My self-directed learning
Researching the different time periods that we studied in class let me spend personal time really looking into the works that I thought were most interesting. I read parts of the Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes. It showed an interesting view point on how government should be run. He argued that there needed to be one supreme ruler but that the only way the system would work is if the general populous supported him 100%. This system is entirely impossible. It is impossible to have everyone supporting one ruler – there will always be some people who are disenchanted and believe that there is a different possibility for governmental organization. It is interesting to compare Hobbes’s views with other government philosophers such as John Locke who believed in freedoms.
World Wars had a huge impact on the global society and I spent time watching the original film “All’s Quiet on the Western Front”. The movie itself is not very good quality but the story is disturbing and makes a person question the purpose of war and hate the ideas of glory that people went off to the conflict believing in. This movie also connected me to a poem called “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Owens which tells the horrors of war and then mocks the idea that it is noble to die for one’s country.
My evolving project
One trend that I found very interesting when we reviewed the history of the 20th and 21st centuries was the rise of technology and how people use it to communicate with each other. At first I was planning on focusing my final project around the idea that social media takes away individuality because people are biased online or only see one side of a person like the fact that they "like" a certain band or sport. As I kept on developing my idea, however, I changed my argument somewhat. In Kotahi's post she talked about her sister and how she was affected by online modern culture. Thant got me to thinking about how we develop based on what we say and see online, Then I found a TED talk given by Paru Bensal that really gave me the basis for my new idea: that humans are losing the ability to develop as individuals because we are having less and less personally contact. We need up close and personal interactions to develop into individuals.
Communication and History
Communication makes us who we are. Our interactions with teachers and peers and family help us develop. We learn what we like and do not like through interactions. Communication is the basis for everything the human species is and is evolving to become. Historical inventions and trends directly show how important communication was and is to those trying to make it easier to do so. The telegraph machine, Morse code, pony express, mail, radio, google translate, email, Facebook, blogs, and online chat rooms are a testament to how far we as a species have come so that we can have the ability to communicate with anyone that we want to no matter how far away they are or even what language they speak. By studying the different eras in history throughout the course of this class I was able to better recognize the patterns of humans and how there is a deep drive for us to improve and do what used to seem impossible. Humans want to be connected and be recognized as individuals and as communication mediums have evolved, it has created a society in which people can do this. We are now living in an age more "plugged in" than any other time in history. With a few clicks we can talk to our friend in Japan or see a video being streamed live from Brazil. Communication has come a long way, we now have the serious responsibility, however, to make sure that we, the controllers of technology, do not let the technology we have created overrule us and make us lose our powers of developing individuality.