cubism found in LES

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In unit 5 we learned about modern art and all the styles and techniques that modern artists used in their work. We learned about how they rejected traditional conventions of the past and instead opted to create their own. One technique that was spawned out of all this was the technique known as cubism; which is a style of painting and sculpture characterized by an emphasis on formal structure, the reduction of natural forms to their geometrical equivalents. Basically it’s when you shatter what a three dimensional object looks like on a two dimensional surface, pick up the fragments and put them back on the two dimensional surface. This piece of street art that I found in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in my opinion, expresses this style of art perfectly. It incorporates three dimensional objects and shapes as well as their fragments to create itself.  This piece reminds me of Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, as both works incorporate the style of cubism. However, this piece differs greatly from Picasso’s in the way that it doesn’t express the same kind of imagery or dimensions. In addition it uses more straight forward three dimensional objects and their fragments whereas Picasso’s use of cubism is a little more subtle.

Contemporary Social Issues From the Past

This scene is a tragic scene from the show, One Tree Hill, and depicted a high school shooting. In this scene, a teen by the name of Jimmy Edwards has brought a gun into the school and taken a couple of other students hostage out of fear of what he has done. He knows that he has made a major mistake and is fumbling over his next actions subsequently making more mistakes. In this scene he is confronted by the uncle of one the main characters in the show, Keith, who tries to talk him down from doing anything else to make matters worse and talked Jimmy into letting a student he had previously accidentally shot go. It is here where Jimmy reveals his motives for bringing a gun into the school; over the years Jimmy has been constantly battered with bullying because he is the lame kid in school. He is the kid that the popular kids target to get their fill of name-calling and beatings. He is depressed, all out of hope, and he believes himself to be an outsider who is all alone; he is the Other.  In the end, jimmy knows he has put himself in an impossible corner and that his life has little chance of getting any better, and he chooses to instead take his own life. He ends his hellish nightmare of a life by turning the gun on himself and pulling the trigger.

The contemporary social issue that this scene perfectly depicts, and is still very prevalent even today, is the issue of bullying, depression, and suicide. It promotes awareness for people to keep an eye out for anyone that may be having a hard time waking up everyday or someone that has had too much that they become a danger to everybody, including themselves. This scene tells students and teenagers to not specifically target people to make fun of or pick on, and to not treat anybody like an outsider or this very plausible situation could come to pass. This show was placed in a setting that was prime for tackling social issues, due to the fact that it was based around teenagers in a small town.

The contemporary social issue connects to the story of Euripides’s Medea because Medea addresses practically the same issue. In this play, Medea was the outsider, she was the foreigner, she was the Other; she came from an exotic land that was a significant distance away from Greece. Amongst other problems she was faced with, including Jason dumping her like trash for another wife, she faced this predicament as well. Jason treated her like trash and basically threw he away, even after all she had done for him, and not many people would offer her help due to her not being from Greece. Like Jimmy Edwards, Medea was an outsider, and this issue was one of the things that tipped her over, made her go mad, and kill her own children, and Jason’s new wife and father-in-law.

In today’s world there are many people who experience depression and bullying, this is especially true for teenagers. Every year, the world loses countless lives due to many people being treated unfairly and horribly by other people. In the end, within both stories, tragic events came to pass due to the treatment of the characters that can be regarded as “the Other.”

Sean, Team Ares

 

Unit 4 Blog Post

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For this unit, I merely just took a stroll around my camera roll because when thinking about what I would use for this unit, I knew I would have something in there. I eventually found a picture I took while I was at New York Comic Con, of the artwork of an artist I can’t particularly remember the name of. All I know is that these pieces are beautiful and resemble what we learned in Unit 4, Baroque style art. A big hallmark of baroque art is tenebrism or Chiaroscuro, a contrast between light and shadows, and I believe that these various pieces exhibit such characteristics. All of these pieces have major contrasts between light and shadows. In fact that’s one of the things that really drew my eye towards these pieces, the way they highlight the comic characters using drastic contrasts between light and shadows. the way these pieces utilize such a thing reminds me and makes me think of Caravaggio’s “Calling of Saint Matthews”. Although, these pieces don’t highlight the same subject of Caravaggio’s piece (an event of a specific religion) nor do they have the same scale or layout. Nonetheless, they, in my personal opinion, resemble the style of Baroque art greatly.

Extra Credit Julius Caesar

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This picture was taken inside the basement of the Brooklyn College Library. This was taken as I was completing my blog for class seven of classics and I thought that this could be used as an extra credit since it is a selfie and does relate back to what we learned in class. In class we learned about Julius Caesar and what he accomplished and how revered and great he was. We also learned about what people thought of him, how he was characterized;very similar to when we were learning about Alexander the Great. Whilst doing my blog post for this class, I learned that the month of July was actually named after Julius Caesar upon the time of his death, in order to honor him, his memory, and all that he had achieved and accomplished. So as soon as I learned that I asked the librarian for a calendar and took this selfie. One little cool fun fact, is that I’m actually born in the month of July, with means that I share the same birth month as Julius Caesar;which is something that I thing is actually pretty cool!

Julius Caesar

The first quote I choose is from the Lives of Illustrious Men, ” Here lies Pompey the Great. Pompey’s head, wrapped with an Egyptian covering, was presented along with a ring to Caesar by Achillas, an attendant of Ptolemy. Caesar could not keep back tears, and he took care that the head was burned with many very costly perfumes.” I chose this quote in particular because it depicts Julius Caesar in a slightly different light than most people are used to. Most people when they read about Caesar or think of him, they think of a strong and powerful man, one with barely any flaws or vulnerabilities; similar to that of depictions of views of Augustus or Alexander the Great. But this passage shows Julius in a vulnerable state. Albeit it doesn’t show him in a particularly bad light, but he is deeply mourning and saddened over the death of his friend and ally, Pompey, which is something new. Moreover, this passage also shows him in a more human way and characterizes him as a man with great humility. Like stated above, he is not some great god or savior, he is a human man, who is not afraid to openly mourn over a friend’s death.

The second Quote I choose is from Cassius Dio, Antony with his fellow-priests saluted him as king and binding a diadem upon his head, said: “The people offer this to you through me.” 3 And Caesar answered: “Jupiter alone is king of the Romans,” and sent the diadem to Jupiter on the Capitol; yet he was not angry, but caused it to be inscribed in the records that he had refused to accept the kingship when offered to him by the  people through the consul.” This second quote is very similar to the first one, in my opinion, which is the reason why I picked it. In this quote, Julius Caesar rejects the kingship that the priests/Diadem present him with. stating that he is not a king, but the god, Jupiter, alone is the true king of the Romans. When I first read this, I was confused because I thought that Julius was a king. What I realized, after doing some research, was that Caesar in fact was not the king of the Roman Republic. He was simply the dictator/leader of the Roman Republic. But going back to how this quote is similar to the first one above, is the fact that this passage once again illustrates the humility that Julius Caesar possessed within his character. He had enough humility to outright say he, himself, is not the King, without any hesitation or second thought. In addition, it shows him as not being merciless or a angry leader, as he did not get furious when the priests presented him with the crown. 

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The selfie that I decided to take was one of me and the moth of July. When googling things named after Julius Caesar, I learned that the moth July is actually named in honor of him. Apparently when Julius Caesar died, the Roman month Quintillis (which was in fact his birth month) was renamed July. Unfortunately, the two quotes placed above does not entirely show why something like a whole month would be named after Julius Caesar. Sure he was a man with great humility and benevolence, but in my opinion that alone wouldn’t give him this great honor. I speculate that what gave him  or what influenced this great honor was due to how great Julius Caesar was and all the things he achieved and accomplished for the Roman Republic. Furthermore, because of all that he did and accomplished he was revered and renowned in Roman society.

Fun fact: I’m actually born in the month of July as well, it’s interesting because I hadn’t realized this fact until just now.

Sean lau, Team Ares

Rupture and Revival In Our Backyard

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As we went over in class, the definition of our unit 3: Rupture and Revival is the outbreak of the rebirth of Greek and Roman art. In the Renaissance, artists took key characteristics from both Roman and Greek art styles and used them in their own sculptures, paintings, etc.

I found this statue in front of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church, in Police Plaza (which is located in Lower Manhattan). It drew my attention as I was thinking about this blog post. It reminded me of the Greek and Roman styles due to its attention to detail; the ruffles and wrinkles in this priestess’ robe. In addition, this statue has, in my opinion, the potential for movement with her hands and a certain archaic facial expression that originated from the Archaic period in Greece and was recreated through several Roman works as well. Going back to this unit in particular, the art piece that this statue reminds me of the most is David by Donatello. Similarly to Donatello’s make of David, it has an archaic expression. Yet this statue is also unlike Donatello’s David in the sense that there is no overt sexuality or sensuality prevalent. Nor is there the presence of contrapposto in this statue. This statue seems to have a simple upright stature with what it seems to be some sort of hand gestures.

Mosaic in Chinatown

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Whilst walking home for school, I was wrapping my head around what I could possibly take a picture of for art history, when it quite literally hit me smack-dab in the face. I was walked by a literal piece of art that most people would just walk by daily. This is a picture of a mosaic that I happened by in the MTA subway station on Canal street. The reason why I chose to take a picture of this mosaic for my unit 2 blog of Art History was because it reminded me of an art piece that we went over in class. It reminded me of the Justinian mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale. Similarly to the Justinian mosaic, this mosaic uses a variety of different colored and different shaped individual tiles to orchestrate a specific and intricate design/pattern. However this work of art doesn’t quite match its historical counterpart in all aspects. Unlike the Justinian mosaic, this mosaic doesn’t create different and specific figures, like Justinian himself, his administration officers or advisers, his soldiers, or clergy. It definitely doesn’t illustrate any hidden or subtle religious/political meanings within its tiles as well. This mosaic actually just conveys the location that it’s in, which is Canal street. Yet, it does convey a message with it, that can be unknown to people who aren’t all that well-versed in Chinese. upon the sides of the text, “Canal street”, there are Chinese characters that stand out amongst the rest of the colored tiles. Due to the fact that I don’t want to make a fool of myself by butchering the pronunciation of these characters, I’ll just settle for what they mean. These Chinese characters can be translated as, “welcome to Chinatown”, which, like I said before, is where this piece of art is located.

Furthermore, I would like to take this time to connect what we learned in unit 2 of Art History to what we are learning in Classical Culture. In art history we learned about the architecture of churches and how much religion had on not just architecture but other works of art as well. One that pops out of my head is the Sarcophagus of Junius Basus, one that is quite literally littered with religious symbols and sculptures. Similarly we learned, in Classical Culture, about how big of a role religion played in culture as well. We learned that religion played a huge role in ancient theater, and in fact a lot plays were acted during religious festivals or festivals that were dedicated to a certain god or goddess. For example, we learned about the festival of Dionysus, the Greek god of Wine, and how there would be plays during each day that the festival took place. It is just astounding of how much religion affected two differing things, churches and art work and theater, and the effects it’s had on early civilizations as a whole. And it is a testament to religion’s role in society and civilization that it has stood the waves of time and is still hugely prominent and prevalent even in modern times.

What is the Best Government?

When we think of the best or perfect government, many will say something along the lines of, “A democracy, what else is there?”, because of the fact that we live in the United States of America. But in reality, there are a lot of different types of government that have been established. For example an aristocracy is a system of government that is based on hereditary status and connections through royal blood , that allow for that small, wealthy group of nobles, the Aristocrats to have all the power. Similarly, an Oligarchy a system where the rule of the few, small group of people is established, but not necessarily through “royal blood.” In addition there is such a thing as a Monarchy, which is a system that places supreme power of the state in the hands of a single person or family, the Monarch. Albeit there are myriad of deviations that have been established in the past, such as a constitutional monarchy, unitary state, a parliament. But that list is an endless one.

“The constitution should remain for long in a state of equilibrium like a well-trimmed boat, kingship being guarded from arrogance by the fear of the commons, who were given a sufficient share in the government, and the commons on the other hand not venturing to treat the kings with contempt from fear of the elders, who being selected from the best citizens would be sure all of them to be always on the side of justice; so that that part of the state which was weakest owing to its subservience to traditional custom, acquired power and weight by the support and influence of the elders.” 

This quote from the extracts of Polybius illustrate how Polybius believed that there should be a form of checks and balances in government, a separation of powers should be put in place. The piece of writing that I chose to analyze is an essay, The Rise and Fall of the Separation of Powers, by Steven G. Calabresi, Mark E. Berghausen & Skylar Albertson that expands on that belief and praises Polybius and other philosophers who thought alike. This essay talks about the origins of the concept of the separation of powers and, as you can tell by the title, the fall of such a concept. It talks of how modern governments implement the separation of powers, a prime example is the United States of America. In addition, the essay talks of how the concept of the separation of powers originated from the ideal of a “mixed regime”. A mixed regime is the form of government that combines elements of democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy. It states how many philosophers and scholars, such as Polybius, conceived of such an ideal so that the not-so-desired offspring of a mixed regime (anarchy, oligarchy and tyranny) could not be formed. This way, Polybius’ Anacyclosis cannot take its full effect and therefore, the undesirable forms of government found in that cycle could not develop and be bypassed.

My search, from which I got this search return from, was “Polybius ‘United States’ constitution.” The authors of this essay connect these two terms quite a lot, as I might have hinted at above. They talk of Polybius’ mixed regime and they connect him and it to the constitution of the United States. They talk of how our government and our constitution aren’t exactly a fully realized or exact definition of a mixed regime.  which is why, as I said before, they believe that our constitution and government lack the full definition of a separation of powers. “our Constitution has actually
operated in practice over the last 220 years as a democratized version of the Mixed Regime rather than as a functional separation of powers. The idea of
the Mixed Regime is a whole lot older than the idea of the separation of
powers, and it may well be more enduring. The writings of Aristotle,
Polybius, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Machiavelli all illustrate this
point. The way a regime works, in practice, may show the the nature of the
regime. It may be the case that the U.S. Constitution inadvertently gave rise
to a democratized version of the Mixed Regime. If so, then that is an error
which our generation of Americans needs to correct.” 
They call the U.S. constitution and government a democratized version of a mixed regime and thereby believe that it is a dysfunctional separation of powers. In addition, they later call the U.S. government more of an oligarchy (which I don’t fully disagree with) and that “[Americans] need to revive the functional separation of powers.” Based on this viewpoint and the fact that it prompts whoever may read it(most likely students) and the citizens of the U.S.  to establish a true mixed regime and “revive the functional separation of powers,” I believe that this essay’s primary intended audience is the wide public who are possibly interested in the affairs of law, politics, government, and scholars or philosophers .

All in all, I found this essay to be extremely enlightening and extremely connected to Polybius and his ideals and values.

Appropriate MLA citation:

Calabresi, Steven G., et al. “The Rise and Fall of the Separation of Powers.” Northwestern University Law Review, vol. 106, no. 2, Apr. 2012, pp. 527-549. EBSCOhost, ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=82514124&site=ehost-live.

Sean, Team Ares

New York County Courthouse

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While on my way home one day, I was trying to think of what I could use for my first blog post, when it hit me.  I could use the building that I’ve walked by countless times, for my first blog post.  This picture is of the New York County Courthouse, in lower Manhattan.  This courthouse, in my opinion, resembles that of an ancient Greek temple as it seems as if it was modeled after ancient Greek classical architecture.  On the front entrance, it seems that there is a colonade of sorts, which I believe to be of the Corinthian order.  I believe this, because the columns themselves appear to be slim and have elaborate capitals, which is what characterizes Corinthian order columns.  It also has a triangular pediment, with approximately 13 figures carved in bas relief from a type of stone or granite, perhaps.  A security guard had told me that the three statues on top stood for Law, Truth, and Equity.  The frieze bears the inscription “The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government”.  In my opinion, I don’t think this differs much from the source material, other than the medium, which I am unsure of what it exactly is, but looks like stone.  I don’t think the building has a much different function as well, as it serves to represent the courts as holy temples that worship the principles of law, order, and justice.

In addition to this grand piece of architecture in our backyard, I would like to take this time to connect what we learned in unit 1 of Art History to what we learned in our Classical Culture class.  In Art history we learned what different sculptures found in the Parthenon and its pediments represent.  We learned a lot of the sculptures signified the ascendancy of the Greeks, all their triumphs, their value of civilization over barbarism and rational thought over chaos.  Similarly, we learned in Classical culture how the Greeks thought any culture or civilization foreign or unlike their own, were barbaric.  Simply because of the fact that those culture were foreign.  In fact, Professor Yarrow taught us that the word Barbarians is actually derived from what the Greeks thought of other civilizations.  The Greeks couldn’t understand foreign languages, so to them, when other civilizations tried to communicate in their own language it came off as, “Bar…Bar…Bar!”  I found this pretty interesting and coincidental since we skimmed over barbarism in Greek sculptures in Art History as well.

Who Was Alexander the Great?

(Cindy L., My mom, 50 yrs old, at home)

Do you Know who Alexander the Great was?: Um, wasn’t he that Greek philosopher? Or no, maybe he was the emperor of Greece?

What do you know about him?: Not much, sorry, I don’t really remember who he is.  I just know he was like Greek or something, he had something to do in ancient Greek history

Where did you learn about him?:  Well I think I learned about him in High School, which is probably why I don’t really remember much about him.

(Jared L., Brother, 19 yrs old, at home)

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?: Is that really one of your questions, seriously? Of course I do.

What do you know about him?: He was a young conqueror that basically conquered all of Greece, defeated the Persian empire and conquered it, parts of the Middle East, and parts of Africa, like Egypt.  He was an ingenious military commander, super educated and smart and was the leader of one of the largest empires in history.  I think he originated from Macedonia, and was taught by a bunch of people like maybe Aristotle?  Anyway, he was basically a great big emperor in ancient history.  Oh yeah, and he brought upon Hellenistic culture/age, and created a bunch of cultural diffusion with the territories and regions that he conquered, which many say is a good thing.  I think he married a Persian women, created the city of Alexandria and created the library of Alexandria, which is now lost.  His empire fell because of his generals grasping for power and it all falling apart and to the Romans.  I don’t exactly remember how he died but I think he died of natural causes.  He was known because of his prowess, his military genius, and is hailed as one of the most influential people in the world’s history.  A bunch of statues, art, and stuff like that have been made to honor him.

Where did you learn about him?: High school, middle school, and just books, duh.

(Jeff L., Brother, 27 yrs old, at home)

Do you know who Alexander the Great was?: Yep, a really big emperor and influential person in ancient Greek History.

What do you know about him?: Uh, a lot, I’m not gonna say all of it.  Let’s see, he was the emperor of one of the largest empires in the world.  He conquered a bunch of territories at a really young age, which is why his empire was so big, he is known for his empire and intelligence.  There’s a crap ton of statues and art works made out to honor him.  Basically he was a big deal and is still a big deal when it comes to ancient history.

Where did you learn about him?: School and books.

There is actually a lot similar about the answers I received, other than the answers from my mother, who didn’t really remember who Alexander the Great was (which is understandable considering how long ago she learned of him).  My brothers’ answers were actually quite similar on a large number of things.  They both knew that he was the emperor of a huge Empire in ancient history and that he conquered and erected his empire at a very young age.  In addition, they know he was revered for his intelligence and military prowess.  They also knew about how there are countless art works and statues made in honor of him.  Ultimately Alexander the Great was a very influential person, both in his time and even nowadays.  He is known for his reputation and the great number of achievements that he achieved, which is not an easy thing for anyone to accomplish, especially at his age.  This is very similar to what we learned and what we went over in class that was based on the readings.  In class we delved deeper into his history and what he did during his life, that brought him the reputation that he now has.  We also touched upon how he spread culture from the different regions he conquered throughout his empire and brought upon the Hellenistic era/age.

And Alexander became learned in every matter and trained himself so well, as I said before, that it became clear that he was being taught by some divinity. […]  Thus it was clear that the victory was of his doing.”  This quote from the reading, “A History of the Great World Conqueror, Alexander of Macedon”, shows just how great Alexander was, even as a young child.  Almost every battle he joined and fought in, even battles between fellow students, resulted in victory due to his actions.  Alexander the Great earned his reputation, he learned a lot from his teachers, but a great deal were from his own actions and teachings that he taught and learned himself.  Not many people can do that, especially on the caliber and level that he had, which just shows how great he truly was.

The Three R’s

“While ‘educators’ are quick to seize upon the defects of students, parents and society, as if that automatically vindicates the schools, the fact is that if our public schools had perfect students, perfect parents, and a perfect society, these schools would still be failing because of the three R’s that they do not teach – and the politically correct propaganda that they teach instead.”
The author of the article believes an ideal society to be a society where all the world’s problems are not blamed on the racial separation and differences of people. In addition, an ideal society would be where all schools in the public education system get the correct and sufficient amount of funding, where all students within the system can get equal schooling. At the base of the modern world’s problems, race is one of the biggest ones. It creates unity amongst a group of people but creates distrust, anger, and violence between the groups themselves. He/she believes that the public schools in ghetto neighborhoods are not to blame for their failings grade wise and test score wise. Nor are the teachers or students themselves to blame. The author believes it is the public education system’s fault, as they lack to teach the three R’s, Resourcefulness, Responsibility, and Respect. I personally agree with this author and I believe that I live in the same society as this author. I grew up in a ghetto-ish neighborhood, as I live across from project buildings and the elementary school I attended is adjacent to those same project buildings. Unfortunately only some schools in the public education system teach these “three R’s”, but some schools have much less funding than others, and therefore don’t teach their students or faculty this. I do agree that if the public education system was better or improved than it is now, it would be closer to “ideal” and there would not be as much violence or discourse in the world. I think that Plato would very much agree with this, as he placed an emphasis on how important the education of the guardians of his Kallipolis was. “However, it is fit to be sure about what we were saying a while ago, that [the guardians] must get the right education, whatever it is, if they’re going to have what’s most important for being tame with each other and those who are guarded by them.” In this quote, he suggests that a solid education and schooling prompts proper etiquette and social behavior amongst people and within the community.

All this talk about the perfect society or ideal society makes me actually think about what we’re learning in our Art History class quite a bit.  In Art History, we’re learning about Greek sculptures and how they made an effort to make the sculptures that depicted humans or human-like beings to have the perfect human anatomy.  They wanted their sculptures to depict the desired and in reality, unrealistic, body parts.  I know we’re talking about Plato and how he is Greek himself, so it is probably safe to assume that a lot of Greeks wanted or desired a perfect society.  But it’s is very interesting to realize that the Greek civilization strove to have a perfect society so much, and in fact fought each other over who had the better and more ideal society on several accounts, that they ingrained that strive into their art (sculptures) and culture.  But in the end, what society doesn’t strive or want to be the “perfect” or “ideal” society?

“SCHOOL DISASTERS.” New York Post [New York, NY], 1 Mar. 2003, p. 17. New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA98268168&it=r&asid=4b8ed3bfbf5eafe283840645c5cb9ce5. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Barbarians In The Banks?

“It is time to realise that they are the real barbarians at the gate.”  In this article, the “other” are the central banks and states,  as they are being labeled as barbarians.  They are being labeled as barbarians because in the quote, many don’t treat digital currency systems, such as Bitcoin, as a real threat.  These digital currencies have been present in the economy for quite a while but has only been slowly gaining traction in the recent years.  They are known for circumventing or not having the state regulating and breathing down its back, due to the fact that instead of the state and central banks managing the currency’s value, its value is regulated by the currency’s “unhackable” system/technology.  The “threat” that the state has with this digital money is that their central banks could lose control of the money supply if they don’t control it.  It seems that the target audience of this article is the general public.  It doesn’t really to try to skew or persuade its readers to believe one point too much, it mainly just informs the reader.  It states how all over the world, some countries are trying to get ahead on this technology before it has any possibility of becoming too much to handle by incorporating their own digital currency system into the infrastructure or simply warn and scare off the public from using such a thing.  The social value being affirmed is money, as it is the main focal point of the article.  The article itself is informing the readers that the government and states have a handle on this issue and that the well established money systems will not be affected by these digital currencies.  This article is actually pretty similar in its use of the word barbarian.  This is due to the fact that the quote it uses calls the states/central banks Barbarians for not treating something that should be taken seriously serious.  The chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, Andrew Sheng (person that is quoted), essentially calls them stupid for doing such a thing, like a barbarian is unintelligent.  In this quote by Herodotus, he describes the “other” (barbarians) as the same.  “The wealthy man is better able to content his desires,and to bear up against a sudden buffet of calamity. The other has less ability to withstand these evils,”.  

All this talk about barbarians has really made me draw a connection to our Art History class.  In class, we were also talking about “barbarians” and how they are prevalent in Greek sculptures.  For example, we analyzed how in a lot of Ancient Greek structures, like the Parthenon, in the pediment or frieze, a lot of times there were sculptures of metaphorical and physical battles.  These sculptures symbolized and represented the Greeks’ ascendancy over other civilizations, triumphs, their value of rational thought over chaos and their value of civilization over barbarism.

Sean Lau

Citation:

Curran, Enda, et al. “Cryptocurrencies the Barbarians at Central Bank Gates.” The Straits Times, Opinion, 7 Sept. 2017, www.straitstimes.com/opinion/cryptocurrencies-the-barbarians-at-central-bank-gates.

Fate Or Free Will

In this specific scene the iconic character of Anakin Skywalker, who has been recreated numerous amounts of times (cartoons, books, comic books, movies, etc.), faces a glimpse of his universally known destiny…of becoming Darth Vader.
The fate of the great Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, is a well known story.  He was once regarded as a legendary war hero for the great republic by the mass population of worlds that had heard tales of his exploits.  But not only was he known as a hero, he was also known as “The Chosen One”.  The being that would inevitably bring balance and peace to the force.  The Jedi Order had raised Anakin on this great prophecy that had been foretold over the millenniums, that the Order had existed for.  This prophecy had been so ingrained and burned into his head that he spent nearly all of his life attempting to live up to it.  For any being, that is a measure that is difficult to live up to.  Being hailed as practically a messiah is not easy for anyone to live with because they have to constantly try to live without exhibiting any flaws, which for any normal being is impossible.  This prophecy would inevitably break Anakin, because like the average person, he had many flaws.  He was emotional, temperamental, caring, loving, compassionate, and much more.  These attributes albeit don’t really seem all that terrible for a person to have, but for someone such as Anakin especially with the powers that he had, was dangerous.  Which is why it was a common rule for Jedi to try to abstain from producing strong emotional ties, for fear that such ties would lead them down the path of the dark side.  In the end his predetermined “fate” of becoming the Chosen One did not come true.  The story of Anakin Skywalker constantly begets the philosophical question of whether or not if we all have our own predestined fates or if we have the power to choose.  Anakin ended up choosing his own path, choosing to seek forbidden and ultimate power, and choosing to be corrupted by the dark side and transforming into Darth Vader.  

The question is an issue that many people face in the modern world, especially millennials.  I myself am unsure of whether or not I have my own predestined fate that is slowly fulfilling itself as my time on this earth progresses or if I have free will and am making my own choices.  Do we have a fate and if so, will anything we do cease to change our fates?  Or do we have a choice and does every choice we make end up changing what inevitably happens to us in the end?

     This motif or theme is very prevalent in the story of “Oedipus Rex”, otherwise known as “Oedipus The King”.  But unlike Anakin, Oedipus wasn’t able to choose his own “fate”.  In the story Oedipus, who was orphaned as a child because of his father being told of the prophecy that his own son would end up killing him and marrying his wife, was told of the infamous prophecy while on his adventures.  Oedipus would then spend a good portion of his efforts trying to stop the horrible prophecy from happening.  Which in the end would be futile, as he had ended up killing his father, marrying his mother, and subsequently manually relinquishing his sense of sight (taking his own eyes).  Like Anakin, Oedipus knew his “fate” so-to-speak, but because of the fact he ended up self-fulfilling and sealing his own fate.

I believe that Sophocles wanted the reader of this epic to ponder on the question of fate and free will, amongst other things whilst reading “Oedipus Rex”.  

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #SEAN #TEAMARES #Oedipus #Sophocles