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LAS 432 Week 7 DQ 2 Globalization and the Threat to the Environment

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Before we decide what to do about the environment globally, let’s see what we can do locally. What environmental problems are you aware of in the area where you live? What solutions, from among those proposed by the authors of the essays, do you think would be the most appropriate to solve these problems? 

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LAS 432 Week 7 DQ 1 The Energy Crisis

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Given the current state of energy use, which continues to grow exponentially in such countries as China and India, what measures can the United States and other Western countries take to produce more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly fuels? What other sources of energy could be developed to solve the energy crisis? What can the individual do to alleviate this crisis? 

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LAS 432 Week 6 DQ 2 Technology, Morality, and Ethics

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In the article by Leon Kass, “Preventing a Brave New World,” the author argues for a worldwide ban on all forms of human cloning. Do you agree with the author’s arguments? Could we realistically allow therapeutic cloning but ban human cloning? What are the ethical questions raised by cloning? Is there any moral difference between applying genetic engineering technologies to humans and applying them to animals and plants? What role should governments play in making policies regarding ethical issues? 

If you enjoy discussing hot button issues this is a question for you.  This is another gut wrenching contemporary technology that creates a whole updated set of issues for us. Don’t think you can answer this question with emotion or off the cuff judgments. This is a complicated technical matter and to answer it meaningfully you must have an understanding of the technical issues involved. Opinion won’t cut it here, we need knowledge – informed opinion. Lay people make a lot of assumptions about cloning that are simply irrelevant to the issue—like “I’m gonna clone my Mom”. No, you’re not. Your “Mom” has a history, a character, a personality. Those things aren’t cloned. Cloning is now a widely used technology and not just in the United States. Keep that in mind. One other caution, this is favorite topic for Hollywood producers. Film producers may have some interesting and important things to say about human cloning but keep in mind they are fiction. For the last 70 years Hollywood has made a lot of movies about foreign space invaders from other planets. We haven’t seen one yet.  So movies are not a gage of rightness or wrongness of any action. 

 

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LAS 432 Week 5 Midterm Exam – 3 Sets

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LAS 432 Midterm Exam Solutions Set 1

(TCO 1) The Neolithic Revolution was a result of

(TCO 1) Francis Bacon argued that scientific method differed from logic and mathematics in that

(TCOs 2 & 8) Rapid urbanization in Britain during the 19th century was the result of

(TCOs 2 & 8) The introduction of four uniform time zones in the United States was a direct result of

(TCO 4) Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of Wiki art?

(TCO 4) According to Winner, the use of computer technologies to supervise workers is

(TCO 8): The most culturally influential class in Industrial Britain was

(TCO 11) Which of the following is NOT a scholarly resource?

(TCO 12) Bill Joy argues that the most dangerous aspect of GNR technologies is

(TCO 12) The unintended effects of e-mail are

You must complete all three essays. These essays are worth 50 points each, so please take the time to think through your answers and review them before submitting.

These essays should be a minimum of five paragraphs in length each. They should contain a clear thesis statement in the first paragraph (an answer to the question!). Make sure your explanation is clear and that you provide specific examples. Any quotes from the readings or external materials must include quotation marks and an in-text citation. Failure to identify quoted material could result in a 0 for the exam and a formal academic dishonesty charge.

(TCOs 1 & 2) Why does Cowan believe it is important to examine technologies in the context of technological systems? What advantage does this broader perspective give to planners? Give a specific current technological example (not it the reading) in support

(TCOs 4 & 8) Identify two authors from your readings and compare their views on the impact of technology on a culture. To what degree does each author see the technology affecting social change? Were there special interests involved in the decision making concerning the development and use of the technology? Provide specific examples.

(TCOs 3 & 4) How have changes in technology affected the recording industry and our understanding of what it means to be a professional musician? How have changes in technology affected our access to recorded music and the control exercised by traditional distributors? How will all these changes affect cultural trends and our expectations of music as an art form? Provide specific examples.

LAS 432 Midterm Exam Solutions Set 2

(TCO 1) In the Neolithic Revolution, the growth of communities was a result of (Points : 5)

(TCO 1) Francis Bacon argued that scientific method differed from logic and mathematics in that

(Points : 5)

(TCOs 2 & 8) Edgerton counters the theory of distinct successive technological revolutions by explaining that

(Points : 5)

(TCOs 2 & 8) The introduction of four uniform time zones in the United States was a direct result of

(TCO 4) Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of Wiki art? (Points : 5)

(TCO 4) According to Winner, the use of computer technologies to supervise workers is

(TCO 8) The term Luddite refers to (Points : 5)

(TCO 11) Which of the following is considered a scholarly resource? (Points : 5)

(TCO 12) The three technologies that Bill Joy states are the greatest threat in the 21st century are

.(TCO 12) The unintended effects of e-mail are(Points : 5)

. The intended reader of a scholarly resource would be

A. students.

B. academics.

C. professionals.

D. All of the above

12. During the Protestant Reformation, the printing press created a updated desire for books.

A. became popular in Muslim countries.

B. was used by the Catholic church to fight heresy.

C. helped to satisfy a growing demand for vernacular books.

13. Winner argues that some technologies have become so fully integrated in our society that they have actually taken on social roles. An example of this would be

A. a telephone answering machine.

B. a computerized surveillance system.

C. ‘el cortito’.

D. All of the above.

Essay questions

(TCOs 1 & 2) Why does Cowan believe it is important to examine technologies in the context of technological systems? What advantage does this broader perspective give to planners? Give a specific current technological example (not it the reading) in support of your answer.

(TCOs 4 & 8)

Explain in your own words your understanding of Wajcman’s critique of technological determinism. How does her reasoning compare with Winner’s argument that technologies can actually reflect political relationships? Provide examples.

Has the development of digital technologies democratized the art of photography? How has this affected our appreciation of the photographer as artist and photography as an art form? Explain using specific examples.

week 3 ( TCO 4 AND 12) 2. Both Winner and Joy explore the issue of technology and control. How would you compare their two views of current technological development? Focus the comparison on a specific technology, such as genetically modified organisms

(TCOs 3 & 4) 3. How have changes in technology affected the recording industry and our understanding of what it means to be a professional musician? How have changes in technology affected our access to recorded music and the control exercised by traditional distributors? How will all these changes affect cultural trends and our expectations of music as an art form? Provide specific examples.

4. (TCOs 1 & 2) Landes argues that there were cultural differences between the East and Middle East and the West that affected the development and application of some technologies such as the clock. Did these differences also affect the way these cultures approached information technologies such as the printing press? Can you make a comparison with the different approaches taken by Eastern and Middle Eastern and Western cultures today and current information technologies? (Points : 50)

LAS 432 Midterm Exam Solutions Set 3

(TCO 1) A characteristic of the Neolithic revolution was the movement of people to villages because (Points : 5)

(TCO 1) In the Neolithic Revolution, the growth of communities was a result of (Points : 5)

. (TCO 4) According to Winner, the design of a hoe (el cortito), reflects a political relationship because

(TCO 1) Francis Bacon argued that scientific method differed from logic and mathematics in that

(TCOs 2 & 8) Edgerton counters the theory of distinct successive technological revolutions by explaining that

(TCOs 2 & 8) The introduction of four uniform time zones in the United States was a direct result of

(TCO 4) Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of Wiki art? (Points : 5)

(TCO 4) In Wiki art, the artist is (Points : 5)

(TCO 4) According to Winner, the use of computer technologies to supervise workers is

(Points : 5)

(TCO 8) The term Luddite refers to (Points : 5)

(TCO 11) Which of the following is considered a scholarly resource? (Points : 5)

. (TCO 12) Bill Joy compares the threat of self-replicating nanotechnology with

(Points : 5)

(TCO 12) The three technologies that Bill Joy states are the greatest threat in the 21st century are

.(TCO 12) The unintended effects of e-mail are(Points : 5)

The intended reader of a scholarly resource would be

A. students.

B. academics.

C. professionals.

D. All of the above

Winner argues that some technologies have become so fully integrated in our society that they have actually taken on social roles. An example of this would be

A. a telephone answering machine.

B. a computerized surveillance system.

C. ‘el cortito’.

D. All of the above.

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LAS 432 Week 5 DQ 2 Technology and Globalization

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Many experts assert that globalization has essentially made us less independent and more closely connected to other people than ever before. This enhanced connectivity has important implications for individuals, small businesses, corporations, and governments. Thomas Friedman has been a strong supporter of globalization and emphasizes the benefits of globalization’s technologies and outcomes. Do you agree with his view? Why or why not? What are some of the challenges experienced by governments that are associated with globalization? What are some of the challenges experienced by individuals? 

Globalization is a complex technology that is dominated by the principle of reducing trade barriers between countries and stabilizing currency exchange and developing consistent business laws between countries.  The US government was the primary supporter of this concept.  What do the results show? American’s like to think of themselves as free and independent individualities, free to make our own decisions.  Yet how can that be when  a war in one part of the world can double the price of gasoline or when wealthy foreign countries stop buying our bonds, jobs are outsourced or 

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LAS 432 Week 5 DQ 1 The Politics of Technology

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Superior expertise about how technologies work does not guarantee superior judgment about how they should be used, regulated, or governed. As technology becomes more sophisticated, how can citizens and political leaders judge and understand whether a given technology offers great perils or great promises? When great technological projects, such as venturing farther into the galaxy or developing updated life-extending medicines, are proposed, how should government officials make decisions about how tax dollars should be spent? 

Think of   birth control pills, an Olympic runner in a race with artificial legs,   video technology that can now pry into our private lives on the street. Electric and electronic technologies that drain our power grid.  Cars crowding streets and poisoning the air and changing the international dynamic due to the importance of oil.  Life extension medical technologies that have the  effect of rising our medical costs as more seriously ill people more old people are living longer often with a low quality of life.  There was little government involvement in technology issues and developments in the past but now we  are beset by a host of questions produced by more and more technological innovation.

Environmental issues are rising to the forefront and suggested remedies for the prevention of  ruining our environment have price tags in the billions and trillions.   How should governments  deal with these issues.  The Chinese government enforces a “one-child” policy.  It is difficult to imagine the US government trying such a policy here.  But how can these decisions be made or shall we just let technology happen and then try to deal with the consequences on a personal level? 

 

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LAS 432 Week 4 DQ 2 Digital Technologies

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With the introduction of computer-generated animated films (CGI), there has been much discussion of the impact on the movie industry. For example, illustrators need to have different skill sets. Have story lines and musical scores changed in these films? What impact does the emphasis on special effects have on plot and character development? 

  We tend to think that technology does not affect the quality of art.  Just must make it better…isn’t that what technology is supposed to do?  We also have a blind spot in our self-focus assuming that our “updated” technology is the “best” technology. ..much better at least than “older” technologies.   These are assumptions we need to examine.

If you have a big appetite for movies and see a lot of them, it will help you in this question. To answer effectively you’ll need to know something about animation before computer generation.  Ever see the Disney film Snow White(1937)?   The 1933 Frankenstein?

This question is really about the aesthetics of film, a perspective most of us don’t explicitly use in evaluating film for our friends (you’ll need to know what aesthetics is).  But this question is about the quality of film and the effects of technology on it.  To handle this effectively we need to think about the elements of what makes a film.  Try these web sites for some background:

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LAS 432 Week 4 DQ 1 Technology and Art

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We normally think of the arts as very different from technologies in spite of the fact that art (with perhaps a few exceptions) is practiced with the help of technology. This practice creates interdependence between technology and art. To what extent does art respond to, or is shaped by, the technology that enables it? To what extent have advanced and accessible digital technologies, such as websites, digital photography, and YouTube, changed the relationship between art and technology? Are these technologies reshaping our attitudes toward artists? 

A good question but to get to the heart of it you need to know something about the history of technology in art and artistic expression.  The invention of writing changed story telling orally which was widely done before  writing.  New musical instruments like the piano changed music.  Scholars observe that the invention of the camera changed painting and so on. Electric and electronic recording completely changed music and how it was consumed. Check out some of the historical changes in the arts to get a handle on this issue in discussing more recent technologies.

 

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LAS 432 Week 3 DQ 2 Engineering Our Future

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A kind of genetic engineering happens in nature, with naturally occurring mutations and the dominance of certain strains. What is different about today’s processes? What makes them potentially dangerous? What should we consider natural and what is artificial?

Genetically modified food is a hot topic.  Most of us don’t know much about biology.  It is very important in this question that you actually understand what is meant. Don’t assume you know, find scholarly information on line. Be clear.  You often hear the term “natural” bandied about, it’s a really big marketing slogan for sure, but most of us have given little thought to what it means and the assumptions and implications involved in its use.  We need facts and data, thoughtful arguments. You’ll need some idea about what genes and genetics are. It is also helpful to get some facts on how genetic modifications in foods are used. – the purpose of genetic modifications. You’ll find a lot of material on line about this topic. But you need to select your sources carefully.  Genetics is probably the single most important concept in biology today. 

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