Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"The Animal Farm" by George Orwell

I read this book for the first time in school and I did not like it much, but recently I have reread it more carefully, discovering a sweet pleasure in reading, in fact, in my opinion, it is always better to read books 2 times.
This book is about an old man named Jones who owns a farm animal, but he does not behave well with his animals, he ill-treats them all the time, so that they are subjected to rebel. They decide to evict the owner of the farm and to govern themselves in perfect equality. The pigs, who were leaders in the fight to the expulsion of the master, not only take the leading positions of the new government, but they begin to treat others in a despotic, authoritarian, and day after day they reserve powers and benefits lard fatigue other farm animals, just as men did, in this case the old Jones, before their "revolution" .
I must say it was pretty funny to read some passages from the book, especially those referring to "after the revolution" of animals. The first thing they did, for example, was to change the sign by the entrance of the farm. They named it ANIMAL FARM instead of MANOR FARM, and also they instituted 7 commandments.
1) Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2)  Whatever goes upon four legs or has wings, is a friend.
3) No animal shall wear clothes.
4) No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5) No animal shall drink alcohol.
6) No animal shall kill any other animal.
7) All animals are equal.
Instead, other parts of the book blend a kind of irony and sadness. With the passing of years the pigs that had seized power became more and more similar to men, smoking their pipes, began to walk on two legs, began to play with their cards and meanwhile mistreatments of their fellow continued.
A good book, sliding, a brilliant story, witty and sharp, where the author uses animals to speak of the man / power and to understand that power is something powerful, that is able to change everything, his personality , his way of being, his thoughts, anyone who is swept from power is transformed by it. . The animals had believed that was enough to be in the same "species" to ensure equality, but it was not in that way, because the thirst for power and the ability to feel better than all the other made so that although the same species they were not equal. The book concludes with an addition to the commandments, one eighth commandment in a sense, not formed by the desire for equality of the animals, but by a sad reality : 
8) All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The story of stuff

I just watched a video called "The Story of the stuff" with Annie Leonard http://www.storyofstuff.com/
This video exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.
This video is done very well, which impresses and attracts attention. Even the idea of pictures and drawings is good because it focuses attention on the important issues of this video. I think in this fast-paced world, this world of consumerism in which people run run run, work work work, it is right to spend at least 20 minutes of our time and stop and reflect on the serious environmental and social impact due to increased industrial production and economic development on our planet. Among such is the changing climate conditionsendangered animals, the increase in cancer and allergies. Not just recycle, is not enough,each of us must take to heart the problem, understand and realize that if you continue in this way the planet and we will die with it.
But it is also true that now it is very difficult to change this mechanism, it's all about consumerism. Our society is accustomed to spend, buy for the simple sake of it and not for a real need. The current fashion is to go shopping. I have often bought many shoes or clothes even if I did not really need, I got influenced by major advertising on television or seen some of my friends that they had to follow the fashion of the moment and not be back. Actually I own so many clothes that I do not wear and that will be thrown.
I have often thought would make me happy to shop, this is wrong. It would be much better to speak with a friend or go for a walk in nature or do sports.
In this video I was very impressed by the fact that people often go shopping to feel happier.The fact of owning a physical asset that makes us happy, this is very sad.

What can we do? The change should start from the root, government should take to heart the common good of the citizens of the country and adopt new rules to improve the environmental condition of the planet, reduce consumption and have a cleaner worldPoliticians often think of one's own good and not for the good of the whole community. An example was the waste crisis in Campania, Naples, a great city submerged by waste http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naples_waste_management_issue
A good government should be concerned about things such as improving health care,education, safe transportation, justice, and not just consumer goods. You should also change the way to advertise products. The ads are often the only goal of selling more products, maybe you could increase the number of ads that urge people to buy, but in an intelligent way without wasting.
I think the first step to preserve the world we live in leaving it clean for our children is to raise awareness about the problem just like it did in Annie Leonard's video, talk more, talk about it in schools, universities, conventions and debates, using this powerful medium thatis the word!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Snooping Bosses

For my first blog entry assignment  I was asked read and reflect on the article 'Snooping Bosses' .  I found it very interesting, made ​​me reflect on the disproportionately use of new technologies violating individual freedom and privacy of the employees by boss of companies.

“In medio stat virtus” (In the middle lies the virtue). A quote from a famous Latin philosopher  Orazio. Do not ever overdo neither in excess nor in failing because  the "perfection" or the good life is in the balance.

The largest and most famous scientist Albert Einstein, for example, shook  the physics of the Twentieth Century with the brilliant discovery of atomic energy, but this finding was potentially dangerous, it also led to the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and Iroshima.
The development of technology has allowed man to improve his standard of  living, but the other side of the coin shows that if the man is not making "good use" of them he is likely to worsen it. For my thesis,  I worked  to design a communication platform for monitoring patients in assisted care facilities using sensors, wireless networks and GPS technologies. This is a “good use” , for me, of new technologies. I do not think about using new technology to snoop workers in their office. I just believe in spying and wiretaps to fight terrorism and crime or child pornography.

In a work environment the use of new technologies can greatly simplify the work of employees, or use them to monitor and safeguard the security of employees. I disagree with the use of new technologies for spying, even if they were aware of this. This helps to increase the gap and mistrust between employer and employee.This leads to creating a work environment unwelcoming. Personally, I'd be afraid to make mistakes and be wrong if I knew for sure that I'm guarded by a camera or a microchip or  someone was spying on my email .If the boss is committed to creating a comfortable working environment the employees will work better with pleasure and  they will not need to invent excuses to take the sick days or to spent a lot of time to surf  to Web. This will help to increase the profitability of the company.

Someone might object: but if a person does not have anything to hide, why not allow the use of cameras or other forms of surveillance? Or: how does a boss to find out if one of his employees is violating the company’s rules?  I am convinced that respect and mutual trust are the basis of any organization , if this fails, everything will crash.
Maybe it's an utopia, but it is my thinking and I'm glad to be able to freely express and share it with you.