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COPING IN THE MILITARY

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Introduction:
This study examines the extent to which daily hassles, major life events, and adaptive coping, predict academic, social and personal adjustment to the military. The military is a highly demanding and rigid culture where new officer cadets’ lose some of their identity and personal freedom, including control

of their environment (Scharf, Mayseless, & Kivenson-Baron, 2011). Additionally, they must wear uniforms, obey orders, adhere to high ethical standards and undergo regular inspections. Thus, unsurprisingly, due to the unique military environment, and the intense training, it is usually very difficult and stressful for new officer cadets to successfully transition from civilian life to military life in a short period of time (Xiao, Hen, & Hen, 2011; Israelashvili & Wegman-Rozi, 2007). The literature review indicates that maladjustment is common during the initial period of military training and can lead to negative consequences (Israelashvili & Wegman-Rozi, 2007; Dedic & Panic 2007; Martin, Williamson, Alfonso, & Ryan, 2006). For example, Beighley, Brown, & Thompson (1992) over their three year consecutive study of 139 360 U.S. Air force recruits, found that the most prevalent psychological problem for new officer cadets’ was adjustment disorder. Accordingly, Hoge, Lesikar,  Guevara, Lange, J Brundage, Engel, et al . (2002) reported that that one of the most leading hospital discharge for U.S military personnel from 1990-1999 was adjustment disorders.

An adjustment disorder is a type of mental disorder resulting from maladaptive, or unhealthy, responses to stressful or psychologically distressing life events. The stressor may be grossly traumatic or relatively minor, like loss of job, the end of a romantic relationship, or a serious accident or sickness. Coping strategies largely influence positive or negative adjustment. Coping refers to “cognitive and behavioural efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the internal and/or external demands that are created by a stressful event” (Riolli & Savicki, 2010, p.97). Moreover, there is no single unitary coping mechanism that fits all stressors; different stressors require different coping strategies (Riolli & Savicki, 2010). In fact, there is evidence that the exclusive application of any type of coping may lead to difficulties (Cheng, 2003; Riollo & Savicki, 2010). Lastly, individuals who keep a particular type of coping strategy or those who vary their strategies randomly tend to report more anxiety, and more psychosomatic symptoms than those who vary their coping strategies according to the nature of the stressful situation (Cheng, 2003).  Therefore, in the more recent literature on coping, researchers have moved toward a more integrative perspective that emphasizes the importance of multiple coping strategies through the concept of coping flexibility (Cheng, 2003; Bouteyre, Maurel, & Bernaud, 2007; Riolli & Savicki, 2010; Galatzer-Levy, Burton, & Bonanno, 2012). Coping flexibility is conceptualized as a good fit between the characteristics of coping strategy and the nature of stressful event (Cheng, 2003). Coping flexibility involves ability to change, and adapt coping strategies over time and across different stressful situation (Mukwato, Mweemba, Makukula,& Makoleka, 2010) For example, when layoffs are expected, a problem focused approach is probably the best  approach such as saving money, applying for other jobs, or working harder at the current job to reduce the likelihood of being let go. However, when someone dies, problem-focused strategies may not be very helpful for the bereaved. Dealing with the feeling of loss requires emotion-focused coping (McLeod, 2010). Riollo & Savicki (2010, p.99) put it nicely, “psychological adjustment may be less related to any specific coping strategy than to the individuals ability to draw upon a diverse set of effective strategies and to apply them flexibly.”

Accordingly, Kohn (1996) concept of adaptiveness involves the ability to cope flexibly between different stressors. As per Kohn, O’Brien-Wood, Pickering, & DeCicco (2003, p.112) “adaptiveness constitutes coping consistently so as to reduce stress, or, at worse, not aggravate. This would entail consistently acting appropriately for the circumstances, notable the controllability of the stressors encountered”. Additionally, adaptiveness requires a combination of judgement, determination and self-control. Judgement refers to the ability to distinguish between controllable and uncontrollable situations and to formulate appropriate coping strategies for each situation. That is, when it is appropriate to use problem solving or emotion avoidance coping for example.  Determination refers to being consistently able to carry out planned actions despite obstacles, notable in controllable situations. And self-control refers to being able to restrain oneself from taking ill-advised action in response to emotional impulse or provocation (Kohn, O’Brien-Wood, Pickering, & DeCicco, 2003). The concept parallel is acknowledged to Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous Serenity Prayer “serenity to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what should be changed, and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other” (Bartlett, 1968, p.1024).  Research on adaptiveness indicates that adaptivness directly improves personal, social and academic adjustment among university students (Kohn, O’Brien Wood, Pickering, & Decicco, 2003; Kohn & Veras, 2001).  That is, individuals who score higher on adaptive coping are better adjusted and experience less daily stressors.  Therefore, adaptiveness is a desirable quality to promote in individuals (Kohn, O’Brien-Wood, & Pickering, 1997).

Hassles or everyday stressors are another influential predictor of adjustment. Generally, hassles are ‘‘…irritating, frustrating, distressing demands that, to some degree, characterize everyday transactions with the environment’’ (Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer, & Lazarus, 1981, p. 3). A growing number of studies provide extensive evidence of a significant relation between self reported levels of daily hassles and adjustment (Wolf, Elston, & Kissling, 1989; Kohn& Veres, 2001; Burks, Martin, & Martin, 1985; Bouteyre, Maural, & Bernaut, 2007; Gaudet, Clément, & Deuzeman, 2005). That is, individuals who experience more daily stressors in their day to day living are less adjusted.

In regards to adaptiveness and hassles, studies have found a strong correlation between adaptiveness and hassles (Kohn, Fillion, DeCicco, & Cunningham, 2001; Kohn & Veres, 2001; Kohn, O’Brien-Wood, & Pickering, 1997). Originally Kohn (1996) suggested that adaptiveness should buffer the adverse impact of stress, subsequent research suggests rather that adaptiveness has direct auspicious effects on outcome and indirect ones mediated by reduced hassles.   For example, Kohn and Veres (2001) data fit a model wherein hassles exposure partially mediated the auspicious effects of adaptiveness on students adjustment. In other words, adaptiveness negatively predicted hassles exposure, which in turn, negatively predicted adjustment to university. Additionally, they found that individuals high in adaptivness so organize their lives as to minimize hassles exposure, and retrospectively downplay their exposure to hassles (part2). Therefore, Kohn and Veres (part 2) propose that if one could increase adaptiveness then one could decrease both the experiences and perceptions of hassles exposure and hence become better adjusted and improve his or her wellbeing.

Hassles also appear to be more strongly related to psychological and physical health than major life events.  Studies have compared the extent to which daily life hassles versus major life events are related to levels of personal adjustment. Typically, these studies have found that daily hassles, relative to major life stress, are more predictive of adjustment difficulties. For example, Wolf, Elston,& Kissling (1989) found that hassles were significantly correlated with psychological well being and in fact were more strongly associated with mood than were major life events in freshman medical students. Similarly, Burks, Martin, & Martin (1985) study reported that daily hassles were a greater risk factor than life events as regards the emergence, in first year university students, of psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety and OCD.  And lastly, Kohn, O’Brien-Wood, & Pickering (1997) found that hassles correlated moderately high with perceived stress, psychiatric symptomatology, and minor physical ailments, whereas major life events made no significant independent contribution to the above three variables. In fact, Eckenrode (1984) has suggested that much of the impact of major life events is mediated through hassles.  This can be exemplified by the following illustration:

Imagine yourself on a brief vacation with a friend in Barcelona and you get your purses snatched while strolling on the Ramblas. This could clearly lead to cash-flow difficulties. Your need to recover money, travelers’ cheques, airline ticketing and passport pdq– time-pressure. You and your friend are both understandably upset and disagree about how best to proceed– hence conflict between you. You contact family at home and also disagree with them– more conflict. You find your trip insurance has loopholes rendering it useless in your situation—rip off. Officials you communicate with seem not to appreciate the urgency of your situation. Hence, you have a negative major life event, criminal victimization, leading to a bunch of hassles. Now, suppose you had cash-flow problems, time pressure, conflicts with friends and family, recent rip offs in services purchased and inconsiderate treatment from officialdom, would this necessarily lead to criminal victimization, e.g. a purse snatching?

The above is an illustration of how a major life event (criminal victimization) can lead to an array of hassles (cash flow, time pressures, conflict with friends and family, rip offs in services, and inconsiderate treatment from officialdom).  Accordingly, it is over these hassles that cause individuals the most stress; moreover, it is these hassles that individuals have the most control over. Individuals higher in adaptiveness organize their lives as such that they experience fewer hassles and retrospectively downplay their exposure; making adaptiveness again a desirable quality to have.

Very little has been published examining the predictors of military adjustment. Not much is known as to what variables best predict military adjustment. As mentioned above the military is a distinct environment, with different policies, guidelines and rules compared to undergraduate universities. The transition to military is more challenging and demanding. Therefore, this study aims to identify the key predictor to military adjustment and potentially offer remedial training and support towards poorly adjusted officer cadets at the RMC.

Hypothesis:
1)Adaptiveness decreases and major life events increase reported hassles.
2)Adaptiveness improves personal, social and work adjustment, whereas life events impair personal adjustment .
3)Hassles reduce personal and work adjustment.

Method Section:
1. Participants:
a) Number of Participants:  200 officer cadets from the Royal Military College.
b) Recruitment: i) A bilingual invitation email will be sent to all officer cadets (first-years to senior) to complete a voluntary and anonymous online survey developed by Survey Monkey. ii)  Bilingual posters including a link to survey and a QR code will be displayed around the RMC campus. iii) Officer cadets’ that did not go away for summer military training will be recruited to participate in the survey using the pen and paper version.
c) Incentives:  Five $50 gift cards to Tim Horton’s. A self-generated alphanumeric code will be used to link respondents’ data for a chance to win one of five $50 gift cards from Tim Horton’s. The self-generated alphanumeric code will include: first letter of your favourite colour; first letter of your month of birth; first digit of the day of the month you were born in; the initials of your most admired historical figure; and first letter of the place you spent your last vacation.
d) Consent Procedure: i) Online- participants will read an informed consent form online in which the benefits and risks of participating in the study will be explained. Instructions on the consent form will read: My clicking the radio button for “Accept” indicates my consent. On the other hand, my clicking the radio button for “Don’t Accept” indicates my refusal to participate. ii) Pen and paper- participants will be required to read the consent form and sign.
e) Debriefing Procedure: i) Online- upon immediate completion of the survey, participants will be debriefed online. They will be referred to a military counseling and mental health center in case they experienced any kind of distress while participating in the study. ii) Pen and paper- participates will be debriefed in written form.

2. Measurements:
a) Demographic Information: Gender, Age, Year of Study, Faculty Major (Arts, Science or          Engineering) and Plan ( Regular Officer Training Plan, Reserve Entry Training Plan, University Training Plan Non Commissioned Members)
b) Questionnaire will contain the following measures: The Personal Functioning Inventory (PFI; Kohn, O’Brien, Wood, Pickering & DeCicco, 2003); a modified version of the Inventory of College Students’ Recent Life Experiences (ICSRLE; Kohn, Lafreniere & Guravich, 1990); the List of Threatening Experiences (LTE; Brugha, Bebbington, Tennant & Hurry, 1985); a modified version of the Soldier Adaptation to Army Questionnaire (SAAQ; Ben Knaz, Wintre & Sugar, 1997; Wintre & Ben Knaz, 2000)
The Personal Functioning Inventory (PFI).
The Personal Functioning Inventory (PFI) developed by Kohn, O’Brien-Wood, Pickering and Decicco (2003) is a validated and reliable measure of adaptive coping.  Adaptiveness constitutes coping consistently so as to reduce stress, or, at worst, not aggravate it. Adaptivness requires a combination of  judgement to distinguish controllable from uncontrollable situations; determination to take appropriate action, given controllable situations; and self control not to act counterproductively in controllable situations, even despite impulse to do so (Kohn & Veres).  The PFI consists of 30 statements to which participants respond according to a 5-point Likert scale, running from “1-Strongly Disagree” through “3 = Unsure” to “5=Strongly Agree”.  The PFI showed adequate reliability and correlated significantly with Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (SF-MCSDS),  and Summed Self-Rating for Adaptiveness (SRSA),   p<.01, respectively.  The PFI was validated by correlating with the Problem-Solving Confidence subscale of the Problem Solving Inventory (PSC), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), p < .01, respectively.  The PFI showed satisfactory test-restest reliability over a three week interval, p < .01. Finally, the PFI proved to be superior from its predecessor, the Situational Response Inventory (SRI) in both internal consistency and degree of relationships to self-rated adaptiveness , p< .01.
A Modified Version of The Inventory of College Students Recent Life Experiences (ICSRLE).
The Inventory of College Students’ Recent Life Experiences (ICSRLE) developed  by Kohn, Lafreniere, & Gurevich, 1990) measures college students exposure to hassles. The ICSRLE showed to be highly correlated with Cohen, Kamarack, and Mermestein’s (1983) Percieved Stress Scale (PSS), a reliable, valid and widely used measure of subjectively experienced stress, p < .0005).   The ICSRLE was modified for military application by Kohn (2012) and…name…  Inventory of Cadets’ Recent Life Experiences (ICRLE).The ICRLE consists of 54 items, some of which apply specifically to officer cadets (e.g., finding military training too demanding), and others of which apply more generally (e.g., not enough leisure time). Items cover such areas as military training, academic demands, romantic relationships, times pressures, alienation and social mistreatment. The response format involves subjects’ rating the extent of their experience with each item over the past month on the following 4-point scale: 1 = not at all part of my life; 2 =only slightly part of my life; 3 = distinctly part of my life; and 4 = very much part of my life.
The List of Threatening Experiences (LTE) 
The List of Threatening Experiences (LTE) developed by Brugha & Cragg (1990) is a reliable and valid measurement of major life events. The LTE has shown to have high test-retest reliability and good agreement with informant information Using the Bedford College Life Events and Difficulties Scales (LEDS) method developed by Brown and Harris (1978), concurrent validity, based on the criterion of independently rated adversity derived from a semistructured life events interview, showed both high specificity an sensitivity . The LTE consists of 12 categories of common life events that are highly likely to be threatening, such as bereavement or being fired from a job.  Participants select “Yes” or “No” in response to each statement, for example, have you had a serious illness or injury within the past 6 months?  Yes or No.
Cadets’ Adjustment to Royal Military College Questionnaire (CARMCQ)
The CARMCQ is a modified and somewhat longer version of the Soldier Adaptation to Army Questionnaire (SAAQ)(Ben-Knaz, Wintre, & Sugar, 1997). The SAAQ is a modified version of the Student Adaption to College Questionnaire (SACQ) (Baker & Siryk, 1989). The transition to military, and the transition to university includes similar experiences such as,  separation from family, new responsibilities, and typically occurs at the same age;  thus as per Wintre & Ben-Knaz , “there was no reason to assume some similarities with regard to issues involved in the two transitions”. The CARMCQ measures four subscales:  connectedness to the military in general; personal-emotional adaptation; social comfort and personal distress involving peers, superiors, and social comparisons; and motivation and performance such as commitment to personal goals, motivation to excel in the army, and personal performance. The questionnaire consists of 68 items. The items are scored on a 9-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1= applies closely to me to 9 = does not apply to me at all.

3. Procedure:
Complete CIMVHR from to gain access to do study at RMC. The ethics review board of York University and the Royal Military College approved the research protocol. A survey via survey monkey ..an invitation from an inside professor will be sent out to all officer cadets. Depending on the response rate, the invitation might have to send out a second time.  Posters will posted around campus with qr codes. The survey and posters will be available until sufficient number of respondents have been collected. Before the posters an approval by the RMC administration has to be granted.

4. Data Analysis:
Structural Equation Modeling techniques will be employed to investigate the complex relationships among observed and latent variables. The relationships describe the magnitude of the effect, (direct or indirect) that independent variables, (observed or latent) have on dependent variables, (observed or latent). Furthermore, SEM will statistically test a hypothesized model to determine the consistency of that model with the sample data. Path analysis, a subset of SEM, will be employed to test the following assumptions:
1) Adaptive coping reduces and life events increase hassles.
2) Adaptive coping improves personal-emotional, social and work adjustment
3) Hassles impair personal-emotional and work adjustment
4) The errors for personal-emotional, social and work adjustment intercorrelate positively. (This means that either the same unmeasured predictors affect these variables or that the unmeasured predictors for these variables are intercorrelated.

THE PRINCE APPEAL

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Prince
Prince was at his prime in the 1980s and 1990s. His painful past is one of the most intriguing things about him, and it is what made him so appealing to Generation X. Divorce is something that is

very common to the Generation X, and this is something that people can relate to with Prince and his music, particularly with “When Doves Cry.” His music spoke about the various things we desire, and about our longings and our fears. He was an understanding person who, through his lyrics, was able to help people to identify who they were and who they wanted to be in the world.

I would argue that it is divorce that is the common feature with Generation X, because the divorce rate was increased rapidly during this generation. In fact, an estimated 45 million American children born between 1965 and 1982 are a part of Generation X, with many of them being of the age that would typically listen to Prince. He is one of the many people during that time that was affected largely by his parents’ divorce, and that experience is what crafted much of the music that he sang. In fact, in the generation before Prince, only 10 of every 1,000 women divorced, by 1980, 22 women out of every 1,000 divorced. The result of his divorce at age 10 resulted in Prince moving around a lot. And this certainly left a mark on Prince that would seep into his music. He actually changed homes about 30 times after his parents’ divorce. But Prince’s experience was perhaps more difficult than what many others go through. He had a hard time with his father, and had a relationship that was full of good times and bad. His mother, however, abandoned him, and I will later discuss how his parents worked their way into the song, “When Doves Cry.”

Many people have used Prince’s lyrics to guide them through periods of their life, particularly those periods that were filled with much confusion. A group that was particularly fond of Prince’s music is children who were forced to essentially raise themselves, because their parents had abandoned them. Prince was a nerdy, small and solitary child, and he grew up to control his environment. He taught himself to play various instruments, so many that he was able to be his own band. But he did bring people onto his band later, and he would fire them when they suggested leaving the band.
Prince’s music also appealed to people who wanted to stop fighting a significant amount of pain in their lives. This was expressed in his song, “1999,” which essentially says that people should just party, and stop worrying about the end of the world coming at the turn of the millennium.

When Doves Cry

When Doves Cry” is the lead single from Prince’s 1984 album Purple Rain. In this song, Prince is crying out to his mother, in this very sad song. He says, “How can you just leave me standing alone in a world that’s so cold?” The song goes on to discuss the fact that it might be Prince’s own fault that his mother left him, that it was difficult for her to take care of him because he had too many needs: “Maybe I’m just too demanding (Maybe, maybe I’m like my father).” This is a common problem that children of divorce go through. Many of them blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, and the lyrics would suggest that is also what Prince was going through after his parents split.

People who are going through difficult times in romantic relationships may also find that this song appeals to them. The lyrics also look to be a discussion between two lovers who are having difficult times. Those who are having an argument with their spouse will likely see the song as depicting how many couples tend to blame each other for what is going on in the relationship. People having hard times in their relationships can likely see here that Prince is connecting his parent’s divorce with a current relationship. “Maybe I’m just like my father too bold/Maybe you’re just like my mother.” This can tell the story of many relationships that people who are children of divorce go through. They start falling into the roles that their parents fell into.

People who are going through turmoil can really relate to the song, not just those who have parent or relationship issues. Instead, it is those who have had problems in the past, and are now struggling to deal with those issues that are able to find comfort in what Prince is saying. Because everyone has experienced many difficult situations in their lives, the music appeals to many people.
While the song was written for the movie “Purple Rain,” it goes deeper than just being a song that relates to the movie’s script. Prince is in the movie, and has difficult times with his father, who he refers to as being very demanding. In the movie, his father actually beats his mother, and this gives us an idea of the darkness that was in Prince’s life, and those hardships are communicated in his music for people to relate to.

In the end, I think “When Doves Cry” is appealing on two levels. It is has a catchy beat that uses many instruments that were popular at the time. But, also, it contains lyrics to which many people can relate. This is evidenced by the wide appeal of Prince with Generation X. Not only did much of his music related to people on a very personal level, Prince himself was also a very amusing entertainer. He was something that people hadn’t really seen before, as he was, and still is, very unique.

PROPOSAL LIGHT POLLUTION

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In this essay, I would like to investigate the countries using the most amount of light. These include the well-developed countries that are densely populated, because they have the highest amount of light to open space ratio. The light is used to illuminate businesses, homes and various other places,

such as stadiums. Many people are not aware, but light is a pollutant, and it is not harmless. While there is not much known about the precise effects of light pollution, there are indications that are coming to light about the negative impact it has, and this should prompt people to use less of it because it has a negative effect on the health of people, animals and plants.

In the essay, I will define light pollution, and state when the problem was first noticed. I’ll cover why there is so little information about light pollution. I will then give an idea of all that is affected by light pollution and in what ways. The research is limited, but there are some components that can be communicated. It is then important to connect the world’s population growth with light pollution. This includes defining the various types of light pollution, such as light trespass and over illumination. I’d also like to investigate the study of light pollution, which began in the 1980s, and state how it became a bigger problem as third world countries started lighting up their homes. Also, it is important to state the various ways that light pollution affects people, animals, and plants. Finally, I will close the essay by giving the reader an idea of what can be done to minimize the various effects of light pollution in our everyday lives, and how this can improve the quality for life.

DO YOU HAVE BOUNDED RATIONALITY?

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Craig A. Lambert essay “The Marketplace of Perceptions,” and Reinhard Selten’s “What is Bounded Rationality?,” both take a close look at the human psyche while trying to draw conclusions on

why we do the things we do in relation to economics. They both investigate mainstream economic theory and how it has a deeply flawed impression of the human decision-making process. Both pieces turn to this ideal “Economic Man” as the fundamental flaw in economic theory and they lean instead to the more realistic “bounded rationality” to explain people’s true nature. Human’s aren’t rational beings and it is largely irrational emotions that drive us to make the decisions we make.

These articles attempt to convince the reader that behavioral economics should replace classical and neoclassical economics. They draw the link that economic agents are based on complete rationality, but there is no consideration for the fact that humans are not rational beings. The articles conclude that humans are not fully rational because people have limited cognitive capabilities.

Ultimately, the articles point to the fact that people have ideas about what they want to accomplish things such as quitting smoking and exercising – but they usually don’t follow through on these ideas, even though their execution would be rational. While people may be fully motivated to perform the task, they have cognitive blocks that are driven largely by strong emotional impulses. This is why mankind is not able to make decisions based on weighing the negatives against the positives.

The “gateway” disciplines the thinkers drawn upon include bounded rationality, which refers to the non-optimizing adaptive behavior of people. While it can’t be exactly defined, bounded rationality doesn’t take emotions into account when decisions are being made. Bounded rationality alone, however, doesn’t explain why humans make the decisions they do.

Reinhard Selten describes in “What is bounded rationality?,” the aspiration adaptation theory, which attempts to provide an idea of the insights related to creating a model of non-optimizing characteristics of the bounded rational economic agents. The theory, however, doesn’t claim that it is validated as providing a description of what causes people to make the decision they do.

Economic thinking has evolved to the point where we are now questioning the former thinking with behavioral economics. A more realistic idea of people in the marketplace can begin to form by taking into consideration human emotion and irrationalities. Instead of pursuing economics with an ideal way to be, we can start to develop a climate where we are more realistic in the ways we approach economics.
In order to evolve, we must first learn to recognize our true nature. In doing so, people could make better decisions, if they are aware of their nature. This objectivity comes from self-awareness that can lead us to learning and to growing. The neoclassical decision-maker simply relates the object to the choice made. However, the decision-maker in behavioral economics describes the object of their interest to themselves and they justify a transaction in a more emotional response. Bounded rationality helps draw the line from neoclassical economics to behavioral economics. This shift could improve the way we make decisions and improve our self-awareness and realistic view of economics.

Major world events such as the recession have improved the case for behavioral economics because the ideology allows us to recognize that we are emotional. With that recognition, we could learn to understand ourselves and know that we are likely being irrational when we made a decision to sell all our shares after the market had dipped by around 40 per cent. At that time, many people believed the market would never recover but, sure enough, it did – and those who recognized the irrational emotions of the general public profited on making stock purchases when the market was down.

By recognizing that people will likely always have emotions, pending any significant mental evolution over the next dozen centuries, mankind can start to move forward with the way in which we approach economics. Doing so will provide for a way to account for our irrationalities and perhaps outsmart temptation.

QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS: NETFLIX

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History
Netflix intends to attract business from people who want to watch movies and television. The company came onto the scene by storm in 1997 and offered hundreds of thousands of DVD rentals.

But the company shifted and adapted in 2007 to streaming content, which was quickly gobbled up by customers. In 2010, it expanded its horizons to find new customers throughout the world, and the company was then worth nearly $12 billion. The core proposition of being the go-to source for movies and television has driven the company to massive success and has led it to be known as an innovative company. Its value proposition puts its price in the competitive category. It wants to provide original content that is of excellent quality. The support systems are standard and the availability of content is universal, meaning it wants to provide all the content a customer would want, (Lawton, N.D.).

Services
Netflix has consistently positioned itself as a leader in the distribution of entertainment. It was the first company in 1990 to offer DVDs to people homes through the mail. Ten years later, the company started offering its product to people through online streaming, and was once again a leader in that field. All this was accomplished by being a leader in the dot-com era. In fact, it was once known as one of the most successful dot-com start-ups ever. The company is continuing its pursuit of being a leader by purchasing DVD.com. Netflix is so used to being a leader that is attempting to gobble up the competition. This is the position it has had, and it is the position that it wants to continue.
Netflix differentiates itself from the competition by offering a hybrid of services. It offers both home delivery and streaming. When the company first came out, it was differentiated by the fact that it was the only video company that was delivering to people’s homes. The company is still the world’s largest online movie rental service. It also provides these videos extremely fast, as they have 42 shipping centres in the United States. Approximately 1.575 DVDs are shipped each day.

Competitors
Netlix has identified Amazon.com as a potential competitor. The company offers customers with an opportunity to pay for each streaming session. The company also streams TV shows and movies on an unlimited subscriber basis. This service is offered through Amazon Instant Video, (Fisher, 2005).
While Amazon.com is consistently named Netflix’s greatest rival, it should be noted that a lot of the business is being lost to pirated online streaming. People are able to download for free from Bittorrent sites that download to software such as Vuze. It can take several hours to download the content, but while the process is illegal, people have taken to pirating this material to their computers, rather than paying for it. There have been several companies that have looked to compete with Netflix, such as Blockbuster, but they have since given up the fight to attract market share. There have been other DVD rental companies that have come on board to become market competitors, though their sales don’t come close to Netflix, as they don’t offer the online streaming. Wal-Mart started their rental service in 2002 before leaving in 2005 and then returning in 2010 when they acquired Vudu.
Some smaller-time competitors include Coinstar, Inc., Nutritional Sourcing Corp, West Coast Entertainment Corp., Rentrak Corp., Metro Global Media Inc., Roadrunner Video Group Inc., Video City, Inc., K-Tel International, Inc., and B2Digital, Inc.

CSR
While the company aims to be a leader in price, it is viewed as being the more expensive alternative to uploading content for free online. This became evident when the company’s profits fell in the third quarter of 2011, after the company increased its price by about 60 per cent. In July, 2011, the company learned that customer loyalty is a fragile thing. When it was known for its convenience and price up until the increase in price, the band had a loyal customer base. But that all changed with the price hike. While the increases in price were in order for the company to keep its mail-order and streaming service alive, the company claimed, many of the customers gathered on social networking sites to complain about the increase. This generated conversation among people about what alternatives there are for the service. Many customers either reduced their use of Netflix or they cancelled the service altogether. In a San Francisco Chronicle article, around 33 to 50 per cent of the subscribers said they would cancel the service, but the company wouldn’t say how many actually had cancelled, (Glagowski, 2011).

Some customers, however, have stayed with Netflix, saying the brand’s actions are in the best interest of the customers, and they feel that the product Netflix produces is of outstanding quality, which gives them good value for their money. The company’s decision to raise prices could have been necessary for survival, like the company said, but it is yet to be seen whether the brand will actually survive. While there are still those who value the company, customer loyalty is fragile, and it could take a while before the company is able to build its brand back up, (Glagowski, 2011).

Major Issues
In the first quarter of 2011, rentals and sales of packaged Blu-rays and DVDs plummeted by about 20 per cent. The packaged disc sales also fell by about 20 per cent. The ex-CMO Leslie Kilgore left the company in January 2012, and the position was vacant until filled by Kelly Bennett, who is the former vice-president of interactive, worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. This long wait between CMOs is a cause of concern for many of the company’s shareholders, and people are wondering whether the company will be able to continue.

I believe Netflix isn’t doing as well because there is a growing number of locations where a person can stream a video, and quite often these locations are for free. Several major competitors have also come on board to offer services that are comparable to those offered at Netflix. To battle this, Netflix increased its price by 60 per cent in June 2011 and customers have left since the change, (Tomko, 2011).
Netflix was at its prime 7 years ago when it was distributing one million DVDs per day, but now many people are going online for video streaming and this is an area where Netflix has come across more competition.

Works Cited
Fisher, K. (2005, June 19). Netflix sees a bright future, sans Amazon competition. Arstechnica.
Retrieved from http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2005/06/5011-2/

Glagowski, E. (2011, July 18). Netflix Learns the Hard Way that Customer Loyalty is Fragile. 1to1
Media. Retrieved from
http://www.1to1media.com/weblog/2011/07/netflix_learns_the_hard_way_th.html

Lawton, T. (N.D.) Assembling Your Business Model. Thomas Lawton. Retrieved from
http://www.intertradeireland.com/media/Assembling%20your%20business%20model%20presentation.pdf

Tomko, M. (2011, Nov. 1). Ideas aplenty on how Netflix could win back customers. Medill
Reports Chicago. Retrieved from http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=193634

THE EUREKA HUNT AND THE ANTI-SOCIALITE: A COMPARISON

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In “The Eureka Hunt,” Jonathan Lehrer talks about studies into the brain and how people come to an insight. The studies cited compare the right hemisphere of the brain and the left hemisphere, and then the prefrontal cortex, which plays the role as conductor in deciding which area of the brain is used.

“The Eureka Hunt” talks about the way the brain comes to a solution. Often, if there isn’t a “eureka” moment, then the brain will likely not come up with a solution to many puzzles. Also, if the brain spends too much time focusing on one issue, then it is likely the person who is thinking will hit a brick wall and won’t be able to come up with a solution. But if that person then goes for a walk, or distracts themselves in another way, the solution could come to them as their brain’s subconscious continues to work out the problem. The studies find that if an issue is concentrated on too much, then the brain won’t be able to figure it out. The research that is described in the article provides the scientific proof that certain areas of the brain are triggered when trying to figure out a problem, realizing the problem through a sudden insight, and then the excitement that comes after that “eureka” moment. In Denis Seguin`s “The Anti-Socialite,” he describes people who have Asperger’s syndrome. It explains the psychology of people who have the mental condition which is an offset of autism. The article describes the challenges of people and the families of those who have the condition. It also touches on the idea that people who have Asperger’s syndrome aren’t necessarily lacking anything, they just happen to have more developed math and engineering skills, for example. The fact that they don’t have social common sense actually caters to their abilities elsewhere, the article says. The article seems to explain what some people already assume, and that is that many people who are socially awkward are talented in areas of math and science, for example. Autism seems to be the extreme example of that. Both pieces paint a clear picture of the connection between the mind’s workings and the actions. They detail that people are really a product of their brain’s activity, and can’t fully control their actions.

The concepts of both works explain aspects of the capabilities of human psychology. Throughout “The Anti-Socialite,” Seguin describes the ways in which people are more capable when they have autism. “At age thirty-eight – the year he won the Fields Medal, the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize – [Borcherds] was diagnosed with AS. He is now a math professor at Berkeley,” (Seguin,2008, Par. 6).  While in “The Eureka Hunt,” Lehrer describes the ways in which people are more capable when they have a moment of insight: “If subjects didn’t solve [the puzzles] in a sudden ‘Aha!’ moment, they didn’t solve them at all,” (Lehrer, 2008, Par. 11).

The themes in both works use trees to describe the mental phenomenon that is being recorded. Lehrer quotes cognitive neuroscientist Mark Jung-Beeman as saying, “Language is so complex that the brain has to process it in two different ways at the same time. It needs to see the forest and the trees. The right hemisphere is what helps you see the forest,” (Lehrer, 2008, Par. 9). Similarly Seguin describes a quote from Tony Attwood, an autism expert, who says, “In the typical child, one tree grows quickly and dominates the clearing, shades the other plants, takes all the nutrients from the soil, and inhibits the development of competing plants. Now for the typical child that [tree] is the social part of the brain. But if that plant is not as dominant and doesn’t inhibit the others, then other plants will thrive,” (Seguin, 2008, Par. 25).

In Lehrer’s case, the use of the left side of the brain is inhibiting the use of the right side. In Seguin’s case, the fact that the social part of the brain isn’t being used allows for the use of other areas of the brain. These forest comparisons both point to the fact that the use of one area of the brain is at the detriment to another.

The issues in both works centre around the idea that both conditions are still a mystery, because of their nature: they are both heavily weighted on the psychology of each human subject. Throughout Lehrer’s article, scientists would constantly compete with the fact that they were unable to pinpoint the precise reason problems could often be solved from a moment of insight, when the answer would just come to the test subject, “The answer seemed to appear out of nowhere,” (Lehrer, 2008, Par. 15). In Seguin’s article, there is still a mystery as to why the people with autism are interpreting the world differently. “Attwood likens the diagnostic process to a hundred-piece jigsaw puzzle. ‘Each piece is a fragment or characteristic of AS,’” (Seguin, 2008, Par. 41).

In closing, while people would often like to think they are in control of their actions and the way they think, they are nothing more than the product of the way their brain functions. Those who have moments of insight can’t intentionally control the right hemisphere of their brains to come to the insight. Similarly, people with autism can’t control the way they interact: they will always lack social skill but excel in other areas. If people could control the way their minds work, then maybe they could change their destiny.

Works Cited
Lehrer, J. (2008, July 28). The Eureka Hunt. The New Yorker. Retrieved from
http://www.uwo.ca/sci/_files/pdf/Lehrer_Eureka_Hunt_New_Yorker_July_2008.pdf

Seguin, D., (2008) The Anti-Socialite. The Walrus. Retrieved from
http://walrusmagazine.com/articles/2008.09-family-the-antisocialite-denis-seguin-how-to-tell-if-a-child-has-aspergers-autism/3/

BAKER’S ASTHMA PREVENTION

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Prevention Strategies
The first strategy to prevent this dreadful condition is to avoid dusts or to be an arm’s length from the polluted places which are replete with dusts. Sometimes some things also produce dusts, for example,

when you clean wheat, certainly there you will get polluted dusts, so you should avoid from such places. Flour dusts also create asthma, so it would be better for Bakers’ workers to avoid them. Other precautions may be as such:

One approach to reducing asthma disparities is through the traditional disease prevention-stages. Primary prevention targets reductions in asthma incidence, secondly prevention is the mitigation of established disease and involves disease detection, management and control, and tertiary prevention is the reduction of complications caused by serve disease (Tarlo et al., 2001).  Once causation factors at each level of disease-prevention are understood, this knowledge can be translated into clinical practice and public health policy. It is paramount to distinguish race as a risk maker as oppose to a risk factor

Primary Prevention:  
Primary prevention is the ideal form of preventing Baker’s asthma. In this form of prevention, the workers do not get in touch with asthma causing agents. It is known that the causes of asthma cannot be totally eliminated from the workplace; however, protection can be provided. The introduction of sensitizers should be totally eliminated, or any alternate should be sought for.  For eg: The high-protein, powdered gloves can be replaced with non powdered, low protein gloves ( Ebo & Stevens, 2002).
At the workplace, respiratory protective devices should be used. The primary prevention method also includes educating workers with the use of devices, performing fitment tests, and providing guidance for safer practices (Bernstein,2002). There can be several programs and trainings conducted for work related asthma, risks, and prevention.

Primary prevention of asthma has been possible with technological advances like digital photography, radiography with changes in digital imaging. Other change related to medical sciences is avoiding the use of glutaraldehyde for sterilization (eg, of endoscopes) to alternate less potent agents, like ortho-phthalaldehyde.  The less potent agent reduces the risk of exposure.
Another example of avoiding a sensitizer is the replacing unnecessary NRL gloves with vinyl gloves for food handlers and cleaners/hospital housekeepers.

Production method of NRL gloves being changed, so that the proteins can be leached, and powder can be reduced from gloves with other preventive measures have been associated with reduced NRL allergy and asthma among health care workers. Reduced rate of allergy could also be explained with examples of laboratory animal workers.

Similarly, use of robotics in enclosed settings could also be a form of method to reduce exposure of human to sensitising agents. The painters can use spray painting method with paints having diisocyanates. If the use of these agents cannot be totally avoided, then the protective respiratory equipments, gloves, protective environment should be made available to the workers. The worker should also be properly educated. The workers who have not been properly educated have been found more affected than those who were aware of using the preventive measures (Allmers, Schmengle, & John, 2004).

QUEBEC SEPARATION

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As ex-Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has said, it is important that Quebecois look closely at the implications of separation if it is to make a decision about dividing from Canada.

The economic well-being of not only those making the decision, but those of their children as well would be impacted by Quebec choosing to separate. Quebec’s rejection of being a part of Canada started to grow during the Quiet Revolution, but then it became ingrained later in the Quebec identity, as it slowly started to reject the principles of nationalism.

Just after a year of being incepted, the Bloc Quebecois said that Canadian federalism isn’t acceptable to the province of Quebec. Specifically, Bloc Quebecois said the never ending federal deficit that has been evident throughout the years, and the public debt, are hindrances to the province. The federal economic policy isn’t designed for Quebec, the party pronounced. This is because there is inadequate training for federal jobs. Poor federal funding focused on research and development and a swollen and pricey federal public service, as well as an expanding social and regional inequality. These are all hindrances to the prosperity of Quebec, the Bloc claims. The party is so concerned about what they call these shortcomings that they should be given permission to assume the role as a nation state. “This, according to the Bloc, will only become possible when Quebec becomes fully sovereign,” (Nekrassovaki, 2012).

The Bloc Quebecois has said that Quebec needs to become sovereign in order to be able to fully participate in the global economy. The Bloc states that the rules of the international trade are in favour of nation-states. International trade organizations focus only on nations, rather than on provinces, the Bloc asserts.

But the Bloc also believes that the province’s social and economic policies are burdened by being a part of Canada, and the federal government continues to interfere with the provincial government’s initiatives. The federal government is a burden to the operations in the province, the Bloc asserts. Promotional and research and development devices are focused at the federal level and they are not fairly distributed among all of the provinces. Quebec, specifically, doesn’t get its fair share. The Bloc also points out that Quebec receives far less than Ontario gets, as far as federal transfer payments are concerned. However, Quebec is the recipient of high interest rates and the dollar is overvalued, which is caused by the Bank of Canada, and this is highly damaging to the province’s economy, (Nekrassovski, 2012).
In analyzing the reasons why Quebec wants to separate, the Quiet Revolution should also be explored. The Quiet Revolution extended from 1960 to 1966 and this was during the Liberal Party rule of Prime Minister Jean Lesage. In this term, he was coined by a Toronto journalist as being member to a revolution occurring in Quebec, though the revolution was quiet. There was a time period that took place prior to the quiet revolution, and this was called the “duplessisme.” This was supposed to be a time of extreme conservatism, traditionalism and a rejection of the modern ways of doing things. At this time, the province had fallen behind in the times and it had gained a very negative characteristic and it was living through the “les annees noires,” which is a Quebec equivalent to the Dark Ages. Many people have challenged this view, but there isn’t any question that Quebec’s Prime Minister, Maurice Duplessis, and then the election of the Liberal Party’s Jean Lesage, was a time where there was intense changes that were happening. In the end, the accumulation of these events led to what people were calling the Quiet Revolution. “The first major change that took place during the Quiet Revolution was the large-scale rejection of past values,” (Belanger, 2000). The largest among those who were rejecting was Michel Brunet, who was referred to as “les trois dominantes de la pensee canadienne-francaise: l’angriculturisme, le messianisme et l’anti-etatisme.” This means the three main components of French Canadian though were agriculturalism, messianism and anti-statism. In regards to this, Quebec was in a phase where it was trying desperately to modernize. It was more secular and it was gradually moving away from what the federal government was doing. The attitudes were increasingly liberal and the established demographic tendencies were beginning to wane. All of these changes amounted to a revolution. Among all of the values that were associated with the past during the time that Quebec was strongly a part of Canada, only the nationalism continued with any strength at the time. But even that began to change, as became evidenced in the years ahead.

The results of this are expressed in Charles Taylor’s “Shared and Divergent Values,” he discusses the role of Canadian identity and how views of individual cultures have slowly dissipated into an agreement over politics and culture, particularly in Quebec. He said the Canadian government plays a role in shaping the various cultures, particularly that of Quebec and then the rest of Canada, into one consciousness through declarations such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Policies that are put in place throughout the country, with no consideration for how these policies affect individual groups, have caused cultural individuality to slowly erode. Liberal individualism that Taylor touts, allows for the roots of each person in society to come through. He believes in a middle way, where there is national identity, but also the preservation of an individual’s culture. His theory touches on the very essence of what it means to be Canadian, and that essence is the idea of preserving cultural roots while also following a national identity. In making this argument, Taylor focused almost entirely on Quebecers, because the province is the most important when expressing the multiculturalism that Canada represents.

Taylor rightly argues that the Canadian government hasn’t done a good job at respecting the cultures of this country’s citizens, particularly in Quebec. Instead, there seems to be an integration of the various cultures, whether that is political or cultural. These could be related to social provisions, violence, firearms and about democracy, (1994: 156). But as Thomas points out, this development is relatively recent. Approximately 50 years ago, there were widely divergent beliefs about fundamentals such as the aforementioned political and cultural factors of life. For example, at this time, Quebec and the rest of Canada had different views about things like the treatment of Communists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, (1994: 156).

In trying to explain how this erosion of cultures in Canada into an assimilated culture, Taylor asks about what is the point of a country. He says this is in contrast to asking what people cherish as being good, (Taylow, 1994). In addressing what the point of a country is, he is trying to determine how a country can be internationally sovereign, yet preserve multiple cultures within its framework.

Taylor’s makes his argument about the role of Quebec and of the culture. He gives concrete examples of how the French culture has been fragmented. For example, he talks about lack of sovereignty that Canada gives Quebec. This has eventually caused not only the rebellion among Quebecers, but also the unstable identity throughout the country. In addition, the ignorance of what many Bloc Quebecois people have said about the relationship the federal government has in respecting French culture.

There is also some reference in Taylors work about how the issues in Quebec have translated into issues for other demographics in Canada. For example, he considers people of Western Canada to be a culture of their own, one that is neglected by the federal government because they are too far away. Instead of paying closer attention to the needs of people in Western Canada, initiatives such as block funding are carried out, (Taylor, 1994).

Taylor does explains that the relationship the federal government has with Quebec has contributed to a cultural melting pot. Ex-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau declared Canada as a multicultural nation, and I believe that statement has helped lead this country into acceptance of those who have different cultural backgrounds, though that isn’t the views expressed by the Bloc.

Taylor also relates the issues in Quebec to what has happened with First Nations in laying out his plan for an ideal Canada. While specifying the cultural erosion that has taken place in various forms, he has built a framework around which an ideal Canada can begin to form. The Quebec issue is just part of the problem, and it can’t be solved by providing a hybrid, as Taylor points out, of preserving one’s culture while also abiding by a national identity. Quebec separatists have rebelled against an Anglophone federal government for over a century, and there is no reason why they would now decide to accept a culture where they wave the Canadian flag and then the next minute they find a way to preserve their French identity.

Works Cited
Taylor, Charles. 1994. “Shared and Divergent Values.” Reconciling the Solitudes: Essays on
Canadian Federalism and Nationalism. Ed. Laforest, Guy. McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Nekrassovski, O. (2012). Quebec SeparatismAcademia. Retrieved from
http://www.academia.edu/2041768/Quebec_Separatism

Belanger, C. (2000, Aug. 23). The Quiet RevolutionMarianopolis College. Retrieved from
http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/events/quiet.htm

HISTORICAL ROOTS AND GENESIS OF RAGTIME

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Ragtime music peaked in popularity between the years of 1897 and 1918. It is largely characterized as syncopated, or having a ragged rhythm.
The music originated in the red-light district in African American communities in New Orleans and St. Louis, and then it became widespread as sheet music that was often played on the piano, (Smith, 2012). In this essay, I will explain the origins and genesis of ragtime music. The music is extremely grassroots, but due to the mass appeal of its up-tempo sound, it is one of the first forms of music to earn widespread appeal once converted into sheet music, and this makes it the first true American music genre and the source of many incarnations.

One of the most dominant figures in ragtime music is Ernest Hogan. He was an African American entertaining and was the first black person to star and produce in a Broadway show. It was called “The Oyster Man,” and it hit the stage in 1907. This musical helped create the widespread appeal of ragtime, and helped launch Hogan and the music genre into fame, (Smith, 2012). While ragtime largely originated in New Orleans and St. Louis, Hogan was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky. When he was a teenager, he travelled with minstrel shows as a musician, dancer and a comedian. Even prior to “The Oyster Man,” Hogan had published many popular songs (in the late 1800s), and these were in the ragtime category. In fact, Hogan named the new musical genre. The hit songs included “All Coons Look Alike to Me,” and “La Pas Ma La.” In “All Coons Look Alike to Me,” there were many spinoff songs created by other artists, and these were called “coon songs.” They used stereotypical and racist images of black people. The racial slur “coon” in the song made many African American people very upset. Despite that, the song sold over 1 million copies. When other people performed the song, they took out the word “coon” and replaced it. Hogan said before he died that he regretted using the word “coon” in the song as it is a “race betrayal,” (Smith, 2012).

This controversy associated with the word “coon” in the song has led Hogan to be overlooked in some instances as being the originator of ragtime. His songs are among the first published ragtime songs and they are the first to use “rag” in their copy of sheet music. Hogan did not claim that he created ragtime, but fellow African American musician Tom Fletcher that Hogan was the first person to put the type of music onto paper. His song “All Coons Look Alike to Me,” is considered to be one of the most challenging songs to play. In fact, during the 1900 World Competition in New York, competitors played the song to show how skilled they were at their instrument, (Smith, 2012).

Despite the negative publicity, Hogan was one of the most successful performers of his time, not only for his music, but also for his comedy. While Hogan regretted using the word “coon,” he said that it was good for the music business, because it got people to start listening to the music, and generating a cash flow, based on the controversy of the word “coon.” Another notable achievement, and as a spinoff of ragtime, Hogan created a dance called the “pasmala,” and this was a dance where people walk forward and then take three steps back, (Smith, 2012).
Ragtime also gained much of its popularity from John Philip Sousa. He was a composer and he conducted much of the music in the “Romantic era,” which was known much for the American military and the patriotic marches. He was a master of the “march” composition and is best known for his “The March King.” His style of music is believed to be the precursor to ragtime, and he is responsible for a large amount of ragtime’s tempo. The music that he composed had a strong regular rhythm that was originally expressed through marching, and it was often performed by a military band. The music ranged from the moving death march, to the fast-paced military marches. Sousa was most known for the latter. Many of his compositions found their roots in Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. Other influences include Chopin’s Sonata in B flat minor, Franz Schubert’s Marches Militaries and in Handel’s Dead March in Saul, (Award, 2006).

Ragtime was also largely influenced by the “cakewalk,” which was a dance that came out of the “Price Walks.” These were held during the late 19th century, and were generally performed during social occasions on slave plantations in Southern United States. There were alternative names that were released, such as the “chalkline-walk,” and the “walkaround.” At the end a performance in 1976, there was a massive cake that was awarded to the winning couple at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. This is how the name of the dance was changed to the “cakewalk.” After that, the dance was only performed by men during minstrel shows until the 1890s. Thereafter, women were once again added, and this facilitated a slew of improvisations. Eventually it was changed to create what many called a “grotesque” dance, which was popular throughout the nation. The style of dance is perhaps best explained by 1950s ragtime entertainer Shepard Edmonds:
“The cakewalk was originally a plantation dance, just a happy movement they did to the banjo music because they couldn’t stand still. If was generally on Sundays, when there was little work, that the slaves both young and old would dress up in hand-me-down finery to do a high-kicking, prancing walk-around. They did a take-off on the manners of the white folks in the ‘big house,’ but their masters, who gathered around to watch the fun, missed the point. It’s supposed to be that the custom of a prize4 started with the master giving a cake to the couple that did the proudest movement” (Gawlikowska, 2013).

According to Brooke Baldwin, who wrote an article about the cakewalk, “The Cakewalk: A Study in Stereotype and Reality,” the dance is intended to satirize the white culture, which was deemed superior at the time. However, the masters did not consider it to be offensive because they determined that it was just a simple performance that was created for the masters’ pleasure. The cakewalk is largely associated with ragtime music because of the musical comedy that was performed in 1898 called “Clorindy, or The Origin of the Cake Walk,” which was performed on Broadway. The music that was played during the show was ragtime. The show represented the first time that black and white performers were a part of the same cast on a New York stage, (Gawlikowska, 2013).

Other influences of ragtime include the polyrhythm, which uses conflicting rhythms that are not often perceived immediately as coming from each other. And they are not seen as being from the same meter. This conflict in rhythm is often the basis for the entire musical composition, but it can also come in the form of a momentary disruption. The polyrhythm is often distinguished from the irrational rhythm, and this can happen in the context of a single part of the song. These rhythms are often used in ragtime music, and the chaotic nature can be heard in Hogan’s “All Coons Look Alike to Me,” which makes this an important form of music to understand in order to gain a sense of where ragtime originated, (Delahoyde, 1982).

As another major influencer of ragtime music, Scott Joplin gained fame through his release in 1899 of the “Maple Leaf Rag,” which is a stringed form of ragtime music. He is the creator of the hit song “The Entertainer.” However, he was largely forgotten for his contributions to the genre. Only a small and dedicated following of ragtime lovers kept following him, and then he was brought back to prominence when ragtime revived around the 1970s. In the 12 years after “Maple Leaf Rag” was produced, it influenced many of the ragtime musicians due to the melody lines, metric patterns and harmonic progressions, (Scott, 1996).

Joplin was an African American, and it is largely in this demographic where ragtime grew. Emerging in the late 19th century, it became most widely famous at the beginning of the 20th century and people frequently danced and listened to it. And this fame was not only in the African American community, but in many other cultures. It was a music that brought people together, and broke down cultural barriers, which were very thick during that period. Furthermore, those who wrote and performed ragtime music were also from various cultures. Whatever the culture performing the music, it can be distinctly categorized as being a synthesis of European classical music and African syncopation, and this is particularly evident in Sousa’s marches, (Scott, 1996).

It was not long after Sousa that ragtime was in its heyday, and was considered to be among the most popular music for its time. This was just prior to sound recordings, near the end of the 19th century. Since that time, it has become obvious that classical ragtime had a written tradition of being a form of distributed sheet music, rather than by being communicated through recordings. This is similar to how classical music was transmitted over the years, but unlike how jazz was transmitted – those two genres represent from where ragtime came and what ragtime influenced, respectively.  In addition to sheet music, ragtime was transferred with piano rolls that are used for player pianos, (Jennings, 2012).

Prior to this popular period of ragtime, a folk ragtime existed. This was mostly created by Scott Joplin’s “John Stillwell Stark.” This was often played with the banjo, in stringed bands and at mandolin clubs. It origins are thought to be from the itinerant African American piano, which is a form of the non-formal syncopated music. This form of ragtime remained active until the 1920s, similar to the regular ragtime music. The revival followed much of the same pattern as regular ragtime, but instead of beginning in the 1950s, it started in 1947 at the re-discovery of Sanford Brunson Campbell. He was one of the most famous folk ragtime performers and he was also a student of Joplin. Folk ragtime was also famous in the early 1960s, when it was once again brought back to the forefront by Trebor Jay Tichenor, (Jennings, 2012). Folk ragtime mainly differed from regular ragtime in that it mixed the various themes of the traditional styles, but performed them in a random way. The uniqueness of the performances can be heard in the Folk Rags by Sanford Brunson Campbell in 1947. These performances show the embellishment and improvisation of the basic themes of ragtime, and they seem to be making up the melody as the music goes along. The folk ragtime music also has a distinctly blues influence. They are also based on a 12-bar pattern and often seem to incorporated blues notes that are flatted. Also, many of the themes that are used in the folk ragtime are based on simple chords mixed with tonic-dominant chord relationships, (Jennings, 2012).

Another form of ragtime to emerge is called “novelty piano,” or “novelty ragtime.” This started to gain dominance as the traditional forms of ragtime became less popular. The traditional form of ragtime often relied on sheet music and pianists, but the novelty ragtime used the new piano-roll technology and phonograph records to make the music more pyrotechnic, complex, and performance-oriented. One of the most famous novelty rag composers is Zez Confrey. His song “Kitten on the Keys,” made novelty ragtime popular in 1921. The music can be characterized at being the piano cousin of jazz music, and both styles of music appeared around the same time. The first novelty ragtime hit is by Felix Arndt, “Nola.” That song was released in 1915, but the genre did not really catch on until six years later, (Gawlikowska, 2012). The earliest composers of the music were keen on selling the piano rolls, and many of these pieces began as very complex rags that had characteristic breaks, advanced harmonies and consecutive fourths. This style of ragtime was much more complex than regular ragtime, which was sold in sheet music and was limited in its complexity. Also, sheet music was often written so that it could be played by an amateur. Charley Straight is largely considered to be the pioneer of the style. He compositions were typically issued on the piano roll many years before Confrey’s novelty hits took over. Novelty ragtime kept its popularity until the end of the 1920s. This was a time when bands were starting to gain much of the public’s attention. Player pianos started to fall into decline, and the vast popularity of jazz music continued to grow. The novelty piano eventually was brought into the orchestral styles, due to the fact that pianos were often moved off of the public limelight and were used more for a supporting role in much of the music that was popular at the time, (Gawlikowska, 2012).

Ragtime is also credited as providing the roots for the stride piano, which is an improvisational piano that was popular throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Included in the music are various forms of ragtime. Stride piano typically utilizes the left hand to play four-beat pulses that have a single bass note, seventh or tenth interval in the third and first beats, and an octave. The style also possesses a chord on the fourth and second beats. Sometimes, the pattern is reversed by the pianist placing the bass notes on the upbeat and the chard on the downbeat. The stride players use their left hands to often leap over longer distances on their keyboards. This allows them to put a larger emphasis on improvising and they can also play a wider range of tempos. The style is highly rhythmic and it is somewhat percussive in its nature because of the “oom-pah” action that is taking place with the left hand. The musician usually plays a single bass note in their left hand, or a bass octave or tenth, which is then followed by a chord. In the right hand, the pianist plays a syncopated melody. This is characterized by its similar nature to blues-type embellishments and a similar fill pattern. Stride and ragtime, however, has its differences. For example, unlike in ragtime, the pianist in stride style is not concerned with the ragtime form of music, and they did not intentionally avoid playing the pop songs of the times, which ragtime did avoid. It should be noted, however, that while similarities can be drawn between the pop music of the day, and stride piano, the stride always kept its flavour of tempo. Another difference between ragtime and the stride piano, is the improvisation, (Smith, 2012). Ragtime was typically very detailed in its composition, but stride piano often took on an improvised quality. Generally, the beat of the stride piano would be the same, but there was a lot of opportunity for chord improvisations with the right hand and many of the stride pianists were well known for being extremely talented at improvisation. In fact, many of the best stride piano players did not know how to read music, as they were talented for their ability to understand the general style, and then create music around that basic structure. Another key difference between ragtime and stride is its fast tempo. Ragtime is not generally known for having a fast tempo, but the vast majority of music related to stride has a rapid pace.

While ragtime was hugely popular around the turn to the 20th century, it gave way to a new incarnation: jazz. In 1917, jazz took the public eye, but ragtime has made a comeback through various other forms of music, and this has led to periods of its rediscovery. For example, in the 1940s, various jazz bands started to play ragtime with their music. A larger revival came one decade later when there was a larger variety of the ragtime styles that emerged from the past. At this point, much of the old-time ragtime music began appearing on many records. Also during the 1950s, new compositions of ragtime started making their way to the charts, and this represented a period where it was not just the revival of old ragtime songs that were coming back, it was a time where there were new compositions. Then, in 1971, Joshua Rifkin came out with a compilation of Scott Joplin’s music, and this was nominated for a Grammy Award, (Ragtime, n.d.). Two years later, The New England Ragtime Ensemble, which was then a student group that was called The New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble, released “The Red Back Book,” which is a compilation of the Scott Joplin rags that were composed in a period orchestration that was edited by the conservatory president named Gunther Schuller. That album was the recipient of a Grammy Award for being the Best Chamber Music Performance of that year, and it was named onto the Billboard’s Top Classical Album of 1974. Not too long after, the hit movie “The Sting” presented ragtime to a large audience, as it had the soundtrack of the Joplin music on it. “The Sting” gave ragtime a wider audience than it perhaps ever had. The film created its own rendering of Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” which had originally gained fame in 1902. In 1974 it was a top-5 hit song.

Perhaps it is due to that revival that Joplin’s music is at the forefront of the ragtime music, and has been compared to the mazurkas by Chopin, the minuets by Mozart and the waltzes by Brahms. Ragtime has even influenced Erik Satie, the classical composer. Both Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy are the products of ragtime. As has been shown, ragtime ties closely with the styles of music prior to its existence, and it provides the link between classical music and jazz, which has in turn influenced much of the music we hear today. Music continues to take influences from previous genres, and alter them in a way that creates new styles. But ragtime is arguably the most important link in music, taking what was old instrumental styles, and giving it a contemporary, vocal flavour.

Works Cited
“Award-Winning Self-Faught Composer in Chicago Society’s ‘Rediscovering Ragtime.’” (2006).
The University of Chicago http://chicagosociety.uchicago.edu/news/0602ragtime.htm

Delahoyde, M. (1982). Ragtime. Washington State University. Retrieved from
http://public.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/20th/ragtime.html

Gawlikowska, A. (2013). Imprisonment and False Liberation in Ragtime Anna Gawlikowska.
Acadamia. Retrieved from           http://www.academia.edu/4227621/Imprisonment_and_False_Liberation_in_Ragtime_Anna_Gawlikowska

Jennings, S. (2012). Ragtime narrates a changing America. Liberty Champion. Retrieved from

Ragtime narrates a changing America

Ragtime Collection. (n.d.). University of Colorado Boulder. Retrieved from
http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/music/smp/rag.htm

Scott Joplin. (1996). Lone Star Junction. Retrieved from
http://www.lsjunction.com/people/joplin.htm

Smith, R. (2012). Exploring the multi-generational influence of American Ragtime Music through
the works of Charles Ives’ William Walton and William Bolcom. Edith Cowan University.    
Retrieved from
http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=theses_hons

QUOTATION ANALYSIS: ‘THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE’

Sample by My Essay Writer
Quotation: I chose the following quotation from “The Confessions of Saint Augustine:” “Behold, O Lord God, yea, behold patiently as Thou art wont how carefully the sons of men observe the covenanted

rules of letters and syllables received from those who spake before them, neglecting the eternal covenant of everlasting salvation received from Thee” (p. 11).

Paraphrase: Look God, be patient as people learn about your sacred rules on life. People are really looking carefully on these important rules of yours and they really want to obey them, but they are not fully aware of the implications about not following your rules. Give them some time and they will start to obey these rules of yours.

Interpretation: This quote is saying that God should be patient with people as they try to adjust to the word of God, and to follow His or Her teachings. The word of God is relatively new at this point, and the people do not know how to live a life where they are obeying the scripture. It is necessary for people to have some time to adjust to the words of God, and then they will be more willing and able to obey God. The primary difficulty at this moment is getting people to know what the implications are if they do not believe in God. People need to know that God will not save them, “neglecting the eternal covenant of everlasting salvation received from Thee” (p. 11), if they do not listen to his rules. This is evident because the story is about the need to thank God for His or Her redemption. God has saved people and He or She offers them salvation from the devil. However, the people need to become familiar with His or Her power, and the implications of not listening to God’s rules.

Critique: Due to the fact that the story is about the sinful life of Augustine, this interpretation makes sense. The quote is discussing the actions of God’s people, and this represents the actions of Augustine, because he has lived a life of sin. The quote is also saying that he and others still live sinful lives because they are not yet aware of the implications of not obeying the rules of God. The quote does a good job at summing up the story in one sentence. It cleverly uses the example of the people to communicate to the reader what the implications are for the sinful life that Augustine is living. The story is about the early years of Moses saying the 10 Commandments, and it discusses how many people believed in the word of God not long after, but they still needed a period to adjust before being able to follow the word of God with precision. It also provides an interesting look at what God might be feeling about the actions of the people, and provides an objective look at the fact that God may need to be patient before his rules and the implications of not following them are understood.