Thursday, March 19, 2020
Strategic Management and Competitive Forces Essays Strategic Management and Competitive Forces Paper Strategic Management and Competitive Forces Paper COMPETITION IN THE GOLF INDUSTRY (WEEK 7) What is competition like in the golf equipment industry? What competitive forces seem to have the greatest effect on industry attractiveness? How is the golf equipment industry changing? What are the underlying drivers of change and how might those driving forces change the industry? What does your strategic group map of the golf equipment industry look like? Which strategic groups do you think are in the best positions? Which are in the worst positions? What recommendations would you make to Callaway Golf to improve the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s competitive position in the industry and its financial and market performance? NINTENDO (WEEK 7) What is competition like in the video game console industry? Do a five-forces analysis to support your answer. Which of the five competitive forces is strongest? Which is weakest? Would you characterize the overall strength of competition in video game consoles as fierce, strong, moderate to normal or weak? Why? What is NintendoÃ¢â¬â¢s strategy? Which of the five generic strategies discussed in Chapter 5 is Nintendo using? Is it fair to characterize NintendoÃ¢â¬â¢s introduction of the Wii as a blue ocean strategy? Why or why not? What recommendations would you make to Nintendo to improve its competitiveness in the video game console industry and to maintain its favorable positioning vis-a-vis Microsoft and Sony? GOOGLE (WEEK 8) Discuss competition in the search industry. Which of the fi ve competitive forces seem strongest? weakest? What is your assessment of overall industry attractiveness? What are the key factors that define success in the industry? What are the key competencies, capabilities, and resources of successful search engine companies? Have GoogleÃ¢â¬â¢s business model and strategy proven to be successful? What are the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s key resource strengths and competitive capabilities? What competitive liabilities and resource weaknesses does it have? What recommendations would you make to GoogleÃ¢â¬â¢s top-management team to sustain its competitive advantage in the search industry? How should it best capitalize on its strategic initiatives in mobile search, cloud computing, and its auctioning system for traditional media ads? RESEARCH IN MOTION (WEEK 8) What is competition like in the wireless phone industry? Which of the five Competitive forces is strongest? Which is weakest? What competitive forces seem to have the greatest effect on industry attractiveness? What strategic approach has Research in Motion chosen to employ in international markets? Would you characterize its strategy as a global strategy or a localized multicountry strategy? How has it utilized location to build competitive advantage? How important is it for Research in Motion to increase the size of its pool of software developers? What are the different options for substantially increasing its RD staff? Which option for increasing the number of software developers should Research in Motion pursue? Explain how your recommended course of action is consistent with Research in MotionÃ¢â¬â¢s resources, organizational capabilities, and management preferences. APPLE (WEEK 9) What are the chief elements of AppleÃ¢â¬â¢s overall competitive strategy? How well do the pieces fi t together? What does a competitive strength assessment reveal about AppleÃ¢â¬â¢s computer business, as compared to the leaders in the personal computer industry? Does it appear that the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s competitive positions in personal media players and smartphones or stronger or weaker than its position in computers? Does it make good strategic sense for Apple to be a competitor in the computer, personal media player, smartphone, and tablet computer industries? Are the value chain activities that Apple performs in computers, personal media players, tablet computers and smartphones very similar and Ã¢â¬Å"compatibleÃ¢â¬ or are there very important differences from product to product? What recommendations would you make to allow Apple to strengthen its position in its most important markets? KOMATSU (WEEK 9) Briefly identify the various strategies that Komatsu used in the different stages of their internationalization process. What were the implications for KomatsuÃ¢â¬â¢s management policies as they responded to changing domestic and global market conditions? To what extent the leadership and management of Komatsu responsible for its success or failures? Why? What strategic action should Komatsu take to bring back an sustain the leadership position of Komatsu? ADIDAS (WEEK 10) What is AdidasÃ¢â¬â¢ corporate strategy? Was there a common strategic approach utilized in managing the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s lineup of sporting goods businesses prior to its 2005-2006 restructuring? Has the corporate strategy changed with restructuring? What does a 9-cell industry attractiveness/ business strength matrix displaying AdidasÃ¢â¬â¢ business units look like? Does AdidasÃ¢â¬â¢ business line-up exhibit good strategic fit? What value-chain match-ups exists? What opportunities for skills transfer, cost sharing, or brand sharing are evident? Based on your analysis of adidas businesses, did the restructuring undertaken in 2005 and 2006 make sense? Does it appear the acquisition of Reebok International will produce higher returns for shareholders? PEPSICO (WEEK 10) What is PepsiCoÃ¢â¬â¢s corporate strategy? Briefly identify the business strategies that PepsiCo is using in each of its consumer business segments in 2008. What is your assessment of the long-term attractiveness of the industries represented in PepsiCoÃ¢â¬â¢s business portfolio? What is your assessment of the competitive strength of PepsiCoÃ¢â¬â¢s different business units? Does PepsiCoÃ¢â¬â¢s portfolio exhibit good strategic fit? What value-chain match-ups do you see? What opportunities for skills transfer, cost sharing, or brand sharing do you see? What strategic actions should Indra Nooyi take to sustain the corporationÃ¢â¬â¢s impressive financial and market performance?
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Major General John Newton in the Civil War Early Life Career Born at Norfolk, VA on August 25, 1822, John Newton was the son of Congressman Thomas Newton, Jr., who represented the city for thirty-one years, and his second wife Margaret Jordan Pool Newton.Ã After attending schools in Norfolk and receiving additional instruction in mathematics from a tutor, Newton elected to pursue a military career and obtained an appointment to West Point in 1838. Arriving at the academy, his classmates included William Rosecrans, James Longstreet, John Pope, Abner Doubleday, and D.H. Hill.Ã Graduating second in the Class of 1842, Newton accepted a commission in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Remaining at West Point, he taught engineering for three years with a focus on military architecture and fortification design. In 1846, Newton was assigned to construct fortifications along the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes. This saw him make various stops in Boston (Fort Warren), New London (Fort Trumbull), Michigan (Fort Wayne), as well as several locations in western New York (Forts Porter, Niagara, and Ontario).Ã Newton remained in this role despite the start of the Mexican-American War that year.Ã Antebellum Years Continuing to oversee these types of projects, Newton married Anna Morgan Starr of New London on October 24, 1848. The coupled would ultimately have 11 children. Four years later, he received a promotion to first lieutenant. Named to a board tasked with assessing the defenses on the Gulf Coast in 1856, he was promoted to captain on July 1 of that year. Heading south, Newton conducted surveys for harbor improvements in Florida and made recommendations for improving the lighthouses near Pensacola. He also served as superintending engineer for Forts Pulaski (GA) and Jackson (LA). Ã In 1858, Newton was made the chief engineer of the Utah Expedition. This saw him travel west with Colonel Albert S. Johnstons command as it sought to deal with rebellious Mormon settlers. Returning east, Newton received orders to serve as superintending engineer at Forts Delaware and Mifflin on the Delaware River. He also was tasked with improving the fortifications at Sandy Hook, NJ. As sectional tensions rose following the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860, he, like fellow Virginians George H. Thomas andÃ Philip St. George Cooke, decided to remain loyal to the Union. Ã The Civil War Begins Made Chief Engineer of the Department of Pennsylvania, Newton first saw combat during the Union victory at Hokes Run (VA) on July 2, 1861. After briefly serving asÃ Chief Engineer of the Department of the Shenandoah, he arrived in Washington, DC in August and aided in constructing defenses around the city and across the Potomac in Alexandria. Promoted to brigadier general on September 23, Newton moved to the infantry and assumed command of a brigade in the growing Army of the Potomac.Ã The following spring, after service in Major General Irvin McDowells I Corps, his men were ordered to join the newly-formed VI Corps in May. Moving south, Newton took part in Major General George B. McClellans ongoing Peninsula Campaign. Serving in Brigadier General Henry Slocums division, the brigade saw increased action in late June as General Robert E. Lee opened the Seven Days Battles. During the course of the fighting, Newton performed well at the Battles of Gaines Mill and Glendale.Ã With the failure of Union efforts on the Peninsula, VI Corps returned north to Washington before taking part in the Maryland Campaign that September. Going into action on September 14 at the Battle of South Mountain, Newton distinguished himself by personally leading a bayonet attack against a Confederate position at Cramptons Gap. Three days later, he returned to combat at the Battle of Antietam. For his performance in the fighting, he received a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel in the regular army. Later that fall, Newton was elevated to lead VI Corps Third Division.Ã Courting Controversy Newton was in this role when the army, with Major General Ambrose Burnside at the head, opened the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13.Ã Positioned towards the southern end of the Union line, VI Corps was largely idle during the fighting. One of several generals who was unhappy with Burnsides leadership, Newton traveled to Washington with one of his brigade commanders, Brigadier General John Cochrane, to voice his concerns to Lincoln. While not calling for his commanders removal, Newton commented that there was a want of confidence in General Burnsides military capacity and that the troops of my division and of the whole army had become entirely dispirited. His actions helped lead to Burnsides dismissal in January 1863 and Major General Joseph Hookers installation as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Promoted to major general on March 30, Newton led his division during the Chancellorsville Campaign that May.Ã Ã Ã Remaining at Fredericksburg while Hooker and the rest of the army moved west, Major General John Sedgwicks VI Corps attacked on May 3 with Newtons men seeing extensive action. Wounded in the fighting near Salem Church, he quickly recovered and remained with his division as the Gettysburg Campaign commenced that June. Reaching the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, Newton was ordered to assume command of I Corps whose commander, Major General John F. Reynolds, had been killed the previous day. Relieving Major General Abner Doubleday, Newton directed I Corps during the Union defense of Picketts Charge on July 3.Ã Retaining command of I Corps through the fall, he led it during the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns.Ã The spring of 1864 proved difficult for Newton as a reorganization of the Army of the Potomac led to I Corps being dissolved. Additionally, due to his role in Burnsides removal, Congress refused to confirm his promotion to major general. As a result, Newton reverted to brigadier general on April 18. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ordered West Sent west, Newton assumed command of a division in IV Corps.Ã Serving in Thomas Army of the Cumberland, he took part in Major General William T. Shermans advance on Atlanta. Seeing combat throughout the campaign at places such as Resaca and Kennesaw Mountain, Newtons division distinguished itself at Peachtree Creek on July 20 when it blocked multiple Confederate assaults.Ã Recognized for his role in the fighting, Newton continued to perform well through the fall of Atlanta in early September. With the end of the campaign, Newton received command of the District of KeyÃ West and Tortugas.Ã Establishing himself in this post, he was checked by Confederate forces at Natural Bridge in March 1865. Remaining in command for the rest of the war, Newton then held a series of administrative posts in Florida into 1866. Leaving the volunteer service in January 1866, he accepted a commission as a lieutenant colonel in the Corps of Engineers. Later Life Coming north in the spring of 1866, Newton spent the better part of the next two decades engaged in a variety of engineering and fortification projects in New York. On March 6, 1884, he was promoted to brigadier general and made Chief of Engineers, succeeding Brigadier General Horatio Wright.Ã In this post two years, he retired from the US Army on August 27, 1886. Remaining in New York, he served as Commissioner of Public Works of NewÃ York City until 1888 before becoming President of the Panama Railroad Company.Ã Newton died in New York City on May 1, 1895 and was buried at West Point National Cemetery.
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Application Report 2 - Essay Example In other words, if there is inflation and the price of commodities is high the Federal Reserve has to lower the interest rates to make the cost of living affordable and consequently ease on commodity prices. The reverse is also true, in that the Federal Reserve can increase interest rates to avoid inflation. In this case, the Federal Reserve is grappling with the issue of whether to increase interest rates at a time when the economy is falling apart. At this juncture, the Federal Reserve should not even think about increasing interest rates because the cost of living is already unbearable. Increasing the interest rate would only make the situation worse. This is because consumers would not be able to afford borrowing from the banks. High interest rates discourage people from borrowing from the bank. This is because the federal funds rate is also high too. The federal funds rate is the rate at which other banks borrow money from the federal bank (How Interest Rates affect the stock market, 2009). Therefore, increasing interest would not only affect customer borrowing but would also hurt the local banks that make money by lending loans to their customers. In addition, high interest rates would also mean higher mortgage payments. This is because the mortgage paid out by customers would go up because of high interest rates. Auto loans on the other hand would be expensive because of higher interest rates. The loan payments made every month are usually a product of interest rates and the principal amount therefore would go up as a result. The interest rates could also have some far-reaching implications when it comes to businesses, which are seeking to expand. High interest rates would discourage business from expanding due to unfavorable rates and this could have a ripple effect on the economy. This could have a negative effect on the economy as a whole. The stock market survival depends on perception. In a period when the interest rates investors, tend to be
Sunday, February 2, 2020
Personal statement, Career and Education - Essay Example I am attracted to the University of Las Vegas because of the faculty, the curriculum, and particularly because of the opportunities for hands-on training and education. Actually, I have been interested in the research and the application of scientific techniques to the health care field for many years. At Santa Ana College, for instance, I studied Pharmacy Technology in addition to focusing on chemistry and biology. Even before I decided to earn my degree in chemical engineering, I was interested in how my scientific background might be applied in the health care environment. My attractions to this field of study are essentially twofold. As an initial matter, I am fascinated by problem-solving projects. Using my theoretical knowledge to diagnose conditions and to resolve problems is an extraordinarily fulfilling task. Second, knowing that people would benefit medically from my research and work is also attractive. Ideally, I would like to use my education and training as a basis for further research. My goal is to become an expert in the field and to pursue advanced study. As mentioned before, I have a particular interest in research and development. I am interested in publishing and perhaps becoming an instructor in the future.
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Phaedo and the Qualities of Being Dead and Being Alive Dru EspinosaÃ In the dialogue, The Phaedo, Plato gives an account of the final moments of Socrates. Several arguments are presented and discussed. These arguments regard the immortality of the soul and reincarnation. In this essay I will present a brief summary of the dialogue, explain one of the arguments presented in it, and finally show why the argument fails to prove the notion of reincarnation. The Phaedo is a Socratic dialogue written by the philosopher Plato. The dialogue gives an account of the final hours of Socrates and his conversations from the viewpoint of a bystander. Several arguments are presented and discussed in The Phaedo, in addition to these a myth concerning the afterlife is presented by Socrates. The main arguments from The Phaedo are the argument from opposites, the argument from recollection, the argument from affinities, and a fourth argument concerning the difference between corporeal and incorporeal things. These arguments aim at proving the immortality of the soul, and also attempt to prove the Pythagorean conception of reincarnation. The myth presented near the closing of the dialogue concerns the terminus of the soul, which depends on how pure or corrupt it is at death. The dramatic death of Socrates concludes the dialogue. The argument from opposites claims that the soul is reincarnated. It lies on the principle that things transition from two opposites in a cycle. Before something becomes small, it was large, for it could not have been small before it became small. Moreover, if things only became smaller, and not larger, eventually everything would be miniscule. And if it was the other way around, where everything only became larger, and not smaller, everything would eventually be one thing, because everything would have joined together. If this were the case then we would notice that things only become smaller, shorter, or uglier, and never their opposites, or vice versa. Socrates shows that things do transition from two opposites, by referencing to observable examples. He contrasts this to death, and claims that there has to be a cycle of becoming alive and becoming dead, or else everything would become dead, or vice versa. The analogies that Socrates uses are applicable to every corporeal thing in the universe. Everything is either large or small, tall or short, etcetera. He claims that there is a process of becoming from its opposite (e.g. something becoming larger from being small), and that this process is cyclical. For if everything only became larger, but not smaller, then eventually everything would be conjoined together into one large thing. Consequently, if everything only became smaller, then eventually everything would be miniscule. Life and death, however, are not qualities in which everything is either one or the other. For to be dead it is necessary that the thing was once alive. Not everything in the universe was once alive, nor is currently alive. Thus, not everything is either dead or alive. This is how the qualities of being dead and being alive differ than the qualities of small and large. It follows then, since the process of becoming dead or alive is not applicable to everything, th at it cannot be said that all things would become one if all living things were to only die. Moreover, Socrates cannot point to any examples in which a soul comes back to life from death, as he can show something becoming short from its opposite. In this essay I have given a summary of the dialogue, explained the argument from opposites, and showed why it fails to prove the reincarnation of the soul. I have done this by showing that the qualities of living and being dead are different from other universal qualities in that they are only applicable to a small portion of the universe, and the consequent of this is that the universe would not become one, if things which were once alive never become alive again. I also showed that Socrates cannot reference an example of a soul switching between the opposites of life and death as he can other qualities. Therefore, the argument from opposites fails to prove the notion of reincarnation.
Friday, January 17, 2020
In Kurt VonnegutÃ¢â¬â¢s apocalyptic novel, CatÃ¢â¬â¢s Cradle, the end of the world has been realized. Plant life crunches underfoot, as though it has undergone a deep freeze. The tropical seas surrounding the fictional island of San Lorenzo have solidified, assuming a dull, frosted appearance. Grand waterfalls flowing from the majestic peak of Mount McCabe become lifeless. The once-scenic island horizon is transformed into a pale, sickly yellow. The introduction of ice-nine into the environment leads to radical weather patterns and global chaos. Ice-nine is a crystal form of water, much like standard ice, but with a melting point of 114.4 degrees Fahrenheit. When the compound makes contact with water, the liquid instantly freezes solid, turning a frosted blue. The novel begins with a brief but telling preface: Ã¢â¬Å"Live by the foma* that make you brave and kind and happy and healthyÃ¢â¬ (Vonnegut VII). Ã¢â¬Å"FomaÃ¢â¬ are defined as Ã¢â¬Å"harmless untruthsÃ¢â¬ (Vonneg ut VII). While this brisk preface may merely seem to be a comical play on the standard disclaimer found within most fictional novels and therefore hold little significance, it sheds considerable light on the murky relationships between truth and meaning, as well as science and religion. Each train of thought has its own way of understanding and explaining the jumbled universe humans inhabit, and each claims to possess a high degree of truth. It is in this vivid and terrifying landscape that Vonnegut conveys to the reader through humor and symbolism that pursuing truth, whether through religion, science, or other pathways, is not an inherently positive or beneficial and does not aid one in the search for meaning in life. For hundreds of years, science and religion have been at odds. From the execution of the Greek philosopher Socrates to the Renaissance in Europe to modern times, the two opposing forces have always had an abrasive relationship. The beginning of the Enlightenment movement in Europe in the early 17th century marked a turn toward science, knowledge, and reasoning. It is from this era that modern society derives the notion that truth, along with the quest for it, is intrinsically constructive for humanity, along with the belief that lies are detrimental to the cause. In CatÃ¢â¬â¢s Cradle, this is shown not to be the case. At the General Forge and Foundry, scientists and researchers work tirelessly Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ËÃ¢â¬ ¦to increase knowledge, toÃ work toward no end but thatÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬ (Vonnegut 41). It is here that Felix Hoenikker, the father of the atom bomb and of ice-nine and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (a prime example of VonnegutÃ¢â¬â¢s trademark humor), spends the final twenty-eight years of his life toiling away in the confines of his lab. Felix is a very childlike character, incapable of caring for himself and struggling with interpersonal interactions. Following the death of his wife Emily while in labor with Newt, his daughter Angela assumes the maternal position of the disjointed household due to FelixÃ¢â¬â¢s childlike nature. She forgoes any social interaction with peers in order to hold the family together. Frank Hoenikker, the middle child, follows suit, becoming an antisocial figure in the book. He becomes known as Ã¢â¬Å"secret agent X-9Ã¢â¬ on account of his perpetual business-like demeanor. Felix neglects his parental duties, opting instead to spend time on research and scientific pursuits. John Tomedi views the scientist symbolically: Ã¢â¬Å"Hoenikker serves as a symbol of scientific irresponsibility, a man so withdrawn from humanity and so focused on childish play with nature that he has no perspective on the effects of his crea tions and a total apathy for theirs usesÃ¢â¬ (Tomedi 41). As a direct result of FelixÃ¢â¬â¢s actions, his children suffer from the lack of true parental figures. The Hoenikker children can be considered casualties of science and truth. It is at the General Forge and Foundry that two major scientific advancements are made: the nuclear bomb and ice-nine. While both represent cutting-edge scientific knowledge, the culmination of countless hours of research and development, neither invention represents the progression of humanity. As Vonnegut himself says, Ã¢â¬Å"ItÃ¢â¬â¢s a law of life that if you turn up something that can be used violently, it will be used violentlyÃ¢â¬ (Allen 97). The atom bomb leads to the death of tens of thousands in the events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while ice-nine leads to the destruction of the entire world. The destructive nature of ice-nine and the atom bomb, inventions that were fostered by science, is in direct contradiction to the concept that science and knowledge benefit humankind due purely to their foundation in truth. Following the ice-nine catastrophe, John, the narrator and protagonist, finds himself in an underground fallout shelter with another resident of the island. John offers to share with her Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ËOne of the secrets of life man was aÃ long time understanding: Animals breathe in what animals breathe out, and vice versaÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬ (Vonnegut 268). One with basic knowledge of science would immediately notice an error in the writing. The text should read something to the effect of Ã¢â¬Å"animals breathe in what plants breathe out.Ã¢â¬ This inconsequential error proves VonnegutÃ¢â¬â¢s point: the truth is irrelevant. The misinformation changes nothing. This Ã¢â¬Å"factoidÃ¢â¬ proves useless, not due to its false nature, but rather to its real world application, or lack thereof. One Another parallel experience occurs at the bar in the town of Ilium. While John is enjoying a drink, he poses a question: Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ËWhat is the secret of life?Ã¢â¬â¢ I asked. Ã¢â¬ËI forge t,Ã¢â¬â¢ said Sandra. Ã¢â¬ËProtein,Ã¢â¬â¢ the bartender declared. Ã¢â¬ËThey found out something about proteinÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬ (Vonnegut 25). Again, this piece of information has little relevance in the real world. It is not going to improve humanity or save oneÃ¢â¬â¢s life. It is merely a fact to satisfy oneÃ¢â¬â¢s curiosity. Vonnegut also uses humor to prove his point: Ã¢â¬Å"How can anybody in his right mind be against science?Ã¢â¬â¢ asked Crosby. Ã¢â¬ËIÃ¢â¬â¢d be dead right now if it wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t for penicillin,Ã¢â¬â¢ said Hazel. Ã¢â¬ËAnd so would my mother.Ã¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬ËHow old is your mother?Ã¢â¬â¢ I inquired. Ã¢â¬ËA hundred and six. IsnÃ¢â¬â¢t that wonderful?Ã¢â¬â¢ (Vonnegut 234). The use of the word Ã¢â¬Å"wonderfulÃ¢â¬ is questionable. A long life does not equate to a quality one. Science, being founded on truth and knowledge, does not benefit humanity. On the tropical island of San Lorenzo, the denizens of the country would be faced with t he depressing truth if it were not for the deliberate lies of Bokononism. In 1922, two friends, Lionel Boyd Johnson and Earl McCabe, shipwreck on the island shortly after setting sail. The state of the nation is so poor, no one attempts to prevent the foreigners from taking power. Initially, the duo resorts to a form of communism. They amass the entire wealth of the nation and divide it equally among its many residents. Each islanderÃ¢â¬â¢s share amounts to approximately six dollars. Realizing the futility of their efforts to advance the island economically, they turn to another solution: religion. Johnson devises his own religion, which becomes known as Bokononism. To add some zest to the monotonous life on the island, the partners develop roles to fulfill in a sort of play. Johnson becomes known as Bokonon, while McCabe becomes a violent dictator whose sole mission is to capture and kill Bokonon. This drama contributes greatly to the popularity of the religion, thus benefitting the island population. The islanders are subject to substandardÃ living conditions: poverty, pestilence, and famine are prevalent. The island lacks the necessary resources to develop. They face a bleak and hopeless future. Rather than facing the reality of day-to-day life, they adopt the fabricated religion of Bokononism: Ã¢â¬ ¦when it became evident that no government or economic reform was going to make the people much less miserable, the religion became the one real instrument of hope. Truth was the enemy of the people, because the truth was so terrible, so Bokonon made it his business to provide the people with better and better lies. (Vonnegut 172) Following a similar form to the beginning of the actual novel, the Books of Bokonon, the religionÃ¢â¬â¢s equivalence to the Bible, warns the reader: Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ËDonÃ¢â¬â¢t be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!Ã¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬ (Vonnegut 265). This line establishes the illegitimate nature of the Books of Bokonon, and, subsequently, the religion of Bokononism in its entirety. The lack of truth is beneficial because Ã¢â¬Å"When people believe that they have the Ã¢â¬ËTruth,Ã¢â¬â¢ they seek to impose their beliefs on others, and religious wars are the inevitable result. The highest truth in BokononÃ¢â¬â¢s religion is that all spiritual truths are actually useful fictions, creations of the imagination that do not exist outside of the human mind. The meaning of life is not something we can discover in the outside world. We must create it for ourselvesÃ¢â¬ (Marvin 89). The religion is openly founded on falsehoods. In spite of this, the residents of San Lore nzo experience a real, tangible benefit. The stark reality of life on the barren island is too much to bear; therefore, Bokonon feeds the residents compounding lies. Bokononism proves more beneficial to the residents of San Lorenzo than the alternative: science. Though at its foundation Bokononism is series of untruths, that fact does not limit the religion in its ability to aid those in need. Vonnegut portrays all religions as unreliable texts despite claims to the contrary. The islandÃ¢â¬â¢s dictatorial president, Papa Monzano, is dying a miserable death from cancer. As his death nears, Papa undergoes his last rites with the aid of a Ã¢â¬ ¦Christian minister, who was ready to take care of Ã¢â¬Å"PapaÃ¢â¬â¢sÃ¢â¬ spiritual needs as they arose. He had a brass dinner bell and a hatbox with holes drilled in it, and a Bible, and a butcher knife- all laid out on the bench beside him. He told me there was a live chicken in the hatbox. The chicken was quiet, he said, because he had fed itÃ tranquilizersÃ¢â¬ ¦ He turned out to be an intelligent man. His doctorate, which he invited me to examine, was awarded by the Western Hemisphere University of the Bible of Little Rock, ArkansasÃ¢â¬ ¦ He had said that he had had to feel his way along with Christianity, since Catholicism and Protestantism had been outlawed along with Bokononism. Ã¢â¬Å"So, if I am to be a Christian un der those conditions, I have to make up a lot of new stuff.Ã¢â¬ (Vonnegut 214) Much like Bokonon, the Christian minister fabricates new aspects of the religion to suit his needs. Ã Daniel Minguez offers a thorough inspection: Ã¢â¬Å"This examination implies that one may rely upon an iteration of Christianity with the same confidence of its truth as one may rely upon their own guesswork at the workings of the universeÃ¢â¬ ¦ It shows that Christianity is just as effective without the accepted dogma of the Catholic or Protestant church and renders the text as inconsequential to the enactment of Christianity itselfÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ (Minguez 9) The Christian minister offers a distorted and absurd version of the religion. He makes additions to the religion with little regard for its supposed sanctity despite having been well educated. By doing so, he strips Christianity, in addition to all religion, of its credibility. Religion and science are used as vehicles to pursue a deeper question regarding humanity: what is the purpose of life? The world inhabited by humans is mysterious, unpredictable, and ultimately meaningless. The characters in CatÃ¢â¬â¢s Cradle are in search of purpose and meaning. In an attempt to find such, they supplement religion and science for true understanding. Bokononism and science strive to create meaning and purpose for the lives their followers. Bokononists believe Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦that humanity is organized into teams, teams that do GodÃ¢â¬â¢s Will without ever discovering what they are doing. Such a team is called a karassÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ (Vonnegut 2). This is the stated purpose of Bokononism: to carry out GodÃ¢â¬â¢s will. Though Bokononism does not explicitly condemn the attempt to understand God, it merely states that Ã¢â¬Å"such investigations are bound to be incompleteÃ¢â¬ (Vonnegut 4). One cannot understand or comprehend God: I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be. And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me,Ã Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢m sorry, but I never could read one of those things.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Give it to your husband or your minister to pass it on to God,Ã¢â¬ I said, Ã¢â¬Å"and, when God finds a minute, IÃ¢â¬â¢m sure heÃ¢â¬â¢ll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you could understand.Ã¢â¬ She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed. She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing. (Vonnegut 4) This does little to satisfy m anÃ¢â¬â¢s natural desire to know and understand his environment because Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦any invented sense-making system is continually disproved by manÃ¢â¬â¢s immediate experience of the world, and the arbitrariness of events perpetually defeats any system of alleged causalitiesÃ¢â¬ (Bloom 91). Man must learn to accept such a situation: Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, Ã¢â¬Å"Why, why, why?Ã¢â¬ Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand. (Vonnegut 182) In manÃ¢â¬â¢s attempt to create meaning, he may weave fiction to appease his desire for purpose, though such systems are deemed invalid. It is manÃ¢â¬â¢s responsibility to forge purpose and meaning for oneÃ¢â¬â¢s existence. VonnegutÃ¢â¬â¢s writings in CatÃ¢â¬â¢s Cradle show that truth is not innately positive, and that lies are the opposite. Science, sharing an intimate relation to truth and knowledge, is the source of significant regression and damage to humanity in the form of the nuclear bomb and ice-nine. The atom bomb produces suffering, death, and environmental damage on an unprecedented scale, while ice-nine utterly annihilates all life on the planet. On the other hand, the fabricated religion of Bokononism, while founded on falsehoods, brings hope to the otherwise hopeless. It creates a veil to mask the otherwise unavoidable reality of life on the barren island of San Lorenzo. Bokononism and science are used by their followers to create meaning and purpose in their lives. This leads to the final conclusion that it is ultimately up to man to create meaning for an otherwise meaningless existence. Works Cited Allen, William R., ed. Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 2001. Print. Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Interpretations: Kurt VonnegutÃ¢â¬â¢s CatÃ¢â¬â¢s Cradle. Broomall: Haights Cross Communications, 2002. Print. Marvin, Thomas F. Kurt Vonnegut: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood, 2002. Print. Minguez, Daniel. Ã¢â¬Å"CatÃ¢â¬â¢s Cradle: The Apocalypse of Human Thought.Ã¢â¬ OxyScholar. Occidental College, 1 Apr. 2009. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. Tomedi, John. Great Writers: Kurt Vonnegut. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004. Print.
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Donald E. Crawford U.S History June 10, 2009 The Attacks of the World Trade Centers Over 200,000 tons of steel, 425,000 cubic yards of concrete, a total of 10,000 workers and 7 years, 2 buildings were created known as the World Trade Centers. It s more than its signature twin towers: it was a complex of seven buildings on 16-acres with its own zip code (10048). The construction of the buildings began in 1966 and was completed in April 1973, with the North tower opening 2 years prior of the South. They both consist of 110 floors, and were ranked as the tallest buildings in the world until the Sears Towers was built in 1974. The towers were built downtown-lower Manhattan Development Association by Chase Manhattan Bank chairman DavidÃ¢â¬ ¦show more contentÃ¢â¬ ¦Although the 106th floor wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t hit, everyone above that floor was also killed, due to the fact that their escape routes were cut off by fire. Most people jumped out the windows because there was nothing else to do nor was there anywhere to go. After witnessing th e plane hit the first tower, people in the second tower began to fear for their lives and try to escape, but they were told to stay at their desks thinking that their building wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t be Williams 4 attacked, but little did they know moments later they were hit. Although the North Tower was hit first, the South Tower had collapsed less than in hour later, due to the fact that it was hit lower. All firefighters, soldiers, police officers and everyone else who was trying to escape were crushed. Exactly 29 minutes later, the North Tower joined its twin as it crashed onto the ground killing hundreds and thousands of people that was in and around both towers. People on the ground were running for their lives as clouds of debris and smoke covered the streets of lower Manhattan. Due to the fact that the Twin Towers was big, no one really knows exactly how many people were dead, but they were able to estimate that about 2,985 people were dead or missing, including the 19 hijackers. The North Tower has been estimated to have killed almost 1,402 people, and the South 614 people. There were mostly people between the ages of 35 and 39 thatShow MoreRelatedThe Twin Towers908 Words Ã |Ã 4 PagesThe twin towers was a beautiful building that for people to live in. Until September 2011 when terrorists came and blew it up and then thousands of people died and families lost their loved ones in that blow up and now they know they will not get them back again. This is a day that no-one and the world will never forget because what happened there was terrible and horrific. On that day there were a lot of heroes that some people did not know that helped them. Tis attack shocked a lot of people becauseRead MoreThe Construction Of The Twin Towers1407 Words Ã |Ã 6 PagesThe Construction of the Twin Towers Ã£â¬â¬Ã£â¬â¬Ã£â¬â¬ Foundation system Ã£â¬â¬Ã£â¬â¬Ã£â¬â¬ Ã£â¬â¬Ã£â¬â¬Ã£â¬â¬In the beginning of the project, the surveying team discovered a steep limestone cliff beneath the surface of the original site for the Petronas Twin Towers.This would cause failure to the foundation resulting on a higher cost and the need for exceptional experts to build the foundation as planned. It alarmed the whole construction team to come up with a whole new strategy to overcome the problem which ended up with the movement ofRead MoreThe On The Twin Towers1634 Words Ã |Ã 7 PagesOne of the most photographed, videoed and telecast events in human history(QUOTE), the attacks of September 11 (9/11/2001) on the Twin Towers, provide a case study for the power of an image, in this case, an image of disaster. 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