Author: cmhall20 (page 1 of 2)

Superheroes

The origin of superheroes is a fascinating story. One must begin with the idea of the superhero, and what exactly defines a superhero. As a social phenomenon, it has become a ubiquitous idea, and an example of the brilliance of American comic makers. It is interesting to consider where superheroes come from, and how they have evolved into their current form, as the stars of comics as well as movies and the role models for young children around the world. Their influence has become far reaching over the years. Heroes have always been a part of literature, since the earliest epic poems from Greek and Roman history. However, the transition from normal heroes into superheroes is a bit more nuanced. Though many people would point to powers that are inhuman as being the defining factor of a superhero, there are much older heroes who display these characteristics. Achilles, though he had his weakness, was invincible in all other areas of his body, a characteristic which makes him obviously inhuman. This becomes a very gray area, as it is impossible to define the boundary between having superhuman capabilities, and being a superhero. Would the treatment of the river Styx on Achilles, or the shoes of Icarus make them superheroes? Both are still mortal, but they also seem to have superhuman capabilities. Is the edge of the gray area defined as mortality, or is it more grounded in morality? As I have found with many of these lectures, I leave with more questions than when I arrive. Having known very little about the origin of anything from the universe to Italian Poetry or Novel Writing, I am repeatedly exposed to a new corner of the world which I know little to nothing about. In the brief time, it is impossible to learn the origins of anything to a satisfactory level. However, opening up these corners of the world, and shedding a bit of light on them makes me more curious, and I find myself wondering about the finer points of origins often. Can we prove an origin, or separate it from an evolution? If we can prove that it happened, but we can’t prove how or why, then is this finding really significant? Does investigating this idea bring us more answers or will it lead to more questions, as the brief lecture on it has for me? How is is possible to define the first novel except by the definition used at the time when it was written? It was fascinating to learn so much about both a topic that I was previously very uninformed about. Modern superheroes are in fact morally grounded. This makes them great role models for young children, as it teaches the lesson that those with great power also have responsibility to use their power morally. The powers of a superhero can be used only for good. In this way they differ from Greek heroes, who consistently showed gaps in morality. Even the immortal gods in Greek myths had flaws.

 

Darwin

The name Charles Darwin is immediately recognizable to anyone who has ever taken a rudimentary biology class. He is well known to be the father of evolutionary theory. His 1859 work, on the Origin of Species, is still the basis for most theories within the field of biology. At the time of the publication of this work, it was widely considered to be the field of theology in which the origin of species would be determined. It was widely believed that the earth was created in the image of god, and that animals which displayed interesting of confusing characteristics could be explained by the brilliance of god. His work turned the current base of knowledge on its head. His hypothesis was unable to be proven at the time that he wrote it, and thus he was chastised by many for challenging the work of god, and the believe in the divine drawing of the earth. He is one of the classic examples of innovators in his field who have risen in prominence and respect as their work has aged. He is the quintessential example for the argument that all great discoveries in history have been met by adversity. As I have found with many of these lectures, I leave with more questions than when I arrive. Having known very little about the origin of anything from the universe to Italian Poetry or Novel Writing, I am repeatedly exposed to a new corner of the world which I know little to nothing about. In the brief time, it is impossible to learn the origins of anything to a satisfactory level. However, opening up these corners of the world, and shedding a bit of light on them makes me more curious, and I find myself wondering about the finer points of origins often. Can we prove an origin, or separate it from an evolution? If we can prove that it happened, but we can’t prove how or why, then is this finding really significant? Does investigating this idea bring us more answers or will it lead to more questions, as the brief lecture on it has for me? How is is possible to define the first novel except by the definition used at the time when it was written? It was fascinating to learn so much about both a topic that I was previously very uninformed about. The cartoon drawings of Darwin are evidence enough of the way that the world viewed him at the time of his work. His face is often depicted on the body of an ape. This image takes a jab at the idea of a common ancestor and that humans are genealogically related to apes. The cartoons from his voyage on the Beagle also show him as a silly civilian, looking for many different things without any reason. Even within the environment of his own research, he was viewed as a bit of an outcast, and the other passengers on the ship are depicted as rolling their eyes in unison at Darwin.

Nationalism in Indonesia

The nationalist movement in Indonesia traces its roots to a rebellion against colonial rule. In the beginning of the 20th century, the first nationalist group was created which rebelled against the colonial rule in favor of a true national identity which was separate from the colonial rule of the western European countries which Indonesia was previously the subject of. The professor compared the revolution to an oil lamp, which needs to be ignited by the people. He used the metaphor to incite rebellion against the colonial rule which he desired to be overthrown. This social revolution created wide sweeping changes within the country. It allowed the people to change the way that they dressed, to learn new languages, and to being their national awakening. This revolution has often been set in the context of World War One, and connected to that, but the lecturer argued that the revolution began before the start of World War One. This is an interesting argument, as it is difficult to determine what came first, as there is no obvious direct correlation between world war one and the Indonesian social revolution. However, the war would certainly have triggered changes within the society, as people become disenfranchised with the ways of Western Europe through watching them at war. As I have found with many of these lectures, I leave with more questions than when I arrive. Having known very little about the origin of anything from the universe to Italian Poetry or Novel Writing, I am repeatedly exposed to a new corner of the world which I know little to nothing about. In the brief time, it is impossible to learn the origins of anything to a satisfactory level. However, opening up these corners of the world, and shedding a bit of light on them makes me more curious, and I find myself wondering about the finer points of origins often. Can we prove an origin, or separate it from an evolution? If we can prove that it happened, but we can’t prove how or why, then is this finding really significant? Does investigating this idea bring us more answers or will it lead to more questions, as the brief lecture on it has for me? How is is possible to define the first novel except by the definition used at the time when it was written? Is it possible to define the boundaries between poetry and music, or does doing so pigeon-hole a broad art form into a claustrophobically tight academic category? It was fascinating to learn so much about both a topic that I was previously very uninformed about. It is also interesting to consider the idea of nations as a modern construct. The idea of the nation is not an age old concept, but rather a modern political concept. He cited contemporary examples of different national identity crises. The fight in Catalonia over independence from greater Spain is one that is a very interesting example of the difficulty of drawing the lines between cultures and countries and regions. Most of these boundaries were simply drawn by whoever was in power, in the case of Indonesia, the colonizers.

It’s what you don’t know you don’t know

As a die-hard humanities academic, I have always strayed away from the complexities and conundrums of physical science. However, the idea of the Big Bang, and the origin of the universe has always fascinated me. Having never understood the true theory beyond an explanation a couple sentences long and what I can infer from the title of the theory. As such, this lecture was a fascinating and invigorating ride. I found myself simultaneously understanding the topic more deeply than I ever had, but also having more questions that I never had even thought to wonder about. This led to a simultaneously satisfying, but frustrating experience of learning a great deal, while also becoming aware of how much I don’t understand. As I have found with many of these lectures, I leave with more questions than when I arrive. Having known very little about the origin of anything from the universe to Italian Poetry or Novel Writing, I am repeatedly exposed to a new corner of the world which I know little to nothing about. In the brief time, it is impossible to learn the origins of anything to a satisfactory level. However, opening up these corners of the world, and shedding a bit of light on them makes me more curious, and I find myself wondering about the finer points of origins often. Can we prove the big bang? If we can prove that it happened, but we can’t prove how or why, then is this finding really significant? Does investigating this idea bring us more answers or will it lead to more questions, as the brief lecture on it has for me? How is is possible to define the first novel except by the definition used at the time when it was written? Is it possible to define the boundaries between poetry and music, or does doing so pigeon-hole a broad art form into a claustrophobically tight academic category? I found that I was most perplexed by the idea of what happened before the big bang. I was drawn in by the mirrored image of the big bang, with its inverse expanding before the small blip in time that was labeled the big bang. The concept that on the other side of this origin was a vast and large universe than for reasons that are not yet understood contracted into a small mass and then began to expand again. It demonstrated to me the sheer vastness of the universe, both in time and space, and how small our planet is in comparison with the remainder of the universe. If we are so small in the map of space and time, then how could we possibly understand our true origins. If we are just a small dot for a short period on the map of time and space, then how could we even begin to understand the reasons that the universe acts the way that it does? Understanding the possibility of the origins of the universe makes believing the possibilities that are proposed exponentially more difficult.

A New Fascination

As a die-hard humanities academic, I have always strayed away from the complexities and conundrums of physical science. I have never studied the stars beyond the occasional look up at constellations, or to marvel at the milky way on a clear night in the desert, without light pollution to diminish its enormity or brilliance. However, the idea of astrology and the origin of the universe has always fascinated me. Having never understood the true theory beyond an explanation a couple sentences long and what I can infer from the title of the theory. As such, this lecture was a fascinating and invigorating ride. I found myself simultaneously understanding the topic more deeply than I ever had, but also having more questions that I never had even thought to wonder about. This led to a simultaneously satisfying, but frustrating experience of learning a great deal, while also becoming aware of how much I don’t understand. As I have found with many of these lectures, I leave with more questions than when I arrive. Having known very little about the origin of anything from the universe to Italian Poetry or Novel Writing, I am repeatedly exposed to a new corner of the world which I know little to nothing about. In the brief time, it is impossible to learn the origins of anything to a satisfactory level. However, opening up these corners of the world, and shedding a bit of light on them makes me more curious, and I find myself wondering about the finer points of origins often. Can we prove the big bang? If we can prove that it happened, but we can’t prove how or why, then is this finding really significant? Does investigating this idea bring us more answers or will it lead to more questions, as the brief lecture on it has for me? How is is possible to define the first novel except by the definition used at the time when it was written? Is it possible to define the boundaries between poetry and music, or does doing so pigeon-hole a broad art form into a claustrophobically tight academic category? It was fascinating to learn so much about both a topic that I was previously very uninformed about, as well as a whole different method for investigating the topic. By looking at the stars, and using them to examine the changes that have occurred in the universe, astrologers believe in the power of the stars for both science, while also reveling in their natural beauty and enjoying the process of analyzing movements. The trust in the stars to move in the way that astrologers predict makes them a supernatural phenomenon in the eyes of the beholding scientist. Few other scientific pursuits have such a magical feeling to them, or such deep roots in the old religious pursuits. This blurs the lines between the scientific and religious facets of astrology, two different pursuits that are often at odds in the modern world, but are brought together in time by the movements of the stars.

 

 

 

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