LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

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LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7
A thesis statement plays an important role in the research process. Base states in her prologue that…

 

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LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

All Students Posts – 555 Pages 

Week 1 All Students Posts – 79 Pages 

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The Role of a Thesis – 39 Pages 

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A thesis statement plays an important role in the research process. Baase states in her prologue that “Computer technology is the most significant new technology since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.” In doing so, she had to back up this argument with solid scholarly research. To evaluate the strength of her argument, consider for a moment whether she accomplished this goal. How did she do in convincing you of her claim? What were the arguments she used to support her point within Week 1’s reading? Were they enough to convince you that she was right in stating this? Why is Baase’s thesis statement considered a good example to study in preparing for writing your own thesis statement this week?

The way we interact today with one another has changed tremendously. Cell phone technology is progressing daily. Cell phones use to only have the ability to call. Today’s technology has created a hand held computer that does just about everything that a laptop can do. The ability to not just talk but being able to video chat and becoming part of the lives of family and friends. This also comes with the downside of identity theft and stealing of personal information. Nevertheless computer technology has changed the way we now live our lives…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Science and Technology – 40 Pages 

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If the scientific test of a scientific theory is accepted by the community of men and women who are called scientists, does that mean that anything is acceptable as long as enough of the right people agree with it? Does that mean there is no such thing as scientific truth? How, if at all, does science differ from politics, art, or religion? Sometimes repeated research finds conflicting results about a formerly reported scientific fact – how does this affect American trust in scientific facts? Why is it that scientists follow the steps of the scientific method – what is gained by this process?

To prove my point, how many scientists thought the world was flat, so society believed it too. What if a bunch of scholars and scientists came up with some phenomenon and then talked smartly about it so it sounded like they could explain the phenomenon, would you automatically believe it?  Once something is proven, it becomes a fact, not scientific theory anymore.  It does not matter whether or not the scientific method was used or not.  Look at the Big Bang Theory; it will always be a theory because we cannot travel through time to prove it right or wrong.  In fact, there are several strong explainable scientific theories about the creation of our world, how do we know any of them, if any, are true.  That is why it is not a fact, just a theory. I fully understand how we can interpret facts through math and science, but until proven, to me anyways, it will never be fact.  It is kind of a probability game where we have figured out the most likely scenario using other examples, calculations, observations, etcetera, and then stated a theory based off of it.  The only problem is, until it happens or it is seen in real life, it is still just a theory.  If you really like science, you should check out the show “Through the Wormhole”.  I have no argument that scientist have a great track record, and that they do their homework, but if this work leaves room for interpretation or change, then it is not a fact yet.  Additionally, just because I am a stickler for the truth does not mean I do not love science, or the scientist that do this impressive work.  I just do not believe in something because everyone else does; I believe in facts and what can be proven…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 2 All Students Posts – 76 Pages

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Technology and Social Change – 38 Pages 

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In what way or ways is the current knowledge revolution a child of the Industrial Revolution? Is this a new revolution or simply an extension of the 18th-century revolution? Given the history, is it perhaps more appropriate to call the current revolution a communications revolution? Many of our digital technology tools involve communication for personal and for business reasons.  Do you think that this trend will continue into the next technology revolution?

As to being a child of the industrial revolution: It sure is. The technology we use would not be possible without the industrial revolution. Producing a mobile of a computer requires a lot of technological knowledge – form mining for the Rare earth elements alone (okay let’s face it even the knowledge that they exist) would not be possible without the industrial revolution. The same is for all the power it needs to actually run the internet and other stuff…

Historical Impact – 38 Pages 

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Your online lesson this week details the events of the Protestant Reformation, a historic turning point for Western civilizations. Please discuss the specific role that the Protestant Reformation played in laying the groundwork for the advancement of communication techniques and technologies within Western culture. Can you identify an historical event within our own nation which has laid the foundation for new ways of thinking and behaving involving technology?

The printing press was a big part of the Protestant Reformation.  Think of it as a precursor to cell phones.  Finally there was a way to get the same information out to hundreds of people at once.  The Bible became wildly copied and available to homes.  People were able to write books and create instruction manuals.

Suddenly, word of mouth or means of written communication available only to the wealthy were not the predominate methods of communication.

This definitely led to the communication standards we have today – where we want everyone to have instant access to the same information simultaneously…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 3 All Students Posts – 84 Pages 

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The Politics of Technology – 43 Pages 

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Freedom of speech and censorship, in light of the modern digital landscape, are important concepts to consider, especially given the dubious ways in which technology can be utilized sometimes. 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 new life-extending medicines, are proposed, how should government officials make decisions about how tax dollars should be spent? Can you provide some examples of what you have referred to as “sophisticated technologies”?

Political decisions can make a big difference on what technologies larger corporations pursue.  Just imagine if the government made a policy against fossil fuels 50 years ago, we would probably have more electric, solar, and other means of transportation.  What about wartime situations, “Government officials in the Second World War marshaled energy towards creating radar, nuclear weapons, rocketry, computing, and much more” (Hardy, 2010).  These technologies might have been invented or perfectly over time, but politics push them to the front.  Additionally, we need to look at larger corporations, and those supported by government contracts.  Would Lockheed Martin or Raytheon be as big as they are, or developed some of the items they did if it wasn’t for government support and direction?  Probably not, but they might have, we will never know for sure.  On the other side, there are smaller businesses that have great ideas, just no money, or political, or social, support, to develop their products.  We develop a lot of technology for military applications, which almost always is politically driven in one way or another.  If we go to war in a freezing cold climate, someone will develop better ways to cope with it, and the same goes for desert or woodland warfare.  We also develop technologies to lengthen our lives, which is always a huge debate.  The methods in which some of these technologies are developed are debatable at best, yet even those who argue how something is made, or how scientists test it, still use it.  Is it ethically, morally, or politically correct to use animals in the testing of technologies?  What about stem cell research, cloning, and more?…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Considering the Fourth Amendment – 41 Pages 

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The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution secures the right of privacy. It protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Advancements in technology have raised issues regarding this protected right. Explain the reasons for governmental surveillance of electronic communications, and the fear associated with these actions. From your review of the Fourth Amendment, do you think that legislative action is required to more fully address issues related to our digital technology? From what you read, do you think that legislation like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is needed or not to address changes that occur over time in our technology?

The Fourth Amendment is about protecting the citizens of the United States of America from its own government.  “The Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government” (What does the fourth amendment mean?, n.d.).  So, the big question is, what is a reasonable reason for the government to be able to search our personal space?  This question gets tested in the courts all the time.  Look at today’s world and cyberspace.  If you have a cloud that you store your research and finances on, is that consider your private effects, and therefore requires a warrant for the government to search?  Should the government have to have evidence, a warrant, or probable cause to look into your cloud?  The answer is technically yes, that is why so many cases get dismissed in courts every year.  If it is found that evidence was collected without the proper authorities, then regardless of what that evidence proves, it cannot be used in court.  Also, the better and more creative your lawyer is, the harder it is for the government to find a plausible reason to give someone access to your private belongings.  Then again, there are rules that change all the time due to court decisions, and then get overturned again.  Lawyers use these historic court cases to sway the judge and jury in the direction they want…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 4 All Students Posts – 78 Pages 

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Technology and Art – 37 Pages 

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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? This discussion includes how art and technology can be combined to produce new genres of artistic expression.  I have posted a site below which represents just one example of how digital technology and the fine arts are being linked together. Please feel comfortable in sharing your own examples! When a computer generates a painting, who do you feel the artist is, the computer or the individual who created the program to do this?

I have used a lot of the same products that these artists used to develop products for work.  I guess even my products could be considered art, even though they are emblems, backgrounds or other such items.  Remember, art is in the eye of beholder.  That means art can be anything, depending on who you are talking to.  Computers can use digital algorithmic patterns and mathematical potentials in the creation of art (Jarvis, n.d.).  In these cases, who gets the credit, the software creator?  The artist is actually the computer because it generated the picture, so does it get the credit? I attached a picture that was made with a computer back in the 90s, or possibly earlier, it is a great example of computer generated art. While looking at either A or B, it seems as if the opposite circle is moving, but it is not…

Globalization and the Threat to the Environment – 41 Pages 

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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 do you think would be most appropriate to solve these problems? Incentives can encourage utilization of actions like recycling.  In the county where you live, do you think this idea could be seriously considered?  What is going on in your areas related to the use of solar energy?

I agree with the plastic bag removals, but charging for paper bags seems ridiculous. It is like McDonald’s charging ten cents for a small packet of ketchup at the drive thru now.  I personally have a trunk full of re-usable bags, and use them when I get the chance. But if I forget, or do not have them on me, then I really don’t want to get charged ten cents a bag.  One thing I have noticed here in Virginia Beach is that instead of charging you for paper bags, a lot of grocery stores, like Farm Fresh, actually give you a discount for bring and using re-useable bags.  I think this method is more effective in encouraging shoppers to switch to re-usable bags.  I noticed a lot of parks and splash pads have been setup mulched up recycled tires as a base.  This help us use old tires instead of burning them or burying them, both of which are bad for the environment.  I can’t imagine the number of tires that get thrown away every day, at least we are finding new methods to recycle them now.  I actually have red dyed rubber mulch in my flower beds around my house.  This also came from old tires.  Another big project is the Navy’s Great Green Fleet. This is a “Department of the Navy initiative that demonstrates the sea service’s efforts to transform its energy use” (U.S. Navy, n.d.).  As you can see, even the government is trying to be more energy efficient, you can read about it at this website…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 5 All Students Posts – 72 Pages

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Technology Morality and Ethics – 36 Pages 

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This week, we will explore the concept of ethical thought. As your lecture points out, there are many different ethical arguments, but two large groups of thought are deontological (largely associated with the work of Immanuel Kant) and telelogical ethics (largely associated with John Stuart Mill). The first believes that we should judge our ethics based on the idea of universal understandings.

For example, it is logical that all persons do not wish to be harmed, so ethically we can establish a principle based on this. So, under this line of thought, if it is ethically wrong to harm a person, then the death penalty must be ethically wrong, because it violates this principle. If you follow this ethical approach, all ethical questions must be evaluated in accordance to these universal principles. In contrast, telelogical ethics, which utilizes utilitarian thought, looks to the outcome of the action and weighs if it is good based on its impact on the majority.

For example, in considering the idea of the death penalty again, one must weigh whether utilizing the death penalty benefits the majority of the population. If the majority is helped, then the action is viewed as ethically sound; if the majority is hurt, it is not. In understanding these thoughts and approaches, what do you think about cloning? Is there a universal thought it may violate? Or can it be considered as good for a majority? What are your thoughts, and what are the different questions that can be raised behind them?  Cloning technology has raised many ethical questions and debates – at the same time, therapeutic cloning is being used at some University-based hospitals in our nation – why is this?

Very interesting concept map, especially the yellow triangle in the bottom left corner.  I also noticed that the concept map was written in a positive manner, what about all the negative virtues we have, there are two sides to ethics, we have to choose to live by one or the other.  Look at honesty, sure that is ethically correct to me, but what if someone chooses to be untrustworthy for a reason they see ethically different.  Ethics are derived from our beliefs and morals, which we gain throughout life.  They are culture, sub-culture and individual based.  What I mean is what you might think as ethically right at work, you might think as ethically wrong at home, or with a different group of friends.  America’s ethics are different than other countries.  Catholic ethics are different from Islamic.  Basically, there is no one ethically correct standard, only our morals based on how we were raised.  This means every culture might have similar ethics, or vastly different ethics.   Do you think humans will ever reach of level of society where we have a standard set of ethics across the board?…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

What is Reality – 36 Pages 

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The concept of a computer obtaining consciousness is not new. It has been the inspiration for sci-fi writers for years. However, the larger question at play here is whether artificial intelligence can actually be achieved. And if so, what are the ethical implications concerning this advancement. Take a moment to explain the Turing test (discussed in Chapter 1) and its use in determining computer intelligence. In doing so, please address the philosophical idea of the singularity (discussed in Chapter 7) and assess why conscious computers may be essential to the singularity. From what you have read, what are some of the ethical issues generated by AI technology? Do you foresee intelligent robotics being used to deliver services to people?

While AI machines are fantastic for specific uses – the ones given in the textbook of the AI machine that notes when swimmers are in trouble and alerts lifeguards, or when AI machines scan stores for threats of shoplifting.

But all computers are made and programmed by humans.  Even if the AI processes information a thousand times faster than our brains can, they aren’t human.  They don’t have a soul.  They don’t have a sum of experience stored in their brain that makes them react, form an opinion, be passionate about an idea.

The Turing test, by the way, argues that if a person converses with a computer over a network, unknown to the person, on any topic the person chooses, and the computer convinces the person it is human, then the computer has human level intelligence.

The issue with the Turing test, in my opinion, is the human on the other side.  My daughter has high functioning Autism.  She might be convinced of a human far before I would be.  Does the positive test in her case mean AI has been achieved?  I argue, “No”…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 6 All Students Posts – 81 Pages 

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Technology and Modern Culture – 43 Pages 

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What are some of the ways that the ease and simplicity of our current technological devices have led us to surrogate our daily responsibilities onto these devices? How do these make us vulnerable to errors, risks, and/or failures? Please include examples, and be as specific as possible. Class, below I have posted the site for the Institute for Global Futures which describes how robotics are used to perform specific human tasks.  This is a different type of use of technology to delegate human duties to, as compared to the everyday delegation we can make to our smart phones, as one example.
Do you foresee into the future, robotics “managing” workers? While our reliance upon technology does generate dependency, from your observations, are there skills acquired from our frequent use of digital technology?

Machines run assembly lines, shipping companies; clean our floors, and more.  Basically, we already delegate human duties to robotic technology in almost every aspect of our lives.  This article covers what could possibly take over as the next level of virtual reality; bringing the reality into your virtual world.  I can totally see something like this happening, but we are long way away from the large scale version of this.  To sit at home and be linked into a realistic humanlike robot that is entirely controlled by you is a scary thought. People will use them to do unethical and illegal things like rob banks, kill people, and more.  A good hacker could ensure that no one would be able to trace the robot back to his/her server, ensuring his/her own safety while committing crimes.  I can see robots that provide assistance and medical care for the elderly, or even robots that are helpers, more like the movie I-Robot, than I can see a virtual reality world like the movie Surrogates happening.  There is no doubt that we will continue to build machines to do the tasks we don’t want to, the question is, how far do our moral and ethical boundaries extend?  Remember, “A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority”…

Technology’s Impact – 38 Pages 

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Cell phones have become a part of Americans’ daily lives, as well as that of other cultures around the globe. Over the past decade, reports that reflect a danger associated with this technology have emerged, although some experts say there is not enough evidence to support these claims. In considering both arguments, assess whether there is causative link between cell phones and brain cancer. Or is it just a coincidence?

Class, in this discussion, it is important to examine and discuss different facts and different perspectives related to the health issues associated with cell phones.  I encourage you to research the topic and share information sources in the discussion.
Below I have posted the link to the site ProCon.org and its review of literature on this topic, which is later accompanied by a summary list of pros and cons related to whether or not cell phones are safe.

Do you think that product testing by the federal government should be lengthened? Studies of the possible correlation between cell phone usage and brain cancer show mixed outcomes.  But do you think that public education about potential health risks associated with cell phones might be helpful or not?

Interesting read, it is a few years old, but as many of the Pros and Cons pointed out, it takes decades to truly conduct a study of long term effects on the human body.  I did notice that there was one trend on both sides of the Pros and Cons; there was not enough sufficient repeatable scientific data to make concise conclusions.   This means that every person and organization is guessing based off of their beliefs and thoughts.  This is not different than making a science fiction movie based off of what you think is going to happen in the future.  There have been no scientifically repeatable truths to this discussion, just probabilities.  The problem is, we don’t know if something else caused those in the study to have whatever sicknesses they received.  It could have been the use of cell phones, or it could have been the fact that they had their brains scanned by something a heck of a lot more powerful, like an MRI, CT, or X-Ray machine once a week for a year.  It is hard to tell where to tumors or cancer came from when you take a step back and see everything else you put these people through, other than just picking random people and scanning their brains once.  You don’t need a study group for the use of cell phones, everyone uses them all the time, just pick groups from different regions, different ages, different races, different devices (apple/Samsung), and more.  Then do a sweep with a questionnaire, that way you are not introducing long term affects from your own scanning devices.  We also have to remember, with population growth, there will be a growth in diseases, viruses, and more.  So, an increase in brain cancer, could just be an increase in population.  There is also the fact that more people go to the doctors now, then they did a hundred years ago, so there are more cases reported than before too.  As you can see, we can go on all day, on all the different aspects of obtaining a scientific truth.  Until someone has done a true long term study and covered all aspects of life, not just cell phones, we cannot determine whether or not it is safe or not…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Week 7 All Students Posts – 85 Pages 

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Employee Monitoring – 40 Pages 

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Consider the reasons given in Figure 6.1 that list why employers monitor employee communications. Of the examples provided, for which do you think it is appropriate to have regular, ongoing monitoring for all employees, and for which do you think an employer should access employee communications only when a problem occurs? Explain your reasoning. Workplace monitoring has increased in our nation – what factors have generated its growth? Most employers are concerned daily with the productivity of their employees.  From what you have read and observed, do you think that most American workers are aware of this perspective?

This has always been a touchy subject.  On one side, if you are conducting personal business with company equipment, you are wrong, on the other side, if the company is monitoring your personal writings, they are wrong…. or are they?  I tend to side with the companies on this one.  If I owned a company and hired an employee that did nothing but play on personal email and social media sites all day, I would want to fire them.  After all, they are not working if they are playing.  Of course, I would allow some personal business, it is a morale booster, and sometimes the only time you can get something done is during normal working hours.  This is such a slippery slope though; a little bit means something different to everyone.  My suggestion, do your personal business on your personal devices and during your breaks.  As for personal phone calls, the website you provided says federal law states a business must stop monitor a phone call once they discover it is personal.  Even if the company does stop monitoring the call, that doesn’t mean they don’t track how many personal calls you make, and how long each call is.  They can legally do this without interfering with the law, and like I said above, if employees are constantly on personal calls, how much work are they really doing…

Technology and the Job Market – 45 Pages 

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Technology has had a direct and distinct impact on the job market. Many online resources exist to help you assess strengths and identify areas to develop as you prepare for your career or for your next career move. For this week, you’ll complete and reflect on one online assessment that measures your skills in: 1) reading and critical thinking, 2) writing, and 3) mathematics. This assessment is part of the DeVry University Assessment plan and helps us to demonstrate what students have learned so that we can continuously improve the curriculum and represent the achievements of our students as they near graduation. Completing the ETS Proficiency Profile is an important part of this week’s class activity.

The profile consists of a 40-minute, 36-item assessment. Follow the step-by-step instructions  included in the attached. Please print and review the instructions before beginning. Once you’ve completed the assessment, share how you reacted to difficult questions. What did you learn from the process that you can take forward into your career?

In discussing the impact that technology has had and can have upon the employment of Americans, it is important to be specific about “what technology” is being considered.

Before I read this article, I just wanted to say one thing.  Yes, certain technologies are putting some people out of work, but they are hiring others at the same time.  People, not machines, are creating machines and maintaining them.  We are just building the machines to do simpler, repetitive tasks, like assembly line work.  It is true though, more and more jobs are getting lost, and at the same time, the population is increasing, so there will have to be a point where we are going to have to look at the big picture of unemployment vs. technology.  Additionally, “if we look back at…lost jobs, we see that many of them accompanied increased productivity” (Baase, p. 278).  Increased productivity is good, because more items are made, which usually makes them cheaper for all.  Just look at how many jobs have been created through computers and people working at home verses how many jobs were lost due to the programming of a computer.  We are a creative race, we will always find a way to make things work, and for the better.  Never stop improving, if we do, then we just gave up…

LAS432 Course Discussions Week 1-7

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