All posts by Andrew Cameron

Why to Buy a Hybrid Car

Hybrid Car Infographic

Andrew and Stefan

As a group, we decided to use an infographic to make the claim that hybrid cars are a better choice over the conventional automobile. The topic we started with was environmentalism, and then, as we had learned to do from previous assignments, we narrowed down the rather broad topic of environmentalism to specifically the major environmental symbol of the hybrid car. Many people today see hybrid cars as an incredulously over expensive piece of equipment for an only negligible return on the environment. This infographic seeks to bring to light how greatly driving a hybrid car benefits the environment and also how much driving a hybrid actually saves you money as an automobile owner.

The first block of the infographic is a general comparison between the average hybrid car and its average conventional automobile equivalent. The very first argument addressed in this part, and therefore the rest of the infographic, is that the cost difference between a hybrid car and a conventional automobile actually is not very large. The price difference is almost always the first thing on anyone’s mind when thinking about getting a conventional car over a hybrid, and as a result it is the first thing that we address in our infographic. Basic monetary comparisons are made, with a gold dollar sign over on the hybrid side of the chart to help emphasize that driving a hybrid is the way to save money.

The second block provides a more visually appealing chart of how a hybrid car is better than a conventional automobile. The second block draws arrows to each individual part of a car, and then gives a brief caption on how that particular part of the car on a hybrid is better than its conventional equivalent. The picture uses a white car and black arrows and lettering to allow a very easy contrast between the two, in addition to drawing attention to the actual information being displayed because it is a darker color on a brighter green background. We stick to the theme of all black clip art in this block to create an informal structure, and also to prevent distraction from a wide array of different colors.

The last block provides closer to the infographic, finally stating the claim that has been swirling about its text for its entirety. Unlike the block above it, this block has many different colors, illustrating a vibrant environment that is made possible by those that choose to drive hybrid cars. There is also money on the tree and on the bush, making a claim that when you drive a hybrid car, you are saving so much money you’d think it was growing on trees.

Uncharted

Enter the minds of Aiden and Michel, the two men that managed to turn something as freeflowing  and liberal as the English language into something so incredibly concrete and predictable. Aiden and Michel measure the trends of certain words in the English language and track their usage. Using this method, they can then predict just how the English language will evolve, and more specifically will be able to see just which words will still be around in say, a year from now. With enough data, they can even go as far as to predict exactly when it is a particular word will be phased out with surprising accuracy.

Aiden and Michel also pioneer the use of irregular verbs that take on a vowel change to signify a tense change and how they still have managed to coexist with the more simple verbs that take on suffixes to signify a tense change. After careful research, they determined that the irregular verbs are a remnant of a language from nearly 12,000 years ago. This makes sense, as English came from this language, as did a number of other languages. As a result, the data that Aiden and Michel have collected here could very easily be applied to every other language that came form the mother language which is a rather huge breakthrough.

Zionism has gone to far

Abstract

Injustice has always existed in this world. An ever pervasive enemy of true humanity itself, it takes shape when one person or group feels so incredulously proud of their own humanity that they see particular groups of people as less than human. The results of this way of thinking are often horrifying, resulting in the very least a great loss in human rights and freedoms, and more often than not human lives are lost shortly thereafter. Organizations such as the United Nations have been created to finally put an end to human injustice and as a result, cases of human injustice have begun to decrease in volume. However, one particularly major form of human injustice still remains in this world, a case that was a side effect of one of the United Nations’ first policies, Zionism.

Continue reading Zionism has gone to far

Zionism in the Modern World

I gave my Percha Kucha project on the current state of Zionism in the modern world. Cultural conflict has always been a very attractive topic for me, and of all those conflicts going on in the modern world right now, none interest me more than the current state of affairs between Israel and Palestine, I sympathize with the Palestinian plea, so as a result I often side with them like I did this time, but I’ve been known to play the devil’s advocate before. Seeing as our class focus is data, information, and culture, I gladly rose to the challenge to see if I could tie this concept to that of data and information.

Chart showing that 6 times more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis.

In order to pull the topic of the Palestinian Israeli conflict into the realm of data and information, I used stats and infographics almost entirely to construct my argument. This picture is a snapshot of a stat taken from the current conflict and it compares the suffering of the Palestinians to the Israelis, bringing light to the fact that the Palestinians are a whole lot worse off right now than the Israelis are, which is the exact opposite of what most people think, therefore making it a very powerful tool in my argument.

Map of votes for and against Palestinian statehood

I also made wide use of infographics. This picture I used clearly demonstrates the how much of the world actually supports Palestine today, and serves the clutch purpose of providing me a lead into the next topic of the presentation where I go on to talk about how the U.S. is very much at fault for giving Israel more than enough supplies in order to continue to oppress the Palestinian people. It also offers an explanation for why the UN has failed to act on its many resolutions it has created against Israel, as the U.S. is often times spearheading any type of UN action.

In the process of preparing my presentation I quite a few major obstacles to overcome, the most notable of which being to give concession to the Israelis. There are plenty of people in this world that identify themselves with Israel as a whole, and my goal is to show that Israel is simply wrong in nothing but its actions towards Palestinians. I made it of upmost importance not to come off as a racist during my presentation, for that would hurt my argument a great deal for sure.

Maybe Snowden Isn’t That Bad

edward-snowden-switzerland

http://www.newsweek.com/switzerland-may-take-edward-snowden-return-testimony-spying-270745

The article “Switzerland May Take Edward Snowden in Return for Testimony on Spying” talks about a recent event where U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden would be granted safe passage to Switzerland in exchange for helping work on an important Swiss legal case. Swiss authorities state that his addition to the case team would be a huge help because of his extensive experience in the legal and intelligence gathering field. Switzerland also would not comply with a U.S. extradition request should he be accused of treason or divulging state secrets.
This article shows that Snowden is a man of great experience and despite the reputation he has acquired among those in the United States, he is still viewed in the world with a fairly positive light. To further reinforce this point, German officials also wanted to invite Snowden into their country, but had to refuse him due to a possible clash with the United States asking for his extradition. In fact, the picture above is of German protesters in Berlin, holding up signs to “Welcome Snowden” and the like.
It was rather easy for Snowden to find asylum in another country, and there’s a good chance that he will find asylum in many more due to the fact that a lot of countries want to hear what he has to say. A lot of countries want to know if the American NSA has been doing anything shady within foreign borders, and though it is technically treason for him to speak out, if he’s in another country nobody can really stop him from doing it.

Why We Shouldn’t Throw Babies

playing with baby

http://resourceful-parenting.blogspot.com/2012/06/bayi-anda-bukan-bola.html

In this article, the infographic and the visualization both play a very important part in conveying a very important idea to the general public.

Let’s start with the visualization. At first glance, we quickly notice that the visualization is a man playing with a baby. More importantly, it would appear to be a general guide on how to play with a baby. We see on the left that simply holding the baby is a gernally accepted action through the relatively “calm” color scheme in the drawing and a big “yes” underlined near the picture. On the right side, however, we see the same man throwing his baby up into the air, with a big, slanted “no” in all caps and all red lettering along with a warning sign. This visual communicates to us that it is ok to hold a baby up in the air but actually throwing it into the air comes with some kind of warning or wrong doing.

Moving on to the actual information, the article states that throwing babies is a very dangerous activity. The baby may be enjoying it, but at such a young age even if you do catch it every time you can still cause the baby some serious health problems attributed to the increased heart rate the baby gets when it is in freefall. The information listed in the article helps explain the reasons behind the visualization. Without the information, we would be left to assume that throwing babies is wrong and we would have absolutely no idea why this is. The picture states an idea, and the information sheds light on the idea introduced in the picture. Without the picture there would be nothing for the information to talk about. Without the information, we’d just have a picture with a vague purpose that we probably wouldn’t be able to pin down for a discussion of any kind.

The Power of Pictures

flowchart

For as long as we can remember we’ve been hearing that old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Despite how cliche it sounds nowadays, and how much we cringe at the very mentioning of this over used quote, it still holds true to this day. People use pictures in their arguments because they not only convey a treasure chest of information in a rather simple fashion, but they also convey this information in a very different way. Pictures allow an author to come at an argument at different directions, and as a result what they are writing feels more well rounded. For example, I could be writing an argument about why not to buy a Snuggie. I could go on and on about how all you need is a blanket or a robe, and a Snuggie is just an unnecessary thing to have in general. Soon enough, my reader will become fatigued from reading my sophisticated words and carefully constructed sentences on the matter and there is a good chance that the reader may not get through the whole argument. Information overload perhaps? Now, that’s where I would throw in this picture. Most readers these days will think “Look! Something that isn’t words!” and instantly gravitate towards it. Pictures tend to convey information much simpler and easier to understand than a group of sentences tends to. One could make the claim that a tendency towards pictures is something well ingrained into human nature. Humans had been telling stories with pictures for tens of thousands of years; cave paintings have been around forever after all. Writing is a very new innovation by comparison and as a result may take a back seat to pictures deep in our consciousness.

Also, as evidenced here, pictures tend to be funnier than words, and who doesn’t love a good laugh?

Facebook and Me

I don’t use Facebook or social networking in general much anymore, but I figured for the sake of this assignment I thought it would be a wonderfully fun idea to go through and see everything that I have posted since I made my first social networking account. Let’s get down to business.

For starters, it looks like I was pretty immature as a freshman in high school. To be totally honest, some stuff on my profile from back then I wish I could just go back and delete. For example, many pictures I uploaded about 4 years ago and man posts that I wrote then are either very immature or even just plain don’t make sense. Feel free to have a look for yourself, there’s nothing I can do about but be completely embarrassed down the road right? In addition, I don’t even have to knowingly post something myself in order for it to show up on the internet. All that I have to do is be “tagged” in it and then there it is for all to see! Everyone in the world would most likely see me as a very silly and immature high school student who is now a very silly and immature college student. Not too good of an impression I want to make on a potential employer. If I was an employer and saw a internet profile that looked like mine, I would most certainly be hesitant to hire the person in question.

In addition, I do agree with Ted Chiang’s claim that some memories are best left unremembered. Social networking sites really are becoming to look a lot like the “Remem” he dreamt up in Truth of Fact, Truth of Feeling. Whether we want to remember something the way it is or not, it’s all over the internet to haunt us forever, just as Remem records each and every one of our memories and saves them for all of eternity. Sometimes it can be a blessing, but often times it is a lifelong curse to carry around those unwanted memories.