Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Blog posted by Karl Ficsh
from the book What's Your Dangerous Idea?
Excerpt by Juan Enriquez
As I read through all the news feeds, I see one thing that comes up continuously, and that is questions about the future. Now more than ever we are questioning our fate. Why? I think that’s a good question, and we should be asking ourselves this. Is it so we can prepare for "The End"? Are we afraid of what is to come? I think the world hates not knowing where we are headed. But I believe that our future isn’t something we can totally prepare for, because what are we getting prepared for? Who knows? Another question I ask myself is when? When do we know to prepare? Scary fact: We don’t. There are so many questions I could go on asking, but for now, I’ll focus on one in particular. Juan Enriquez asks, "…So it’s worth asking whether the United States is in adolescence, middle age, or old age?" Knowing the answer to this question would answer a lot of other questions out there. The first thing that came to my mind as I began to proceed with this question was our advancement in technology. It seems so unbelievable to me at how far our technology has come, and as crazy as this is for me to say, I think our technology will continue to grow. Technology has reached an all new high, but as technologically-ill as I am, it’s hard for me to determine just how much more room we have to grow. And just knowing that the world has problems, and always will, is something I keep in mind because we are always trying to update ourselves and how we live. I think that techonolgy growth can and will affect the life-span of the world. For example, with more technology in places such as hospitals, we are able to save more lives, and with new technology, we can find cures for diseases and cancer and prevent them from taking place.
(I seem to have a lot of different/contradicting thoughts about this topic, but this is just me in the thinking process, so please, bare with me.) Now to specify with the country of the United States: This blog entry has made me think and I’ve come to convince myself that we, the great United States, is coming of old age. My reasoning comes from what I see going on throughout our country. It seems as though us as Americans have taken our title for granted. Our pride and spirit for our country is not what it use to be. As the day of September 11th came around, I didn’t see nearly as much spirit and remembrance as I would’ve liked to. Even looking at myself, I had forgotten about what this day meant and how it affected all of us as a country. I remember every time I turned on the radio, the song 'Where were you?' by Allen Jackson was playing. But do we have to have to have something so tragic happen to us before we have appreciation for our country? I had to think about 9/11 before I began to feel the emotions of that day, and I found that to be very disappointing. Our pride and fellowship are what brings this country together as one, and without them, we’re nothing. I would like to think that we could stop the death of our country by replacing our hatred with loving and caring attitudes. I think this would exercise us as citizens, putting America in a healthier state. But as for now, it seems to me that our "U.S.A-vage" is done with its party days and on its way to being of old age.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I read this article that talked about how rich nations are spending more money on education than they ever have before. But the problem is that the money is being spent inefficiently and is dramatically affecting the efforts to improve the educational standards.
To start, I asked myself the question of, "How could the money meant for our schools be spent inefficiently"? This article says the U.S. government spends 55% of its funding to pay teachers, which is "well below" OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) levels that are more than 63%. To me, its seems as though this article is implying that the U.S. should be using a greater percentage of its funding to pay teachers. And I can understand where some might think that. They think that by paying our teachers we will have better school systems, and by not paying our teachers better, we have a chance of lost interest in the particular career option, therefore we have slim choices for teachers and our schools will basically stink. I think that our teachers are what make our world so great because they are who teaches us to teach one another who teach the world. So yes, I believe that our teachers are an important part of our school systems, but they aren’t all of what makes up our schools.
Another problem this article states is not having enough money to fund our schools. And I have to disagree. I don’t think our problem is how large an amount of money we have as it does to what we spend it on with the money we do have. To me, this seems as though it is all common sense. Some schools that are not as rich as others, I don’t consider them "bad schools" because some of those schools are producing graduates attending top-notch colleges. Its not that we necessarily are needing more funding for our schools, but if there is a school who has plenty of funding by the government, it all depends on the matter of what do they spend it on.
A couple days ago I heard about the story of the missing body of 3 year old Nevaeh Gallegos, which is currently all over the news board. Today I watched an update of her story on 9News and it gave me such strong feelings I felt I had to find more about it on the Denver Post website. Denver police officers believe to have found her body on September 24 in west Denver. It was three days before that the mother, Miriam Gallegos and her boyfriend Angel Montoya, were both arrested in connection with the little girls death. It turns out that as the investigation goes one, Montoya has a record of being arrested as a juvenile for indecent exposure and is a registered sex offender. As I read this, my stomach began to ache, which caught me by surprise. I didn’t think that this event would have such a big impact on me. I asked myself: Why did this make me feel so much anger and hurt? I believe part of it was that it happened here in Denver, the place that I call home. I think that whenever we hear something terrible on the news, we think, "Thank goodness that didn’t happen here," and we don’t make a big deal about it because of that relief. I think to myself about how self-centered we are as people. I’m not saying there aren’t people who don’t help out during situations like these, but there is a fair amount of people who do nothing to help out the cause. My heart was comforted as I read that, "About 200 volunteers searched the Capitol Hill area over the weekend for the body of Niveah Gallegos. The Denver Police Department's Crime Stoppers program posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to the location of the girl's body". After I read this, I thanked God for those volunteers and their willingness to help out in their community. It made me feel a little better knowing that I can trust my community during times such as these.
Another thing I focused on while I read this article were the actions Social Services took before this terrible, heart-breaking event happened. (Now I know that not all the facts of this investigation have been revealed, so I can only base my opinion off what is publicly known). I watched an interview with a woman who was an administrator from Social Services on 9News. As background information, my sources told me that it was last year when Neveah Gallegos' her mother took her into the hospital and they verified that the baby girl had been sexually assaulted. By law, the hospital has to report information such as this to Social Services. Now what bothers me most is that Social Services let the mother of this child still take care of her after they had retained this nauseating information. I don’t like seeing separation between young children and their parents, but in this case, I believe that it would have been in the best interest of the child. I don’t think the mother was doing her job as a parent, and because of that, I think Social Services should’ve stepped up to the plate and took care of this child. Giving the mother back her child just risked that baby her life. I believe that this sickening tragedy could’ve been avoided if the child had been taken out of that living environment. There are just some people that should not have children, and I think that this young woman is one of them. A Denver police officer said, "A little girl’s body is out there. That shouldn’t happen to anyone". I agree 110% with that because no child deserves such a life as this.
Monday, September 17, 2007
'Thought For the Day 7-12-07' from The Fischbowl
I came across an article entitled, 'Thought For The Day 7-12-07'. This article contained an exerpt by Daniel C. Dennett from the book, 'What Is Your Dangerous Idea?', from The Ficshbowl posted by Karl Fisch. This article asks a thought-churning question of, "What will happen to common knowledge in the future?". As of today, our common knowledge is constantly expanding. Our technology is one major example of our increasing apprehension. We interact with technology everywhere, whether we're at home checking our e-mail, listening to our i-pods, or even going to Kings Soopers and using the self-checkout. I believe that in the future the idea of common knowledge will still be what it is, a basic understanding of things, but it will have grown just as our knowledge has. I agree with the article that our ancestors may have had it easy, and that there wasn't that much to know, but two things cross my mind as I began to think about this statement. Of course our ancestors did not know what we know today, but was there that much to know? This is a difficult question, and I understand that it could have several different interpretations. But as I read this, the first thing I said to myself was, "Well of course there was a lot for our ancestors to know. Look at us today, look how far we've come since then". But I can kind of understand the meaning of what the writer was trying to get at. There is only so much one generation can know. These people are from the same age in time and don't know more than what they know. That's an odd way of saying it, but what I mean to say is that people have certain customs and know certain ways of doing certain things, until one day theres the beginning of a new generation. New people, new minds, therefore, new ideas.
Another part of me began to compare our past to the present. Is there more for us to know? I could answer this question for myself. As unbelieveable to me as it is to say this, looking at our world and seeing our progression through time, I do think the world still has much, much more to learn about itself and everything around it. I almost can't believe the heights technology has reached and how it has impacted my daily life. Just going to school and looking up to the projector for a power point that the teacher has prepared, or using the laptops for research. The world is so dependable on what it has created, that without it, nothing would be the same. So from that, I suspect the world will only progress as time goes on. And as time goes on, our knowledge will expand, and once again, the world will have out-done itself.