(Kitchen,2011) By Jennifer Kitchen Kaplan UniversityHW300-16 Arts & Humanities Dr. Scott Robinson February 12th , 2012
Dear Reader, I am an American living in the Rocky Mountains of the Southwest corner ofColorado. I smoke cigarettes and go out for a few drinks with my friends about oncea month. I like to take walks around the town of Mancos where I live and often visitthe park to swing. I love to read and collect books from many genres, like somepeople collect thimbles and key chains from different states. I am also a music loverand collect CDs like I do books. I am an artist and a poet, but may not be great ateither. Maybe someday. I love being human and accept myself with all my faults asthey make me who I am just as much as my talents. Unlike many people in the World, I do not have any traditional customs that Itake part in. I do not celebrate the holidays of Christmas or Easter as eitherconsumer or religious holidays. The only annual events I like to celebrate are thebirthdays of my loved ones and I do this via the internet and text messages. Otherthan that I take several trips to go camping and hiking with my daughters and ourfriends. We start going as soon as the weather is warm enough, around the end ofMay, and our last trip is often in mid-September. My daughters and I also take part inlocal events, such as Mancos Days and the local Renaissance Faire.
I believe future generations should remember this time in history and learn fromwhat we have not gotten right. There are too many people fighting in this world inthe name of religion when we really know it is more about power and greed(everyone wants it) and prejudice (racial and sexual). Americans have spent thepast half century in prosperity and now it has bred laziness, unjustifiable demandsin life, and unfulfilled wants. I do not think the world will be the same in a shortwhile. We humans are destroying our world and disconnecting from each other.We no longer even make phone calls its text. People have more friends on socialnetworks (friends they have never met in person) than they have in everyday life. Iwill survive this strange change we are going through and somehow remain who Iam. I work in a grocery store and pizza shop right now. I am making it by in lifebut have higher expectations for myself. I am in university to get a bachelors inscience for health and wellness. For me, I only want to reach my idea of successand I feel I am well on my way. I desire to help those that want to help themselvesby taking control of their health and their intentions. I think people deserve to belooked at and treated as individuals with their own unique set of gifts and faults. Noone is perfect and no one has all the answers but we can each flourish in our ownways and assist each other in this life. We need each other. Sincerely, Jenni (Kitchen,2011)
In today’s World I have a hard time seeing morality and good decision making on a larger scale, yet, thereare many people who still have good morals and values. There is a movement going on by the name of Occupy. Itstarted with Wall Street and has spread across the World. Now it has people looking at everything going on, we arelooking at the big picture. People have opened their eyes to a “deeper understanding about the power corporationswield over the great majority of us” (Nelson, 2011). Every faucet of American life is under the control of thecorporations given power by our own government. Capitalism, that which says if people are allowed to make as much money as they can others will alsoprofit, does not work the way it supposed to. The free-market of capitalism has failed Americans and the World. It hastaken ‘our farmers, farmlands, and rural communities, their forests, wetlands, and prairies, their ecosystems andwatersheds” (Berry, 2001). It has only made the rich richer and the rest of us must still struggle and work harder tosimply survive while we lose our World. Corporations dominate our most basic needs. Although this is not fair, in anyway I can conceive, the masses are not going to let this continue. For years we have been working to back in control of our food system. In 1985, a movement, FarmAid, was started for just this reason. Many key markets of agriculture are controlled by a handful of corporatecompanies, while family farmers struggle to make a living. 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn, two of the United States’most commonly used crops, are controlled by 1 company. Of the grain sold globally, 90% is controlled by 4companies. 3 companies control our 70% of the beef market in the U.S. and 60% of the chicken and pork is under thecontrol of 4 companies (Nelson, 2011). These corporate companies do not care about feeding the people as much asthe care about the bottom line, the dollar amount they can get. This greed does not benefit anyone, not the workers orthe consumers, only the corporations themselves. Although, there is no altruism in the way these corporations treat the people, I do find it in individuals.Willie Nelson, Farm Aid’s president, stands beside the family farmer and the consumer to take back control of our foodsystem. Corporations have taken from the people, causing “loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of oursoil, pollution of our water, and health epidemic” (Nelson, 2011). If we continue to abide these few conglomerates wewill lose sustainability on a global level. The population has grown, the World has changed, and we have lost track ofthe importance of the individual. Movements such as Farm Aid can make a difference, the Occupy movement hasshown that people are listening.
Lawrence Kohlberg, a developmental psychologistdevised a 6-step approach to morality using basic guidelinesfor behavior. These steps are as follows;• 1: Obedience and punishment. This is reasoning with respect to the external punishment that may be incurred.• 2: Individualism and exchange. This takes into account that what we give out we may get back. This reciprocated affect can be found even when acting in one’s self-interest.• 3: Interpersonal relationships. We seek approval from others and therefore conform to what we believe others may desire.• 4: Maintaining social order. People may act out of duty for the sake of order, social implications, and laws.• 5: Social contract and individual rights. Moral decisions are made in order to avoid harming others. This is what we view as human rights.• 6: Universal principles. There are human ethics of which are binding on all. These are universal principles of justice.• (Cherry, 2012 and Janaro & Altshuler, 2009). (Occupy Together, 2012)
(Kitchen,2011) (Kitchen,2011) I believe happiness is the contentment of living fully. It is thepleasure of having loved ones in life and the cheer of celebrating specialoccasions. Happiness is the delight of hearing my child’s first words and themagic my childrens’ laughter. It is the feel good feeling that the smell offresh baked bread creates. It is the exhilaration of seeing the beauty ineveryday life and the inspiration in seeing nature. Happiness is the raptureof true love. It is breath taking sunrises and sunsets. For me happiness is the satisfaction of accomplishing what I set outto do, achievement. It is basking in my uniqueness and reveling in the joy ofsimple things. It is the enchantment of seeing a new land or experiencing anew culture for the first time and the exquisiteness of experiences yet tocome. Happiness is those cherished memories and the bliss of knowingwhat it is to be present in life. It is surviving all the overwhelming experiences that life brings at us.Happiness comes from living as good as one can. It comes from acceptingthe way things may happen even when it is far from what we want tohappen. It is letting our smile change the World and not letting the Worldchange our smile.
Happiness is a hot summer day spent with my daughters in the river. (Kitchen,2011)
Literary Works Words were my first love in life. Humankind uses words to communicate. We usethem vocally, verbally passing on information and stories, but have been writing word down formillennia now. We write in prose, poetry. We write text books full of nonfiction, the facts as weknow it. We print books by the millions. These writing are sold, traded, and shared. Journalsare written to share new information. Words narrate our lives and the lives of others, humanand animal. Fiction novels are long stories that are creative writings, imaginary tales withheroes and villains. Invented stories also come in short forms, often found in magazines. Todaywe read many books on computers or reading tablets. I have two stories I would like to share. Isaac Asimov, a biochemist , ascientist, wrote almost 500 books. He wrote text books for schools, elementary anduniversity, on about every subject math, history, literature, mythology, and science. He evenwrote books to compliment the reading of the Bible. The words he wrote that I have found mostenthralling are his novels and short stories of science fiction. He has written many books of thisgenre. Many of his works, such as “Nightfall”, “Foundation”, “Foundation And Empire”, “SecondFoundation”, “The Caves Of Steel”, “The End Of Eternity”, “The Naked Sun”, and “The GodsThemselves”, won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards of literature (Liukkonen, 2008). Heknew science and made it understandable to the common man. I highly recommend reading the Foundation Series but I want to share with you thesetwo stories, about questions and answers. “The Last Question” and “The Last Answer” are nota set of stories that were written as a series. They were written 24 years apart and deal withLife, the Universe, and our own quest for Knowledge. They are timeless, although they bothdeal with the infiniteness of time and space. I have summarized the stories here but I hope youare able to find them in their original form for more enjoyment and better understanding.
Written by Isaac Asimov (1956) Summarized here by me The story start with “The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, ata time when humanity first stepped into the light.” This is far in even my future but the story is relevant, it is auniversal story that spans time and space. Two men are sitting behind the most amazing computer everbuilt, Multivac (the "ac" for "analog computer“) The sun powers everything on Earth and man is no longer tiedto fossil fuels. These men are having a drink and discussing how long the sun will last because nothing lastsforever, when one, on the whim of a 5$ bet, asks the Multivac the question, “How can the net amount ofentropy (the running down) of the universe be massively decreased?“. After sometime the answercomes, “INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER”. The incident is forgotten. The story goes onthrough time and space. We travel with a family through hyperspace where they ask Multivac’spredecessor, Microvac , how to turn the stars on again if entropy happens in the universe. Then we find weare in a quickly populating universe (due to immortality) with the Galactic AC. Humankind is aware of theuniverse running down and the question is asked, "Can entropy ever be reversed?“ And we progress evenmore and now humankind no longer lives in bodies but in the ether of space as minds while the bodies remainon planets. Two minds wonder where humankind originated and the question is put forth, "Universal AC! Onwhich Galaxy did mankind originate?“ The answer, "THIS IS THE ORIGINAL GALAXY OF MAN.“ A series ofquestions are then asked. "And Is one of these stars the original star of Man?“ "MANS ORIGINAL STARHAS GONE NOVA. IT IS NOW A WHITE DWARF.“ "Did the men upon it die?” "A NEW WORLD, AS INSUCH CASES, WAS CONSTRUCTED FOR THEIR PHYSICAL BODIES IN TIME.“ These ,minds see thatthe stars are dying and when all energy is gone, their bodies will die and then must their consciousness. Inhis distress the question is asked, ”How many stars be kept from dying?“ The answer, again comesto, "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.“ Finally matter andenergy, space and time were gone. AC existed for the sake of the last question it had not answered trillions ofyears before. AC had collected all the data it could and correlated this information in timelessness. When itfinally came up with the answer no one was there to hear it. AC organized a program and started with theanswer to how entropy may be reversed, “"LET THERE BE LIGHT!“
The Last Answer Written by Isaac Asimov (1980) Summarized here by me An atheistic physicist, Murray, falls to the floor in his laboratory due to cardiac arrest. He feels apeace wash over him, darkness invades his consciousness, in the distance he sees a light. The light fades.He is all there is in the Universe when he hears the Voice, “I have done this so often and yet I still have thecapacity to be pleased at success.” Murray wants to say something, aware he has no body he manages tomake words, “Is this Heaven?” A conversation ensues, “This is no place as you understand place.” “Are youGod?” “It is strange that I am always asked that in an infinite number of ways. There is no answer I can givethat you would comprehend. I am – which is all that I can say significantly and you may cover that with anyword or concept you please.” Murray then goes on to find that he is still himself , in a way, and that hechosen for his “capacity for thought” from quadrillions of other “intelligent species of the Universe.” Murraywas brought to this place to think and to come up with any thoughts not already thought. “Consider. I haveexisted eternally, but what does that mean? It means I cannot remember having come into existence. If Icould, I would not have existed eternally. If I cannot remember having come into existence, then there is atleast one thing – the nature of my coming into existence – that I do not know.” The Voice had “constructed theUniverse in order to have more facts to deal with. I inserted the uncertainty principle, entropy, and otherrandomization factors to make the whole not instantly obvious. It has worked well for it has amused methroughout its entire existence.” New things are learned all the time, now Murray must come up with newthoughts, for eternity. He cannot understand how the purpose of finding new knowledge is a means in itselfand looks for another purpose. “The purpose of my thinking will be to discover a way to disrupt this nexus ofme that you have created. I do not want to think for no purpose but to amuse you. I do not want to thinkforever to amuse you. I do not want to exist forever to amuse you. All my thinking will be directed towardending the nexus. That would amuse me.” He is informed this plan will not be successful , as he will simplybe reconstructed. “Then I will create another purpose for myself. I will not try to destroy myself. I will set asmy goal the humiliation of you. I will think of something you have not only never thought of but never couldthink of. I will think of the last answer, beyond which there is no knowledge further… You cannot know yourbeginning. You have said so. Therefore you cannot know your end. That will be my purpose and that will bethe last answer.” “Then try to think of it.” Murray begins to think, he had plenty of time.
(Whelihan, 2011) The public library is a place to borrow books, music, andmovies. A place to find the latest news and information. All the referencesever needed to write a research paper or make origami figures can befound at the library. You can use the computers to connect to the internetor make a resume. If you so desire you can simply sit and read a book ofpoetry. As long as you do not disturb the peacefulness that is within thelibrary you can stay all day perusing shelves and finding out somethingnew. If you would like to read the books “I, Robot” written by Asimov in1950 or Bicentennial Man (1976) or watch the films made by TwentiethCentury Fox in 2004 or 1492 Pictures (1999) (Liukkonen, 2008) , both canbe found in the interlibrary loan system if the library does not have it stock. The Mancos Public Library also has Game Dayz, everyWednesday, where people can play on the WII gaming system. They alsoshow documentaries by Independent Lens on the last Thursday of themonth. Recently they started a Monday afternoon movie time for theafterschool crowd. This week was The Labyrinth, my all-time favoriteromantic comedies. There is a bulletin board that keeps the town up-to-date on library happenings. The library is my favorite place in the world. Itis free to all and has everything a person needs to educate themselves.
The Mancos Public Library has a Mission Statement that they stand by: They serveall members of the community, and visitors to our town, in a setting free of discrimination. Theyprovide informational resources, support lifelong learning, offer materials and programs forpleasure and entertainment, nurture artistic creativity and literacy, support developing researchskills, and provide the community with a meeting place. They have a knowledgeable andcourteous staff. They carry “deep, broad, and current collections and have dynamic, well-rounded programs and current technology and facility.” The library is a spacious, well-lit andcomfortable place to visit and spend a day. They support intellectual freedom and showcasethe arts (Mancos Public Library, 2012). It really is a place to learn, experience, and grow. This library is a great piece of architecture as well as work of art in itself. It is a newbuilding with solar power and water saving restroom facilities. The fireplace is natural gas andquite inviting in the winter months. The children’s reading room is colorful and has tiles made bythe children and families of Mancos. There are art displays around the building to show off localartists and their work. I chose to put the public library in my time capsule because of all itsgreatness. It is whatever you want to make of it.
Conor Oberst, a singer songwriter from Nebraska, is Bright Eyes. One man brings together manyinstruments and musicians to form an album. Conor uses a wide range of melodies, moods and sounds tocreate his songs. With the help of other musicians he has made music that is orchestral, country, rock, emoand hardcore, and more. His songs have includedguitars, drums, piano, flute, mellotron, dulcimer, glockenspiel, accordion and keyboards, as well as many otherinstruments. He is diverse and all-encompassing with his music. Saddle Creek produced Bright Eyes’ first album, Letting Off The Happiness in 1998 when Conor wasa teenager. He has continued to make music since then quite regularly. Conor has done 7 recordings asBright Eyes, in the past 12 years, and has had 3 side projects. Desaparecidos was formed in 2002 and madethe album, Real Music Speak Spanish which was a fusion of garage-rock and emo-core. Conor debuted solowith the radio-friendly proletarian rock in 2008 and in 2009 did an album Outer South as Conor Oberst And TheMystic Valley Band. Also in 2009 Conor got together with Mike Mogis, Jim James, and M Ward to form theMonsters Of Folk which was reminiscent of rock in the1960s and 1970s(Scaruffi,1999). In 2005 Conor put together two albums that shared two sides of himself. These are two albums I ownand enjoy. The electronic album Digital Ash In A Digital Urn contains the song Easy/Lucky/Free which tells oflife in so many words and reminds us that nothing as simple as we would like it to be. I Believe In Symmetry isabout the desire for simplicity, which is to not desire. The Bottom of Everything and First Day of My Life fromhis acoustic album Im Wide Awake, Its Morning are both very moving and provoking. I would like to preserveat least these two albums but really think all he has done deserves to be kept. Conor Oberst sings not just to share his story but to share the connection of being human. He singsof truth and even tells lies to show the difference. He uses all the sounds we have created with instrumentsand technology to make music that is easy to listen to most the time. He has worked with many multi-talentedinstrumental artists; Britt Daniel, Son Ambulance, Neva Dinova, Andy LeMaster, and Nate Walcott. The musicof Bright Eyes is for every event, every mood, every intention of human nature.
In 1975 George Lucas came up with and wrote the story of Anakin Skywalker, his riseand fall. He then wrote more stories involving the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Anakin’s sonand redeemer. The story was too large for 1 film, so Lucas had to divide the story into 12episodes consisting of 4 film trilogies (this is the rumor, no one can be certain). “The first Star Wars trilogy focuses on the life of a young Anakin Skywalker (StarWars prequel trilogy) while the second Star Wars film trilogy (Star Wars classic trilogy) and thethird Star Wars movie trilogy (Star Wars sequel trilogy) focus on Luke Skywalker and PrincessLeia, the daughter of Anakin Skywalker. The fourth Star Wars film trilogy is vague and esotericwith a strange plot. It is set countless thousands of years after the third Star Wars movie trilogy(Star Wars sequels).” (Super Shadow, n.d.). George was given 11million dollars by 20th Century Fox to make the first film. Heused this money wisely and made a movie that was beyond impressive for the time. Using partsfrom models of cars and planes, trash cans, bailing wire, molding clay, and even duct tapeGeorge created a vast universe. He also had the help of special kinds of puppets created byJim Henson. In 1977 the first episode of Star Wars was the most successful film in NorthAmerican history with a gross in excess of $ 307.2 million. Since then he has built his ownEmpire or maybe he really has a Republic. He has started many companies, from Lucasfilmand his THX Sound to Industrial Light and Magic and the Skywalker Ranch. George Lucas is an innovator in the film industry and has helped form and change theway movies are made, viewed, and heard. He created a story that is universal and timeless.This is a film that has spoken to many to generations and still continues to speak to allhumanity. (Super
The Star Wars Universe was first brought to our World on May25th, 1977, with Episode IV: A New Hope and began with the words, “A longtime ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” May 21st, 1980 Lucas brought to usEpisode V:The Empire Strikes Back. On May 25th, 1983 the 3rd film in thetrilogy, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, was released. In 1997 the trilogy wasre-released in theaters with new graphics and special effects. The originalfilms made use of models and muppets but the a new technique in the filmindustry, computer generated imaging (CGI), made it possible to polishthese older films into a very realistic world now. With CGI came an all new Star Wars Universe. Episode I: ThePhantom Menace opened on May 19th, 1999. On May 16th, 2002 Episode II:Attack of the Clones was released. November 7th, 2003 The Star Wars:Clone Wars animated micro-series debuts on the Cartoon Network. May19th, 2005 Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. August 15th, 2008 the animatedmovie Star Wars :The Clone Wars opens in theaters. October 3rd, 2008 thenew Star Wars: Clones Wars series begins its first season on the CartoonNetwork. It has been running for 7 seasons now. Star Wars Episode I: ThePhantom Menace was released in 3-D just 2 days ago. All the while, as these films were played and replayed in theatersand on video in homes, books were being written that expanded theUniverse George Lucas started. There are over 200 hundred novels andcounting that can take you to the Star Wars Universe and they can be foundat your local public library (I really hope you still have free access toreading).
•Asimov, I., (1956). The Last Question. http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html•Asimov, I., (1980). The Last Answer. http://www.thrivenotes.com/the-last-answer/•Berry, W. (2001) In the Presence of Fear. Orion Society; MA.•Cherry, K. (2012). Kohlbergs Theory of Moral Development: Stages of Moral Development.http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/kohlberg.htm•Janaro, R. P., & Altshuler, T. C. (2009). The Art of Being Human: The humanities as a technique for living (Kaplan University 2ndcustom ed.). New York: Pearson Education, Inc.•Liukkonen, P. (2008). Books and Writers: Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) - pseudonym Paul French http://kirjasto.sci.fi/asimov.htm•Mancos Public Library (2012). Mancos Public Library. http://mancoslibrary.org/•Moyers, B. (2008). Bill Moyers Rewind: Isaac Asimov (1988).http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2008/03/bill_moyers_rewind_isaac_asimo_1.html•Nelson, W. (2011). Occupy the Food System . http://www.huffingtonpost.com/willie-nelson/occupy-food-system_b_1154212.html•Occupy Together, (2012). Occupy Together. http://www.occupytogether.org•Scaruffi, P. (1999). Bright Eyes. http://www.scaruffi.com/vol5/brightey.html•Super Shadow, (n.d.). http://www.supershadow.com/starwars/history.html•Whelihan, J. K., (2011). Pictures of MLP. Via E-mail.•Video from google.com •Bright Eyes, Austin City Limits. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4012485956805549121#•Videos from Spike.com •Bright Eyes, At the Bottom of Everything. http://www.spike.com/video-clips/56o94t/at-the-bottom-of-everything •Bright Eyes, Easy/Lucky/Free. http://www.spike.com/video-clips/te42ji/bright-eyes-easy-lucky-free •Bright Eyes, First Day of My Life. http://www.spike.com/video-clips/3jo22t/bright-eyes-first-day-of-my-life•Videos from Youtube.com •Bright Eyes, I Believe in Symmetry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kdvwtlFY5A