Category: General


Is Race Real?

Racism as a construct for demographic and socio-political analysis is increasingly being contested.  Today, urbanization has become the norm due to process of industrialization, and cities are getting very cosmopolitan.  This makes it necessary that people from so called ‘different races’ cohabit and cooperate to achieve their shared objectives. Most advanced industrial societies today exhibit some degree of tolerance and adaptability when it comes to issues of race. But the situation is far from perfect and race continues to be a simmering point of contention.  In this backdrop new scientific and anthropological evidence on the veracity of race assumes significance.  They help demystify and demythologize race and racism as previously understood.  In this process the very legitimacy of racial classification is questioned.

The American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) consensus on the subject of race is a rebuke to historical perceptions of race.  The esteemed . . . Read More

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Critical Thinking Essay: Sony PlayStation 4

The upcoming release of Sony PlayStation 4 has created plenty of buzz among video gaming enthusiasts.  With the release of this latest video gaming console from Sony the company hopes to claim leadership position both in terms of technology and market share.  A set of new technological frontiers are set to be breached through the launch.  The console has incorporated advanced motion capture features.  It also offers new real-time networking and data sharing capabilities, which is set to enhance the gaming experience.  On the marketing side, Sony aims to avoid the mistakes it did with the previous version of the console, which was introduced too late into the market, when, by then, Microsoft’s Xbox had firmly established its presence.

Apart from the apparent allure of an entertainment gadget, one can look at the upcoming product launch from critical angles.  The foremost is the social implication of video games in general and PlayStation in particular.   It is a . . . Read More

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Reading Response: “Whose Culture Is It, Anyway?” by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. makes a cogent case for pluralism in the American cultural context. In the American academia of today the formation of curricula is largely dependent on the ethnic composition of the enrolled students. This implies that courses that come under the purview of liberal arts are seldom offered in colleges with a high ethnic/racial diversity. Gates Jr. sees this practice as discriminatory and divisive. He alerts us to how “political representation has been confused with ‘representation’ of various ethnic identities in the curriculum”. (214) Hereby, instead of real diversity in the classroom, what we have is notional diversity of perspectives in the course content. The effect of this trend is one of promoting a concocted common American identity where none such exists. Political conservatives have tried to justify this practice by citing fears of ‘tribalism’ and ‘fragmentation’ in society. But considering that plurality is at the very core of American . . . Read More

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A response to Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement

Ludwig van Beethoven’s music is generally understood as the composer’s personal expression of his deep-felt emotions. The mercurial composer not only suffered from a progressively worsening deafness but also turbulent romantic relations.  His music is said to capture the high and low moments of his personal and professional lives.  His music is also divided into those that were meant for public performance and those that were written for private/intimate enjoyment. The Moonlight Sonata falls into the latter category. The first movement, which is set as Adagio sostenuto sets the romantic mood to perfection. It is very intimate and an expression of longing and anticipation. This is followed b the second movement which is a short Allegretto that provides sharp contrast in tempo and rhythm to the first movement. And finally the third movement, set as Presto agitato, offers an apt conclusion to the sonata. The meaning of the third movement can be . . . Read More

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What have been the prevailing creationist/intelligent design explanations for the origin and development of organic beings and how have these views been challenged by Darwin’s theory of evolution?

Charles Darwin’s publication of the theory of evolution through natural selection is one of the pivotal moments in the history of science. But the theory was unveiled only in the middle of 19th century, by when great strides have already been made in other fields of science. Yet, when compared to the complexity and cumbersomeness of theories in the fields of astronomy, quantum physics or discrete mathematics, Darwin’s theory is remarkable for its simplicity.  Despite this fact the theory has generated a lot of controversy – both among the general public and among intellectuals. Leading the aggression are the religiously orthodox, who see a threat to the tenets of their faith. To overcome their insecurities they adopt one of two approaches. First, they try to reject evolution as valid scientific theory for want of adequate evidence supporting it. When this fails, they co-opt the theory into a religious understanding and project the process of evolution as God’s . . . Read More

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Steve Jobs and the invention of the iPhone

Introduction:

Thesis Statement:

Steve Jobs is one of the prominent inventors and pioneers in the field of information technology.  Some of his creations such as the iPhone speak highly of his vision in recognizing technologies of the future.  By introducing products such as the iPhone, he took Apple Computers to new heights through its exceptional performance and features.

Invention:

In order to grow any business innovation is a key element.  Without innovation the business would stagnate and will soon be consumed by more competitive firms. At the beginning of Apple Computers’ corporate life, the Mac computers were a great product innovation. In more recent years, it is the iPhone.  The quality and popularity of iPhone is such that it has even overtaken companies like Blackberry. At the beginning of the IT revolution in the 1990s companies like Microsoft were taking huge strides in Graphic User Interface . . . Read More

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The decline of Community Oriented Policing since September 11, 2001.

Prior to September 11, 2001 many police agencies nationwide practiced Community Oriented Policing.  The aftermath of 9/11 saw many police agencies revert back to traditional policing.  Describe why you believe this is or is not beneficial for a police organization.

The September 11, 2001 terror attack on American soil, carried out by Al-Qaeda, is a significant politico-historical event in many respects.  In its aftermath the nation saw a slew of counter-terrorism measures, some of which (like the PATRIOT Act) have been very controversial. The effects of stringent security measures that were taken in the wake of 911 have percolated even to the police department.  Since 911 there have been structural and functional changes witnessed in police departments across the country.  A major change is with respect to Community Oriented Policing, which has been nearly done away with.  Although efficiency and rapid co-ordination to act upon intelligence has been . . . Read More

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The Main Memory System for a Computer

Memory is an important component of any computer.  A part of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer, memory performs either of short-term or long-term storage functions.  At a conceptual level, memory can either refer to the storage devices themselves (hard-drives, DVDs, etc) or to the data/information stored therein. The Random Access Memory (RAM) is the most important for the functioning of a computer, for it is essential for immediate and high-speed computing operations.  But RAM has a limitation in terms of its capacity but the access time is very impressive.  In contrast, secondary memory devices offer vast storage capacities for information with the trade-off being slow access time.

Computer memory devices are mostly made of semiconductor circuits such as Integrated Circuits (ICs). The basic storage unit for semiconductor memory is called a cell which can store a unit of binary information (0 or 1). Cells are in turn part of memory words of lengths such as . . . Read More

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Media Analysis: Just a Minute (BBC Radio 4)

Introduction:

The media item chosen for this essay is Just a Minute – a flagship radio comedy show broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It is based on a 4-member panel format, where contestants have to speak on any given topic for a full minute without ‘hesitation’, ‘repetition’ or ‘deviation’.  Having premiered at 1967 as a weekly show the program is still running today.  It is one of the longest running in the history of radio and comedy. (Crisell, 2002, p.26)  The main reason for its success is due to how it allows endless creativity and humour within a simple framework of rules.  Though the three-point rules are simple to understand, the panellists seldom find them easy to follow during the impromptu situations they find themselves in. Though it is a competitive game-show format, winning is less important than amusing and entertaining the audience.  The audience for the show falls into two categories: radio listeners and in-studio attendance.  . . . Read More

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Reading Response to ‘Our Barbies, Ourselves’ by Emily Prager

This article takes a critical look at one of the most recognizable cultural icons in American history – the Barbie doll.  While admitting to the popularity and appeal of the Barbie doll across generations, Emily Prager finds certain faults with what it symbolizes.  The fact that the doll was first conceived and designed by a man is the first of Prager’s objections.  She contends that Barbie’s fulsome breasts and thin waistline accentuate her sex-appeal, thereby reducing femininity to the contours of body shape and skin color. Prager asserts that this physical perfection on part of the most popular doll undermines the feminist movement and other feminine ideals.  Prager acknowledges that Barbie does serve as a role model in terms of her liberated sense of style and living.  The showcasing of Barbie’s bohemian lifestyle, spanning condos, fashion plazas, swimming pools and beauty salons is appealing for young girls.  Yet, her combination of verve and freedom does not . . . Read More

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