Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Should Canada Do With Youth Criminals?

In Canada, we've had several problems with youth crimes over several years in the recent past. We've also gone through many legal changes in respects to juvenile offenders.

Starting in 1908 with the Juvenile Delinquents Act, and in 1984, it changed to the Youth Offenders Act, which was far too soft on youth criminals according to popular opinion at the time, as it didn't have a concrete philosophy on how to punish the young offenders. Most recently, with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This act was much more revolutionary in comparison to the other two acts because it focused more on rehabilitating the criminals and reintegrating them into society, as opposed to simply punishing them. I agree with how this law deals with the young offenders because I believe that a lot of the time, juvenile crimes are caused by physical, sexual, or otherwise, like in the case of Nathan Ybanez, so I find it important that we rehabilitate children criminals.

Also, we should consider keeping these rehabilitated offenders under strict surveillance, as there is a trend that most prison inmates are reoffenders once they are released. As a result, to make sure that the young offenders don’t become young reoffenders, because once they do, they should not be allowed to be rehabilitated again, as it would be a waste of time; they have already been given a chance to change, they should not be able to have another for such a serious issue. This surveillance program should include six months of staying at a foster home under house arrest and weekly visits from a parole officer to make sure that they are staying within the limits of the law. After that, they will be put under another year of being in the foster home under house arrest without the checks from the parole officer. Finally, they will be let free to become a functioning part of society.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How the web is changing our future

The internet has completely changed the way that we think, act, and react as a society. This is an obvious side effect of how widespread and useful it truly is.

The internet has changed the way that businesses are started, maintained, and how they advertise drastically. The internet has made it cheap for fledgling businesses to sell their product or service without actually having a physical store in a shopping center and they can advertise cheaply. Also, the consumer can now have products delivered to their doorstep and not be dependent on any one form of service as well as being able to buy anything everywhere.

The internet has also changed the way that we, as a society, interact by giving us the means to communicate with and give updates to our friends on what we are doing and how we are feeling constantly with websites such as twitter, Facebook, and myspace.

The internet has a huge resource for knowledge and ideas as well because it is so widespread. This can lead to teachers using ideas they found on the internet in their own courses, like we have seen in the sociology course, and we as students have unlimited, free knowledge at our fingertips.

The internet has also helped people learn more about the religions of the world, which is helping in break down the barriers of ignorance between religions. People can help one another learn about each others religions and get a more informed point of view and possibly convert for their own benefit.

But this is only how it is affecting us now. In the future, I predict that everything imaginable will be connected to the internet. What we do, what we eat, where we go, and many more important things will be updated constantly, giving people a precise idea of what we are doing at all times. Never again will people forget what they did, where they were, or have trouble finding where there friends are and are going.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evgeny Morozov

On Friday, we listened to Evgeny Morozov's speech about how some dictatorships and tyrannical governments can use the internet to strengthen their grip on the population. The overall theme of his lecture was that the internet can be a double-edged blade, or a tool that can be used for charitable or malicious purposes. I find this point of view to be the best I've heard so far because it includes the black and white side of the issue, turning it a wonderfully unique shade of gray.

First, an overview. Evgeny Morozov gave examples of instances where the internet can be used for evil instead of good while proving that he is knowledgeable about how the internet operates on most levels. This is so refreshing to hear when all I hear is normally completely positive or uninformed and negative. He mentions how flawed the idea of “democracy through the internet” truly is, as well as the incident in China involving bloggers and the prisoner that was killed by hitting his head against a wall. These show how negative the internet is on a larger scale and on a smaller scale in a quick, concise, and effective way.

Second, my opinion. I think that this lecture is a refreshing way to think of the internet; a double-edged sword. Although he does mention that the internet can be very useful, if only briefly, he focuses on what most speakers ignore; the negative. This is so fantastic to me because I constantly warn what the internet can be used for: the evil and malicious. Finally I have stumbled upon someone who has enough sense to bring this aspect into the light.

In conclusion, I believe that Evgeny Morozov has brought up some excellent points about the negative aspects of the internet, a point of view that is rarely brought up, and backed them up with concrete examples.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don Tapscott's Generation Y Speech

When I heard the Don Tapscott speech about the net generation, I was extremely skeptical because it is very rare that someone who talks about my generation or the internet is ever remotely correct. Mr. Tapscott, however got most of his point right on the target save for one or two problems that I had personally with some of his examples.

For example, Don Tapscott used an example of a young student named Joe who seems to be the second coming of the savior considering how Mr. Tapscott describes him (forgive my exaggeration). As insane as that claim sounds, this guy doesn't read books, gets straight A's, has gotten the coveted Rhodes Scholarship, helped set up a health care clinic in New Orleans called the 9th Ward Health Care Clinic (which is still open), has set up a site for teenagers can organize their volunteer work, and helps his family stay in touch after the death of their parents by leading missions in World of Warcraft. Although Joe is probably a nice guy, there is almost no man in the world who can do all that. I'm not saying that Mr. Tapscott is a liar, but this particular example fits too perfectly.

Other than the little aspects of his arguments, he was otherwise right. He mentioned that now that everybody can collaborate and work together, we're learning more on the internet than we ever could by simply watching T.V. He also talked about how we can multitask easier than most adults. I can attest to this because I can have up to 30 tabs open at once while talking to people on MSN and Yahoo chat services. His speech was very accurate and informative, which I honestly didn't expect because I'm a cynical person and normally seeing a baby boomer talk about MY generation and the biggest technological wave (of which WE are the rulers) in the world doesn't tell me anything informative, interesting, new, or, most importantly, correct.

In conclusion, his speech was quite good for someone teaching me what I already know, but his biggest flaw was his perfect friend, Joe.