All posts by cstewart61

Blog Self-Assessment



I did all five of the blog post. I started with three reading response post and then did two experimental post. As far as comments went I have nine associated with my username and one of the anonymous comments is mine. I am not sure why it is anonymous but it is the one in response to “Whose Side is Congress on?”


Revised Post:


I decided to revise “Fighting for which Future? When Google Met WikiLeaks.” since this blog post had the most comments on it. I decided to change the concluding sentence based on the first comment suggestion that I do mention how WikiLeaks changed the internet. I liked this suggestion because it went along with my argument that WikiLeaks was not actual what was so interesting, but the structure of the website itself was what generated so much “buzz.” Another change I made was to expand on the statement that WikiLeaks is mentioned more when discussing a government controlled internet. This is because the second comment showed confusion about what this statement meant and though it could mean WikiLeaks would support a government controlled internet. In reality I was trying to infer the opposite position so I added another sentence explaining the previous one to remove any confusion. I believe these edits to the blog post made it easier to understand and removed any confusion from the original argument.


Two Other Posts:


I did like my first post about big data in the historical world. I liked this one because of how easy it seemed it was to incorporate the historical world with the current term of big data. This was before we started to give defined definitions to our terms, like data, and this enabled me to give a broader use of example since I only had to argue the reason for each example. I had also been reading Caesar’s Commentaries at the time and was happy I was able to use the term pleb since it was the proper term for the Roman peasants.


My second favorite post I had was the “Does Education Need to Change?” I have watched TED talks for a while now as was happy to be able to write a blog post about a TED talk. It took a while for me to decide which TED talk I wanted to use but picked one on education since I had not seen it yet and education is a very interesting current argument. I think I did a good job describing why Robinson’s argument was so strong, especially through the TED video format instead of an essay format. He was a very strong public speaker and gave me a lot to work into my argument.


Comments Sections:


The comment section was probably my favorite part of the blog. I did like the change to one longer blog post but after the change I did not get any comment on my own blog post so I only ended up replying to one or two comments. I had three different types of comments I would write.  The first type of comment I would write is when I agree with the author. These were not the most interesting comments, but I try to add to the author’s argument and mention any particular parts of the argument I really like. The second type of comment I will write is when I think there can be things added to the argument. I mention parts of the argument that are confusing our places where more information can be added to the argument that would help the overall blog post. The final type of comment I would make is when I disagree with the author’s argument. These are the most interesting since they create a discussion. I usually spent the most time on these since I was disagreeing with the author. In these argument I would try to create a compact counterargument. I would direct each example at specific example of theirs and I found this the most fun argument. It was very helpful when I started to get emails when a comment was put on one of my blog posts since this allowed me to respond right away, but unfortunately the last two of my post have no comments.




Popularity of Different Religious Figures



I wanted to look at the change in popularity of different none western religious figures since 1700. At first I tried to compare these results with that of God and Jesus but I found that God and Jesus appeared too much and skewed the graph to make it impossible to see the changes in any of the other figures. Once I had decided with the dates 1700 to 1900 I found the graph that was produced very interesting. I was surprised that the Dalia Lama received so little popularity when compared to the other three since he is the only one of the religious figures that is actually a living person. Then again, he is the head of Tibetan Buddhist which do not have the largest following. I was also surprised to see the Zeus was so popular since his religion is no longer followed. This probably has more to do with the Greek gods’ popularity in pop culture than Zeus actually being written in religious text. I was not sure what to expect with Muhammad since he is of course a very popular Islamic religious name, and in turn many people have been named after him. Most notable, Muhammad Ali which I believe this explains he increase in the mention of Muhammad in the 1950. I was not very surprised when it came to the Buddha’s recent popularity in western culture as it seems I come across more and more quotes from him every year. I believe this data is the most significant of the four since Buddha could not really be misinterpreted as something else by google I shows a true representation of the increase in interest in the Buddha in Western culture. The only word to significantly fall was Zeus from 1900 to 2000 and I believe this had to do with the industrialization of the world and a change in the opinion of people. I think before the 1900’s people looked more to the past and spent time thinking about it, but after the industrial revolution public opinion changed and they spent more time looking to the future and less on the past.

Foreign Influences

The Western world has dominated the rest of the world for centuries now. The countries of the western world have colonized all of the Americans and set up trade companies from the Kongo to Japan, but it seems everyone traces the beginning of western civilization back to the Roman ancestry. The truth is we share more ancestry with the German and Turkish tribes that conquered the Roman Empire than the Empire itself.

A short background to the fall of the Roman Empire is that Rome was fighting against the some of the German tribes to the north, at this point it is important to know that Rome had become extremely corrupt from within and was much weaker than its size would suggest. To help with the fighting the Roman commanders hired German mercenaries to fight in the army and before long most of the Roman army was made of Germans and some were even commanded by Germans. The Germans stayed loyal but in the Roman cause but when the emperor died trouble started. The Roman Empire had loose rules of succession and because of this and the cultural differences many German commanders thought they should be the emperor this lead to civil war and at one point there were twenty-eight different emperors.

During the fall of Rome many of the Germanic tribes left Germania to more civilized roman land. One of these tribes were the Lombards. The Lombards have a very dynamic and interesting history, but in a short summary as Rome retreated from Italy to Greece the Lombards crossed the Alps and settled the peninsula of Italy. Another migration during the fall of Rome was the Saxons. This was another Germanic tribe but instead of going south these Germans decided to sail Great Britain. This type of migration was not just restricted to the newly catholic Germanic tribes, the Turks also took advantage of the fall of Rome to leave the Steppe of Asia a move into Persia and Asia Minor.

The Lombards have a very interesting and dynamic history, but the most curios part of it is their migration into Italy. There is a good chance that as the reader you have heard words based on the name of the tribe “Lombards”, like Lombardy, but you have never actually heard on the tribe itself. This migration started in 568 AD and ended four years later in 572 when the cities north of the Po River fell. After this point the tribe of the Lombards now adopted a feudal system. So they would now be known as the Kingdom of Lombardy. The feudal system itself lead to many complicated transfers of power and once Charlemagne conquered Lombardy in the late 8th century the Lombard rule of Italy ended. (“Lombard (people).”)

Why is this migration important if the Lombards ruled Italy for such a, respectively, short period of time? The major effect of this is that Italy was known no longer Roman. Today we think of anyone in Italy as Italian and we think of all the Roman influences on Italy, but in truth the Italian people are more Lombardy than Roman. The best example of this is to think of Milan. Milan is one of the largest cities in Italy and is home to many companies, but Rome did not create Milan in fact, during feudal time Milan was inside the duchy of Lombardy.

The Saxons, properly known as the Anglo-Saxon, were three different German tribes. They were the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. This cultural migration is my personal favorite because it is unique in that it happened over sea. Since Great Britain was not nearly as civilized as Italy during this time period there are less specifics about the migration itself. What is known is that the British Isles were originally 100% Celtic and then the Saxon sailed over and settled modern day England. The Saxon also decided to adopt feudalism but the kingdom of England was not formed for a few hundred more years instead there were four kingdom that occupy current day England. (“Anglo-Saxon (people).”)

There were actual two migrations into England. The next one would not come till 1066 with William the Bastard, or better known as William the Conqueror. The specifics of why William invaded England are very complex but a simplification is that the king of England died without an heir and Pope said William could have England. William was the duke of Normandy, the north coast of France. The culture of Normandy is a subgroup of the Frankish culture, it first developed when the Vikings started forcefully occupying Frankish territory. The Frankish culture was originally another German tribe that settled France, then known a Gaul. This meant that England has experienced two German migrations.

There were many more than just these two German migrations. The largest was the previously mentioned Frankish invasion of Gaul. These different migration means that if you are English, Italy, French and German when you trace your family history back to the pre feudal times you will find German ancestry. Today these culture are distinctive from each other and this had to do with one of the general reasons for the German migrations. One reason the Germans left was looking for a better more conferrable life and this is why many Germans adopted aspects of the region they settled, like the language. (“Seljuq (Turkish Dynasty).”)

This type of cultural migration was not only for the western world, one of the largest and most distinctive eastern migration was the Turks. At the time a large Turkish tribe that lived in Central Asia was led by a man named Seljuq. This migration happened slowly and over different rulers, but in the end the Seljuk Empire expanded from India to Asia Minor. At the beginning of the 13th century the Seljuk Empire fell apart but a large portion of the Turkish population had settled Anatolia, modern day Turkey. This region was already occupied by many Greek colonies but a majority the inland region was unoccupied and the Turkish people had an easy migration.

This Turkish migration was very different from the German migration in that the Turkish people did not adopt the customs of the Greek people in the area. They kept their own language, religion and more subtle cultural distinctions. The Turks have had great influences on the rest of the world since their migrations. They were the primary reasons for the crusades, they conquered the remainder of the Eastern Roman Empire and they formed the Ottoman Empire which was a superpower during World War I.



The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Anglo-Saxon (people).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Lombard (people).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Seljuq (Turkish Dynasty).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.




I found this kind of visual way of presenting an agreement to be interesting. It introduces new challenges for putting your argument forth but also gives new ways to show your point. The largest challenge I found was that because on the time restraint I had to skip interest fact or details for a specific slide. An example of this was that during the slide with Clay Mathews I had prepared a joke about how I was going to use a picture of myself but decided against it. There was also more information about how good Harry Carrson and Carl Banks were, but I did not have time to go into their statistics. This would have helped some of my claims about how Lawrence Taylor did not do it all himself. The time limit also prevented me from using more examples about how lineman and defensive players have become faster. The advantage of a visual presentation is that some pictures speak for themselves. The one with Clay Mathews I did not have to make an argument that he was strong you could just see it in his body. The visual element also allowed to include some of the new defensive blitz that have emerged into football and show how they take advantage of the speed and agility of players instead of just their force. I wish I did spend more time preparing the speech it was much more difficult than I expected with the slide switching automatically. I still think standard presentations are better ways of relaying information to people, but this did show how effective spoken words with pictures could be and that the bullet points on power points are usually unnecessary. For the argument it could have used more organization. I originally thought that splitting up the defensive players would allow me to go more in detail about how no large change in salary has happened to any particular position, but thinking back that point was not very important to the argument and I could have done without out it. I also would have liked to spend more time talking about “The Blind Side” since this is a very good introduction to a topic that not many people are informed or even interested in. Even with the things I would like to change about the presentation style and mine in specific I was happy with the assignment and my final result.

Does Education Need to Change?

“This really happened. We were sitting there and I think they just went out of sequence, because we talked to the little boy afterward and we said, “You OK with that?” And he said, “Yeah, why? Was that wrong?” They just switched, that was it. Anyway, the three boys came in — four-year-olds with tea towels on their heads — and they put these boxes down, and the first boy said, “I bring you gold.” And the second boy said, “I bring you myrrh.” And the third boy said, “Frank sent this.” (4:47 – 5:22)

This excerpt from his child’s play sets up the rest on the Ted talk about changes to the education system very well. The argument of this Ted talk is about if the education system kills creativity. First, Robinson must set up a basis for this argument, that children are already more creative than adults. If children weren’t creative then Robinson thesis would fall apart since you can not take something away that is already not there. It is not only that this excerpt, about his son’s play, is important for his thesis, but it also shows how well structured his argument is. After telling the story Robinson transitions into talking about how kids are will to make mistakes and take their best guess, but in the corporate world of today that is looked down upon, so no one takes chances. No one doubts his authority since he was a university professor and is talking on TEDx, a very well respected organization. The one issue with having someone so well educated doing a talk is that it makes it difficult for the most people to identify with and could be difficult to understand, but by talking about how his own son and making jokes it is easy to understand for the rest of the public. He spends most of his argument putting in jokes for the audience. This makes the entire video much more enjoyable to watch and allows Robinson to get his message through. I do think there are other things Robinson could have done to improve his argument. If he had set up a power point then he could have shown statistics and graph that could back up his argument, but without and research sourced all we have to go on is Robinson’s logic argument. Without any for of visual argument there does seem to be something lacking but it does seem the Robinson’s intent was to start a conversation on education. This is because he only highlights the problem but does not offer any specific fix to the problem. It would be interesting to research into what he has done further for education since this Ted talk was from 2006.

Fighting for Which Future? When Google Met Wikileaks


The blog post “Fighting for Which Future? When Google Met WikiLeaks” by Karine Nahon does a very good job of showing how WikiLeaks is viewed now, in 2014. In a short summary of how WikiLeaks is now used, it is as an example. The article itself is about the future of the internet. The discussion of the blog post is about how the internet should be managed in the future. It focuses on two specific possibilities, one is that the internet is corporate controlled and the other is government controlled. WikiLeaks is talked about in the argument about a government controlled internet. This is because WikiLeaks exposed so many government secrets that the government is now considered less trustworthy than before. When one thinks of the government most people used to think of a group that had their best interests in mind, but now with the WikiLeaks out and many government secrets being revealed people have started to question whether or not they can trust the government. The post also uses Google and WikiLeaks as models for the future of the internet and how each model has its own pros and cons. This article is import to the relevance of WikiLeaks because it has beena few years since the original uproar of the release of WikiLeaks. Most of the articles were very reactionary and polarized. The main two argument around the release of WikiLeaks was if the site’s creation was an act of trader or a patriot, but with the passage of time WikiLeaks has been accepted as its own entity. When just doing a simple Google search of WikiLeaks it is easy to see that very few articles focus on the website itself. There is a mix of gossip about Julian Assange and articles like “Fighting for Which Future? When Google Met WikiLeaks” which use WikiLeaks as an example. WikiLeaks has lost its focus in the national spotlight, with time. There are no more predictions about the effects WikiLeaks has changed how people think about the internet, but now that it has been out for awhile the actual website itself is much less in the discussion about the future of the internet



The article shows Google as this villain or bad guy. They say that Google “exploits” us and that it takes a “free ride”. One issue with this is that Google is not just a company but it is an accumulation of thousands of people working together. To more emphasis the multiple perspectives Google takes, employees are required to work on projects on their own that could not have corrupt input. This makes Google a diverse company trying to filter through as many ideas as possible without a strict goal to their research. This makes it next to impossible for Google to be a company that is trying to googlize everyone, but more a company that has found a way to provide great services go customer instead of charging the customer for the service they charge them for information and then sell that to companies.

Of those services that Google supplies are, maps, the search engine, mail, and many others. Just to go into one Google maps is a very useful service that allows you to get direction and give you an estimated time based on current traffic condition. It is also able to give you routs for public transportation and give you the time of the next train or bus. This example is to show that the services that Google provided would easily be worth a subscription package, but by Google recording our information they are able to make this service free.

Big Data and Its Historical Implications

              Big data has had an astounding effect on the world around us, but it has been in our world for much longer than recent history. In humans’ most basic form of communication we use data too relay information to each other and to analyze the world around us. Since the Roman Empire, humans have collected massive amounts of data and used it to make decisions about their rule. The roman census allowed the emperor to make informed decision on how to tax the plebs and show human migration patterns throughout their empire. Hundreds of years after the Roman Empire trade republics, like Venice, would use the data on different trade goods to determine where to send their trade fleet and which nations to trade with. This use of big data lead to trade with some of the Islamic powerhouses of the time, like the Caliphate, and brought technologies from the Islamic renaissance to the western world. This helped lift the western world out of the dark ages and into its own renaissance. Whether big data has had intestinal impact on history of humans, like the Roman Empire’s census, or unintentional, like the trade routes of Venice, big data has had a massive effect on how the world around us has developed into what it is today.

TFTF Response Video


When I was choosing what to talk about in the video I wrote down a few different topics that had come to mind during my reading of the passage. At first I tried to fit more than one topic into the video but I found that there would be no way for me to go into any depth on multiple topics in a short time, so I chose the topic with the most personal relevance to me. I though about where I would film the video since I did not want any audio or visual distraction, and if I had more time then I would have tried to find a slightly cleaner background then my dorm room. The difference between making a video and just writing a post is that it adds to the emotional part of your argument. The audience can now see your facial expressions and you get to decide the tone and speed words are said with. The biggest challenge in making a video as opposed to writing an essay is that editing is almost impossible. Editing a video would be very time consuming, but editing writing is as easy as erasing a sentence and rewriting it.