Essay 7

Travis Conrad


Essay 7

The Issue of Separation of Church and State

            This essay is an extension of a blog post. The blog post discusses the possibility of being segregated against in job selection based off ones religion. This is one example of why the founding fathers believed church and state needed to be separate.

 The United States of America is considered to be the “melting pot” of the world by many. This relates to the large diversity that is flowing though America. The “melting pot” being the diverse amounts of race, social views, political views, and religion. Religion is a specifically interesting topic because it dates all the way back to before America was even discovered by Europeans. At the time of the European discovery and conquest of the “New World” there were several religious problems going on in the world. Martin Luther had just posted his ninety-five thesis critiquing the Holy Roman Empire on its actions towards its followers. This was considered to be the start of the protestant reformation. The Catholic Church also has issues with England. King Henry VIII needed an heir to the throne. His wife didn’t seem to be able to produce a child for him so he wanted a divorce from her. When the pope would not grant King Henry VIII a divorce due to some legal complications with other countries, King Henry decided to split form the Catholic Church and create the Church of England. With of the religious problems developing in respective nations, this created religious problems in each empires respective colonization in the Americas. Each established colony had its religious differences. The religious differences in each colony helped to create a background for each colony that was established, helping potential immigrants to flood into a colony based off their religious preferences.

            Each colony had its tolerance for different set of religious ideals and beliefs. William Penn had created the colony of Pennsylvania in order to promote religious tolerance for his Quaker religion.  Rodger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were both exposed and frowned upon for their views on the church. Each expressed problems with the church. Maryland became the first colony established in America as a catholic colony. In Maryland they also established the Maryland Toleration Act which defined certain tolerations and variations of accepted Christianity. The Maryland Toleration Act can potentially be viewed as an aid in the creation of the first amendment. Puritans established themselves in the New England colonies. Readdressing Rodger Williams, he was banned for the New England colonies for his views on the separation of church and state. Purtain leaders had thought that he idea of church and state being separate as extremely dangerous. As shown above in the essay, the New World was filled with plenty of different religions and views of the church concerning its roles with society. Upon declaring independence from England, the founding fathers of the new nation realized that with a set religion put into place conflict will occur. After scraping the Articles of Confederation for its lack of a strong central government, the founding fathers now had to develop a brand new Constitution (Harris/Kidd, 78). With many conflicts between smaller and larger states upon drawing up the constitution, Benjamin Franklin requested that a prayer be said to help aid the founding fathers in their decision making. (Harris/Kidd, 78). Alexander Hamilton dismissed Franklin’s request, stating that there was no need for a foreign presence in the decision making process (Harris/Kidd, 78). While our new government is being set up, this is the first example of separation of church and state we see. Ultimately the government creates the new constitution with an attached Bill of Rights containing the first ten basic rights that cannot be taken away from any citizen of the nation. The first amendment address’s the religious stand and contains “The Establishment Clause” and “The Free Exercise Clause” which together form the “Religious Clauses.” (Constitution) The exact words as view in the Constitution are viewed as followed

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (Constitution).

These clauses were put into place in order to prevent potential conflicts between citizens or government about religion. However, as to be expected, not all conflict about religion can be totally avoided.

            We still run into problems in America today relating to the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses. Specific problems encountered today include, but are not limited to, prayer in public schools or at public school functions, religious displays on government property, and teaching of creationism as part of a science curriculum.

            The first issues with prayer in public school occurred in 1962 in a monumental court case Engel vs. Vitale. This court case was brought to the Supreme Court because families believed that schools should not have the right to have an official school prayer. If the official school prayer discredited or went against other religions this violated a student’s First Amendment rights. The court ruled against an official school prayer. Since this court case, the U.S. Department of Education has taken over the issue of religion in public schools. The U.S. Department of Education states:

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does not prohibit purely private religious speech by students. Students therefore have the same right to engage in individual or group player and religious discussion during the school day as they as they do to engage in other comparable activity (Griffith, 624).

The U.S. Department of Education allows students or groups of students to participate in religious activities as long as to not cause large distractions or interfere with other student’s ability to do the same (Griffith, 624-625). The founding father would have appreciated this ruling by the Supreme Court and piece of legislation put into effect by the U.S. Department of Education. Thomas Jefferson kept his religious views quiet for most of his life, many believe he did this as to not affect his political career (Harris/Kidd 157-158). Later in his life however, a note was written to his nephew where he tells him to view the bible more as a historical text than a religious book (Harris/Kidd 159). Putting an official school prayer into place would have gone against Jefferson’s idea that the Bible should be viewed as a historical text rather than a book of religion. John Adams shares similar views as Jefferson in regards to religion. Both question certain parts of the bible and the creation of Jesus Christ (Harris/Kidd 162). Through closer examinations of Founding Fathers views, we can see that they would have believed “The Establishment Clause” and “The Free Exercise” clause helped solve a social issue in a way they would have liked.

            The display of religious items raised to a national level in 1984 in the game-changing court case of Lynch vs. Donnelly. In this famous court case, citizens argued that local governments should not be allowed to display religious items on government owned property. In this instance it was Christmas decorations. The court ruled that the town was allowed to keep the Christmas decorations up because they were not forcing others to take a certain view of a religion, or imposing on others abilities to celebrate their own religion. This case is similar to forced prayer in public school. The idea of forced religion views in public places or areas. Therefore, we know how Jefferson and Franklin would have most likely viewed this issue and how to resolve it. Thomas Paine’s views, famous author of the pamphlet “Common Sense,” maybe viewed a little differently (Harris/Kidd 170). Paine expresses his problems with all the major religions:

Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet, as if the way to god was not open to every man alike (Harris/Kidd 170-171).

Paine would have most likely disagreed with the decision made by the Supreme Court to allow the decorations to stay up. This can be concluded from his pure disgusted expressed in rest of his treatise “The Age of Reason” (Harris/Kidd 169-171).

            A pattern is shown with issues of separation of church and state. The main issue is how to address religious views and teaching in places of government controlled areas. The teaching of Creationism is no different than others. Public schools job is to teach kids on a wide variety of subjects as to prepare them for the “real world.” The two main viewpoints that can be taught in the United States when discussing how humans came to be are creationism and evolution. Creationism being that god created the planet along with all its inhabitants. Evolution being the “Big-Bang” theory starting our world with very small organisms that developed over time. There are issues that arise with teaching both ideas. If you teach creationism then you are contradicting certain religions including atheists, but you are meeting the needs of the religions that believe in the creation of the earth in this way. However, if you teach evolution it is the exact opposite and you are still distrusting certain groups of people and promoting others ideals. The Founding Fathers would have had split views of the teachings of creationism in public schools. Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams would have very strongly expressed their issues regarding this topic. Both believed that in the post-revolutionary time period the teaching of non-Christian ways was putting the liberty of the nation in jeopardy (Harris/Kidd 171-176). Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry are considered to be the “forefront of the independence movement from England” (Harris/Kidd 171). Their views on religion are very different though (Harris/Kidd 171-173).  Henry believed that Paine’s turning on Christianity was a betrayal of the ideals behind the revolution. (Harris/Kidd 171.) Samuel Adams (cousin to John Adams) believed that the new nation’s ideals would be based off of that of the Christian ideals (Harris/Kidd 173.) Expressing his fear of a non-Christian based nation:

Signs that the people might be turning away from faith and virtue, for Adams, heralded danger to liberty. Liberty must be channeled toward benevolent purposes, he believed, or risked becoming an excuse for immoral chaos (Harris/Kidd 173).

S. Adams and Henry both express the need for the nation to be Christian based, therefore we can conclude that they would believe the need to teach creationism in public schools in order to promote the general welfare.

            There is a strong need for church and state to be separate. If we as a nation choose to not learn from history there is no point in studying it. By intertwining religion and state we saw many conflicts arise in the pre-colonial era. Ultimately that caused wars, and emigration from home countries. Separation of church and state does not restrict one citizen from their beliefs even if they differ from that of another citizen, or even the majority. This helps to create more social order. Religious issues cannot come into conflict as much when dealing with strict interpretations of breaking the law. The separation of church and state also allows others to still believe their religion is superior. For example, if a Christian believes that all non-Christians are going to dissent to hell, they have the right to do so without causing harm on the nation or other individuals. Without the separation of church and state, our nation would be in constant chaos and always be vulnerable to changes in power.

            The separation of church and state dates all the way back to pre-revolutionary period due to social issues with monarchs their ruling strictly based on one religion. When drafting up the new Constitution, the founding fathers all had different views on religion. The came up with “The Establishment” and “Free Exercise” clauses in order to avoid similar chaos in the new nation. Although the founding fathers may have all interpreted current issues regarding separation in different ways, the “Establishment Clause” ultimately has done its job, preventing wars and major social issues regarding public religion.


Essay 6

Travis Conrad

FYS: World Going Viral

Essay 6


            Online social interaction can be used for good. A recently discovered social media site called Rippln inspired my idea of “Advertisement for Good.” Some major companies spend millions to billions of dollars a year in their advertising department. The problem with advertisement is that the idea of it is to spread your product through word of mouth. Rippln is the idea of using the power of people and spreading ideas to reward people for their purchasing power and help the companies expand their market reach. Using the Rippln model, “Advertisement for Good” would take money that would normally go directly to the people and help the under privileged in Atlanta, Georgia. “Advertisement for Good” will benefit consumers, businesses, and help aid those in Atlanta Georgia.

Advertisement for Good

            I have a very close relationship with Atlanta, Georgia. I find it very unfortunate how bad some areas of the city are. The wealth gap is very high in Atlanta, with about 1/3 of Forbes top 500 having a residency in Atlanta. Atlanta is also home to large corporations like Coca-Cola, UPS, and Home Depot. The jobs in these industries do not always supply a sufficient salary. Rippln is a social media website designed to get consumers money for the power of their voice. The idea of it is that you request friends, who share similar tastes in things with you, to be in your ripple. When someone is in your ripple then they can create their own ripple. Then when a consumer sees a app he or she likes, or a product he or she likes, they find in on Rippln and send it instantly through their ripple. Companies pay into Rippln to have their product registered on the website. With the mass amounts spent on advertising, consumers benefit from receiving money through their ripples. They also benefit by learning what other products their friends send through their ripples. The idea of Rippln can be used to promote social good.

            As discussed previously, I have a very close relationship with Atlanta, Georgia which is why the city was choose to benefit.  Atlanta is considered to be a dangerous city to live in. There are more than 80 murders a year (per 100,000 people), 17,000 thefts (per 100,000 people), and 3,500 assaults (per 100,000 people).  To put this into a greater perspective, Atlanta has around 450,000 residents. So in a given year in Atlanta there could be 360 murders, 76,500 thefts, and 15,750 assaults. There is a direct relation between the percent of population in poverty and crime rates in a city. The lower percent in poverty, the lower the crime rate. 33.2 percent of Atlanta’s population lives below the poverty line. In relation, 86 percent of non-family households are living below the poverty line. Lowering these numbers through “Advertisement for Good” would not only help those who are in poverty but it would help the whole city by lowering crime rates.

            The Rippln model will be changed a little for the social benefit. In order for ease of running the operation, companies will not pay based on how many times they are sent through the ripple. They will give in one mass sum of money. The money will then directly go to helping the underprivileged in Atlanta. The Rippln model will help more than just the underprivileged in Atlanta. It will also help the company by giving them a good name for helping underprivileged. The company will also benefit from direct word of mouth advertisement. The consumer will also benefit by finding out products, apps, games, and etc. that people with similar tastes enjoyed. 

            The desired goals for the program are as followed:

  • Help the underprivileged in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Promote quality business through social good.
  • Help the consumer through sharing of similar tastes in products.
  • Indirectly lower the crime rate in Atlanta, Georgia.   

Ideally if the project went according to plan we would accomplish the goals listed above. If the project becomes very successful it could expand regionally. With the help of others it could even expand country wide.

            Running this program would not be that difficult. We would have to hire software producers to make the program/iPhone and Android app. Then once the software was developed we would have to have a software repairs and advancement crew. We would also have to have a group of people working with numbers and the companies. Then a whole other branch of the company working with those in Atlanta. The main expense for the company would be labor and people rather than long term assets. A building would not be necessary unless the program ran large enough.

            This project is unique in the way that no project like this exactly has ever been done. There have been similar projects that deal with companies advertising in order to promote their companies morals. Companies like this include FedEx, Google, Sony, Samsung, and Apple. Also, many groups have attempted to raise money for underprivileged in cities.  Examples of this include World Vision, Children for Hope, and K.I.D.S. It is very important for the government to federally fund programs like these.

            Advertisement for Good should be federally funded for several reasons. To begin with, Advertisement for good benefits several groups of people outside of the Atlanta region. The companies who pay into the program will benefit through good promotion of moral standards and advertisement of the companies. Promoting American business will help the economy flourish. Also, it will help the average consumer. The consumer will benefit from finding products in things they like quickly. Also as expressed earlier, Atlanta is in great need of assistance with the intense amount of poverty. If the goals of this program are accomplished then we could see massive amounts of change in society. It will be very important for the government to grant federal aid to Advertisement for Good in order to help them succeed for the future.

Essay 5

Travis Conrad

FYS: World Going Viral

Essay 5

An Analysis of Robert Griffin through Infographics

            Society is changing, we have become a much more visual learning based group.   Graphics and infographics are a very important part of online comprehension and literacy.   Infographics help to put an image with text to provide a better more in depth understanding of what the reader is reading.   Visual literacy, as defined by The Visual Literacy Standards Task Force, is a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media (VLTF).   Infographics help many become more visually literate.   A breakdown of Robert Griffin III hits during ten games of the 2012-2013 season was selected for this piece.   The infographic was designed based on an article written about Robert Griffins hits during the 2012-2013 season and how he can avoid the same amount of hits in the future.   Griffin is a quarterback for the Washington Redskins.   It is important for the quarterback to get hit as few times as possible because he is the center of the offense.   A large quantity of hits over an extended period of time can lead to injuries.   The infographic helps one better understand the large scale amount of hits Griffin took during the 2012-2013 season.   

            Today kids are more and more exposed to digital forms of learning.   Although most images are equipped with text, it is still the images that are the key to learning.   The National Art Education Association says that the new integration of visual images helps to promote a deeper understanding of text or sound provided.   In the case provided the article shares about Griffins 152 hits but does not provide a good visualization of those hits.   The graphic provides a better understanding of each type of play Griffin was hit on.   The options shown in the graphic are a designed run play for Griffin, scrambling on a pass play, or getting sacked in the pocket during a pass play.   This part of the infographic supports the article perfectly.   The article discusses the type of plays Griffin was hit on, and suggestions were made as to how Griffin could be hit less during these types of plays.   If one was to just read the article they would have less of an understanding of how often Griffin was exposed to each situation, and percent of times he was hit during these.   This is just one example of how the infographic provided helps the reader get a better understanding of the equipped article.   

            Infographics also help readers learn more.   Similar to society being a visually learning society, we do not read things from start to finish.   Key information needs to be broken down and provided in a much simpler way to comprehend (Anderson).   The chances of an article being read from start to finish are much small.   When reading, our mind just sees long strands of text and tends to get bored.   When a graphic or infographic is attached with the text it requires interpretation, comprehension, visualization, and analyzation.   While doing these things it prevents our mind from getting bored.   Infographics are even more helpful with preventing boredom.   Infographics required a more in depth view of the image, and help the view to get an even better understanding of the equipped text.   Infographics how helped views accomplish the want to only read what is important.   Infographics also keep the mind busy and active while providing the most essential parts of information.   

            Some would argue that infographics do not help viewers, and in fact they end up causing harm.   One of the main arguments against infographics is how confusing they can become.   This is a valid point.   If the illustrator of the infographic attempts to create too much and tell too much of a story with one infographic then they can become very confusing.   Confusing infographics cause a further misinterpretation of an article.   However, these infographics cannot be applied to infographics as a whole.  As one can see from the infographic provided, there are infographics that can be very beneficial.   Others would argue that when viewers examine infographics they tend to skip over the most important parts of the infographic resulting in a deeper confusion than before.  Again, there are exceptions to everything.  Inexperienced infographic producers could tend to not show there main points where viewers are most likely to see them.  Also, if a reader is too lazy to not take a close examination of the infographic, they will not make the time to read a whole article.  Although there are a few critics to infographics, an experienced infographic producer and a reader who is willing to take the time to reader it can silence these critics. 

            Robert Griffin III was a very good young quarterback for the Washington Redskins during the 2012-2013 season.  Many thought that he was being hit too many times for the position he played.  John Kiem went on write an article discussing the large amount of hits Griffin took during the 2012-2013 season.  The article talked about how often Griffin was hit during the season and how this may have affected his season ending injury he suffered on January 6, 2012.  The article goes on to suggest what could be done to prevent this from happening again.  An infographic was created to help the reader get a better understand of the article.  The infographic helped young readers who are being more and more exposed to digital and visual learning.  It also helps to create an easy quick access to information covering the main points of the article.  Although there are a few critics of infographics, they can be very helpful to the viewers.  The infographic and the article complement each other very well and help the reader/view get a better understanding of the points being made in each. 







Essay 4

Travis Conrad




October 23, 2013


“Big Brother” Is Watching


Many Americans fear the recent phenomenon of the government having access to information in our smartphones. This recently leaked news is a serious issue that attacks our privacy and basic civil rights. While there are a few positives of this, the negatives definitely outweigh them. The concept used to describe this is the idea that “big brother” or the government, is watching us. Not only can they monitor smartphones such as iPhone’s, BlackBerry’s, and Android’s, but they can also tap into our computers via syncing. The National Security Agency (NSA) is spying on this smartphone system that was previously thought to have been safe, secure, and private. Government surveillance is a key component to the idea of “big brother”. It is wrong for the NSA to access our smartphone information as it is an invasion of our privacy and threatens our Constitutional rights as American citizens.

There are many features of smartphones that the NSA is able to now access. By looking into our list of contacts, they are able to see the list of family members, friends, co-workers, and various other relations that people have. Phone numbers and other information of people we know can be traced at any time. A major invasion of privacy comes with the NSA’s access to text messages. Texts can often be extremely personal. It is not right for the government to be able to view one’s text messages whenever they want. Likewise, their ability to even track a person’s location is an absolute invasion of our rights. The fact that they can always know where you are is a key concept of the “big brother” situation.

The NSA has recently even developed teams to monitor an individual’s computer following an iPhone sync. This would give them an even larger amount of data from the iPhone. Items such as pictures, videos, and various applications one uses can be accessed by the NSA. This shows that the government is consistently trying to find even newer ways to access more and more of our information. Cell phones should be kept in the privacy of the user unless it is needed to be viewed for criminal reasons. For example, if someone is being tried for a murder, that would be a valid reason for an investigator to search the accused’s phone or computer. They have no right to have constant access to everyone’s data at any time though.

While the NSA’s invasion of privacy seems completely unethical, there are a few positives that the concept supports. For example, the government’s capability to monitor our technology can help prevent terrorism in our country. Under the Patriot Act, which was passed under the Bush administration following the 9/11 attacks, gave our government a range of opportunities to avoid future terrorist acts in our country. The Patriot Act “allows law enforcement to use surveillance against more crimes of terror” ( “Before the Patriot Act, courts could permit law enforcement to conduct electronic surveillance to investigate many ordinary, non-terrorism crimes, such as drug crimes, mail fraud, and passport fraud. Agents also could obtain wiretaps to investigate some, but not all, of the crimes that terrorists often commit” ( Surveillance that was once used against the mob now became approved to be used against terrorism. When used in this manner, most Americans would probably be supportive of this tactic. However, the vast majority of United States citizens are not terrorists, thus their smartphones should not be subject for accessibility without probable cause.

The government’s capability of spying on our smartphones goes against the United States Constitution. According to the Fourth Amendment, the government does not have the right to openly search our property without a warrant. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” ( This proves that it is unconstitutional for the government to have full access to our smartphone information without a warrant and probable cause. As individuals possess ownership to these objects, smartphones should not be subject to open accessibility; the constant available of its access should be forbidden unless there is probable cause of investigation. “Big brother” is in full effect as the NSA spies on innocent American citizens daily.

It is important to acknowledge the fact that the United States government attempted to hide the new motive from its citizens. If it was not for the information being leaked to the public from an inside source, citizens would not have known what was really going on. This shows that the government knew that accessing our smartphones would outrage many people as they would see it as unconstitutional, an invasion of privacy, and a “big brother” type policy. In addition, the United States government was furious with the man who leaked the top-secret information, Eric Snowden. His actions were seen as a serious crime, and he “has been charged with three offenses in the U.S., including espionage, and could spend up to 30 years in prison if convicted” (Yost). Snowden was granted asylum in Russia, but the U.S. government is outraged and determined to get him back to face trial (Yost). This proves that the secret was a big deal that our government could not afford to become public knowledge.

The invasion of privacy that the NSA has brought upon U.S. citizens goes against the principles in which our country was founded on. As mentioned previously, the Fourth Amendment is completely abandoned as our technology is able to be accessed with out without probable cause or a warrant. Ironic to Snowden’s granted asylum, the NSA policy of accessing our smartphones is strikingly similar to the communist nation of Russia. The United States has no business becoming a “big brother” nation, which is associated with communism. The policy attacks the American lifestyle and what our country stands for. Freedom, liberty, and equality in which the United States was founded has become threatened under the NSA’s surveillance. Our citizens cannot have our privacy invaded by the government; it is simply a step towards communism and away from democracy.

All in all, the U.S. government is exerting too much power as it invades our privacy and basic civil rights. In an unconstitutional manner, the NSA has been accessing our smartphones without the probable cause in which it would be acceptable. Although terrorism has affected our nation in the past, the government does not have the right to monitor our devices without reason. The foundation of our country was set on principles of freedom and liberty that are now threatened by this invasion of privacy. NSA surveillance of our smartphones challenges the privilege we have as American citizens in a democratic society. Our freedom is neglected as long as “big brother” is watching and invading our privacy. For more information regarding the new NSA monitoring leak, check out this blog

Church and State

This article discuses posting your religion online could cause you to lose your chances at a job. Discrimination takes place in the workforce when hiring.  This article reminds me of the issue of separation of church and state. It is very important to see separation of church and state in our nation. Several court cases have taken place arguing over the issue of separation of church and state. One example of a court case includes Lynch vs. Donnelly. The separation clause is in place in our government as well. This states that the church and state must be separate. The free exercise clause is also in our constitution. This states that citizens have the right to freely express their views of religion. Posting your religion online should not affect ones chances of being hired. This goes against the free exercise clause and the establishment clause. To view the original article click here:

Mark Zuckerberg

            This article makes it seem like being a college dropout isn’t too bad. However, I think Mark Zuckerberg is the exception to the college dropout situation. Zuckerberg was officially declared the highest paid CEO of 2012.

            Zuckerberg was paid more than double the second CEO on the list. He also doubled his net worth in one year. Zuckerberg also changed his salary from 500,000 to just one dollar a year. Zuckerberg made most of his money when Facebook went public and his sixty million shares were worth 2.3 billion dollars. Now that Facebook has gone public control of the company is not completely in the hands of Zuckerberg. The next few years will be interesting to watch Zuckerberg give up power and listen to others ideas. Facebook is also on a downturn in society. I think if Zuckerberg was a smart man he would sell his shares of the company soon and get out while he can still make a large profit. History has shown many young entrepreneurs try to get their companies to revive when they have simply run their course.

            Zuckerberg is a very smart man, he is the main reason Facebook is as big as it is. I am excited to see how Zuckerberg plays out his future with the Facebook company.

The Klout Score

            Most of us probably do not know what a Klout score is, nor do we care. A Klout score can be a very important thing, especially if you have one. A Klout score is a rating from one to one hundred on how much influence a person has through social media.

            The article discusses the recent invention of the Klout score. This article is more focused towards business owners. The Klout score can be very important to business owners. The book that is discussed in this article shares how a business can get their Klout score up. It would be important to a business to have a high Klout score in order to have more power and influence in social media.

            It would take more research in order to find out how much validity the Klout score has. It seems the main purpose of the article is to promote interest for the author’s book. Businesses tend to know how much power or influence they have in social media based off followers and comments.

            It will be interesting to see how far this Klout score thing goes. If it becomes a large importance to companies we could see a whole new job market open up based on improving companies Klout scores.

Essay 3

Everything Is a Remix

            The term “original” is constantly being used. As a society, we place value on originality. How original is “original” though? If you take a closer look into something, or examine it further, everything is a remix. When the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” hit theaters in 2012, it was the most anticipated movie of the summer. Many people who went to see the movie knew that this was the conclusion to the greatest trilogy ever created. What they failed to realize was how unoriginal the whole trilogy really was. Throughout this essay one the Batman story, one will come to realize that the Batman culture is no more than a twist on other characters, a product line to create revenue, and a movie based off previous comics.

            Let us consider: Batman, Batman and Robin, Catwomen, Spider Man, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Men In Black, Justice League, Superman, Wonder Women, X-Men, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What do all of these have in common? The original from each movie listed above story line came from a comic book series. Comic books were a hit during the early to mid-1900’s. Comic books were similar to baseball cards; you could purchase them cheap, and maybe trade them with your friends. They were an easy read for kids, and the pictures helped even more with the reading. Naturally, when the kids who read the comics became adults, it made sense to turn these comics into movies. The change of comics into films became very popular. As society evolved, so did the movies. Soon the “original” batman was not enough. Today, there are over ten remakes of Batman. To many young kids, the most recently released Batman series (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises) is in their eyes the “original” Batman. One can see clearly that these are not even close to originals. In fact, they are remakes of movies which were made from comic books. The idea of any comic book being turned into a movie is unoriginal. The comic books were not the only thing to inspire the Batman movies. There was also at one point a Batman TV show. The Batman show was during the 1960’s and helped to promote an even greater batman culture among fans. Could you make an argument that the idea of Batman in comic books or on a TV show was original?

            Batman is your stereotypical superhero. He falls into the category of an animal being combine with a human. Although Batman has no specific bat-like powers, he does dress like a bat, and his cape gives him bat abilities. Examples of other heroes like this include Spiderman, Black Panther, Catwomen, and Wolverine. Batman also falls into the category of double life, which is another unoriginal idea. Double life is the idea of a person living their life normally and then again as another person. We see examples of this in more than just superheroes. For example, Miley is Hannah Montana, Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and Clark Kent is Superman. Batman also is a rich man who uses his wealth to help society. Examples of this include Batman, Ironman, and Black Panther. The most important sub-category cannot be forgotten: evil villains play a significant role in movies and often help to promote them even more. I am a major Batman fan, so when I ask people the question, “Which Batman was your favorite?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is something along the lines of “it is impossible to beat the joker.” This proves that a good villain can make a story that much better. The evil villain subcategory pertains to a lot of movies, including Batman vs. Joker, Batman vs. Bane, Spiderman vs. Green Goblin, Spiderman vs. Sandman, Spiderman vs. Doc Oct, Mario vs. Bowser, Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, and Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader. As you can see, the idea of Batman is far from original: the hero was created through a bunch of different sub-categories.

 The creation of a sub-culture can help to lead to different combinations of things to create a “new thought.” Batman itself has created its own sub-culture among people. The movie has helped to promote the general products and sub-products for movies. Batman and Joker Halloween costumes are a prime example of the influence the movie has in society. Batman, however, has had more influence on society than the typical movie. The first major influence Batman had on society is the impersonations of characters. Three specific characters in the newest Batman trilogy separate themselves from other movie characters. Batman is known for his deep, growling voice, the Joker for his famous “Why so serious?” quote, and Bane for his voice through a mask. These distinctions have led to famous Vine impersonations, and humorous YouTube remake skits from scenes of the movie. One of the most famous YouTube videos involves the famous interrogation scene from the Dark Knight, but in this remake the Joker cannot understand Batman because of his voice. Batman also created the idea of the major superhero movie. The Batman movie created such a large buzz it caused movie producer and directors to create multiple new remakes of superhero movies. Since the start of the Batman trilogy we have seen remakes of Spider-Man, Superman, The Avengers, The Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Ironman, and Thor. Batman in itself has helped to create several remixes and remakes within society.

            The Batman story is just one unique example. It was created from sub-categories to create a “original” superhero and into comic books for people to read. The comic books became popular which eventually led to the creation of an amazing trilogy. New culture and remixes were made based off the trilogy. This exploration could go on and on, as it already has throughout history. For this example, we could explore the remakes and remixes of comic books. After all where did the idea of the superhero come from? Nothing is actually as original as we perceive. Everything in society is a remix.

Fun Business

As a business major this article really stuck out to me. The article “Powering the Business of Fun” sticks out to me right away. After further examination of the article it had much to offer, and provided a unique view on things.

            Weigl Works is literally the company of fun. Weigl Works is a business that creates the fun little things you see at amusement parks or other recreational places. The creator of the business expresses how fun his job is. Weigl Works is a worldwide cooperation, however, Weigl Works on has four employees. The company has a software partner in California, a manufacturing partner in Austria, and a custom programming development partner in Ohio. John Kaplan is the owner of this small business. Kaplan talks about how they are not the true artists in their production. Their company just gives the articles they need in order to do their best.

            It is cool to see how business like Weigl Works seem to have so much fun yet they are still very successful. It reminds me of the atmosphere that is in the Google workplace.