Article: Take Back the Language
This article published in 2003, amidst the Invasion of Iraq and updated in 2011, is about the integration of jargony military-speak into journalists' reports. The author is highly critical of journalists' indulgence in military terms which make them seem as if they are "in the loop" and sugarcoat actual events. For instance, the wide usage of "aggrandized mission names", such as Operation Iraqi Freedom or Valiant Strike, and "euphemistic jargon", such as "campaign" and "collateral damage" jeopardizes the integrity of the news. I wholeheartedly agree with the author. Commonly, news agencies phrase their reports in a lighter manner so as to protect the interested parties. Also, they use patriotic and pathos devices to sway public opinion. It is outrageous for journalism which has an intrinsic devotion to truth to be perverted in such manner. Furthermore, these loaded terms are barely informative. News has to possess a degree of integrity which is not the case. I thought the article was incredibly insightful and valuable. I was particularly bothered by the use of the term "collateral damage" to describe the deaths of innocent civilians. It reminded me of a line from the Joker. The media can sometimes betray its purpose completely.
"You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan.” - Joker
Article Link: http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2013/03/10-of-weirdest-futurist-scenarios-for.html
Article Title: 10 of the Weirdest Futurist Scenarios for the Evolution of Humanity
This article provides a wide range of evolutionary roads that the human species might take in the distant future, ranging from brain-creatures to the utter extinction of our race. While most of these seem frightening and overall undesirable, there was one of these scenarios that actually seemed plausible. Alternative number 7, ‘Postgendered Humans’, seemed quite valid, since we, physically, are born in a gender binary system—either male or female. However, not only does this binary provide physical limits for both genders, but it really doesn’t provide us with much of a choice. While there are only two biological sexes, you can feel outside of the binary system, and that would be your gender identity, which could be androgynous, genderless, female, male, third-gender, genderfluid, among others. The point is, with postgendered humans, one could greatly benefit from what they think are the ‘perks’ of each biological sex, forming, as a consequence, a reflection of their gender identity and an entire new concept of gender and sexes.
Some of the alternatives given in the article could be easily intertwined, such as designer babies that are transgenic with certain animals, and that would survive in outer space and would also harm our planet less. In fact, a mixture of two or more different scenarios would seem like a more possible outcome than those alternatives separately. After all, by mixing the alternatives, humans could get the best out of each one of them simultaneously, and that sort of rational behavior seems very human-like to me.
Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain? http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2013/01/should-we-eliminate-human-ability-to.html
Without any doubt it would be amazing to live in a world were there is not an ability to feel pain is the first thought anyone would have, but there are consequences of not feeling any pain because pain is an indicator in our organism that indicates there is something wrong with our body. They are alternatives presented as a solution, but with this solution other problems appear if we have technologic bodies that let us know if we are being harmed or automatically acts against any harm. These technologic parts of our bodies could be hacked and that is a real threat we leave in our modern society. About if we would be practicing eugenics in our children by choosing them to have low pain sensations for me this should be put in the table because anyways scientist are researching ways to eliminate defective DNA and parent are trying to predefine their babies before they are born. The idea of questioning is all right but definitely unnecessary, as I think the unnatural selection made by humans is the next step for evolution. With all the cons such as if pain doesn’t exist we wouldn’t have the contrast of pain-pleasure, rather that living in a world where pain doesn’t exist the best option would be to feel the less pain as possible. But then another problem would surge a simply headache wouldn’t be easily distinguished from an aneurism, what it would make a huge difference between life and death. Maybe disturbing our genes in that way isn’t the best option to better our life quality; it may be better if we limit ourselves to eradicate illness and defects in the human body, rather than to eradicate a human tool that may be unpleasant to use and have but help ourselves to maintain alive.
Words that don't translate well into english:
As much as this is not school apropriate, its the first example which came to mind.
1. Porra- cum. In portuguese, porra is for intensity. Like "It was really good" is "foi bom pra porra"
2. Bater um rango - hitting a rank
3. Passar ferro- pass iron
10 Words That Don't Translate Well Into English
Several of the articles posted seem to have a general theme of Language. I agree with the other articles which state that language shapes the way one thinks. It truly does. I speak three languages rather fluently, and I notice in myself that my personality can change slightly according which language I have spoken the most that day. It is not a case in which I am more shy in the languages I do not speak so well in, and more outspoken in the language I speak best in, my personality actually tends to change. This is explained in the article "Does Your Language Shape How You Think?", although it is more specific as to one's mother language. The article gives several examples, among which gender for inanimate objects. Our language affects the way we perceive things. There are words in some languages that do not translate well into others. Here are a few words that don't translate well into English:
Saudades (Portuguese) - The noun for missing someone
Gueule (French)- Animal’s mouth
Écoeurant (French)- Easily gotten sick of (usually a food)
Délire (French) – Verb for going crazy
I find it is also the phoenetics of a language that change us. For example, the French have a lot of "au","eux" and "ou" sounds that makes us lengthen our faces. In contrast, in Portuguese there are a lot of "eh", "ee" and "ah" sounds that make us open our mouths and make us use the same facial muscles as those we use when we smile. There are theories that if we smile a lot, we automatically remember happinness and therefore feel happy. It is then logical that Brazilians are happier than the French. Of course, my theory has absolutely no proof, it is only my opinion.
Article: Take Back the Language
I very well agree with the author of the article, after all he is talking about a very commonly used technique of persuasion. Diction or rather, word choice. Choosing lighter words for when you want people to think a situation is “not do bad” and going for heavier words when you want people to believe that “it’s actually much worse”. However, that’s the thing, he is asking for journalists to be more neutral in their news, which is just impossible. These journalists represent news companies, which have their own view of each situation and want to make people believe in whatever it is they want them to. It could be because of money, or just a person trying to spread their individual ideals. People do this all the time; it is extremely hard to find an impartial article, book, magazine, essay, whatsoever, especially when the content is a highly discussed topic. This article being discussed right now, for instance, can most certainly be considered biased, and the author definitely utilized word choice in order to persuade people into agreeing with him. It’s no crime, really. In order for people to get a more, so to say, “correct” and “precise” conclusion, all there is to it is looking for articles that present different points of view and coming up with such. It is not up to the journalists, they have every right to present their own opinions.
What do we mean by the "rights" of the nonhuman person?
Wow, why I am I not surprised that the author of this article is an animal lover? Anyways, please do not confuse yourselves by thinking I am animal hater. By the contrary, I think animals are great! Especially when we are animals ourselves! Nonetheless, I have to accede that the author- is a human-chimpanzee speciesist. He talks about protecting nonhumas from “ undue confinement, abuse, experimentation (…)”, which can be understandable since human beings become more and more abstruse as years pass. However, how can he possibly know if birds don not feel emotions such as of humans? Or if horses have “sophisticated cognitive and emotional capacities that can warrant special right’s considerations”? (George). He doesn’t know that. In fact, it cannot even be proven with 100% accuracy, if some primates do feel some “humanistic” emotions such as the golden monkey-lion. Apparently, only primates like the Gorillas or Chimpanzees have come close to what he states as a generalization of all monkeys. For me, his argument loses all credibility as he states, “ animals that lack a moral understanding of their actions cannot be included in the broader social contract” (George). Don’t you think this is ironic? First he claims we should give rights to animals that suffer from human treatments, and condemns humanity for being utterly selective of whom to consider these rights to. Since, according to him, “it seems unfair to grant sociopaths rights, when primates can have much more sentiments then these”. But then, he says it would be better to grant rights ONLY to animals that he “thinks” feel more emotions. Nevertheless, in the end, he is doing exactly what we humans were doing before, and for what he was arguing against. He is selecting a whole species based on common knowledge that one or two types of monkeys can think more like humans, and saying that we should grant human rights only to monkeys, instead of granting rights to all. In a way I feel he is contradicting himself.
Furthermore, I would like to restate that I like animals. And for those animal lovers, please, don’t be offended by my words. However, we must think that practically everything in our society depends on animal testing. Recent scientists claim to perceive the cure for AIDS, by noticing that primates can live with the disease. Should we stop monkey tastings when there is an ultimate possibility that the cure for it is near? Should we stop mice testing, when recently it was discovered that cancer treatments allow the cure for Alzheimer? Let’s be realistic. We live in a society where great part of the world is faced already with human rights violations. If we aren’t doing so well while respecting ourselves amongst our species, then what makes you think that putting it on effect for other creatures would work? We have to organize ourselves first, try to respect each other. Then, after we resolved problems within ourselves, we can consider implementing such laws to other creatures. Moreover, we are too dependent upon animal testing to simply quit now. This has to work as in a process. Where little by little, we can reduce testing on animals. At least, this is my perspective.
Article: Amondawa tribe lacks abstract idea of time, study says
In now days, its really impressive how communities and groups can be so far away from a civil society. At first when I read that this tribe lacked notion of time, I blamed them of ignorant they are. But then, I could realize that it wasn't their fault at all. Which blame they could take if they live in there own separate world? None. Time is just a detail for them. On this account, many may judge them for not being able to define time, although I must envy them. A person who doesn't concerns about time, is a person with no worries at all. Time is precious for some, but for them is just a clock.
A clock that may not have any significance for them. However time treats everyone equally. It will simply have no pity or probably it will. Time is indefinite for all of us, with no exceptions.
I would like to share two things that happened to me while reading this article:
1- I laughed when the scenarios were “presented”.
2- And I thought of something Mr Ronzie told us during 8th grade: “Nothing is impossible for those who believe.”
Seriously, while reading this article I wonder if the scenarios presented were actually something that may happen someday, somehow. And if you stop to think, they are not actually impossible at all, but many of them seems to be unrealistic since we are not used to think about the possibilities of it to happen, and thats why we think some of them are have much more chance for it to happen then the other. Seriously? With the technology that we have today, and with the world that we are living in I have the opinion that MANY things that seems to be impossible are actually possible to happen. If you take a look on the list itself, it may sound crazy or confused, but many of the scenarios presented already are halfway happening in our society. However, the one that is my favorite is number 3 from the list, which is “The rise of eco-human”, I was not familiar only with the explanation of the scenario, but by looking at the image and “placing” it into the society that we live, I think that would be AMAZING! The list presented was somehow unrealistic, but really interesting to think about.
10 Words That Don't Translate Well Into English
- Cafuné: Portuguese word for the act of gently caressing someone with your fingers, normally in the head or near the neck area.
- Esmola: Small amount of change, money given to the poor
- Babieca: Spanish word for people who often drool, but it can also be used to refer to a person as dumb.
- Idem: In Spanish and in Portuguese it means "the same"..literally.
- Torpe: Spanish word for a person that is messy and doesn't pay attention, a person who is clumsy.
What do we mean by the "rights" of the nonhuman person?
Some people believe that animals should be granted human-level rights, while others argue that nonhumans could never express their citizenship or take part in the social contract. However, these human-level rights are laws aimed for protection, nothing more. Animals that have cognitive and emotional capabilities like dolphins, monkeys and dogs are qualified as persons and should be protected by law equally as any human even though they don`t have the same intellectual ability as us. These nonhuman persons should be secured from imprisonment, illegal trafficking, experimentation, abuse and even the threat of unnatural death. This shouldn`t even be an issue. I agree that animals shouldn`t have all the rights that humans do, but no one wants that either. They should have the same laws regarding protection due to the fact that nonhuman persons have feelings just like humans.
The 12 Cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational
As I read this article, I couldn’t believe how much of it was true. I can’t count how many times have I either watched a show or read a book and then went to the internet to find people that shared my opinion, whether it was about which character should have die or who should've won the cookie. I also agree that we do have the tendency to think that because the coin flipped head 6 times it’s going to be tails on the next, and that's because we think it's impossible that a coin will never flip to the other side, even though the chances are 50/50. I remember to once have asked my dad if there were more car or plane accidents and he asked me, are there more cars or plane in the world. We probably get an uneasy feeling in the plane because our safety depends on a stranger, not on our father or mother, also noting the fact that it’s easier to drive a car than to pilot a plane. I particularly am not really afraid of either, but I know that when the airplane passes through turbulences, I become alert.
The text suggests that these types of cognitive bias prevent us for rationalizing because we go with the flow and adapt to peoples thought. I don't agree that it keeps us from rationalizing, if everyone did and thought of the same things why would there be so many different opinions debated by different groups. Humans decide on which side they agree on and mutual thoughts are the result of how people can adapt to different situations.
The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational
Awesome article, truly. For every one of the biases mentioned in the article I could relate something in my life. The article brings up a number of faulty that all our brains perform. These faults can be and are exploited by certain businesses though that is not the focus of the article. The article brings up these brain fallacies and explains how they affect common choices people make and how they play out in society. It is absolutely worth reading since it helps people understand others and themselves better.
Video: 10 Words That Don't Translate Into English
Within the uncountable languages we have all around the world, these are some of the words that I know that cannot be translated into one simply word in English.
- Golpista: someone who is involved in a military coup
- Desenrascanço: the capacity of solving a problem or dealing with a difficulty within a short amount of time
- Saudades: having a nostalgic feeling for someone/something
- Chulé - foot stench
- Sebo: it is a second-hand appliances, clothes, furniture, etc
- Jarrete: it is the back part of the knee, the very place where the knee bends
P.S. All the words above are within the Portuguese vocabulary.
Article: Research to find effects on brain of bilingualism
I have heard that performing any mental activities like puzzles is good for the brain and prevents it from aging. I don’t know where I read this information but it seems to make sense especially if you think of the brain as a machine: in order for it to continue functioning well, it has to be working. As stated in the article, speaking multiple languages is very difficult: "We already know that language processing is one of the most complex activities that our brains carry out”. However, the ones who learn other languages when little have a much better time. In fact, the students who study at PASB since young are very lucky because they learned two languages without any major struggle. I am very thankful to my parents for placing me in a bilingual school when I was still young enough to learn my second language with ease. Many people say that it is easier to learn during the childhood and this study will probably find differences between the ones who learned when young and the ones who learned when older. I also hope that this research finds many benefits from been bilingual, and then I would be even more grateful to my parents.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.