9/30 課堂筆記 Occupy Wall Street

Participants: Amy, Maggie, Fanny, Stacy, Angela

Final Statements:
After I read their stories, I was so shocked by the real situation in the US right now. And I realized that how large an impact government policies have, every policy, including economic policy and tax policy and so on. So I think for the government, they have a responsibily to allow people to cleary and easily know what they are doing right now, and every policy they take, the have the responsibility to let people know the pros and cons of these policies. Before, I didn't care so much about politics, I thought I didn't want to waste my time seeing these people doing stupid things. But now I think if I don't care about those issues now, maybe I will have no idea how it will be in the future, and why this bad future will have happened. So that's what I found out tonight.

9/30 任重道遠 Occupy Wall Street

Okay, I've changed our topic tonight, because there's something really important going on in the US right now. We had the 'Arab Spring', and now we're having the 'American Fall'. This is really worth talking about, especially on the heels of our economic discussions. They are so inspiring!

Occupywallst.org

Longer video explaining the situation from occupytogether.org:


9/16 課堂筆記 Writing Exercise Changes Perception

Closing Statements from Writing Exercise Changes Perception discussion:

I think we are all struggling with this stereotype in this society. And I realized all of us are being affected by others expectation or others behavior or words. Therefore, i'm thinking we need to say good for others, do good for others, because any words we say, and any behavior we do, will make a huge impact on others, and we'll never know our effect.
And besides, even though it's hard to live without using stereotypes, but we still have to try to be ourselves.

I would say, and let other people be themselves, too. I think that it's harder. I think it's really hard to remember that the person across from you has all their layers of experience and ideas and things.

After today's discussion, I'm reminded that stereotypes are closely related to what we were talking about a few weeks ago, with normal, and not-normal. Behavior matching stereotypes is "normal", so if you break the stereotype, then you're not normal, and that's weird.

Well, I think stereotype is a kind of predjudice, just like I said about the autistic person, what comes in our mind is a man or a boy.

I just realized, helping people is not just letting them be who they are, but actively figuring out ways to help them, like having women or black people write about their values in class, so that it helps them fight stereotype threat.

You know, how do we help children build their values?

Say good things to them?

That's one way.

Or give them more choices.

I think you ahve to actively support that their judgement is correct.

You know, we say good things about kids all the time, we praise them about everything, but we do it wrong, what we do doesn't help. We have to praise them in a useful way.

Yeah, like only when they've done something worth praising, not like "wow, you caught the ball!" when they like catch a ball all the time. And give them real critique when something could be improved.

I think the point is, you take them seriously, like an adult person, not treat them like some weird small being that has to be managed, like a pet or something.

9/16 (五) Writing Exercise Changes Perceptions

1. What is a stereotype?
2. What are stereotypes of Taiwanese as a group?
3. Are you personally different from these stereotypes? How are you different?
4. What are stereotypes of women as a group?
5. Are you personally different from these stereotypes? How are you different?

6. What stereotypical groups have you been placed into?
(ex: woman, girl, intelligent/nerd, white, tall, artistic, american, midwesterner, foreigner)

7. Have you ever been told you're not as good as other people? What part of you were they talking about? How did it make you feel?

9/9 課堂筆記 Political Compass

Participants:  Amy, Fanny, Allie, Stacy, Angela

We all discussed each question together, but scored our tests separately.   Here are our results:



You can read the Political Compass explanation of their graph here.

9/9 The Political Compass

Ok, so this week we're going to do an experiment. We're going to take the Political Compass test together, as a class, to see where we as a group fall on the political spectrum.

The Political Compass is a bi-directional graph. One axis measures where power in society should lie, from Libertarian (the Individual is more important than the State) to Authoritarian (the State is more important than the Individual).

The other axis measures how our economic life should be organized, from Left (collective economics) to Right (totally unregulated capitalist markets).

You can read the Political Compass explanation of their graph here.

9/2 課堂筆記 The Apple Discussion

To see the essay produced from this discussion, "Apple Economics" (with illustrations!), go here.

We're discussing Darius Guppy's article in the Telegraph, called Growth: It Ain't Happening.
For the actual discussion we used a summary of the article, found here.

Summary of last week's article, Our World Balances on a Sea of Debt.
Our economy is a fraud. The banks are lending out money that doesn't exist, (the so-called fractional reserve lending), in a bizarre virtual economy.
The exponentially growing virtual economy is forcing the real economy to grow in ways our world can't support. We have to work so hard to increase productivity in order to allow the real world value catch up with virtual value, which is important so that we can avoid inflation. Inflation means that the value of everyone's money would decrease.

So how does inflation work, really?

The apple model, to explain inflation:
Imagine that there are 5 apples on the table, and there are 5 people sitting around the table. If each person around the table has 1 coin, then the way our economy works, each apple will cost 1 coin. If each of us had 2 coins, the apples would cost two coins each. If there were 10 apples, each apple would cost half a coin, or you could buy two apples for one coin.

The apple model, to explain the problem with banking:
Now, if there were a 6th person at the table (a bank), and that person had 25 coins, and the rest of us at the table only had one coin each, then there would be totally 30 coins in the system, and so each apple would then cost 6 coins, because of the total amount of money in the system is 30 coins, and there are only 5 apples. So the cost of the apples rises.