Benjamin Wang When we first landed at the airport in Rome, I couldn’t really grasp the idea that I was outside of the States, since the general area around the airport was very urban and nothing there really screamed “ITALY!” to me. I guess I was expecting to see a bunch of restaurants with rich Read more…
“What the Dog Saw” is split into three parts: Obsessives, Pioneers, and other varieties of Minor Genius; Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses; and Personality, Character, and Intelligence. The second part interested me the most. The examination of how people approach problems and the discussion on the amount of importance society places on images leads to enlightening insights on the importance of interpreting information, as discussed above.
Job interviews are flawed, Gladwell argues in What the Dog Saw, because people make assumptions about the way others will act in all situations. Studies have shown that behavior varies according to setting; honesty, for example, is not a constant trait – students were shown to have different affinities for cheating when taking tests at school or at home. Gladwell describes Nolan Myers, an intelligent, successful, Harvard graduate, who had recently spent a lot of time at job interviews. Gladwell states that if he “were an employer looking for bright young college graduates, [he would] hire him in a heartbeat”. However, he has never seen Myers in other settings, nor has he spoken to any of his relatives or professors, and he cannot explain why he likes Myers, but, Gladwell, along with Hadi Partovi, an executive at Tellme, and Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, decided that they approved of Myers in the short time they each spent with him. During Gladwell’s interview with Myers, he asks Myers, “are there things that you think you aren’t good at, which make you worry?”
Why would Snowden advocate for the protection of whistleblowers from his temporary asylum in Russia? Is it merely to protect himself, or is it a movement towards a larger concept of pervasive freedom? Is it because he had a “greater commitment to justice than a fear of the law”? In an attempt to move the nation towards a free world, Snowden lost many comforts of his life. He once lived in a nice house on Hawaii, with his girlfriend and family, and with a well-paid career position. He gave this up because of his commitment to the nation. See, Snowden had already encountered people before him in his workplace who were well aware of the illegitimacy of the programs. But for fear of losing their stable lifestyle, they chose not to blow the whistle. But then again, if Snowden really wanted support his movement, wouldn’t he return to America to accept his fate? If what he did was truly justified, then wouldn’t he be pardoned upon returning home? Why would he hide in Russia, under the wing of President Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB officer and leader of a government not known for its transparency? Perhaps Mr. Snowden is a reasonable man, and doesn’t want to risk the rest of his life in jail. Where else would he hide? There are only a few countries where the American government cannot muscle its way around.
Another disadvantage to Asian American’s academic achievements are the stirring suspicion of racial quotas. According to the US Census Bureau, among Asian Americans, 21.2% hold an advanced degree, i.e. MA, Ph.D., M.D. or J.D., the highest rate of higher education than any other race. Yet Asian Americans find themselves restricted by this psychological dilemma. Although the population of college-age Asian Americans has doubled today, the Asian acceptance into Ivy League schools has either narrowed or become static. Top Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton have repeatedly denied that they have Asian-American racial quotas, but a considerable amount of anxiety has risen among the Asian American community. According to Ron Unz, “In fact, the large growth in the Asian-American population means that the fraction attending Harvard has fallen by more than 50 percent since the early 1990s, a decline considerably greater than the decline Jews experienced after the implementation of secret quotas in 1925.” Are these speculations enough to justify the suspicion of Asian American quotas, especially since there could be other factors that take into account the situation?
The project partnered Cal Shakespeare with Solis to adapt the short story cycle for the 2010 production on the main stage featuring the Word for Word Performing Arts Company. In his short story cycle, The Pastures of Heaven, Steinbeck meticulously arranges a variety of characters from different ages and personalities, intertwining them into each other’s lives. Furthermore, out of the twelve short stories in the Pastures of Heaven, the recurring and important protagonist, Molly Morgan appears in the lives of several of the Pastures of Heaven’s denizens. From little Tulericito, to Robbie Maltby, from Whitesides to the Munroes: Molly Morgan interacts and affects them deeply, undergoing dramatic changes herself in the process. Molly is significant, too in that as a character, she has been adapted and expanded into a stage version, John Steinbeck’s Molly Morgan by Reginald Lawrence. This play highlights and elaborates her effect on other characters, and her contributions in the Pastures of Heaven short story cycle. Indeed, one of the 20th century’s greatest American writers created a fascinating heroine, explored more fully in the play adaptation: a “young teacher whose job affects her own life, the lives of those around her and, in particular, the life of the man she loves.”