Blogging-A Restrospective

It is rather interesting to see how people who come from various backgrounds have different opinions and experiences with each topic that was brought up with each blog post. Collaborative learning is definitely more useful in college since everyone has learned in their own unique ways so if I have an open mind, I will receive great suggestions for my papers. This really opens the door to a greater variety of opinions about a topic since the levels of interest for one thing vary from person to person. Through posting blogs, I learned that actually writing down my opinions or thoughts about a topic can help me see what my strengths and weakness are regarding arguments for a topic. I am glad I took Technology and Social Change as the subject of my writing class because it helped me see the various side and ethics related to current or developing technologies.

I noticed that writing down my ideas and opinions on a topic really helped me narrow down the focus of my argument and often helped me find a sense of direction. I am not sure I would continue in blog format but I definitely will use the ideas behind the blog posts in another format. A huge aspect of collaborative learning that I will definitely continue in the future with all my classes where writing is involved is peer editing. I never really realized the importance of it until this class and it is a skill and activity I will always continue. Collaborative learning really helped shape my experience and growth in writing during this class.

Extra Credit 3

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I was caught by surprise at the formal reception they had for Kennedy since I was unaware previously of the formality of the event. Once we got into the hall where Kennedy was to speak, I was impressed by the massive number of people who showed up just to see him. I have been looking forward to this Visions and Voices Event because it is not very common to have the opportunity to hear Kennedy speak at your school.

Below are the notes I took from his presentation on the environment and the issues that hinder us from turning industry into an environmentally friendly business.

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“We r protecting environment for our sake and our communities and goal is to provide future generations with the community opportunities we have now.”

Good environmental policy is equivalent to good economic policy

The future generations will pay for the environments costs that the current generation is causing.

An investment in the environment is an investment into infrastructure and if we ignore the infrastructure we will diminish the future generations ability to have a thriving economy

Can we use energy in a way that it doesn’t diminish our own quality of life or subvert our moral obligation to protecting our environment.

Lots of talk about the destructive nature of the Koch brothers who think that it is more beneficial to treat the environment like a money generating resource

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Oil companies get about 1 trillion from our taxes in subsidies.

Coal industries are the most heavily subsidized Industry in the U.S. Coal mines have made every fresh water fish to have some level of Mercury.

Coal companies have sterilized the waters all across the Appalachians up to Canada and also have begun destroying the tops of mountains on the chain and have currently flattened an amount the size of Delaware.

Coal may be cheap but it is the most destructive to the environment

Geothermal is actually cheaper than coal but because of the lack of popular knowledge about it, it is not used

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There is potential to transition energy from old energy economy to new energy but there are 3 main impediments

1) There is lack of subsidies for renewable energy so it’s at a disadvantage

2) We don’t have an energy grid in the country that can manage the countries energy

-can’t reach the potential of wind power in the northern Midwest (I.e) Montana, North Dakota, and surrounding areas

-current grid won’t get past 300mi due to old technology

-need national unified grid

3) Need to rationalize energy market

-need government to design a system that will allow people to take advantage of the renewable energy that exists across the country

Utilities in California make money by conserving resources, this is one incentive the country should use to make a transition to renewable resources.

By Far, this was my favorite Visions and Voices Event I went to and Kennedy was a very passionate speaker and definitely was worth making time that evening to go see him. The part of his speech I enjoyed the most was when he said that we needed a nationwide power grid. This is a new technology that is successful in Europe but for some reasons is looked at with fear here in the US. This fear in a future technology reminds me of our second paper for the Writing class where there were fears for a developing technology and we were to explore how these fears are addressed through rhetoric in articles. I found Kennedy entertaining also because he would bash on politicians and news networks failure to elucidate such an important issue such as the environment. If I ever get the chance to see Robert or any of the Kennedy’s speak, I would take that opportunity because this experience was so valuable.

The Race Card Project Website

The simplicity of the website to be able to create a card and bring up an issue and also to be able to comment on a card and generate a discussion. The simplicity of the website allows one to spend some time thinking about a six word card so the level of commitment to get involved is low. Therefore, it is a very easy way to get the public involved in a discussion. This website embraces diversity as a whole and welcomes discussions on all races so there is no limit to the extent of this project; thus, this is a strength that results from the website.

Another successful aspect about the website that I have observed is the lack of irrelevant posts and comments. By irrelevant, I am talking about trolls, racists, and provoking people. These are the people that just comment with the intention of pissing people off. The website appears to use a moderator to ensure that only relevant content is posted and this is a huge strength for the website because it makes the website seem reliable and serious to visitors since page visitors will not have opinions change based on comments as is very common on almost any other page on the Web 2.0.

There are several ways the website could become much more beneficial to this discussion of race. The main problem with the website is the lack of the popularity with the website. The reach of the website is not large enough to generate any change in todays society in America. Therefore, this website is a great concept but the best way to expand beyond the website is to popularize it in the mainstream media. This website does have its own social media pages as well as the websites founder Michelle Norris but these pages alone cannot make the entire website popularly recognized. The organization of the website could be improved but the overall layout is pretty effective as a whole.

Extra Credit 2

This past Tuesday I attended the Visions and Voices event Velocity and Vulnerability: Baseball Pitchers and the Limits of Human PerformanceIMG_0314

This event consisted of a panel of four people who come from very different disciplines. One was a researcher, another a surgeon, another a retired baseball pitching coach, and the last person was a former major pitcher. They all presented various experiences about the subject of increasing the performance of pitchers and the issues that come about with continuous high performance.

IMG_0315 The surgeon said that pitchers tearing ligaments is a common thing. The most common surgery to accompany arm injuries is the Tommy John’s Surgery. It’s interesting to hear that it is very rare for pitchers to recover to their full potential after the surgery and many fans claim that the pitchers are better after the surgery. This fan based opinion is actually false and it only appears as if they pitch better because prior to the surgery there is a decline in skill; thus, it seems like they are better after the surgery when in reality they are barely making it back to their previous skill level.

The researcher was very interesting and her discussion ties in with some themes in our class. She discussed how video analysis of pitchers will look for form and uncover where the stresses on the arms occur the most. The technology of video analysis relates to our class because there were various hopes and fears about how this technology would influence future pitchers. In the end, it was a beneficial technology that has allowed major league pitchers to see where they can improve on and to max out their performance.

The prior coach was very knowledgable of all the various aspects about the development of pitchers from a young age. He discussed three stages of life development. The first was called the Neurological window that begins in childhood and is where kids discover their potential for any sports. This is the reason why it is important for kids to try more than one sport when they are little.

The next stage is muscle development that occurs during the teen years and it is where athletes begin to develop specialization and skills. Acceleration and deceleration of activities during this time period can reduce injuries. The final stage is Skill Acquisition that occurs during the young adult time where a person completes specialization and the body can only perform a few functions perfectly and consistently.

The former pitcher discussed how in higher level games such as college and professional, the focus on health decreases; however, health and protection should be first at younger ages. He also talked about how muscle memory allows for the consistency of high potential since the body adapts to throwing.

Both the coach and the surgeon finished up by talking about how the twist on a pitch messes up the arm and the worst pitch for the arm is the cutter since it stresses the meteocolateral muscle.

Overall I thought this Visions and Voices Event was interesting because I never knew nor cared to look into all the physics behind baseball and it is impressive how modern technology such as motion caption can make huge improvements in human performance. The final remark the speakers had about the subject is that over time the strength of pitchers will only grow and that in a couple years it is possible to reach a pitch of 120mph.

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Pulling the race card

“Is It Because I’m Dark Skinned” This is the 6-Word card that I found the most intriguing for various reasons. Because I am Mexican I always get racist comments whether jokingly or not about my color or just because of my race. Thus, many times I end up being the butt of the joke because others claim “it’s so easy to joke about.” I feel like relate the most to this card because it is an every day struggle I go through.

This card invites discussion about the effects stereotypes and racist jokes have on people of another race. This card brings up the point that many people blame an individual because of their race and it is rather offensive how such generalizations occur on a daily basis. I believe that cards similar to this one bring up the issues with “small racist jokes” because they do get annoying.

Challenges Faced While Creating a Museum

I have encountered several challenges in translating my ideas into “museum-speak.” One of the problems was choosing the correct words that describe what I want to include in the exhibit. The terminology used in museums may not be to extensive but the proper word choice will elucidate an idea and this was one of the struggles I have had. Another challenge I have had is that of organization or structure. I am unsure of what to include first or what is the most important part of the exhibit. I have so many ideas but I am not sure which to select and how to present my ideas in the most effective manner. A third issue I have encountered is what level of interactivity I would like to include in my exhibit.

Many of these problems I will tackle through peer editing. Receiving advice is very helpful when it comes to organization and terminology because there are many ways to structure and describe a planned exhibit. Researching more about the subject and museum speak may also help with this challenge I have encountered. I plan on addressing the purpose of my exhibit first and then discussing my idea for the layout and this will solve my problem of organization and structure. I will seek advice during peer editing to chose what content or displays I should include in the exhibit because not all ideas are completely relevant to the subject nor will they accomplish the goal of the exhibit. Interactivity is more difficult to address because it is up to me to decide how much interactivity is appropriate for the visitors before it becomes distracting. Therefore, placing careful consideration with each interactive element may help address the issue, but in the end I will have to decide how much is sufficient to accomplish the exhibit’s goals.

Visions and Voices: Food, Recreation and the Arts as Social Justice

This past week I attended the Visions and Voices event “Voices of South LA: Food, Recreation and the Arts as Social Justice”. In this event, they brought in four local innovators each who have made an impact in the community through several program and events they initiated. Beginning with the auditorium, I was impressed by the size of the place since I did not expect such a high turn out. I think that the best part was that it was open to the community and not just USC students. Throughout the program, they mentioned many people who were in the crowd that had participated in these programs. I think this was a large step to bridging the gap between USC and the community.

IMG_0181The crowd had a lively and curious aura since not many knew what to expect from the event. Then the speakers were brought in and I was surprised by who they were. I was expecting a super formal professional in the field, but instead, I was pleased to see that all those that were brought in were ordinary people! This truly serves to show that anyone can make a difference and that there are no boundaries to who can create change in a community. Each of the panelists had a unique approach to bringing their local communities together. One lady started a locally grown garden where anyone can come and plant seeds and another lady started an art initiative by allowing youth to create murals and to have these youth express their thoughts. One man was an artist and made art that had the goal of breaking race barriers and the other man created a youth biking club called United Riders of South LA.

IMG_0183One topic that was brought up in one of their discussions is very relevant to our class of technology and social change. They brought up the idea that technology could break barriers of racism and have different cultures work with each other to end their differences and come together. I found this very interesting especially with an example one of the speakers brought up where they had many young kids and their parents at two completely different parks and there was some new technology that they would try to communicate to the other park with. This bringing together of people of all races demonstrates how technology can be the start of a bonding between races.

Toward the end they had a discussion about USC and how it can benefit and influence the surrounding community. I really liked how all the speakers agreed that USC could take a dominant role in bringing together the surrounding community since they have the reputation and ability to plan events that bridge gaps between communities.

Overall I found this Visions and Voices event to be rather interesting since there are so many things about LA that we don’t know about unless they are brought to our attention. I am glad to see that there are normal people who are actively creating change in the South LA community. I would never have expected that food, art, and recreational activities could have such a large impact on a community. Thus, I felt this experience to be rather enriching.

Here are some side notes I took during the event on one of the sheets they gave us to accompany the event.IMG_0222