A Powerful, yet Simple Discovery

One of the greatest scientific facts ever discovered has to be Albert Einstein’s Equation, E=mc², because it led to a new discovery in classical physics as well as advancing technology for the better and for the worse in which it was indirectly used for killing of thousands of innocent people. Albert Einstein was one of the, if not the greatest scientist to have ever lived, and his amazing theories of the universe will always be remembered as greatly as him. I believe E=mc² is a great scientific fact solely due it being such a powerful equation, but yet so simple. It has allowed mankind to advance in knowledge of the universe and has allowed to better technologies, whether it be good or bad. E=mc² is a brilliant discovery that has led to great advancements in technology, but it also was partly responsible for one of the most horrific incidents in history, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

To understand the power of E=mc², it is critical to analyze the equation itself. “It says that the energy (E) in a system (an atom, a person, the solar system) is equal to its total mass (m) multiplied by the square of the speed of light (c, equal to 186,000 miles per second)”(Jha). In laypersons terms this means that energy and mass are related and can equal each other, therefore being the same at times. The speed of light is just a constant which never changes and is used in the equation because it is one of the three critical parts of nature, the other two being energy and mass. It is much more than a mathematical equation, akin to other equations, it very profound and led to the realization of measuring the same thing but with two different ways. For example, a person can weigh himself through their mass, but can also be weighed according to energy by measuring the amount of joules. Joules is just a subunit of energy, just as mass has a subunit of grams. The significance of E=mc² is that it led to the realization of converting mass into energy, and energy back into mass. Which led to other discoveries in physics, as well astrophysics, where it was learnt that when a sun emits energy its mass is being converted into that energy and is being emitted. As one can see the equation is so powerful because it led to other discoveries to be made because of its simplicity and power.

To have a better understanding and to try to grasp the power of this equation, it is valuable to see how it has affected other technologies. This equation led to advancing physics, by helping to discover a new branch of physics, high-energy particle physics. Particle physics is concerned with the microscopic properties of matter and energy such as the very particles that create everything like protons, neutrons, and electrons. Particle physics consists of a technology known as a particle accelerator. Which is just a machine that collides sub atomic particles at incredible high speeds. An article written by Peter Tyson, “The Legacy of E=mc²”, suggests that “proper design of particle accelerators, as well as analysis of the high-speed collisions within them, would be impossible without a thorough comprehension of the equation”(Tyson). Tyson is referring to E=mc² as the equation, and this makes sense because within the particle accelerator only energy and new particles are left as a byproduct of the colliding particles. The mass of the old colliding particles transitioned into new energy, which are “constantly transmuting into newly fashioned particles”(Tyson). So again, as stated before, it is direct use of the equation because mass is transferred into energy, and then to a new mass, creating new particles. Tyson realizes this and he quotes another man named Grant, who brings more attention to the equation when he says “ ‘our species has repeatedly used an understanding of the equation to convert E into new forms of m that had never previously been seen’ ” (Tyson). This quote proves how mankind continues to use E=mc² in advancing science, and in this case, creating particle physics as well as advancing it.

After analyzing the effects of E=mc² on advancing the field of physics, lets analyze more familiar objects in our society. Many things used in hospitals are directly linked to he discovery of E=mc², for example a PET scan. Positron emission tomography uses radioactive substances to detect anomalies within the body. Positron is a unique sub-atomic particle which is the opposite of electron, used a lot of the time in either high-speed particle colliders, or even radioactive machines to detect diseases in the body. In the article by James Tyson, Sylvester James Gates, a physicist at the University of Maryland was quoted stating, “ ‘whenever you use a radioactive substance to illuminate processes in the human body, you’re paying direct homage to Einstein’s insight’ ”(Tyson). This is directly linked to E=mc² because as particles move within the body, their energy can be converted to mass and allow machines to detect any sort of abnormality within a patient. Another advancement of E=mc² is radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dating is a method archaeologists use to date ancient substances. Has allowed mankind to date back ancient civilizations, and has allowed us to date back how far the Earth has existed. Tyson quotes Grant again in his article, and Grant states, “ ‘The decay products that we see in carbon dating—that energy is directly obtained from the missing mass that you see in E = mc2’ ”(Tyson). As stated before, mass can be converted into energy, and over the time of hundreds or thousands of year we can detect that energy through radiocarbon dating. There are many other great advancements through the use of E=mc² from everyday objects like smoke detectors, exit signs, to even advancing astronomy, and overall spawning the advancement of radioactive sciences, but through radioactive science the equation appealed to a more nuclear world.

E=mc² can now be understood as to why it such a great equation, but it is also important to know the capacity of this equation that can elicit a great deal of destruction to the world. Francis Fukuyama wrote a book entitled, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Fukuyama writes about biomedical advancements and argues manipulating genetics will have negative consequences even if thought to be used for good intentions. Many of his points can be linked to E=mc² because although the equation led to many great advancements the world has ever seen, it has also been key to the one of the most horrific incidents in history, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During World War 2, humans created the atomic bomb, the most devastating weapon in human history. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of innocent people dying in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities in Japan. All this was done to shorten the length of World War 2, and scare to the Japanese into surrendering as well as to shock the Germans. Reading Fukuyama’s book, his ideas can be linked to this devastating attack when he says, “science and technology, from which the modern world springs, themselves represent our civilization’s key vulnerabilities” (Fukuyama Preface). This is an accurate description of most technologies, but specifically for E=mc² it can be rightly assumed that the description is relevant to this particular scientific fact because even though it has allowed for many great advancements in the modern world, it is also key to having the power to eliminate civilization and has the power to destroy the world.

Upon writing this paper, I believe it is necessary to give my own perspective on E= mc². Coming from a scientific background and the appreciation of new scientific advancements, many which are spawned from E= mc², I believe the equation is a great invention used to advance human knowledge. It has allowed humans to become better astronomers, understanding laws of the universe, creating new branches of science like particle physics, allow humans to treat patients better, and overall a general understanding of energy. With almost every technology it is rational to assume it has excessive positive features, but also has defects. There will always be a good and a bad. For E=mc² it has brought very positive results through many advancements in society, and to give a better understanding of the universe. However, it has also led mankind to wield such a power where it can kill millions of people with a nuclear bomb, directly linked to the fundamentals of E= mc². I believe this discussion is linked to the discussion in class about gun laws, simply because E= mc² can be used as a weapon. This scientific fact should not be considered a weapon merely due to having the potential to create weapons of mass destruction, but seen as a great scientific fact which has the potential to further advance society, and if willed can be used as a destructive force by someone. It is not the equations fault that hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese citizens died, but rather the people who are using the equation in what I would consider a negative manner. Overall, it has been a great discovery to enlighten humans more about the laws of nature, but it should not be at fault for resulting in weapons of mass destruction.

Through this paper I hope it has allowed people to see why E= mc² is a great and powerful equation. Not powerful in the sense that is has the power to spawn weapons that can cause a great amount of destruction, but rather powerful in the sense that it has the power to lead to better advancements in science. Which is why I believe it is Einstein’s most accomplished work, and evidently most of his theories are built upon this concept like relativity. Not only were his theories better resulted through the understanding of the equation, but also others theories of creating new advancements, and to create new branch of sciences simply due to the existence and understanding of E=mc². It is a great equation in magnitude, and it is only about an inch long in length, it truly is a remarkable scientific fact.

 

Work Cited:

Fukuyama, Francis. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. Print.

Tyson, Peter. “The Legacy of E = Mc2.” PBS. PBS, 11 Oct. 2005. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.< http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/legacy-of-e-equals-mc2.html>.

Lasky, Ronald C. “What Is the Significance of E = Mc2? And What Does It Mean?” Scientific American. N.p., 23 Apr. 2007. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.< http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/significance-e-mc-2-means/>.

Jha, Alok. “E=mc2: Einstein’s Equation That Gave Birth to the Atom Bomb.”Theguardian. N.p., 5 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/apr/05/einstein-equation-emc2-special-relativity-alok-jha&gt;.

Picture:

“E=MC2.” Fine Art Print by Unknown at FulcrumGallery.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fulcrumgallery.com/EMC2_700663.htm&gt;.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transcription E=MC2

My topic is on Einsteins most famous equation, E=MC^2. It is a powerful, yet simple equation that has a great impact in scientific discovery as well the world in a multitude of ways. I wanted to get a different perspective on the topic, so decided to discuss with one of my friends about the topic. My friend is a doing a major in physics so he is very well versed in the fundamentals of E=MC^2 from a scientific background. I wanted to get two perspectives from him, one being from a purely scientific background, and the other more humanitarian based.

On the scientific perspective, he said it is a very powerful equation and is one of the greatest discoveries ever. We have learned so much from it, and made so many inventions because of it that have benefit society and has allowed to further impact scientific innovation and discovery. Since I asked him about the equation from a purely scientific perspective, I also wanted him to analyze the variable in the equation. E represents energy, M represents mass, and C represents the speed of light squared. Simply this really just means matter and energy can be equated and are almost the same thing. This discovery has lead us to many inventions and one of them was the atomic bomb.

Which led me to ask him about the humanitarian perspective of this equation. Of course he is not meant to understand this perspective more than the scientific perspective, but he is an academic and understands how things relate. Fortunately, he was very intelligent on the topic and gave me a good answer. He stated it was a horrific incident that occurred that took many innocent lives, and the U.S was to blame. He even mentioned that Einstein reflected back and regretted his decision of helping to create the atomic bomb. However, he said this is not the equation’s fault, because that is just a written law of the universe. We cannot change it, Einstein just shed light on one of the universe’s law for us to understand how some things in the universe works. It has always been there, and with like any other weapon, it is not the weapons fault but but rather the people behind it by abusing its power. Although he gave a great point, my only contention is that the equation should not be considered a weapon but rather like a weapon. We did not create the laws of universe, but we are purely responsible for creating weapons, which is why the equation is not a weapon. It is just an understanding of the world, and  it is  the responsibility of the wielder who abuses the power of this understanding.

From the interview I learned a lot through my friend on the many great innovative things that Einstein’s equation helped with. However, we also discussed the horrific events of what happened with this great power more than the science behind it. It is important to know both the good and bad things that this equation has done to humanity. Although it is not the equations fault so many people died, but rather the people living in the world. It is unfortunate that people abused Einstein’s equation to get to a level of creating weapons of mass destruction, but it will still be remembered with positive outcomes which can hopefully outweigh the negatives and lead people to realize that it is not meant for destruction and taking millions of lives.

Class Archive of Essays

After a few day of classes I had realized this class emphasizes the importance of different types of mediums and technologies. Which seems very interesting to analyze because we normally do not think about it. However, after seeing other classmates blog posts it left me amazed to see how far some people, including myself, would go in terms of thinking of a medium or technology. Some people even went beyond what I would think of as a medium. Also many people had very entertaining blogs I read such as Ted Talks, music, movies, healthcare, and even as far as concussions in the NFL. I have seen various patterns of going beyond what I would consider a medium and technology. This class and blog posts really has made me realize the different forms to choose from.

After realizing this pattern I found everyone always links an idea or thing back to what I would consider a medium or technology. This has also inspired me as well when I analyzed an MRI as a form of medium of information and a form of technology. Through the creativity of my classmates it really has inspired me to choose any form of technology and link it to something to the classroom. Going from language, tools, roads, and high-tech technologies truly has opened my eyes. Has allowed me to find an alternative to the classical way of looking at a medium or technology. Almost everything around us can be seen as one of the two, or both most of the times. Prior to this class I would think of medium as some sort of text opposed to something like an MRI. It truly is profound in terms of what it can consist of. Also through reading McLuhan also has impacted us in such a way to even think in these creative ways of transgressing to the classical sense of mediums/technologies. Through readings through classmates blogposts truly has advocated that. I remember myself writing about creativity as some sort of artifact, which was inspired by classmates and McLuhan. Seeing classmates posts always makes me want to think outside the box and write something just as interesting as their blogs. I saw someone have their topic for the final paper about bees. Which is amazing in terms of how far this class can go to analyze the smallest of things. Then I also saw a post on mummification of the ancient Egyptians. Which is a funerary technology, and was an entertaining read. This showcases how students can go from their interests and tie it back to a medium/ technology, which I find very intriguing.

Through readings classmates posts has helped me have a broader understanding of what it means to be considered a medium and/or technology. It has allowed me to think outside the box, and dwell into almost all of my interests, and choose whichever I find fitting to write about. Although the class is focused on technology, I can always tie whatever I have in mind to technology or medium. I see more of a creative writing and going beyond what I would consider a medium prior to this class, as a obvious pattern in our class blog posts.

Personal Reflection-Cinema

For my research paper I am looking into history of cinema. Ever since I was a kid I have watched many movies, and always had the curiosity of how they are made and how moving actors get captured on screen. This semester taking a class on art cinema has allowed me to get a better understanding of cinema and how far it has come since the late 1800s. From a simple photograph, to blurry movements, and finally to highly computerized content truly is astounding. Knowing the physiology of cinema from, editing, cinematography, aesthetics, and overall acting really is interesting. I believe this is one of many factors that has driven me to pursue this as a research topic. I remember when I was a kid, and used to watch a film I always thought the actors would stop what there doing and start acting just for me. It was a childish, yet naive understanding how films were created, and coming from that perspective, with the addition to watching movies all throughout my life has really compelled me to investigate this topic.

Analyzing my local identity, I have a lot of diversity. Seeing films in both Hollywood and Bollywood all throughout my life, has given me the opportunity to watch many films in both genres and to compare and contrast between them. Just like most people we all watch movies throughout our life, however we do not take into account of how it is made or how we have the technology to even create such films. Fortunately, for me I had the opportunity to take the history of art class designed for cinema, as mentioned earlier, and it has really opened my eyes and gave me a reason to strongly believe that cinema is a form of art akin to any painting or sculpture. I believe my personal identity has strongly influenced me to have this perspective on films, because I have been watching a diverse content of films from Hollywood to Bollywood. I believe it does depend on your identity and location because if you were more influenced in your childhood to watch films, you most likely take great pride in them to even consider them as a form of art. My art professor took an interest in cinema because her family used to sit down together and watch films all the time. Having that influence at a young age, and watching films throughout your life allows you to have a curiosity to better understand how what your watching works and how it has come about. Which is the main reason I want to pursue cinema as a research topic because I want to learn more of how it works and how it has evolved over the years.

As mentioned before, being exposed to a certain thing differs your perspective on that said thing opposed to something else. Cinema is a form of technology that really has taken great strides in the last 50 years, and being apart of a community that watches films, old or new, makes me want to analyze that technology even more. Which is why I believe personal experiences, identity, and location play a critical role when investigating an object or technology.

Research Method: Find Sources, Start Writing

A research essay requires sources to be used in the research paper. It is essential to understand and use different sources to implement in a paper. This allows to support claims, and to see where the perspective your research question is coming from. Since I am researching about how cinema has evolved the past century, I will need to make my research topic a bit more specific, and good sources allow that to become easier. It is also critical to use authentic sources by eminent scholars because they are the professionals in a given field. A research method is very important to help support claims, and allow your essay to be more authentic.

I will go about finding answers to my research through various different materials. One would be the history of art class I am currently taking, which has loads of quality information of cinema and how cinema is an art, and how cinema has evolved since the late 1800’s. Another source would be the textbook I use for my history of art class, which has more in depth information, which allows me to use specific quotes to support some of my claims. Another source would be the movies I have watched in my history of art class. These movies act as sources because they are the art of cinema, and they would be a great source to use and analyze when describing how cinema is a form of art. Also I can find scholarly articles online about art cinema, which can allow me to have a little bit more information that goes beyond the scope of my history of art class. These sources will be used as tools to help me support my research question.

A research essay is a more challenging essay to write, simply due to incorporating research, analyzing the research, and explaining it to the audience in a sufficient fashion. It is critical to have useful quality sources which you can rely on, to help make your research paper stronger. Once I have my sources, then everything else is just a manner of knowing how to use my sources to help my claims. However, that is not challenging because I already have ample amount of information which is all authentic based on putting time into finding the sources. Once sources are found a person can begin to write a research paper just as easily as any other creative writing. I can just grab a quote from a source, use it to support one of my claims, explain the quote and what the source is, and I have supported my claim with sufficient evidence. Once the sources are found through doing some research, and knowing which sources you might use, then you can rely on those tools to support claims or help give background information on a topic.

For some, writing a research paper can be exhausting. Simply because when writing a research paper you need to do your own research and find sources. In contrast to just writing freely on a topic without having to put time in finding sources can seem more easy because of not putting as much time to find research tools. However, I believe a crucial step in writing a good research paper, and enjoying to do the research is to start off with adequate quality sources which then allows everything to fall into place. A writer can pick and choose what quotes he might use based on his analysis in a certain paragraph, and when you have ample sources it allows a writer to easily pick what he needs. I truly believe if you are writing a research paper, use a research method long before you start writing the paper to help lessen the burden and to have a better time when writing your very own research paper.

Cinema

Cinema is a form of art that consists of different styles and to know the history behind how we came from a simple picture to moving people on a screen is essential. I have never known much about what goes on behind a movie, other than being entertained. However, after taking a history of art class this semester it allowed me to appreciate cinema as more of an art form and as well as to know how it is made.

We have cinema today only from evolving through over a century of working with pictures.Early cinema was developed from just the photo. Pictures were used to develop a visual image and they were late utilized in showing movements through have lots of different pictures. For example, around 1878 Eadward Muybridge was a photographer who made a bet with his friends to see if when a horse gallops does all of its feet leave the ground. So he used many different cameras and took many photos of a horse galloping, through this bet he managed to see movement in the pictures and realized they do not touch the ground. This was one of the starting points to early cinema, simply through putting photos together. Eventually this method led to animation. However, early cinema was being evolved through these simple methods.Eventually leading to the first film shot in the U.S. was created by Thomas Alva Edison in 1889 called “Monkeyshines”. It was a very blurry short film, but a person can see movement and even the blurry actor. It was a ground breaking time in early cinema and led to more films being developed.

As more films were being developed in the late 1800’s early 1900’s, they began to have a style.Every film needed to have Mise-en-scene, which is a french phrase basically meaning what is put in the image. Which consists of lighting, actors, sets, costumes, and props. Films also had cinematography and the shot became the basic unit of cinematography. The shots consists of frame, depth, movement, angle,space, and distance. The last thing that films consisted of was some sort of editing, either post-production editing with voice over or color or just editing shots together. These three things became essential components of a film which we still see today.

Films also became to be appreciated as an art form. As films produced throughout the early 1900’s and mid 1900’s each film had a specific style. Then films would be represented as a realism type film or modernist film. Realism films were seen as as films that depicted reality, how things are in the real world. A famous classic movie that was categorized was a realistic film was made in the 1950s named “Citizen Kane” which is still a popular movie today. Then we have modernist films which consisted of german expressionism, surrealism, soviet constructivism, dada, and many other styles. These films were more unrealistic and the opposite of realism based films, and a famous german expressionist film was made in the 1920’s, ” The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. This was a film created in early cinema, although it has no sound the plot, mise-en-scene, and cinematography of the film are what makes it great. Then more styles were produced mid to late 1900’s like neorealism. Neorealism is more based on average people lives and were realistic depictions of everyday life of middle class or poor people. All these style emerged which allowed films to be considered as an art.

Cinema has become a prevalent art today, and it has a rich history behind it. From how it started from a simple photo to now CGI, it is amazing how far films have come in the last century. It is interesting to know how cinema has evolved, and how it become a medium of information to a new technology. It has many dimensions to it such as art, and is a great subject to analyze.

Work Cited

Mast, Gerald, and Bruce F. Kawin. A Short History of the Movies. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2008. Print.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Unique Medium of Information

Usman Khan

Mr. Josephson

Comparative Studies 2367

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Unique Medium of Information

            Magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI, is an essential medium used throughout health care that engages the senses and allows information to be transferred. Commonly used in hospitals to help identify a problem to better treat a patient, and to allow a better medium of information for physicians and even allowing the patient to understand what is going on. The MRI has been useful in and of itself progressing the advancement of medicine, and is a crucial machine used presently. By helping to view tissue at a unique microscopic level to better find a diagnosis, and leading to better treatment and prevention of a disease, it has allowed medicine advance far better than most medical machines.The MRI is a great medium to analyze due to it existing as a tangible material which engaging various senses and allows for unprecedented possibilities in the field of medicine.

As an essential medium used in medicine the MRI exists as a material object to encompass its functions. To understand the function and even the power of an MRI, it is necessary to understand how it works. A basic understanding would be that “It is a procedure used in hospitals to scan patients and determine the severity of certain injuries” (Kalapurayil). An MRI produces detailed scans of tissue in the body used to identify the severity of an injury and it does this through laying inside of an MRI on a push in table. The structure of the MRI is simple and its functions encompass its structure. Everything was built for a specific reason in allowing the MRI to work, with no excess. Primary components of the MRI consists of a large external magnet, coils, radio frequency equipment, and a computer used to generate a 3-D image. It has a long tube inside the machine with a large magnet in the middle of the machine. Then there is a comfortable table in the external portion of the MRI where a patient lies down The table gets pushed closer into the center of the MRI to begin the process that leads to the main function of the MRI. There are many wires in the machine itself, which are covered, and they are used to pass electrical currents generating a strong magnetic field. Then there is something known as a coil, which is placed on a body part to send and receive radio frequency waves. These waves can go through our skin and this allows the protons in our body to align themselves and the protons then absorb the RF waves. These protons tend to spin quickly because of the energy they received, thus emitting or releasing the energy waves to the coil and generating a 3-D image of the specific body part being scanned. It is a fairly simple design if one can understand engineering and physics, but to those not knowledgeable on the subject it can seem confusing, yet still can be comprehended with a basic understanding of science.

Besides the tangible materiality of the medium it also engages our senses in a variety of ways. When a person is being scanned in the MRI there are many continuous loud thumping noises. These noises are produced by magnets turning on and off continuously, and also by the noise of camera taking the pictures. Just as a camera makes a noise when taking a picture, the MRI makes an even louder noise when taking such a detailed image of your tissues. This noise can indubitably cause more anxiety and nervousness, so the MRI surely engages our auditory senses. Also when someone is needed to use an MRI for any sort of procedure, that said person is surely in a state of anxiety even before being in the MRI. Simply due to the fact of being aware that this is a unique procedure not meant for an everyday sort of check-up makes a person more nervous and scared, seeing as a typical visit to the hospital usually does not require someone to be laid down in a huge metal machine. Thus, the MRI engages the senses mentally as well, because it can be nerve wrecking for a person to even think about being in MRI for maybe thirty minutes to maybe even two hours depending on the severity of the case. Leading to the MRI being a medium not just for treating conditions, but also has a characteristic trait of engaging a variety of senses. A solution to the loud noises is using headphones allowing people to have the option to listen to music and to avoid this nerve wrecking noise. Although for many people having to know they will be in the magnetic resonance machine is nerve wrecking, it is still completely safe and people should not be too anxious or worried.

Being such a crucial medium of information the MRI needs to make things possible and these possibilities are crucial in helping physicians, treating patients with safety, and creating a better understanding for the patient when confused. The MRI helps make physicians life easier and allows them to see things that were likely impossible to see just a few decades ago. The image produced through the MRI allows physicians to see body organs and tissues in fine detail, and allowing the detection of abnormalities which otherwise could not be detected to help better treat patients. Opposed to a CT-Scan, which is just an upgraded x-Ray, a CT-Scan does not produce such fine detail of tissues, and X-Rays are more commonly used for bones so it is clear the MRI is the best option to visually see extreme detail of organs. Also in contrast to a CT-Scan, the MRI does not emit ionizing radiation. Avoiding radiation makes possible a safer procedure to better treat patients. A person who is going to have to use MRI is already a bit nervous as is, and if there were risk of radiation, you can imagine how frightening MRI would be. Fortunately, the MRI is safe and having no radiation makes possible of better treating the patient without the use of risk, and by not jeopardizing their future health and well-being due to radiation.

The MRI also makes possible a better patient understanding, as well as better physician-patient interaction. For a patient it is better to see a visual image rather than being bombarded with medical terminology that a patient might not understand. I believe Marshal McLuhan put it best when he stated, “In general we feel more secure when things are visible, when we can ‘see for ourselves.’”(McLuhan 117). This corresponds to the patient feeling more safe and secure seeing an image to better understand the situation. Especially in a hospital setting where most people are not educated enough to have the vast array of knowledge a doctor has, it then becomes pivotal to help lessen the confusion of a patient. MRI truly allows that lessening of confusion due to a visual image in front of the patient. For example, when learning a difficult concept it is quite often better to see a visual demonstration of the concept than just reading throughout a textbook. As McLuhan said, it is better when things are visible because it allows people too see with their own eyes to try to understand what is going on. A visual image or even any sort of visual mediums like videos, allow for better understanding than listening or reading. Also having the visual image, allows the doctor to better explain himself to the patient because now the patient has a much better understanding. This also allows the patient to feel more comfortable interacting with the doctor because they are both on the same page by looking at the image. Although the doctor will still need to explain some parts of the image, the patient will sill understand through the doctors information and supplementing that with the visual image in front of the patient. MRI indubitably makes possible of better patient understanding and a better physician-patient interaction through the generated 3-D image a doctor shares with the patient.

MRI is a great advancement in modern medicine due to finding problems otherwise not visible with the naked eye, however there are still economic and social issues revolving around MRI. A major economic problem would be affording MRI, which is greatly impacted by healthcare costs. Ezra Klein wrote an article entitled, “Why an MRI Costs $1080 in America and $280 in France”. In the article she mentions it largely has to do with the average a person spends on healthcare every year. “Americans spent $7,960 per person on healthcare”, and “The French, $3,978″(Klein). These are significant figures which impact the cost of MRI. Insurance companies charge more for a person living in the U.S. solely because the insurance companies pay so much more compared to insurance companies in France. Also these numbers are just averages, sometimes the cost of an MRI can be more than $4,000 depending on what body parts need to be scanned. These are significant numbers which impact the economics of MRI, thus influences society because it makes it difficult for the poor/middle-class to afford MRI. Societal implications would be the social inequality. The rich will have better access to MRI compared to someone who is poor and without any insurance. Even if you have insurance, some insurance companies might not pay for the full cost of MRI creating more issues. It is a consistent imbalance, because we have the harsh economics greatly influencing society which sheds a visible light on the social inequality involving MRI. I believe this is a huge problem because it simply is not fair for people to lose their lives simply on the cost of MRI. Also when new advancements are made in medicine it will even lead to more social inequality because the cost will always be so expensive. The MRI is a great advancement in medicine, however it is still influenced by economics which indubitably leads some people to lose their lives because of the expensive costs of a medical instrument that ironically was meant to help save lives.

MRI is an imperative machine used in the advancement of medicine, and although not seen as a conventional medium akin to a book or website, it still is a medium nonetheless. By allowing a transfer of information from the body to be analyzed, engaging the senses, creating new possibilities, it is indubitably a unique medium of information. MRI is simply unique medium to analyze due to fact it is a medium only used in the hospital. By being unique to the hospital it has been upgraded solely to treat patients in whatever way it can. Either through allowing fine-tuned images of organs, not emitting radiation, a better understanding for patients, and even a better physician-patient interaction, the MRI has become a pivotal medium of information used in hospitals. MRI has helped so many people in the world through its’ use of function, that without MRI it would surely be a loss to the world, and indubitably contravening to the advancement of new mediums in advancing medicine due to MRI being a stepping stone for what is to come.

 Work Cited

Kalapurayil, Mattew. “What Is MRI? How Does MRI Work?” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146309.php&gt;

McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print.

“MRI:MedilinePlus. Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015 <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medicineplus/ency/article/003335.htm>

Klein, Ezra. “Why an MRI Costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.” Why an MRI Costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France. The Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.                                      <http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/313-17/10323-why-an-mri-costs-1080-in-america-and-280-in-france&gt;.

Analysis of Tamagotchi

Sherry Turkle’s book “Alone Together” is very profound and deals with aspects society has encountered with technology. When reading the first chapter I could not help to notice the power of the tamagotchi toy. As someone who felt distant from the example and influence of that toy, I could not really understand how such a thing could possibly occur. I once had a teddy bear when I was young, although I would use my imagination that it was real, I never thought it was actually real and it never had control over my life. However, in contrast a teddy bear is a passive toy, and a tamagotchi is an inanimate object however still seems to engage the person make it an active toy to engage with. So as for myself I need to use an outside source to understand this phenomenon, and managed to interact with my friend on this discussion.

My friend, Emmanuel, is a current junior and remembers having a tamagotchi when he was younger. So I asked him a few questions on what I could not comprehend about the reading. He told me about he actively needed to engage with the toy countless times, and he enjoyed it. In the book it states, “To live, a Tamagotchi must be fed, amused, and cleaned up after. If cared for, it will grow from baby to healthy adult”( Turkle 31). Emmanuel explained all this to me and how it affected him. He told me it is also dependent on how well you treat the tamagotchi, so if treated poorly it could turn into a “drag”. However, Emmanuel also mentioned he owned a tamagotchi not when he was the age of eight or nine, in contrast to many of the children mentioned in the book, but when he was an early teen. He told me, “although I had to take care of it a lot, I still knew it was a toy so once I got annoyed or tired by it I just let it sit there”(Emmanuel). This made me think, and indubitably this has to be true. When we are young children we tend to perceive the world differently, and a demanding toy as a tamagotchi can give a unique sensation when engaging with it at a young age. But as we get older, we tend to form abstract models of thinking and as our brain grows with age we can think much more effectively that at the age of a child. Which is one of the main reasons as someone who is a young adult cannot see the impact a tamagotchi has on ones life.

As we get older we know or at least have a general idea of the world and functions associated with it. If I were to give a tamagotchi to a 30 year old man, he would disregard it throw it away with ease. Since he knows it is just a toy and understands that concept. However for a child, who is still learning and growing, if they associate emotions with the tamagotchi they can be, as the book mentioned, totally engaged in with it. If something happens to it they will be upset and if it dies they still remember the time they spent with the previous tamagotchi. My conclusion- there is a clear distinct age difference between when we think a toy such as a tamagotchi is real, or when we know we can throw that hunk of junk in the trash and not think twice. However, this also begs the questions, what if these kids who perceive the tamagotchi to be as real as they are, will they in the future still think of them as real when they are 18 years old.

Footnotes:

“My Tamagotchi Died.” Quickmeme. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle on carmen

Peer interviewed friend- Emmanuel

Creativity is Anti-Environmental

childdMarshall McLuhan’s book, The Medium is the Massage, mentions many important, logical, and relevant truths in our society today which he had written decades ago. These truths can truly enlighten us on what is preventing society to advance or how can society advance. McLuhan mentions an important eye-opening realization that I have had in the back of my mind which he has allowed me to entertain. The idea of humans losing their creativity by the influence of media, or at least by some sort of medium. Either through precedents of obtaining information or knowledge or by being influenced by the media in such a way that a person might think what they are doing can no way be right.

McLuhan uses the example of a brilliant chemist and one of the great founders of modern physics who is none other than Michael Faraday. McLuhan writes, “Michael Faraday, who had little mathematics and no formal schooling beyond the primary grades, is celebrated as an experimenter who discovered the induction of electricity”( McLuhan 92). This quote is all I needed to entertain the possibility of how society influences people to be a certain way. For example, if you want to do research in biochemistry or find a cure to a disease, society demands you to earn a degree and even a PhD. We learn that we need to take this class, and then this upper level class, and so on just to partake in a specific field. Which is why I believe Faraday went against those precedents of partaking in difficult sciences and not investing time into the upper level mathematics like calculus just to come up with something new. Faraday used his raw creativity and the basic knowledge of the natural sciences to come up with the greatest theories of his time. Imagine if you had knowledge of the fundamental or basic things in your field and not having the knowledge of anything more, so no knowledge of those “advanced” theories, you would be so much more creative because you would conjure up theories or information by using the basics of that specific field without being discouraged by the advanced theories of others. I believe Faraday’s lack of higher level mathematics and sciences allowed him to come up with simple theories that did not require calculus to do, if he had grew up with the influence of calculus and incorporating so much information in his theories he would question himself maybe this is too simple of a theory.

We are brought up as kids to go to school from such a young age up until we are adults, learning about so many different things, but when it comes to applying ourselves in a field of interest we tend to draw blanks when the time comes. This is due to losing our creativity of how we once wondered about the world. We are taught so many different scientific theories, some changing though the years, that we tend to think our theories must be nothing compared to the theories of these great scientists. Curing cancer has been such an important area of research that society has spent so much money still to find a cure. Now Imagine someone with just a basic knowledge of biology he might be able to theorize cures of what is the problem what might be the cause, but we get discouraged and lose our creativity because of our external environment. We have high eminent scientists in these fields, if they cannot find a cure how can someone like me? This is a perfect example of how our external environment and even the media affect our creativity in such a way that we are losing so much talent in this world. McLuhan put it best when he stated “Amateurism is anti-environmental”( McLuhan 92).

Footnotes”

McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage. New York: Bantam, 1967. Print.

Paul, Annie M. “Are We Wringing the Creativity Out of Kids?” MindShift. N.p., 04 May 2012. Web. 05 Feb. 2015.

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Artifact Politics – Telescope

Usman Khan

A simple, yet amazing technology is the invention of the telescope. The telescope was invented by the Dutch in 1609 and was made up of a tube and and a lens on each end. A great astronomer Galileo Galilei heard of the news and emulated the dutch and created a 20 power instrument he called occhiale or perspicillum. At the time those were the words describing a telescope since the invention of the word telescope had not been invented.

The political dimensions of the telescope at that era was democratic, and used for curiosity and inquiry about the universe leading to what we know as modern astronomy. Galileo would use the telescope and draw paintings on what he saw since he was also an artist. He also then discovered, by the use of the telescope, that the planet Jupiter had little stars next to it, now what we call Jupiters’ moons. The invention of the telescope changed the world during the 1600s because it allowed for a new perspective of understanding the cosmos, and eventually also disproved the notion of the earth being at the center of the universe.

The telescope indubitably supported the claims of an astronomer named Nicholaus Copernicus, that the sun is the center of the universe and not the earth.Which turned out to be the heliocentric theory. At the time this was heresy according to the church, and did not allow for the heliocentric theory to be true which supported the sun in fact is in the center and not the earth. So at the time the telescope managed to disrupt the religious community because the church was worried might all these theories that are being proved by the telescope be going against their beliefs. This fearfulness led to banning the support of the heliocentric theory. Eventually 400 years later the church supported the claims of the heliocentric theory when “Pope John Paul II reopened the case, and stated that ironically Galileo had been a better theologian than those he was contending with, and he repeated the aphorism that “the Bible teaches how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.””(Gingerich). This shows the impact of the telescope, which at the time was seen as a fearful technology by the theologians then eventually led to maybe the curiosity of the divine creators masterpiece.

All this happened by the invention of the telescope and eventually led to a breakthrough in astronomy and further advance science. Now we have various advanced telescopes such as reflecting,radio, and Hubble Space telescopes. All of which are still used today to seek and learn more about the universe. The universe is a great huge outside world, and by the invention of the telescope has helped astronomers and even society learn more about the universe, as well as to understand or maybe even help further advocate some religious beliefs, and also to impact the curiosity of society and further advance science.

Footnotes:

Gingerich, Owen. Galileo, the Impact of the Telescope, and the Birth of Modern Astronomy 1 (n.d.): 134-31. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. http://www.amphilsoc.org/sites/default/files/proceedings/2Gingerich1550202.pdf

Telescope Picture                                                                                                                        http://www.imgbase.info/images/safe-wallpapers/photography/sky/30674_sky_stars_and_telescope.jpg