Tag: Interview

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

Sissinghurst Castle and Garden - As Beautiful Without as They Are Within!

Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science fiction novel, it can easily be seen that writing one can be a lucid ride into the unexplored. One of the best in recent memory is "Hyperion," a science fiction novel that won the famous Hugo award. Here, Simmons explored what is real, much like Philip K. Dick, and did it as though he was poet, forming a tale of seven pilgrims to a far away world, much like "The Canterbury Tales."

Some of the finest novels of the 20th century were labeled "junk" because they explored taboo subjects or had sexually revealing covers. Without the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the hundreds of other talents, maybe there would have been no Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. Without the junk science fiction novel bought for a nickel in the 1940s and 50s maybe mankind would never have dreamed of stepping on the moon in the 1960s.

Famous People With Asperger’s Syndrome

Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička), Prague, Czechia, June 12, 2017 264

Recently, some researchers, in particular, Simon Baron-Kohen and John James, suggested that such well-known personalities from the past, as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had Asperger’s syndrome. Scientists say that they showed some tendencies of the syndrome in their behavior, such as an intense interest in one topic, or social problems. One of the chapters of this Gillberg’s book is devoted to this theme, including a detailed case analysis of the situation with philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein with the conclusion that the person meets the criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome. Naturally, the absence of diagnosis during life does not mean that there was nothing to diagnose, especially if we bear in mind that while there was no widespread knowledge about the syndrome (as often happens with Asperger’s syndrome, which recently has been widely recognized in psychiatric circles). However, such post-mortem diagnosis remains controversial.

Arguments in favor of the alleged autism spectrum disorders in famous personalities vary from person to person. Some of them argue that in the case of Albert Einstein (one of the most frequently cited suspected autistic), he learned to talk late, was a lonely kid, organized violent tantrums, silently repeated the previously pronounced sentence, and needed his wives to play the role of parents when he was an adult – the stereotypical factors for autistic individuals. Isaac Newton stuttered and suffered from epilepsy. Many of these alleged historical cases of Asperger’s syndrome can be quite soft (not expressed), but some skeptics argue that in these cases only some features of autism can be seen, and they are not enough to diagnose autism spectrum. In the end, many critics of historical diagnosis claim that it is simply impossible to diagnose the dead, and therefore nothing can be said with certainty about historic individuals with (or withour) Asperger’s syndrome.

All of these assumptions may be just an attempt to create a pattern of behavior (role model, an object for imitation) for people with autism, and demonstrate that they can do constructive things, and make a contribution to society. Such a presumptive diagnosis is often used by activists for the rights of people with autism to show that the treatment of autism would be a loss to society. But others in the organizations for the rights of autistic people do not like these arguments because they feel that people with autism have to appreciate their uniqueness even if they do not want to be healed, regardless of whether people like Einstein were autistic.

Some features of appearance and facts of activity indicate that John Carmack is also a man with AS, or he has other unusual personality type of a similar nature.

Possible causes and origins of Asperger’s syndrome is hotly debated and controversial topic. The majority opinion today is that the causes of Asperger’s syndrome are the same as autism’s. Some researchers, however, disagree and argue that the Asperger syndrome and autism are lead by two different things. All this occurs during the ongoing wider debate about whether Asperger’s syndrome and other conditions (such as attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorder – ADHD) are the part of the so-called autism spectrum.

Among many competing theories about the causes of autism (and, therefore, as many believe – Asperger’s Syndrome) – theory of non-complete connection, developed by researchers of cognition at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, the theory of marginal male brain of Simon Baron-Kohena, the theory of pre-working, theory of social structure and genetics.

Some theorists give more arguments in favor of Asperger’s syndrome than autism. Sometimes they argument that some specific theories play a greater role in Asperger’s syndrome, for example, theory of social structure and genetics. However, this is the area of considerable controversy.

Writers Learning to Learn

Magical Places and Things -Egypt- The Nile (7)

Software like Photoshop, Excel, and Scrivener are great, but they can also be intimidating. Have you ever paid for a program and never use it? Learning something new can be scary. Many programs have help files, but often that’s not enough. Reading something and learning it are two different things. There are three types of learning. They are audio, visual, and hands-on. In this article, I will use Scrivener as my example.

When considering this software, I looked at the Scrivener website and studied the overviews and features section. Impressed enough to make the purchase and read the written tutorial, I was quickly overwhelmed. Note, at this point, I was only looking at buttons and icons.

Next, I went to Facebook and found a group called Scrivener Users. I prefer to hear from those who use the software, as opposed to those trying to sell me something. One advantage was now I could ask questions. Many people kept referring to the book Scrivener for… by Gwen Hernandez, so I purchased that. The book was excellent. Occasionally, I would click on an icon to verify the features listed underneath.

Being a photographer for 40+ years, I relate to all things visual. Therefore, the next logical step was YouTube. Although they had dozens of tutorials most felt like a synopsis, a summary if you will.

I liked being able to see and hear what I was learning. But, I wanted to watch without being dependent on the internet. What I found was a website called udemy.com, which had several outstanding video tutorials. What I had missed to this point, was the hands-on approach. With the program now open, I found the pause button was my new best friend.

The class was reasonably priced and had excellent quality. It was also downloadable. With my slow internet speed, it did take a while (over 5 hours), but each of the 46 videos was downloaded to a folder on my desktop. Now, I could watch, practice, and hear the lessons all at the same time.

If you want to be a writer, you don’t just write when it’s convenient, you write every day. If you want to learn something new you don’t just read a manual and expect to know it all. You use different senses when you want to learn effectively, and you can also use a variety of resources.

Millions of writers write blogs and how-to books with the expectation you will comprehend the subject better. There are thousands of users on Facebook and other social media outlets, waiting to share information they have learned from experience. The key word being experience. You must jump right in and get your hands dirty. YouTube has videos on almost any subject you can imagine. You can find inexpensive courses online. In many cases, you can also find Pod Casts and audio CDs on your favorite subject.

The information age does not limit you to one medium. You’ve heard the phrase show don’t tell. This applies to learning as well as writing. Part of my learning process includes repetition. If I can listen or watch something multiple times, it tends to stay with me better. Some people can read something once and retain everything. I’m not one of those people. The more types of learning methods you employ, the better the odds you will retain the information. When getting your hands dirty doesn’t help and reading is not enough, try using more resources.

Analysis of the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut

Punti di vista / Points of view

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.

Pastor Anniversary Scriptures and Themes

Golden lane - Prague

Creating a pastor anniversary theme can be intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes over thought. Selecting a theme for your pastor is nothing more than creating a sentence based on the direction or progression of his ministry. The theme should also have some type of deep meaning in some cases, with a clever underlining thought.

First, let’s discuss where to get theme ideas from that will help you create the theme for your pastor’s anniversary. Firstly, I always look in the Holy Bible as there are countless examples of themes for a pastor. The idea is to pick a scripture that has a word of encouragement and direction from God. Not every scripture is the same and not every scripture communicates the message that is needed to convey the overall thought of the message.

Here is a list of scriptures that directly speak about honoring your pastor:

  • Jeremiah 3:15– And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
  • Ephesians 4:11– And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
  • I Thessalonians 5:12-13– And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
  • I Timothy 5:17– Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
  • Hebrews 13:17– Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Using the wording within the scripture you can create topics or themes that will be more than appropriate for celebrating your pastor’s anniversary.

Here is a List of example pastor anniversary & pastor appreciation themes that was created using the wording in the scriptures.

  • Jeremiah 3:15– Honoring Our Pastor’s Spiritual Knowledge and Earthly Understanding.
  • Ephesians 4:11– Perfecting the Saints for the Work of the Ministry.
  • I Thessalonians 5:12-13 – Celebrating the Laborer that Dwells Among Us.
  • I Timothy 5:17-Giving Our Pastor Double Honor for His Labor in the Word.
  • Hebrews 13:17– Recognizing the Leadership that Watches Over Our Souls.

With just a little creative thinking you can create a theme for your pastor’s appreciation service, day or month. There are other ways to come up with a theme, you can use titles from: songs, books, movies, scriptures or even famous quotes by legendary people. There are many ways to create the perfect theme for your pastor you just have to be creative and put a little work into it.

Here is a list of example pastor anniversary & pastor appreciation themes that was created using songs, books, movies, scriptures and even quotes.

  • Spiritual Guidance That Propels Us Forward
  • The Audacity of Faithful Leadership
  • Sacred Teaching for Earthly Living
  • Divine Council for the Multitude of People
  • Celebrating God’s Man for His People
  • Celebrating God’s Woman for His People
  • Shaping Lives to be Good Stewards
  • God’s Chosen Vessel for His Purpose and Direction
  • A Spiritual Briefing for the People of God
  • The Gift of Giving For No Recompense
  • Appreciating the Giver of Spiritual Knowledge
  • Illustrating Holy Living Through Precept and Example
  • Celebrating Victory in God’s Holy Word
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness

As you prepare your celebration activities and appreciate your pastor takes some time to really seek out the right message for the overall theme. The members of your church will be delighted to help find a scriptures that corresponds to the message.

15 Facts About Masada – Dead Sea, Israel

Il mare dei Malavoglia

Masada, also referred as Metzada, is a mountain top fortress that is located on the western shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The Fortress includes barracks, storehouses, an armory, palace, cisterns, etc. Masada is a name that is derived from unmetzade, a Hebrew word, that means “stronghold” or “mountain castle”. It is worth disclosing the fact that Masada is considered as one of the greatest symbols of Israel’s ancient kingdom, its brutal destruction and Jewish revolt in the first century A.D. against Rome. Let’s discover some of the vital facts about Masada:

  1. It is located on the top isolated rock on the edges of the Dead Sea valley and the Judean Desert, between Ein Gedi and Sdom.
  2. Masada remained ignored for many centuries and came again in limelight after a famous epic entitled Masada, written by popular Hebrew poet in 1920’s. The epic has invoked the hidden emotions and gave a rousing account of fight.
  3. Masada plateau was naturally fortified and surrounded by deep gorges.
  4. Cliff on the east and west edge of Masada are about 400 m (1300) and 90 m (300) high respectively. Plataea’s top is flat and of rhomboid-shape.
  5. Around the plateau’s top, there was a casemate wall which is 1.3 km long, 3.7 m thick and has many towers.
  6. A Jewish Roman Historian, Herod the Great has fortified Masada in between 37 and 31 BCE to hide himself from the massive revolt.
  7. Sicarii, a group of Jewish rebels, defeated roman troops and defended Masada by taking control over it.
  8. At the end of the first century, Judea’s Roman Governor had decided to take back Masada.
  9. Masada was rediscovered by modern world in mid 19th century BC. Israeli archeologists, Yigael Yadin, in the early 1960’s, began excavating the region. Cable cars were added to the region, in order to make it accessible for tourists. The place is considered as most popular tourist destination in Israel, outside of Jerusalem.
  10. Being considered as one of the most respected Jewish symbols, Israeli soldiers take an oath at this site “Masada shall not fall again”. Oath taken by soldiers of Israeli army is an expression of commitment towards protecting modern Israel state.
  11. Since 2001, Masada has been counted as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
  12. On the western side of mountain, an audio-visual light show dramatizing Masada’s history is presented at the night time. Whereas, during winters there is no sound and light show.
  13. Two Mikvahs and Synagogue is considered as two most exciting sites that can be seen in Masada till today.
  14. Summers are usually hot, therefore visitors are not allowed to trek up the mountains during day time. However, it is advised that they can trek in the wee hours of the morning. Bottles of water and hat are two objects that are must to carry with themselves while trekking.
  15. Since 2007, a museum has been opened for the tourists showcasing detailed history of Masada along with some interesting artifacts.
  16. Masada is one of the most popular sites for dead sea tourists.

Masada is a site of fortifications and palaces located in Israel, near the Dead-Sea. It was considered as last stronghold, held by Jewish’s zealots. They refused to surrender to Roman Empire and preferred death to surrender. Now, Masada is well-recognized as tourists’ destinations visited by tourists from around the globe.

Different Kinds of Art

paradise of ducks

There are many different kinds of art. Some of the different kinds of art include original art, modern paintings, and art from the Impressionist era. Art that is original, by definition, is work that is one-of-a-kind and it can be any kind of art, not just a painting as long as it was created by the real artist himself or herself. Modern art is, by definition, art "of the present times." Finally, impressionist artwork is work in which the artist paints the picture as if he or she has just something very quickly. Art is one of the best ways to lose yourself in your thoughts, either when creating it or when viewing it.

Original art is the one-of-a-kind painting or work done by an artist. Original art is anything that is done by the artists themselves. Replicas of famous paintings like the Mona Lisa have been created, but it is easy for art connoisseurs to know what the real piece looks like. The best form of art is in its original form. Usually the original pieces of famous paintings can be found in museums all around the world. For example, the "Mona Lisa" is located at the Louvre in Paris, along with other Da Vinci works.

The contemporary art era is defined as any kind of modern art created from the 1900s to the present. This type of work wave artists the freedom to call almost anything art. It also created an escape from political and social turmoil through the ages. Some of the different categories of modern art include expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Contemporary artists include artists such as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, and Pablo Picasso, to name a few. Contemporary art sees to be a form that people either really love or really dislike. Probably the most interesting thing about contemporary art is that it can be anything. Before contemporary art, there were strict rules about what could and could not be art. After the modern art came along there were no boundaries anymore.

Surprisingly enough, impressionism is a form of contemporary art. Impressionist art is supposedly to be an image of something as if the person had just seen it briefly. It began in France, during the nineteenth century. Impressionist art features bright colors and scenes from outside. Impressionist art also focuses on real-life images and does not focus on the details of painting. Impressionist era painters include famous artists like Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

These kinds of art are only three of numerous different types of artwork. Original and contemporary art have only recently become popular, where impressionist art has been consistently popular ever since it's beginning in France. Anytime you are able to see great art by visiting a museum, you should take advantage of the opportunity. Viewing different kinds of art allows you to see what type of person you are. Creating art and viewing art are also great ways to lose yourself in your thoughts.

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.

The Merchant of Venice: Tragedy or Comedy

sulle tracce di Hemingway

Shakespeare’ the Merchant of Venice is one of his most famous dramas. However, while most of them can be classified as either tragedy or comedy easily, this one does not fit in a single category. The reason is that while there are comic events and elements in the drama, there are tragic ones too that sometimes reach the level of absolutely horrifying. At the core of the drama are three things. The first is the friendship between Antonio and Bassanio, the second is the romance between Bassanio and Portia and the third but the most important is the bond between Antonio and Shylock. Shylock is a greedy moneylender and a complicated villain. He shows mixed character traits and that’s why at some points while he appears a bad villain, at others he is plainly a business man who amuses by his talk and quotes. Still, if the drama gets so dark and tragic at points then it is because of his cunning and villainous attitude.

The romance between Bassanio and Portia are the comic parts of the drama and the bond between Antonio and Shylock the tragic part. Bassanio is a poor noble man who loves Portia and needs money to see her. However, he does not have enough money and Antonio’s ships are out at the sea. Due to this reason Antonio is forced to seek financial assistance from Shylock who lends at the condition that if Antonio fails he will have to forsake a pound of flesh from anywhere Shylock wills. The deadly bond is struck and gives rise to a series of tragic events. While Bassanio is gone to see Portia, Antonio’s ships get caught in a storm and do not return.

He is unable to pay the cruel Jew back and therefore is forced to fulfil the bond as cruel Shylock wants. Antonio writes to Bassanio and if he has forgotten his friend. He writes that he has failed to pay the Jew and will lose one pound of flesh as per the contract. Why Shylock is bent at killing Antonio is because he has offended the Jew in the past calling him a miser and greedy person. The Jews were not treated with respect in Venice and that made Shylock strike this plan of revenge. Antonio who used to be a proud business man is forced to bend before Shylock’s will. The situation is tragic not just for Antonio and Bassanio but for Portia too. Antonio has not been able to pay his loan and will have to let the Jew have his rightful share per the contract. Bassanio is unhappy because he believes he is the cause of all this. Portia is sad because she cannot see Bassanio unhappy.

However, tragedy rises to a point and then comic things happen in the drama. Portia is a witty young woman who finds a way to defeat Shylock. The contract mentions that he can have a pound of flesh but not a pint of blood from Antonio’s body. Shylock loses his case in the court and he is punished for plotting against an innocent Christian. He loses all his wealth and property to his daughter and Antonio. Even his daughter leaves him to marry a Christian. At last everyone except Shylock is left feeling happy. Shylock is left in a poor situation because of his evil plot to get revenge from Antonio. His evil plan results in nothing but insult and misery for the Jew.

Shakespeare has balanced comedy with tragedy in the drama. He has used both the elements in it to make it interesting and have a long-lasting flavour. The cunning heart of the Jew, the innocence of Antonio, the love and romance of Portia all make the drama engaging and interesting. So, to classify it as either a tragedy or comedy would be wrong. Shakespeare’s art has however, created a great balance between the two which has seen a lot of appreciation since the time it was written. Even in the character of Shylock one can find both of the elements and while his contract ad attitude towards the poor Christian businessman are horrible, at several points he is quite hilarious with his amusing style and talk.

Culture

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 01

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.