics give little incentive for the expensive, disruptive preparation for unlikely and oftentimes invisible attacks. The fatal flaws of pre-9/11 bureaucracy, for one, contributed to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, considered by political scientists as a colossal U.S. intelligence failure. American defensive strategy was not only inadequate, but widely-regarded for being so; U.S. intelligence had previously violated a slew of Japanese diplomatic codes, pointing to an expedited likelihood of a Japanese attack on the United States. Among the earliest protocols for long-term national security reform was the National Security Act of 1947, which established the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency in order to ensure the integration of military and diplomatic intelligence and to prevent potential disasters in the future. Additionally, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 represented a large-scale failure of U.S. intelligence. Upon discovering Soviet SS-4 and SS-5 missile sites, the U.S. prompted a major diplomatic crisis and military standoff that positioned the rival superpowers perilously close to war. The crisis sparked significant changes in U.S. policy, including the opening of direct lines of communication between the White House and the Kremlin, as well as a major restructuring of the chain of command authority in the American military, the most pressing initiative being the President’s new control over nuclear weapons. The Cuban Missile Crisis resonated themes of the Vietnam War; American foreign policy suffered from the Cold War fears of the spread of communism and failed to address the root cause of the insurgency as a war of national liberation (Gilbert 2002). Consequently, U.S. military strategy was thwarted by its attempt to replicate traditional tactics of open combat, while intelligence focused only on conventional war metrics—body counts and weapons captured—and belatedly shifted to address the key elements of nationalist sentiment and counterinsurgency (Gartner 1997). MORE ANALYSIS ON SHIFT. Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 1973 and the fall of Saigon in 1975, the “Vietnam syndrome” made the U.S. public, Congress, and subsequent administrations especially wary of military intervention overseas, limiting the country’s pursuit for world democracy to small-scale operations in Grenada and Panama. This pattern repeated itself on September 11, 2001; intelligence agencies and counterterrorism experts had long argued that al-Qaeda presented a growing and significant threat in the 1990s—indeed, major terrorist plots of the scale of 9/11 had already been averted—but U.S. policy makers failed to adapt to meet this new threat (Gellman 2002; Rosenau 2007). The U.S. Commission on National Security for the Twenty-first Century, for instance, had already warned of terrorist attacks on the United States in early 2001 and recommended the creation of a Department of Homeland Security. Nonetheless, the events of 9/11 was the ___ that finally prompted sweeping changes of government and intelligence organization that many had clamored for years to achieve (___). MORE ANALYSIS ON SHIFT. In each of the three incidents, the United States was faced with a novel threat, the potential consequences of the threat were conspicuous, and the United States failed to adapt to imminent danger.

Current security reform is a consequence of the progression of terrorism. There is no widely accepted definition of terrorism. However, on distinguishing terrorism from other types of crime, ___ Hoffman concludes that terrorism is “ineluctably political in aims and motives,” violent or amidst the threat violence, and designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target. Hoffman’s terrorism is subsequently conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure—members lack uniforms or identifying insignias—and is perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity. Terrorism is henceforth the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change (___). The era of international political terrorism began with a series of skyjacking incidents in 1968, which were prompted by the previous year’s Arab-Israeli war. These events were followed in 1970 by the hijacking and destruction of several jets at Dawson’s Field in Jordan, and soon after in 1972 by the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics This period marked the transition—from the national to the global stage—of terrorism in support of left-wing and ethno-nationalist causes. With the end of the Cold War and developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, analysts now look back on the 1970s and 80s as the “old” paradigm of terrorism; groups associated with this era were generally motivated by left-wing ideologies—Marxism and related economic philosophies—or ethno-nationalism and separatism. The goal of Marxist terrorist groups was to use violence to politicize the masses and incite them to revolt against the capitalist system, while ethno-nationalist separatists wanted independence for their ethnic group or a merger with another state, often employing a long-term strategy of violence in order to force the “foreign” government out of a given country, such as the British out of Palestine and Ireland. Whether Marxist or nationalist, these groups were also predominantly secular in orientation, and the specific demands made by the “old” terrorists were often negotiable: common ___ included the release of certain jailed comrades or payment for the release of hostages. Even where the demands would have been difficult to meet—such as the reunification of a divided country, the reestablishment of an ethnonational homeland, or fundamental changes in the capitalist system—they were usually stated publicly in relatively clear and understandable terms, and there seemed to be room for dialogue or negotiation in many circumstances. Terrorists wanted maximum publicity for their acts, playing for an audience and soliciting audience participation, in order to communicate their ideological message. [2] “Terrorism is theater,” stated Brian Jenkins in 1974, pointing out that terrorist attacks were often choreographed for the media. An attack was nearly always followed by a communique taking credit for the act, laying out demands, or explaining why it was carried out against that particular target; in the case of accidental deaths, terrorists became spin-doctors, expressing sorrow for the deaths (___). The media obliged the terrorists with constant coverage and friendly reportage of their demands, otherwise validating terrorism as a tactic. The violence that they perpetrated, and the publicity they craved, were key facets of the terrorists’ broader strategy of building power to force political change [2]. Nation-states were important sponsors of old-style terrorism. [2] Within the Cold War framework, terrorists often became proxies for both superpowers and middle powers intent on forcing political change without going to war. Selective targeting and mostly discriminate violence were carried out with generally conservative tactics. [2] Terrorists were interested in successful missions, and hand-held guns and machine guns, as well as bombs, proved time and again to be effective. When governments began to respond more effectively to airplane hijackings, terrorists reverted to more traditional tactics, displaying little interest in innovative tactics or non-conventional weapons such as weapons of mass destruction [WMD] for a number of practical, technical, and moral reasons, and due to the fact that it was unnecessary to kill very many people to get the attention they wanted. Additionally, these attacks generally took place within a self-proclaimed operational area that included both proximate regional targets and international centers. Although certain groups occasionally took action outside of their normal target areas, such as the Palestinians in Europe and the IRA in Germany, only rarely did international terrorism spill over outside of Europe and the Middle East. ***Although it is difficult to pinpoint when one trend ceases and a new one begins, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City and the 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system by the Aum Shinrikyo cult might be taken as the inaugurating events for the new paradigm of terrorism [2]. Broadly stated, the new paradigm holds that modern terrorism has different motives, different actors, different sponsors, and greater lethality than the traditional terrorism. Whereas the “old” terrorist groups were primarily secular in their orientation and inspiration, terrorism connected to religious fanaticism is on the rise, not only in Islam, but also in Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism [2]. Hoffman declares that fanatical religious motivation is the defining characteristic of the modem terrorist, producing “radically different value systems, mechanisms of legitimization and justification, concepts of morality, and worldview” when compared to his secular counterpart. It is the anarchist and nihilist groups that pose perhaps the greatest challenge to government action, because their strategy is non-sequential and non-political and their demands are non-negotiable, if they make any demands at all [2]. New terrorists still demonstrate an interest in notoriety or celebrity, but generally show less interest in “theater” as a part of their political strategy, although it must be acknowledged that the September 11th attacks were highly symbolic and hauntingly theatrical. Some of the largest recent terrorist attacks have gone unclaimed, a trend which Hoffman asserts is a signal of loosening constraints on violence. When the new terrorists do communicate their objectives, they are often unintelligible; the new non-negotiability may also be due to a learning process on the part of terrorists. State sponsorship is still an important factor in the new terrorism, but the rise of globalization and the mobility of people and money create opportunities for terrorists to diversify their income sources through criminal enterprise [2]. Terrorists are no longer able to depend on the superpowers to sponsor them as proxies, but have found new wealth in crime. For example, a number of Tamils arrested in Western Europe and the U.S. have been engaged in drug trafficking. The new terrorism also exhibits characteristics that contrast with traditional terrorism [2]. First, terrorist groups are more likely to form networks, rather than hierarchies or cells; this is particularly true of the groups emerging from decentralized radical Islamic movements organized around charismatic clerics. These networks are transnational, amorphous, and diffuse, permitting the groups to engage in a wider range of activities, to consider new strategies like netwar, and to come together for one-time operations like September 11th. Second, new terrorist groups are much larger in size than their predecessors. Whereas the Abu Nidal Organization may have had four or five hundred members, Osama Bin Laden reportedly has between four and five thousand trained men at his call. Third, they are more likely to include amateurs, “part-time” terrorists who do not have professional training but who can access the resources and methods of terrorism through informal (often Internet-based) sources – and who therefore can be as deadly as professionals. With these large, networked, amateur organizations, target and tactics selection are more indiscriminate. New terrorist attacks exhibit greater lethality; a higher percentage of attacks in the 1990’s resulted in one or more fatalities than in any previous decade. Hoffman cites a number of reasons for the increasing lethality [2]. The desensitization of the media and the public to terrorist violence leads terrorists to attempt ever more dramatic or destructive attacks to get the attention they seek. Terrorists have learned from the past and improved their tactics and weapons. · State sponsorship continues to provide terrorists with training, logistics, and the resources needed to buy new and deadlier weapons. Religiously-motivated terrorists find violence to be a divine duty, and seek religious justifications for committing violence against a broad range of opponents (anyone who opposes their faith). Amateurs are difficult to track and anticipate and have no central authority to put constraints on their behavior. The truly professional terrorists are becoming more sophisticated and competent. ***Perhaps the greatest danger in this increased lethality is the likelihood that new terrorists will use weapons of mass destruction. Thus it seems that the new terrorism is primarily a U.S. policy frame, not truly a global phenomenon, despite the valiant efforts of some world leaders to define it as such [2]. The implications for other nation-states and international bodies of a truly new terrorism paradigm are extremely complex and challenging, and do not coincide with the institutional imperatives found in most U.S. government agencies If we believe the new paradigm, we are more likely to see new motivations and heretofore undiscovered actors, new technologies such as lasers and non-lethal weapons, new tactics such as cyberwar, and a much greater chance of WMD attacks [2]. The new paradigm fits with the imperatives and goals of three other types of institutions. First are the proactive institutions that must somehow predict or preempt terrorist attacks, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. Second are those whose missions are most closely related to the new threats, particularly the high-technology side – like the Air Force and DARPA, who will be asked to devise new technical solutions. Third is a different set of reactive organizations, emergency responders that would be called upon to respond to a massively destructive attack, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State Department’s Foreign Emergency Support Team. These organizations have obvious incentives to make the shift to the new terrorism paradigm because it offers opportunities for expanded missions and increased funding. In fact, the Pentagon’s FY2000 budget for counter-terrorism was about $4.5 billion—plus another $2.3 billion for personnel costs associated with counter-terrorism and force protection—and the State Department’s was over $500 million; together they comprised more than half of the $10 billion spent in 2000. As the counter-terrorism “pie” has gotten bigger from $5.7 billion in 1996 to $10 billion in 2000 to roughly $11 billion in 2001, at least forty U.S. government agencies have found greater incentive to hype the new terrorist threat The infusion of an additional $40 billion in response to the September attack, with the promise of more funding to come, will only sharpen the incentive. Analysts and authors who wish to be accepted by this part of the policy community therefore are motivated to articulate and advocate the new paradigm. This is not to suggest by any means that they are engaging in some kind of intellectual dishonesty, but a confluence between the findings of social scientists or policy analysts and the imperatives of the institution funding their research is not unusual. Prior to September 11th, the idea of spending tens of billions of dollars a year would have seemed alarmist, but since that date it seems to be the universal expectation in the United States. To be fair, it is not only potential government contractors who wish to influence funding decisions. Schweitzer boldly offers that “we need a long-term strategy to counter terrorism in its many new forms… with a U.S. commitment on a level that rivals our expenditures to ensure we did not lose the Cold War.” Evolution, not revolution. A LOT MORE ANALYSIS NEEDED ON SHIFT. MOST CONTENT IS RESEARCH.

The current emphasis on surveillance undermines American privacy. Perhaps the most immediate and obvious changes after the attacks took place in U.S. airports. Two months after the attacks, Congress federalized airport security by passing the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the Transportation Security Administration. Prior to 9/11, security had been handled by each airport, which outsourced to private security companies [4]. The new TSA implemented procedures that included stricter guidelines on passenger and luggage screening. Only ticketed passengers could go through security, and an ever-changing array of machinery and procedures were introduced to scan for weapons and destructive items. As new threats were discovered after 9/11, new procedures were introduced, including removing shoes and banning liquids. Anti-Islamic violence in America jumped after the attacks. According to the FBI, 28 hate crimes committed in 2000 were found to be anti-Islamic. In 2001, that number jumped to 481, and it remained above 100 in subsequent years [4]. Passed in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Patriot Act was designed to enhance federal anti-terrorism investigations. Sixteen surveillance provisions are set to expire on Dec. 31. The House on Wednesday voted 251-174 to make most of those provisions permanent, with some new safeguards and with expiration dates for the act’s two most controversial powers, which authorize roving wiretaps and secret searches of records. But opponents in the Senate said those changes fail to adequately address the civil liberties concerns which those provisions raise. Information Sharing- Sec. 203(b) and (d): Allows information from criminal probes to be shared with intelligence agencies and other parts of the government. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: Supporters say the provisions have greatly enhanced information sharing within the FBI, and with the intelligence community at large. Con: Critics warn that unrestricted sharing could lead to the development of massive databases about citizens who are not the targets of criminal investigations. Roving Wiretaps- Sec. 206: Allows one wiretap authorization to cover multiple devices, eliminating the need for separate court authorizations for a suspect’s cell phone, PC and Blackberry, for example. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: The government says roving wiretaps are needed to deal with technologically sophisticated terrorists. Con: Critics say the language of the act could lead to privacy violations of anyone who comes into casual contact with a suspect. Access to Records- Sec. 215: Allows easier access to business records in foreign intelligence investigations. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: The provision allows investigators to obtain books, records, papers, documents and other items sought “in connection with” a terror investigation. Con: Critics attack the breadth of the provision, saying the law could be used to demand the reading records of library or bookstore patrons. Foreign Intelligence Wiretaps and Searches- Sec. 218: Lowers the bar for launching foreign intelligence wiretaps and searches. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: Allows investigators to get a foreign intelligence wiretap or search order, even if they end up bringing criminal charges instead. Con: Because foreign intelligence probes are conducted in secret, with little oversight, critics say abuses could be difficult to uncover. “Sneak & Peek” Warrants- Sec. 213: Allows “Sneak and peek” search warrants, which let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe. Does not expire. Pro: Supporters say this provision has already allowed investigators to search the houses of drug dealers and other criminals without providing notice that might have jeopardized an investigation. Con: Critics say the provision allows the use of “sneak and peek” warrants for even minor crimes, not just terror and espionage cases. Material Support- Sec. 805: Expands the existing ban on giving “material support” to terrorists to include “expert advice or assistance.” Does not expire. Pro: Supporters say it helps cut off the support networks that make terrorism possible. Con: Critics say the provision could lead to guilt by association. A LOT MORE ANALYSIS NEEDED ON THE EFFECTS OF SURVEILLANCE. NEED TO ANALYZE PATRIOT ACT RESEARCH.

The current emphasis on surveillance veils the astonishing familiarity of terrorist mentalities. Violence as entertainment. Stirs “us versus them” mentalities. Schadenfreude. We enjoy watching the “bad guys” suffer. Schadenfreude is integrated in our culture. Violence is perceived as entertainment. This concept predated 9/11. Since then, war is glamorized more than ever: video games, movies, etc. While most Americans would agree that terrorism is the quintessential form of political violence, many fail to recognize that, likewise, counter-terrorism—whether retaliatory or preemptive, large scale (such as the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq) or “low grade” (such as extraordinary renditions, targeted assassinations, or drone strikes)—is also a form of violence [3]. Unlike in the case of dictatorships or other totalitarian forms of rule, in modern liberal democracies the state’s use of violence requires the consent of the people [3]. EXPAND ON SCHADENFREUDE. MORE ANALYSIS NEEDED ON THE EFFECTS OF THE SHIFT ON OUR PHILOSOPHICAL WORLD VIEW.

Current security reform is a byproduct of unforeseen catastrophe and the progression of terrorism, yet the current emphasis on surveillance undermines American privacy and veils the astonishing familiarity of terrorist mentalities. FULL CONCLUSION NEEDED.

The Impact of Innovative Multimedia

Addario’s depiction of the British Consulate car bombing between pages 210 and 211 elicits feelings of alarm and apprehension. This image conveyed the horror that is strongly associated with domestic acts of terrorism; this form of violence is nightmarish, vile, and inhumane. I feel that Addario’s photograph emphasizes the vulnerability of all civilians in a state of war. As a result, this picture evoked anxiety and augmented the horrifying reality that terrorism can inflict pain on anyone—at any time—in the developing world. The photo prompted an unsettled, angered response from me: the debris of the pictured explosion is heartbreaking to view. Addario’s use of landscape orientation accentuates the sheer mass of the bombing; terrorism is ever-widening, reckless, and highly mobile in world civilizations.

The British Consulate minutes after a car bomb exploded, which killed nearly thirty people.

Similarly, the image of the bandaged, hospitalized boy between pages 210 and 211 underscores the loss of innocence that is intimately prompted by war. The boy’s scars are agonizing to view; his pain resonates through the photograph and—quite frankly—touched my heart. It’s upsetting to see the aftermaths of war in the face of a child who has little to do with the political and social circumstances surrounding the violence in the Middle East. Indeed, innocent lives are lost during the battle for social justice; these casualties are heartbreaking and distressing. The emotional appeals of this photograph struck a poignant chord in my heart: the boy’s teary eyes elicit feelings of misery and anguish.

In my technology blog, I hope to incorporate multimedia in order to construct visual depictions of the innovations discussed in each post. Oftentimes, the ideas of entrepreneurs are intangible and difficult to clearly perceive; images and videos will reinforce leaders’ efforts to change the contemporary tech world and solidify their extraordinary ideas. I hope to take advantage of the blogging platform’s ability to display visual graphics by utilizing diagrams to explain emerging technological concepts and ideas; in my artificial intelligence post, for example, I employed concept art to effectively emphasize the potential of AI in hospital environments. The images and videos that I choose to implement in my blog will strengthen entrepreneurs’ lofty goals and ambitions and close the technological gap between dreams and reality.

Rhetorical Analysis Rough Draft

An old adage writes, “You are what you eat.”

The environment in which one grows up plays an existential impact on the decisions he makes. The circumstances of one’s lifestyle, consequently, polarize an individual’s vantage point on civic responsibilities. One must consider, however, the principle of inheritance: individuals have no fundamental control on their innate landscape and are born with opportunities both attainable and inaccessable. Among the world’s inherited privileges is wealth, the finite accumulation of money. The purchasing power of the dollar bill remains constant, but the amount of it varies; the bill addresses ___. Connected to wealth is the idea that young people also inherit their appearances. The mirror ___; it responds to ___. Nonetheless, both talk about flaws. Despite addressing dissimilar exigences, the bill and the mirror coexist as mechanisms for diagnosing vices in millennials and collectively reexamine the doctrine of self-worth.

Aristotle delineates money as a good used for “the sake of something else”: money merely is an instrument of transaction that fails to integrate itself with total gratification. Indeed, money falls short in producing long-standing civic fulfillment; it consequently serves as the primary constituent of greed, or the excessive taste for wealth. Wealth is not naturally an immoral entity: money satisfies our basic human needs and provides for luxuries to enrich our standard of living. Greed, on the contrary, is foremost a sinful matter of the heart: it is not merely caring about one’s possessions, but caring too much about them (CITATION). Greed perpetuates anxiety and civic restlessness, the emotionally strenuous process of longing for fulfillment and the false assurance that upon gaining it, we will forever be content. Greed is referenced in Catholicism as “avarice,” the act of pleasing oneself with material acquisitions instead of pleasing God. The bill is more associated with wants than needs; the Catholic code of moral conduct underscores the argument that selfish, excessive desire is a violation of divine or natural law. Contrary to the notion that greed emanates from overindulgence, the infatuation of money is oftentimes a consequence of deprivation, the need for the unavailable. As this emptiness illuminates, a young person becomes fixated on seeking what he “needs”—power, food, sex, or attention—and works arduously to eradicate the feeling of not having it. Civic life then becomes a manipulative quest to acquire as much of it as possible. ***Money controls its transactor while producing feelings of temporary significance. In exceptional cases of greed, one might achieve success in obtaining what he seeks; in this moment, when the object of his desire is in his hands, he experiences truly intoxicating feelings of triumph and relief. These instances, however, are innately brief: money fails to perpetually satisfy our closest desires. the holder then becomes frustrated at the transience of such limited pleasure; the bill therefore refutes the argument that money is the end of one’s goals and ambitions. Spenders are thwarted by brief gratification in typical purchases with money, and as a detriment of greed, buyers endure shame and guilt over the damaging effects on their relationships, reputation, and financial security. The bill makes reference to the human vice of insecurity, being that the insatiable splendor of money has the power to evoke fear and uncertainty of the future. Feeling compelled to fix this imperfection, civic individuals begin the vicious cycle of earning and spending anew. A commonplace embedded within the bill is that its civic role is powerful and valuable; money is henceforth employed as a tool of enslavement and control.

PULL-OUT QUOTE

Money determines your way of life, but not your character. The bill ultimately is a reflection of one’s purchasing power, yet the financial value earned by an individual has little contribution to his spiritual well-being, social relationships, and interpersonal connections. MORE NEEDED HERE. ***Money identifies how you are perceived by your environment and by yourself. Individuals place less significance on the bill’s function as a currency and more on the social position that their income awards them. Expanding upon in one’s income, however, will not necessarily equate to a growth in social standing. On an intrapersonal scale, money is a mechanism for comparing oneself against others. The pursuit of money takes up time and the bill distracts its owner from his civic, societal, and familial duties. As a parent, earning money may mean less time as a family. The thirst for income diverts earners from giving back to their community. Having money makes people judge you unfairly. People are critical of the wealthy. Money makes its holder a target for scams and fraudulent activity. MORE NEEDED HERE.

The civic phenomenon of greed echoes the motifs of narcissism; the infatuation of one’s appearance. The Greek tale of Narcissus—who became enamored by and pined for his own reflection in a pool of water—reflects the urge for individuals to respond innately to the “lure of the mirror” (___). Mirrors are inherent instruments of vanity, the vices of conceit and egotism. We think ahead of the mirror, aspiring for more than what we see appear; mirrors provide temporary reflections that urge its user to long for the unattainable future. When narcissism becomes greed, it coalesces into “unrealistically high levels of self-esteem” that are manifested by a “system of intrapersonal self-regulation”; in other words, individuals distort their flaws into successes and disable the inner evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses. ***Mirrors therefore deceive: they capitalize on the instantaneous reflections they provide by altering appearances. Men believe that money makes them appealing and that mirrors display physical attractiveness, yet neither of these vehicles for beauty is civically accurate. Reflection is deceptive; one’s perspective determines the intensity of the deceit. The optical illusion of mirrors serves to enforce the idea that whenever one reviews himself, bias exists according to his frame of reference.

WORK IN PROGRESS. Mirrors are physical reflections, but are naturally not spiritual reflections. The rudimentary function of mirrors to reflect physical images: we make use of rear-view mirrors in our vehicles to alert us of potential hazards, while we station mirrors around buildings and hallways to see from all directions. We spend a considerable amount of time standing before personal mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and thus reflect our surroundings. Light, however, has a symbolic and otherwise spiritual attachment to illumination, awareness, and wisdom; according to spirituality, mirrors reflect truth. Psychology refutes this principle and argues that mirrors are the symbolization of the threshold between consciousness and unconsciousness. Through mirrors, we see our cognizant, social, and “better” self as well as the natural world in which we live, while glimpsing into the darker, depraved image of our subconscious and the frightening insecurities we have about our appearances (___). The morbidity of mirrors is displayed throughout several world civilizations. Many myths, legends, and superstitions are intimately associated with the mirror and the same cultures that associate it with truth. SENTENCE NEEDED. The human eye characterizes ocule mi, “my little eye.” In the pupil was the image of the one who looked into it. In Eve’s eye—colloquially termed the “mirror of love”—Adam first learned to know himself. Many ancient cultures long believed that reflections were not of your physical self, but of the soul. Certain cultures, in fact, proposed that mirror images revealed the shadow self, the dark side of your nature. In Ancient Greece, looking at one’s reflection could mean losing one’s soul. MORE NEEDED. ***WORK IN PROGRESS. Mirrors consequently reflect how you are seen by onlookers and by yourself. Because we seek long-term gratification, we depend on mirrors. Mirrors distract people from their character and focus on outward appearances. An embedded argument in mirrors is that exteriors supersede interiors. While there is a measure of vanity in gazing at one’s own reflection, we often look to become more oriented with the elements of our countenance (___). We look to see the physical matter of our face and body and thereby assess how we appear to the world, confirming that our form and distribution of features are as we believe them to be in our subconscious. We look for signs of our hidden carnal nature and to see if the wicked secrets and sin desires we harbor have emerged from our unobservable moral surface (___). We look for the assurance of our continuity and existence (___). MORE NEEDED HERE.

PULL-OUT QUOTE

Conclusion

Who your audience is? Where does it fit (Collegian, New Yorker, The Atlantic)?

The Role and Impact of Conflicts

Addario writes conflictingly of her decision to step away from photographing America’s War on Terror. At the beginning of Chapter, 7, Addario’s desire to “branch out beyond the daily demands of breaking-news photography” juxtaposes her passion to capture real-time moments of human remorse and emotion. Nonetheless, she mitigates this conflict by explaining that her opportunities as an Iraqi photographer were becoming limited in scope due to “violent, restrictive” conditions in the Middle East. She feels fettered and shackled by the political circumstances of the War on Terror, and as a result, she longs for a photographic atmosphere that unleashes her intimate creativity.

Addario makes her dilemma comparable to her audience’s experiences by declaring that she needed to “move on”: a phrase that so closely encompasses the feelings of growing up and transitioning from childhood to adulthood. As a result, Addario’s intents for moving her career to Africa resonates with her dynamic and perhaps youthful audience. She yearns for an environment that captures human emotions profusely; in Africa, she feels that she can “lose herself” into the sensational appeals that will surround her as she photographs the people of Darfur. Whereas her War on Terror photography was tremored by pain and suffering, she aims to add a much stronger humanitarian angle to her work in Africa. Addario’s utilization of kairos is effective in emphasizing her heart’s desire for a new, engaging experience: she feels that now is the “perfect opportunity” to begin to transition into mature work—a feeling relatable among teens who want to pursue sophisticated opportunities but are unsure of the exact moment (or chronos) of their departure from childhood.

Darfur refugees.

While writing my passion blog, I hope to juxtapose my love for technology with my career as a freelance musician. Like Addario, I boldly understand the need to “move on”: although I enjoy playing the saxophone, I long for something that implements my skills as a writer, a critical thinker, and a mathematician. Oftentimes, I feel that I’m unsatisfied by my work as a musician; this is possibly due to the fact that I consider music a hobby, and not a profession.

I have considered including this personal conflict of mine in order to emphasize the uncertainty that lies ahead of many of the entrepreneurs, businessmen, and innovators discussed in my blog. Similarly, I hope to illustrate my dilemma involving my passion and my profession, employing it to help shape the complicated lives of today’s technology leaders and their decisions to turn away from their professions and pursue their passions.

Civic Artifact Speech Outline

Introduction (30 sec):

  • My favorite store growing up? Five and Below. There, I could buy anything. I was rich. I had options. I felt powerful. The dollar bill is magical in that it changes how you perceive yourself or your surroundings. In the Nineteenth Century, the bill was invented to fund the Civil War, but its intended purpose has deviated since. Civically, the bill is meant to engage its owner in creating opportunities, but if the holder declines, he becomes controlled by the bill. The bill represents the civic imbalance between doing what’s right and doing what’s wrong, and its power is unfettered. The bill can spend, send, and condescend, but our inability to be fully satisfied must prevent it from becoming the ultimate source of wealth.

Spend (1 min):

  • Main idea: Payment
  • The dollar is a means for exchange
  • It’s used to purchase tangible items
  • More implicitly, it’s used to purchase and satisfy feelings as well as produce emotions: entertain, quench hunger or thirst, make happiness
  • The irony of money: we earn it to spend it. If we could be fully satisfied, we would stop spending it. Instead, spenders are involved in a vicious, unending cycle of earning and buying
  • Some things can’t be bought. A flaw of money: the feelings it buys are temporary and felt on the surface
  • Transition/Commonplace: Money can be used to transact because we give it worth; it’s valuable.

Send (1 min):

  • Main idea: value
  • To dollar can be transferred
    • It’s mobile and meant to be shared
  • It can be stored and invested
    • These actions are logical and based on numbers and data
  • Money can create opportunities and destroy others
  • Donations provide relief to those in need
  • For a parent, earning money may mean less time as a family
  • Chasing money takes up time and chews away at “priceless” opportunities
  • Transition: Money can be inherited, but inherited money defeats the idea of money = worth. Therefore, the bill can deceive.

Condescend (1 min):

  • Main idea: Power
  • Commonplace: Money and status are directly related
  • More money = smarter, works harder, luckier
  • The bill gives credibility
  • Money is used as a means of persuasion and as an incentive
  • Because we place value on the dollar bill, it can control us
  • Some argue that money is the root cause of evil. The bill doesn’t cause evil; its value does. Consumers are to blame for this
  • Transition: How everything comes together as a civic artifact: Money is a mobile, dynamic way to pay for things because it’s powerful. Why is it powerful? We put too much value on it. We need to change the way we think.

Conclusion (30 sec):

  • We need to consider that the bill can’t buy everything, and for that to happen, we need to put less value on it. As a result, it’ll have less meaning in our lives. It’s our civic responsibility to act in accordance with our own moral codes. The bill adapts: With it, we’re controlled. Without it, we’re rich. Thank you.

On Rhetorical Strategies

Addario’s depiction of her New York arrival is an almost apocalyptic illustration of the aftermath of terrorism. Addario’s deliberate use of “mangled” and “solemn” reflect scenes of horror and dismay at the clutch of radical Islam; her morbid diction in the opening of Part II serves to juxtapose the bustling New York City ambiance that she predicts her readers would envision. The author’s subsequent use of “gasp” and “devastated” are intended to emphasize the dismal, obscene consequences of international violence—those she bravely chooses to unearth in her photography.

WTC 7 in ruins after 9/11.

Vivid imagery is employed especially in Addario’s first impressions of Peshawar, a hostile Pakistani city thwarted with terrorist factions. In this scene, Addarie utilizes figurative language to characterize Peshawar as ominous and foreboding, incorporating a metaphor to explain how the city produced an unsettling aura and explaining that “everyone [in the city] constantly looked over his shoulder” (70). Addario responds with a description of the concentrated media presence within Peshawar, employing parallelism to accentuate how quickly faces “darted, strided, [and] trailed” across the hotel lawn (70). The author unhesitantly emphasizes the emotional impact of style, one of the canons of rhetoric.

As I write about the impact of new and emerging technology, I aim to capture the reader’s imagination through anecdotal descriptions of each product’s viable role in the world. For instance, I plan to introduce my upcoming post on the iPhone X with a narrative depiction of a young Steve Jobs, as he struggles heart-achingly to solidify his dream for Apple against a manipulative executive board. Similar to Addario’s use of murky, disheartening diction in the opening of Part II, I hope to evoke an intense, emotional response from my readers by capturing Jobs’ life-changing dilemma.

Young Steve Jobs.

Subsequently, I plan to incorporate figurative language in order to compare the technology I write about to everyday objects and household items prominent in our day-to-day lives. Artificial intelligence, for one, is a technology that elicits a particular fear in most readers’ minds. The real-world technology used to program AI machines differs astronomically from popular depictions of “killer robots” in science-fiction films, and in actuality, the function of AI is more comparable to how Google can search the internet and how computers can play chess. By employing extended metaphors and complementing my use of language with parallelism, I will strike a balance between the hypothetical world of innovative ideas and the concrete reality of technology in our information-driven society.

What Stands In the Way of Passion

Addario manifests Nana’s missed chance of love to illustrate how true passion cannot be materialized. The tale’s deeper significance lies in the idea that passion is intangible and emotionally resonant, unable to be precisely defined. Through Nana’s story, Addario presents intrinsic proof that inward feelings can contribute certain worth to passion.

Whereas Nana’s love for Sal reflects an involved, captivating, and dynamic passion, her eventual love for Ernie is reticent and submissive. Addario employs Nana’s story to emphasize that passion cannot be fully unleashed until it becomes intertwined in one’s life, though this connection is painfully demanding.

Addario feels that her passion for photography will culminate when she is willing to endure its emotional and financial hardships. The consequences of Addario’s passion are an unsteady income, a general unpredictability of the future, and disconnection with her significant other, irreparably illustrated by Uxval’s decision to cheat on her. Addario is thwarted by tangible obstacles—war and death—yet she feels the emotional profit of photography exceeds these risks. Addario longs for the intangible: doing what she loves, capturing the world in times of crisis, and empowering individuals unheard.

War, the context of Addario’s story, contributes to the emotional appeal or pathos of her argument.

In my technology blog, I hope to reiterate Addario’s theme of risk-taking and defying the status quo through a musical experience in my life. I had never faced a catastrophic musical failure in my saxophone career until my sophomore year of high school, when I was harshly rejected from a prestigious program due to my carelessness.

Since I had chosen not to prepare for this audition, the arrogance I displayed jeopardized my future as a professional musician. This major setback restructured my entire work ethic. Applying the Greek idea of kairos and acting at the right opportunity, I found that failure—even in a musical context—is essential for driving true success.

Failure is a stepping stone, a destination rather than an endpoint. Like the ambitious entrepreneurs and innovative startups discussed in my blog, I’ve found that a fear of failure hinders progressive thinking. Sometimes, the greatest lessons in life are learned from its greatest challenges.

My Passions: They’re Why I Blog

My friends think I’m a daredevil.

But frankly, I’m anything but. To me, being a daredevil means you’re reckless, that you take risks without purpose or feeling. I don’t take risks because I’m unafraid; I take them because they set me apart from the crowd. They make things a bit more interesting. And it’s this exact thrill that shapes my own definition of happiness: doing something nobody’s ever done before.

…but I am afraid of heights.

Almost two years ago, I was offered a research position at a successful video game company in San Francisco, CA. When my contributions began to affect millions of players, I knew that my dream was to one day become an entrepreneur and launch my own startup. I plan to write a blog about exciting, futuristic technology that defies the status quo. My blog caters to casual tech enthusiasts and places a much-needed spotlight on virtual reality, electric cars, and other new and emerging industries. I plan to call it If Tech Could Talk (and yes, it can!).

New technology in China uses facial recognition to make purchases.

As a saxophone player and recording artist, I love to perform on stage. But while music is my trade, I’ve always been fascinated by another, more unpredictable art form: cinema. My second pitch is a Christian movie review blog that captures the importance of morals and virtues in filmography. Contrary to a typical movie review, each post criticizes a film’s theme and core values as opposed to technical elements like animation and musical scoring. Due to the blog’s very specific niche, I may also critique secular, well-known movies to expand its potential audience.

My two passions greatly contrast each other, yet I’m thrilled that I can begin exploring both with much more depth. It’s exciting to begin writing about topics that can inspire amazing change in the way we think.