Cutting edge articles on common but complicated issues

Overcoming Trepidation of the Social Network

The social network is synonymous with many things, from personal interaction to being a vast resource of interactive social games. Many perceptions exist concerning social networking sites, a large volume of which are based in rumor and supposition, which give an unfavorable impression to many potential users. Although increasing popular amongst young US adults, there is an older generation that still approaches the concept of social networking with concern and trepidation. These worries are undue, especially as the purpose of social networking is constantly adapting to change with the needs of contemporary society. Individual sites are developing to meet more and more corporate and personal requirements, many of which offer value to the mature portion of the global community. For example, 2010 was the year that Facebook surpassed Google to become the most visited site on the World Wide Web, which is a revealing feat when you consider the tools that Google offers to its many users. Making the Social Network Beneficial for You The prominence of Facebook and Twitter has grown significantly over the last 2 years, as both sites have recognized the need to expand their appeal. From interactive tools with their foundations primarily built in personal liaisons, they have steadily began to tailor their resources to suit commercial and professional requirements. Companies have subsequently began to use these facilities to advertise and promote their brand, drawing a diverse range of followers who can be kept updated with current events at the touch of a single button.

Continue ReadingOvercoming Trepidation of the Social Network

Money as a Consequence and not a Cause of Relationship Issues

It is one of the more regrettable aspects of human nature that people apply blame to innocent associates and things for their own abhorrent behavior. This is not a new phenomenon, as examples of such conduct can be traced back hundreds of years. For example, the renowned phrase 'money is the root of all evil' is an adaptation of the bible verse 'the love of money is the root of all evil', which is a clear criticism of greed and how it creates deceit and ill judged conduct within society. However, the contemporary adaptation of this phrase suggests that it is money which stands as the significant factor in all that is wrong with the world, and not the people who handle and abuse it. This is an entirely inaccurate and irresponsible conclusion, as it absolves individuals of their duty to spend and save money responsibly. A simple phrase it may be, but its meaning is a clear indication of the blame culture that exists with regards to personal finance and expenditure. The Concept of Financial Infidelity The concept of financial infidelity is a further example, and is the process of one person keeping financial secrets and trends from their life partner. Instances of this behaviour seem to have increased during the global recession, which suggests that people have taken to creating their own individual financial safeguards even within a relationship of marital environment. There may be may potential reasons for this, but these issues are more likely to be the cause of the deceit rather than the presence of money itself.

Continue ReadingMoney as a Consequence and not a Cause of Relationship Issues

Does Law Provide Equality for Everyone?

Within a democratic society, rehabilitation is the core purpose which drives every prison sentence and judicial ruling. Regardless of the offense committed, an individual confined to a prison term is required to receive assistance and help in reforming their behavioral trends, as well as serving a debt towards the society they have harmed. This may be professional help to assist in resolving psychological issues, or more standard assistance provided by educational and social programs of learning. However, there are are cases which seem to stand as exceptions to this rule, where the perpetrators have been detained with little hope for parole. In these instances, prisoners have often been serving life sentences and become completely institutionalized and accustomed to a specific regime, and yet hold little hope with regards to their release and subsequent freedom. A pertinent question that this raises is whether the justice system has simply failed to reform these individuals, or whether they have done enough in an attempt to rehabilitate their behavior? High Profile Cases of Long Term Incarceration While all types of crime are diverse in their nature and cause, some are complicated further by their execution and respective victims. As an example, in September of 2010, Mark Chapman was denied parole for a 6th time during his sentence for the murder of John Lennon in New York in 1980. It was undoubtedly a premeditated murder that reverberated around the world, and one which generated a huge amount of public reaction and scorn directed towards the perpetrator.

Continue ReadingDoes Law Provide Equality for Everyone?

Crime and Rehabilitation

The concepts of crime and punishment have been well versed and discussed for generations. In civilized society, the purpose of implementing penal sentences for criminal acts is to rehabilitate the offender, educating them through various programs that aim to modify their behavioral trends. This is opposed to the primal and less evolved attitudes towards prison, which focus solely on punishing the perpetrators of crime and attempting to deter them through the severity of consequence. It is widely accepted that the former is the most conducive towards reducing crime over a period of time, as well as creating the best environment to change attitudes rather than hardening a prevalent criminal ethos. However, this methodology of attempting to correct behavior rather than punish it is vulnerable to several criticisms, most notably that it is open to abuse from career criminals who observe captivity as an occupational hazard and one that can be endured for financial reward. Serving Time and Rehabilitation Opposed to this, there is also criticism from those who deem aspects of criminal law to restrictive in a democratic environment. This observation applies to legislation that continues to restricts the movements and activity of individuals after they have been released from their sentence, and therefore regulates behaviour for far longer than their original punishment. While this may be necessary for specific and compulsive natures of crime, it is not entirely appropriate or ethical for others.

Continue ReadingCrime and Rehabilitation

Family Values as a Modern Consideration

There is a persistent sense of uncertainty around contemporary existence. From worsening environmental conditions to an array of global conflicts, there appears to be a continual stream of bad news reported through the many media outlets accessible by society. These feelings of anxiety are heightened as western culture continues its tentative steps out of recession, and are entirely at odds with the liberal and technological enhancements that have been designed to assist the overall quality of life. Of the everyday concerns that trouble US citizens, there are two that can be perceived as threats to the accepted way of life. The most pertinent of these is the consistent and disproportionate growth in the global population, which continues to stretch natural and financial resources. Secondary to this, the high divorce rate and subsequent numbers of individuals who live in isolation is also a concern, especially to those who cherish the relevance of the family unit and affiliated values. The Social Effects of Contrasting Behavior Understanding traditional family values, it is interesting that these two particular instances should co-exist simultaneously. With the US population set to reach 311 million by the close of 2011, it would be reasonable to presume that this was a consequence of prosperous marriages and an increased rate of romantic union. Considered as part of a larger trend, this projected increase in population would be in line with the average annual increase of between 250,000 and 300,000, and suggest that there is a steadily growing number of couples and family units within the us.

Continue ReadingFamily Values as a Modern Consideration

Raising Children in Contemporary Society

With an ever increasing amount of online resources that provide information on a range of subjects, the methodology that we adopt to do certain things is a permanent state of transition. Whether undertaking daily functional chores, or performing the significant task of raising children, the Internet age is exposing individuals within society to an expanding choice of conflicting and diverse information. This data often challenges and modifies an individuals approach to their conduct and behaviour, as well as adapting their understanding and perception of life. Raising children is a case in point. By searching the depths of the World Wide Web and its resources, it is possible to source new information that advises parents on a daily basis, creating literature that discusses diverse techniques and theories concerning childcare. This can be in the form of an opinionated blog post or through the published findings of a specific research program, but the frequency with which these articles are printed provides both advantages and disadvantages to the reader. Best Utilizing the Information to make an Informed Decision It is logical to assume that where a surfeit of information exists, a considered approach is required to determine whether it is suitable. The nature of online resource is a wide and largely uncensored one, which means that independent writers and research bodies can publish their findings promptly and freely for the attention of others. This diversity of text will often produce opposing views and conflicted findings, which can be overwhelming to a reader if they do not take the time to understand the information and apply a process of discrimination.

Continue ReadingRaising Children in Contemporary Society

Ideological bickering on sensitive issues

This article analyses the arguments and reasons in gun control, healthcare, abortion, gay marriages and drugs related dabates. Points out to the inherent contradictions in these arguments. Discusses the issues of individual freedom and rights.

Continue ReadingIdeological bickering on sensitive issues

Tackling Gun Control in the USA

Just a single week after the tragic shooting of Gabrielle Giffords at an Arizona shopping mall, thousands of US citizens attended an annual gun show in Tuscon yesterday. Despite the incredible levels of feeling and emotion that the incident has prompted nationwide, the two day event has attracted a staggering 7000 attendees, which is a noticeable increase on the number of citizens who visited in the previous year. Of course, both the timing and nature of the event have raised several questions about gun control and the use of firearms within the USA. The debate is a longstanding and emotionally fraught one, as the subject of firearms and their usage becomes ever more pertinent in a violent and desensitized culture. Critics have questioned the validity of gun control and regulatory legislation affiliated to firearm ownership, and have been quick to cite the Arizona shootings as supportive evidence. Of course, gun enthusiasts take a different view, and are quick to assert that firearm related violence is a wider issue of contemporary society and alternative negative influences. Gun Control in Contemporary Society If assessing the arguments objectively, it is hard to disagree with gun enthusiasts within the US. Gun control and supportive legislation has been assessed and evaluated regularly over the last decade, as federal government has attempted to regulate their levels of control over the types of guns viable and the status of registered owners. Given that law enforcement bodies were also at the Tuscan event monitoring specific sales and purchasers, it appears that those responsible for the safety of US citizens are continuing to do all they can with regards to firearms.

Continue ReadingTackling Gun Control in the USA

Understanding the Reports of Economic Prosperity

In many ways, the period of economic recovery that follows a recession is an often unsure and frustrating time. This is in part due to media coverage and its emphasis on sensationalism, where every single optimistic portent is heralded and perceived as a huge step towards prosperity. This creates an unrealistic expectation amongst society concerning unemployment trends and personal finances, as individuals seek a quick and effective resolution to economic hardship and periods of fiscal difficulty. The fact remains however that while the are undoubted reasons for economic optimism for the forthcoming year, there is an inherent misunderstanding of financial reporting and the core processes of an economy. This is what causes many individuals to misunderstand the portents and indicators that are presented by media resources, and subsequently develop disappointment and frustration as the economy does not display the rate of growth that is anticipated. Understanding the Numbers and Economic Cycles The main issue facing society is the representation and usage of statistics and figures. While it is easy to adopt a piece of numerical data to argue a point or economic trend, it can often be contracting or negated by another piece of information within a related field. As an example, it was proudly proclaimed that unemployment rates in the US dropped by 0.4 percent at the end of 2010, and this figure was indeed reflective of a positive trend. However, this rate was inclusive of individuals who had simply stopped seeking employment or claiming welfare, so the actual number of those who had sourced work was less than initially perceived.

Continue ReadingUnderstanding the Reports of Economic Prosperity

The Role of Video Gaming in Obesity Trends

The Role of Video Gaming in Obesity Trends The trends of growing obesity are a concern both globally and within the US, as annual statistics reveal the steady decline in the levels of health and physical fitness across a network of societies. This issue is even more worrying when analyzed across a diverse age demographic, as figures suggest that more and more children and young adults are developing obesity as a serious health condition. This epidemic is expected to become more widespread before it improves, as children in particular continue to consume a poor nutritional diet alongside a reduced level of physical exercise. Dietary elements and subsequent exercise are considered to be the most influential factors in determining a persons general health. These form part of a routine and cycle of behaviour, and the approach that an individual takes towards them is significant in establishing their physical fitness. However, diet and exercise are subject to environment and a persons individual attitudes, meaning that they themselves are vulnerable to numerous contributory triggers. To deal with obesity effectively, appropriate bodies must strive to discover the root cause of unhealthy behavioural trends and find suitable resolutions. Contemporary Social Causes Although diet is often considered to be the most significant influence in a persons general health, this is not supported by popular research and statistics. As an example, the metabolism and structure of the human body dictates that a person could consume 5000 calories in a single day (which is twice the recommended amount for a male), so long as they perform the requisite cardiovascular exercise to convert them to energy and burn them off. This is true with sportsmen who participate in particular disciplines, where a high level of energy is expended on a regular basis.

Continue ReadingThe Role of Video Gaming in Obesity Trends

The Rise of Online Fraud and Identity Crime

Of all the types of crime and criminal conduct that are prevalent in contemporary society, online fraud and identity theft are perhaps the most bewildering. These are advanced and highly evolved crimes, and perpetrated with a level of remoteness and distance that provides both safety for the criminal and extreme consternation for those who are it victims. And yet for all of the intensive media coverage that has engulfed these modes of criminal activity in the latter part of the decade, they remain vague and incomplete with regards to their public perception. Unsurprisingly, these types of crime have become more prominent annually since the turn of the century, with the levels of reported instances rising annually across almost every US state. The figures suggest that this issue is a national concern rather than one that is confined to particular geographical areas, which makes the crimes both harder to tackle for law enforcement bodies and also more difficult to analyze in terms of their cause and primary motivations. Targeting the Primary Causes of Online Fraud and Identity Theft One of the most significant tasks in tackling and overcoming a type of crime is first understanding its causes and subsequent consequences. For example, to understand violent crime then a government would assess where the crime is most prevalent and draw conclusions from their findings. So as violent crime and murder are most common amongst areas of society with high rates of poverty and unemployment, then it would be reasonable to identify these as primary causes, and implementing resolutions to solve these issues would have a positive impact on particular types of crime.

Continue ReadingThe Rise of Online Fraud and Identity Crime

Assessing the Extremes in Political Opinion and Action

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting of democratic representative Gabrielle Griffiths at a neighborhood meeting yesterday, a sharp and sudden focus was drawn against the increasing extremities of feeling that exist within contemporary US politics. Although an exact motive for the attack that killed and wounded others has yet to be determined, their are rumblings of the accused gunman being extremely hostile towards the current government regime and also especially vocal about his inherent dislike and reasoning. This reaction is extreme and entirely unjustified in a civilized society, but the instance is not isolated in terms of the level of threat and deep rooted animosity toward the existng political government. There have been several occasions in the last 18 months and 2 years where democratic representatives have been subjected to verbal abuse or vandalism, as concerns and issues with economic policies and health care legislation have combined to produce increased levels of frustration and discontentment with government representatives and legislation. A Diversity of Opinion While this particular instance and general type of political protest is repugnant, it is not the only reason for concern in federal circles. At the entirely opposite end of the spectrum, there continues to subsist a growing apathy towards voting and policies in particular geographical and age related demographics, and one which is born of the same levels of disenchantment that fuels acts of violence and anarchy. In a society where two opposed and yet deeply similar and related political issues are pertinent, there are several conclusions and portents that can be drawn.

Continue ReadingAssessing the Extremes in Political Opinion and Action

Taking Individual Responsibility for the Economy

Given the recent reports concerning proposed economic prosperity for 2011, it was logical that Barack Obama would cite the literature in his weekly address to the US. He identified the positive trends that have been established in job creation and reduced levels of unemployment, and suggested that these figures herald the beginning of a brighter year ahead for the country. His speech was an exercise in accentuating the positive, and an attempt to capitalize on the growing optimism in US society. Although these reports suggested a level of economic growth that was underwhelming when compared with economists predictions at the close of 2010, there was still clear progression and improvement in the fiscal circumstances. Unemployment dropped from 9.8 to 9.4 percent throughout the last month of 2010, and although it has been suggested that this is due chiefly to the fact that many stopped looking for work during the festive period, the government is keen to assert that this is a portent of things to come. The Wider Picture for the Growth of the US Economy It is widely known that the condition of the US economy in 2012 could well be the deciding factor in Barack Obama's prospects for a second term in office. It is all too apparent that a large and disproportionate amount of responsibility for the economy falls on the shoulders of the president and his representatives, which is especially concerning given the size and capitalist nature of the country. It is arguable that the responsibility for such a diverse economy should be more equally spread, with businesses and individuals being encouraged to take control of their own financial health and well being.

Continue ReadingTaking Individual Responsibility for the Economy

Should Smoking be Restricted in a Democratic Society?

As the US government continues to restrict the rights of smokers, there is increasing debate as to the ethics of such a policy and its place within a civilized and democratic society. This debate has intensified recently with legislation being implemented to ban smoking from the side walks and well populated streets of Great Neck Village in Long Island, as the local board of this affluent suburb upheld complaints and suggestions from its residents. This is considered to be the first instance of authority restricting smoking in public and completely open spaces. This follows on from the decreasing tolerance shown by governments towards smoking, and specific bans on smoking in various enclosed public areas and establishments. This ethos, coupled with the escalating costs of buying cigarettes and tobacco, has been credited with reducing the number of smokers by over 6 percent of the population since 1990. While this has been accepted as beneficial to society and its members, there is some debate that the continual tightening of smoking regulations is actually an affront to personal choice and liberty. A Personal Choice? The Arguments of Smokers The argument of smokers in the US is based primarily on the fact that they live in a democratic society with the supposed freedom of choice. This applies to any act or decision that can be taken within the existing laws, and as smoking remains a legal practice then theoretically there should no serious restrictions on its practice. There is an unclear and conflicting message sent concerning smoking by government legislation's, with smokers being subjected to numerous restrictions and price increases on the basis that smoking is detrimental to health, while cigarettes are still sold on every street in the USA without any serious stipulations.

Continue ReadingShould Smoking be Restricted in a Democratic Society?

Learning the Lessons of the Global Recession

When the individuals of a country are afflicted by the hardship of a recession, the very suggestion of prosperity and optimism can seem foreign to the concept of logic. As unemployment rises and jobs are cut from the private and public sectors, so too consumer spending power diminishes to create a vicious cycle within the economy. However, there are signs emerging through the gradual recovery that adults in the US have not only taken heed of the financial portents of the recession, but also developed a positive attitude in moving forward in society. A recent survey of young adults aged between 18 and 34 has revealed that this demographic have learned important financial lessons through the recession, and in fact resolved to save more of their disposable income and through budgeting and reducing their levels of impulse purchases. The published findings also suggest that this generation of citizens have also developed an increased responsibility concerning their debts and burdens, and are motivated to committing more money throughout 2011 to reduce their financial duty appropriately. Aside from the bare statistics, this survey also reveals some key points concerning young adults living in the US. Adapting to Social Conditions One of the most significant conclusions that can be drawn from the survey is the malleable and adaptable nature of young adults living in contemporary society. It is a well versed theory of psychology that young adults are more adaptable to the change in social conditions, and also more likely to modify their behavioural trends to a more positive end. This capability to conform to changing environment and conditions is believed to diminish over time, as adults more experienced in life are either too comfortable with their own wisdom or embittered by specific instances of hardship.

Continue ReadingLearning the Lessons of the Global Recession

The Benefits of the Internet as the Premier News Source in the US

Recent studies and reports have suggested that the internet has now surpassed TV as the premier resource for news in the US. This trend is especially prominent amongst young adults in the country, with 65 percent of the 18-29 age demographic using the World Wide Web to keep informed of topical local and world events. This is an increase of 31 percent in the least three years, whereas the rate of this age demographic who cite television as their main news source has dropped 16 percent in the same period. Though this trend is most prevalent amongst younger adults, it is reflected across other ranges too. A significant 48 percent of citizens aged between 30 and 59 now regard the internet as their primary news source, whereas even the retired generation now cite online resources as their first port of call for current affairs. These statistics clearly show that the internet has surpassed television as the most significant media outlet, and also raises questions as to the validity of a largely uncensored entity providing news to the public. The Advantages and Otherwise of Internet News Resources There are both advantages and disadvantages to people using the internet to obtain their daily news bulletins. To understand these, it is important to comprehend the core differences between information that is provided to the internet and that which is displayed on television. The most important difference is that news can be sourced on the internet through a range of different sites and uncensored providers, whereas contrived television bulletins are carefully structured to deliver considered news and requisite opinion.

Continue ReadingThe Benefits of the Internet as the Premier News Source in the US

The Growing Influence of Facebook and the Social Network

The concept of the social network has shown immense growth since its inception, and has emerged as a key resource for communication and interaction in contemporary society. Facebook stands as the single biggest social network, and recently revealed that it now boasts over 500 million users worldwide, providing an ever improving computer interface accessible in hundreds of countries. It was recently revealed that private investors have sunk $500,000 into Facebook in 2010, which has elevated the corporations market value beyond the staggering level of $50 billion. This rate of investment and corporate growth have made the brand currently more valuable than the Times Warner Group, Yahoo and the popular Internet trading site EBay. Given the nature of the site and its purpose, this level of global and financial expansion is quite remarkable. The Present and the Future for Facebook As a social networking entity, Facebook continues to expand and develop unabated. It continues to gain new investors with ease, while also being able to source and capture alternative and smaller social networking resources. In 2010, statistics even suggested that the site had surpassed as Google as the most frequented web resource, which is another remarkable feat given the multipurpose structure of Google and the range of business and personal services that it offers to the consumer.

Continue ReadingThe Growing Influence of Facebook and the Social Network

The Economic Portents for 2011

As the US continues its gradual and yet persistent recovery from the global recession, the New Year heralds the beginnings of fresh hope and expectation for the unemployed citizens in society. Obviously, one of the most documented consequences of economic hardship and turmoil is unemployment, where redundancy and the closure of companies forces individuals from their positions and into an ever competitive job seekers market. Of course, the issue in an economic recovery is that there is not enough positions to satisfy the increased number of unemployed citizens. This is because companies and organizations often choose to utilize this period as a time for consolidation, and are therefore loathe to expand their enterprise and employ additional bodies. This can lead to a frustrating and ultimately fruitless job search for many, and create a prominent sense of apathy and depression amongst large sections of society. The Signs Ahead for 2011 Given these accepted economic theories, it is surprising to learn that the indicators are particularly positive for 2011. Although it is expected that the year will still see only a gradual and intermittent improvement in terms of unemployment levels, the same period of time is set to see the creation of between 2 and 3 million jobs within the US economy. This is a natural progression for economic climates afflicted by a recession, as companies emerge from financial hardship and look to expand their companies to previous capacity.

Continue ReadingThe Economic Portents for 2011

How Law can Continue to Challenge Criminal Behaviour

Historically, the struggle between law and criminal behaviour is one that has been both prominent and persistent. It has been a global conflict which has been contested differently depending on the individual country or culture, and has seen many attempts by governing bodies to minimize criminal conduct and successfully reprimand and rehabilitate the perpetrators of crime. However, despite the variety of approaches from law enforcements agencies to uphold specific legislation, crime continues to harm society and its erstwhile citizens. The main issue in the fight against crime is the simple matter of law and its implementation. Law and legislation is created and implemented to best fight criminal behavioural trends, and is then enforced by police and government officials as rigidly as possible. However, while the application of law must be to the letter and maintain a clarity of process, those who wish to defy the law are not bound by the restrictions of duty and transparency. Unfortunately, the nature of law and its application means that it will always be easier to break than it will be to uphold. Law in Contemporary Society The levels of crime reported and discussed on daily news bulletins throughout the US is currently at an unprecedented level, and although this has something to do with the vast amounts of media outlets that can be accessed it should not detract from the fact rising crime is a troublesome social issue. This trend is especially prominent amongst instances of violent crime, such as aggravated assaults and armed robberies, and this type of crime is also the most significant in terms of being targeted by government bodies and their legislation.

Continue ReadingHow Law can Continue to Challenge Criminal Behaviour

The Relevance of Community in Society

What became apparent however was the sense of community and togetherness that had been fostered through hardship, as countless residents gathered to assist the Red Cross operatives at the scene. This reflected an incredible selflessness of character, as individuals put their own issues and suffering aside to help the rescue efforts and clear the debris from the roads and man the refuge centers and facilities. The Community in its Traditional Sense This reaction and communal spirit displayed in common is the instances of emergency and natural disaster, and serves as a comforting reminder of the best side of human nature and behaviour. However, this sense of community and selfless distribution of time raises another question, as it is at odds with the behaviour and conduct witnessed in every day life and contemporary society.

Continue ReadingThe Relevance of Community in Society