“Small Change” And “The Facebook Dilemma “ Comparison Free Essay

In his thought-provoking article titled “Small Change,” printed in The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell posits that social web platforms do not profoundly transform the nature of societal revolutions. Citing civil rights struggles that started in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Gladwell proves that real-time, online media is not an indispensable aspect in organizing and implementing a far-reaching revolution. He asserts that online media such as Twitter and Facebook enhance only connectivity (Gladwell). Similarly, the documentary titled The Facebook Dilemma presents exhaustive investigations of Facebook’s effect on user privacy and democracy in the United States and beyond. Using rare footage and original interviews, the two-phased television episode cautions the company to emphasize its core intended purpose. The use of new online media channels neither precludes nor necessitates social activism as depicted in Gladwell’s critique and the documentary.

Gladwell’s article provides deep insights into the impact of using modern technology such as social media to initiate real revolution and deconstructs the theme of social activism and online media. In efforts to attain change, channels such as Facebook and Twitter only draw people who have little attachment and cannot strongly champion the common course compared with the physical engagement seen in the Greensboro struggle. From his perspective, he notes that such channels only help to mobilize differently in a way that might not result in drastic activism. Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms enable networking in a manner that is opposite in character and structure. Contrarily, the documentary reveals how Facebook has been exploited by various factions in society to successfully propagate activism, misinformation, and other unethical acts. In a mind-boggling revelation, Facebook and other popular social networking platforms have gradually replaced the old order of activism evidenced by sheer success in civil rights movements and other social change protests witnessed across the world in recent times.

Further, Gladwell’s write-up asserts that social media can facilitate and accomplish changes with lesser ramifications unlike those attained through the physical organization. The overall reflection portrays a stance that real activism cannot happen on the Internet. On the contrary, The Facebook Dilemma highlights how real change can happen through new social web tools. For instance, the analysis of Iran protests and the Arab uprising, especially in Egypt, and Tunisia, affirms that online media is useful in mobilizing and accomplishing real change. Twitter provided a platform that expanded, encouraged, fuelled, and communicated ideas in the same way as television did during the Civil Rights period. Therefore, this indicates that social change can successfully occur online just as it happened in the pre-Internet days.

In addition, both the article and documentary underpin the role of social networking platforms in enhancing global connections. Facebook had the main focus of creating a connected and more open world. However, this vision has been distorted, and the firm has failed to protect users’ data. It has also witnessed unprecedented proliferation and dissemination of fake news coupled with calls of democracy meddling across the globe. The misinformation, propaganda, and little user privacy have been exploited by unscrupulous players to attain desired interest (Lowry). The documentary does not present simple answers to the problems Facebook faces but provides sobering insights that pointedly framed real issues at hand and focus on the high stakes involved.

In conclusion, the paper emphatically compares Gladwell’s article and the documentary The Facebook Dilemma about the role of new online media channels in social change. Irrespective of some differences between the two sources, both affirm the idea that in the current technological era, proclaiming that change meaningful change cannot be championed and realized through available online channels seems perplexing. As discussed above, some countries partly employed and executed their revolution through social media, eventually leading to the toppling of the dictatorial regimes.

References

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change: Why The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” The New Yorker, 2010. Web.

Lowry, Brian. “The Facebook Dilemma, Tackles ‘Slow’ Response to Bad Things” CNN, 2018. Web.

“The Physician” Film And Narrative Tradition Of “The Epic Of Gilgamesh”

Introduction

The Physician is a German movie released in 2013, based on a historical novel by an American novelist Noah Gordon. The movie’s plot is about a man whose mother died from sickness during his childhood, and he vows to travel the world to study medicine. The plot essentially repeats the argumentative tradition of The Epic of Gilgamesh. The resemblance is found in the story’s narration, the characters’ roles, the themes, and the moral lesson.

Main body

Both Robert, the main character of The Physician, and Gilgamesh are gifted with extraordinary powers, stated at the beginning of both stories. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh befriends Enkidu, who was sent to slay Gilgamesh but then later becomes civilized. However, gods decide to sentence Enkidu to death: “The day he had the dream [his strength] was exhausted, / Enkidu was cast down, he lay one day sick [and then a second]” (The Epic of Gilgamesh, 2100 BC/2000). In The Physician, Robert loses his mother, who dies from sickness. At the same time, Robert possesses an ability to sense people’s terminal illnesses, much like Gilgamesh’s superhuman strength; both of the characters fail to protect their close ones. In other words, despite being favored by gods and envied by other mortals, the stories encapsulate how the mere presence of supernatural powers is not enough without the knowledge.

Enkidu dies because of sickness, and Gilgamesh’s grief pushes him on a journey to discover the secret to immortality. Robert’s mother dies at the beginning of the movie, becoming the motivation for Robert to pursue his goal to possess the knowledge of medicine. In that sense, her character archetype resembles Enkidu’s because their death initiates the character development of Gilgamesh and Robert. The act of journey symbolizes the life path and endless strive for knowledge in the name of love. Essentially, the tradition of this narrative reflects the desire of humanity for the immortality of themselves and their loved ones. The physical journey juxtaposes with the mental journey the characters go through; the audience sees the characters’ development as they travel across the world, savoring new experiences from different backgrounds. Abusch (2015) explains how the epic touches the subject of human drive: “the value of friendship,” “the experience of loss,” “the inevitability of death” (p. 127). The Physician adopts the canons of storytelling and explores the themes of human nature through the symbolism of a journey, much like Gilgamesh’s path.

Even though the stories end somewhat differently, there is a certain level of similarity between them. Gilgamesh failed his mission to obtain immortality, and he returned to his city, where he died. Robert manages to acquire the skill of performing an appendectomy, the talent that could have saved his mother’s life, and returns to Europe. However, neither of the heroes could bring their loved ones from the Underworld. The theme of continuity of life and the frailty of humanity in the eyes of the divine appears at the beginning of the stories and resurfaces as a moral lesson at the end. Despite that Robert stayed true to his vow and fulfilled his aim, it does not erase the grief from the loss he experienced.

Conclusion

In conclusion, The Physician honors the tradition of a linear narrative and the theme of humanity’s desire for knowledge. Robert, blessed with the divine power, and doomed by the fate of all mortals, has to overcome the journey to come out as a better man. Gilgamesh, unlearning the ways of tyranny from Enkidu, also becomes a better hero. Therefore, by employing specific characteristics of the classical epic storytelling, The Physician manages to stay both unique and familiar to the audience.

References

Abusch, T. (2015). “The development and meaning of The Epic of Gilgamesh: An interpretive essay.” Male and Female in the Epic of Gilgamesh, 127–143. Web.

The epic of Gilgamesh (A. George, Trans.). (2100 BC). Penguin Books. (2000).

Structural Humiliation: The Term Definition

Humiliation can be exercised through wide range of possible acts, such as denigration of a child by a teacher in the presence of other students or mild forms of humiliation, for instance, speaking for those who can speak for themselves (Sayer, 2005, p. 161). The same author mentions a special type of humiliation, structural humiliation, which he explains by the presence of disparities of wealth, coupled with particular types of advertisements that humiliate the poor (Sayer, 2005, p. 161). It is necessary to mention that the term “structural humiliation” was introduced by Braithwaite, who mentioned financial inequality, “inequality of political power, racism, ageism, and patriarchy” as the factors that created “inegalitarian societies”, which were humiliating for citizens (Schlegel & Weisburd 6). Such societies as racist, sexist, ageist societies can be characterized by corresponding categories of structural inequality.

The present paper analyses two cases that will show that structural humiliation can be a factor that engenders different types of crimes, white-collar crimes and street crimes included. The example of a white-collar crime caused by structural humiliation can be a cause célèbre of Enron. Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, the chief executives of Enron were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy (Barrionuevo, 2006, para. 1). The leading societal position of these people created their impression that power and exploitation were legitimate and this factor caused the crime (Schlegel & Weisburg, 1994, p. 6.).

As for an example of street crime caused by structural humiliation, an example of a crime caused by structural humiliation engendered by racism can be set. Let it be the case in Los Angeles where a gunman shot two people near a synagogue (The Associated Press, 2009, para. 1). There were no other motives of crime except racial prejudices.

Thus, the present paper shows that structural humiliation can be a cause of crimes. It can engender white-collar crimes and street crimes as well. Thus, measures should be taken to eliminate structural humiliation in contemporary society thus establishing peace in it.

Reference List

Barrionuevo, A. (2006). Two Enron Chiefs Are Convicted in Fraud and Conspiracy Trial. New York Times. Web.

Sayer, R.A. (2005). The Moral Significance of Class. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Schlegel, K., & Weisburd D. (1994). White-Collar Crime Reconsidered. USA: UPNE.

The Associated Press. (2009). 2 People Shot at Los Angeles Synagogue; Police Probing as Hate Crime. New York Daily News. Web.

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