torsdag 24. august 2017

The importance of knowledge

Written by Runa, Bibbi and Léon

A lot of people are interested in what came previous to our generation's existence, but most people think that our history is boring, especially History class. Students are prone to boredom and to finding things difficult. History class is a class that informs us of how we got to where we are in the society today - how the human race built cities, formed languages, went from hunting for their life to simply going to the closest store and so on. However important our history is, there is a lot of it. Meaning that everything can't be interesting. Students get excited by the opportunity to watch a movie, not reading or sitting through a lecture. Even though the material is interesting most students will not be thrilled to read about it in a book and that is perhaps why people find the class so difficult. Because it demands reading.


Although it seems boring, it is obvious to many of us how relevant it is to our existence. But, some students, like I, are unable to see how it will come to use in our adult day-to-day lifestyle (depending on what you are going to pursue as a career in the future).


The way we are taught History in Norway today makes us unaware of how we will be able to use it in our future. We need a teaching system that gets us eager to learn and invokes our need for it. Or at least understand why. We receive large amounts of intricate information over short timespan and it doesn’t allow us to absorb it all. Yes, we are taught History from a young age, but what our teacher spoke about when we were younger is simple and doesn’t really give us the foundation we need to process the material in High School.


How to uncover fake news:


1. Don’t trust the headlines, be skeptical.
Fake news has the tendency to draw the reader in by creating “screaming”, “interesting” and/or “catchy” headlines with capital letters and exclamation point at the end to catch the reader's attention. If the headlines indulge in bizarre allegations or claims that seem too good or bad or just fictional to be true, they usually are.


2.  Take a closer look at the URL.  
A counterfeit or copied URL can and should be a “red flag” on fake news. Many websites that posts and produce fake news imitates more authentic and credible news sites by doing small amendments to the URL. To avoid getting fooled by this, one can go to the websites and compare that URL to the URL of a more reliable source.   


3. Research the source.
Ensure that the news is written off of a reliable source and who has a resume of being of being so. If the news are published by an unknown organization, you should look at their “About Us” page to find out more.


4. Look out for irregular formatting.
Many websites that produce fake news contain spelling errors and/or irregular layouts. If the website you are receiving the news from check these boxes, you should be skeptical of their content.


5. Judge the pictures.
Fake news often use manipulated pictures or videos. Sometimes the pictures are real but used in another context. However, you can use a search engine to find the origin of the photo or video.


6. Control the dates.
Fake news often contains timelines that don’t make sense or dates that have been manipulated.


7. Check the facts.
Make sure to research the writer's sources to confirm that they are correct. If the article/news are missing evidence or refrains from listing experts, it could be mean it is fake news.


8. Look at other reports
If there are no other sources reporting the news, it might be a sign of fake news.  If there are multiple trustworthy sources who are reporting the same news, it’s more lightly to be true.  


9. Is the news a joke?
Sometimes it can be hard to separate between fake news and humor or satire. See if the source is known for humoristic parodies and if the details in the news seem like it’s meant as a joke.


10. Some news are made fake on purpose
Be critical with the news you read, and do only share the trustworthy news.



Donald Trump


Donald Trump is one of the most seen and heard, aka influential, people in the world as of today. With this much power comes responsibility for, not just for himself and his actions, but for his people, and also respect for his job. These are two assets he seems to neglect in every aspect of his work. This, and the fact that, and here i quote Michael Hayden; “ He just doesn’t have an interest in the world,” is what i find the most disturbing about Trump. When your job is to run an empire like The United States of America, it is your duty to not make statements or claims from the top of your head just because you want to or feel the need to  say something. Donald Trump has got a severe case of mouth diarrhea, however if he'd actually known anything about the world history it wouldn't be this big of an issue.


Donald Trump did in April claim that Korea “used to be a part of China”, which I know is not true, Korea has never been a part of China. I also know that nobody pays the US for NATO, so when the president stated that Germany owed “vast sums” to the US for nato, I knew that was false. I know the difference between Napoleon III and Napoleon Bonaparte, and so should the President do. Another thing the President and his crew has mistaken is misspelling important guests name, position or country. This is a really unprofessional trait, which only helps decrease the amount of respect the white house receives from all over the world.  I find it shocking that high school students at the age of eighteen know more historical facts than the President of the United States. Many of the correct answers to these false accusations could be put into the category “common knowledge”. I for one believe a person in the position of the President of the United state should contain enough knowledge to cover such an easy field. Sometimes it seems like he’s just guessing or making up statements by whatever mood he’s in.


I mean don't get me wrong, he probably knows more than us about some aspects of life, for example how to get an audience to listen to you and how to speak in a way that makes everything he is saying sound like the truth or the right solution. This is a personal trait he has perfected, and If  he'd only learn the facts and history around the topics he chooses to comment on, he would most likely be taken more serious in the important conversations that his job acquires him to take part in. What is so sad is that he has all the facts available to him through the people he is surrounded by, and chooses not care enough about it to use these “tools”. By doing so he offends the presidents that came before him, he offends other nations. He offends the previous generations and he offends the world history and he those who actually knows it. To know the world history and actively choose not to repeat it is the only way to make progress, and it seems like Trump definitely is not a fan of a progressive society. He does not see the point in knowing about past mistakes, and he does not learn from his own either. It is a crime against the world that a president should not be allowed to make. But then again he did not become president on his own and i know that it agitates a “tremendous” - to use one of his most common words against him, amount of the worlds’ population, especially americans, that they have unleashed such a careless force as their public spokesperson, and governing face.

Every human being has the right to say their opinion and tell their truth. However, since Trump represents more than just himself everytime he speaks, i hope he sooner rather than later understands that this is not working. That he has to change before his people and the rest of the world will feel the wrath of his dependable mistakes.

fredag 31. mars 2017

Hidden Figures

The American drama film Hidden Figures (2016) is based on a true story. The story of how afro-American women in the United States of America were able to succeed in the 1960's. We meet the mathematician Katherine Goble (played by Taraji P. Henson), her colleague Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe) and her supervisor Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) in the year 1961. While the movie mainly revolves around Katherine Gobles contribution to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration during the space race, the movie portrays a more important topic; equality, both by gender and race. We also meet Glen Powell as John Glenn, an American astronaut. He was the first American to orbit Earth, circling it three times in 1962.

Sources:
Wikipedia. (2017, March 30). Hidden Figures. Retrieved March 31, 2017 from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Figures
Wikipedia. (2017, March 30). John Glenn. Retrieved March 31, 2017 from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glenn


fredag 17. mars 2017

The global challenge of inequality

All over the world inequality exists. Whether it be by race, gender or any other reason, it is a well-known issue that has improved throughout the years. Currently, the most relevant kind of inequality is gender-based and we have not seen many steps in the right direction recently. Women and men are paid different salaries. Women and men do not have the same chances applying for a job. Women and men are treated differently in society.

New Zealand became the first country to implement women's rights to vote in 1893. A major step in the right direction. But, today's focus when talking about inequality is often the workplace. Most people are aware of how women often earn a less substantial sum of money than men. Women and men receiving a different paycheck for the same amount of work. Studies show that for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 79 cents. And in addition to this, the regular women receives a substantially lesser amount of respect in the workplace. Women get sexually harassed, pursued and disrespected.

More known to me, women experience inequality in the social life. Women get approached by men in fashions that are unacceptable. They face the daily opposition of not having the right to what they want with their bodies. They become "whores" or "sluts" for doing things that every man has done. They are shamed for what is "natural" for a man to do. It should be natural for both man and woman. Social inequality is the issue that I can relate to the most. Because I live side by side with it. I know that young people do not really pay attention to it because it comes naturally to us. Some treat women like objects. Which does not mean we should say everyone does, but recognize how big of an issue it is.

fredag 3. februar 2017

Who speaks English

All around the world, people learn the language that we know as The Global Language and a secondary or main language for most people. Although we all speak and write the same language, many countries have their own version of the languages that sounds or seems different from others. More commonly called accents. It’s like we’ve created endless languages by changing simple things like grammar or pronunciation.

Chinglish is a spoken or written language that is influenced by the Chinese language. The language is characterized by ungrammatical or nonsensical  sentences with a Chinese accent. Even though China’s inhabitants represents 19% of the world’s population, there is a surprisingly large amount of the people who does not speak english. One of the reasons to why the chinese people struggle to learn english, might be because of the big differences in the alphabet. Most of the chinese population writes in chinese signs, which can not even be compared to the latin alphabet. But some of the people and especially the younger generation are taught the written language “pinyin” in school as well, which resembles the latin alphabet and makes the english reading process easier.

Franglais, also called frenglish, is the name of the mixture between french and english that the frenchmen tend to speak. The oral language comes from lacking english knowledges and native features. An example of typical franglais is to say “le week-end”  in stead of “the weekend”.  The french people also tend to add “-ing” at the ending of different english words, and use a variety french words in their sentences while they try to make it sound like english.


In South Asia languages they speak the version of english that is known as Hinglish. Hinglish is a combination of Hindi and English, therefore Hinglish. The language is more commonly used in India with English words blending with Punjabi and Hindi.



Sources: 

mandag 30. januar 2017

Gran Torino

Walt is a strange man some would say. He cares for his family in a different way than most people do. It seems he has a lack of love while demanding respect. Why is that? With his history from the war we can assume that Walt is a traditional man that has a different picture of what respect means. Which may be why he bonds so well with the Hmong family. The Hmong people preaches respect, discipline and love, which is seemingly the same priorities as Walt has. With his own family it is different. We can assume that Walt's deceased wife was the one to pass on her main values. Throughout the film, we often receive signals that Walt's wife was a person that caring and understanding and unlike Walt she might have been visibly fond of her family. Although we do not get a visible picture of Walts love for his family we are aware that he does love them. How come?-you might ask. Well, when receiving the bad news from his doctor.

Project remains unfinished - to be continued.

fredag 20. januar 2017

Fake news

Fake news is a problem. It's an issue that has recently become more relevant than ever. And today we've read a few articles about today's and formerly well-known fake news. We have talked about how easy it is to be fooled and how immensely it spreads.

Today we got feedback on our thoughts about fake news. After reading a few of the comments it seemed obvious that this was a subject that brought up a lot of frustration. However, it looks like most people know how to deal with it. The majority of the comments had the same basic ideas on how to deal with it, and that this was a serious problem today. Some of the suggestions on how to spot the fake news were; “Check both sides of the argument, make sure the sources are reliable and check the language used and the spelling of words.” They also seemed to have the same point of view on Donald Trump’s campaign and the manipulation. Although most of the comments were very similar, there was one that stuck out with a completely different view on the story. Cayden T. Lewis, being one of the responding readers stated “Fake News isn’t the real problem that hits society. Its society itself. How can people be so naive to believe things Hillary Clinton having a child pornography ring in pizzerias”.

Google, the innovative company that we all know and love has recently come out with some information about how they are going to revolutionize the world of fake news. Most people know how to use the search engine, most people use it, but what people do not know is how it works. “Fact-checking and preventing fake news from appearing in search results will remain a big priority for search engines in 2017” Ian Bowden states on SearchEngingeLand. Going for an achievement like categorizing fake and real news could be a real struggle. However, we have an idea of how they will receive such results. The site mentioned above, being one of our key informants, have listed how Google can deal (or already is dealing) with the issue currently. Mr. Bowden writes:
“1. Manually reviewing websites
 2. Algorithmically demoting fake news
 3. Removing incentives to create fake news
 4. Signaling when content has been fact-checked
 5. Funding fact-checking organizations”
Personally I believe this all is a step in the right direction, but there’s always room for improvement. Manual labor for checking every site seems unlikely, but with algorithms they are able to single out insignificant news outlets.


From the 3rd of March:
Today we have spoken to South African students over Skype. We questioned them about how their society performs and how they are affected by fake news. The South African media is currently promoting a story about how students and teachers of specific schools are being recruited by the Illuminati. Illuminati being 'an organization that controls the world, and always has'. It originates from conspiracy theories of how the government and societies work. The story revolves around recruiters giving students cocktails of rasberry and blood.