Monday, September 30, 2019

Organization Learning and Development Essay

Organizational performance depends upon human resources, knowledge and skills of employees. Organization learning and development determine overall success of organizational performance and market position of a company or firm. Changes occurred in technology, marketing, and numerous management techniques, some of which are concerned with human problems. Most of the changes are made in a rather disjointed or piecemeal manner. Following Revans (1980) learning in an organization must be greater than or equal to the rate of change in the environment. The approach emerging today is to use the growing body of ideas and systematic thought to consider innovatory ideas on organization and to adopt a more systematic comprehen ¬sive look at problems, so that we look at the whole instead of looking at separate parts. In modern environment, individuals have a lot of freedom, apart from certain laws of society, but when they join an organization their freedom is restricted and their effort must be joined with those of others to achieve organizational goals through learning and development practices. Change cannot occur if employees do not have sufficient knowledge and skills necessary for new organizational environment. Following Argyris (1977) â€Å"organizational learning as the process of detection and correction of errors† In his view organizations learn through individuals acting as agents for them† (cited Malhotra 1996). In this case, organizational learning becomes a change agent for the organization. Following Polanyi, Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) identify two types of knowledge, â€Å"tacit knowledge† and â€Å"explicit knowledge†, which influence organizational learning and development. Employees need to acquire tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge in order to meet individual and business goals. Some administra ¬tive apparatus is needed through which managerial authority is exercised. Therefore a hierarchy is formed which issues policy statements to ensure any discretion that individuals may have in their work is exercised in the spirit or attitude of the organization. Without tacit and explicit knowledge, an organization is not able to meet rapidly changing environment. This requirement is somewhat, although not exclusively, dependent upon the first. The level of involvement of employees in the learning process will be necessarily substantial. For the innovation of new ideas to be successful a high degree of integration is needed between all concerned (e. g. engineering, production management and marketing). Organizations that are too rigidly structured may find integration of all necessary activities very difficult (Armstrong 2001). Nick Bontis et al (2002) states that stock and flow of knowledge affect three level in organizations: personal, team and organizational. Direct business needs, which have been identified from the study of the organizational situation might best be met in part by some form of training which cascades down the organization. Selection in such cases is likely to be on a broad basis, because the judgment has already been made that most people need this training. Although there might be discussion with line managers, particularly on who should attend first, selection ul ¬timately should be a central decision, and should be compulsory (Senior, 2001). Following Flood (1999) knowledge and learning allow employees to be better positioned in organization and give them a chance to survive and prosper in different environments. Revans (1980) is right stating that learning in an organization must be greater than the rate of change because learning and development open new opportunities for organizations and allow the staff to meet the criteria set down: persistence and great personal desire to master this knowledge. On the other hand, knowledge develops such important skills as the ability to analyze and synthesize information about the clanging environment. In this situation, employees take into account universal concepts and experience of other people trying to solve his/her life problems or trying to find solution to these troubles (Schuler 1998). Without new knowledge, employees depend upon their own life experience and are limited by prejudices and life scope. Learning cultivates human creativity and helps it to flourish. Organizational learning and development help to create new practical knowledge on the basis of the existing one making employees free from old technologies and views of their peers. Following Weick (1991): â€Å"organizations are not built to learn. Instead, they are patterns of means-ends relations deliberately designed to make the same routine response to different stimuli, a pattern which is antithetical to learning in the traditional sense† (cited Malhotra 1996). Without organizational learning and development, organizations could not benefit from outside worlds depending on their limited world perception. Freedom of choice is the main priority given by education and knowledge. They can choose without knowledge but their choice would be accidental and cannot guarantee the best solution to the problem you are faced with. Organizational learning and development help organizations to get in touch with the society and others which also a key to freedom (Mayo 1998). In the book â€Å"The Fifth Discipline†, Senge (1995) explains organizational development and performance through system theory. Organizations are affected by environment and have a structure which has both formal and informal elements. The analysis of structure will cover how activities are grouped together, the number of levels in the hierarchy, the extent to which authority is decentralized to divisions and units, and the relationships that exist between different units and functions. Senge states that systems thinking method helps organizations to transform their activities and become a learning organization (Organizational Learning and Information Systems 2007). Five disciplines include â€Å"building shared vision, mental models, team learning, personal mastery, systems thinking† (Senge 1995, p. 56). These principles are crucial because these factors allow organizations adapt to changing environments. So, without active learning and development organizations will not be able to compete on the market and adapt changes. Learning process should be prier to change. Bearing in mind the need to take an empirical and contingent approach to organizing, as suggested above, the aim of learning could be defined as being to optimize the arrangements for conducting the affairs. â€Å"A systems orientation is evidenced through common language producing thinking that encourages greater interdependency thus allowing for cross-functional thinking and abilities to be drawn into a productive whole† (Barker, Camarata, 1998, p. 4). To do this, it is necessary, as far as circumstances allow, to: clarify the overall purposes of learning – the strategic thrusts that govern what it does and how it functions; define as precisely as possible the key activities required to achieve that purpose; group these activities logically together to avoid unnecessary overlap or duplica ¬tion. Following Goh (1998) â€Å"Learning organizations not only encourage these practices but also have mechanisms or systems that allow them to happen. Part of this knowledge transfer involves learning successful practices from other organizations and competitors as well† (p. 5). As Katz and Kahn (1964) wrote: ‘Systems theory is basically concerned with prob ¬lems of relationship, of structure and of interdependence. As a result, there is a considerable emphasis on the concept of transactions across boundaries – between the system and its environment and between the different parts of the system† (Katz and K ahn, 1964, p. 48). According to this theory, all organizations have some learning and development which influence market position and innovative approach to performance. Structures incorporate a network of roles and relationships and are there to help in the process of ensuring that collective effort is explicitly organized to achieve specified ends (Mayo 1998). Most employees require much practice to create professional skills and knowledge. Organizations are continually dependent upon and influenced by their environments. The basic characteristic of organizational learning is that it transforms inputs into outputs within its environment. The components of organizational learning include the importation of energy, the throughput, and the systems as cycle aspects of organizations (McNamara 2007). Organizational learning and development include key organizational processes – an organization’s ‘task’ environment includes suppliers, markets and competitors; the wider environment includes factors such as public attitudes, economic and political systems, laws etc; employees and other tangible assets – people, plant, and equipment; formal organizational requirements – systems designed to regulate the actions of employees (and machines); the social system – culture (values and norms) and relationships between employees in terms of power, affiliation and trust; technology – the major techniques people use while engaged in organizational processes and that are programmed into machines; the dominant coalition – the objectives, strategies, personal characteristics and internal relationships of those who oversee the organization as a whole and control its basic policy making (Reed 2001). If organizations are unable to prepare their staff to a coming change, they will be inevitably left behind. Revans is right stating that learning in an ‘organization must be greater than or equal to the rate of change in the environment’ because organizations depend upon the learning and development as a part of change. Following â€Å"as the relationship changes and becomes more complex, the need increases for a relation-based learning organization using communication at all levels and through its various forms† (Barker, Camarata 1998, p. 4). The overall purpose of organizational learning and development is to ensure that the staff is able to achieve success in changing environments. In this case, organizational learning and development can be the source of the organizational capabilities that allow it to learn and capitalize on new opportunities. Ensure that the staff obtains and retains the skilled, committed and well-motivated workforce it needs. This means taking steps to assess and satisfy future people needs and to enhance and develop the inherent capacities of people – their contributions, potential and employability – by providing learning and continuous development opportunities (Nonaka, Takeuchi 1995). It can also involve the development of high performance work systems which enhance flexibility and include â€Å"rigorous recruitment and selec ¬tion procedures, performance-contingent incentive compensation systems, and management development and training activities linked to the needs of the organization† (Mayo 1998, p. 49). An understanding of organiza ¬tional processes and skills in the analysis and diagnosis of patterns of organizational behavior are therefore important. Organizations need to be able to understand the patterns of behavior that are observed to predict in what direction behavior will move (particularly in the light of managerial action), and to use this knowledge to control behavior over the course of time. Effective managerial action requires that the manager be able to diagnose the system he or she is working in. According to Goh (1998): Skill and knowledge acquisition are obviously useless unless they can be transferred to the immediate job by the employee. It is even better if this knowledge can also be transferred to other parts of the organization to solve problems and energize creative new ideas. Part of this knowledge transfer involves learning successful practices from other organizations and competitors as well† (15). Barker and Camarata (1998): underlines that: â€Å"personal mastery is the continual process of growth and development needed for creative work for both the individual and organization. Learning in organizations occurs only through the learning that individuals acquire â€Å"(4). The organization must do all it can to explain why change is essential and how it will affect everyone. Moreover, every effort must be made to protect the interests of those affected by change. Resistance to change is inevitable if the individuals concerned feel that they are going to be worse off – implicitly or explicitly. Management of change will produce that reaction. In an age of global competition, technological innovation, turbulence, disconti-nuity, even chaos, change is inevitable and necessary (Senior, 2001). In sum, learning in an organization must be greater than the rate of change in the environment, because only in this case organizations able to compete on the market and create skilled workforce. Organizational learning and development can be seen as a part of change process which allows organizations to foreshadow coming changes and possible problems. Learning should be greater than the rate of change, because organizations welcome the challenges and opportunities if they have strong human resources and skilled workforce. They are the ones to be chosen as change agents. Reference http://www.brint.com/papers/orglrng.htm

Sunday, September 29, 2019

An Introduction to Sociology Essay

Philip Vernon carried out research studies into contributions of environmental and genetic factors into intellectual development in the 1940s and 1950s. He believed that Western IQ tests were unsuitable for non-Western people; he also applied the same argument to the use of Western IQ testes within different subcultures and social classes within Western Societies. He stated that â€Å"There is no such thing as culture-fair tests, and never can be† (Haralambos p. 747). Vernon developed a hierarchical model of IQ testing in the 1950s, which broke down the test into many subcategories. He concluded that social class differences have some genetic basis. He based this conclusion on evidence that intelligence of adopted children relate more to the social class of their biological parents than to their adopted parents. Vernon believed that social mobility allowed individuals with high IQ levels to rise to the socially high classes’ whilst those with low IQ levels would fall to socially lower classes. Cultural rules play a profound role in our society today, and through education we have learnt what is right and what is wrong. However, could somebody who has not been brought up knowing these rules be able to interact with other humans? There are many cases where children in particular have had no social interact with other humans in the early stages of life, where primary socialisation should take place. And the outcome has been that they have no facial expression, incorrect movement, and have no human speech. The most popular example of this is the feral children. Feral Children are children who have been nurtured in the wild by animals, children that were raised in a non-human, inhuman or sub-human environment and because of it did not learn how to communicate or behave in a human manner. Two particular cases of child deprivation that argue the case of nurture particularly well are Amala and Kamala and Genie. Amala and Kamala were two sisters aged approximately eight and one and a half who were brought up by wolves in the 1920 in Bengal, India. When captured they were taken to an orphanage where they were looked after by the reverend Singh and his wife. Singh described them as â€Å"wolf like† in appearance and behaviour. They walked on all fours and had calluses on their knees and palms from doing so. They preferred to eat raw meat and stole it when ever they could. They licked water with their tongues and ate their food in a crouched position. Their tongues permanently hung out of their mouths, and they panted just like wolves. They never slept after midnight and howled at night. They could move very fast on all four’s. They turned away from human society altogether. If approached, they made faces and sometimes bared their teeth. Their hearing was very acute and they could smell meat at a great distance. They could also orientate themselves very well at night. In September 1921 both girls became ill, and Amala, the younger, died. Probably the most famous case of a feral child is that of Genie. She spent nearly 13 years in almost total isolation and was fed only on milk and baby food. She was eventually found and placed in a children’s hospital. At that time she could not stand straight, chew or see beyond 10 feet. She was inquisitive though and after 7 years her IQ had increased from 38 to 74 although she never developed the normal use of language. Many Psychologists believe that a child will have permanent difficulties in learning a language unless they start from an early age. Others argue that children could be mentally retarded from such abuse. So Genie’s case does not resolve the nature-nurture controversy surrounding human development. In 1977, the last time Genie was filmed, scientists found that without constant teaching Genie had regressed. She now barely said a word. In other cases of feral children, some, who were discovered at a much younger age than Genie, learnt language and were eventually able to speak reasonably well. Genie however was unable to do more than string a few words together. Genie failed to learn any kind of grammar, and this is what distinguishes the language of humans from that of animals. Genie could not grasp the difference between various pronouns or between active and passive verbs. In that sense she appeared to have passed the critical period. The critical period is a hypothesis that states that the first few years of life are a crucial time in the development of a first language providing that a sufficient stimulus is present. If the acquisition of language is not achieved during this time then it will never be fully achieved. Socialisation is a major sociological concept that provides the link between the individual and their Society. Socialisation is the ongoing social learning process that is necessary for human existence and development. There are two types of socialisation, primary and secondary. Those factors that are involved in primary socialisation are usually small, involve face-to-face interaction and communication and allow the individual to express the whole self, both feelings and intellect. Usually, those factors are the family, peer groups, of close friends. Within these groups, through personal experience, the individual learns ‘primary values’ such as love, loyalty, justice, sharing, etc. In contrast, secondary groups are usually large, more impersonal and formally organised, and exist for specific purposes. In the secondary stage, the individual learns more values and norms which are to be applied for the individual to fit in. This includes learning how to organise and conduct themselves in formal contexts (backgrounds) and how to behave towards people who have different degrees of status and authority. One of the crucial aspects of secondary socialisation is school. The effects of growing up in unsocial conditions in these and other cases seem consistent. When the children emerged immediately into society, they were generally described by observers as ‘primitive’ and ‘hardly human’. None of the children developed social and communication skills beyond a basic level, in spite of attempts to re-socialise them. Above all, their absence or limited ability to learn language prevented them from functioning fully within society. These cases, also, suggest that human development, especially those of gaining basic social and communication skills, needs considerable contact with others. These stories do more than just confirm the important role of education, and that not just nature plays an important role in growth and development but also the environment in which you grow up in. They show that a human being not only can, but must be educated or learn to become a human being. Even when isolated from birth, animals usually retain clearly recognisable instincts. A cat that is raised among dogs, will still behave like a cat. Humans, however, enter the world very poorly equipped. The knowledge a child needs to become fully human is not complete. Everything the child eventually knows, or can do, must be learned. With the exception of natural body functions, such as breathing, as well as the reflexes, everything else must be learned. That is why feral children are an excellent source of evidence in the nature and nurture debate, because they cannot walk, talk or even socialise. They cannot show any emotions nor have empathy. This is due to them growing up in isolation and not having humans to human interaction so that they can learn the basic skills of life. This also proves that its not only nature that play a big role in child development but the environment you grow up in makes an impact to child development or the upbringing of a person because that is where you learn to be what you will become. To conclude, culture is a very important idea in Sociology and without it, we would have no language, we would not be able to express ourselves, and our ability to reason and think would be severely restricted. Through the process of Socialisation, children learn the way of life or culture of their society. If culture did not exist, then society would not exist and vice versa. Bibliography Anon (2006)  Empiricism. Available at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism: (Accessed 2/11/2006) Anon (2006)  John Locke. Available at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke: (Accessed 2/11/2006) Anon (2006)  Francis Galton. Available at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Galton: (Accessed 1/11/2006) Anon (2006)  Critical Period. Available at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_period: (Accessed 1/11/2006) Devlin, D., Daniels, M., & Roeder K., 1997. The heritability of IQ.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

My Family History Essay

â€Å"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness. † –Alex Haley This quote explained to me the importance of my grandparent’s legacy and their history. A long twisting family tree inspires one who does not know where their roots originated. My grandfather Frank Douglas and my grandmother Delores Jones gave me a reason to find out where our legacy started. My grandfather Frank Kelow was adopted into a four person white family, which gave him the last name of Douglas. My grandfather was born on February 12, 1902. Frank was raised in Greenville, Mississippi with dozens of cousins, which gave him comfort. Frank’s biological parents did not attend college; in fact, they didn’t even graduate from high school. In Mississippi, â€Å"I was surrounded by racism, slavery, and poverty, which gave me the inspiration to give my father a better life† (Douglas). As a young kid Frank often hung out in the streets with his friends and partied a lot. He was a heavy smoker with a tiny taste for alcohol. â€Å"Growing up in a poor neighborhood I was introduced to a lot of bad things such as drugs, gambling, and fighting† (Douglas). Around the house, Frank was responsible for mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, and cleaning the pool. At the age of 21 my grandfather entered the army and decided to fight in World War II. After the war concluded, my grandfather married and moved to Queens, New York. Frank and his wife made history that day because they were the first black couple to move into the neighborhood, which they lived. This was the birthplace of my father Lance Douglas Sr. My grandmother Delores Jones was born on December 14, 1906, into a family of four. She was also raised through poverty, but with the help of her brother and cousins she found a way to stick it out. She was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana where her parents worked several jobs to maintain the tiny shack she was raised in. â€Å"Back in my day society consisted of smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and partying heavily† (Jones). At the age of 13, she was required to work to earn extra money around the house. Some chores my grandmother had around the house was to clean the house, wash the dishes, wash clothes, and pull weeds from the lawn. The relationship between my grandmother and her parents was quite the opposite of mine with my parents. â€Å"After completing my chores, I was allowed to do basically whatever, as long as I was in the house at a reasonable hour† (Jones). Delores was a very social person. â€Å"I rarely spent time with my grandparents† (Jones). During her high school years she was often looked at as beautiful, ambitious, and persistent. At the age of 18 she was elected as prom queen for her senior dance. Although she was often free to do what she wanted, she was also held responsible. Delores was sometimes whooped and grounded for disobeying curfew rules and not completing her chores. This gave her everlasting the mentality of you must work for everything you want in life. I was born in Mississauga, Canada on the date of February 23, 1993. The name Kobie was given to me by my mother, it means warrior. Raised in a family with both parents, one-brother, and one sister, I was surrounded by people who loved me. My brother, Lance Douglas, was born four years earlier than me. Likewise, my sister was born two years prior of my birth. At the age of two, my parents decided to move to Plano, Texas, a beautiful city with the population of about 700,0000 people. As usual, around five I attended Kindergarten at the local school where my brother and sister attended elementary school. Being the youngest in the family provided both advantages and disadvantages. My brother and sister inherited my father’s gene of aggravating me to the point of physical confrontation, which later led to me getting beat up. Although women are usually on the feminine side, my sister was completely different. When my teenage years came around that’s when my siblings began to lighten up on the bullying. During my high school years I was considered the man on campus. I was an all-star at basketball, football, and baseball. During my senior year I only participated in football and was offered a scholarship to play for the Louisiana Lafayette, Ragin Cajuns. Now, as a freshman at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette I am living the life I once dreamed about; experiencing things I never thought I would. For example, going to the club on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. A student athlete who is enrolled in 17 hours and is also committed to football. Waking up at five a. m to workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Most of all, living the dream people told me wasn’t meant. All across the world there are families who have their own original legacies. In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness (Haley page 1). Its up to one to figure out how and where their family started. My grandfather Frank Douglas and my grandmother Delores Jones gave me a reason to find out where our legacy started. My grandparents have told me many things I never thought I would know about which has expanded my knowledge for the better.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Nursing Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words - 18

Nursing - Assignment Example be more manipulated by the use of formats such as structured surveys, or naturalistic by means of a technique such as ordinary observation (Roth, 2004). In a research that is to be conducted on the observations of patients who are anxious about a potential medical experience, it might be more advisable to use data gathering methods that even define the non-verbal gestures of patients. For example, the researcher may use videography so as to permit patients to freely express themselves as they would in any other circumstances. If methods that include writing exercises are used, researchers could inadvertently limit participants to only having to express themselves through specific methods of expressing themselves. Essentially, the creative data collection methods may not be entirely naturalistic, in themselves, but are meant to symbolize a similar selection of means with which the researchers can manage the statistics that they gather. The point of using creative new data collection techniques is to capture the genuine experiences of each of the

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Question Responses Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Question Responses - Essay Example The implication was that a country would export one set of industries and export another. In the traditional theory the location decisions are influenced by local inputs and demand as well as transferred inputs and outside demand. Thus this theory supports globalization as it focuses on resource endowments. The traditional theory further suggests rural areas are not very well endowed with human and physical capital and hence opportunities for them are less (Leichenko & Silva, n.d.). Since they have high skilled labor ratio, they are able to compete in manufacturing industries where economies of scale are met. In doing so, the aim of exchange of goods promotes share of economic activity and opens the world market to everybody. It also provides a platform for the developing nations to market their products in regions beyond borders and which could ultimately alleviate them from poverty. These principles are what gave rise to the concept of globalization. 2. The major drivers of globalization include social-demographic (regional, cultural), technological, which includes telecommunications, internet and transportation, economic factors like foreign direct investment, profit motives and market share, ecological and environmental factors like pollution and green laws, and political-legal factors like falling trade barriers, political stability and intellectual property. There is a connection between poverty and globalization and it is generally believed that without globalization inequality would have increased. Free trade would make the world prosperous and assist the poorer nations in coming up. Technological upgradation takes place in developing nations but evidence also suggests that technological change increases inequality between highly skilled workers and the unskilled workers (Singer). Trade and politics should be independent of each

The International Jurisdiction of the Internet - A Study in Essay

The International Jurisdiction of the Internet - A Study in Perspective - Essay Example According to Leiner, et.al. (2003), the history of the Internet revolves around four distinct aspects: the technological aspect, operational and management aspect, social aspect, and commercialization aspect. â€Å"The technological evolution that began with early research on packet switching and the ARPANET (and related technologies), and where current research continues to expand the horizons of the infrastructure along several dimensions, such as scale, performance, and higher level functionality. There is the operations and management aspect of a global and complex operational infrastructure. There is the social aspect, which resulted in a broad community of Internauts working together to create and evolve the technology. And there is the commercialization aspect, resulting in an extremely effective transition of research results into a broadly deployed and available information infrastructure.† (Leiner, et.al. 2003)According to Leiner, et.al, the history of the Internet r evolves around four distinct aspects: the technological aspect, operational and management aspect, social aspect, and commercialization aspect. â€Å"The technological evolution that began with early research on packet switching and the ARPANET (and related technologies), and where current research continues to expand the horizons of the infrastructure along several dimensions, such as scale, performance, and higher level functionality. There is the operations and management aspect of a global and complex operational infrastructure.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BRAZILIAN CINEMA LAT AM 380 FINAL TAKE-HOME II Essay

BRAZILIAN CINEMA LAT AM 380 FINAL TAKE-HOME II - Essay Example Brazilian cinema prospect captured different livelihoods, beliefs and lifestyles of different groups of people, those that lived in cities or towns and those that lived in marginal areas with unfavorable conditions like the semi-arid areas where the early Portuguese first settled commonly referred to as sà ©rtao in Portuguese. Several influential renowned cinema film directors like Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Glauber Rocha, Andrucha Waddington, Jorge Furtado, Joà £o Tikomiroff, and Carlos Diegues Walter Salles amongst many others took the center stage in making these films with deeply embedded and well played out themes or motifs that clearly communicated message of importance. It is due to collective effort of these film productions developments in the 60s and 70s that led to the rise of a pro-modern movement â€Å"cinema novo†, new cinema (Rodriguez 109). that was very influential in addressing issues to do with social equality and intellectualism in Brazil as opposed to th e traditional cinema technique that were ineffective. The major themes captured by these films as portrayed in the two main settings, rural and urban, are the power in the Brazilian political landscape, religion and Brazilian popular culture. In the Brazilian context, power is closely associated with corruption in governments. The corruption in turn has led to socio-political and economical oppression to its citizens making the poor or the peasants much poorer while making the rich much wealthy creating a very big power gap between the two (Xavier 86). Power when misused is normally associated with the might or tyranny, and greed in any given society which are easily visible in the Brazilian societal and governmental structure where the rich oppress the poor because of the difference classes created and the powers that come attached. Power

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Discuss whether benchmarking to achieve greater efficiency should lead Essay

Discuss whether benchmarking to achieve greater efficiency should lead to greater profitability - Essay Example Through this method, Young (2003) explains that business personalities are able to know how well their competitors perform within the industry, and the reason as to why these companies are able to perform in a manner identified. Wöber (2002) further explains that benchmarking is always used to measure the performance of a business organization/industry by using specific indicators, e.g. cost per unit of the substance, productivity per unit, etc. Benchmarking is a process that is used in strategic management, whereby business organizations are able to evaluate different aspects of their business organization, in relation to the best practices of the industry. Orr and Orr (2014) maintains that this helps managers of business organizations to come up with the best policy that can help them improve the performance of the business organization. Furthermore, benchmarking as a process normally helps managers of a business organization to adapt some of the best practices of an industry into their operations. This can be social responsibilities, or marketing procedures. Benchmarking is always a continuous process, and this is mainly because organizations seek methods of improving their performances, and best practices. However, there is a considerable debate on whether benchmarking helps in improving the profitability of a business organization. Orr and Orr (2014) explains that because benchmarking is a method of understanding the b est practices of an industry, and implementing those practices, it will most definitely lead to an increase in the profitability of a business organization. This is an assertion that Kerimodou (2013) is against. In their research concerning benchmarking, the authors denoted that organizations which have high technical efficiency are not always the best performers regarding profitability. In their research,

Monday, September 23, 2019

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Essay Example It also asks if Franklin is a sincere self-help man who wants to help others, or merely a self-promoter. The key ways by which Franklin presents his story as an illustration of self-improvement are through providing external influences on his life who are also self-made people like himself and showing how planning and executing plans is part of realizing the American Dream. He is motivated to pursue self-improvement, because he had set himself to become a writer, which is not a lucrative craft, and he believed in the value of planning and hard work. Benjamin Franklin strikes me as a person who is genuinely interested in helping others, because he provided self-tested principles and practices that enabled him to pursue small and large life goals and he merely shared pragmatic and moralistic ideas and principles, which he believed can help people achieve their dreams, no matter how hard their circumstances may be, a process that resulted to the promotion of the American Dream. One of t he external influences on Benjamin Franklin was his father, Josiah Franklin. He describes how Josiah focuses on teaching his children, not only how to live by one's energy and determination, but how to live uprightly. In one instance, Josiah taught his son that â€Å"nothing was useful which was not honest† (Franklin Chapter 1). ... From here, Benjamin embarked on a mission of being more aware of how he writes, a metacognitive practice, which helped him arrange the logic and perspicacity of his arguments. Benjamin's friends and patrons also influenced him to become a better person. Several governors, for instance, even when they knew that Benjamin was a penniless lad, invited him to their libraries. Apparently, these people also believed in the idea of self-improvement and that by encouraging others like Benjamin, they can also help improve the lives of other people. Benjamin further shows self-improvement by explaining how planning and executing plans is part of realizing the American Dream. An example is how he improved his own knowledge on diverse topics and skills through self-help. For instance, he did not enjoy meat a great deal, so he read a book on preparing vegetarian recipes. He also abhorred the suffering of animals for humanity's palettes, which almost made him a pure Vegan, or one who does not even eat fish. Benjamin not only ate what he wanted, but also saved money by boarding and preparing food for his own tastes and beliefs. Furthermore, Benjamin admitted his problems with arithmetic. He read a book Cocker's book of Arithmetick and taught himself arithmetic better than his teachers did. Franklin further improved his command of English by studying the Socratic method. He read Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, which helped him enhance how he questions people's ideas, arguments, and beliefs, to the point of embarrassing them, in the way that Socrates once did. These are various self-help measures that underscore the value of knowing one's weaknesses and preparing to remedy them through

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Introduction and Motivation Essay Example for Free

Introduction and Motivation Essay The following chapter provides the foundation for this thesis. It begins with a scope clarification including a definition of the Supply Chain 2020 research initiative, and this thesis position within that overall project. Additionally, this chapter discusses the motivation and methodology behind this paper as well as provides an outline for future chapters. The Supply Chain 2020 Project is a multi-year project initiated by the Center for Transportation Logistics (CTL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The major research goal for the Supply Chain 2020 Project is to identify the components that will constitute excellent supply chains in the year 2020. In identifying the strategies, processes, and metrics that will comprise excellent supply chains, Supply Chain 2020 hopes to assist companies in multiple industries in developing strategies to remain competitive in the future. The academic year 2004-2005 is Phase I of the Supply Chain 2020 Project. The scope of the initiative for Phase I is to identify and research excellent supply chains in the aerospace, apparel, automotive, communications, computer, consumer products, distribution, pharmaceutical, resources, and retail industries. Specifically, the scope of this thesis is the retail industry. We will focus on the strategies, operating models, network designs, and supply chain processes that constitute an excellent supply chain in the retail industry. In looking at the components listed above, the existing best practices will be analyzed with respect to how they support and promote the business strategy of the specific companies being analyzed.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Estimation of Cost of Load Shedding

Estimation of Cost of Load Shedding Theoretical framework A firm’s behavior in case of outages While studying the firm’s behavior in the presence of regular and constant outages we assume the firm operates in a competitive atmosphere while pursuing its major objective of profit maximization considering the size of the firm. Following can be the possible consequences: In case if power outages are considered to be somehow everlasting in nature then the optimal size of the firm is lower than in the absence of outages. Henceforth we see the possibility of the firm to let go some labor. The chance of the firm to make some appropriate adjustments to pull through some of the output which was lost depends on the following characteristics. The degree of the market situation to be favorable towards the firm If the firm’s dependency of the production process is less on electricity then it is more likely that the firm will make an adjustment. If the cost of adjustment is low the firm is most likely to go for it. The firm will undertake an adjustment if the power outages are large and are expected to be continued for a long period of time. Figure 3.1 Adjustment of a Firm towards Outages Visual representation of the alteration of the equilibrium of a firm in the existence of power outages. Regarding the Type I firm we see that initially when it is faced with outages it resultantly reduces its production from . At the point the space between price and marginal cost is AB. The larger the amount of outages the bugger the space of AB is going to be. XY represents the marginal cost curve of adjustment by the firm. Henceforth incase the XY is too high, then the firm makes no adjustment. Now if we see the case of type II firm. We see that Y lies between A and B. Therefore the firm decides to make an adjustment which takes its new production level to . So type I firm reduced its output by) whereas the loss of output faced type II firm is). The profit loss faced due to outages by type I firm is ABC. Whereas loss of profit of type II firm is BYZC. Henceforth some adjustments can prove to be favorable under some circumstances. So I have used given theoretical framework to develop the methodology for the quantification of the cost of outages. Methodology for quantification of costs of outages As discussed before that in the existence of regular and constant outages the firms tend to make adjustments. But the coverage and character of these adjustments will depend on a number of features that I have mentioned above. The methodology that I have used for the quantification of the cost of outages is majorly based on that developed by Pasha, Ghaus and Mallik [1989]. I have narrowed down the costs related to outages into two types. The first type is direct costs. The second type is adjustment costs. While undertaking any type of adjustment mechanisms to recover their lost output, it is going to be based on cost minimization. A firm will go for an adjustment which it considers will be less expensive than the other available options. Therefore a firm can opt for more than one adjustment at one time, which depends on firm’s size and the amount of outages. Direct Costs Through following methodology we are going to calculate the direct costs of outages. = number of times of incidence of outage daily on average of duration i. i = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The durations are 0-1/2 hr;  ½ hr to 1 hr; 1 hr to 2 hrs; 2 hrs to 3 hrs; 3 hrs and above. = amount of output lost during an outage of duration i = restart time after an outage of duration i. The total number of outages during the year is given by NOUT = ..†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(2) The total time lost due to outage is TOUT = †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦..†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(3) Where is the duration of the outage. The probable extent of output loss due to outages is given by LOUT = .†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(5) But there is a possibility that the firm might not operate for the entire year and for twenty four hours every day. Henceforth, if H is the normal hours worked during the year, the actual output lost is given by ACOUT = †¦.†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(5) We will calculate the value of this loss through following method. VOUT = ACOUT.V .†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(6) Where V is the value added by the firm per hour. Nevertheless, the firm might undertake adjustment mechanisms to recover its lost output. If we take as the degree of output which was recovered then we have the the net idle factor cost, NIFC, as follows: NIFC = (1-ÃŽ ») VOUT †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(7) Now we will represent the spoilage costs. = spoilage cost (in rupees) in each outage of duration i Then the spoilage cost, SPC, is derived as follows: SPC = †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.(8) Now we can calculate the direct costs of outages. TDC = NIFC + SPC †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(9) Adjustment Costs Generators Cost In Pakistan we have generally observed that the foremost adjustment undertaken by a firm is the investment in generator where they can control the source of energy supply. This is the outcome of the frequent and prolonged hours of power outages since 2007 and the realization by the firms that these outages are going to stay for a long time and it might even get worse along with gas shortages. In order to go for a substitution of the main source of electricity which is supplied by the DISCOs, the firm considers its concentration on energy required. While luring on other less expensive adjustments and the arrangements for the availability of initial capital for the possession of generators. The cost of capital for getting hold of generators is high relatively to small scale units as compared to large firms. In order to calculate the total costs of owing and running a generator, we have narrowed it down to specifics. A unit owns a generator or not The capital cost of the generator Monthly running cost of fuel for operating the generator Other costs (including labor, repairs and maintenance cost, etc.) on a quarterly basis. On these bases we are going to calculate the costs of generator. = capital cost of generator foc = fuel operating cost per month opc = other operating costs quarterly So the calculation of the annual generator cost (GENCO) is as follows: GENCO = () + 12(foc) +4(opc) †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(10) stands for the cost of capital and is the rate of depreciation. The combined value of is taken as 0.32. Once we have considered a firm to be operating a generator it means that firm is saving on the energy supplied by the local DISCO. So now the (NGENCO), is given by NGENCO = GENCO – k (TOUT) (ADJG)tf. †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦..†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦(11) Where K = electricity consumption per hour in Kwh TOUT = total hours lost as derived in equation (3) ADJG = extent of adjustment by use of generators tf = tariff per Kwh of the DISCO. Other Adjustments These adjustments are more or less short run in nature when power outages are considered to be momentary in nature: A firm can consider utilizing its present plant, equipment and machinery more intensively in presence of power outages. Loss of output can be recovered by working overtime or by adding more labor and work shifts. It can be considered to change the working hours and timings to more suitable slot according to timetable of power load shedding. The costs related to these adjustments are not large but majority of the firms have not undertaken these adjustments. The methodology used for the quantification of these costs has been taken from Pasha, Ghaus and Mallik. They are represented by OTC. Overall, the total adjustment cost, TAJCO, is derived as TAJCO = NGENCO + OTC †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.(12) OTC stands for monthly overtime cost And the total outage cost, TOUTCO, as follows: TOUTCO = TDC+ TAJCO †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.(13)

Friday, September 20, 2019

Public Schools then And Now Education Essay

Public Schools then And Now Education Essay Desegregation of the nations public schools was mandated by the Supreme Court on May 17, 1954 with the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling. Nine years later, racial tensions related to segregation reached a critical point. Early in 1963, the Alabama Governor George Wallace kicked off his reign by stating segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever (Elliot, 2003). Later that year, Wallace would stand in the doors of the University of Alabama in an attempt to physically prevent African-American students form enrolling. Civil rights leaders championed Wallaces failures as a victory for school desegregation and proof that the movement was progressing. Wallaces failed attempts did not kick start the movement as most civil rights leaders had hoped, however. In 1975, Marian Wright Edelman (1975) of the Childrens Defense Fund in Washington, DC, wrote: The current status of school desegregation is complex. Twenty-one years after Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, school desegregation is caught in a crossfire of opposition. There are those who have always opposed it; those who say they are for it but eschew the means to achieve it; those who feel the costs of achieving it are not worthwhile because the early experiences have not produced instant brotherhood or IQ gains; and those who, after twenty years of resistance, struggle, and mixed progress, pronounce it irrelevant and a failure because three hundred years of slavery and segregation have not died by decree. Edelman went on to conclude that if school desegregation continued to progress t the same pace as housing desegregation in the 1960s, then America would see schools desegregated in about twenty-five decades. While the ruling most often regarded as the foundation for school desegregation is Brown v. Board of Education, not much changed in public schools following the Supreme Court decision. A full decade following Brown saw less than one percent of black students in the south begin attending previously all white schools. It was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed that desegregation began transforming the face of public schools, especially in the south. While the broad language of the legislation gave minorities the right to file suits forcing desegregation, Title VI of the Act allowed the federal government to withhold funding for any programs that discriminated against students based solely race. By the end of 1968, the percentage of black students in the south enrolled in previously all white students had climbed to twelve percent. By 1973, these numbers had climbed from less than one percent in 1964 to over forty-six percent (Edelman, 1975). While the desegregation movement has hit stumbling blocks along the way, the policy has long been instituted in the nations public schools. What have been the results? Some would argue that todays public schools are more segregated than schools prior to Brown. Much of the discussion about school reform in the United States in the past two decades has been about racial inequality. While goals of the No Child Left Behind Act and institution of high stakes testing in high schools have been to end a perceived low-expectation from all students, especially minority students, a disproportionate number of the schools being officially labeled as failures have been segregated minority schools. Inner-city school systems are making major efforts to break large segregated, high-poverty high schools into small schools. This is being done in an attempt to create schools better equipped to reduce inequality. Some argue that charter schools and private schools could substantially reduce racial inequa lities, even though both of these settings often create more segregated schools than traditional public schools. Additionally, Harvard University researchers have found no evidence to support claims for either of these school settings (Orfield Lee, 2005). Even so, court orders and plans for equal opportunity and desegregated schools are being challenged in court and sometimes terminated. Leaders of the small number of high achieving segregated schools in some inner-cities are being heralded as proof-positive we can have educational success within the context of existing segregation (Thernstrom, 2003). It appears that the new movement champions the idea that separate schools can be equal. In fact, since the 1980s, there has been increasing segregation among both African-American and Latino students. A common misconception over the issue of re-segregation of schools is that many people view segregation as a simple change in the skin color of the students in a school. If skin color were the only variable and other issues associated with inequality were not linked to varying skin tones, then skin color would be of little or no significance to social policy, including educational policy. In our society, however, no issue is so simple. Race is linked to many other issues in society. Like some experts, I take the position that schools today are more segregated than schools of yesterday, but not necessarily by race. Instead, it is socioeconomic status of families and students that have led to segregation by income in many cases. Socioeconomic segregation multidimensional and causes much of the educational inequality in todays society. Our nations schools contain less Caucasian students than ever. Forty-one percent of all students are not white and the great majority of the nonwhite students attend schools which show substantial signs of socioeconomic segregation (Orfield Lee, 2004). Achievement scores are strongly linked to school racial composition the presence of highly qualified and experienced teachers (Schellenberg, 1999). The high level of poverty among children, together with many housing policies and practices which exclude poor people from most communities, force families living in poverty into inner-city neighborhoods with housing projects or low-value property. This geographical isolation of low-income families mean that students in inner-city schools face isolation not only from more prolific community members, usually white families, and from middle class schools. With only access to poverty-st ricken schools, children from poverty have limited access to resources that will help break the poverty cycle. Because of this, minority children are far more likely than whites to grow up in persistent poverty. Another reason for the apparent re-segregation of schools is immigration. African-American students are no longer the most prolific minority. As the number of black students grew slowly during the last 15 years, the number of Latinos and Asian students exploded. Proportionally speaking, white enrollment continuously declined. The total number of white students did not decrease, but the percentage of white enrollments compared to minority enrollments has continued to fall. Latinos are now the largest minority group at 18 percent, closely followed by black students at 17 percent. Together, these two groups are now more than a third of the total student population (Orfield Lee, 2005). African-American and Latino students comprise at least 30 percent of the student population in most of the states. Asians now outnumber black students in some regions of the West while Latinos are the most prevalent minority in the Northeast. With the decrease in white students and the increase in minority presence in education, one may conclude that segregation should be a non-issue. It is important to understand that segregation was never just a black-white problem. It was never just a Southern problem and most definitely not just a racial problem. By the time Dr. Martin Luther King organized his last movement, the Poor Peoples Campaign, his approach was openly multiracial, emphasizing poverty as well as racial discrimination. Just a few days before his assassination, Dr. King addressed this issue directly by saying that it was absolutely necessary now to deal massively and militantly with the economic problemà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦. So the grave problem facing us is the problem of economic deprivation, with the syndrome of bad housing and poor education and improper health facilities all surrounding this basic problem (Washington, 1986). This raises some intriguing questions. What would have happened if Dr. King had not died s o abruptly? Would the relationship between racial and economic isolation have been brought to the forefront of American politics? Would desegregation of public schools actually have addressed the issue at the heart of student performance, socioeconomic status not race? In the purest sense of the words, the civil rights movement was never about blacks sitting next to whites on busses or in restaurants. It was about equalizing opportunities. Opportunities for education are of the utmost importance. If high poverty schools are systematically unequal and segregated minority schools are almost always high poverty schools, it is much easier to understand how schools segregated on the basis of socioeconomic status do not provide the same equal access to educational opportunities as non-segregated schools. Plans must be enacted to addresses what some educators and sociologists have long known to be the greatest barrier to equal educational opportunity: poverty. We must recognize that separate schools for rich and poor are, by design, unequal. Consideration of socioeconomic status also makes sense in the broader context of school desegregation. While it is inappropriate for todays educational leaders to say that predominantly black schools are inherently in ferior or that blacks need to sit next to whites in order to learn, it needs to be understood that if we educate rich and poor students in separate schools, the high-poverty schools will undoubtedly be of lower quality. It is important to understand that regardless of ethnic makeup, research has found that a student of low-socio-economic status will perform worse academically at a low-income school than if that same student attends a predominantly middle-class school. In fact, the converse has been found to be true as well. Students from middle and upper-class families perform worse at high-poverty schools as well (Kahlenberg, 1999). Critics of these findings suggest that steps be taken to supplement high-poverty schools rather than desegregation by socioeconomic status. Some have said to simply provide more funding to supplement needs or to raise standards if the curriculum is watered down. If teachers in such schools are not qualified or unprepared, simply improve teacher training . While each of these ideas may be worthy of consideration, could we not achieve more sense of equality by addressing the underlying cause of school inequality, economic segregation. High-poverty schools, even with extra funding, are problematic. A good school fosters a student culture that values learning. Students learn from one another. For instance, students expand their vocabularies when exposed to classmates who know more words than they do. Often students have a broader vocabulary that comes from experiences outside of the school that are often missing in low-income students lives. Instead, poor practices and misconceptions are often reinforced by peers because actions are accepted as the norm. Some experts point to this phenomenon as the root cause for the developing ebonics dialect among students from some inner-city schools. Rather than encouraging advancement, peers may actively denigrate achievement in high-poverty schools. The extra needs poor students often bring to school can effectively overwhelm schools with large numbers of needy kids. How do we address these issues as a nation? What is the next step? San Francisco officials have implemented a unique approach to school zoning that attempts to address the issue of socioeconomic segregation. Historically, in San Francisco and other cities across the country, policy has not attacked poverty concentrations. Instead, policy has focused solely on racial desegregation, in part because the 14th Amendment has been read to address segregation by race but not by class. Today, school districts are beginning to turn directly to the socioeconomic factors in determining a schools quality. This has led leaders to work to redraw school zones based on socioeconomic considerations. San Francisco is considering many socioeconomic factors in developing school zones, including parental education, income, and geographical location. Children with parents who did not attend college and children who receive free or reduced-price lunch, live in public housing, or live in high-poverty neighborhoods will be integrated with more-affluent students. Goal of the redistricting is to distribute the citys wealth throughout the school system so that no one school is wealthier than another. Likewise, no one school will have a higher percentage of low-income students than another (Kahlenberg, 1999). While this seems like a novel concept, San Francisco has set in motion a plan that, if enacted correctly, will sufficiently desegregate city schools in a manner consistent with the goals of the civil rights movement. The concept is not new. Reaching back to Horace Manns concept of common schools, the plan will provide all students equal access and opportunity to a quality education regardless of socioeconomic status. While the concept may be foreign to many in the education field, this concept, is adopted nationally, is the best process for once again making public schools engines for social mobility.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Adderall: A Growing Trend Among College Students Essay -- Documentary

Adderall: A Growing Trend Among College Students Brian,* a 20-year-old Northeastern University student, carefully lays out his â€Å"stash† of blue pills on a table one Sunday evening. As he organizes them into groups according to size and dosage, he mentally runs through his class work and assignments for the week. â€Å"A physics quiz on Tuesday,† he says, eyes still fixed on the dozen or so blue pills on the table. â€Å"A calc test on Friday and a lab due on Thursday.† Brian sinks back into his chair with a sigh of defeated enthusiasm. A weekend full of late night socialization and early afternoon wake up calls has finally given way to the harsh realization of an intense week of school work. As Brian prepares for Monday morning to rear its ugly head, he is comforted by the sight of those tiny blue pills laid out delicately on his table. This, he explains, will sustain him through the hellacious school week ahead of him, and provide him with the motivation and concentration he needs to get his work done. â€Å"I’d be much more stressed out if I didn’t have these,† he says. â€Å"It’ll make the week go by a little easier. That’s not to say it won’t be brutal though.† Those tiny blue pills laid out on Brian’s table are the prescription drug Adderall. Manufactured by the British based pharmaceutical company Shire, Inc., Adderall has become the leading medication prescribed for those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The National Institute of Mental Health describes ADHD as, â€Å"one of the most common of the psychiatric disorders that appear in childhood in which an individual can’t stay focused on a task, can’t sit still, acts without thinking, and rarely finishes anything†. If left untreated, the effects of ADHD... ...y guess is that it is more of a psychological habit. I think the best approach would be to challenge students to find a different approach to dealing with stress and increasing workloads, and not to turn to pharmaceuticals as the answer.† Whether or not college students at Northeastern and across the country will heed such advice remains to be seen. But as it stands the use of Adderall without a prescription continues, and it seems unlikely to go away as long as students continue to find their desired results. Recreational experimentation with drugs and alcohol are commonplace and are part of the maturing process that is college, but such experimentation for the means of academic success is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that promises to gain more momentum as long as â€Å"academic steroids† like Adderall continue to make its way into thecollege campus culture. Adderall: A Growing Trend Among College Students Essay -- Documentary Adderall: A Growing Trend Among College Students Brian,* a 20-year-old Northeastern University student, carefully lays out his â€Å"stash† of blue pills on a table one Sunday evening. As he organizes them into groups according to size and dosage, he mentally runs through his class work and assignments for the week. â€Å"A physics quiz on Tuesday,† he says, eyes still fixed on the dozen or so blue pills on the table. â€Å"A calc test on Friday and a lab due on Thursday.† Brian sinks back into his chair with a sigh of defeated enthusiasm. A weekend full of late night socialization and early afternoon wake up calls has finally given way to the harsh realization of an intense week of school work. As Brian prepares for Monday morning to rear its ugly head, he is comforted by the sight of those tiny blue pills laid out delicately on his table. This, he explains, will sustain him through the hellacious school week ahead of him, and provide him with the motivation and concentration he needs to get his work done. â€Å"I’d be much more stressed out if I didn’t have these,† he says. â€Å"It’ll make the week go by a little easier. That’s not to say it won’t be brutal though.† Those tiny blue pills laid out on Brian’s table are the prescription drug Adderall. Manufactured by the British based pharmaceutical company Shire, Inc., Adderall has become the leading medication prescribed for those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The National Institute of Mental Health describes ADHD as, â€Å"one of the most common of the psychiatric disorders that appear in childhood in which an individual can’t stay focused on a task, can’t sit still, acts without thinking, and rarely finishes anything†. If left untreated, the effects of ADHD... ...y guess is that it is more of a psychological habit. I think the best approach would be to challenge students to find a different approach to dealing with stress and increasing workloads, and not to turn to pharmaceuticals as the answer.† Whether or not college students at Northeastern and across the country will heed such advice remains to be seen. But as it stands the use of Adderall without a prescription continues, and it seems unlikely to go away as long as students continue to find their desired results. Recreational experimentation with drugs and alcohol are commonplace and are part of the maturing process that is college, but such experimentation for the means of academic success is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that promises to gain more momentum as long as â€Å"academic steroids† like Adderall continue to make its way into thecollege campus culture.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Maya Essay -- essays research papers fc

The Maya were a dominating society of Mesoamerica, rich in culture, community, and art. While life may not be completely interpretable yet, much in known about how these societies were constructed, and how their religion dominated their lives. Much is generally made of their massive stonework, their ceremonial complexes, and ritual sacrifices, but their small jade, ceramic, and stone sculpture deserves as much attention as the works of much larger size have received.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Maya, inhabiting southern Mexico, Guatemala, and northern Belize, began to settle in communities around 1500 b.c. By A.D. 200, these communities had grown into large cities with expansive areas of temples, pyramids, ball courts, and plazas.1   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Pre classic Maya sculpture developed under the geographic expansion of the inhabitants into a variety of ecosystems, inspiring technical and artistic change. The highland inhabitants may have been earlier in initiating stone sculpture.2 Figure 8, an anthropomorphic mushroom figure found in Guatemala may have been a symbol of fertility, judging by its shape’s connotation. Other regional sculpture includes figurines with swollen bellies, accentuated sexual regions, and even pregnant animal depictions. This could be because of the association of maternity and fertility with nature and Mother Earth.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Classic Period of the Maya began to develop around A.D. 250 and flourished through A.D. 900. Around that time was the start of the Post Classic Period, which was conquered by the Spanish in the early 16th century.3 The information about the classification of these cultures is not strong in that it may be considered inappropriate to call certain periods Classic, Pre Classic, Post Classic, etc. because the rise and fall of Mayan cities was an overlapping sensation, and the establishment of a certain style would appear at many different times throughout the domination of the culture. For classification of the purposes of this paper, however, the division of the culture is used.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Small Mayan sculpture has been discovered at a variety of locations. An Early Classic jade piece, 4 1/4† tall, of the Bird-Monster God (fig. 9), was found at Copan, Honduras. This tiny, sculpted piece of a deity features human hands and feet, with the figure seated cro... ...assic Maya Art and   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Architecture.† In The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes, ed.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Richard F. Townsend, 159-169. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago,   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  1992. Miller, Mary Ellen. The Art of Mesoamerica from Olmec to Aztec, 2nd ed.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  London: Thames and Hudson, 1996. Reilly III, F. Kent. â€Å"Art, Ritual, and Rulership in the Olmec World.† In The   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica, eds. Michael E. Smith and Marilyn   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  A. Masson, 369-399. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. Valdes, Juan Antonio. â€Å"The Beginnings of Preclassic Maya Art and   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Architecture.† In The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes, ed.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Richard F. Townsend, 147-57. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago,   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  1992. The Maya Essay -- essays research papers fc The Maya were a dominating society of Mesoamerica, rich in culture, community, and art. While life may not be completely interpretable yet, much in known about how these societies were constructed, and how their religion dominated their lives. Much is generally made of their massive stonework, their ceremonial complexes, and ritual sacrifices, but their small jade, ceramic, and stone sculpture deserves as much attention as the works of much larger size have received.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Maya, inhabiting southern Mexico, Guatemala, and northern Belize, began to settle in communities around 1500 b.c. By A.D. 200, these communities had grown into large cities with expansive areas of temples, pyramids, ball courts, and plazas.1   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Pre classic Maya sculpture developed under the geographic expansion of the inhabitants into a variety of ecosystems, inspiring technical and artistic change. The highland inhabitants may have been earlier in initiating stone sculpture.2 Figure 8, an anthropomorphic mushroom figure found in Guatemala may have been a symbol of fertility, judging by its shape’s connotation. Other regional sculpture includes figurines with swollen bellies, accentuated sexual regions, and even pregnant animal depictions. This could be because of the association of maternity and fertility with nature and Mother Earth.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Classic Period of the Maya began to develop around A.D. 250 and flourished through A.D. 900. Around that time was the start of the Post Classic Period, which was conquered by the Spanish in the early 16th century.3 The information about the classification of these cultures is not strong in that it may be considered inappropriate to call certain periods Classic, Pre Classic, Post Classic, etc. because the rise and fall of Mayan cities was an overlapping sensation, and the establishment of a certain style would appear at many different times throughout the domination of the culture. For classification of the purposes of this paper, however, the division of the culture is used.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Small Mayan sculpture has been discovered at a variety of locations. An Early Classic jade piece, 4 1/4† tall, of the Bird-Monster God (fig. 9), was found at Copan, Honduras. This tiny, sculpted piece of a deity features human hands and feet, with the figure seated cro... ...assic Maya Art and   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Architecture.† In The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes, ed.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Richard F. Townsend, 159-169. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago,   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  1992. Miller, Mary Ellen. The Art of Mesoamerica from Olmec to Aztec, 2nd ed.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  London: Thames and Hudson, 1996. Reilly III, F. Kent. â€Å"Art, Ritual, and Rulership in the Olmec World.† In The   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica, eds. Michael E. Smith and Marilyn   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  A. Masson, 369-399. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. Valdes, Juan Antonio. â€Å"The Beginnings of Preclassic Maya Art and   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Architecture.† In The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes, ed.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Richard F. Townsend, 147-57. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago,   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  1992.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Arnica: Water and Bottle Essay

Method: Pour 100ml Olive oil into a bottle and mix it with 20ml Arnica Q. Shake the bottle and the Arnica will form an emulsion with the Olive Oil. Wet the finger tips with the emulsion and part your hair and apply the oil on the roots of the hair and spend some time in massaging it into the scalp which should show an oily shine. This is done daily for best results after a shower. Make a Wet dose of Arnica 30 as follows: Order Arnica 30c in a 5ml in the Liquid Dilution in Ethanol in a bottle with a dropper arrangement. Get a 500ml bottle of Spring Water from the nearest supermarket. Pour out about 3cm of water from the bottle to leave some airspace. Insert 3 drops of the remedy into the bottle and shake the bottle hard before you take a capfull which is a dose twice daily. This is best taken first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. Shaking the bottle hard is homeopathic succussion and this shaking must be done every time before a capful of the bottle is sipped as directed. Take a capsule of the Fish Liver Oil daily. Avoid harsh shampoos. Use Johnsons Baby Shampoo instead. Avoid Coffee, preserved meats like sausages, ham and bacon, and all canned cola beverages as they antidote the therapy. Drink plenty of water and exercise daily for at least 45 minutes like walking or jogging depending on your age. The idea is to sweat it out. This is essential to promote the circulation of blood in the body which Arnica will help to promote. Patients who suffered from severe hair loss who were losing over 200 hairs daily have confirmed that they discovered in about a week that the loss of their hair had been arrested. They also noticed that the new growth was plainly visible above their scalp when their hair was parted in about 6 weeks. In my case I still have a good head of grey hair at age 82 although it has thinned down to about half the hair I had 40 years ago.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Natural Law does not provide an adequate basis for morality Essay

In this essay, the arguments made will help to consider whether or not if Natural Law does provide an adequate basis for morality or not. The arguments will look into Aquinas theory and if his beliefs provide a sense of morality for all humans. Natural Law is a moral theory which maintains that law should be based on morality and ethics. Natural Law holds that the law is based on what’s correct. Natural Law is discovered by humans through the use of reason and choosing between good and evil. It finds power in discovering certain universal standards in morality and ethics. The strengths that are found in Natural Law are the strengths of an absolutist deontological view of morality. It allows people to follow common rules so they can then structure communities. Natural Law provides justification and support for certain core ideas which are popular in modern times, for example human rights and equality. Natural Law provides a clear moral basis for Christians to follow, example would be, the primary precepts to ‘defend life’ which provides a moral rule to help people to understand that all life is sacred and we should defend all life. We are also able to us our reason in order to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong, it allows us to use our reason to fulfil our purpose as humans. A key argument that would be made is that not all people share the same life purposes; everyone wants to get something different out of life, fulfilling their own life purposes. Not all people â€Å"find love in the same way; some find love and purpose in life through the expression of their sexuality† (Robert Bowie). Aquinas did not consider that every human thinks and feels differently, to make his theory relatable to all humans. Human beings have their own minds; the whole person should be the decision maker and follow what makes them happy. Homosexual men and women argue the fact that they are not recognized as normal human beings. Aquinas believed that their actions should not be seen as normal human action but as unnatural because to him, they cannot lead normal lives like straight men and women simple because they cannot reproduce and that Aquinas believed that â€Å"as a human being must preserve the species every discharge of semen should be associated with life generation†(Robert Bowie). But it is not vital for ever discharge of semen should be producing a new life to maintain human life. Aquinas doesn’t consider how are functions effect are emotions, how they link to our emotions and thoughts. Natural Law has been argued to whether or not there is a common natural law that is apparent and self- evident, and also whether or not it can be right for each human and if every day life can be deduced from the fundamental laws e. g. primary precepts. Kai Neilson went against Aquinas theory, Neilson argued Aquinas beliefs in a basis human nature which is presented to all different cultures. Sciences view of an essential human nature is that it does not exist and that it’s not what makes a man a man. Human nature is seen as a vague cultural concept, is has never been scientifically proven so we cannot be sure if it actually does exist. ‘The challenge is that an essential human nature isn’t as obviously self-evident as Aquinas claims’ (Robert Bowie). In some ways, some forms of Natural Law could perhaps exist just not in the way Aquinas indented. He believed to use the genitals for other reason presides reproducing, was immoral. The human body and emotions works in different ways and it is not necessary that semen has to produce a new life every time. Aquinas believes that sex before marriage is wrong, and that in order for a couple to have sex they must have the intensions of spending the rest of their lives together. For a couple’s relationship to grow strong or maintain strong, by creating a sexual relationship, the couple’s relationship may benefit from this action. â€Å"Sexual activity isn’t only found in the genitalia’s’ (Robert Bowie). In today’s society the human physique is seen as one psycho-physical whole, it is no longer seen as the fragment requirements of parts which Aquinas had believed. Aquinas how a couple may need a sexual relationship for their feelings to mature. Times have changed since Aquinas’s theory, people within a relationship no longer wait until their married some even have children out of wedlock but are in stable relationship even if it’s with another person who is not their child’s parent. Homosexual relationships are no longer thrown upon and homosexual couples can now get married in church in front of God. Aquinas theory does no longer fit into today’s society simple because the new generations have grown up being taught differently. The programs that are now shown on TV for children and teens to watch have sent out a messages showing sense such as ’16 and pregnant’ that go against Aquinas beliefs. Aquinas Natural Moral Law is a Christian ethic but Jesus confronted legalistic morality in the New Testament. Natural moral law is similar to Pharisaic law and some debate that Jesus went against this approach. Some Christians have demanded that morality should be based on the individual rather than the types of acts that have been committed. Writer, Kevin T Kelly, pointed out two types of Christian morality, one ‘that is centred on acts’ and then another which is ‘centred on the dignity of the human person’ (Robert Bowie), separating the person from the act. Although natural law has its down sides there are some arguments that provide a basis for morality. Natural moral law provides a set of rules which people do follow to fulfil a moral life. The strengths that natural moral law provides are the strengths of an absolutist deontological view of morality; the rules that apply bring a structure to communities. Some religious believers use Natural law as a comfort blanket; it could be seen as something to rely on to help guide them to a moral way of life, Natural moral law gives a reason to be moral, â€Å"It gives guidance on day to day questions† (Robert Bowie). Natural law, although guides people in the way they live, is not a set of rules but a form of living a chose on how to achieve a person’s purpose and happiness. It provides us humans with a complete system of moral living. Natural moral law supports certain ideas in modern times for example human rights and equality. Humans are capable of discerning the difference between good and evil because they have a conscience. There are many manifestations of the good that we can pursue. Some, like procreation, are common to other nimals, and others, like the pursuit of truth, are inclinations peculiar to the capacities of human beings. Some contemporary Catholic theologians, like John Wijngaards, dispute the Magisterium’s interpretation of Natural Law as applied to specific points of sexual ethics, such as in the areas of contraceptives and homosexual unions. Natural moral goes against taking of a human’s life, â€Å"thou shall not kill† (Jesus) natural law follows this, the 5 primary precepts state that you should perverse all life, since life is a gift and all humans should find happiness and morality within their lifespan. Although Natural law does provide a framework for humans to be guided it also forgets to include the other types of cultures. Natural law was made for Christians which means that the rules and morals have been made to fit only Christian teachings, so it’s not suitable for all humans to follow and if not all human beings can follow it, then not all humans are gaining a basis for morality. Aquinas theory is seen as being out of date, with the new generation growing up in a world where sex before marriage doesn’t apply, his belief that no semen should be wasted and that it is unmoral to use the genitals for other reason besides reproducing is no longer seen as wrong but in some cases seen as sharing love between partners also homosexuality is no longer seen as a sin in some societies.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Epistemology †Empiricism Essay

Principles like those Parmenides assumed are said in contemporary jargon to be a priori principles, or principles of reason, which just means that they are known prior to experience. It is not that we learn these principles first chronologically but rather that our knowledge of them does not depend on our senses. For example, consider the principle â€Å"You can’t make something out of nothing. † If you wished to defend this principle, would you proceed by conducting an experiment in which you tried to make something out of nothing? In fact, you would not. You would base your defense on our inability to conceive of ever making  something out of nothing Everything we know originates from four sources. The first, our senses, can be thought of as our primary source of information. Two other sources, reason and intuition, are derivative in the sense that they produce new facts from data already supplied to our minds. The fourth source, authority (or â€Å"hearsay,† or â€Å"testimony† of others), is by nature secondary, and secondhand fact-claims are always more wiggly and difficult to validate. Other sources of knowledge are commonly claimed, and it is not inconceivable that there might exist other sources; but if they do exist,  knowledge derived from them is problematic, and careful analysis usually finds that they can be subsumed under one or more of the four known sources and must be seriously questioned as legitimate, separate sources of reliable information. In summary, what is the nature of our knowledge about the real world of objects/events? Our knowledge of reality is composed of ideas our minds have created on the basis of our sensory experience. It is a fabric of knowledge woven by the mind. Knowledge is not given to the mind; nothing is â€Å"poured† into it. Rather, the mind manufactures perceptions, concepts, ideas, beliefs, and so forth and holds  them as working hypotheses about external reality. Every idea is a (subjective) working model that enables us to handle real objects/events with some degree of pragmatic efficiency. However persuasive our thoughts and images may be, they are only remote representations of reality; they are tools that enable us to deal with reality. It is as though we draw nondimensional maps to help us understand four-dimensional territory. The semanticists have long reminded us to beware of confusing any sort of map with the real landscape. â€Å"The map,† they say, â€Å"is not the territory. † An abstraction, by definition, is an idea created by the mind to refer to all objects which, possessing certain characteristics in common, are thought of in the same class. The number of objects in the class can range from two to infinity. We can refer to all men, all hurricanes, all books, all energy-forms—all everything. While abstraction-building is an inescapable mental process—in fact it is the first step in the organization of our knowledge of objects/events—a serious problem is inherent in the process. At high levels of abstraction we tend to group together objects that have but a few qualities in common, and our abstractions  may be almost meaningless, without our knowing it. We fall into the habit of using familiar abstractions and fail to realize how empty they are. For example, what do the objects in the following abstractions have in common? All atheists, all Western imperialists, all blacks or all whites (and if you think it’s skin color, think twice), all conservatives, all trees, all French people, all Christians. When we think in such high-level abstractions, it is often the case that we are communicating nothing meaningful at all. â€Å"The individual object or event we are naming, of course, has no name and belongs  to no class until we put it in one. † Going as far back as Plato, philosophers have traditionally defined knowledge as true justified belief. A priori knowledge is knowledge that is justified independently of (or prior to) experience. What kinds of knowledge could be justified without any appeal to experience? Certainly, we can know the truth of definitions and logical truths apart from experience. Hence, definitions and logically necessary truths are examples of a priori knowledge. For example, â€Å"All unicorns are one-horned creatures† is true by definition. Similarly, the following  statement is a sure bet: â€Å"Either my university’s football team will win their next game or they won’t. † Even if they tie or the game is canceled, this would fulfill the â€Å"they won’t win† part of the prediction. Hence, this statement expresses a logically necessary truth about the football team. These two statements are cases of a priori knowledge. Notice that in the particular examples of a priori knowledge I have chosen, they do not give us any real, factual information about the world. Even though the statement about unicorns is true, it does not tell us whether there are any unicorns in the world. Similarly, the football prediction does not tell us the actual outcome of the game. Experience of the world is required to know these things. The second kind of knowledge is a posteriori knowledge, or knowledge that is based on (or posterior to) experience. Similarly, the adjective empirical refers to anything that is based on experience. Any claims based on experience purport to add new information to the subject. Hence, â€Å"Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit† and â€Å"Tadpoles become frogs† would be examples of a posteriori knowledge. We know the freezing point of water and the life cycle of tadpoles through experience. Thus far, most philosophers would agree on these points. The difficult question now arises: Is there any a priori knowledge that does give us knowledge about the real world? What would that be like? It would be knowledge expressible in a statement such that (a) its truth is not determined solely by the meaning of its terms and (b) it does provide information about the way the world is. Furthermore, since it is a priori, it would be knowledge that we could justify through reason, independently of experience. The question, then, is whether or not reason alone can tell us about the ultimate nature of reality. 1. Is it possible to have knowledge at all? 2. Does reason provide us with knowledge of the world independently of experience? 3. Does our knowledge represent reality as it really is? Rationalism claims that reason or the intellect is the primary source of our fundamental knowledge about reality. Nonrationalists agree that we can use reason to draw conclusions from the information provided by sense experience. However, what distinguishes the rationalists is that they claim that reason can give us knowledge apart from experience. For example, the rationalists point out that we can arrive at mathematical truths about circles  or triangles without having to measure, experiment with, or experience circular or triangular objects. We do so by constructing rational, deductive proofs that lead to absolutely indubitable conclusions that are always universally true of the world outside our minds (a priori knowledge about the world). Obviously, the rationalists think the second question should be answered affirmatively. Empiricism is the claim that sense experience is the sole source of our knowledge about the world. Empiricists insist that when we start life, the original equipment of our intellect is a tabula rasa, or blank tablet. Only through experience does that empty mind become filled with content. Various empiricists give different explanations of the nature of logical and mathematical truths. They are all agreed, however, that these truths are not already latent in the mind before we discover them and that there is no genuine a priori knowledge about the nature of reality. The empiricists would respond â€Å"No! † to the second epistemological question. With respect to question 3, both the rationalists and the empiricists think that our knowledge does represent reality as it really is. Constructivism is used in this discussion to refer to the claim that knowledge is neither already in the mind nor passively received from experience, but that the mind constructs knowledge out of the materials of experience. Immanuel Kant, an 18th-century German philosopher, introduced this view. He was influenced by both the rationalists and the empiricists and attempted to reach a compromise between them. While Kant did not agree with the rationalists on everything, he did believe we can have a priori knowledge of the world as we experience it. Although Kant did not use this label, I call his position constructivism  to capture his distinctive account of knowledge. One troubling consequence of his view was that because the mind imposes its own order on experience, we can never know reality as it is in itself. We can only know reality as it appears to us after it has been filtered and processed by our minds. Hence, Kant answers question 3 negatively. Nevertheless, because Kant thought our minds all have the same cognitive structure, he thought we are able to arrive at universal and objective knowledge within the boundaries of the human situation. Before reading further, look at the highway picture for an example of a classic  experiment in perception. Did you get the right answer, or were your eyes fooled? One way that skeptics attack knowledge claims is to point to all the ways in which we have been deceived by illusions. Our experience with perceptual illusions shows that in the past we have been mistaken about what we thought we knew. These mistakes lead, the skeptic claims, to the conclusion that we can never be certain about our beliefs, from which it follows that our beliefs are not justified. Another, similar strategy of the skeptic is to point to the possibility that our apprehension of reality could be systematically flawed in some way. The story of Ludwig, the brain in the vat who experienced a false virtual reality, would be an example of this strategy. Another strategy is to suppose that there is an inherent flaw in human psychology such that our beliefs never correspond to reality. I call these possible scenarios universal belief falsifiers. The characteristics of a universal belief falsifier are (1) it is a theoretically possible state of affairs, (2) we have no way of knowing if this state of affairs is actual or not, and (3) if this state of affairs is actual, we would never be able to distinguish beliefs that are true  from beliefs that seem to be true but are actually false. Note that the skeptic does not need to prove that these possibilities are actual. For example, the skeptic does not have to establish that we really are brains in a vat, but merely that this condition is possible. Furthermore, the skeptic need not claim that all our beliefs are false. The skeptic’s point is simply that we have no fail-safe method for determining when our beliefs are true or false. Given this circumstance, the skeptic will argue that we cannot distinguish the situation of having evidence that leads to true beliefs from the situation of having the same sort of evidence  plus a universal belief falsifier, which leads to false beliefs. Obviously, the skeptic believes that nothing is beyond doubt. For any one of our beliefs, we can imagine a set of circumstances in which it would be false. For example, I believe I was born in Rahway, New Jersey. However, my birth certificate could be inaccurate. Furthermore, for whatever reasons, my parents may have wished to keep the truth from me. I will never know for sure. I also believe that there is overwhelming evidence that Adolf Hitler committed suicide at the close of World War II. However, it could be true (as conspiracy theorists maintain) that his death was faked and that he lived a long life in South America after the war. The theme of the skeptic is that certainty is necessary for there to be knowledge, and if doubt is possible, then we do not have certainty. We now have the considerations in place that the skeptic uses to make his or her case. There are many varieties of skeptical arguments, each one exploiting some possible flaw in either human cognition or the alleged evidence we use to justify our beliefs. Instead of presenting various specific arguments, we can consider a â€Å"generic skeptical argument. † Generic Skeptical Argument 1. We can find reasons for doubting any one of our beliefs. 2. It follows that we can doubt all our beliefs. 3. If we can doubt all our beliefs, then we cannot be certain of any of them. 4. If we do not have certainty about any of our beliefs, then we do not have knowledge. 5. Therefore, we do not have knowledge. Pyrrho of Elis (360–270 B. C. ), a philosopher in ancient Greece, inspired a skeptical movement that bore his name (Pyrrhonian skepticism). Pyrrho was skeptical concerning sense experience. He argued that for experience to be a source of knowledge, our sense data  must agree with reality. But it is impossible to jump outside our experience to see how it compares with the external world. So, we can never know whether our experience is giving us accurate information about reality. Furthermore, rational argument cannot give us knowledge either, Pyrrho said, because for every argument supporting one side of an issue, another argument can be constructed to prove the opposing case. Hence, the two arguments cancel each other out and they are equally ineffective in leading us to the truth. The followers of Pyrrho stressed that we can make claims only about how things appear to us. You can say, â€Å"The honey appears to me to be sweet† but not, â€Å"The honey is sweet. † The best approach, according to these skeptics, was to suspend judgment whenever possible and make no assumptions at all. They believed that skeptical detachment would lead to serenity. â€Å"Don’t worry about what you cannot know,† they advised. Some skeptics distilled these arguments down into two simple theses. First, nothing is self-evident, for any axiom we start with can be doubted. Second, nothing can be proven, for either we will have an infinite regress of reasons that support our previous  reasons or we will end up assuming what we are trying to prove. Descartes began his quest for knowledge with the assumption that if he had rational certainty concerning his beliefs, he necessarily had knowledge, and if he did not have certainty, he did not have knowledge. The skeptics who came after Descartes agreed with this assumption. However, as we will see in the next section, Descartes argues that there are a number of things of which we can be certain and, hence, we do have knowledge. On the other hand, the skeptics doubt whether Descartes or anyone can achieve such certainty. Lacking any grounds for certainty, the skeptics claim we cannot have knowledge about the real world. Thus, the skeptics think that Descartes’s arguments for skepticism are stronger than his proposed answers. Such a philosopher was David Hume, whom we will encounter later when we examine empir EXAMINING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF SKEPTICISM Positive Evaluation 1. Weeding a garden is not sufficient to make flowers grow, but it does do something valuable. In what way could the skeptics be viewed as providing a â€Å"philosophical weeding service† by undercutting beliefs that are naively taken for granted? 2. The skeptics are unsettling because they force us to reexamine our most fundamental beliefs. Is it better to live in naive innocence, never questioning anything, or is it sometimes worthwhile to have your beliefs challenged? Negative Evaluation 1. The skeptics make the following claim: â€Å"Knowledge is impossible. † But isn’t this claim itself a knowledge claim that they declare is true? Is the skeptic being inconsistent? 2. The skeptics use the argument from illusion to show that we cannot trust our senses. But could we ever know that there are illusions or that sometimes our senses are deceived  unless there were occasions when our senses weren’t deceived? 3. Some skeptics would have us believe that it is possible that all our beliefs are false. But would the human race have survived if there was never a correspondence between some of our beliefs and the way reality is constituted? We believe that fire burns, water quenches thirst, vegetables nourish us, and eating sand doesn’t. If we didn’t have some sort of built-in mechanism orienting us toward true beliefs, how could we be as successful as we are in dealing with reality? 4. Is skepticism liveable? Try yelling to someone who claims to be a skeptic, â€Å"Watch out  for that falling tree limb! † Why is it that a skeptic will always look up? Think of other ways in which skeptics might demonstrate that they do believe they can find out what is true or false about the world. 5. Is Descartes’s demand for absolute certainty unreasonable? Can’t we have justified beliefs based on inferences to the best explanation, probability, or practical certainty? Does certainty have to be either 100 percent or 0 percent? The answer is that our reason tells us that â€Å"something cannot come from nothing† and â€Å"material objects do not vanish into thin air. † We will distrust our senses before  we will abandon these beliefs. Hence, our reason seems to have veto power over our sense experience. We often trust our reason even in the face of apparently solid, experiential evidence. The rationalists raise this trust in reason into a full-fledged theory of knowledge. Rationalism is a very influential theory about the source and nature of knowledge. This position may be summarized in terms of the three anchor points of rationalism. These three points are responses to the second question of epistemology, Does reason provide us with knowledge of the world independently of experience? Reason Is the Primary or Most Superior Source of Knowledge about Reality According to the rationalist, it is through reason that we truly understand the fundamental truths about reality. For example, most rationalists would say the truths in the following lists are some very basic truths about the world that will never change. Although our experience certainly does illustrate most of these beliefs, our experiences always consist of par-ticular, concrete events. Hence, no experiences of seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, or touching specific objects can tell us that these statements will always be true for every  future event we encounter. The rationalist claims that the following statements represent a priori truths about the world. They are a priori because they can be known apart from experience, yet they tell us what the world is like. LOGICAL TRUTHS A and not-A cannot both be true at the same time (where A represents some proposition or claim). This truth is called the law of noncontradiction. (For example, the statement â€Å"John is married and John is not married† is necessarily false. ) If the statement X is true and the statement â€Å"If X, then Y† is true, then it necessarily follows that the statement Y is true. MATHEMATICAL TRUTHS The area of a triangle will always be one-half the length of the base times its height. If X is larger than Y and Y is larger than Z, then X is larger than Z. METAPHYSICAL TRUTHS Every event has a cause. An object with contradictory properties cannot exist. (No matter how long we search, we will never find a round square. ) ETHICAL PRINCIPLES Some basic moral obligations are not optional. It is morally wrong to maliciously torture someone for the fun of it. Sense Experience Is an Unreliable and Inadequate Route to Knowledge Rationalists typically emphasize the fact that sense experience is relative, changing, and often illusory. An object will look one way in artificial light and will look different in sunlight. Our eyes seem to see water on the road on a hot day, but the image is merely an optical illusion. The rationalist claims that we need our reason to sort out what is appearance from what is reality. Although it is obvious that a rationalist could not get through life without some reliance on sense experience, the rationalist denies that sense experience is the only source of knowledge about reality. Furthermore, experience can tell us only about particular things in the world. However, it cannot give us universal, foundational truths  about reality. Sensory experience can tell me about the properties of this ball, but it cannot tell me about the properties of spheres in general. Experience can tell me that when I combine these two oranges with those two oranges, they add up to four oranges. However, only reason can tell me that two plus two will always equal four and that this result will be true not only for these oranges, or all oranges, but for anything whatsoever. The Fundamental Truths about the World Can Be Known A Priori: They Are Either Innate or Self-Evident to Our Minds Innate ideas are ideas that are inborn. They are ideas or principles that the mind already contains prior to experience. The notion of innate ideas is commonly found in rationalistic philosophies, but it is rejected by the empiricists. The theory of innate ideas views the mind like a computer that comes from the factory with numerous programs already loaded on its disk, waiting to be activated. Hence, rationalists say that such ideas as the laws of logic, the concept of justice, or the idea of God are already contained deep within the mind and only need to be brought to the level of conscious awareness. Innate ideas should not be confused with instinct. Instinct is a noncognitive set of mechanical behaviors, such as blinking the eyes when an object approaches them. The theory of innate ideas is one account of how we can have a priori knowledge. Other rationalists believe that if the mind does not already contain these ideas, they are, at least, either self-evident or natural to the mind and the mind has a natural predisposition to recognize them. For example, Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716), a German rationalist, compared the mind to a block of marble that contains veins or natural splitting points that allow only one sort of shape to be formed within it. Thus, the mind, like the marble, has an innate structure that results in â€Å"inclinations, dispositions, habits, or natural capacities† to think in certain ways. In contrast to this view, John Locke (a British empiricist) said: â€Å"There is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses. † In response, Leibniz tagged the following rationalistic qualification at the end of Locke’s formula, â€Å"except for the intellect itself. † Obviously, in saying that the mind contains rational ideas or dispositions, the rationalists do not believe a baby is thinking about the theorems of geometry. Instead, they claim  that when a person achieves a certain level of cognitive development, he or she will be capable of realizing the self-evident truth of certain ideas. Leibniz pointed out that there is a difference between the mind containing rational principles and being aware of them. Rationalists give different accounts of how the mind acquired innate ideas in the first place. Socrates and Plato believed that our souls preexisted our current life and received knowledge from a previous form of existence. Theistic rationalists, such as Descartes, tend to believe that God implanted these ideas within us. Others simply claim that these principles or ideas naturally accompany rational minds such as ours. THE RATIONALISTS’ ANSWERS TO THE THREE EPISTEMOLOGICAL QUESTIONS Section 2. 0 contained three questions concerning knowledge: (1) Is knowledge possible? (2) Does reason provide us with knowledge of the world independently of experience? and (3) Does our knowledge represent reality as it really is? While differing on the details, all the rationalists give the same answers to these three questions. First, they all believe that knowledge is possible. Generally, we are able to discern that some opinions are better than others. For example, in the discipline of mathematics some answers are true and some are false. We could not know this fact if obtaining knowledge was impossible. Second, the rationalists agree that only through reason can we find an adequate basis for knowledge. For example, in mathematics and logic we are able through reason alone to arrive at truths that are absolutely certain and necessarily true. Third, rationalists agree that beliefs that are based on reason do represent reality as it truly is. In the following sections, I examine three classical rationalists to see how they illustrate the three anchor points of rationalism and  answer the three epistemological questions. Socrates’ answers to the three epistemological questions should be clear. (1) We are able to distinguish true opinions from false ones, so we must know the standards for making this distinction. (2) These standards could not be derived from experience so they must be unpacked through a rational investigation of the reservoir of all truth—the soul. (3) Since our rational knowledge provides us with information that enables us to deal successfully with the world and our own lives, it must be giving us an accurate picture of reality. However, according to Plato, since the  physical world is constantly changing, sense perception gives us only relative and temporary information about changing, particular things. Being a typical rationalist, Plato thought that ultimate knowledge must be objective, unchanging, and universal. Furthermore, he argued that there is a difference between true opinions and knowledge, for our beliefs must be rationally justified to qualify as knowledge. Finally, Plato believed that the object of knowledge must be something that really exists. Plato and the Role of Reason Do mathematical truths, such as those in the multiplication tables, exist within the mind  or do they exist outside the mind? Plato would say both. If mathematical truths exist only in the mind, then why does physical reality conform to these truths? If mathematical truths are only mind-dependent ideas, then why can’t we make the truths about triangles be anything we decide them to be? The world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was created in the mind of Lewis Carroll. He could have made the world’s properties be anything he decided. But obviously, we can’t make up such rules for the properties of numbers. We don’t create these truths; we discover them. Thus, Plato would argue, these truths are objective and independent of our minds. But if they are independent of our minds, then they must refer to something that exists in reality. Although the number seven, for example, has objective properties that we discover, these properties are not physical. We do not learn the truths about numbers by seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling, or touching them. From this concept, Plato concludes that the world of mathematics consists of a set of objective, mindindependent truths and a domain of nonphysical reality that we know only through reason. What about justice? What color is it? How tall is it? How much does it weigh? Clearly, these questions can apply to physical things, but it is meaningless to describe justice in terms of observable properties. Furthermore, no society is perfectly just. Hence, we have never seen an example of perfect justice in human history, only frail, human attempts to approximate it. Because reason can contemplate Justice Itself,* we can evaluate the deficient, limited degrees of justice found in particular societies. Particular nations come and go and the degree of justice they manifest can rise or fall. But the objects of genuine knowledge  Ã‚  such as true Justice or true Circularity are eternal and unchanging standards and objects of knowledge. Plato on Universals and the Knowledge of Reality Thus far, Plato has argued that there are some things that we could not know about (Justice, Goodness, Equality) if experience was our only source of knowledge. The soul must have somehow acquired knowledge independently of the senses. But what, exactly, are the objects of this special sort of knowledge? In answering this question, Plato builds on the distinction he has made between the here-and-now realm of sense experience and the unchanging realm of rational knowledge. He says that in the world of sense experience we find that particulars fall into a number of stable, universal categories. Without these categories, we could not identify anything or talk about particulars at all. For example, Tom, Andre, Maria, and Lakatria are all distinct individuals, yet we can use the universal term human being to refer to each of them. In spite of their differences, something about them is the same. Corresponding to each common name (such as â€Å"human,† â€Å"dog,† â€Å"justice†) is a Universal that consists of the essential, common properties of anything within that category. Circular objects (coins, rings, wreathes, planetary orbits) all have the Universal of Circularity in common. Particular objects that are beautiful (roses, seashells, persons, sunsets, paintings) all share the Universal of Beauty. Particulars come into being, change, and pass away but Universals reside in an eternal, unchanging world. The rose grows from a bud, becomes a beautiful flower, and then turns brown and ugly and fades away. Yet the Universal of Beauty (or Beauty Itself ) remains eternally the same. Plato believes that Universals are more than concepts, they are actually the constituents  of reality. Hence, in answer to the third epistemological question, Plato believes that knowledge of Universals provides us with knowledge of the fundamental features of reality, which are nonphysical, eternal, and unchanging. Plato also refers to these Universals as â€Å"Forms. † The following thought experiment will help you appreciate Plato’s emphasis on Universals and universal truth. Descartes on the Possibility of Knowledge Although Descartes was certain he could not be deceived about his own existence, the possibility of a Great Deceiver cast a shadow over all his other beliefs. Unless he could find something external to his mind that would guarantee that the contents of his mind represented reality, there was little hope for having any knowledge other than that of his own existence. Descartes sought this guarantee in an all-powerful, good God. Hence, Descartes says, â€Å"As soon as the opportunity arises I must examine whether there is a God, and, if there is, whether he can be a deceiver. For if I do not know this, it seems that I can never be quite certain about anything else. †12 If Descartes could prove that such a God exists, then he could know that knowledge is possible. But notice how limited are the materials Descartes has at his disposal for proving God’s existence. He cannot employ an empirical argument based on the nature of the external world, for that is an issue that is still in doubt. So, he must construct a rationalistic argument that reasons only from the contents of his own mind. STOP AND THINK Descartes on the Role of Reason In the following passage from Meditation III, Descartes says the â€Å"natural light of reason† shows him that (1) something cannot arise from nothing and (2) there must be at least as much reality in the cause as there is in the effect. †¢ What examples does he use to illustrate each of these principles? †¢ How does he apply these two principles to the existence of his own ideas? The argument that Descartes has given us in the previous passages can be summarized in this way: 1. Something cannot be derived from nothing. (In other words, all effects, including ideas, are caused by something. ) 2. There must be at least as much reality in the cause as there is in the effect. 3. I have an idea of God (as an infinite and perfect being). 4. The idea of God in my mind is an effect that was caused by something. 5. I am finite and imperfect, and thus I could not be the cause of the idea of an infinite and perfect God. 6. Only an infinite and perfect being could be the cause of such an idea. 7. Therefore, God (an infinite and perfect being) exists. THE THREE ANCHOR POINTS OF EMPIRICISM The Only Source of Genuine Knowledge Is Sense Experience The empiricists compare the mind to a blank tablet upon which experience makes its marks. Without experience, they claim, we would lack not only knowledge of the specific features of the world, but also the ability even to con.