Definition essay about being a college student

It is quite impossible to provide a universally accepted definition as to what does it mean being a college student. The reason for this is simple – there are as many points of view, in this respect, as there are students. Nevertheless, it is possible to reflect upon how I believe college students should be positioning themselves in life, which in turn would allow them to live up to the title. In this essay, I will aim to do just that.

First, I think that being a college student means being a responsible individual, who believes that the studying represents its foremost priority. Therefore, under no circumstances may college students neglect taking care of academic assignments, provided by their teachers.

Moreover, in order for just about any college student to be able to succeed academically, he or she must never cease striving to expand its intellectual horizons. Unfortunately, many students adopt a rather light approach towards pursuing a degree, which in turn undermines their chances of obtaining a diploma. In its turn, this also implies that, in order for college students to excel in their studies, they must be willing to act in a thoroughly self-disciplined manner.

Second, being a college student suggests one’s willingness to not only memorize the taught material but to reflect upon it critically. What it means is that, every time when teachers present students with their own views on the significance of what they teach, students should be able to challenge these views.

Being the representatives of younger generations, college students have all the right to have their opinions heard. After all, it will be up to them to define the ways of the future. Therefore, ever since their early years, young people who expect to become college students should strive to form their own opinions about the actual meaning of life.

Third, even though that, in order for people to qualify to become college students, they must be thoroughly comfortable with the notion of responsibility, this however does not imply that they should only be concerned with the studying. Quite on the contrary – trying to have fun, whenever is possible, is the important part of students’ life.

Therefore, there is nothing wrong about college students attending parties in their spare time, for example. By doing that, students are able to improve their communicational skills, which in turn should help them to grow into socially responsible individuals in the future.

Fourth, being a college student means being willing to lead a physically healthy lifestyle. After all, it would prove quite impossible to imagine a drug-addict, for example, being in a position to qualify to enroll in a particular college, in the first place. It is understood, of course, that many college students simply lack time to be actively engaging with sports.

This, however, should not prevent them from doing basic physical workouts on a daily basis. By leading healthy lifestyles, college students will not only able to benefit from it physically but also mentally. As the famous saying goes – healthy bodies contain healthy spirits.

Fifth, being a college student means being able to take an active stance in life. College students are expected to take part in social and political discussions, because by doing it they can well contribute to the well-being of a society in which they live.

Moreover, students’ willingness to do so is being consistent with the overall purpose of their studies, as such that are supposed to turn them into socially productive citizens. Therefore, it is crucially important for college students to never skip an opportunity to make their voice heard, when it comes to discussing particularly controversial issues.

Sixth, being a college student means being willing to work on projects, relevant to the chosen career. For example, students that specialize in engineering are being often required to come up with their own designs for bridges, whereas, students that specialize in architecture are being encouraged to work on inventing new architectural styles.

Apparently, it represents a matter of crucial importance for college students to not only strive to attain a professional excellence in the chosen professional field, but also to derive an emotional satisfaction out of pursuing a degree. And, one of the ways how students can go about deriving such a satisfaction, is applying their theoretical knowledge in practice.

Seventh, being a college student means being willing to assist its underachieving classmates in coping with academic assignments. As we are being well aware of, whereas, some students do not experience any problems with the studying, others do.

Very often, it comes because of these students’ exposure to poverty in their private lives. Yet, for as long as underachieving students get to experience the sensation that, despite their inability to score high, while tested, they nevertheless continue being appreciated by their peers, they will be more inclined to apply an additional effort into trying to catch up.

Eighth, being a college student implies that the concerned individual should never cease referring to its teachers in a respectful way. Nowadays, it became a common practice among many students to blame teachers for receiving low grades. This situation, however, cannot be considered thoroughly normal.

This is because, even though many teachers do seem to act in a rather intolerant manner towards some students, they are far from trying to cause these students any intentional harm. Quite on the contrary – such teachers’ behavior simply reflects their willingness to help the concerned students with obtaining diplomas. After all, it is only those students that pass final exams, who are able to graduate.

However, sometimes is it particularly the lack of self-discipline, on the part of underachieving students, which hampers their chances to obtain a diploma. Therefore, before blaming teachers on the account of their assumed intolerance, responsible students should consider the possibility that their positioning, in this respect, may not be fully justified.

I believe that the provided earlier definition of what it means being a college student is thoroughly appropriate. Even though it is being concerned with reflecting my personal opinions, I consider them perfectly valid.

Planning Issues for Children of Heaven

Cities are not just about structures such as streets, buildings, and stores but they are also about people (Clayton, 2000). Cities are made up of people (Clayton & Optow, 2003). There is a link between people who live in a city and the way the city is created and inhabited (Stucky, 2005).

At the same time it can be said that poverty is not just about people without money. Poverty is also connected to the environment where poor people live. Using this analogy it can be said that there is great importance to look into the development of cities. In the movie Children of Heaven the interaction between the people, the city and poverty was the backdrop used for an amazing story.

Family Values, Family Ties and Social Network

City planners may want to improve the layout to the city but they have to consider family ties and social network. Family values dictate that it is more important to maintain family ties and social network than the need to improve the environment. Surely, it is much better to live in a nice city.

But the question is how can people be compelled to move out from the slums or the city into the rural areas and to deal with the problem of congestion and overpopulation? It is also unlikely that the government can uproot people and force them to live in a place or a town where they have no relatives.

It is indeed a challenge to force people to leave the slums. Planners and policymakers may want to implement a more radical solution to the problem of poverty and urban decay by destroying the slums. But it can be argued that people will resist. It is easy to understand why people are willing to use violence to stay where they live.

Aside form the social values, there is a reason why people in cities try their best to maintain family ties and the social network. It can be argued that the family ties and social network are intangible resources that they can rely upon when they in need. For example, there is a scene in the movie when the boy could buy food even though he had no money.

There was trust because the storeowner knew the parents of the boy. It can also be said that a social network built by community values existed there and it punished those who would try to avoid payment and not respect the informal business relationships built through many generations.

Cultural Differences among Haves and Have-nots

Cultural difference among the Rich and the Poor must be considered in the event of urban planning or urban renewal. If the government wants to improve the physical environment of the city, there is a need to understand cultural difference between different social layers of the society The Rich have resources that enable them to transfer to a community where they do not know their neighbors.

The Rich are self-sufficient and self-reliant in such a way that they will not mind if they are not at a walking distance away from their relatives. The Poor may not be happy with the idea of changing the key aspects of their living because they believe that it is a part of their ability to deal with the problems of living in an urban setting.

It can be said that poverty may have shaped the social outlook and the culture that surrounds the Rich and the Poor. For example, the Rich can appreciate the importance of long-term planning. The Poor on the other hand live their lives on a daily basis. In other words, there are those who will not go to doctor’s office to treat a medical problem they do not have, it is more important for them to spend the money on bread rather than on medical purposes.

Consequences of Urban Environment

It is important to highlight the meaning of poverty. According to the experts in urban development, “Households or individuals are considered poor when the resources they command are insufficient to enable them to consume sufficient goods and services to achieve a reasonable minimum level of welfare” (Lloyd-Jones & Radoki, 2002, p.12). It is therefore important define at first the minimum level of welfare required.

Therefore, urban planners must have a specific goal with regard to the delivery of basic services as well as the capability of the residents to purchase the things that they need. In this movie the basic level of welfare is centered on food, health care, shelter and education.

The inability of a family to acquire all these things proves that they are poor. However, it has to be made clear that the urban environment is a major factor to their poverty. The urban environment is a major reason why they remain poor. One factor to consider is house rent.

It is not difficult to understand the great impact of house rent on the family welfare. A family struggling to get the basic food, clothes and medications should not be burdened by high cost of rent.

But in an urban environment real estate is a luxury. People living in cities cannot afford to have their own land and their own house. In most cases, urban dwellers can only live in a city if they are willing to pay rent. Urban planners and policy makers must seriously consider a solution to the high cost of rent of houses and apartments.

Use of Alleys and other Neighborhood Conditions

There was a scene in the movie where the girl was running through the heart of the urban landscape chasing after her shoe that had fallen into an open sewer. Many people living in industrialized countries may find it difficult to imagine an urban setting where one can find an open sewer. The first problem with open sewers is that it is a safety concern. Children can fall into an open sewer and break their ankles.

Another major problem with open sewers is linked to health concerns. Children have the tendency to wander into these open sewers and play with dirty water. Aside from structural problems like open sewers, urban planners must look into the congestion of alleys and streets because of hawkers and sellers of goods. These places must be easily accessible by people and not clogged with merchandize.

Slum Environment

There was a moving scene in the movie when the poor boy played in the home of a rich family. The poor boy was happy because he was playing in the midst of a garden. It must have been paradise for him. Poor cities may tend to consider gardens as luxury, but urban planners must create gardens and parks that are easily accessible by both rich and poor families.

Conclusion

Cities are not just about physical structures built by engineers and city planners, cities are also about people. In the same way poverty is not just about the lack of funds but it is also the result of the physical environment where poor people live. The movie seems to say that the physical environment of the city is a contributing factor to poverty of the people. Thus, it is important that policy makers develop solutions not only to address poverty in general but also the urban environment where poor people live.

References

Clayton, J. (2000). Small town bound. New York: Xlibris Corporation.

Clayton, S., & Optow, S. (2003). Identity and the natural environment. MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.

Lloyd-Jones, T., & Rakodi, J. (2002). Urban livelihoods: a people-centered approach to reducing poverty. VA: Earthscan Publications.

Stucky, T. (2005). Urban politics, crime rates, and police strength. Washington, D.C.: LFB Scholarly Publishing.

Olympics Games: Should It Not Be Olympics Festivals?

What we know about the ancient Greek history today “survived either by pure chance or for literally reasons unconnected with their historical significance” (Crawford and Whitehead ix). Among the interesting activities in the contemporary society that interest me is claim that Olympic Games have its origins in Greek ancient history.

But does it really? Well, olympiakoi agones is the exact world that supposedly translate to ‘Olympic Games’ (Young 4). However, on more investigation, I am led to believe that while Olympic is actually an exact translation from olympiakoi, the term ‘games’ is not an exact translation from the Greek word agones.

In fact, (Young 4) observes that agones is better translated as “struggles”, “pains” or “contests”. Following the revelations about the not-so-accurate translation of the term olympiakoi agones, it could then be that the claim that Olympic Games has its genesis in Southwest Greece more than 2,700 years ago, is more of an association of activities rather than a reality.

I say this because olympiakoi agon was a religious festival, which was to say the least, not associated with sports, or games for that matter. If anything, it appears that the festival was a struggle, or a contest that would involve play at some point in honor of Zeus (Young 4).

Olympic Games as we know them today, involves struggles, contents and even some pains, which are often seen as means to the Olympic medals. Digressing to the definition of the word ‘games’, it appears that activities that qualify as games are not strictly meant to be competitive, and neither are they even meant to be painful or involving struggle (Wittgenstein 33e). At the very basics, games are a way of passing time and enjoying one self, but them again, there is no an accepted definition of the world games and so I could be wrong.

Consider the philosophical thoughts of (Wittgenstein 33e) who argues that explaining what a game is to someone who has no idea is a hard task because “we do not know the boundaries because none has been drawn”. In other words, no boundaries of description has been drawn to the definition of the word games; as such, activities as diverse as playing cards, playing with words, or playing with balls can be described as card games, word games or ball games respectively.

Following this line of thinking, I therefore suppose that the fact that Olympic festivals involved different forms of play is what led historians to relate it with the games as we know them today, and even associate the games’ history to ancient Greece, and hence Olympics.

Considering the above arguments, I am convinced that the only thing that the Olympic festivals in ancient Greece and the contemporary Olympic games share in common is the frequency of being held every four years, and perhaps the name Olympic. I draw the notion that the frequency of the Olympic festivals and the Olympic Games is alike from the understanding that Greeks’ calculate time intervals inclusively.

Beyond that, neither the intent nor the activities in both set of Olympics are similar. Even the inclusion of athletics in olympiakoi agones is contested by (Young 8) who observes that Homer- one of the historians who has written about athletic scenes in the ancient Greece- cannot be taken as an authentic memory of the same, because “rather than preserving a memory of athletics centuries earlier, he represents athletics in his own time” (Young 8).

Yet, it is from Homer’s writing that the contests and games associated with the Olympics (both the festivals and the contemporary games) are drawn. For example, it is observed that Homer’s poems paint the aristocratic warriors as “channeling their aggression and mutual rivalry into games and contests” whenever “they were not on the battlefield” (Crawford and David 46).

This then means that if Homer cannot be taken as an authority in telling us about the Olympic athletics, even less should we believe any texts that generally take his writings as absolute truth.

I also agree with Glass (155-156 cited by Young 19) who argues that a significant number of texts are unreliable despite modern authors believing in them. The generalizations that link the contemporary Olympic Games to the ancient Olympic festivals seem to have been taken from such ancient texts. In my view, the generalizations are not only anachronistic, but also wrong. But again, I too could be wrong.

Overall, I hold the opinion that the olympiakoi agones (if it indeed happened) must have provided the participants and onlookers with a chance to compete and contest for whatever rewards there were (including olive tree crowns) as indicated by (Crawford and Whitehead 48).

However, the activities that people in ancient Greece participated in during the festivals may never be absolutely known by the contemporary scholars because there is a possibility that much of the knowledge passed down the generations has been people’s inventions rather than factual. As such, the claim that the Olympics Games tradition goes back to the ancient Greece history is in my opinion, overstretching the truth.

Works Cited

Crawford, David, and David Whitehead. Archaic and Classical Greece: A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983. Print.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations. Trans. GEM Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958.

Young, David. A Brief History of the Olympic Games. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. Print.

Should Patients with High Blood Pressure Take Drugs?

According to Dishman (201), high blood pressure (or hypertension) is increasingly becoming a major health problem. According to recent estimates, one in every three Americans suffer from high blood pressure (Dishman (201). Compared to teenagers and children, the incidence of high blood pressure among adults is relatively high.

Globally, estimates show that more than 25% of the world population suffers from hypertension. This percentage amounts to about one billion people living with hypertension around the world. Cumulatively, more than 70 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure (Dishman 202).

Many people perceive high blood pressure to be a “silent killer” because it is often undetected. However, the main challenge for managing the disease lies in its treatment.

For example, many medical experts are undecided regarding the use of drug treatment for high blood pressure. Rhoden (185) warns patients suffering from mild high blood pressure against the risk of developing severe hypertension when they take over the counter (OTC) drugs.

However, some medical experts approve the use of drugs for the management of the disease because drugs offer immense opportunities for decreasing blood pressure. Indeed, proponents of drug treatment cite the importance of drugs in managing blood pressure as a management tool for the disease (Lenzer 7).

Their contribution considers situations when a lifestyle change is impossible to achieve. This paper investigates the truth behind both arguments (for and against drug use) and ends by stating if patients suffering from high blood pressure should take drugs or not. However, first, an explanation for the treatment options for mild and severe high blood pressure provides the framework the understanding of this paper’s findings.

Treating Different Levels of High Blood Pressure

The dilemma witnessed in medicating high blood pressure patients has been mirrored in research studies done by the widely respected, Cochrane Collaboration (Lenzer 3). However, these studies hinge their outcomes on understanding the distinction between “mild” high blood pressure and “high” high blood pressure.

Lanier explains this distinction by stating that “A reading below 120/80 is considered normal, below 95/60 is considered low blood pressure and higher than 140/90 is considered high blood pressure, or hypertension” (Lanier 4).

Lenzer (7) explains that there is a wide discrepancy between the effectiveness of drugs used to treat “mild” forms of hypertension and severe forms of hypertension. His findings revealed a high unresponsiveness to drugs for patients suffering from mild forms of hypertension.

In fact, the studies show a poor response to drug treatment for patients suffering from “mild” high blood pressure because their risk of stroke, heart disease, and death (which are often associated with severe forms of high blood pressure) are constant, despite the treatment (Lenzer 7).

The above research has faulted previous studies, which have promoted the use of drugs for patients with hypertension by citing their weakness in bundling all forms of hypertension into one group. In other words, Lenzer (8) proposes a difference in the effect of drug treatment for patients suffering from mild and extreme forms of hypertension (older research studies proposed a general positive effect for drug treatment on patients with hypertension, without considering the distinction between mild and severe forms of hypertension).

Lenzer (10) also warns against the possibility of a “disease creep” if patients suffering from mild forms of high blood pressure subject themselves to drug treatments (a “disease creep” occurs when patients suffering from a mild disease subject themselves to a treatment plan designed to treat an extreme form of the disease). Nonetheless, drug treatments for patients with severe high blood pressure are successful and efficient.

However, this outcome is best realized when multiple drugs are used (but even in such circumstances, more harm than good occurs because of the side effects of using multiple drugs). Overall, drug treatments for patients suffering from mild hypertension only poses a strong profit potential for drug companies (by increasing the number of patients depending on the drugs) but it does little to improve the overall well-being of the patients.

Advantages of Drug Use

This paper already highlights the negative side effects of drug use for patients with high blood pressure. However, according to Rhoden (177), drug use helps to reduce high blood pressure.

He highlights the reduction in blood pressure (by opening and widening the blood vessels to allow for more blood flow) as one benefit of drugs in reducing blood pressure (Rhoden 178). Indeed, part of the reason for increased high blood pressure is the narrowing of blood vessels, which occurs from several factors (including too much fat deposits in the blood).

Another way drugs reduce blood pressure is by preventing the blood vessels from narrowing so that they remain wide enough to allow for sufficient blood flow (Rhoden 178). Rhoden (178) does not elaborate how drugs achieve such an outcome, but he couples this advantage with the ability of drugs to reduce the heart’s workload. This effect is normally more efficient for patients who develop high blood pressure from obesity and related complications.

Rhoden (179) explains that regular drug use solves this problem because it reduces the heart workload. Finally, Rhoden (271) explains that drugs help reduce blood pressure by reducing the volume of fluids in the blood. Through a reduction in fluid volume, the blood pressure reduces.

Risks of Taking Drugs

Drug treatment methods for high blood pressure group under different levels of medications. However, the most commonly known type of drug medication for hypertension is diuretic drugs (American Heart Association 1). One disadvantage of using this type of drug is the reduction in potassium levels.

However, the American Heart Association (1) proposes supplementary potassium intake as a remedy for potassium loss. Nonetheless, many patients fail to realize that their drug intake reduces their potassium levels and therefore, they fail to supplement their potassium levels (American Heart Association 1).

Albeit uncommon, reports of patients suffering from gout after they have experienced prolonged exposure to diuretic drugs exist. This side effect exposes the danger of drug use for patients with high blood pressure but it barely highlights the risk patients suffering from both high blood pressure and diabetes experience when they use diuretic drugs.

The American Heart Association (1) explains that diabetic patients who use diuretic drugs suffer increased sugar levels when they use the drugs for a long time. However, to remedy increased blood sugar levels, the American Heart Association proposes, “a change in medication, diet, insulin or oral anti-diabetic dosage” (1).

Another side effect for hypertension patients who use diuretic drugs (to treat the condition) lie in the increased chances of impotency that diuretic drugs pose. This side effect rarely occurs but it still adds to the dangers hypertension patients risk when they take drugs.

In an unrelated context, Griffin (1) reports that some types of OTC drugs (such as nosteroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs) may have a severe impact on the wellbeing of patients suffering from high blood pressure. This risk is especially profound when the drugs contain ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen compounds (because these compounds have serious side effects on the patients) (Griffin 1).

However, certain painkillers are considered to have fewer side effects and therefore, they are not considered to be highly dangerous for patients suffering from high blood pressure.

For example, acetaminophen (an active ingredient in painkilling drugs) has few side effects for patients with high blood pressure (Griffin 1). In other words, this compound does not raise the blood pressure. Nonetheless, regardless of the absence of significant side effects for a specific group of drugs, they still have their own side effects (which do not directly relate to the management of high blood pressure).

Therefore, from this understanding, Griffin (1) cautions patients with high blood pressure from taking prescription drugs for more than ten days.

The potential danger of drugs to inhibit blood flow to the kidney is one effect that manifests as a major concern for patients with high blood pressure (the inhibited blood flow to the kidney slows the functions of the kidneys) (Griffin 1).

Therefore, instead of the kidneys filtering blood more efficiently, it is slow to achieve this purpose (consequently, many fluids increase in the blood and the blood pressure increases) (American Heart Association 1). The increased high blood pressure is especially worse for patients who suffer from some form of heart complication.

Research has proved that when prescription drug use is common, there may be a potential complete damage to the kidneys (Griffin 1). This risk begs the question regarding what patients with high blood pressure should do when they have another discomfort (like a headache or a cold). To answer this question, Griffin (1) suggests that safe drugs (like asprin) are safe to medicate such patients.

Alternative Treatments

Since many drug treatment methods have side effects, doctors who have warned against the effects of drug treatment, propose the adoption of alternative treatment methods. This section of the paper concentrates on explaining five alternative treatment methods, proposed by Mayo Clinic (1) to be extremely effective in reducing high blood pressure. One alternative treatment is reducing the body weight and watching the waistline.

The effectiveness of reducing body weight traces its roots from the relation between body weight and blood pressure. Mayo Clinic (1) confirms that there is a positive relation between high blood pressure and excessive body weight. From this relationship, Mayo Clinic (1) proves that reducing even ten pounds of body weight is likely to have a positive impact on blood pressure reduction. Finally, Mayo Clinic (1) explains that body weight reduction also improves the efficiency of drug treatment.

Another alternative treatment for high blood pressure is regular exercising. Regular exercising has enormous benefits. In fact, Mayo Clinic (3) recommends patients to exercise for an hour (everyday) to reduce their blood pressure by about four to nine millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Observing regular exercise is also one way patients with mild high blood pressure can reduce their risk of developing severe high blood pressure (Divine 74).

Divine (74) however warn patients against doing strenuous exercises (say, twice a week) to compensate for other days of the week. Eating a healthy diet is also another medication-free treatment that has a positive effect on reducing blood pressure. Like exercising, eating a healthy diet not only has a positive effect on reducing blood pressure but also on improving the overall health of the patients.

However (concentrating on high blood pressure), it is important to highlight that eating a lot of grains, fruits, vegetables and low-cholesterol foods can reduce the blood pressure significantly (by about 14 mm Hg) (Mayo Clinic 3). This treatment plan defines the dietary approach to blood pressure reduction.

Reducing sodium in the diet is also another treatment plan that has a high efficacy when treating high blood pressure. Indeed, high sodium levels are associated with high blood pressure because even slight reductions of sodium in the diet have a two to eight mm Hg reduction in blood pressure (the recommended level of sodium consumption should be limited to 2,300 milligrams every day) (Mayo Clinic 3).

Lastly, Mayo Clinic (3) advises patients suffering from high blood pressure (and are alcohol consumers) to reduce their alcohol consumption as a strategy to reduce their blood pressure. However, alcohol consumption is a dicey issue for patients with high blood pressure because Mayo Clinic (3) posits that small amounts of alcohol consumption can lower the blood pressure by about two to four mm Hg (this benefit is lost during excessive consumption of alcohol).

Therefore, it is advisable to limit alcohol consumption to small volumes. Comprehensively, the above medication-free treatment methods help to treat high blood pressure without experiencing the negative effects of drugs.

Conclusion

After weighing the benefits and side effects of drug use, there is a clear divide between the pros and cons of drug use for patients who have a high blood pressure. However, since not all drugs have a negative (or severe) impact on patients with high blood pressure, there is a need to distinguish “dangerous” and “safe” drugs. It is therefore improper to state broadly that high blood pressure patients should not take drugs.

Indeed this paper shows that some drugs can be beneficial to the patients and ongoing research shows the ability of drugs to lower blood pressure by widening blood veins, reducing fluid volume, and reducing heart workload (as some of the benefits for drug use among patients with hypertension). Nonetheless, these treatment methods are incomparable to the benefits enjoyed by medication-free treatment methods (alternative treatment methods).

These alternative treatment methods do not only have a positive impact on the reduction of blood pressure but they also have a broad and positive impact on the patients’ health. Furthermore, these treatment methods constitute precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of high blood pressure (and most importantly prevent the worsening of mild hypertension to severe hypertension).

Therefore, the adoption of alternative treatment provides a way for patients with “mild” high blood pressure can prevent the development of “high” high blood pressure. Comprehensively, drug treatment for patients suffering from high blood pressure is not entirely bad if safe drugs are used, but overall, it is advisable for patients to use alternative treatment options to avoid any possibility of suffering from the severe impacts of drug use.

Works Cited

American Heart Association 2012, Types of Blood Pressure Medications. Web. 28

September. 2012. .

Dishman, Rod. Physical Activity Epidemiology, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2012. Print.

Divine, Jon. Action Plan for High Blood Pressure, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2005. Print.

Griffin, Morgan 2012, High Blood Pressure: Everyday Pain Relief. Web. 28 September. 2012. .

Lanier, Jennifer 2012, Difference Between High & Low Blood Pressure. Web. 28 September. 2012. .

Lenzer, Jeanne 2012, Have Mild Hypertension? You may not need drugs. Web. 28 September. 2012. .

Mayo Clinic 2012, 10 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without Medication. Web. 28 September. 2012. .

Rhoden, Chad. Bringing Down High Blood Pressure, London, UK: Government Institutes, 2010. Print.

The wax argument and its purpose

Rene Descartes is a famous French philosopher whose ideas and considerations are prominent and they are studied up to now. Some of the ideas are controversial. There are a lot of different theories considered by Rene Descartes, however, the wax argument is one of the most controversial and discussed issue.

Trying to understand the nature of the wax argument and its importance, it is essential to consider the way of thinking Descartes applies to. Using wax as the object for thinking and consideration, Descartes has come to the conclusion that to judge an issue one is to reject thinking about its properties at the moment and to rely only on his/her deduction and mind.

Feelings and perception of the aspects prevent a person from objective consideration of the issue. Emotions are also extra in this case. Thus, to create an objective opinion about an issue all the perceptions and feelings are to be removed.

Trying to follow the way of thinking Descartes applied to, the following process may be considered. Descartes has taken a piece of wax and he has listed its main characteristics. Having considered the shape, texture, size, color, smell and other characteristics of the wax, Descartes has created a certain point of view about the piece of wax, however, after he melted this piece another substance was seen.

It is essential to understand that this melted piece of wax was the same piece, however, its shape, texture, size, color, and smell changed. This is the main idea of the wax argument Rene Descartes has presented. To measure an object (wax in this case), Descartes recommends not to shift to the perceptions, feelings and emotions, deductive method is just to be used to consider the issue.

Following the way of thinking Descartes applied to while coming to the conclusion about the deduction only use while making decisions about the object qualities, the following data is to be considered. Having melted the piece of wax, it has lost all its initial qualities, however, it remains the same wax. Therefore, thinking about wax, people are not to refer to their sensory abilities. Descartes refers to wax as to something more extended, such as space.

Moreover, a piece of wax may come through many changes a person may not be aware of, however, it still remains that piece of wax. Therefore, the wax is perceived through the personal understanding. Finally, when people say that they “see” the wax, they usually judge by means of understanding what they see (Lacewing 235).

Therefore, the main conclusion Descartes comes to is that “when we perceive an object like the piece of wax, there is an act of judgment involved in our perception. I do not see the piece of wax – I infer that it is there from appearances provided by my sense” (in Morton 74). Thus, such consideration is referred to as wax argument. When people are to consider an object, they are to frustrate from the perception of this object, think objectively and consider the initial characteristics of it.

There are three main purposes of wax argument presented by Descartes. The wax argument “serves as an argument for rationalism and, by implication, nativism”, “it serves as a first sketch of Descartes’ argument and theory regarding the nature of corporeal and non-corporeal substance”, and “it serves as an argument that, contrary to commonsense, the mind is known better than the body” (Graziano 1).

These purposes help us consider the main metaphysical categories wax argument is applied to, modal properties, numerical identity and substance-things. Considering the properties of an object, it should be concluded that each object has at least one property.

People are unable to know about each property an object may have under various conditions, however, the basic knowledge about an object helps him/her identify it under various influence. The numerical identity of objects refers to the different ways of identity, numerical and qualitative. Finally, substance-things category refers to the properties of an object which may be a collection of coexisting properties and the predicted ones (Graziano 3).

The wax argumentation is used by Descartes in the consideration of God as an existing creation. A philosopher applies this theory trying to explain that it does not matter that we are unable to see God, we understand that God exists. The perception is reduced to minimum and only the deduction is to be applied while considering this issue. This trust in the things which are not absolutely certain is the main theme of Descartes and his philosophy.

Applying to the wax issue in this case, the philosopher tries to prove that it is possible to trust in God without having any visual support as trying to visualize God we just apply to our perception which is not necessary in case of wax argumentation. This is one of the main characteristic features of wax argument. It teaches people not to see the object but to consider it the way one understands.

Returning to the discussion of wax as a piece, the following data should be mentioned. A philosopher tries to show us that a personal vision of wax is what important in comparison with wax as an object which is seen. Personal consideration is the main purpose of wax argument.

People should be able to get the main idea of an issue no matter under what conditions the issue is at the moment. Each person applies to experience he/she has in the question of personal understanding of the objects and their qualities. It is important to see the piece of wax even when it is melted and to be aware of its initial qualities.

Therefore, considering the main idea of the Descartes’ wax argument and its implementation into practice, the following statement should be referred to, “I now know that even bodies are not strictly perceived by the senses or the faculty of imagination but by the intellect alone, and that this perception derives not from their being touched or seen but from their being understood” (Descartes 22).

Human mind works so actively that when we see an object, we can consider its main properties no matter under which conditions an object has appeared. Human mind is unique.

People are able to perceive objects as they are and to consider them in their initial appearance. Treating various objects, people are able to consider the main properties essential for a particular object. The main idea of the wax argument is that people usually use their mind to treat an object and to define its characteristics and only then they refer to perception trying to identify the conditions which have affected it.

Works Cited

Descartes, Rene. Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and RepliesI. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Print.

Graziano, Richard G. Descartes’ wax argument for the sum res cogitans. 2011. Web. 28 Sept. 2012. http://cla.calpoly.edu/~rgrazian/docs/courses/230/Instruction/Handouts/wax.pdf

Lacewing, Michael. Revise Philosophy for AS Level. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2007. Print.

Morton, Peter. A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind, second edition: Readings with Commentary. New York: Broadview Press, 2010. Print.

Ethical Aspects of the Financial Crisis

The documentary film Inside Job directed by Charles Ferguson examines the origins of the financial crisis that broke out in 2007.

Certainly, this movie cannot be regarded as a scientific study of the recession, but it does raise several important questions about the behavior of financial institutions or political leaders. This paper will look at the ethical aspects of the meltdown from the perspective of utilitarianism developed by John Stuart Mill. Moreover, it is vital to examine this issue from the standpoint of social contract theory.

In particular, it is necessary to speak about the ideas of John Rawls. On the whole, it is possible to say that different philosophers may disagree on various principles of ethics. Yet, they would agree that to some degree, the origins of the financial crisis can be traced to the immoral behavior of some individuals who attempted to maximize their own benefits of at the expense of others. Moreover, one can argue that the policies existing at that time failed to protect the interests of the majority.

It should be noted that in the movie Inside Job stresses the idea that the employees of leading financial institutions were engaged in illegal activities such as fraud, inside trading, or money laundering (Inside Job). Special attention is paid to the behavior of corporate executives such as CEOs whose compensation and bonuses are described as excessive and unjustified (Inside Job).

The film-makers emphasize several important points; one of them is lack of accountability, especially if one is speaking about corporate executives whose risky strategies deprived many people of their savings (Inside Job). Secondly, the authors of the movie stress the point that the laws failed to protect people who put their trust into banks or rating agencies.

They did contribute to the growth of some financial institutions, but they did not ensure the transparency of their work (Inside Job). There are some of the most important issues raised in the film. Thus, the main message of the film is that the meltdown can be the result of social injustice.

One can look at the situation from different philosophical and ethical perspectives. For example, this meltdown can examined from the standpoint of social contract theory which was advocated by John Rawls. In his belief, the political and social systems should be designed in such as way that they create equal opportunities for every person irrespective of arbitrary factors such as the income level of ones parents (Rawls 448).

Moreover, in his opinion, the laws can be viewed as just provided that they benefit or protect “the least disadvantaged members of the society” (Rawls 258). These are the main principles of social contract that he advocates. Provided that this approach is adopted, one can argue that this meltdown originated from the policies that benefited the most advantaged members of the community, rather than the least disadvantaged ones.

The film Inside Job stresses the idea that financial institutions have sufficient resources can influences the policies of the state, especially through lobbing activities (Inside Job). However, one cannot say the same thing about middle-class people. John Rawls might have regarded this discrepancy as a violation of social justice principles.

In my view, this argument is quite justified because the government did not defend the right of people who relied on the integrity of financial institutions and the prudence of their policies. These members of society can be regarded as less advantaged in comparison with corporate executives, because they may not have the expertise to protect themselves against possible fraud.

Secondly, this situation can be examined by applying the principles of utilitarian ethics elaborated by John Stuart Mill. In particular, one can speak about the Greatest-Happiness Principles that this philosopher proposes (Mill 16). According to this postulate, ethical behavior is supposed to maximize happiness of individuals and minimize their pain (Mill 16). It should be noted that Mill’s utilitarianism should not be confused with hedonism that places emphasis on physical pleasure.

More likely, Mill believes that an action can be viewed as moral if it maximizes the benefits of other people, and not only the agent of the action (Mill 16). The examples provided in the film Inside Job indicate that policies and decisions of corporate executives were aimed at maximizing their own benefits, rather than public welfare (Inside Job).

Overall, the legislation improved the welfare of a very select group of people, such as high-ranking employees of banks or hedge funds. Yet, the needs of many other people were disregarded. Thus, the Greatest-Happiness Principles was violated.

Certainly, the social contract theory of John Rawls and the utilitarianism of John Mills cannot be views as similar ethical philosophers. Yet, they can both suggest that to a great extent the financial meltdown was a result of policies that failed to safeguard the welfare of many people who relied on the efficiency and integrity of the financial services industry. In terms of social contract theory and utilitarianism, such actions can be seen as immoral.

Works Cited

Inside Job. Ex. Prod. Audrey Marrs and Charles Ferguson. New York: Sony Pictures Classics, 2010. DVD.

Mill, John. Utilitarianism, London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. Print.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice, Revised Edition, Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999. Print.

Alibaba.com Dominance in B2B Market in China

Having made an early entry into business to business (B2B) portal market in China (1995), Alibaba.com concentrated on small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) given their favourable numerical strength.

The portal market company capitalised on the fact that SMBs found it difficult to link up with the rest of the global firms given their limited capacity and language barrier.

Alibaba.com assisted the SMBs by organising their information, and then linking them with international firms (buyers). This saved the local SMBs time and money they would spend in attending trade fairs and exhibitions in search of global business partners.

As such, the main lock-in effect that Alibaba.com used to woo SMBs their way was language. To date, it organises, translates and acts as a link-up between Chinese suppliers and global buyers.

Ethnicity Influence

People are different not only because of their appearances, habits, preferences, and behaviors but also because of their definite ethnic characteristics. It is important to note that the role of ethnicity as the significant factor of the individual’s development associated with the person’s identity can be discussed from several different perspectives which are the personal identity, the fact of belonging to a definite community, and the position in the society.

From this point, the question of ethnicity is closely connected with the concepts of identity and race. Ethnicity can be discussed with references to the national identity, and this aspect can influence the individual’s position within the certain society positively, negatively or it can have no obvious effects.

Although the fact of belonging to a definite ethnic group can influence the individual’s position in the society in a different way, it is necessary to state that ethnicity should be discussed as the influential factor only with references to its role in the personal and social interactions.

Race is the general notion in relation to which the world population is differentiated according to some biological characteristics. However, race as well as ethnicity can be discussed as predominantly social notions. According to Cornell and Hartmann, “races … are not established by some set of natural forces but are products of human perception and classification.

They are social constructs” (Cornell and Hartmann 23). In this case, ethnicity which is based on the definite culture, history, language, religion, customs, and traditions helps determine the social identities and divide people in ‘we’ and ‘others’ (Cornell and Hartmann).

Many people agree that sometimes this kind of differentiation can lead to conflicts between the representatives of various ethnic groups which are caused by stereotypes and prejudice and by the inability to accept the differences. Many modern societies are multiethnic that is why it is important to concentrate on the role of ethnicity in their development.

Ethnicity can be discussed as an individual and collective notion. Today, people are involved in a lot of social circles which can include the representatives of different ethnic groups.

The studies support the fact that members of a family often belong to one ethnic group, but when spouses are the representatives of different ethnic group the role of their ethnicity become significant for the spouses’ personal development and as the aspect of children’s upbringing.

Thus, ethnicity as the concept of an individual’s identity which develops in family does not provoke conflicts because it is taken-for-granted. The different situation can be observed while discussing ethnicity as the collective notion.

Ethnicity explicitly defines the interpersonal relations when it is associated with a kind of racial discrimination. Thus, many young African-Americans state that their race and ethnicity influence their social position. This position is often based not on their personal characteristics, but on the other people’s perceptions of them.

In this case, it is possible to speak about the invidious status of definite races and groups in the society. However, the question of race and ethnicity is not always prominent because it depends on the combination of such factors as ethnicity, gender, class, age, and religion.

If African-American respondents concentrate on the aspects of discrimination, the representatives of Latino ethnicity are inclined to agree that their ethnicity provides some social boundaries in their interactions with the other ethnic groups. However, in most cases, ethnicity is significant for them as the source of their cultural difference and identity.

Moreover, ethnicity influences their self-actualization more than their social status, and the representatives of the other ethnic groups support the viewpoint that the factor of ethnicity is influential for the individual’s finding his personal and social identity in being the part of a community and sharing the meanings.

The progress of globalization processes and the development of modern multiethnic societies result in persons’ paying less attention to ethnic differences in comparison with the situation which was typical for the parents and grandparents’ generation. The conflict of ethnicities at social settings is not as developed today as it was earlier.

Expanding their social circles, people usually do not focus on ethnic attributes and differences as the causes for conflicting or discriminating. Furthermore, today the notion of ethnicity is more significant for stating the personal identity with which social, cultural, and national identities are associated.

It is possible to conclude that today the role of ethnicity for developing social relations and taking the definite social position is rather exaggerated, and the ethnic factor is not as important as it was decades ago. However, there are examples of conflicts based on racial and ethnic misunderstandings and misconceptions which can lead to the development of prejudice in the society directed toward this or that group.

Nevertheless, ethnicity is important as well as the national identity because it is the base for the person’s cultural development, for forming his notions about freedom and boundaries. Providing the fundament for the collective identification within the community, ethnicity is also the source of the person’s self-actualization.

Work Cited

Cornell, Stephen and Douglas Hartmann. Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World. USA: Sage Publications, 1998. Print.

Mediation of Family Conflicts

Arguments, disputes, and conflicts can be characteristic for any family in spite of the number of members and character of their relations. Family-related conflicts are often based on the problems in communication and inability to solve the issue in a way which is appropriate for both parties.

Thus, family-related conflicts are disagreements in interests, values, and opinions, and they can be caused by misperceptions, misunderstandings, different visions of the same problem, and poor communication. There are many cases when people are unable to solve the conflict without references to independent mediators or legal services. The situation can be discussed as complicated when children are also involved in a family conflict.

That is why, families often need the qualified help provided by mediators in order to solve the conflict, meeting the interests of both parties and proposing the most appropriate decision. To be effective, the process of mediating family conflicts as a kind of intervention in a dispute should depend on such principles as the voluntary nature of the parties’ cooperation with mediators and the readiness of the parties to solve the problem successfully.

Mediation is a type of the outside help to resolve the conflict when it is necessary to present the independent point of view on the issue and regulate the decision-making process because of the parties’ inability to control the situation and make reasonable decisions. Family-related conflicts have definite characteristics which help to distinguish them among the other types of conflicts.

Family conflicts are based on such notions as intimacy, compulsion, and smallness (Folberg, Milne, & Salem, 2004). The problems in relations, financial issues, problems in understanding, and issues of children care can provoke the development of different family-related conflicts which main characteristics are the dependence on strong emotions and lack of effective communication.

To respond to family conflicts, mediators should overcome the parties’ strong emotions, providing the necessary emotional preparing for negotiations, resolve perceptual problems in order to form the independent vision of a question, to give the opportunity for parties to listen to each other in order to avoid the communication difficulties (Moore, 2003).

In spite of the fact mediators often do not have legal powers, they can help parties to take over the conflict in cooperation with lawyers in order to resolve all the emotional issues and provide them the opportunity to work only with legal aspects of the question. Thus, mediators are used to take over the process of resolving emotional tensions and misconceptions when the parties are involved in divorce negotiations (Coulson, 1996).

Many people who have to use the help of mediators to resolve their family-related conflicts are involved in the divorce process. Ann and Richard have been married for 9 years. Their child’s name was Tom, and the boy was 8 years old when his parents decided to divorce. The cause for divorce was not stated clearly because Ann and Richard could not overcome their emotions and provide reasonable decisions.

The spouses insisted to be divorced because of the emotional discrepancy and difficulties in communication. However, the main problem was in the fact that the parents could not resolve the issue of the child custody and residential questions.

Ann wanted Tom to live in her house when Richard also was ready to provide all the necessary conditions for Tom’s living in his apartment. Ann and Richard decided to use the help of mediators because they could not observe the problem impartially, and it was necessary to plan the work with lawyers without references to emotional issues.

Mediators can use general and contingent tactics, depending on the particular features of the conflict (Moore, 2003). In this case, the help of a mediator was necessary to overcome the emotional tension which prevented the parents from making reasonable decisions.

Having overcome the communication difficulties with reducing the tension and proposing Ann and Richard to participate in the open dialogue, the mediator helped the parents to agree to have the joint guardianship because of the necessity to provide the opportunities for Tom to communicate with both parents.

The demand for joint guardianship was the first point to discuss with lawyers. Nevertheless, the residential issue became controversial. The mediator proposed to choose the place for living according to Tom’s needs, paying attention to such aspects as life conditions, surroundings, location, and distance from school and develop the specific schedule of parent-child communication.

Divorces are usually based on many preceding conflicts, and the task of mediators is to regulate the consequences of these conflicts in order to meet the interests of both parties and children. Theory of mediating family conflicts can be successfully used to overcome controversial aspects of the problem when mediators choose the most effective practice with references to the specific features of the conflict.

Thus, in this case, the mediator reduced the emotional tension between the parents, made the accents on cooperation to meet the child’s needs, presented the advantages of joint guardianship as the form of child custody, and proposed the variants to solve the residential problem with reference to planning the effective schedule.

However, in spite of the fact theory of mediation and the practical methods can be successfully used to overcome a conflict, it is difficult to predict it with the help of these methods because they are developed to work with a conflict as a process and to take over its consequences.

References

Coulson, R. (1996). Family mediation: Managing conflict, resolving disputes. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Folberg, J., Milne, A. L., & Salem, P. (2004). Divorce and family mediation: Models, techniques, and applications. USA: Guilford Press.

Moore, C. W. (2003). The mediation process: Practical strategies for resolving conflict. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The Context of Desire: Political Economy of Consumption

Trends of consumption in Japan largely depend on consumer behavior in particular and socio-economic factors in general. Economic and political factors influence consumer behavior because they facilitate various social processes, including supply rates, savings, and foreign good import.

All these aspects are also tangible in much larger context that in its turn affects the overall political and economic situation. Interaction between political and economic domains can be regarded as a trigger of social change in industrialized society. What is more important is that both spheres are primarily established in a cultural context.

In relation to Japan, much controversy arises concerning the influence of culture on macro-social shifts because there is a strong assumption about impossibility of direct interaction between culture and politics. At the same time, Japan cannot be considered separately from culture because the country is involved in cultural issues in every aspect of social life. Such an argument is enhanced by the richness of Japanese traditions and their influence on behavioral patterns in society.

In The Context of Desire, Clammer explores new definitions of culture in the context of political economy of consumption to justify the evident connection between culture and politics. In particular, the research argues that culture and economics are integral parts of the whole, complementing each other.

At the international level, Japan is assumed to have weak political influence on other economies. At the same time, it plays an aggressive role in financial and industrial matters.

In total, the country can be regarded as an economic superpower with a bored population, but with a rich nation. Such a situation fosters the discussion about the existence of alternative political structures taking control of politics in the country. Focus on politics, therefore, is replaced by economic goals and, as a result, Japan belongs to highly conservative economies.

The origins of institutions controlling economic and political situations can serve as an explanation for apolitical views in the country. These institutions are primarily linked to bureaucracy interests in manufacture and commerce. Their strategies differ significantly from interests presented in other industrialized nations.

The omnipotent influence of bureaucracy on economic patterns is predetermined by strong ethical frameworks established in these institutions, which influences significantly the quality standards. Focus on security, labor-relation style, and organizational culture constitutes the solid foundation for assigning unique vision of Japanese power.

Decline of political trends in Japan is historically predetermined. The point is that Japan has never been considered as a democratic economy.

The country’s economic and social vision on development differs significantly from Western patterns of development. Because most of traditions in Japan are deeply rooted in ancient times, there is also an assumption that hyper-consumption patterns are not predetermined by post-modern trends.

The tendency focuses on the slowly changing patterns of political development, as well as on ideological failure of socialists. More importantly, late introduction of political reforms is another factor contributing to the development of unique apolitical patterns of consumption in Japan.

In order to prove the connection between economics and culture, specific emphasis should be placed on social structure, particularly on private and public principles assigned to lifestyle. Establishment of symbolic patterns in consumption enhanced focus on cultural practices involved into economics. Therefore, consumption practices are redefined by symbolic boundaries through assertion of Japanese identity. In fact, ideology of consumption has deeply impregnated into economic strategies.

The social shifts influencing economic system were especially tangible with the introduction of female consumers promoting the idea of selling lifestyles. In other words, women as consumers at a local level have a potent impact on economic and political modes of development. Shifts in political and economic views and their direct relation to culture is explained by the shifts occurred to society.

In particular, Japanese are currently focused on building the identity through roles and responsibilities they take in employed environment rather than building the nation. Individualized approach to consumption, therefore, is the primary factor that contributes to the interaction between culture and economics.

The potential influence on apolitical situation in Japan is largely explained by replacement of political structure with alternative communicational channels. These new structures substituted the fixed systems of influence, such as old industrial capitalism.

Therefore, the current regulation system is predetermined by the needs expressed in such spheres as shopping organization, transportation media, and other apolitical institutions in Japan. All these social spheres of influence directly relate to the forms of popular culture that are gradually transformed in alternative ways of political governance.

In general, the above-presented discussion focuses on the definition of consumer society that plays the leading role in defining political and economic trends of development. Japan, a developed economy with rich history and traditions, deviates significantly from the stereotypical image about powerful industrialized nation.

In fact, its major focus is placed on the development of consumption patterns that would guide the production processes in the country. In addition, such concept as aesthetics of design is governed by new modes of consumption in Japan.

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