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Obesity and Education Attainment in Minorities Essay Example

Obesity and Education Attainment in Minorities

Introduction

Obesity affects an individual’s self-esteem, socialization skills, and performance at work and school. Educational attainment can affect obesity levels since a higher level of education is negatively correlated to obesity (Kim, 2016). Education increases people’s self-esteem and confidence. It also introduces people to the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle that leads to higher incidences of obesity. This research investigates the effect that education attainment has on incidences of obesity in Hispanic and African American communities.

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Unusual Ways You Can Improve Your Writing

When it comes to writing content, there isn’t a job in the world that doesn’t require some kind of comprehension and expression. While some of us are born with the gift of being able to write flawlessly, there are just as many of us that struggle with it very much. 

This is why it’s important for you to know that there are ways in which you can improve your writing. They may not be conventional, but they’re certainly effective.

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Determinism Essay Example

Determinism

Introduction

In this essay on whether human activities are determined, the focus will be on the perspective of psychologist Amy Smith who asserted that while people do have automatic behaviors, they can be controlled through an individual’s internal mental processes which are similar to the concept of free will. This perspective is in direct opposition to the views of Bargh and Chartrand who present the notion that a person’s everyday actions are not based on their conscious intentions or purposeful choices but by external environmental influence (Bargh & Chartrand, 1999). This assumption by Bargh and Chartrand can be considered similar to the notion of irrational exuberance which states that people base their actions on the behaviors of other people. As such, it can be assumed that an individual’s interaction with the world around them is based on what they have perceived other people were doing resulting in a form of emulation. An example of this notion was shown in the case example involving a man becoming predisposed to violence due to watching a movie that depicts violence. However, the problem with utilizing this example is that violent movies and television shows are a typical Hollywood staple with millions watching some type of violent program each year yet this has not created a society that is specifically oriented towards violence. This reveals that there must be some underlying factor in place that influences people to restrain their actions which enable them to enjoy the violent scenes they are watching but not desire to actively take part in a similar escapade.

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The Myth of the Eternal Feminine in The Stepford Wives Essay Example

The Myth of the Eternal Feminine in The Stepford Wives

The driving ideology behind Simone de Beauvoir’s essay “Women: Myth and Reality” is the myth of the Eternal Feminine.  She insists that this concept, explicitly created by men, is in direct opposition to observed reality, in which women are individuals who cannot be defined by any universal blanket experience.  When an individual woman embraces lived experience that does not conform to this myth she is considered by patriarchal society to be less of a woman.  The 1975 film The Stepford Wives provides a perfect example of these concepts.  In the film, the main character, Joanna, refuses to conform to her husband and his male friends’ ideas of femininity.  In the context of the film, as Beauvoir insists, her refusal to adhere to the standards of the Eternal Feminine does not bring into question the validity of the myth but instead brings into question Joanna’s worth as a woman.

Beauvoir establishes the Eternal Feminine as a Platonic Form that is created by men as a ruling class and is directly in opposition to reality.  As she points out, “in place of fact, value, significance, knowledge, empirical law, it substitutes a transcendental Idea, timeless, unchangeable, necessary” (Beauvoir, 784).  The fact is that women are autonomous individuals who cannot be universally defined.  According to Beauvoir, this is inconvenient to men, who would rather understand all women to be subordinate to their will.  In the context of The Stepford Wives, the myth of the Eternal Feminine manifests itself in the form of the wives themselves, who are all excellent housewives with no interests other than providing for the needs of their husbands.  All of them began as autonomous human beings, and all of them have given up on their personal interests and what has made them individuals in favor of conforming to the ideals laid out by the men’s association.

In a patriarchal society, the power of the myth of the Eternal Feminine trumps the reality of women’s lived experience, justifying men’s assumptions regarding women’s roles.  “If,” as Beauvoir points out, “the definition provided for this concept is contradicted by the behavior of flesh-and-blood women, it is the latter who are wrong; we are not told that Femininity is a false entity, but that the woman concerned is not feminine” (Beauvoir, 785).  This conflict between myth and lived reality comes up repeatedly over the course of The Stepford Wives.  In the film, the women who fail to conform adequately to the myth are literally flesh-and-blood women, while the Stepford Wives are essentially robots.  The myth of the Eternal Feminine is so pervasive that the men would actually literally prefer to kill their wives and replace them with robots.  When Johanna realizes what is going on and describes her fears to her therapist, she insists that if her husband and the other men get their way “There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me!” (The Stepford Wives).  Joanna recognizes that the reality of her life as a woman and her personal identity are going to be subjugated to the myth, but she is unable to do anything to prevent it.

The reason Joanna and the other women are helpless to prevent the men from replacing them with Ideal wives is that the men themselves hold all the power in Stepford.  When viewed through the lens of Beauvoir’s social theory this is unsurprising.  She points out that “The epochs and the social classes that have been marked by the leisure to dream have been the ones to set up the images, black and white, of femininity” (Beauvoir, 791).  The entire membership of the men’s association represents the leisure class.  They are all rich and successful white men who seem to have chosen their partners based on appearance rather than love.  Joanna’s friend Charmaine confides that her husband “married me because I look great and would make an impression on the other executives” (The Stepford Wives).  He doesn’t care about her interests or her autonomy as a human being.  To her husband Ed, as to the other men in Stepford, Charmaine is a status symbol.  Beauvoir points out that the myth of Femininity is consistently advantageous to the ruling class, as it “justifies all privileges and even authorizes their abuse” (Beauvoir, 787).  This is certainly the case in Stepford.  When Joanna confronts her husband about what has happened to her friend Bobbie after she has been replaced her husband’s response is to tell her that she is crazy and ask her when she is going to start cleaning their house better.  He clearly prefers the false Femininity of Diz’s robot wives to the true intimacy of marriage with another human being, and in the end, he uses this as an excuse for killing Joanna.  Right before she is to be killed Joanna asks Diz why they are doing it and he responds “Why?  Because we can” (The Stepford Wives).  It is hard to imagine an attitude more privileged than Diz and the other men’s.  When their expectations for their wives’ behavior, which have been established by society and it’s the myth of Femininity, they feel justified in replacing them with more “Feminine” robots.

The Stepford Wives provides a perfect illustration of Beauvoir’s concept of the Eternal Feminine and how it has shaped society.  The men have all the power in town and they decide what is appropriate feminine behavior.  When their wives fail to adhere to these standards the men feel entitled to literally kill them and replace them with house-cleaning sex-fanatic robots, quite clearly showing that the men of Stepford wholeheartedly embrace the myth of the Eternal Feminine and that the women of Stepford have no say over how the men are defining their Femininity.  When women arrive in Stepford their lived realities are quite drastically different from the myth of the Feminine to which they are subjected by their husbands.  As Beauvoir would likely point out, the fact that the women’s failure to adhere to their society’s expectations leads without exception to the denial of their individual value as women and as people rather than a denial of the veracity of these myths is a testament to how powerful they truly are.

 

 

Works Cited

De Beauvoir, Simone. “Women: Myth and Reality.” The Second Sex. 1953.

The Stepford Wives [film]. Bryan Forbes, Director. Palomar Pictures, 1975

Appreciative Inquiry Essay Example

What is appreciative inquiry (AI)?

Profit and nonprofit organizations around the world are increasingly using this appreciative approach to foster collaborative change and make use of its strength to compete successfully. According to Professor Robert Quinn of the University of Michigan, AI is the process of  “…creating a positive revolution in the field of organization development and change management” (as cited in Whitney & Cooperrider, 2011, p. 1). Rather than building upon the power of the whole, the model uses the whole to build conversational learning. Based on the perceptions of the future, changes are used to determine the best way to use past experiences. Affirmation and appreciation are used as organizational and change process for people. The relational process of inquiry employed in AI is based on four distinct phases – discovery, dream, design, and delivery (Kloppenborg, 2015). Discovery enquires what has been, dream enquires about what could be, design makes inquiries of what should be, and delivery determines what will be. AI is observed to facilitate positive change within human systems. Therefore it is both a way of being and seeing.

What are the implications of AI on Defining Project Scope?

The success of a project depends on the determination of the stakeholders of the organization, their wants, and the need to determine the scope of the project. AI assists stakeholders in a project to navigate using inquiries through the use of positive conversations (Kloppenborg, 2015). The four phases of inquiry have different implications of the definition of the project scope as indicated in the discussion.

Discovery

This makes inquiries about what has been. This phase makes inquiries on the positive capacity of an organization. Within this inquiry, excellence in performance is determined through the inquiry of or description of strengths, successes, and assets that made it possible (Kloppenborg, 2015). Therefore, AI enhances the inquiry process by enabling or easing the process of project selection and prioritization, as well as determining the probability of success of the project. This phase of discovery builds on and appreciates capacities used successfully in the past, and that has been used excellently in the past (Kloppenborg, 2015).

Dreaming

This is the second phase of discovery and determines what could be (Kloppenborg, 2015). After the discovery process determines the moments of excellence, it uses this phase to build on these moments and make individuals believe that this excellence could be turned into a norm. Though ideal, this imagination creates hope and possibility, which enables people to create or build positive energy around their key strengths.

Designing

This phase of the process of AI is based on what should be by designing a way to realize such dreams (Kloppenborg, 2015). Hence, it goes over and above imagination since it creates a system through which participants can move to where they want to be. During this design, the primary assumption is that the construction is without hindrance or constraints.

Delivery

It is the final phase and makes the construction of what will be. Here, individuals must come up with subsystems to use to actualize the design phase of AI (Kloppenborg, 2015). Therefore, the Stakeholders, in this phase, determine what they will commit themselves to. This process allows individual participants to identify or build an expectation from the project. Ultimately, AI appears to help people link their needs and wants to a future that is desirable. Also, the process allows the stakeholders of a group, organization, or community to determine opportunities and costs that enable them to make projects realistic and make them committed to the project (Kloppenborg, 2015).

Lastly, the final implication of AI to the success of a project is as a result of its ability to address ambiguity and uncertainty of projects, hence, participants could determine if the project has a reasonable possibility of success beforehand.

 

References

Kloppenborg, T. (2015). Contemporary project management (3rd ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Whitney, D., & Cooperrider, D. (2011). Appreciative inquiry: A positive revolution in change. San Francisco, CA: Readhowyouwant.com.

Vulnerabilities to Cyber Attack Essay Example

Vulnerabilities to Cyber Attack

Abstract

As information technology has advanced over time and more and more of our daily lives have become reliant upon services provided by an Internet-based and connected array of organizations, the threat of cyber-attack has also increased. One of the aspects that makes the cyber-threat so elusive is the ability of attackers to mount assaults from anywhere in the world. The motives for these attacks are varied, from state-to-state cyber warfare, corporate espionage, and lone wolf “hackers.” The current environment is one where the question is not whether a corporation or other highly visible target will be attacked, but how will the attack be perpetrated and how many attacks will the organization endure. This report examines the types of attacks that are launched, the target of those attacks, and the efforts to resist breaching. The evidence covered has been compiled through reports from both official sources and media outlets who have documented the circumstances of both sides of the cyber-attack equation. Through this research, it will be made clear that the threat is growing and the race between defenders of cyber-attack and those who are behind the assaults is never won. Protection efforts require constant updating of an effort to stay one step ahead of intruders and disruptors.

 

Vulnerabilities to Cyber Attack; Critical Private Infrastructure

The worldwide problem of cyber-attack is a multifaceted field of methods, means, and motivations. Threats come in a variety of sizes and strengths and intentions are often a mystery as the attack commences. The cyber-warfare battlefield is so complex and ever-changing to the point that even the most up-to-date examination runs the risk of being obsolete by the time it is published. The reason the problem is exceedingly difficult is the wide range of tactics employed by cyber-attackers and a growing array of tools at their disposal. Once protection systems are put into place, a different vulnerability is discovered and exploited. While there is an undefined number of targets for attack among the most dangerous arena is critical private infrastructure.

Critical private infrastructure is a category that encompasses a wide range of entities. Everything from financial institutions, health care facilities, energy providers, and telecommunications corporations are targets that fall under this specific category. The amount of damage that can be inflicted upon any one of these industries or any one of the companies that occupy these industries can cause a level of disruption that can destabilize our society.

In order to explore the circumstances fully, the examination of the types of attacks, the types of actors, and targets is required. Once the threat is adequately framed, the potential means of fortifying targets against attack is possible. One thing is abundantly clear through the research; no solution is fool-proof and covering one vulnerability invariably opens another.

Sources of Attack

The means by which cyber-attackers gain entry into a given system can be categorized as one of several types of attacks. The overall goal of cyber-attacks, in general, is to steal information, alter records or diagnostic readings, or destroy property and systems. There are five types of cyber-attackers that are potential threats to private infrastructure (Denning & Denning, 2010).

  1. Criminals: Cybercriminals are those attackers that attempt to breach the systems of private organizations to steal assets or to obtain access to be used in a money-making scheme. These actors target all sorts of organizations but most commonly seek financial institutions or any other place where the financial information of employees or customers would be available through a cyber-attack (Denning & Denning, 2010).
  2. Industrial competitors: This category of the attacker is most commonly interested in breaching the systems of other organizations to obtain information that can be used to get a competitive advantage in business. Corporate espionage is geared toward gaining access to sensitive information or disrupting the operations of the target company for the purpose of seizing business opportunities in the market (Denning & Denning, 2010).
  3. Civilian hackers; This group of cyber-attackers can be motivated by an opportunity of larceny but are most often interested in breaching systems for the sake of doing so. Legend of successful hackers being hired to work in information technology security often motivates this group. When there is no established goal to be understood, the reason for attacks from this group of people is merely a high-stakes hobby (Denning & Denning, 2010).
  4. Activists: Commonly referred to as “hacktivists,” these attackers are motivated by a social or political cause they are hoping to advance through cyber-attack. An environmental activist might use this strategy for disrupting an oil company or other organization seen by the hacktivist as damaging to their environmental cause (Denning & Denning, 2010).
  5. Foreign Intelligence Services: State-sponsored cyber-attacks – commonly launched with the aid of a foreign intelligence service – is a type of cyber-attack that can have elements of motivation to fit several of the above categories. Foreign hackers can be motivated by mere disruption, the potential acquisition of information, or to steal assets (Denning & Denning, 2010).

The means by which each of these types of cyber-attackers gains entry into a private infrastructure entity is as varied as the reasons for the attack. One of the primary means for getting inside of a private company’s system is through a tactic called “phishing.” Phishing is a process of getting a member of the company with access to the system to disclose information the hackers can use for their own port of entry. An employee will commonly receive a message through e-mail or another messaging service that imitates an official inquiry. The message will prompt the user to enter information for verification or some other innocent-seeming purpose. Once the information is entered, the hacker retrieves it and can gain access through normal means of logging into the system (Ten, Manimaran & Liu, 2010).

While phishing can be used to gain entry for a variety of purposes, the tactics most often used in cases where disruption is the goal commonly include injecting viruses of various natures. A virus is at its core a program or partial code that enables a hacker to gain access to the target’s system. Viruses come in different forms, such as “Trojan horses” and spyware/malware. These types of attacks can trigger systems both virtual and physical to operate in a way that benefits the attacker or the attacker’s aims. One of the most notorious types of malware was the Stuxnet “worm” used to infiltrate the systems of operation for the Iranian nuclear program (Lewis, 2014).

Stuxnet was a sophisticated malicious computer worm that targeted the type of software believed to be at the heart of the Iranian nuclear program’s system. The most effective aspect of Stuxnet was its ability to travel through all types of systems, undetected, and only exacting its mission once it found its target; the system within Iran’s nuclear operation that regulated the speed with which the centrifuges. The result was a misrepresentation of the centrifuge speed, thus triggering the Iranian system to increase power. The damage was catastrophic to the Iranian effort and has been credited with setting the program back several years. Stuxnet was designed to delete itself hence many of the details of the malware were erased before it could be adequately examined after the fact (Lewis, 2014).

Vulnerable Targets

The list of vulnerable targets is long and no one industry is safe from attack. In the realm of critical private infrastructure, there are a few categories that are at most risk of attack simply because of their importance. Still, because one target is more coveted by attackers does not mean that other targets are less-able to be targeted or better able to resist attack. The one category that covers every type of target is the control system infrastructure. Control systems include all of the mechanisms a company uses to monitor and control the operation of the organization’s functions. These are switches, monitoring devices, manual controls, and remote control devices. One of the reasons these systems are vulnerable to attack is that when they are not connected directly to the Internet, they are often thought of as being out of reach for hackers. The reality is that many of the control aspects of an organization that are connected to the web are responsible for triggering or putting into motion control devices that are not connected directly (Denning & Denning, 2010).

Financial services companies and companies that house a significant amount of financial information are also vulnerable parts of the critical private infrastructure. The most obvious vulnerability of these types of organizations is the potential to steal money. While stealing money and other valuable assets is the most common reason for attacking a financial institution’s system, disrupting the flow of business has a destabilizing effect on society and can give another financial institution or government an advantage (Lewis, 2014).

One way that financial systems can be targeted and have damage inflicted without assets being stolen is by halting operational response to customers. A large bank’s website or automated teller machines (ATMs) being shut-down can cause panic among customers and bank employees. These events sow seeds of doubt within the public and can affect the ways that citizens go about their daily lives. Such a disruption might not appear to be highly significant on its face, but a hacker or corporate competitor being able to inflict such a disruption can take advantage of the breach even if it is discovered and patched in a short amount of time (Geers, 2010).

Telecommunications operations and their infrastructures are important to society and cyber-attack can cause significant disruption to public safety. The manner by which hackers commonly gain entry into telecom companies is either through the normal means (via the Internet/email) or through VoIP (voice and Internet) connections. These attacks can cause disruptions to service alone or cause damage to physical assets such as satellites and communication devices themselves (Lewis, 2014).

Transportation infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber-attacks that can range from nuisance to physical danger. Any disruption in the function of computerized systems within an airport or airline causes alarm within the organization. Flights are commonly grounded during a suspected cyber-attack and flight control operations are halted. This can lead to severe congestion for travelers, disrupt air schedules worldwide, or lead to a compromising of air traffic control that puts passengers, crew, and others in grave danger (Ten, Manimaran & Liu, 2010).

Other forms of transportation can be disrupted by cyber-attack as well. Train service faces some of the same potential consequences as air travel. Shipping organizations that are attacked can result in a disruption in services that can cause ripples around the globe. If shipping manifests are altered or deleted during an attack, the cost in time and resources to correct the matter can be expensive and disrupt adjacent industries (Ten, Manimaran & Liu, 2010).

Energy sector organizations are potentially the most disruptive organizations to be targeted by cyber-attack and many of the worst-case scenarios that make up a terror plot response plan feature the potential attack of the energy grid or energy delivery services of the country. If electricity were targeted by a cyber-attack, all of the functions of society could be hampered until service could be restored. Back-up generators and other contingency plans are sparsely effective throughout society and areas outside of medical facilities and other emergency services entities are less likely to be backed-up by generator support (Ten, Manimaran & Liu, 2010).

Protection

Protections against cyber-attacks are the responsibility of both private and public agencies. While private companies are primarily responsible for assessing and planning for the potential risk of attack, certain vital private infrastructure is so critical to society that protection often falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS issues guidance to private companies periodically to inform about potential attacks, to update best practices for dealing with an attack or reinforcing systems against cyber-intrusions, and plans for addressing the fallout of system breaches. The broad outreach plans and international cooperation to ward off cyber-attack are coordinated through the DHS and U.S. State Department (Geers, 2010).

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team is an entity within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for reducing the risk of attack across all critical infrastructure sectors. The ICS-CERT is tasked with issuing alerts to organizations as well as providing advisory information to assist in the strengthening of systems against cyber-attack. The team works with private companies and public 76departments including law enforcement to provide a coordinated defense against cyber-attack and remedying the consequences in the event of a successful attack (Lewis, 2014).

Conclusion

Cyber-attack are a problem that will continue to plague society as attackers and defenders against attacks take turns gaining the upper hand. Given the wide array of attackers, motivations, and means of attack, the Department of Homeland Security and the security wings of individual companies are in constant pursuit of better ways to monitor activity and to respond to breach attempts as quickly and effectively as possible.

The most important way to reduce the effectiveness of cyber-attack is through education. Company employees who are educated about the various ways attackers seek to gain entry into their company’s systems are better prepared to spot phishing attempts and more conscientious about practicing security as a daily activity.

The prospect of a wide-scale and successful cyber-attack on a critical private infrastructure could mean devastating consequences in the near and more distant future. Because the matter is so dire and the challenge to avoid an attack is so daunting, constant dedication to defending systems is a necessary goal of the DHS and all other security entities across the country.

 

References

Denning, P. J., & Denning, D. E. (2010). Discussing cyber-attack. Communications of the ACM, 53(9), 29-31.

Geers, K. (2010). The challenge of cyber-attack deterrence. Computer Law & Security Review, 26(3), 298-303.

Lewis, T. G. (2014). Critical infrastructure protection in homeland security: defending a networked nation. John Wiley & Sons.

Ten, C. W., Manimaran, G., & Liu, C. C. (2010). Cybersecurity for critical infrastructures: Attack and defense modeling. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, 40(4), 853-865.