citrakayah: (Default)
So we were presented this scenario in my history discussion section.

In December of 2014, one of the remote provinces of our nation (the Republic of Tanzarundi) became a zone of conflict with the discovery of a key mineral used in portable communication devices. This resource can be sold internationally for huge profits, and the extraction of this mineral will provide many jobs for citizens willing to work there.

Here’s the problem: People already live in the part of the province where the mineral is located. These people include a few small bands of foragers, who rely on gathering, hunting, and fishing. Transforming this province into an extraction enterprise will certainly disrupt the environments these people need to live as they do now. In fact, it will possibly destroy many of the resources they need (local water supplies and animal habitats, especially) and ruin places they consider sacred. Once the valuable mineral was discovered last November, speculators quickly moved in with the provincial military force somehow getting entangled with different groups of speculators. This led to violence between speculators competing to access the mineral, as well as violence against the local forager groups. When folks throughout our nation heard about this, many went to protest and to create human shields to try to protect the foraging groups and the places where they live. It’s messy with the potential to get really violent soon. But there also appear to be possibilities for defusing the conflict without more violence.

As the advisory council to our national government, we need to determine the course of action for this crisis. Right now the people of our nation are not sure what we should do, and most are likely to support whatever policy we set forth as our course of action. But we have to persuade them that our course of action is ideal for this to work and ensure that we do not set off responses that could lead to widespread disorder and conflict.

Let’s be honest here. This is not really about “jobs/profits vs. environment.” We can let the less civilized nations squabble over such simplistic binaries. And this is not even about protecting the foragers who live there, although we have their most sacred animal as our national symbol on our flag (the irony is just too much, isn’t it?). This is really about us, all the people of the Republic of Tanzarundi, and who we are as human beings. Are we people who satisfy our wants and needs through violence and war because it is a normal (maybe even "natural") thing for human beings to do? Or, are we people who are not prone to make war and can come up with non-violent ways to solve our fundamental problems?

The history of humanity is complicated when trying to determine this matter. We can see conflicting interpretations in the scholarly readings we have to help us craft our policy. This advisory council has designated you as the lead member to define our policy. First, read the scholarly writings on this topic. Second, compose an argument that insists on a military solution using three ideas from Keeley’s writing, or compose an argument that insists on a non-military solution using three ideas from Wells’ writing. Do your best to convince our people that your policy is a true reflection of who we are and who we can be as human beings.


Guess what people in my class defended?

The "Trail of Tears" solution. Because obviously the lives of the tribe doesn't matter compared to the jobs and money.

That was literally their reasoning.
citrakayah: (Default)
Back at college, and, rather ironically, that is actually less of a workload for me. Due to various factors beyond my complete control,I was unable to complete the architectural log that was due in ARC 121, so the teacher talked me into accepting an extension. I was reluctant at first because it went against my personal sense of honor, but when it's such a significant grade... well, it's easy to cave. When I have the architecture log back, I'll upload the drawings, and when it's done being graded I'll upload what essays I've written. Mostly they consist of my architectural musings on green walls, Vincent Callebaut, and how I disapprove of UAE dick-waving contests that lead to opulent, giant, sprawling cities being built in the middle of the desert to assuage the ego of a powerful ruler.

Aside from that, though, I did very well with my final grades--I got one B and the rest were A's. Naturally, my parents were rather pleased with this development. I predict I won't do as well this semester, though, because I ended up with a 400 level class... and I'm a freshman in my second semester. I mean, I'm moderately confident that I can pass, but still...

Since I had to change which architecture section I was in, I ended up having to drop out of one class, and picked another. The other class I picked was Lesbian and Gay History 4-something-or-other, which, to my surprise, means that (barring failure), I will get a minor in history this semester. Which I'm pretty sure qualifies me more than some middle school teachers I've had. Oddly, Lesbian and Gay History is GLBT+ History. Is there some rule preventing them from using acronyms? If there is, is there also a maximum character length?

Speaking of which, an academic journal on trans* studies (at least, that's what it appears to be from what I've seen) has sent out a call for academic papers. I'd like to try my paw at submitting a paper, but I really don't have the expertise, qualifications, or knowledge of the jargon--so I'd end up looking like an idiot. Beyond that, I'm not completely clear on where they're going with their idea. There's very little data, so I would be limited to finding essays that explored the concept, of which there are not many.

But hey, if someone else was planning (or is planning after reading the call) to submit a paper, I look forward to seeing it.

The Pathfinder campaign I'm running is going rather well; I've started detailing some ideas for a more exhaustive setting--with major countries, political structures, et cetera--but it helps that I've already got some information--for instance, information on a bunch of Elemental Planes--already written. And I'll probably custom-build some monsters and races. *rubs hands together* I have some very... devious... ideas.

Should be able to get many of my projects--like the Werelist Poll of 2013, a few sections of the Pokemon fanfiction, et cetera--done soon, since my workload is fairly light, at least for now. And you guys should see more of me around; I haven't commented on various people's journals (or on the Werelist) as much as I'd have liked to.

I'm also going to try to be more social IRL, which I hope ends well.

Oh, and I was beating the highest ELO debater on Debate.Org in a tournament debate, but then mysteriously five heavily conservative judges show up within five hours of each other, one of which acknowledged being contacted by my opponent and abstained because the first paragraph of my opponent's argument made him facepalm. So now I'm losing by nine points.

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Citrakāyaḥ

November 2016

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