Review Category : Opinion

The Philosophy of Education: Social Media

How does using social technology like Facebook make you feel? After using it, do you feel uplifted or depressed? Does it make you more productive? If not, why do so many of us compulsively use these technologies? I believe many of us do so for two reasons: because we habitually use these technologies when bored or sad, and because we are addicted to instant gratification. These social technologies often depress us because they present a biased view of other people that we unconsciously compare ourselves to. People only post about their best experiences on Facebook, not their bad moments. When we read others’ pages, we compare our real lives to others’ cherry-picked events — of course we will seem inadequate! Unfortunately, most of us do not realize this inherent bias in social media and thus become unhappy after spending time on Facebook or similar sites. Paradoxically, depression and boredom cause many of us to turn to media. Perhaps this is a habitual behavior to distract ourselves from our pain by... ...

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Sustainable Agriculture: Gut feelings

I like to think of myself as more than just human. It’s not that I have super powers or robotic limbs, but rather that my body can be considered an ecosystem in itself. New research on the microscopic organisms living inside and on our bodies has painted humans as human/bacteria/fungi superorganisms. Such a shift in self-identity has made me reconsider the sterile, Western lifestyle that I was raised with. From hand sanitizer to antibiotics to processed foods — I find myself asking why have I been enlisted in this invisible war against germs, and when can peace accords begin? Such questions were first borne by the Human Genome Project, an international, collaborative, biological experiment started in 1990 that aimed to sequence the entire human genome. When the project was imagined in the 1980s, researchers hypothesized that the human genome would be made of nearly 100,000 genes. The hypothesis reflected our own anthropocentric ideas of ourselves as magnificently complex organisms. The results of the project actually found that the human genome... ...

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Literary Lessons: Fashionable Reading

I would love to be an artist. I would go to a pond with my easel and beret and I would oil paint still-lifes of the ladybugs and water lilies. I would also have to learn French and dye my hair jet black with short bangs. It would be the classiest version of myself that I could possibly attain. Unfortunately, I can neither draw nor pull off jet-black hair without looking surprisingly similar to a vampire, so my dreams of being absolutely and utterly cultured are out the window. And in terms of art, because stick figures are about as good as it gets for me, I have found that fashion is a good middle point for my artistic endeavors. Someone else makes the art, and I get to piece it together and put it on display. I have to admit I put a lot of value on what other people do and do not wear. Every morning, a person makes a decision on how the vast majority of people... ...

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In Transition: C-C-Student

Remember the day you found out you had been accepted into UC Davis? I do — it was a Friday afternoon and I was at work. I got the email and immediately freaked out. I couldn’t believe it had actually happened! I decided to wait about a week to tell my parents. They had decided I needed to go to community college for a few years, so the least I could do was punish them with the old “I didn’t pass my last semester of community college classes — just kidding I actually got into UC Davis” fake-out. Anyway, once they had both gotten over their “near heart attacks,” time felt like it flew by. I was packing, moving, taking classes, studying for finals and now I’m filing to graduate. It’s been a wonderful whirlwind and has given me a lot to say. Just like Grandpa at every Thanksgiving dinner, let me tell you some stories and give you some advice — here are some things you should and shouldn’t... ...

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Latin Americanisms: El Chapo

Thirteen years have gone by since Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman managed to escape from a maximum security prison in the city of Guadalajara — rumor holds of a daytime escape in the smelly depths of a laundry cart with the aid of prison employees. In that time we have seen a troubling, but favorable, détente among the Cartels and the federal government eschewed in favor of all-out violence and a near constant state of war in several regions of Mexico. El Chapo (as he is known for his lowness in height — equivalent to “Shorty” in English), one of the primary actors in this Narco-Tragedy, met his fate this past Saturday as he was captured overnight in a hotel in the beach city of Mazatlán, in his home state of Sinaloa. Having been one of the world’s most wanted criminals, he rose to near legendary status as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel — one of the most profitable and equally ruthless drug operations the world had ever seen. He... ...

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ESPN Tailgate Competition: Failgate

On March 1 at the Pavilion, ESPN2 will televise the UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball game. Aggies, it’s time to put your game face, or rather, your pre-game face, on. At noon, an “ASUCD-sponsored tailgate” competition will take place at a designated area in front of the ARC parking lot. According to the competition’s Facebook event, student organizations will compete in throwing the best tailgate, with a $200 gift card to a local grocery store on the line. The event organizers “recommend 30 racks” and “shotgunning IS encouraged,” all the while being as “discrete [sic]” as possible. What better way to show school spirit than by going YOLO with the Solo (red cups)? Interestingly, ASUCD is explicitly sponsoring an event that touts for the consumption of alcohol on campus, as well as “working with the police so they are more lenient.” Bear in mind that UC Davis is a “dry” campus (minus Gunrock Pub and the classes we have on beer brewing and viticulture). We don’t want... ...

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Sustainable Agriculture: Cost of Fashion

It’s difficult to consume clothing mindlessly when pictures of the people who died in the process of sewing your crappy T-shirt are projected onto the store’s building. Such was the tactic of a group of protesters outside of New York Fashion Week who aimed to highlight recent industrial disasters in the garment industry. Last April in Bangladesh, an eight-story building housing thousands of workers and several garment factories collapsed, leaving approximately 1,135 people dead and 2,500 injured. Cracks had been discovered in the structure the day before, but workers were forced to return to work despite recommendations to close the building.The Rana Plaza collapse is being called the worst accident in the history of the garment industry. The Cost of Fashion, a protest group spawned from Occupy, teamed up with guerilla street artist collective, The Illuminator, to use projectors to light up city buildings with images of the victims of Rana Plaza. Their goal is to shed light on the human rights and labor violations commonly found in the garment... ...

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Latin Americanisms: Schoolyard Politics

One of the most disheartening things you can say about a country is that it stands alone. Such a concern might very well hearken back to experiences in our not yet fully politicized lives as children (that is, if my interaction with my own overly diplomatic nieces and nephews is any indicator). In fact, the site of childhood politics, i.e. the playground, can shed some much-needed light on the realm of contemporary “adult” politics. Much like on the playground, partnerships and coalitions are part and parcel of the international political system we inhabit, and for a very good reason: they lessen the chaotic forces — or at the very least lessen the brunt impact of such forces — inherent in the system itself. Like a playground bully who might see fit to prey on the less powerful, and lay claim to lunch money tributes, certain states exercise their own brand of schoolyard justice by laying claim to their spheres of influence. These are childhood renderings of political reality. And while... ...

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Literary Lessons: Patience Padawan

Freshman year is indubitably the hardest year of college. People who succeed in the “important” stuff during freshman year are made of magic and probably know an elf or two. Note: winning a drinking game does not count in calculating your success. However, coming a close second to being the hardest year in college is senior year. You’ve done everything (and maybe everyone) and you’re nostalgic for mom’s cooking as well as furniture on which you can hygienically lay your face. To all my friends graduating this quarter, I plead with you, stay patient. Senioritis is a struggle, but you only have two more quarters and getting lazy at this point in the game is very unadvisable. In books and in life, patience is crucial. However, you can go back and redo your reading of a classic novel whenever you choose. Senior year, on the other hand, is a much harder feat to do over. It’s necessary that seniors ride out their brains’ depleted thinking tanks to the last drop.... ...

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The Philosophy of Education: Being Busy

Do you often feel you are too busy to spend time with friends or relax? Do you feel stressed because of being busy? If so, you are not alone. When we are busy, we are often constantly in a hurry and worried about our duties. As a result, we cannot enjoy our surroundings or what we are doing. For example, many plants around campus are blooming with beautiful, fragrant flowers. How many of us even notice the flowers’ beauty, much less stop to smell them? If we are constantly focused on future obligations and thus do not enjoy the present, we cannot be happy even when dancing at a party. There are two main reasons we feel incredibly busy and stressed. First, we may simply have too many responsibilities, classes, work hours, research positions, etc. Second, we may not have that many things to do, but we are so stressed about them that we constantly distract ourselves with Facebook, etc. As a result, we feel like we have no time... ...

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Letter to the Editor: Save The Aggie

As a UC Davis graduate, it saddens me to hear that The Aggie may be on its last legs. It’s crazy to think that after 10 years, I can still remember the columns that made me cry with laughter and the thought-provoking articles that challenged my political stances. I always appreciated The Aggie’s ability to gather brilliant writers, artists and designers not for money, but for the passion of delivering a quality product. It is this same passion that allowed me to become a professional journalist for a technology publication that is read by millions of people today. UC Davis is known as a university that promotes the cultivation of different ideas, and since its inception The Aggie has always allowed students to express these diverse viewpoints. While there are plenty of news outlets, what makes The Aggie special is that it is a centralized news publication by UC Davis students for UC Davis students. The paper has existed for 99 years, never closer to reaching its centennial milestone, yet... ...

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Guest Opinion: UC Pig Cruelty

As students, alumni and faculty of the UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UC Irvine and UCLA Schools of Law, we are writing to urge the UC Regents to cease their support and participation in the cruel confinement of pigs at the annual California State Fair. Recently, we were horrified to learn that pregnant and nursing pigs at the UC-sponsored State Fair are confined for more than three weeks in crates that restrict the pigs’ movement to such a degree that they cannot even turn around or extend their limbs. The pigs are not provided with bedding material to protect their skin from the metal flooring, causing them significant discomfort and frustrating their maternal nesting instincts. The pigs suffer like this, restless and depressed, chewing the metal bars of their crates, for the entire three-week duration of the fair, without so much as a single break to stretch their legs. The pigs also endure needless suffering before the fair even begins, as pigs are transported to the fair in the... ...

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In Transition: C-C-Conclude

They say that hindsight is 20/20. Now that I’ve been a UC Davis student for over a year, there are a lot of things I wish I would have known, done differently or changed. Despite the fact that my higher education has been split between two institutions over the past five years, there are a lot of shoulda, coulda, wouldas in my college experience I’m just now realizing. Of course it’s too late to change any of those things now, but you know what they say … YOLO: you only live — Just kidding. What they really say is that you can either sit in pity about the past, or actually do something to change your future. I’m gonna attempt to do the latter. So although I only have a quarter and a half left here, I also have four and a half years of past education that has given me reflection, appreciation and opportunities to change my future. Knowing that I’ll be graduating soon has spurred me to compile... ...

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Measure 1 update: It’s complicated

Due to a lack of transparency in ASUCD and the UC Davis administration, the passing and campaign of Ballot Measure 1 has been needlessly hindered. Elections started on Feb. 18 and end Feb. 21 at 8 a.m. On Feb. 11, in an urgent senate meeting, the UC Davis Administration (Student Affairs) introduced the UC Davis Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) to the table. Associate Vice Chancellor Milton Lang and Student Affairs Comptroller Tracy Bennett made a presentation voicing Student Affairs’ disapproval of language in Ballot Measure 1 with regard to statements about fair wages, the oversight board and return to aid. The PPM outlined the campus’ requirements for student fee initiatives, but it was obvious that no one besides administration knew what they were, where to find them or that they even existed. The administrators suggested raising the required 25 percent fee to 43 percent to follow campus practice. The majority of the table expressed disapproval of a change in the fee a week before elections started, especially since no... ...

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The Philosophy of Education: Loneliness

Have you ever joined a group or talked to people because you were lonely? For example, many of us feel uncomfortable eating alone in the dining commons, so we invite people that we do not really know to accompany us. Others join clubs or Greek life for a sense of companionship. Why are we so lonely? Upon coming to college, many of us feel lonely as we are away from the love of our families. Those who, like me, were rejected by peers in grade school suffer even more. We often find that minor acquaintances only make us miss home and those who love us. Loneliness is a mental state, not an external circumstance. For example, we can be in a crowd, but feel lonely. On the other hand, we can be alone in the Arboretum yet not feel lonely. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. We feel lonely when we cannot connect to others by sharing ourselves. However, loneliness is not a weak or a shameful... ...

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