Wednesday, October 27, 2010

new post

i figured that with all of the attention i've been showering on my 2 new blogs i should probably spread some around to my original blog. so hi blog. how you been? good? great, thats always nice to hear. Sorry I haven't been around in a while, i was getting you 2 sisters. yes that's right, your not an only child anymore. You have 2 new sisters. Their names are Study Corner and My Study Place. These are study blogs dedicated to my sociology and ancient Greek classes respectively. The chat function is a great new feature. I tried it out Monday night. Yes, i know. i forgot your soccer game. I'm really sorry, i promise i'll make the next one. but anyway there were probably a total of 50 people who participated in the chat and we ended up going through all 3 chapters and all the readings in preparation for the test the next morning. it was pretty AWESOME!!!! But yeah, i also added one to the My Study Place blog to use like that. AND, i have a surprise fooorrr u! maybe u noticed already, or not, but i added one to you too. Yeah, now you have a chat room at the bottom of your page. How exciting is THAT?!!! Yeah, your welcome. oh, but now its time for you to get to class and i gotta be off too. i'll talk to you later. kbye

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SHOUTOUT

Alright, this is a SHOUTOUT, to my man Ernesto, THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS EVER COMMENTED ON ANY OF MY THOUGHT PROVOKING AND INTRIGUING AND FUNNY BLOG POSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life was Cheap

Anybody ever wonder why in the olden days, life, and the idea of life was so cheap, and why only since the Industrial Revolution has life and the idea of life begun to take on a more important and costlier role? I know, long question, but seriously, think about it.  I kinda gave away part of the answer in the question.The Industrial Revolution. But what about the Industrial Revolution and the idea behind it made the change?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Increased Isolation in an ever more Connected World


Jeremy Thompson
Soc 302 - 45195
Increased Isolation in an ever more Connected World
            In thinking of the “strange in the familiar” and trying to come up with a topic to write about, I was sitting alone in the Cactus CafĂ© brainstorming, and that’s when it hit me. I looked around the room and 70% of people were alone; but this wasn’t all, because 70% of all the people were also on computers or Smart phones.  Let me split it up this way; there were ten tables, and of these, three were groups and 7 were individuals. Two of the groups and 5 individuals were using computers. Here one could falsely state the fact that individuals who are alone use computers and Smart phones, yet there is some spurious explanation, because the 70% that were alone were not the 70% that were using computers.
            This leads me to wonder, “how has culture changed in the past 30 years so that the majority of people are alone in public and the majority of people are on computers or Smart phones?” It also leads me to wonder “what does this observation mean to culture?” These two questions are descriptive of the paradox at the beginning of chapter 3, “Do mass media create culture or merely reflect it? Culture is like two mirrors facing each other: it simultaneously reflects and creates the world we live in” (Conley 71).
            I would say, as to the first question, that “technology happened.” Thirty years ago the average person didn’t and couldn’t own either a desktop or a laptop; and the idea of a Smart phone, was as foreign an idea as democracy to the Russian upper society. Culture is “a set of beliefs, traditions, and practices” (Conley 72). I would argue that technology, specifically social media and its availability to the masses has transformed our culture in multiple ways. Of course, I’m only going to cover about Isolationism. The original purpose of Facebook for example, was to “put the whole college experience on the internet” (The Social Network). This has necessarily expanded to include the masses whom can now go online and connect with people all over the globe, and with people they haven’t seen in decades. Consequently, as a result of the specific unofficial motto, people can talk and interact with people whom they do not need to meet with in person. This is also a form of the “dramaturgical theory” and the idea of “Impression Management” (Conley 133). One can maintain ones “face” and protect it, save it, loose it all on the internet. This is very similar to what occurs offline in the real world, with a slight difference. There is a sort of dissociation with the internet. People  do things online that they wouldn’t do in public, it is similar to the idea of the “backstage” (Conley 134). Yet in addition to the fact that people could lose face much more easily, one can also save face fairly simply, by claiming technological errors. For example, “oops, that was a typo,” or “that didn’t come out right when I typed it.” Excuses such as these are some of the various techniques used to save face. This interconnectedness is also what is causing the increased Isolationism in our culture. Because people can be connected and communicate without having to see a person, this creates a natural “out” that people can take to assist in their “Impression Management.” Therefore, why talk to a person when you can chat with them?”
            I also answered the second question as I answered the first, due to the paradox, this tends to happen. So to conclude with simple answers; the answer to question one is that “technology happened”, and the answer to question two is that “people are increasingly more isolated because they have that option to, rather than to have to deal with the stress of ‘impression management.’”

Skeptical Data Analysis


Jeremy Thompson
Soc 302 - 45195

Skeptical Data Analysis
            So, I was reading through The Daily Texas the other day and I saw that there was an entry in the corrections column. As I read farther along I saw that it was a correction regarding the analysis of the data in the article a few days prior.
            Here I must describe the article, this way I can more accurately describe the issues that I have with the data analysis. The title of the article is “Reported rapes at University far below national average”. The article begins by saying “Two- and four-year colleges in the US reported 35 rapes per 1,000 female students over the course of seven months, according to a recent Department of Justice study” [paragraph 1 of article (see attached)]. This is the only reference to the study done by the Department of Justice; the rest of the article is an application of this study here at UT.
            The article then explains that with “nearly 25,000 female students at UT, that would equate to roughly 875 incidents of rape, but the University’s numbers do not add up to the proportion” [paragraph 2 of article (see attached)]. The article continues on to state the fact that only 2 rape incidents were reported 2008 and none in 2009.
            This brings me to my first objection. As previously stated, the ratio does not add up. With an expected number of 875, even with a plus/minus of 100, the equation does not equal 2. So clearly there is an error somewhere. Here we can explore the possibilities. Number One, the Universities reporting to the Dept. of Justice inflated their numbers for one reason or another. Number Two, the Dept. of Justice inflated their numbers for one reason or another. Number Three, the proportion of 35 rapes per 1000 female students may have a margin of error when applied to large populations or to specific geographic locations. Number Four, the UT police are under-reporting the number of actual rapes per year on and around campus. Finally, Number Five, the “missing” number of rapes is not being reported to the University Police.
            These are the five possibilities that I have come up with as the possible reason for this extreme difference in numbers and I shall now proceed to eliminate the ones that are most unlikely. Number One is unlikely due to the fact that no university would want to inflate the number of rapes that occur on their campus. Number Two is also unlikely due to the fact that I would hope, at least, that the Dept. of Justice would keep their numbers accurate and would not alter them in any way. Number Four is also unlikely due to the fact that as Officers of the Law they would not fail to uphold the law, and failure to accurately report crimes would most certainly be a failure to uphold the law.
            Consequently, this leaves Numbers Three and Five. These are, to me, the most plausible reasons for this gross misinterpretation; and Number five in particular although I will cover Number Three first. In the equation that resulted in the proportion of 35 rapes per 1000 female students, there more than likely is a margin of error that can account for at least some of the “missing” numbers. This margin of error being that when the original proportion is applied to any population over 1000 the number 35 would more than likely be reduced as the applied population was increased. Secondly, there is scientific research that upholds the fact that certain geographic locations are more likely to have a higher percentage of rapes than others.
            And finally, Number Five, the reason of which I hold as the most likely. The author of this article does not seem to employ her sociological imagination, nor does she dispute the findings, as I have; yet she did stumble across one of the reasons for this anomaly seemingly on accident. Later on in the article, she goes on to interview different people, and arrives at the fact that reporting a rape means the police will attempt to apprehend the suspect, and then the system pushes toward a court case. This seems to be the crux of the situation, where the victim will be forced to tell their story multiple times and will actually be harassed by the defense and the victim will be forced to re-live the incident dozens of times, potentially harming them psychologically and mentally. (This presents a huge area for sociologists to pursue the question of ethics and methods, but that is not for me to cover).
            The methods employed by the Dept. of Justice seem to be lacking, and one must consider if they purposely did not employ all their resources in order to arrive at a result that seemed favorable to them. I am absolutely positive that there were more than 2 rapes in 2008, yet only 2 were reported to the police. The editor, or someone, in the corrections column hit on the fact that the federal statistics were anonymous, and the people questioned were not forced to reveal any personal information. Yet when people report these incidences to the authorities i.e. the police, they are forced to reveal their identity, and therefore there was a more positive response to the federal anonymous survey, than to the local law enforcement.
 So where are the “missing” numbers? I would say that they are with the programs that are alternatives to the police: rape help groups and counselors that are not legally bound to inform the police of anything. I would have asked for an anonymous survey of these groups in addition to the law enforcement. This would have greatly increased the accuracy of the results.

papers

Ok, people. I decided to post every paper I write on here. None of what i write is plagiarized, and if anyone wants to use part of what i write, i will expect them to cite me, lest they get sued for millions!

So the next 2 posts are papers i've had to write for my Sociology class. Enjoy.

Watermelon Drop Parts 1 & 2

go here to see the Part 1 video of the watermelon drop that occurred here on campus on Tuesday (10/5)

and go here to see the Part 2 video. and btw, the dude at the end of part 2 DOES actually eat that watermelon.