Tag: death

Setting Boundaries in Relationships

Vitré yesterday and today

Setting personal boundaries are like identifying the gates in our invisible fence lines which protects the precious heart and soul inside our bodies. Many people look at boundaries as walls, but rather when we establish healthy boundaries it provides a way to distinguish what we choose to let in and let out. They form flexible gates, not stationary walls It is important to learn about setting healthy boundaries so we can make decisions about what is and what isn’t permissible in all relationships.

Boundaries are valuable

All relationships work more harmoniously when the participants know what to expect and what is expected of them. Being kind, but firm when stating what you need from a relationship allows the other person to reciprocate. How other people act and think often has nothing to do with you, but rather with their own perceptions. You can only take care of yourself.

It doesn’t matter how elaborate the fencing and eloquent our statements are, if we don’t honor ourselves enough to draw the line and stick to it consistently. It is just as valuable to the other person that they learn how to be with you and what the guidelines are for the relationship.

Body Language and tone of voice

Verbal communication is the language of information and only 20 % is absorbed. Body language and tone of voice is the language of relationships and 80% is remembered. Make sure you appear confident and you speak with a neutral, calm and non-accusing tone when establishing your boundaries. Use “I” statements which reflect on how things affect you, rather than “you” statements which put people on the defensive.

4 Step model for setting boundaries

1. Calmly inform the other person by stating, “I feel uncomfortable and want to shut down when you yell at me.”

2. Request that they honor your boundary. “I ask that you talk to me without yelling.” Or ..For me to listen and hear what you are saying to me, I need to you speak to me in a calm voice without yelling.

3. Insist that they honor your boundary, again with a firm but kind voice, “I insist that when we are talking we talk in calm voices.”

4. Leave the situation. Now is not the time or place to continue communicating with someone who refuses to respect your boundaries. Leave the door open to talk later in a more respectful manner. Continue to maintain a calm but firm voice and say, “I will not continue this conversation in this way. I welcome an opportunity to talk with you without yelling or screaming at another time. Let me know if you decide to visit without raised voices.”

Don’t take it personally

You can not assume responsibility for other people’s feelings, agendas or methods of communication. You can only state how you desire to be treated in life. If there are old patterns, it may take some time to convince others that you are serious about sticking to your boundaries. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and courtesy.

People you know may be surprised at first when you tell them they have crossed the line, but will respect you more in the end. Hopefully, they will model this communication style and it will make for more honest and open relationships for all.

© Judy H. Wright, Parent educator and Author

www.ArtichokePress.com

Thomas Nagel And His Article On Death

Golden lane - Prague

Thomas Nagel begins his collection of essays with a most intriguing discussion about death. Death being one of the most obviously important subjects of contemplation, Nagel takes an interesting approach as he tries to define the truth as to whether death is, or is not, a harm for that individual. Nagel does a brilliant job in attacking this issue from all sides and viewpoints, and it only makes sense that he does it this way in order to make his own observations more credible.

He begins by looking at the very common views of death that are held by most people in the world, and tells us that he will talk of death as the “unequivocal and permanent end to our existence” and look directly at the nature of death itself (1). The first view that Nagel decides to discuss is the view that death is bad for us because it deprives us of more life. Most people are in the view that life is good; even though some experiences in life can be bad, and sometimes tragic, the nature of life itself is a very positive state. Nagel also adds that when the experiences of life are put aside, this state is still positive, and not simply “neutral” (2).

Nagel goes further to point out some important observations about the value of life. Mere “organic survival” cannot be said to be a component of value (2). Nagel gives the example of death and being in a coma before dying. Both of these situations would be equally bad situations. Another observation is that “like most goods” the value can become greater with time (2).

Looking now at what is bad about death instead of what is good about life, Nagel presents some obvious thoughts regarding this point. Life is good because we have the conscious ability to experience and appreciate all that life has to offer. So death is bad because it deprives us of these experiences, not because the actual state of death is bad for us.

The next point that Nagel makes is that there are certain indications that show how people do not object to death simply because it “involves long periods of nonexistence” (3). It is said that people would not look at the temporary “suspension” of life as a terrible misfortune, because the fact that it is temporary tells us that this will ultimately bring the state back to that of conscious life. Also, we do not look at the state being before we are born as a misfortune, or deprivation of life, because that life has not yet begun and, (as Nagel states later), he refutes the possible argument that the person could have been born earlier and had more life, with the fact that if that person was born substantially earlier, he would cease to be that person, but instead someone else entirely.

Nagel discusses next three problems. The first is a view that there are no evils that are not rooted in a person consciously “minding” those evils. Nagel puts this view in to easier terms by saying that this is the same as saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” (4). There are several examples that can illustrate this theory. People who think this way would say that it is not a harm for a person to be ridiculed behind his back, if he doesn’t know about it. If he doesn’t experience the evil, it is not bad for him. Nagel thinks this view is wrong. The natural discovery here is that it is bad to be betrayed, this is what makes the whole situation unfortunate; not because the discovery of this betrayal makes us unhappy.

The second problem is that which has to do with who the subject of harm caused by death is, and when exactly this occurs. Harm can be experienced by a person before death, nothing can be experienced after death, so when is death itself experienced as a harm? The third problem deals with posthumous and prenatal existence.

Contemplating the good or bad aspects of death, Nagel observes that we must look at the possible circumstances surrounding a death, and the pertinent history of the person who dies. This is important because we miss a lot that is important to the argument if what we take into consideration is exclusively the state of the person at the moment of death. Nagel gives an example of a very intelligent man sustaining an injury that causes him to regress to the mental capacity of an infant. His needs can be fulfilled like those of an infant and be kept happy as long as simple needs are met. His family and friends would look at this as a terrible misfortune, even though the man himself is not aware of his loss. This situation is unfortunate because of the deprivation of what might have been had he not been injured in this way. He could have gone on to accomplish great things for the world and his family, and live out his life through old age as an accomplished and acclaimed individual. This would have lead him to great happiness, but it can be observed that this same man in a state of mental capacity to match that of a child is also happy, but Nagel agrees that what happened to this man is a tragedy because of the terrible loss of the life the intelligent man could have led. This situation can relate to death in this way of thinking about deprivation. Death is bad because it robs you of what could have been.

After making these observations, Nagel states that “This case should convince us that it is arbitrary to restrict the goods and evils that can befall a man to non-relational properties ascribable to him at particular times” (6). There are endless circumstances and happenings going on that affect a person’s fortune or misfortune. Many of these never coincide directly to the person’s life. We must consider that there is no way to pinpoint the exact position of a misfortune in a person’s life, nor a way to define the origin. People have dreams and goals in life that may or may not be fulfilled. There is no way to find all of the circumstances and possibilities that go into whether or not these hopes and dreams are eventually fulfilled, but Nagel tells us that we must simply accept that “If death is an evil, it must be accounted for in these terms, and the impossibility of locating it within life should not trouble us” (7).

There are some who view the time before birth and the time after death as the same. We exist in neither, though Nagel argues that there is a difference. This whole essay has expressed exactly his view that though we do not exist in either case, death deprives us of time that we could have been living our lives.

Nagel makes an interesting observation about whether we can assign as a misfortune an event or aspect of life which is normal to all humans in general. We all know that we all will die and that the maximum amount of life is somewhere around 100 years. So is it still plausible to say this is a misfortune? He also gives the example of moles, which are blind. It is not a misfortune for a mole to be blind because they are all blind, and they will never know sight and be able to appreciate it. But Nagel also presents the example of a situation in which everyone goes through six months of pain and anguish before dying. Everyone knows that this is going to happen, but does that make the event any less of an event to dread and fear?

We are brought into this world and brought up with aspects of our lives that we appreciate. The deprivation of these things that we learn to appreciate is a misfortune, because we have learned to live with these privileges. It is unfathomable for a human being to grasp the concept of a finite life, in the truest meaning of understanding. We do not think of our lives right now as a set out plan or a finite sequence of events. We do not live day to day thinking of what we should do according to how much time we have left. Our lives are essentially an open-ended sequence of good and bad circumstances and possibilities. Death is the abrupt interruption of this sequence that we cannot help but be in the mindset will never end. This is how death is a deprivation, and ultimately, a bad thing for a person.

In conclusion, Nagel offers a good argument in his essay on death about death itself being a harm. Whether a person believes in the immortal life or not, it must still be considered that dying deprives you of the goods and experiences of life. This view seems unavoidable. A person who dies at age 92 has lived a full life to the best of his ability and has experienced more than someone who dies at age 32. The person dying at age 32 had many things that he wished to accomplish and experience in his life, and since the event of death has taken away all possibility of any of these goals coming to pass, and undermines all the work that he has put forth up to that point in pursuit of his goals, death is a terrible tragedy for him.

Work Cited

Nagel, Thomas. Mortal Questions. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979.

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Thomas Nagel And His Article On Death

3D painting of Shihgang District, Taichung - 2

Thomas Nagel begins his collection of essays with a most intriguing discussion about death. Death being one of the most obviously important subjects of contemplation, Nagel takes an interesting approach as he tries to define the truth as to whether death is, or is not, a harm for that individual. Nagel does a brilliant job in attacking this issue from all sides and viewpoints, and it only makes sense that he does it this way in order to make his own observations more credible.

He begins by looking at the very common views of death that are held by most people in the world, and tells us that he will talk of death as the “unequivocal and permanent end to our existence” and look directly at the nature of death itself (1). The first view that Nagel decides to discuss is the view that death is bad for us because it deprives us of more life. Most people are in the view that life is good; even though some experiences in life can be bad, and sometimes tragic, the nature of life itself is a very positive state. Nagel also adds that when the experiences of life are put aside, this state is still positive, and not simply “neutral” (2).

Nagel goes further to point out some important observations about the value of life. Mere “organic survival” cannot be said to be a component of value (2). Nagel gives the example of death and being in a coma before dying. Both of these situations would be equally bad situations. Another observation is that “like most goods” the value can become greater with time (2).

Looking now at what is bad about death instead of what is good about life, Nagel presents some obvious thoughts regarding this point. Life is good because we have the conscious ability to experience and appreciate all that life has to offer. So death is bad because it deprives us of these experiences, not because the actual state of death is bad for us.

The next point that Nagel makes is that there are certain indications that show how people do not object to death simply because it “involves long periods of nonexistence” (3). It is said that people would not look at the temporary “suspension” of life as a terrible misfortune, because the fact that it is temporary tells us that this will ultimately bring the state back to that of conscious life. Also, we do not look at the state being before we are born as a misfortune, or deprivation of life, because that life has not yet begun and, (as Nagel states later), he refutes the possible argument that the person could have been born earlier and had more life, with the fact that if that person was born substantially earlier, he would cease to be that person, but instead someone else entirely.

Nagel discusses next three problems. The first is a view that there are no evils that are not rooted in a person consciously “minding” those evils. Nagel puts this view in to easier terms by saying that this is the same as saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” (4). There are several examples that can illustrate this theory. People who think this way would say that it is not a harm for a person to be ridiculed behind his back, if he doesn’t know about it. If he doesn’t experience the evil, it is not bad for him. Nagel thinks this view is wrong. The natural discovery here is that it is bad to be betrayed, this is what makes the whole situation unfortunate; not because the discovery of this betrayal makes us unhappy.

The second problem is that which has to do with who the subject of harm caused by death is, and when exactly this occurs. Harm can be experienced by a person before death, nothing can be experienced after death, so when is death itself experienced as a harm? The third problem deals with posthumous and prenatal existence.

Contemplating the good or bad aspects of death, Nagel observes that we must look at the possible circumstances surrounding a death, and the pertinent history of the person who dies. This is important because we miss a lot that is important to the argument if what we take into consideration is exclusively the state of the person at the moment of death. Nagel gives an example of a very intelligent man sustaining an injury that causes him to regress to the mental capacity of an infant. His needs can be fulfilled like those of an infant and be kept happy as long as simple needs are met. His family and friends would look at this as a terrible misfortune, even though the man himself is not aware of his loss. This situation is unfortunate because of the deprivation of what might have been had he not been injured in this way. He could have gone on to accomplish great things for the world and his family, and live out his life through old age as an accomplished and acclaimed individual. This would have lead him to great happiness, but it can be observed that this same man in a state of mental capacity to match that of a child is also happy, but Nagel agrees that what happened to this man is a tragedy because of the terrible loss of the life the intelligent man could have led. This situation can relate to death in this way of thinking about deprivation. Death is bad because it robs you of what could have been.

After making these observations, Nagel states that “This case should convince us that it is arbitrary to restrict the goods and evils that can befall a man to non-relational properties ascribable to him at particular times” (6). There are endless circumstances and happenings going on that affect a person’s fortune or misfortune. Many of these never coincide directly to the person’s life. We must consider that there is no way to pinpoint the exact position of a misfortune in a person’s life, nor a way to define the origin. People have dreams and goals in life that may or may not be fulfilled. There is no way to find all of the circumstances and possibilities that go into whether or not these hopes and dreams are eventually fulfilled, but Nagel tells us that we must simply accept that “If death is an evil, it must be accounted for in these terms, and the impossibility of locating it within life should not trouble us” (7).

There are some who view the time before birth and the time after death as the same. We exist in neither, though Nagel argues that there is a difference. This whole essay has expressed exactly his view that though we do not exist in either case, death deprives us of time that we could have been living our lives.

Nagel makes an interesting observation about whether we can assign as a misfortune an event or aspect of life which is normal to all humans in general. We all know that we all will die and that the maximum amount of life is somewhere around 100 years. So is it still plausible to say this is a misfortune? He also gives the example of moles, which are blind. It is not a misfortune for a mole to be blind because they are all blind, and they will never know sight and be able to appreciate it. But Nagel also presents the example of a situation in which everyone goes through six months of pain and anguish before dying. Everyone knows that this is going to happen, but does that make the event any less of an event to dread and fear?

We are brought into this world and brought up with aspects of our lives that we appreciate. The deprivation of these things that we learn to appreciate is a misfortune, because we have learned to live with these privileges. It is unfathomable for a human being to grasp the concept of a finite life, in the truest meaning of understanding. We do not think of our lives right now as a set out plan or a finite sequence of events. We do not live day to day thinking of what we should do according to how much time we have left. Our lives are essentially an open-ended sequence of good and bad circumstances and possibilities. Death is the abrupt interruption of this sequence that we cannot help but be in the mindset will never end. This is how death is a deprivation, and ultimately, a bad thing for a person.

In conclusion, Nagel offers a good argument in his essay on death about death itself being a harm. Whether a person believes in the immortal life or not, it must still be considered that dying deprives you of the goods and experiences of life. This view seems unavoidable. A person who dies at age 92 has lived a full life to the best of his ability and has experienced more than someone who dies at age 32. The person dying at age 32 had many things that he wished to accomplish and experience in his life, and since the event of death has taken away all possibility of any of these goals coming to pass, and undermines all the work that he has put forth up to that point in pursuit of his goals, death is a terrible tragedy for him.

Work Cited

Nagel, Thomas. Mortal Questions. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979.

His Most Famous Painting (Violin and Candlestick) – Georges Braque

Il mare dei Malavoglia

Georges Braque was an eminent twentieth century French painter and sculptor, who was also the co-founder of ‘Cubism.’ Born on May 13, 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, from 1897 to 1899, he learned painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts at Le Havre, the city where he grew up. He commenced his artistic journey, experimenting in styles, such as ‘Impressionism’ and ‘Fauvism,’ before he developed ‘Cubism’ along with Pablo Picasso in 1908. Cezanne’s artistry of ‘multiple perspectives,’ exhibited at Salon d’Automne, in 1907, inspired the duo towards ‘Cubism.’ French art critic Louis Vauxcelles saw a painting by Braque in 1908 and called it ‘Cubism,’ or ‘bizarre cubiques.’ He perceived the artwork as ‘full of little cubes.’ This led to the christening of the Picasso’s and Georges’ invention as ‘Cubism,’ which the duo was not initially excited about. Braque’s magnum opus “Violin and Candlestick,” painted in spring 1910, exemplifies the vibrant persona of the ‘Cubist’ style of painting.

Mostly monochromatic in style and themed on ‘Still Life,’ Braque’s’ ‘Cubist’ works mostly stunned the art community. This 24″ x 19 3/4″ (61cm x 50cm), oil on canvass, “Violin and Candlestick” is a result of the amalgamated slices of music and violin sheets rearranged at atypical angles to create a single intertwined image, with the shifting surface of forms, planes, arcs, and colors. The painting whilst illustrating three-dimensional view of the subjects on a flat canvas, shuns the traditional ‘Renaissance’ perspective. This actually is ‘Cubism,’ which focuses on representing the subjects, as viewed from several angles.

“Violin and Candlestick” was an outcome of Georges’ obsession for form and stability, fuelled with a desire to create an illusion in a viewer’s mind to move around freely within the painting. To achieve this, the painter conglomerated the subjects at the centre of a grid like armature & covered the boundaries of the black-outlined objects using earth-toned colors. Thereby, he managed to transform the volumes of static to hold compound surfaces on a flat plane, enabling onlookers to appreciate more of form compared to any other angle. Recognizing and understanding the effects of light astutely to elicit the appropriate emotions and effects of the subjects also served as a vital parameter for Braque’s “Violin and Candlestick.” He expressed this art of fragmentation as “a technique for getting closer to the object.”

Georges Braque breathed his last on August 31, 1963, in Paris. His masterpiece, “Violin and Candlestick” is exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Culture

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 03

In the present-day world there are few people who reject the phenomenon of globalization. The world is becoming more and more global in the sense that people of various cultures start to communicate more freely. Furthermore there are means to communicate thoughts and ideas across cultures such as television, the internet and so on. Even though it is so common to believe that knowledge, experience, science are capable of transcending all cultural differences, many people lessen the importance of those barriers and oftentimes disregarding their existence.

All cultures have a set of beliefs that institute the code of values ​​and moral laws for that particular culture. In Asia for example people were exposed to certain social phenomena and inevitably adopted certain beliefs that now determine their behavior as a separate culture. In other countries people share different beliefs and values ​​due to a variety of factors. Religion is one of the most important factors that shape the society in terms of its cultural beliefs and traditions. Another important component is history that can tell us about the events of the past that might have had some influence on the further development of people in that particular country.

Cultural differences present a very interesting social phenomenon to study and understand. There are cultures that share very similar values ​​and traditions and there are cultures that have very different beliefs. In the confines of this paper, I will focus my attention on the differences between Chinese and American cultures that in my opinion present very good examples for this study. There are myriad differences in all aspects of social activity and there are probably more differences than similarities in these two cultures.

To study a particular culture is to actually study the people and their behavior from a sociological perspective. It is very important to construct a working definition of a culture. Culture is a set of social norms, traditions, beliefs and values ​​shared by a large group of people. Individuals who belong to that group can be considered a culture. By the same token, they can be called a society because at this point there is not much difference between the two notions. A society is literally a group of people that share that particular set of beliefs, values ​​and so on, whereas the word culture has slightly different connotations. A particular culture may as well be share by more than one nation whereas the word society is usually applicable to the nation that inhabits a particular country. There are slight differences between these two terms but most sociologists and anthropologists use them interchangeably.

In other words, a culture is a set of beliefs or a particular ideology that a society shares. It is very interesting to understand how people develop a culture because it seems to be a purely social phenomenon developed by a group of people and then spread among others individuals who somehow relate to that particular group.

As an example, communist countries have very different cultures. They vividly illustrate how a group of people can influence a culture. China was not always a communist country. Long before communists came to power the population of the country shared a different ideology. The communist government directly influenced the country's culture by the means of propaganda, the education system, television etc. Subsequently, the next generation is going to absorb the culture modified by communism whereas the previous generation is not so likely to accept it. However, even though communists altered people's views and beliefs they could not completely eradicate most of the traditions shared by the society (Henry Rosemont, 1981).

There are many numerous differences between human beings and animals. Even though humans as well as animals are very complex creatures that have very complicated biological and chemical processes going on in their bodies, humans are more complex creatures because there is a great deal of social interaction that implies relationships, mental processes, human behavior, etc . Social sciences are several related fields that basically study the interaction among human beings. This field is very broad because the social activities that human beings involve in are so numerous that it would be hard to expound all the phenomena that can not be explained by natural sciences in one discipline.

The social sciences include anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, law, psychology, criminology and social psychology. All these sciences are very important because they make an attempt to explain why people act that way they do, why they interact with others, and why they form a global society. Actually these disciplines cover a lot more social issues that directly relate to the behavior of people. The difference between the social sciences and the natural sciences lies in the fact that the natural sciences like physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry study the processes and objects that can be physically measures in terms of weight, speed, or other measurements. Social sciences deal with more subtle social processes and phenomena that can not be measured exactly but can only be pondered and theorized about (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Anthropology is a very diverse and broad discipline that primarily deals with questions like what people think, what they do, why they interact with each other, and how they evolved over the course of time. Mostly, anthropologists deal with very basic questions but it is the simplicity that gives way to more complex phenomena. This discipline also studies how people can adopt to various cultural environments and how the cultures were formed. Ultimately, the purpose of this science is to understand the human life. Anthropology contains three main components that are employed by scientists to unravel the mysteries of the human race. They are society, culture, and evolution. Society and culture are the terms that are often confused and used interchangeably.

The basic definition of society can be found in biology where a herd of horses for example is referred to as society. However, society in the anthropological sense is used in reference to humans who can form a society of several billions of people who share the same culture. Culture, on the other hand, is a set of rules, customs, traditions that people live in accordance with. A society that shares the same set of social rules that can be called a culture. Therefore, there is very subtle difference between the two terms and most of the time they can be used interchangeably due to the great deal of similarity. There are several elements that institute a culture.

First of all, people who form a culture speak the same language, and employ other means of communicating complex ideas such as art, literature, cinema, etc. Thus a culture can be passed from generation to generation. Evolution is a radically different approach and it aims at the evolution of human beings over time. There are numerous theories that try to examine the process of evolution but most of them are questionable. As a separate discipline of anthropology consists of several fields that include cultural anthropology that studies the elements that institute a culture and what role cultures play in the world today; linguistic anthropology that focuses on the role of the language in the society; archaeology that studies the ancient societies, the cultures of the past and the effect they have on the present-day world; and physical anthropology that focuses on the evolution of human beings in terms of biological and physiological aspects.

Physical anthropology is similar to archaeology in the sense that both study the evolution. However, physical anthropology focuses on the physical changes that presumably occurred in the human bodies over time whereas archeology emphasizes the cultural aspects of evolution. As you can see, anthropology is a very broad field and it is closely related to some other social disciplines (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Another very important component that I believe influences the formation of a particular culture is mythology that relates to the people of that culture. Mythology is essentially a set of myths that originated in a culture and were spread around by people. Thereafter, this set of myths became traditions and cultural beliefs that are share by the people of that culture. A myth can be classified as a narrative or a tale that has been passed from one generation to another by word of mouth. This process of retelling keeps going up to the point when it is hard to distinguish between a tale and a true story.

Myths usually get accepted by the culture as a custom or a tradition and when this happens it is hard to tell a myth from reality. Most of the time, people involuntarily believe that the myths that happened to originate a long time ago set the foundation of their culture (E. Evans, 1983). Myths are universal, occurring in almost all cultures. They typically date from a time before the introduction of writing, when they were passed orally from one generation to the next. Myths deal with basic questions about the nature of the world and human experience, and because of their all-encompassing nature, myths can illuminate many aspects of a culture. Although it is difficult to draw rigid distinctions among various types of traditional tales, people who study mythology find it useful to categorize them.

The three most common types of tales are sagas, legends, and folktales. When a tale is based on a great historical (or presumably historical) event, it is generally known as a saga. Despite a saga's basis in very distant historical events, its dramatic structure and characters are the product of storytellers' imaginations. A legend is a fictional story associated with a historical person or place. Legends often provides examples of the virtues of honored figures in the history of a group or nation. The traditional American story about young George Washington and the cherry tree – in which he could not lie about chopping it down – is best described as a legend, because George Washington is a historical figure but the story about the cherry tree is recognized today as fictional. Folktales, a third variety of traditional tale, are usually simple narratives of adventure built around elements of character and plot – for example, the young man who slays a monster and wins the hand of a princess. Folktales may contain a moral or observation about life, but their chief purpose is entertainment (E. Evans, 1983).

Myths may include features of sagas, legends, and folktales. What makes one of these tales a myth is its serious purpose and its importance to the culture. Experts typically define a myth as a story that has complying drama and deals with basic elements and assumptions of a culture. Myths explain, for example, how the world began; how humans and animals came into being; how certain customs, gestures, or forms of human activity originated; and how the divine and human worlds interact. Many myths take place at a time before the world as human beings know it came into being. Because myth-making often involves gods, other supernatural creatures, and processes beyond human understanding, some scholars have viewed it as a dimension of religion. However, many myths address topics that are not typically considered religious – for example, why features of the landscape take a certain shape (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2002, Deluxe Edition).

The key character of Chinese mythology is monkey. He is a god-hero who is the cornerstone of ancient China's mythology (Henry Rosemont, 1981). Based on what is said in the legends, monkey was born from a stone egg that was created from a rock as old as time and included the essence of the Earth and Heaven. Monkey was endowed with a magical staff that could shrink or grow to any size. Also this hero had other magical abilities. For example there is a famous picture in Chinese mythology where the monkey creates an army out of his fur blowing it into the air.

Subsequently, this clever creature creates a monkey warrior out of every single hair. Monkey defied the supreme god of Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor, with his own claim as high god. To appease the mischievous Monkey, the Jade Emperor proclaimed him King of Heaven, concealing the fact that he had only made him a heavenly stable keeper. Monkey discovered this deception and, enraged, returned to Earth to wreak havoc. The Jade Emperor entreated Buddha for help. Buddha dropped a mountain on Monkey, and Monkey remained benefit it for 500 years. On his journey from China to India to retrieve Buddhist scriptures, the monk Tripitaka unearthed Monkey, who became tripitaka's escort and disciple. With two other companions, Piggy and Sandy, both exempts of the Heavenly Court reborn in monstrous bodies, Monkey accompanied the monk for 14 years, covering nine kingdoms and encountering numerous fantastic adventures. After introducing the scriptures Tripitaka had obtained in India to the Chinese emperor in the imperial capital of Chang-an, the four travelers were borne up to heaven. Monkey, with his irrepressible spirit and countless magic tricks, is generally regarded as a personification of the nature of genius (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Culture is basically the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture identifies one human group from others. It also identifies humans from other animals. A people's culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems (E. Evans, 1983). Culture is the most important concept in anthropology – the study of all aspects of human life, past and present. Anthropologists commonly use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways.

Likewise, any group of people who share a common culture – and in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organization – constituents a society. Thus, the terms culture and society are somewhat interchangeable. However, while many animals live in societies, such as herds of elk or packs of wild dogs, only humans have culture. Culture developed together with the evolution of the human species, Homo sapiens, and is closely related to human biology. The ability of people to have culture comes in large part from their physical features: having big, complex brains; an upright post; free hands that can grasp and manipulate small objects; and a vocal tract that can produce and articulate a wide range of sounds (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2002 Deluxe Edition). These distinctively human physical features began to develop in African ancestors of humans more than four million years ago.

The earliest physical evidence of culture is crude stone tools produced in East Africa over two million years ago. People have culture primarily because they can communicate with and understand symbols. Symbols allow people to develop complex thoughts and to exchange those thoughts with others. Language and other forms of symbolic communication, such as art, enable people to create, explain, and record new ideas and information. Symbols allow people to develop complex thoughts and exchange those thoughts with others (E. Evans, 1983). A symbol has either an indirect connection or no connection at all with the object, idea, feeling, or behavior to which it reiterates.

For instance, most people in the United States find some meaning in the combination of the colors red, white, and blue. But those colors themselves have nothing to do with, for instance, the land that people call the United States, the concept of patriotism, or the US national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. To convey new ideas, people constantly invent new symbols, such as for mathematical formulas (E. Evans, 1983). In addition, people may use one symbol, such as a single word, to represent many different ideas, feelings, or values. Thus, symbols provide a flexible way for people to communicate even very complex thoughts with each other. For example, only through symbols can architects, engineers, and construction workers communicate the information necessary to construct a skyscraper or bridge. People have the capacity at birth to construct, understand, and communicate through symbols, primarily by using language.

Research has shown, for example, that infants have a basic structure of language – a sort of universal grammar – built into their minds. Infants are thus predisposed to learn the languages ​​spoken by the people around them. Language provides a means to store, process, and communicate amounts of information that vastly exceeds the capacities of nonhuman animals. For instance, chimpanzees, the closest genetic relatives of humans, use a few dozen calls and a variety of gestures to communicate in the wild. People have taught some chimps to communicate using American Sign language and picture-based languages, and some have developed vocabularies of a few hundred words. But an unabridged English dictionary may contain more than half-a-million vocabulary entries. Chimpanzees have also not clearly demonstrated the ability to use grammar, which is crucial for communicating complex thoughts. In addition, the human vocal tract, unlike that of chimpanzees and other animals, can create and articulate a wide enough variety of sounds to create millions of distinct words.

In fact, each human language uses only a fraction of the sounds humans can make. The human brain also contains areas dedicated to the production and interpretation of speech, which other animals lack. Thus, humans are predisposed in many ways to use symbolic communication. People are not born with culture; they have to learn it. For instance, people must learn to speak and understand a language and to abide by the rules of a society. In many societies, all people must learn to produce and prepare food and to construct shelters. In other societies, people must learn a skill to earn money, which they then use to provide for themselves. In all human societies, children learn culture from adults.

Anthropologists call this process enculturation, or cultural transmission. Enculturation is a long process. Just learning the intricacies of a human language, a major part of enculturation, takes many years. Families commonly protect and enculturate children in the households of their birth for 15 years or more (Encyclopedia Britannica). Only at this point can children leave and establish their own households. People also continue to learn through their lifetimes. Thus, most societies respect their elders, who have learned for an entire lifetime. Humans are not alone in their ability to learn behaviors, only in the amount and complexity of what they can learn.

For example, members of a group of chimpanzees may learn to use a unique source of food or to fashion some simple tools, behaviors that may distinguish them from other chimpanzee groups. But These unique ways of life are minor in comparison to the rich cultures that distinguish different human societies. Missing speech, chimps are very limited in what they can learn, communicate to others, and pass on from generation to generation.

People living together in a society share culture. For example, almost all people living in the United States share the English language, dress in similar styles, eat many of the same foods, and celebrate many of the same holidays. All the people of a society collectively create and maintain culture. Societies preserve culture for much longer than the life of any one person. They reserve it in the form of knowledge, such as scientific discoveries; objects, such as works of art; and traditions, such as the observation of holidays.

As it was pointed out mythology plays a vital role in the development of a culture. The tales and sagas that originated in a particular culture are adopted as beliefs and traditions that in turn form a cultural foundation that people adhere to. It is not only traditions that determine a cultural barrier that interferes with the mutual understanding among cultures. People in China were able to develop different traditions and customs partly because they inhabited a different geographical area and were not influenced by the American culture. There are things that can only be understood by people who live in a particular area. Furthermore when the representatives of a particular culture confront people from another culture there is a great deal of misunderstanding between them. Using the sociological terminology, it can be classified as a cultural clash. Such a cultural clash happens whenever people from two different cultures attempt to communicate an idea not taking into account the cultural differences that exist between them.

Bibliography
Chinese Language, Chinese Philosophy, and Truth. Journal of Asian Studies 44: 3 (May 1985), p. 491-519

Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 Deluxe Edition.

Edward Evans. Understanding and interpreting cultures. New York: Random House, 1983.

Henry Rosemont. Studies in Classical Chinese Thought. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1981.

Lisa A. Raphals. Sharing the Light: Representations of Women and Virtue in Early China. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998.

Introduction To Types Of Small Business Finance

Missing Spring

The best to place to start looking for small business finance is with the SBA. They have all kinds of financial assistance and grant programs for small business owners. Assuming there’s a need for financing from the commercial market outside of the SBA’s purview, outlined herein are a few basics about the options available to small business owners.

The most basic question that the business owner needs to ponder over is whether to opt for debt financing or equity financing. Each has its pros and cons and further sub-divisions in terms of types of financing. Which one is more suitable depends on factors such as the type of business, its age, cash flow and the credit rating and history of the owner.

Debt finance can be a loan, bond or line of credit from a bank or other lenders, or even a simple IOU. It is usually the best option when the business project is very specific and has a well defined timeline. The borrower needs to put up something as collateral as a form of security.

The owner’s credit rating and history will have a big impact on the ability to secure small business financing. The business also has to have a good enough cash flow (or projected cash flow) in order to meet the repayment schedule. It is important for the owner to do some business planning to figure out a feasible repayment period based on cash flow.

With equity financing, the owner offers the investor part ownership in return for cash. It has certain disadvantages such as loss of control, since the investor would like to a part of the decision making process. But unlike small business loans, equity investments don’t need to be paid back with interest, so it makes it easier to run the business.

The equity option is feasible for broad and long-term financing needs which have no specific and immediate timelines for an ROI. To be noted that equity investors seek higher returns, even if it is after a relatively longer delay. The owner is not likely to regain full control in the short-term and probably not even in the long term.

Equity investment can in the form of individual investments made on a personal basis by the owner, friends, family, colleagues or angel investors. It could be funding provided by a venture capital firm. Equity financing is more focused on the success potential of the project and does not require the kind of guarantees or collateral required for debt financing.

As mentioned above, the decision on debt vs. Equity will depend on the type of business, its current situation and the owner’s credibility. Too much debt is not good for the business, and neither is losing control entirely to equity investors. The right balance needs to be found, and this debt-equity ratio is different for different kinds of industries.

On a related note, it helps to have more options on how to use it to maximize the impact of the financing on the business. For instance, instead of purchasing equipment outright, it might be beneficial to consider equipment leasing finance. There are many more such things that need to be considered, and it is best to consult a lawyer or trusted banker for more information regarding suitable options for small business finance.

Analysis of the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 07

Kurt Vonnegut is an American writer-famous for his novel-Slaughter House. He belongs to the generation of modern novelists.

Where We Live

In the narrative ‘where we live’, the writer introduces us to the rustic village called Cod Bay. There is an old library there and a salesman tells the librarian that the Britannica volume is worn out, an old one belonging to the era of 1938. He urges them to purchase a new one.

Harrison Bergson

Harrison Bergson is a writing piece about two people watching television-Hazel and her father Harry. Bergson had been out of prison. The people in the narrative are very emotional and get to talk about the mundane things of life.

Who am I this time?

The author has to take up the role of a theatre director. He discusses with the actors about real life situations which they could adapt in the play. The language that is used is the one of minimalism.

Welcome to the Monkey House

There is a discussion about birth control and ethical suicide as the population of the world is burgeoning. The writ-up is highly exaggerated and too difficult to believe.

Long walk to forever

In this article there is a description of a man and woman who had grown up together. They later meet and the man who is in the army comes to know that the woman is getting married. They have a walk and sort out issues and become reunited as a happy couple.

The Foster Portfolio

In the Foster Portfolio, the protagonist is an avid stock broker and he strikes a deal with a rich buyer named Henry. He is convincing and persuasive and he strikes a ton of a deal.

Miss Temptation

Miss temptation is a description of a voluptuous lady Susana. There are many lechers who stalk her. The story describes the beauty of the woman in ironic humor.

All the King’s Horses

All the King’s Horses is a story of an imprisoned American colonel and his wife. The enemy’s lieutenant engages in a sadistic conversation. He has got an inflated ego and hatred for the Yankees.

Tom Edison’s Shaggy Dog

Tom Edison’s shaggy dog is a writing that focuses on a Labrador. The dog is sensitive and intelligent and the dog always hangs his wet nose on the owner’s ankles. The narrator thinks that the dog had taught him a trick or two about casting winning lots in the stock market.

New Dictionary

In the New Dictionary, the author narrates his fascination about searching for new words in the lexicon. He favors the unabridged one over the abridged one. Dirty words are a treat for the author, a surreal divine forest.

Next Door

Next door is meat that describes a wall separating the dwellings of two families. There is a meek description of family life.

More Stately Mansions

More Stately mansions are a frigid narrative about the life of an aristocratic people. There is a lot of telling about the dwellings in the mansion, its decorations, and its furniture. One can’t be too impressed with the writing.

The Hyannis Port Story

The Hyannis Port Story is a literature in which the protagonist encounters a Commodore. Daily life is thumbed in vigorous prose.

DP

DP is a moving tale that describes an orphanage run by nuns. The children there come from all nationalities. Many of the children are going through an identity crises. They feel the loss of having been abandoned by their parents.

The Barn House Effect

In the Barn House Effect, the author describes the powers of the mind which he defines as dynamo-psychism. The powers of the mind like clairvoyance, telepathy and exist as a hypothetical conjecture.

A Brief History of Rock and Pop Music

Wandering through the Garden

You may be wondering when exactly did rock/pop music begin? There’s no clear answer to this. Some might say that it started with the advent of rock n roll with Bill Haley and the Comets in 1952. Others would say Elvis, although not the first but surely the original truly global superstar. Yet none of these were really the first. Rock n roll has its roots in blues which has its roots back to the 19th century with black immigrants trying to escape from their slave driven lives. Fast forward to the early 20th. century and some of the earliest recordings on 78 began to appear. Players from this time such as Bobby Jo and Robert Johnson helped to form the structure of early blues

Robert Johnson had recorded only thirty songs during his short life as he was prevented from achieving true fame while alive by being poisoned by a jealous husband. He died shortly before he was being sought to appear at the ‘Spirituals To Swing’ concert in 1938 by record producer John Hammond. As a result, his reputation only took off after Hammond released an album of his recordings for Columbia in the early sixties. Later blues exponents like Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton admitted borrowing heavily from these early stalwarts.

In the 50’s, artists took the basic blues style and used electric guitars, drums and double bass for the first time creating early rock n roll, later known as rockabilly. Stalwarts like Chuck Berry, Buddy Hollie and Jerry Lee Lewis were the most famous protagonists here. Later Elvis in the US and to a lesser extent, Cliff Richard (later leading the Shadows) in the UK brought rock n roll to a truly worldwide audience. This paved the way for the 60’s beat era which could be considered the true beginning of pop music as we know it today, certainly as far as bands were concerned.

In the 50’s and early 60’s, it was mostly lead solo artists with just a backing band. With the advent of the beat era, bands dominated with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys from the US taking the world by storm. Even so, The Beatles later admitted being heavily influenced by those earlier rock n roll and blues artists. They mostly played rock n roll and blues covers at their pre-fame Hamburg concerts. in the early 60’s. The Beatles however, were the first band to successfully blend classical music textures with rock n roll to form perfectly crafted pop songs. While bands like The Rolling Stones continued with the mainly rock n roll theme,

The Beatles took their finely crafted style further in the seminal album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 1967 by utilizing new studio techniques and instruments never used before. They used a new instrument called ‘the Melotron’ This was basically a keyboard which played looped tape recordings. of real instruments. The most famous sound from this was probably the flute used on the ‘Strawberry Fields’ single recorded at the same time but later dropped from the album. The Melotron though, was cumbersome and unreliable and had a rather grainy sound. Even so It was regarded as the forerunner of the electronic sampler, invented nearly 20 years later. Infinitely more flexible than the Melotron, the sampler helped build the framework for modern pop,dance and R&B music.

The Beatles ‘Sgt.. Pepper’ album with its groundbreaking recording techniques was preceded the year before by their ‘Revolver’ album. These LP’s helped popularize a new wave in music known as psychedelic or acid rock, named after the mind bending effects of LSD drugs. Pink Floyd also recorded their debut album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ in the studio next door at the same time that The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper. It was reported that Pink Floyd were a direct influence to The Beatles as a result. This new style incorporated new guitar effects like Fuzz, flanger anger and delays. These were used along side the earliest portable synthesizers such as the therein and mini Moog. invented by Bob Moog.

In America, the Beach boys responded with the ‘Pet sounds’ LP in 1966 and later that year released the first big psychedelic hit ‘Good Vibrations’. About this time, the band ‘Jefferson Airplane’ recorded their debut album which was also the first LP to come out of the new San Franciscan music scene. This got the record industry’s attention and they had two of the earliest psychedelic hits ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Somebody to Love’ in 1967.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Jim Morrison joined with members of The Psychedelic Rangers and Rick and the Ravens to form ‘The Doors’ They were initially turned down by Columbia but were signed to Electra Records and released their self titled debut LP in 1967. The album included the 7 minute long hit single ‘Light my Fire’ one of the first to break the typical three minute pop and rock song barrier.

Back in Britain, radio broadcasting was very limited because the BBC were the only organization allowed to broadcast on the mainland and had just two pop music shows The Saturday club and Easy Beat Radio Luxembourg partially filled the gap but it was left to pirate radio, broadcast from ships out at sea with DJ John Peel’ which enabled the new style to reach a mass audience, often eclipsing the BBC in popularity. The BBC responded in the end with the advent of Radio 1 in June 1967. With the existing labor government making pirate radio illegal in Britain several months later, Du’s like John Peel rather than risk arrest joined radio 1 which had a much more informal and relaxed style as opposed to the staid and conservative approach favored by the BBC until then. This perfectly suited psychedelic pop and rock and John Peel championed this in his late night shows. playing new genres of music and introducing new and unsigned bands in the Peel sessions. He did this for nearly four decades until his death in 2004.

By the end of the 60’s after the break up of the beatles, mainstream music was about to change direction yet again both in style and fashion.

Famous Poets

Famous writer!

Famous poets are writers known for having poetry achievements. Most of these writers are deeply into writing poetry.

All famous poets are not popular well known people. Most people do not know much about these writers. Schools other than colleges may not provide detailed studying on them. Although they may not receive as much attention as people in other fields they should be honored and respected for their poetry achievements.

Most famous poets are authors who’ve had their own poetry book published or have poems in a poetry book. They also have biographies in books and on the internet as well. Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Frost and Robert Burns are just some of the many well known poets. Many of the most popular well known poets have died. Theses writers range from the present to dates later than the 1900.

If a person wants to become one of these poets a good place to start is to write a poetry book. The person’s poems in that book would have to be read and liked by readers for that person to have any real chance. Only serious poetry writers are most likely to become one of these poets. Because most people don’t earn much money in the field of poetry a career involving poetry is not something most people consider or want to take a chance in. As poetry continues to grow there will be more poets who become famous through poetry. Unfortunately some writers may only become a famous poet after they’ve died. You can find out a lot about theses writers through books written about these writers in libraries.