Building Our Own Machines

In today’s society, we as humans often have trouble looking at life from above. Our day-to-day lives can sometimes can be very redundant, and most times it leaves each of us with a feeling of impatience or discontent. In certain situations we develop a deeply selfish and shallow point of view making the simplest of faults against us too grueling to even live through for any extended amount of time. Presenting each of us with two ways of going about day-to-day actions: Completing an action just to be so it is completed or completing the action with time and care. This isn’t to say all activities need to be enjoyed to the fullest, but if there isn’t any passion in what you do with your life, then there isn’t very much reason to succeed. Continue reading Building Our Own Machines

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Keeping up with the Joneses

Have you ever had a friend brag to you about having the latest smartphone? Held a conversation with one of your neighbors over their new hybrid car? Chat during a lunch break with your colleagues over the newest superfood? If none of these apply to you, surely you’ve noticed how fashion trends always seem to be going in and out of style? You might have noticed some of these fleeting fads, and some of them you might have not. Regardless, it’s interesting to ask how and why consumers feel the need to update their electronics, vehicles, fashion, and even food choices from time to time. One possible answer to this question would have to be the media. Consumers are influenced to purchase things by the media whether it is through television commercials, movie product placement, or Internet ads. However, another possibility that people don’t seem to consider is themselves. It’s true; how many times have you looked at someone and envied something they had? Personally, I didn’t notice any type of trend within the American consumerist society until the end of my second quarter of Critical Thinking and Writing English class. Through analyzing literature and writing different essays revolving around my class’ themes of reading food, self and culture, and human, animal, and machine, I’ve noticed a common theme within my own writing. My past essays have all, at the very least, had undertones of human acceptance and subsequent dependence on something. Continue reading Keeping up with the Joneses

Facing Choices at the Threshold of Adulthood

If growing up was modeled in a staircase, the stair dedicated to moving out of your parents house would be varying in size depending on who you are. Whether you’re heading into a corporate workplace or attending college, moving out of the family home gives young adults a new and much larger control over their lifestyles. For most college students, freshman year is the first time that they can Imagechoose how they spend their time and manage their lives–there is no curfew, and no one enforcing mandatory attendance to classes. Continue reading Facing Choices at the Threshold of Adulthood

The Secret to Happiness // Christian Hellmers

It’s Christmas day. You watch everyone open up their gifts, and see the excitement on each person’s face. It’s now your turn; you open up your gifts, and received everything you wanted, but for some reason, you’re not as happy as when other people were opening up their gifts. Why? Is it because you are in a bad mood, or because for some reason you don’t like a certain gift?

Continue reading The Secret to Happiness // Christian Hellmers

Apathy: The Power of Doing Nothing

“We have to do something” is a go-to phrase that movie characters seem to exclaim whenever a crisis arises, and it has shown up everywhere from Office Space to The Hobbit.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy famously stated that “the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis preserve their neutrality” (Dante).  The idea behind these is that we should all do our best to combat evil, since if no one tries to stop the forces of evil and solve the problems in the world, the problems will continue to grow. Continue reading Apathy: The Power of Doing Nothing

Our Nation of (In)dependence // Will Gebb

Independence. It’s an idea and an institution that every citizen of the United States is intimately familiar with. Whether it be because of studies of the Declaration of Independence and the time of our nation’s inception, celebrations on the Fourth of July, or because a teen negotiates with his or her parents for a later curfew and more independence, everyone has heard of this notion. However, what really is independence, and are Americans upholding the idea today? Continue reading Our Nation of (In)dependence // Will Gebb

Thyme to Change // Chad Russick

In the last two quarters of CTW, food has been the main topic of discussion. While “This is Water,” a video based on David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech, is primarily shot in a grocery store, it actually has nothing to do with food. However, it works as the rope that ties everything from, Eating Animals to Meet Your Meat and Consider the Lobster, all together with two simple key words, awareness and choice. Wallace talks about how people tend to go through their daily routine stuck on their “natural default setting,” thinking that the whole word revolves around them. I found the video to be particularly humbling in the fact that it opens you up to the infinite possibilities of events that happen to not only yourself, but also others around you that are affecting you. Continue reading Thyme to Change // Chad Russick