Journal #4 – Chloe Park

Throughout this week, I was very interested in Professor Perrone’s powerpoint and lecture. I felt his teaching presence was very captivating. In Michael Quinn’s Ethics for the Information Age, the author introduced nine ethical theories. I was particularly interested in the Divine Command Theory, which is based on the idea that good actions follow the will of God and bad actions are those of contrary to the will of God. Since I grew up in a predominately Christian family, I felt a strong moral connection to this theory, for we owe obedient to our all-good and all-knowing creator because God is the ultimate authority spiritually. However Professor Perrone seemed to be against this theory since he declared himself as a non-secular person. He questioned the moral objectives of the holy bible and how scripture doesn’t address all moral problems. To some extent, I agree with his position against scripture. For example, the bible addresses homosexual sex /desires/ and marriage as as lustful sin in Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27. However as time has changed and progression for gay rights have been approved and embraced, is the bible/ is the Divine Command Theory negotiable and flexible? Questions like this and moral dilemmas such as a Christian raised homosexual, raises ethical concern and moral judgement. In the beginning of class, I was all in favor of the Divine Command Theory, but after much discussion and thought, my perspective has been significantly altered and I am no longer in favor. I think the most applicable theory is Ethical Egoism, the philosophy that each person should focus exclusively on his or her self-interest for it’s a practical moral philosophy and it empowers people to take care of themselves. When individuals protect their self-interests, the society benefits. At the end of the day, we as a society, have different social contexts and demand different moral guidelines. We all act in our own self-interest to maximize the long-term benefit.


Journal #3 – Chloe Park

President Donald Trump’s executive order, which bars people from seven predominately Muslim nations from traveling into America is absolutely ridiculous. The order on immigration bans Syrian refugees, students, scientists, and veterans who cooperated with the US military in Iraq.
I am a second generation American. My mom and dad were born in South Korea; my dad moved to the United States with his family in 1973 when he was only seven years old in hopes of starting a better life and future in Irvine, California. My mom moved to the United States with her family in 1970, when she was six years old and began the American dream in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My dad worked incredibly hard to persevere and overcome many obstacles throughout his life while attempting to establish a life in America. He fought back racism and prejudice as a first generation American. Even though racist names and actions were called against him, he remained mature and strong. On the other hand, when my mother was younger, I remember she used to tell me that she would physically defend her sister when both were called racist names. As my parents grew up, they’ve learned to move on from these racist comments and work hard in life to achieve the American dream. Now, my parents, both college educated and accomplished business professionals, have raised three children together, and achieved the American Dream for themselves. Throughout my childhood, my parents emphasized the message that in the United States, “We can achieve anything and be anything that we put our minds to.” My parents always taught me to fight for equality, embrace diversity, and appreciate one’s culture. When Donald Trump addressed that the American dream is dead during a campaign speech, I was absolutely heartbroken. My parents, who fostered and accomplished the ‘American Dream’ is something I value and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to not struggle as much as they did. For Trump to completely end this ‘American Dream’ motivation, is upsetting and deters migrants from opportunities in America. Under Trump’s newest executive plans, my parents and my friends’ parents could have been turned away. My parents’ immigration story shows that there are humane ways of handling immigration, and building walls and banning migrants from entering this country is not one of them. President Trump’s immigration order is more than a protection for our boarders, it is distinct break from the values of diversity and inclusion. It is the destruction of hope for those who wish for freedom and equality, and for those who seek the opportunity to live in America. We need to protect the American Dream now more than ever.

Journal #2 Chloe Park

I really liked the  historical documentary we watched in class: Magic of the White City by Gene Wilder. The 1893 Chicago’s World Fair expo highlighted the cinematic experience of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of the new world. Not only did the event symbolize the brotherhood of nations and mankind, but it also embodied optimism, progress, and peace. The Chicago World Fair cost over 22 million dollars with ten cents a day labor and over 28 million people visited within the first three months of opening. During the 19th century, fairs were big, popular commodities/parties that celebrated the world’s greatest achievements in science, technology, and culture. In 1893, Chicago’s economy was booming with extravagant cultural life including prostitutes  roaming the city, crowded bars with alcohol flowing like a river, vulgar and naked art with risque dancers, and corrupt investors (Carter Harrison) taking advantage of this fair. Foreigners from all over enjoyed the commercially successful fair, however, racial discrimination deterred some from entering. Native Americans, at the time, were extinct, around eleven Italians were lynched, and Chinese immigrants were banned from the U.S for ten years. Even though the “White City” inspired future technological innovations including Henry Ford and Frank Lloyd Wright, in many ways, I believe the name of the city symbolized racism, prejudice, and  white supremacy.

In Mark Twain’s, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” chapter 1 mentions a lot of auditory and olfactory imagery including the buzzing of insects and the spring smell of flowers. The Yankee and the knight are one a journey to Camelot, where they meet a 10 year old girl with golden hair with a poppies headband. The author describes the little girl as sweet and innocent but startled when she sees Hank. They pass a rural town, described in much detail with farm animals, thatched cabins, and nude children playing in the alleys. Soon they reach the castle of Camelot as described in great detail with a mid-century drawbridge, banners of a dragon, 4 surrounding walls, and men at arms. The castle immediately made me think of the castle in Shrek. In chapter 2, I didn’t understand why the Yankee asked the commoners where he was? I’m very confused why he thinks he’s in an asylum? Or is Camelot an asylum? Clarence says that Hank is Great Lord Sir Kay, Arthur’s foster brother’s prisoner. This chapter confused me because I’m not really sure who was thrown into the dungeon? Was it the Yankee or Hank, or are they the same person?  The Yankee observes the prisoners being hacked and abused in a disturbing way. I felt such sympathy towards the author’s descriptions of the dirty prisoners and the sharp pain they suffered, weary, hungry, and dehydrated with groans and wounds.

Journal #1

In some ways, the human brain is parallel to a computer. In the past decade, technology has evolved from mechanic typewriters to complex software. In Robert Epstein’s, “The Empty Brain” article, he compares newborns to technology, in which he proposes that newborns are equipped with powerful learning mechanisms that allow them to change and learn at rapid paces to interact with the world and its surroundings effectively. Even though humans are not born with technological components such as software or applications, humans have similar processing information. Computers and humans are metaphorically similar because computers process information with encoded binary code called bits and bytes, and humans process information with brain neurons and signals.

I thought it was so interesting in Gary Marcus’ “Face it, your brain is a computer,” article, he related the idea of emotions to a computer. He states that even though computers lack emotion, the amygdala’s neural systems modulate emotions by transmitting signals and integrating information in the brain similarly to how computers transform binary code into outputs. I thought Marcus’ analogy was funny as he states, “airplanes may not fly like birds but they are subject to the same forces of lift and drag.” Because even though computers and the human brain may differ in size and anatomy, the overall objective is the same: both process and compute information in systematic ways.

I really enjoyed the readings over break. They were very straight forward and interesting to read. The readings reminded me of my foundation seminar that I took when I was a first year. My foundation seminar class was about science fiction, and I actually wrote my final paper about how technology is metaphorically “alive.” Overall, I’m excited to learn more about this course. Thank you