Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog 4: The Allegory of the Cave

In Plato's "Allegory of the Cave", Socrates discusses with his disciple Glaucon how most people spend their lives in the cave of ignorance, and explains what happens when someone manages to get out of it to see the light of wisdom; at first it will be really painful for him getting used to seeing this light but, eventually he will realize that it is so much better than living in the darkness seeing nothing but shadows, and would feel the need to go back to the cave to share his experiences with the people that remain there, unfortunately he is misunderstood . The other prisoners say that he came back down without his eyes because he is not able to measure the shadows anymore (even though he doesn't care about this kind of  frivolous honors because he has seen better things) they think that it's not even worth it to think about ascending, and decide that if someone else tries to free another prisoner to lead him up to the light, they will catch and kill the "offender". 

Socrates also cites Homer in order to demonstrate how the experiences lived in the outside world, by the man who saw the light made him change the way he thinks:"Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner" meaning that he would rather suffer anything than entertain false nations and live such a miserable life.


When I try to picture myself in Socrates' scenario, I believe I am just starting to break off the first links of the chain. When Socrates describes how painful it was for the man to get accustomed to the light, he is using an analogy  to show us that acquiring knowledge can be a long and frightening process, one that requires a lot of effort and dedication, and is divided in various stages or steps. Right now I am only in the early stages of the process, the first step I am taking  is precisely this that I am doing right now: to be going to college. 

If I really want to see the light, which in my case would be getting at least a master's degree, I have to realize that, it is not something that can be achieved from one day to the other without trying hard enough and putting in the commitment that is required, I have to understand what getting out of my "comfort zone" means, and that is like the word says it if I am not in a comfort zone, I am going be somewhere where is not as comfortable but I need to keep on trying hard in order to achieve my goals, because I am sure that at the end of the day when i get there I will see that it was worth it.

Although if I wanted to look at it from a skeptical perspective I would say that there are too many chains in life, the fact that  someone gets out of the cave of ignorance and is now able to see a little, or a lot of the knowledge light, does not necessarily mean that they are going to be completely free, it only means that they are not chained by ignorance anymore but they are now in other "prison-houses". We are part of this pre-established system that will always have some sort of chains that are trying to control us. Being money I believe the one that makes us all slaves, but that would be a different story... 

Blog 3: " Things I Need to Remember When I Write Summaries."

- Read the passage carefully and make sure to understand every idea and how they connect to each other.
- Keep in mind that sometimes I will find a single sentence that could be taken out word by word and used as a summary.
- Include only the most important ideas, no details.
- I shouldn't add any of my thoughts or opinions.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I need to do to pass the CATW.

In order for me to pass the CATW test i need to:

-Improve my timing (Reading: 20 minutes, Pre-Writing: 10, Writing: 50, Revising: 10).
-Make sure that the essay has a clear thesis. 
-Write in an organized way (Intro, Body, Conclusion). 
-Summarize the passage (Without a summary you will fail).
-Make reference to the author's ideas by using quotations or paraphrasing.
-Expand on the ideas by using details and examples. 
-Learn to use the appropriate transitions to connect ideas. 
-Improve my punctuation.
-Know that there are only 15 kinds of sentences in English and only use those.
-Read a lot so I can enrich my ESL vocabulary and use the correct words in my response.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog 1: "Visual Pollution"

             Advertising is definitely  growing out of proportion nowadays, everywhere we look there is an ad for something, not only in the streets or other public spaces but anywhere you can possibly imagine. I can totally identify with the author of "Hype" when he states: "No longer are ads confined to the usual places: buses, billboards, stadiums. Anywhere your eyes can possibly come to rest is now a place that, in corporate America's view, can and ought to be filled with a logo or product message".

            With the intention of selling more of their products, advertising firms try to trick us with their disturbing messages in places that you would have never thought of: "You fill your car with gas, and there's an ad on the nozzle", "A company called VideoCarte installs interactive screens on supermarket carts so that you can see ads while you shop", and here I add the example of NYC yellow cabs, as if it wasn't enough with the ads that they carry on top, now the passenger has to stand a screen showing ads inside of the car too!. It gets really annoying having to deal with all these companies that desperately try to sell  their products and services, and the worst is, that sometimes you can't even try to ignore them because they literally place them right in front of your face. As the author claims: "There is nowhere to run".

            Personally I am tired of marketing companies treeating us like zombies, and trying to convince us that their products are the best in the world. Furthermore I think the majority of today's marketing agencies suffer from a complete lack of creativity; "America's Favorite Pen", "America's Most Trusted Insurance Company", America's Best (Enter any product). Please, can't they come up with something better?, seriously some of these phrases are really old and repetitive.

            I don't mind reading or watching ads that are creative or funny, as a matter of fact I really like some, last week for example, I ran into this really creative ad on YouTube, it is an ad for a brand of correction fluid, in the video a bear tries to attack a hunter and when the hunter tries to defend himself and shoot the bear, the video pauses and they give you different interactive options and ask you what the hunter should do and from there you have the option of deciding what is going to happen next. Those kinds of advertisements I think are not only very creative but could prove to be much more effective, That is the direction I believe marketing companies should follow, they have to realize that the world has changed  and so should change their strategies. It is time to reconsider their strategies and move on to more creative and efficient campaigns instead of keeping on contaminating every single space in our lives with their visual pollution.