I thought this was very amusing and some of you might like to see it.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Nate: I agree with what Akshay said. Although they say certain TV shows are reality shows, there are people in front of the actors when shooting who give directions and words to say in order to make the audience laugh or to create suspense. On the other side, though scripts are given to the actors in sitcoms or dramas, the actors interpret the script in their own unique ways and also uses ad-lips to make their character more realistic and alive. Thus, I believe that reality TV shows are not realistic. Rather, sitcoms or dramas are more realistic in that each actors make their own characters with what is given.
Pete:Reality TV is somewhat silly, in my opinion. As soon as people are isolated by an array of cameras and producers any semblance of reality leaves the building. People stop acting like themselves and start acting like who they THINK they are as soon as they're in front of a camera.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
A friend posted this article to Facebook from the blog io9. This is actual footage NASA released of the rocket boosters from the Space Shuttle. Watch and listen! And then remember-- this is real. 2001 was shot on a soundstage!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The conclusions we can draw from this are endless - The Dalai Lama isn't saying that Buddhism will adapt with science. He is, quite literaly, suggesting that science is superior; he is suggesting that traditional Buddhist doctrine would instantaneously be wrong if science found itself in disagreement with the faith (Could you image the Pope suggesting that?).
There are a great deal of reasons why I find Buddhism to be so fascinating, but chief among them is the Dalai Lama. Not only is he a religious leader (I believe) who is before his time, but I think that we'll start to see more religious leaders begin following his example by embracing science rather than staunchly opposing it at every turn. If not, as I've said before, I think we'll see religion begin to change on a fundamental level, unrecognizable from its current form.
There are other supremely interesting quotes from the same editorial:
"If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview."
"The goal here is not to prove Buddhism right or wrong - or even to bring people to Buddhism - but rather to take these methods out of the traditional context, study their potential benefits, and share the findings with anyone who might find them helpful."
"You see, many people still consider science and religion to be in opposition. While I agree that certain religious concepts conflict with scientific facts and principles, I also feel that people from both worlds can have an intelligent discussion, one that has the power ultimately to generate a deeper understanding of challenges we face together in our interconnected world."
Also, this last quote plays into the discussion we are having over AI: "Just as the world of business has been paying renewed attention to ethics, the world of science would benefit from more deeply considering the implications of its own work. Scientists should be more than merely technically adept; they should be mindful of their own motivation and the larger goal of what they do: the betterment of humanity."
If you want to read the whole editorial, here's the link: Our Faith in Science By Tenzin Gyatso.
Hope you're all having a wonderful break!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
One of the biggest focuses of this class has been to define things that are simply hard to define. But how do we go about doing that? Is the Oxford English dictionary the supreme authority on words? Some would argue yes, because there must be an authority. Personally, however, I’ve never put much stock in “authority.” I also believe that it’s contrary to the English language to set anything in stone. If Shakespeare had played by the rules, his works wouldn’t have been half as brilliant, half as well remembered, or half as beautiful. The English language is constantly evolving, so setting it in stone is contrary to its very nature. The question we’re being asked to answer is asks, “What criteria are you using to define religion?” And that’s a question that should be answered; but also consider if the definition of religion is changing, or if it might have changed already.
You can only ask the question, “has science become a religion,” if you define what a religion is. In the 2:20 class, I (Luke) said that I thought that science was more of the “Holy Scripture” of atheism and/or agnosticism, which could be thought of as religions (the criteria used at that point was: an external practice of some sort, and holding some sort of metaphysical belief) So this is something else to think about, if science is not a religion, what role does it play in what you are defining as a religion?
Professor Berry brought up the possibly use of money or capitalism as potential “religions” in our society. Do any of you buy into that concept or do you think that our society has another ‘religion’ altogether?
--Chase and Luke
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I attended a conference about Comics and Feminism. Both of the speakers had topics that ended up relating to one another quite a bit. The first speaker made a presentation on the way women are portrayed in video games and how it affects both sales and men's view towards women. I thought this topic was super interesting, and was enlightened by what she had to say. She stressed that for a final project topic you should pick something that you are interested in...which was a very good point.
The second speaker wrote about how the "She-Hulk" is exhibited in comics. I thought this was cool because I had never heard of She-Hulk. Both presentation had strong feminist tones.
I think the most important thing for me to remember when writing and picking my final project topic will be to choose something that I am interested in and something that has a lot of information available on it.
Friday, March 2, 2012
The second presenter took Professor Berry's class last semester, so she offered so much insight. Her topic was the positives and negatives of the Catholic church's negation of contraception. I asked a lot of questions about interviewing because she had interviewed a lot of people and I know we have to as well for our final paper, so that was really helpful. Especially because she said just because someone says something does not mean it is always 100% accurate and that you should basically fact check. Also, she explained how her argument was not really for or against, but rather explaining the benefits and drawbacks. She also talked about using a lens, hers was humane vite. The most helpful piece of advice she offered was to keep an open mind when researching. This presentation really showed the appeal of writing about something controversial. I think I will definitely try to pick a topic that is controversial for my paper because papers on controversial issues always seem passionate. You could tell Jackie was really interested in her topic and she was really well informed. I would like to come out of the final paper knowing I learned something new.
The conference overall was great to get me thinking about what I may want to write about. I was especially glad I was able to hear the project of someone who took Professor Berry's class last semester.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
And the information Voyager keeps sending us continues to surprise us. The solar wind stills and we think it has crossed over, but it hasn't...though it might any minute. And, as I recently wrote to Tina it makes me feel all excited and worried about this little spaceship all at once. She replied, "I know! Fly little space ship!!!"
There is something of us reaching out beyond any place we have ever reached before. It is beautiful and terrifying all at once...perhaps as we ourselves are beautiful and terrifying all at once...and maybe even as the universe itself. I keep thinking about the old maps of the world, drawn by European hands, who stopped speculating beyond the known world and simply wrote "There be Dragons!" And I wonder what Voyager will find...and if we will know.
Voyager once sent back a parting look at earth when it had reached Neptune. The image is a pale blue dot caught in beams of solar light. It is stunning in its smallness.
We are that small speck in an endless field, sending out such a tiny ambassador into the universe. And all I can think of is "Fly little space ship!!!"
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Here's a short video explaining the practice a little more:
Monday, February 20, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I’m one of the moderators for today and just wanted to get the discussion going with a few questions. Do you think evolution and religion are opposing ideas? Or can the two exist in dialogue with each other? Another question I had, dealing with the discussion we had at the end of class on Tuesday, was whether you think accepting evolution is also a form of faith?
I personally do not believe in any form of creationism, but that does not mean that religion and evolution cannot coexist. For example, even though almost all scientists accept evolution to be true, many of them still believe in God. Even when strong proponents of evolution point to Darwin’s The Origin of Species, they often neglect to note that Darwin never mentioned the role of God. On the other end of the spectrum, many Christians do not necessarily reject the theory of evolution. This is where the theory of intelligent design comes into play. Proponents of intelligent design agree that evolution is true, but maintain that God set forth this process. Therefore, it seems that there can always be a relationship between evolution and religion. However, this is wholly dependent on the people involved. Some people are willing to objectively give both sides a chance, while others just cling to what they have been told and tentatively reject the other notion.
Of course there are conservatives on both sides. For instance, some people reject the theory of evolution because it contradicts the literal interpretation of the Bible’s text regarding the origin of the universe: that God created heaven, Earth, and all species in six days. On the other hand, conservative scientists may argue that religion should play no role in science. One point from earlier in the semester that I like is the discussion of the different realms religion and science are in. It seems that science serves to answer the “how” questions, while religion answers the “why” questions.
I personally think that evolution and religion can coexist as long as people are willing to give both sides a fair chance. To answer my second question, I would say that accepting the theory of evolution is not a matter of faith in terms of the religious way of thinking of it. Of course, accepting the scientific studies and experiments dealing with natural selection and evolution requires some sense of trust, but I think that the word faith does not really apply to this discussion.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Katharine, Jennifer, and I are the moderators for Myth and History.
Personally, we would say bias is inevitable because historical accounts differ based on who's writing it. Levi-Strauss mentions that if you take two historians w/different political leaning writing on the same subject like the American Revolution, you're bound to get two different accounts. We also were in agreement that every culture and country manipulates history for their own use, though in an ideal world, that would not be the goal of the narrator, and it strikes us as counterproductive to appropriate history for your own ends, although it's very common. Historical "truth" should matter, but even historical accounts are biased depending on who's writing, so it's difficult to not create a myth based on an event, unless we have archaeological evidence. Most myths have a basic structure that is probably historically accurate, but as Levi-Strauss says, the details of the content differ based on who's telling the story. An interesting detail we noticed is the way that Levi-Strauss defines a myth, which didn’t match what we think of as a myth, (how would you define a myth?). As it relates to popular culture, we definitely think the bias of these “myths” is important, because the way that the stories are portrayed will be how the younger generations will see and remember it. If a film, for example, is based on a true event but highly inaccurate, the viewers will still believe it to be true, and it will be rather difficult to replace that false information with the true history.
- Shazreh, Katharine, and Jennifer
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
If we all speak different languages, is it possible that we all perceive the world differently?
How are language and culture intertwined?
Can you speak intelligently about a culture, if you only know the language?
What are risks of translation?
Is language a help or a hindrance?
Don't feel like you have to answer all these questions! This is just food for thought. Please remember to comment (don't start new posts).
~Kaleb, Azim, Poonam [moderating team]
Thursday, January 26, 2012
No one is in trouble, but the conversation is MUCH easier for everyone to follow if the moderators begin the thread with their initial post and then everyone else leaves their comments in the "comments" section of that initial post. Can you guys do that from now on?
I’d like to start off by saying that I agree with Long’s initial definition of culture: “our cultivation of language, actions, habits, gestures, thoughts, etc. for specific purposes is what we mean when we use the term culture” (pg. 3). But where him and I differ is the way he analyzes and applies this definition. It seemed to me that Long had a difficult time disassociating religion with culture. While I do acknowledge that he makes differentiations between the two (and acknowledging the obvious fact that the title is Theology and Culture), I believe they are inadequate. Any culture is of course influenced by religion, but there are many other factors included in this broad concept. For example the very divisive concept of abortion in our culture is not just affected by religious concepts but also by scientific and philosophical concepts as well.
I found his commentary about the hammer, and the lack of knowledge someone would have with just a definition fairly interesting. I think that he is correct that language is influenced by culture (or perhaps vise versa). But more specifically, I think that language is affected by the context in which the language is residing. For example, he refers in the reading to a hammer and the lack of information the definition of the hammer would give you when you are trying to roof a house. I use the word context instead of culture because a person in the United States that is trying to roof a house with a hammer can have the same concept of a hammer as someone across the globe that is roofing a house. I don’t believe that the knowledge they share of the hammer is commonalities in the culture (granted the fact that both of the individuals are using a hammer for roofing might be considered by some to be similarities in culture), but commonalities of the context in which the hammer is being used.