Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz, the co-developer of RSS and Reddit, committed suicide in his apartment. Aaron was known as an internet prodigy as well as an activist, which got him into legal trouble. “In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers. He was later indicted in an incident in which he allegedly stole millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”( Martinez, M. (March, 2013 07). Internet prodigy, activist aaron swartz commits suicide. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/12/us/new-york-reddit-founder-suicide/)
“Swartz’s family called his death “the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.” They criticized U.S. prosecutors for seeking “an exceptionally harsh array of charges (for) an alleged crime that had no victims,” and MIT because it did not “stand up for Aaron.””(Martinez, March) In simpler words, Swartz’s family believes federal prosecutors and MIT contributed to his death. Another factor that could have been the cause of his death is his ongoing suffering from depression, which he publicly shared on his blog. Having suffered for so long, put him at a high risk for suicide. “The U.S. intellectual property law refers to creations of the mind, meaning inventions, artistic work, designs and so on”(What is intellectual property?. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/.) Swartz’s blog entailed various personal ideas from other people which could have gone against the IP law as he published other peoples work. Since he made a profit through his website he arguably violated the IP laws. 


Do You Know Who’s Watching You?

To me, any information that you do not feel comfortable sharing to the public, should be considered private. Your address, birth records, social security number, credit card information, and phone number all fall under this category. However, nowadays it is very hard to maintain privacy via the internet. We shop online and hand over our credit card information, we tag our location on social media sites revealing our whereabouts, and we blog, sharing our opinions and beliefs. You hear people say all the time, whatever you put on the internet stays on there forever. They’re right. As soon as something is posted, it is available for everyone to access it. Always set your profile and information to private!


 I believe the government and law enforcement should have the power to look at your published information rather than corporations. If someone broke the law and is considered a criminal, for our safety I think it would be best if the government found out all the information possible to catch them, without abusing their power. The only people who would disagree with me are the ones who have something to hide. If you are comfortable and brave enough to put your personal information on the internet then do not be surprised when someone accesses your information. Ultimately, you have the choice to allow how much people can see by what you decide to post. 

Twitter vs. Instagram

Twitter has many pros and cons regarding world news. A pro of twitter is that it can spread information faster than any other social media. Many people now a days will check twitter rather than reading a newspaper or watching the news to receive information. Social media is a higher news source than the radio. A con to twitter is that it can spread unreliable and false information. If false rumors begin to spread, it could cause panic and chaos. It will also anger citizens because they won’t know what to believe. Another pro is that Law Enforcement uses twitter to catch and prosecute criminal who like to brag about their crimes online. With twitter tracking now enabled, the law enforcement can easily catch criminals especially if they are tagged in a post or picture. Another con of twitter is that it lacks privacy and exposes secret information of businesses and corporations. If you do not change your privacy settings anyone could view your information anytime they want. 

Another popular social media app, Instagram, also has pros and cons regarding world news. The strong filters and effects that can be put on the actual photo can be a pro and a con. More often people will believe what they see rather than what they read or hear. A product could not be visually appealing in person, but the editing on Instagram could fool people into believing it has great aesthetics. On the flip side, the app can offer huge benefits for global organization and artistic production. It can help businesses sell products and increase their profits. Another pro is the photography. If you are interested in something that is happening around the world, you can search it on Instagram and you will receive pictures. It is easy to spread rumors and false information but it is often hard to create a false image to an extent. Someone who sees the picture with their own eyes are more likely to believe the information is true. 


Major Uprisings

A major uprising has recently occurred in Venezuela. Many citizens are unhappy with the economy and the rising crime rate. Fed up people are fighting back to protect their rights. According to Cnn, “Major social and economic problems have fueled the protests. But as the demonstrations gained steam, officials have pointed fingers at other factors and accused the United States of plotting to destabilize the government. (Karimi, F., & Shoichet, C. (2014, 2 21). Venezuela: What’s the crisis about?. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/20/world/americas/venezuela-qa/) It is easy to see why citizens were fed up with the crime rate. “Already one of the most violent places on Earth — a person is murdered every 21 minutes, and there were roughly 24,700 violent deaths last year.” (Essert, M. (2014, February 19). This is what’s happening in venezuela right now. Retrieved from http://www.policymic.com/articles/82777/this-is-what-s-happening-in-venezuela-right-now) On February 12th 2014, many young people took part in Venezuela’s National Youth Day. Participants would march through every major city in Venezuela including Caracas, Valencia and Merida to fight for their rights. While marching, the military were attacking the youth as if they were armed with guns. Many citizens believe the cause of this opposition movement is “President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which has been running the country into the ground” (Essert, 2014). In this case, I do not believe the media coverage or the use of social media is influencing this movement. The government and security in Venezuela has been extremely strict and has shut down twitter and any news station that is releasing information. (Essert, 2014)

Another uprising is occurring in Syria. This opposition movement started back in 2011. After being crippled by the civil war, many people have died in protests and fights between the President’s government and people who do not want him in charge anymore. (What’s happening in syria and will the violence end?. (2013, December 12). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/16979186). The rebels fighting these battles are in search of democracy and freedom. When it was shown the chemical weapons were being used in the war the United Nations decided to step in. In October 2013, the destruction of chemical weapons began. (“What’s happening in syria,” 2013). The Washington Post stated that, “the Syrian government really overreacted when peaceful protests started in mid-2011, slaughtering civilians unapologetically, which was a big part of how things escalated as quickly as they did.” (Fisher, M. (2013, August 29). 9 questions about syria you were too embarrassed to ask. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/29/9-questions-about-syria-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/.) Syria is much like Venezuela in the fact that in both countries, citizens are being brutally killed and harmed by a government who’s decisions fail to represent its people. However, in this case I do believe the media has influenced the uprising. News casts tend to over exaggerate or announce things that may not be true just to get better ratings.


STEM Subjects

STEM stands for the subjects science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Educators believe that children in the future generation should focus more on these subjects. “STEM education prioritizes hands-on learning to increase student engagement, interest, and achievement in the STEM fields.” (“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership.” Web log post. http://www.ed.gov/stem. N.p., n.d. Web.) According to the same source above, President Obama stated “… Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.”


(“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership.” Web log post. http://www.ed.gov/stem. N.p., n.d. Web.) It is believed that people who study these STEM subjects will achieve a higher GPA as well a more in depth education. Educators believe that these subjects as of now are more isolated than taught to everyone. There has been a lack in educated, skilled workers in these areas. President Obama is trying to increase and prioritize STEM subjects in the United States. Ed.gov agreed with this statement by stating,”Specifically, he has called on the nation to develop, recruit, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10 years. He also has asked colleges and universities to graduate an additional 1 million students with STEM majors.”(“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Education for Global Leadership.” Web log post. http://www.ed.gov/stem. N.p., n.d. Web.) STEM subjects are included in difficult and advanced fields and degrees so it is not a shock that STEM jobs pay more than regular. According to (“STEM Fields.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.)

“The Department of Commerce notes STEM fields careers are some of the best-paying and have the greatest potential for job growth in the early 21st century. The report also notes that STEM workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and training in STEM fields generally results in higher wages, whether or not they work in a STEM field.”