Van Helden’s Article “The Telescope In The Seventeenth Century” Sample Essay

The article “The Telescope in the Seventeenth Century” was written by Van Helden in 1974. The author discloses the science behind the invention of the telescope and how it affected humanity’s future and development. Van Helden (1974) argues that the telescope was invented in approximately the 1600s but became known to the general public in 1608 when a patent for this invention was approved by the government of Italy. Kepler’s publication of the book “Dioptrique” influenced the field of optics and presented the theoretical basis of image formation, which allowed Gallileo to construct better prototypes of a telescope. This paper will summarize the article by Van Helden and present the analysis of the author’s arguments.

The telescope introduced by Gallileo has been the preferred tool among the sky’s observers for many years, even though the option developed by Kepler would allow using measuring devices as well. However, Van Helen (1974) states that Kepler’s device would produce an inverted image, which would be a major disadvantage to the users in 1600. This is why this telescope was used primarily for the observation of objects on Earth. Moreover, the telescope also served as a measuring tool, allowing scientists to improve the accuracy of their calculations. Hence, one could measure a relatively accurate distance between two bodies, which was unprecedented before this invention (Van Helden 1974). In summary, in the article “The Telescope in the Seventeenth Century,” the author discusses the intricate details of how a telescope was invented and applied and how the different variations of telescopes developed by varied scientists affected the development of astronomy.

The main argument that the author presents in the article in question is the place of the telescope as an important scientific development of the seventeenth century. Van Helen (1974), however, acknowledges the speculative nature of his article, suggesting that some parts of it are based on his assumptions and conclusions and not empirical findings. Over the years, from the time when the first telescope was introduced, there were many improvements and modifications made by different scientists and enthusiasts, such as Gallileo or Descartes. They modified the shape and size of a telescope and its lenses to achieve a better image and view.

Additionally, the author implies that Gallileo, who is generally considered to be the original inventor of the telescope, may not be one as his invention followed the one patented in Italy in 1608. He discloses many other scientists who have worked on the development of a similar device. There were many obstacles to the development of a telescope, as in many cases, there were no theoretical foundations for building the improvements of this device. For instance, the understanding of chromatic aberration was necessary during the 1660s, while a theoretical paper on this subject was published only in 1672 (Van Helden 1974). Hence, in some instances, the scientists required the improvement of the theoretical understanding of optics to build a telescope that would correspond to the requirements.

Overall, this paper is an analysis and summary of Van Helden’s article “The Telescope in the Seventeenth Century,” published in 1974. In this work, the author discusses many details about how the telescope was invented and how it affected the sciences. The enthusiasts working on the development of telescopes were in a continuous search for a way to improve the devices, which pushed theoretical scientists toward the development of theories.


Van Helden, Albert. 1974. “The Telescope in the Seventeenth Century.” ISIS, 65(1): 38-58.

Applying The Sociological Imagination

Sociological imagination is a framework that helps individuals to connect their personal challenges or experiences to issues affecting the broader society. Most personal problems are not entirely attributable to personal matters but can also be influenced by social norms, culture, and habits. For example, an individual’s challenge in getting a job may not be due to a lack of knowledge and skills but rather to the increasing economic inequality within their society. Therefore, the sociological imagination enables individuals to see the affiliation between their own experiences and issues in the larger society within which they live (Mill 5). In this context, sociological imagination will be used to connect a peer’s personal troubles with a larger societal issue.

My cousin’s friend Carla has been struggling with obesity for over seven years. Due to her weight gain, she was constantly bullied in high school, which affected her performance and her social relationships. The constant bullying also made her lose her confidence and develop low self-esteem. As a result, even after high school, Carla barely attends any social events and still struggles to establish and maintain positive relationships with other people. She fears that people may stigmatize her due to her being overweight. In addition, obesity has also exposed Carla to several health complications. She has suffered from high blood pressure on several occasions and has recently developed some depressive symptoms due to social isolation and low self-esteem.

The conflict theory highlights that society will always be in conflict due to the never-ending competition for limited resources and power. The struggle for finite resources, in turn, results in social inequalities. According to Marx, “The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles” (74). This statement implies that the challenge of social inequality, which affects the current society, has existed even in previous societies.

Marx emphasizes that class antagonism developed during the social revolution due to conflicts between the bourgeoisie (owners of production means) and the proletariat (laborers). Class antagonism progressed throughout history, and it is the basis of unequal social structure in the world today. Some social problems like poverty result from a natural disparity in society. Therefore, no matter how the world evolves, there will always be differences in social classes.

Karl Marx’s conflict theory can be used to explain the connection between Carla’s obesity and issues of social structure. In this case, Carla’s obesity may not be due to personal problems but to her social class. Carla comes from a low-income background were obtaining a healthy diet is extremely expensive. Research has linked some cases of obesity to food insecurity (Adams 2). Due to financial challenges, Carla’s family has relied on less costly diets, mostly involving a lot of unhealthy junk food. In addition, most of the food stores in her neighborhood only supply lower quality and less healthy foods which the surrounding communities can afford.

As a result, it is rare to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables in nearby stalls. Likewise, the financial challenges may have hindered Carla from engaging in effective exercise to help in weight loss. In most cases, vigorous physical activities require equipment and facilities which are paid for. Therefore, Carla’s obesity may have been caused by financial constraints, which is a characteristic of the low-income class. The economic challenges may have prevented her from accessing healthy diets and engaging in vigorous exercise.

Works Cited

Adams, Jean. “Addressing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Obesity: Democratising Access to Resources for Achieving and Maintaining a Healthy Weight“. PLOS Medicine, vol. 17, no. 7, 2020, pp. 1-3. Web.

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. Yale University Press, 2012.

Mills, Wright C. The Sociological Imagination. Oxford University Press, 1959.

Equifax Case Study: Cybersecurity Measures


Ensuring the safety of the collected data is a considerable priority for numerous corporations. Large companies aiming to preserve the integrity of their knowledge often incorporate additional protection methods against potential hacking, cautiously guarding the personal data received from the customers. As is shown in the case of the Equifax breach, these measures are necessary precautions that should be implemented by any enterprises focused on clientele services and possessing sensitive knowledge. This case study discusses the events of the Equifax breach, identifying security and control weaknesses, factors that contributed to the development issues, and the overall impact of the incident, suggesting preventative measures for the future.

The Necessity to Strengthen Security and Control Processes: The Example of Equifax

Identify and describe the security and control weaknesses discussed in this case

The attack on the Equifax credit bureau, one of the most well-recognized repositories of personal information, has caused tremendous loss of data for millions of individuals. The leak was exposed in September 2017, when the enterprise reported unauthorized access to their storage systems that contained sensitive knowledge regarding the organization’s clients (Wang & Johnson, 2018). According to the official estimations, around 143 million US citizens were affected by the breach, as their names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses were revealed to the hackers (Wang & Johnson, 2018). This incident became significant proof of the weaknesses of the Equifax cybersecurity systems.

Technical errors and malfunctions in the protection processes established by Equifax were major issues that were not resolved in time, resulting in the breach event. Previously, hackers were able to acquire access to the company’s systems in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Another problem occurred in 2016 and 2017 prior to the discussed incident, when the storage units were attacked again. The presence of numerous technical deficiencies and recurring complications within the software signifies that Equifax databases were substantially weakened before the September 2017 attack, demonstrating the abundance of security malfunctions.

A control issue can be observed in the condition of interactive online systems, namely websites, applications, and other web services accessed by the users. Any resources created and maintained via the Internet require constant updates and problem management in order to uphold the appropriate level of security for customer data transmitted (DiGrazia, 2018). Nevertheless, several reports highlighted the improper state of these online services, which became vulnerable due to the outdated technical approach used. For instance, certificates on Equifax websites were proven to be expired and error-infested. Such negligence towards the condition of systems handling personal information was a considerable control risk that might have prompted the success of the September 2017 breach. Another complication is evident in the absence of response towards the cybersecurity issues highlighted by professionals. Although numerous attacks occurred in the previous years, multiple reports on the web-protection weaknesses were available, and a hazardous malfunction was observed prior to the incident, the company’s management heavily disregarded this information (Luszcz, 2018). The absence of cybersecurity standards and a failure to maintain necessary control over the online sources was a significant disadvantage for Equifax.

What management, organization, and technology factors contributed to these problems?

Even though the gaps in the areas of security and control have drastically increased the probability of a successful intrusion, particular elements of managerial, organizational, and technological strategies also promoted the possibility of unauthorized access. The management approach utilized by Equifax lacked sufficient planning and controlling, the factors that can improve the company’s performance in the area of cybersecurity (Luszcz, 2018). Although the enterprise’s executives stated that extensive resources were transferred to online protection, in reality, as is shown by numerous breaches, Equifax’s methods were considerably outdated. It is possible that the endeavors related to guarding personal data and managing the web services were not included in the organization’s management plans, contributing to the weak condition of the online systems.

Another remarkable complication refers to the topic of Equifax’s organizational structure, which might have lacked appropriate regulations regarding personal data handling. Any company is required to regulate its rules and responsibilities, including the principles of storing sensitive data and the duties related to customer information (Gao et al., 2021). Considering the firm’s lack of attention towards previous breaches, numerous cybersecurity reports, and the state of online protection, it could be proposed that the corporate regulations concerning the clientele data were exceptionally lenient. Furthermore, credit bureaus are not obligated to conduct system audits, technology checks, and security evaluations, which might influence the internal rules of data storage.

With the lack of external responsibility for the potential loss of information, Equifax faces minimal negative consequences and may thus neglect protection requirements and focus on other areas of development. This suggestion can be further corroborated by the company’s fierce methods of accumulating growth, directed towards purchasing useful data and expanding (Wang & Johnson, 2018). Therefore, such organizational factors as disregarded responsibility for information leaks, lack of external control, and the focus on rapid development may have procured the emergence of security issues.

Enhancing the enterprise’s technological capabilities is a vital task for its executives in the current age. To avoid the adverse ramifications of systems vulnerability, it is essential to maintain an up-to-date condition of the web services and online databases that transfer sensitive data. Nevertheless, Equifax demonstrated remarkable negligence towards implementing these preventative procedures, contributing to the rise of technological complications that weakened the company’s cyberspace. Such factors as focus on organizational expansion rather than technological improvements, absence of action regarding existent malfunctions, and ignorance of frequent information breaches established an environment suitable for unauthorized access to the enterprise’s database (Wang & Johnson, 2018). Furthermore, as the company used open-source materials to establish its cybersecurity measures, the risk of intrusion surged significantly (Luszcz, 2018). Although software derived from open source can yield exceptional benefits when applied and managed correctly, Equifax failed to adapt the software protection tools to avoid breach incidents.

The Effect Of Equifax Hack On Contemporary Cybersecurity

Discuss the impact of the Equifax hack

Given the scale of the Equifax corporation and the type of data leaked, the impact of the incident on the involved individuals’ lives and the sphere of information security is tremendous in size. First of all, it is necessary to consider the sensitive knowledge regarding the company’s clients impacted by the event. The majority of the customers were explicitly outraged by the breach of information, which revealed their names, Social Security numbers, addresses, and birth dates to the hackers (Gao et al., 2021). Given that this knowledge allows an individual to apply for a credit card, a bank loan, or a mortgage, personal accounts are now at risk of unauthorized use. Possessing such information constitutes identity theft and may result in significant debt and financial loss for the people affected (DiGrazia, 2018). Therefore, it is possible that the hackers now obtain a possibility to receive monetary funds on behalf of 143 million US citizens without their knowledge, which is a substantial risk.

After that, another consequence of the leak concerns the reputation of Equifax and the necessity to reimburse the clientele whose data was stolen. As millions of victims suffered the adverse ramifications of identity theft, settlement claims and lawsuits were filed against the credit bureau (Wang & Johnson, 2018). According to the statistics, personal information breaches can result in an average financial loss of approximately $1343, in addition to personal distress and elevated anxiety (DiGrazia, 2018). Furthermore, the firm’s stock value has plummeted after the announcement of the breach, decreasing 14% in only one day (BBC News, 2017). Nevertheless, these results have majorly affected the clientele and their perception of Equifax rather than the enterprise itself, which according to the legislation, faces minimal negative outcomes from the legal perspective.

Finally, a prominent result of the cybersecurity attack on Equifax is the awareness of information technologies (IT), web services protection, and the organization’s vulnerability. Multiple studies conducted after the incident reported that numerous corporations are inadequately ensured against potential hacking attempts, prompting the executives to implement additional strategies (Luszcz, 2018). Another prominent outcome is the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, aimed at improving the regulations regarding the firms’ responsibilities for their clientele’s information (Hedley & Jacobs, 2017). This act considers the weaknesses of the Equifax security approach and might increase the safety of sensitive knowledge in the future.

Considerations for Future Hack Protection

How can future data breaches like this one be prevented? Explain your answer

To avoid information leaks and unauthorized access to sensitive knowledge, it is essential to maintain an appropriate cybersecurity policy. First of all, such methods as IT innovations and consistent system updates have been proven to be highly prominent for both small and large-scale corporations (DiGrazia, 2018). After that, it is recommended to transfer additional resources into creating strong attack prevention systems, preferably with the help of cybersecurity professionals. However, as this strategy might be considerably costly, it is possible to enhance open-access sources, strengthening the applications used to achieve a lower possibility of a successful hack (Luszcz, 2018). Finally, incorporating numerous methods of protection is another crucial endeavor, especially beneficial for highly-developed corporations. Instead of implementing only one or two preventative strategies, it is necessary to include supplementary measures, such as double encryption or detecting suspicious internet traffic (Hedley & Jacobs, 2017). Although there still might be small weaknesses to be exploited, these techniques further decrease the probability of unauthorized access, gaining extra protection against hackers.


To conclude, the case of the Equifax breach in consideration of security and control deficits, factors contributing to the attack, and the event’s impact were discussed in detail in this paper. It is evident that the lack of an appropriate level of cybersecurity can become a remarkable issue for corporations handling their clients’ personal information. As the technology evolves, such security issues as breaches of information and cyberattacks become especially pertinent. Identifying possible weaknesses, such as inconsistent updates or invalid certificates, and eliminating them in a timely manner is a prominent strategy for maintaining a stable business. The Equifax leak of information demonstrates how crucial it is to identify managerial, organizational, and technological factors that might prompt future attacks, as the negative impact of a successful breach can be detrimental. Enterprises should uphold their cybersecurity measures and incorporate customer data safety into their corporate values, ensuring that numerous layers of protection are present.


Wang, P., & Johnson, C. (2018). Cybersecurity incident handling: A case study of the Equifax data breach. Issues In Information Systems, 19(3), 150-159. Web.

DiGrazia, K. (2018). Cyber insurance, data security, and blockchain in the wake of the Equifax breach. Journal of Business, 13(2), 255-277.

BBC News. (2017, September 8). Equifax slammed after major data breach. Web.

Gao, Y. (Lisa), Zhang, L., & Wei, W. (2021). The effect of perceived error stability, brand perception, and relationship norms on consumer reaction to data breaches. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 94. Web.

Hedley, D., & Jacobs, M. (2017). The shape of things to come: The Equifax breach, the GDPR and open-source security. Computer Fraud & Security, 2017(11), 5–7. Web.

Luszcz, J. (2018). Apache Struts 2: How technical and development gaps caused the Equifax Breach. Network Security, 2018(1), 5–8. Web.

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