Politics, can be intimidating. But it can be worse in university campuses because you know exactly what you’re getting.
So let’s say we’ve got an election coming up for a society in campus, nothing big in general, just showing the crowd the new face of the club, and some of the hopeful candidates are starting to become, apparent. Regardless of who the candidates are, sometimes it seems as if we’ve taken politics in campus a little bit too seriously. And also it seems as though we are having the same players representing a set of ideals. What’s even more cliché is that, the same set of players in campus that back these candidates, and holding back their voices to be heard.
Frankly speaking, I personally think that politics are a no-fly zone with strangers. It’s always unpredictable how a person may act towards your political views, hence it can be a tense or an uncomfortable subject to bring up at times. Don’t get me wrong, I could talk about politics for hours. But then again, it’s only for self-pleasure. Who’s going to listen? The politicians? Definitely not, because that would only happen in a democracy, no?
So to begin with, most universities are pretty left-leaning. And thanks to that, comes the two classic polarizing figures. You've got the stereotypical conservatives, who would die for their beliefs. It’s funny how they'll easily tell you how wrong abortion is while simultaneously lowering taxes and advocating for the death penalty. On the other side, you've got your classical liberals. Imagine that anything you say to these people can and will be used against you. Let's say you're having a conversation with your fellow comrade: "Hello there, Miss. You look lovely this evening." Response: "Ugh, you are such a misogynistic bastard. Don't tell me I look nice, because I know you're just trying to sleep with me. What do you think I am, some skank? I'm a woman, and I have all the same rights as men do and deserve to be treated that way.”
Well, let me use the previous paragraph as an aside to mention that these were some crude stereotypes. I really hope no one takes too much offense to these. But if you do - well, I could really care less, because the end point in my article will hopefully make you think otherwise. If not, okay. But before I get there, let us elucidate some more common political advocates we’d find on campus. Sometimes you’d come across the people who try and play both sides, who would never want to upset anyone at all (this used to be me). They’re constantly like “I’m fiscally conservative, but socially liberal.” Hold up. Are you trying to tell me that you are all for conservative economic policies? Do you hear yourself? I know from empirical evidence that things such as trickle-down economics doesn’t work. To add on, do you even know fiscal economic strategies? If any of us actually know the economic policies in full detail, on both sides, that’d be great.
Having taken the subject of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, and being a person who cautiously tries to dissect economic strategies, it is darn impossible to completely understand the premise of these policies (for me, at least). I would also like to add that economics is not a predictive science, even though the textbook teaches you about prediction. If you tell me you're going to slash welfare funding, one might presume that this would increase poverty. But then again, there are so many factors that affect an economy, that we can't ever be certain about anything. Sure, we enjoy our public goods, such as street lights and restrooms. These things aren’t free and need to be paid for, and while more autonomy and less taxes is a good thing, it isn't virtual for our society to function and sustain the benefits we take for granted.
Are you still with me on this? Okay, thanks. I’ll continue that sometimes you’d find the people who have read five minutes on libertarianism and confidently claiming this to be their ideology. They worship Ron and Rand Paul and make sure to watch every Clint Eastwood movie that has ever existed. They really value their liberty, but then again who doesn't? After that, they run out of things to say, but by that point, we've stopped listening to them anyways.
But I say the worst out of all these people, though, are the clueless yet want to be involved ones. If it’s anything, they are the ones that make the rest of the world think we are a country full of inbreeding, incest-loving excuses for humans (also very harsh and very sarcastic). These will be the first people to argue on one side or the other and used rehearsed quotes they heard their dads say at the dinner table. Most of the time, they'll probably get their facts wrong, and if ever questioned, it’s safe to say they'll resort to some defensive cocoon that is impenetrable with logical thoughts and ideas.
I think this pretty accurately sums up the majority of the make-up of thinkers (or lack thereof) on campus. We get into conversations with people that are either on our side, and we just reaffirm what we "believe" in. Or heaven forbid, we find someone who disagrees with us and wants to argue (ugh). That usually ends up with sour faces in which neither side is listening to what the other has to say, because at the end of it, they only care about their opinions.
I wonder, what has made our society become where our political thoughts are so polarized and pre-determined? We don’t often longer think of politics as picking sides on contemporary and moral issues, but rather we have to find a group that has a set of beliefs that we would most like to associate ourselves with. It makes no sense to me. Since when have we become the society that has moved away from debating with each other thoughtfully and carefully, with respect? Elections nowadays are not about picking the people that you want to represent you, but they have more so become picking the lesser of two evils.
I would personally want a club to head in what I think is the right direction. It’s only natural to want the club to expand care and love to every person in our campus, because I believe that is right. But when it comes to elections and voting, I feel like I'm playing a game that is rigged. Does my vote really count? Some say, "Yes." But I beg to differ. I'm not even expressing myself to the fullest extent. It's simple for me to make these complains. After all, I'm just your average student in a university, and my opinion is as meaningful as it is meaningless. I can't change the way things work and the way people think, but perhaps I can still speak what’s on my mind.
So instead of us squabbling on campuses about what we believe in or what we've been told to believe in, shouldn’t we band together and form some sort of social change? People always say that us youngsters think we have it all figured out. I'll be the first to admit that I sure as heck don't. But what I do know is that - and this may be feeble-minded of me to say - is that not everyone who holds a high and favorable position in a club clearly don't have it all figured out either. Let's work together, negate the differences amongst us, and move towards a society that values each of its members. Is that too much to ask?
By Serena Lynn
You still need to pay attention to your lectures though.
Have you ever wondered why people spend hundreds or even thousands on a pair of earphones or ear buds? Yes. There is a very good reason. But hey, this is not a post to encourage you to spend hundreds, in fact we’ll teach you how to invest smartly on your first pair of quality earphones. Knowing there are bass heads (people who generally adores and mostly listen to heavy bass music) around, you are safe to leave unless you’re open to suggestions. The one we’re featuring is more towards classical, jazz or vocal.
Introducing the Mi Piston V3, a sleek looking, budget friendly, extremely great quality pair of earphones categorized as IEM (In-Ear-Monitor a.k.a. ear buds). And wow, if you are an audiophile, the Mi Piston V3 is guaranteed to satisfy you.
Let’s be clear here, again, targeting the general reader, so we won’t be going too in depth here. Let’s start with the diaphragm, which is not to be confused with the human organ, is a piece of metal that is responsible of vibration that produces sound. The Mi Piston V3 features the beryllium driver, a new type of driver that is extremely durable and is superior to many others beyond compare. In short, these drivers deliver one of the market’s best audio qualities and guess what? It gets a lot better in time.
To those who are confused at this point, read carefully. Earphones are always a long term investment, there is no expiry date for a pair of good earphones because it will only get better and better, every time you listen, the diaphragm gets warmed up and will actually change slowly in shape, and mold itself into the sound pattern (or genre wave) that you listen to! In short, the same type of music you listen to will only get better and better!
So wait no more and start spending your Chinese New Year Ang Pow money! What better way than to invest a little on something so awesome!
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However, there are certain instances where anonymity is used as an integral part of a system. The simplest example would be a complaint box in a common working area where workers can anonymously insert papers of their complaints to the complaint box and the Human Resource Department will amend and fix existing issues in the workplace. The benefit of anonymity in this is that complainants are willing to express their dissatisfaction towards certain issues or certain colleagues without having the hassle of being privately interviewed on what they are dissatisfied for.
A more complex example would be the usage of internet anonymity. There are countless debates to whether the usage of anonymity online contributes to an abuse of internet usage or a potential savior to many lives.
A perfect example of which is the online website commonly referred to as “4chan”. This website uses internet anonymity to its maximum capacity, which is allowing users to reply to a thread on the website without having any possible way of back-tracing the poster at all. (Do note that the usage of 3rd party systems, admin privileges and other tracking methods may expose your anonymity, but that’s a whole other topic in itself).
Users are able to fully utilize their anonymity by discussing whatever they wish, ranging from controversial political topics to personal interests.
However, there’s always a downside to this. The main point of anonymity can be argued on whether it is the masks that extremists or people with malicious intents need in order to further publicize and refine their plans for their very own malevolent means or whether it can be used for the protection of suppressed individuals from experiencing backlashes or sanctions imposed to them in autocratic means.
Without a doubt, anonymity is a double-edged sword that morphs itself in accordance to the pros and cons of its surrounding circumstances.
It may be the light at the end of the tunnel to those whom are in need of such function or the continuity and prolonging of possible chaos and destruction, it all lies within the intention of the user to begin with.
Contribution by Jared Tee
Android belongs to Google while iOS belongs to Apple. Both of it are the operating systems used primarily in all mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets. Android as most of us may not know is a Linux-based and partly open source operating system and obviously it is more PC-like than the iOS. In this, the basic features and interference of Android is generally more customizable from top to bottom. On the other side, iOS’s uniform design elements are usually seen as being more user-friendly.
In choosing your smartphone, make a wise decision as switching from iOS to Android or vice-versa may require you to buy the apps again in the Google Play or the Apple App Store. As significant as it is, Android has got the most user base in the smartphone platform as it is used by many different manufacturers but iOS is only used on Apple devices, iPhone for example.
Interface and Apps
Looking at the user interface of iOS and Android, both use touch interfaces that have a lot in common such as swiping, tapping and long press. iOS home screen only contains rows of app icons while Andriod allows the use of widgets. Android gets its apps from Google Play Store which currently had almost six hundred thousand apps available, most of which will run on tablets. The Apple App Store which in contrast has seven hundred thousand apps, almost a quarter of them are available for iPpad. We should also take note that many originally iOS-only apps are now made available for Android which includes Instagram and Pinterest.
Despite the fact that Google update Android quite frequently, some users find that they do not receive any updates. Phone manufacturers are the ones who decide when to offer the software upgrades, even when an upgrade is offered; it is usually a few months after the new version of the Android had been released. This is one area where iOS have the advantage. iOS upgrades are available globally to all its users. Apple cites hardware capability as the reason some of its older devices may not receive the entire new feature in an upgrade depending on the older versions of iPhone.
Privacy and Security
Android’s applications are deserted from the rest of the system’s resources, except when the user specifically grants an application access to other features. This makes the system less vulnerable to bugs, but developer confusion means that many apps ask for unnecessary permissions. Malware writers are less likely to target for iOS which is due to Apple’s review of all its apps and verifications of the identity of app publishers. However, in a jailbroken iOS device with apps installed from outside Apple Store, it may be vulnerable to attacks and malware.
Talking about protecting users’ private information, definitely iOS wins. When a user installs apps on Android, the user will be presented with all the permissions that the app is requesting. The user can choose to accept the app’s request for permissions or not install the app at all. The app developers apparently take advantage of this “feature” and requested a lot of user information. However in iOS the apps get no such permissions. After it is installed and opened by the user, an iOS app may request additional permissions like location and access to contacts, but the user has rights to reject such request.
The Bottom-line of Choice
To summarise the key pros and cons of iOS, it has a massive app ecosystem and deeper integration with social apps such as Facebook and Twitter. Apple offers software upgrades to all devices that have the hardware capable of handling the new software. This hence means that devices stay current with software features for at least two or three years. With this iOS also offers better control over the user privacy of its users. However, the interface is locked down in iOS, it has limited customization options for the home screens which is not as efficient as Android does.
To summarize the pros and cons of Android, it has a massive hardware selection. A large number of Android devices are available at various price points, with varying hardware capabilities and other feature. The best part of being an Android user is that it has a highly customizable user experience. The home screen can be customized with not just app icons but widgets that also allow the user to stay connected and informed as well. Moreover, you can pick the option to install Android apps from places out of Google Play Store as well.