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Tiffany Lepa
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After completing Manfred Steger’s Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, I am left with various questions and concerns about the future of our global community. I often see “globalization” as a synonym for “Westernization.” At first, the idea of globalization, in theory, sounds positive: creating networks between nations in order to... Continue reading
In relation to the "Occupy" movement and the use of media, specifically the internet to raise awareness about these issues, I think that the constant coverage often causes viewers to become desensitized. I have a lot of friends who post video coverage multiple times a day about protests taking place across the nation. Often times the comments that follow these videos can be interesting, but they have become so repetitive and evoke silly fights rather than intellectual conversation. Now I find myself scrolling past these posts because they are so frequent. Although the "Occupy" movement has gained a lot of attention through the internet, the constant coverage has caused less interest in it, at least in my opinion. When we constantly see images and small bits of information, such as violent images from the war or images of starving children in third-world countries, we become accustomed to it. We don't feel strong emotions about these issues as often. Though we can definitely find sufficient information on the internet, I fear that we are becoming "armchair activists" or just simply apathetic about these situations. All in all, it depends how we choose to use the information we see.
This concept of using human subjects from around the globe in clinical research really ties into the idea of globalization, and I think that it is very telling of the type of bonds that America wants to make with other countries. These clinical trials seem more like exploitation than help. It seems that America only wants to build relationships with countries in order to benefit their own cause—not to build strong relationships of trust. Unfortunately, since these trials are aimed at poor countries, the research subjects are not totally sure of that in which they are participating. On the other hand, they might agree to these trials in order to get temporary health benefits though most of the medicines being testing will never benefit these people. It is really disheartening to see humans treating other humans as a subordinate type of human. These humans are treated similarly to the animals used in animal testing (which is quite sad, too), that is, as subjects with no feelings or significance. In the 21st century, you would think that we have surpassed this, but globalization going this far really causes me to question the ethics of our country.
I think that perhaps rather than turning to poor countries and exploiting them, we should emphasize the importance of medical research in the United States. These are the people that actually will be able to afford and use these drugs. Perhaps there could be some sort of incentive for participating or maybe it could fit into our healthcare system. It just seems unethical to exploit human subjects. When we do this, we categorize these people into a "sub-human" category, much like the innocent animals that we use for testing. If we could create a better system which gives more benefit to those subjects, including medical care after the testing period, sure, that would be fantastic; however, I don't see this happening.
Throughout The Whale and the Supercomputer, Wohlforth recounts his time spent in the Iñupiaq whaling community and with scientists in the Arctic. Throughout the book, the subject of global climate change is evident. Natives of the Arctic speak of experiences in the past of cold yet predictable winters and note... Continue reading
While it seems in the best interest of the environment and the future of the Chinese people for their government to impose regulations, it seems hypocritical for Americans to make such a suggestion when we have such a large carbon footprint. Since the way of life in the United States seems to be exported to many other countries, such as China, it is crucial for the United States to export a good example of environmentalism. Just like China, the U.S. should find ways to reduce its emissions. If the United States becomes more of a friend to the environment, rather than an enemy, it is likely that other countries will follow the example.
Globalization would be a satisfying concept if countries worked together for the improvement of the world as a whole. In order to make this work, the relationships made between countries must be reciprocal. This is tricky though. It seems like the power is in the hands of the wealthier countries to decide what is ethical--which boundaries to draw. Do these developing countries actually want developed countries in them, or are they imposing? While it seems like many developing countries would like to flourish, due to the current circumstances of our globalized world, the wealthy countries that have power must be sure that these relationships are just. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the sharing between developed and developing countries is fair. Corporations and scientists are often driven by a hubris that clouds moral judgment.
Similar to Katie, I am not sure that we have much use for our organs after we have died; however, this is a varied opinion. Ultimately it should be up to the individual to decide whether or not to donate his or her organs, but it is also important to be aware of the injustice of the black market of organ trade. This might help Americans to decide whether or not to donate their organs for the benefit of others in their country. To me, what is most alarming about organ trade is the way in which it commodifies the human body. The act of selling body parts across borders in exchange for monetary gain signifies the extremity of globalization. The “donors” (which may or may not be voluntary) are more than often impoverished and depend on the money made from their body parts in order to survive. Not only are lands and good being exploited, but now, body parts! The 2002 film, Dirty Pretty Things, directed by Stephen Frears shares a story dealing with the underground organ trade as a symbol of the extreme ends of globalization. The characters act as symbols and give faces to those minorities affected by globalization—especially those in the organ trade. This film humanizes globalization and the interconnectedness of nations, which we often forget since we are not directly faced with the situation. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone interested in the pros and cons of globalization.
I also found this occurrence interesting while reading the text. Like you, I feel that the constant communication around us is a little bit overwhelming, and I want to resist the innovations pushed onto me by consumerism and want rather than need. While technological advances have become an essential part of our everyday lives, I feel wary at times when I really begin to think about it. As an English major, I fear that the art of writing and reading might diminish with the introduction of concise (though witty) “tweets,” Nooks, and text messages filled with poor grammar. Sometimes I find myself fantasizing about the past, such as the 1960s when things seemed “simple,” but to my dad who grew up in that period, he found himself dreaming about the 1950s when things were really “simple.” It seems like humans will always feel nostalgic for the past, but eventually these feelings disappear in the acceptance of newer innovations.
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Aug 29, 2011