Arguments from Example and Analogy

life_is_like_an_analogy_funny_poster-r3109922e32d94f89a9f1b19b390ec9de_gbr_400Comparing violence in video games or movies and real life is ridiculous. A competent and sane person would not follow  this trend to becoming a mass shooter just because of a virtual world emphasizing violence. If you take this logic, and apply it to a different type of video game, such as city building simulator or Guitar Hero; sure these video games are enjoyable, but that does not give you the skill or the means of becoming a real-life city planner or a professional guitarist.

Additionally, a good majority of teenagers are playing video games like the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchises, and a majority of teenagers are not violent in this particular manner. It is later found that the people who commit these mass shootings have had mental disabilities and troubles in the past. And sure these criminals have been said to have played violent video games, but again the majority of people who play violent video games are not violent.

All I ask for people to keep in mind is correlation does not equal causation

Alternative Energy

alternative_energiesA rising issue in the United States currently is the from a majority use of fossil fuels to produce electricity for the nation. Currently, the United States is attempting to change over to green energy, but with much opposition to the big oil companies. But with big business opposing this change, this conversion is proving to be difficult. Since the United States is the leading power of the world and a major consumer of the world’s energy, the United States should lead a transition from energy burned from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and set an example for the rest of the world.

A transition to alternative energy sources would be a large step towards a clean and bright future. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, about 67% of United States electricity production is generated by fossil fuels; however according to Ecotricity, which is Britain’s leading green energy supplier, if the consumption of fossil fuels remains constant, it is estimated that oil reserves will run dry by 2052 and coal will continue to decline until 2088. If we continue to deplete these resources, we will not be able to enjoy the luxuries of plastics and other oil products.

Another rising issue is global warming . According to the Union of Concerned Scientists in an article called “The Hidden Cost of Fossil Fuels,” 78 percent of the United States’ global warming emissions are energy related carbon dioxide emissions. The 78 percent of these emissions are broken down into 42 percent oil and other liquids, 32 percent coal, and 27 percent natural gas. Converting over to renewable energy sources such as windmills, solar panels, hydroelectric, and geothermal energy,  could significantly reduce the United States’ total global warming emissions, considering that energy-related emissions are responsible for a vast 78 percent of total emissions.

Finally, green energy would betterment general environmental health. According to CNN article ‘5 years after the Gulf oil spill: What we do (and don’t) know’ in 2010 , the Deepwater Horizon well blowout caused 4.2 million barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. This year, BP settled the case, owing $8.8 billion worth of damage to the environment. Restoration started on April 20, 2010, the day of the explosion, and restoration still has not been completed. However, BP specialists like to argue, according to the same CNN article, that the immediate spill caused harm to the surrounding environment yet after 87 days when the oil spill was fixed, the environment immediately began to recover.However the oil continued to spill for 87 days without notice, causing permanent damage, according to Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees.

The ability for the United States to convert to renewable energy is present and is possible, yet certain companies are preventing forward progress. If the United States were to convert to green energy, U.S. citizens would not have to worry about luxury plastics to deplenish, global warming emissions would be greatly reduced, and accidental environmental harm would vanish. Trading in fossil fuel generators for more futuristic green energy sources would be of great advantage to the United States.

A Truly Embarrassing Moment

hqdefault

Since I cannot think of a time where I did not hold my tongue when I should have, I am going to analyze a portion of the script from a film called A League of Their Own. In the interaction between an Umpire and the coach of the Peaches baseball team , Jimmy Dugan, Dugan insults the umpire and is thrown out of the baseball game. The script is listed below:

Umpire: Good rule of thumb: Treat each of these girls as you would your mother.
Dugan: Anyone ever tell you you look like a penis with a hat on?
Umpire: You’re out of here! I heard that!
Dugan: You misunderstood.
Umpire: Ten seconds!
Dugan: You misunderstood! You can’t throw me out knowing you’ve got a strike zone…
Umpire: Off this field! Get in that dugout! Get off this field! You’re out.
Dugan: I can’t believe no one ever called you that before!
Umpire: That’s where you belong.

Since at this point in the movie, Dugan probably was not concerned with his reputation considering he was a drunk, but I do believe that he regret this moment because even though he did not care about his reputation, he certainly did care about the team itself. I believe this was a turning point of his attitude toward a women’s baseball team. I believe that this particular moment lead to a point where he started coaching and caring about the team as a family instead of just a machine.

Difference Between a Geek and a Nerd

nerds-vs-geeks-cutThis year, I was talking with one of my friends and we got on the topic of the difference between geeks and nerds and were trying to decide which we were. I was arguing that geeks themselves were more book smart; that is geeks are people who have an extreme fascination with academics and excel in school work.  I believed that geeks were tech-savvy individuals and were also interested in indoor activities, such as reading and less active, more imaginative games such as dungeons and dragons and are fascinated with movies such as Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.

On the contrary, nerds are more obsessed with fandoms, television shows, and other things of the like. They are interested in sports such as quidditch and live action role play. I believed that nerds were more interested in fiction novels, such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I believed that nerds were more inclined to read novels and were more critical of films.

Both nerds and geeks I thought were likened to be socially awkward.

However, a quick Google search later, the featured image in this article was found and a few other sources opposing my viewpoints expressed above. I also called a friend to ask her opinion on the situation and she disagreed with every one of my ideas. If I were to redo this argument I would have lost regardless, but I would try to exclude the internet from interfering with the nature of the argument. I would rather ask for the full opinion of the friend with whom I started the conversation. With these restrictions, I would argue the opinions of my opponent rather than finding dictionary definitions and other people’s opinions online. This way I would keep the argument strictly personal opinion based rather than fact-based because that is on what this specific  debate was focused.

Dogmatism and Equivocalism

mn130429fbIf everyone were equivocal and understanding of each other’s viewpoints, there would be no motivation to move forward. In politics, people are dogmatic for a reason. They hold their own beliefs so that new policies can be formed to be presented and made into law to move the country forward in time. If people were too equivocal, debate would not be held to which policies would be formed because everyone would be wishy washy. Like Alexander Hamilton says, “if you stand for nothing, you fall for anything.”

Contrary, the easier argument is if everyone were too unmoving, too bigoted, no person would be able to compromise; therefore, no policy in congress would pass without opposition.

However, people in general need to be more open minded, but not to the point where they are not firm on certain beliefs. A current example is the Syrian refugee crisis. The intake of refugees seems to have caused an outcry of racial slurs. The Syrian refugees are being called terrorists and miscreants all across many countries in Europe. I admit, no one wants to deal with a sudden rush of immigrants. Due to a large spike in population, competition of the housing and job markets would be created between current residents and immigrants. Nobody likes that. On the contrary, one must consider the situation of the refugees and the dangerous conditions in their homeland. This whole event reminds me of the quote by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And think; just a simple glance at a different perspective could fix the bigotry and misunderstanding of Syrian refugees. This philosophy can be applied to every situation and would provide a better solution than ignoring the inherent problem.

Dear Diary: A Narrow Pass

narrowpathDear Diary,

Today I am going to sit down and have a conversation with my parents and tell them that I am moving away. I know they will not be happy about this, but I just have to.

“To tell you the truth I have been bullied at school for the past five years, and I think it would be best if I transfer to a different school. I cannot put up with classwork if I have no one to talk to”

They shake their heads and say “honey, you can talk to us”

“I come home and all that I hear is you two fighting about the littlest things; I don’t understand why you guys are still married; GET A DIVORCE. I do not care if you think it’s going to affect me. It won’t. I’ve already talked to grandma and she says that I can move in with her and go to high school near her. I’m moving so you two can figure your shit out and I can move on with my life.”

It is a hard truth, I know. But the truth is how it is. I cannot go to school and come home to endless noise and glass shattering on the floor.

My mum looks at me, like I was a child. “You can’t do this” she says. “You can’t just uproot and move like that”

“I cannot live like this anymore and this is the only obvious solution for me. Do you guys not want me to succeed. Obviously you don’t if you can’t keep the noise down while I’m doing homework.”

I think to myself about how this is not really about school. I can handle the bullies and can handle being picked on. I do have friends, but not having a steady, quiet home life is the real issue. I can get that with my grandma.

“Look. This is the best for me. I don’t want to be the reason you two fight. This is why I am moving away from you so you two can work it out. I cannot believe that I am telling you what to do, but it is just something you should think about, okay? I am moving out in two weeks. You can’t stop me.”

I went back to my room, tears in my eyes, and I started packing up my clothes. My dad came in with a suitcase, laid it on the floor, and nodded his head.


A work of fiction by Eric Blickensderfer

Q&A:GMOs

wkqaI commented on a blog post that was discussing the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I agreed with the advantages listed, such as the ability for GMOs to increase crop yield in undeveloped countries, so nourishment would be plentiful; however I disagreed with the claim that GMOs could give rise to super pests and viruses. I stated that scientists would always find a way to circumvent the situations and would find new ways to prevent commercial plants from being preyed upon by disease or pests.