Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Song Track to My Life?

"You Are My Sunshine"
This song means a lot to me, my grandma always used to sing it to me when I was little on up until the day that she died. She always started to cry when she would sing the third verse, and would put her arm around me. I loved it. Sometimes she would use it to put me to sleep, and other times just when she was bored. It means a lot to me, and whenever I hear it I start to cry a little.

"On Fire"- Switchfoot
This song is an all time classic for me. It is really slow and calming and has an awesome message that characterizes my relationship with Christ. It has been one of my favorites since I can remember and I have never been sick of it.

"Love Story"- Taylor Swift
I absolutely hate this song, no lie, but it is a huge inside joke between me and my "group" of best friends.  It has so much meaning behind it it's crazy. Not only that but between basically every basketball and volleyball game, someone would turn on this song and the whole team would have a major dance party... Except not usually me, because I am so sick of it!

"I Don't Wanna Care Right Now"- Lupe Fiasco
This song holds no deep meaning, it is just my number one pump up song. Whenever I am running or working out, I swear I get ten times more intense when it comes on. I have no idea why, maybe the beat, it doesn't really matter because it works! So I love it.

"Chariot"- Gavin DeDraw
Basically this song is just a classic. I rarely listen to it but I have every single word memorized and I can basically play it in my head whenever. I love it, and once again I am not really sure why!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Research Sources

“Thus, we will argue here that one’s being absolutely certain of something involves having a certain severly negative attitude in the matter of whether that thing is so: the attitude that no new information, evidence or experience which one might ever have will be seriously considered by one to be at all relevant to any possible change in one’s thinking in the matter”

Unger, Peter. “An Argument for Skepticism.” Epistemology. Eds. Ernest Sosa and Jaegwon Kim. Blackwell Publishers Inc, 2000. 45. Print

The source that I have taken this quote from is a large anthology on epistemology that was written edited by Ernest Sosa and Jaegwon Kim from Brown University. I think that it is a very solid source considering it was given to me by my teacher, it is a large anthology, and was edited by Brown University, a credible school. I am planning on using this source to read about different epistemological views such as skepticism, to see how different arguments are constructed and what types of arguments are offered.

“Relativism is always asserted absolutely. If it were not intended to apply generally, it would have no claim to philosophic importance. Bit if it is asserted universally, then its assertion contradicts what is being asserted. An absolutistic relativism is a self-contradiction.”

Clark, Gordan H. A Christian View of Men and Things. Vol. 1. Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2005. Print.

The source of this quote was taken from a Philosophy book that  was givent to me by a teacher from my high. It is the first volume of a series written by a Christian philosopher named Gordan H Clark. Throughout the book, he talks about different philosophical issues and offers common refutes to their claims. I am going to use this book mainly to look at critiques and criticisms of the different theories of epistemology.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chapters 10& 11

In Chapter 10 of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, Ronson looks into the DSM checklist and meets with the creator, Robert Spitzer. When he interviews him, he asked him several question regarding the DSM list, which is a book filled with so called mental disorders. Ronson seemed very skeptical that there could truly be as many mental disorders as was listed in book. Ronson believed that the book was just a way for everyone to believe there was something wrong with them and get medical attention and some sort of medication to fix their problem. So as a result of the DSM checklist, the medicine industry was making a lot of money. By the end of the interview, Spitxer himself started to realized that his checklist probably consisted of a lot of normal personality traits and he was over diagnosing people.
These last two chapters, and the whole book for that matter really made me think. It is crazy how people pour their entire lives into finding something wrong with people. I don't get why it is is so necessary to diagnose people with disorders, if someone is a little weird can't they just be how they are? Overall I feel like I am more confused than I was before as to who exactly is a psychopath, and who isn't.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chapter 8 & 9

In chapter 8 of "The Psychopath Test" Ron Johnson discusses the different beliefs that David Shayler held about terrorist attacks and his identity. The first one discussed was a bombing that happened on a carriage. Rachel North, who was a passenger on the carriage when the bombs went off, created several blogs discussing what had happened. Shayler was convinced that the bombing never occurred and that Rachel did exist, even after he met with her. Then Johnson discussed Shayler's beliefs about 9/11. Shayler believed that planes never crashed into the twin towers. He said that it was a hologram, and it only appeared that there was planes and he went on to say that there was actually no evidence that planes actually hit the towers. Lastly, Ronson discussed Shayler's belief that he was Christ, he declared several times that he was Christ and that God was testing him.
I think that theses two chapters were different from the other ones because it seemed that Rohnson wasn't so anxious to use the list as he had been in previous chapters. In fact, he even asked Bob if it was possible to over diagnose people. My favorite part was when Ronhnson told Hare how the receptionist at the hotel grabbed the phone out of his hand when he was trying to make a call. Instantly Hare declared that the receptionist was a psychopath and that was why he reacted so irrationally. It made me start thinking that maybe Hare is a psychopath and that is why he is so interested in this topic, and he was able to come up with the check list because it just describes himself.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Something Borrowed

In "Something Borrowed", Malcom Gladwell discusses the uncertainties of plagiarism. He illustrates his point by telling the story of how Dorthy Lewis's life was "stolen" by the broadway play "Frozen". She felt like someone had taken something from her that she could never get back. Gladwell continued to give examples of plagiarism and non-plagerism. He talked about how in music, it seems that plagiarism happens all the time, you hear a line in one song, then in another, and it is uncertain whether or not both ideas were original or not. Gladwell explains that plagiarism in music not easy to categorize, but it is simpler with writing. Lewis's life had been plagiarized and she was especially offended because besides mimicking her life, the play writer added that the character who play Lewis had an affair, which could have made people believe that Lewis had an affair in real life. Overall, Gladwell came to the conclusion that "Frozen" had damaged Lewis's life, without the play writer even realizing that she was plagiarizing.

I think that "Something Borrowed" was actually very insightful. I never really think about plagiarism in terms of music, even though it can be. I thought it was interesting how he brought up the example of how you know you are stealing something when it is a solid object like a picnic table, but when it comes to words, idea's and music, it is unclear as to whether or not someone has stolen something. It made me think about when an idea or words really mine, how do I, if I do, own the words that i speak or write.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Night of the Living Dead

In chapter 6, Jon Ronson describes an interview he set up with Al Dunlap, a business man who was famous for running businesses into the ground and firing people right and left. Ronson visited Dunlap at his mansion and started asking him questions from Bob's psychopathic check list. Dunlap appeared to be a psychopath, but when Ronson asked him questions, he turned everything into a "leadership" quality, not that he was a psychopath. Ronson left unsatisfied with his discovery, he seemed to be confused himself as to whether or not Dunlap was a psychopath.
At this point in the reading, I started to thing"holy crap he is crazy!" I can't believe Ronson showed up at this guys house, who shows no remorse about any of his actions and asks him if he thinks he is a psychopath. Then I continued to read on, and in chapter 7, Ronson's friend (who is also a journalist) pointed out how crazy he is. Chapter 7 gave a little bit of insight into Ronson's home life, talking about his wife and what she thought of the whole thing. It was interesting that she was totally ok with him leaving for long periods of time. And the interview he had with Charlotte, man she is crazy too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Research Questions

How does human trafficing still occur today without our notice?

I chose this question because the topic of sex trafficing is something that I am passionate about. About a year in a half ago, I went to Moldova where sex trafficing and prostitution is a huge problem. Girls are constantly giving themselves over to be sold or being taken by the mafia. Also, my best friend recently did a big project on sex trafficing and I was able to read her paper, it really sparked an interested in me about wanting to help stop the movement of sex trafficing. I want to start my research by talking to a family I know who lives in Moldova and find out how exactly many of these girls end up in sex trafficing. I also want to look at studies done on women who have been trafficied and find out how it has affected them. Lastly, I want to do some research on how I can help to end sex trafficing. Some of the problems I might encounter is finding interviews from actual people who have been trafficed, it seems to me that once you are in the business it is hard to get out. I think that some sub-questions that might pop up are things like how is this business kept so quiet here in America, what kind of psychological damage do these women have, and how many successful rehab facilities are actually available for the victims.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Psychopath Test

In chapter 4 of The Psychopath Test, Rohnson learned how to detect psychopaths in society by using a checklist created by Bob Hare. The chapter begins with Rohnson attending a conference put on by Bob in which Bob describes the checklist he has created and how it can be used to detect psychopaths. Bob explained that the first test he ever was conducted was an electric shock test in prison. It proved that psychopaths had short memory and didn't have anxiety. Not long after he started his electric shock tests, electric shocking was outlawed. Bob was forced to find a new way to determine who was normal and who wasn't, so he created a check list. Rohnson went to the seminar as a skeptic Bob's system, but after watching interviews and case studies with different psychopaths, he became a devout believer of Bob's PCL-R Checklist.
Chapters 4 and 5 were very interesting chapters about how to detect a psychopath in society. As I was reading chapter 5, I was wondering if they were going to talk about Adolf Hitler at all, and examine whether or not he was a psychopath. He seemed to have a lot in common with Toto. In chapter 4, when Bob was explaining his electric shock technique, it was creepy to read that psychopath's were not scared of the pain at all, and they would forget about it right after it was over. It helped explain why most psychopaths would commit crimes over and over again. One of my favorite parts of the chapter was the fact that John applying the checklist to himself and make up excuses as to why his actions were ok if aligned with one of the checklist characteristics.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Pychopaths Dream in Black and White"

In "Psychopaths Dream in Black and White" John Rohnson explores the psychotherapy methods of Elliot Becker to examine whether or not his naked therapy sessions were affective in curing psychopaths. John interviewed several people who Oak Ridge hospital, where most of the research an therapy sessions took place. The therapy sessions were extremely long and sometimes even days. They consisted of nudity, screaming and crying while the patients expressed feelings, LSD use, sleep depravation, and eating through tubes on the walls. While Elliot was conducting his therapy sessions, some of the patients seemed to have positive results and appeared to be cured. They even released a few patients after they were considered mentally same. But the patients that were released actually had become worse during their sessions. The committed crimes including murder and child molestation. 80% of the patients that had undergone Elliot's psychotherapy had actually becomes worse. Ron Johnson's researched proved that psychotherapy was not an affective method to cure psychopaths.

This chapter was extremely interesting to me. Besides the fact that I had to read about Mary's feces obsession, I felt as if I learned a lot about psychopaths and techniques used to help them. Although I knew some before I read this book, I never knew anything about therapy that they would under go to try and 'cure' them of their illness. It also scared me to think that psychopaths were released after undergoing this extremely obscure therapy. It proved one of the points made in the second chapter, that psychopaths truly are manipulative and can pretend to be normal.