Common Sense

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Courtesy of loc.gov

I found the portion of the chapter dedicated to the efforts of Thomas Paine most interesting and influential. Although indirectly related to Paine’s stamp in journalism history, I was impressed by his ambition. “Aged thirty-seven, he had worked in various jobs as a corset-maker, teacher and excise officer.” (Standage, 139). He was experienced in many different fields. I have learned a lot about Paine in prior journalism course however, Standage provides an extremely detailed account of his work. “Paine decided to publish it as a pamphlet, under the title ‘Plain Truth,’ but he was persuaded by a friend to rename it Common Sense.” (Standage, 139) I was not aware that Paine’s Common Sense started with a different name. I feel Common Sense is a more attractive title. An author, “Candidus”, created a rival newspaper and titled it “Plain Truth.” “This may have impressed the aristocratic loyalists for whom it was written, but like the Latin rebuttals to Luther’s works, it failed to connect with a wider audience.” (Standage, 144) Luckily, Common Sense worked as a better title for Paine’s pamphlet. On the contrary, Candidus was clever in his attempt to bad mouth Paine’s work. I was also shocked to discover thatin only ten days the pamphlet “spread to New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts.” Being Common Sense was published in the 1700’s I expected the dispersal of news to take a bit longer. I was also intrigued by the growth of Common Sense. It began with the uncertainty of how it would sell to Paine having to choose who would print his paper.

I was mostly impressed by the great influence Paine’s pamphlet had on the public. “In late January 1776, General Charles Lee wrote to Washington: ‘Have you seen the pamphlet ‘Common Sense?’ I never saw such a masterly irresistible performance. It will if I mistake not, in concurrence with transcendent folly and wickedness of the ministry, give the coup-de-grace to Great Britain. In short, I own myself convinced, by the arguments of the necessity of separation.” He changed not only the political lives of the public but also the world of journalism. I had also never heard of Paine’s letter’s entitled “The American Crisis.” Even after all of his success achieving the declaration of independence, he continued his work through these pamphlets by “boosting morale during the Revolutionary war and arguing against any compromise with the British.” (Sta ndage, 145) Common Sense was the first step to journalist independ

Uncommon Grounds

I met with my friend Nicole from my freshman year here at SUNY Albany and her friend Marianne who just transferred here recently. We spoke on a few topics of my choice. We started to converse about the prison systems is in New York State. Nicole nor Marianne knew much about the topic but after explaining to them the effects of prison on a human being they agreed with me that we need to improve our prisons and establish better rights for convicts released from prison.

We also touched based on social media and how people portray themselves. Nicole and I agree that people’s Facebook and Instagram accounts are not accurate the portrayals of themselves but portrayals of who they want to be or who wish they were. Marianne did not exactly agree with this statement. She feels many people portray who they are it is just mostly the good parts being portrayed. Her thought compromised my opinion. I now consider the possibility that we give accurate descriptions of ourselves on our social networks but it may only be a PORTION of who we are.

Lastly we discussed the way women are objectified in society and what constitutes as “disrespecting yourself” and the media for women. Nicole and Marianne believe women should have the freedom to dress as they please without being judged. I understand the main point of their statement however I believe that there is a certain time and place for everything. We may not see it but Men are constantly judged for the way they dress as well. Not to say that woman shouldn’t wear what they want but Time and place matter. RESPECT YOURSELF!

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Marianne Trifiletti- 21 years old AND Nicole Jamieson- 20 years old

I was actually extremely hesitant to complete this assignment.  I am not comfortable speaking to strangers and to speak on topics that were controversial made things awkward. I noticed the entire time we spoke that just because I was unfamiliar with Marianne I wanted her to agree with my views. I felt the need to have a connection with Marianne and what better way than to share common interests. Upon completing our conversation I realize even though we did not agree on everything I was able to make a connection with Marianne.

Writing On The Wall

In Chapter Five of Standage’s Writing on the wall he explains “The Explosion of 1641.” Charles I (ruler from 1629-1640) ruled during the period called “Personal Rule” being he ruled without “recourse to Parliament.” What I found most interesting about this was the pamphlets printed from London’s presses. “Nowhere was this more apparent than in early 1642 in which both sides appealed to public opinion, thus recognizing its importance and increasing power.” (Standage. 93). I found this particularly interesting because its shows exactly the way the dispersal of news began and the great effect it had on society back then. People were concerned and wanted to be more aware of their environment whereas news must instantly grasp the audiences’ attention. We now dress our paper’s and websites with colors and advertisements that may interest our readers and if companies do not make these decisions carefully, it will effect the sales of their paper drastically in many cases. Also now-a-days just getting the name of your newspaper/magazine recognized if it isn’t already is a challenge

“Freedom of Press increased both the volume of titles and their variety. A range of new styles, voices, and uses for printed material emerged . . . In the subsequent decades the formal, Ciceronian style of prose writing gradually gave way to a more conversational, vernacular style.”(Standage, 95) I also found the unfolding of current journalist language to be interesting, language was much different in the 1600’s.  The language used in the news world now is mostly comprehensible for audiences now. Humans were restricted of many rights in the past hence the drastic change of news once the First Amendment was enforced. Reading a few breaking news articles from the past, even the typography was difficult to decipher so I was really impressed by the progression of language and appearance.

Also even though I never made the direct connection between Coffeehouses and news until reading Standage’s text, chapter six of the novel discuss the importance of coffee houses to news. “Whatever the topic, the main business of coffeehouses was the sharing and discussion of news and opinion in spoken, written and printed form; their patrons wanted to imbibe information as well as coffee and tobacco.” (Standage, 107). People of today use Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts to have these discussions and share their knowledge however sadly now through technology.. Coffeehouses served/serve as a way to get a variety of news and also opinions.

What I Read

This week I read an article on the Huffington Post website about Facebook and Apple paying for their female employees to freeze their own eggs. Reasoning for enforcing this health aspect into their employees contracts include women working with their companies longer and due to that Apple and facebook can “cut down on recruiting and hiring costs. These companies also have the ability to save on the cost of pregnancy (maternity leaves, etc.) for each employee.

I found this article to be quite interesting. As part of my own faith I believe your body should run its course as it naturally wants to. Also I don’t believe women should make this decision so early in their lives. They should use other outlets to prevent pregnancy until they are at a well-established age (40 years old and older) to make a decision so life-changing. People constantly change their minds and for one younger than 40 to decide they never want to have children is a humongous risk to take.

Courtesy of MelbourneIVF

Courtesy of MelbourneIVF

I do not however believe what Apple and Facebook are trying to pursue is wrong. I support the process of freezing eggs. I believe this is a great alternative for those who want to keep the option of having children even though they aren’t seeking to reproduce at the moment. However those

who go through with this procedure run the huge risk of it not working.

Who doesn’t want to save money? If the employees of Facebook and Apple are interested in this opportunity, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be presented with the option to take it. I do however believe the age in which women are given this option should lie sometime in a woman’s late 30’s.  Women should be given the right to do with their body as their please with the assumption that they are certain about the decision they are making and it does not potentially harm them.

What I Read . . .

isisThis week I read quite a shocking article about ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and a threat they made to twitter’s employees and CEO Dick Costolo. Apparently, terrorists had been using the site to communicate messages and the company removed their content due to regulation restrictions. This act by twitter lead to the fearing of life for many employees.

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CEO Dick Costolo; Courtesy of media02.hongkiat.com

The relationships the United States holds internationally have clearly been taking a turn for the worst and to be directly targeted is quite frightening especially for CEO Dick Costolo. One of the messages that twitter employees removed from the site was the beheading of Journalist James Foley, obviously a gruesome image to envision. This article has proven how unsafe these social media websites are and while they may help in a variety of different ways, in many ways they can be rather dangerous.

In relation to the assignment I completed this week I see why it is especially important to pay close attention to the information your disperse about yourself or anyone else for that matter on the internet. The employees of the Twitter corporation were simply doing their job and following the rules and regulations they have set in place for users. This threat was unexpected and certainly undeserved.

STOP Watching Me !!!

I found this assignment to be quite entertaining and a little frightening. I never realized how much information I trust the internet with. “As it turns out, one of the most common “keys” for identifying particular people is your birthday. The number of John Smiths who share your birthday is far smaller — often there’s just one. So, keep your birthday to yourself when you can. Take it off your Facebook profile — or even just take off the year, which makes it much less useful. Revealing it rarely results in better services, but for data miners, it’s gold.” For instance, I never considered the reasons why I should not have my birth date listed on my social media sites and after being informed about the filter bubble I immediately took any information I would not want everyone to see off of my sites. I also found it shocking how hidden these tools to protect your own information are. If i did not have instructions for every step I took in the process of erasing my web history, I doubt I would have succeeded. I made an attempt to take every step however steps such as Step 7- going anonymous and using a website such as Torproject.org and Anonymizer.com I did not find very useful at the moment however it is nice that I know about them for the future.

Mozilla_Lightbeam

Using Mozilla’s Lightbeam add on was a slight challenge for me.  It took me a little while to understand the diagram however when I finally did get a good glimpse at what I was looking at the results were shocking. I had visited only 11 websites and on each of them I made no interaction with anyone. I did not even so much as post a new post on a social media website however I managed to connect with 242 third parties!

My Week Being a Conservative . . .


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What I’ve noticed from this assignment was that the largest percentage of my Facebook friends are either not very interested in politics or ignored my post. I was actually expecting some response to my unusual behavior on the site especially being I am a very strong-willed person and my friends know that I will FIGHT for what I believe. I re-posted pictures and articles posted from Ted Cruz’s, junior United States Senator, Facebook fan page and I did not receive so much as a like on any post.

After reading, I agreed most with Eytan Bakshy’s article Rethinking Information Diversity in Networks especially the portion written based on The Collective Influence of Weak Ties. Every Idea is derived from somewhere and most times our source for a post were posted on Facebook or Instagram were not originated by those we have strong ties with through social media.

Courtesy of Eytan Bakshy

Courtesy of Eytan Bakshy

IMG_3173[1] What I did learn from this assignment was that all my ideas do not differ from the thoughts of conservatives.  Instead of simply ignoring the post as they showed up on my feed because they did not interest me, I read them. I agreed with many of the points made in this article and as embarrassing as this sounds, I had no prior knowledge of this policy. I am a leftist however I stand for whats right, I won’t simply support my party if they aren’t deserving of it.I also learned that politicians depend greatly on social media to disperse news. Because the old fashioned ways of gathering news such as newspaper and television are dying out in this generation, politicians set their focus on their social media sites where it will potentially receive the most exposure.

I don’t believe I will continue to follow the specific politicians I chose to follow but I do plan to explore the ideas of the conservative politicians in this country. I also followed a couple of women conservatives. Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. If anyone knows me, they know I am definitely not a fan of Sarah Palin. And even after completing this assignment she is the first person I want to get rid of. However even considering her posts that I do not agree with I kept an open-mind and instead of bashing her for her ideas I realized that my ideas will not always be agreed upon.

IMG_3229[1]This assignment encouraged me to broaden my knowledge on different topics and, even though I thought it was impossible, have a more open-mind.

https://www.facebook.com/tedcruzpage

https://www.facebook.com/sarahpalin

https://www.facebook.com/teambachmann