Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trust: Vendor vs. Customer

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough." -Frank Crane

In hearing of the Arts Festival that was to take place Sunday, October 18th in downtown Winston, we decided to drop by to see a live example of community. There were the essential chili-dogs, jugglers, jewelery, and leashed dogs--not to mention the occasional leashed child. As we walked between the rows of vendors, we thought about the importance of trust between the vendors and the passersby. When considering the hours of work put into each piece of merchandise, it would be quite a committment to allow any stranger of the city to have such access to valuable art. We decided to interview a few of the artists to see just how much they trusted their customers. The consensus was that most trusted the people attending the festival, but felt that they should still keep a watchful eye, knowing that theft DOES occur. In hearing of things that happen to other people, in other places, even other parts of the world, our trust is affected as we begin to fear the possibilites (much like the two women who had heard of theft happening previously). Of course, there were a few individuals who expressed a more carefree view of those visiting the booths, firmly believing in the goodness and morality of winston's citizens. Even the police officer didn't think he'd be having an "eventful day." So here's the question we're all confronted with, living in a world with too many strangers and not enough friends: Should we always open ourselves up, believing and seeking the good in others to create trust, or should we watch for that lingering hand and those wandering suspects?

*See videos below

Interpretive Musical Jam about Amish technology/community

"Gut-n-owned!" (Amish greeting)

-The Amish have been around for more than 300 years.
-About 233,000 adults and children live in North America and over half of the population is under 18 years of age (looks like they'll be sticking around)
-Every 20 years the population doubles!
-They live in 27 U.S. states and the province of Ontario

Amish Population by State (2009) *ordered by population


State/Province Estimated Population

Ohio...................................................................56,430
Pennsylvania.....................................................51,435
Indiana..............................................................39,960
Wisconsin..........................................................15,525
Michigan............................................................10,530
Missouri ............................................................10,125
New York.............................................................9,585
Kentucky..............................................................7,830
Iowa.....................................................................6,480
Illinois...................................................................6,210
Ontario.................................................................4,590
Minnesota............................................................3,375
Tennessee.............................................................2,295
Kansas...................................................................1,755
Maryland..............................................................1,350
Delaware................................................................1,215
Montana ..................................................................675
Oklahoma.................................................................675
Virginia....................................................................540
Arkansas.................................................................405
Colorado...................................................................405
Maine......................................................................405
Nebraska..................................................................405
West Virginia............................................................405
Florida......................................................................135
Mississippi.................................................................135
North Carolina...........................................................135
Texas........................................................................135
Total: 233,145

The Amish trace their roots to the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland in 1525 at the time of the Protestant Reformation. They are a Christian Church, giving special emphasis to simplicity, community, the authority of the local church over the life of its members, separation of church and state, and pacifism.

The Amish reject computers, radios, cars, televisions, and most electricity from public utility lines.

"The Amish do not consider technology evil in itself but they believe that technology, if left untamed, will undermine worthy traditions and accelerate assimilation into the surrounding society. Mass media technology in particular, they fear, would introduce foreign values into their culture. By bringing greater mobility, cars would pull the community apart, eroding local ties. Horse-and-buggy transportation keeps the community anchored in its local geographical base."

In order to slow down social change, they avoid all things that seem to connect them to the world where this change is occurring every minute. However, they do not reject all modern technology. The rules for what is accepted are largely determined by the local church and are based upon what will help or hinder the community. Many groups modify technology to fit their cultural values.

Gelassenheit (Gay-la-sen-hite): yielding oneself to a higher authority.

The Amish value community and tradition over choice and individual rights. They're dedicated lifestyle and resistance to change play as great models for us to follow, especially if we feel our social capitol is beginning to fall. Of course, we don't have to go to quite such extremes, but outsiders can join!...unless you are shunned.

In this lab, we had an interpretive jam about the Amish community and their lack of technology. Note that only traditional acoustic instruments are used and and no electronics were needed. The different instruments (some thousands of years old) represent the different changes of musical technology and how they bring people together. The song, (sung in the style and setting of a Bob Dylan show) explores the life and well knit community of the mighty Amish.
***there was no tobacco or illicit drug use in the making of this video**
When asking people on the UNCSA campus how much they would sell their vote for the response was either a ridiculously high amount of money or they would not sell. Although these options are completely opposite, the lack of variety in answers may be a sign of strong social capital. Voting rates increased 5 million people in the 2008 election. This might show that social capital is increasing because people value their votes.
We asked 20 people if they would sell their vote and 14 of them said that they would not sell. Even in a small scale on the UNCSA campus, the evidence is there. These results agree with the fact that more and more people are voting every year. The people who would sell their votes all said very high amounts, mostly 1 million dollars. This shows that they value it still, that ten dollars would not persuade them to sell their vote.
In all, everybody values their vote. This may be due to the fact that they wanted to look like they cared about politics for Mr. Millner who might see their picture, or because they were rushing somewhere and didn't want to take the time to think about it. However, I believe the reason is that they truly do value their votes, seeing that they can make a difference. Their voice is important to them.

31 Hours of Hell

"31 Hours of Hell" consisted of me (Gray Swartzel) going thirty-one hours without my beloved cell phone. Although the task originally sounded like a fairly small undertaking, it quickly became evident to me that I am much more attached to my phone than I initially thought. I did not put much thought into the limitations in communication that not having it would cause. I did not think to write down phone numbers prior to turning off my phone, so I had no means of contacting many of my friends and family members. Not having my phone caused me to rely on alternative forms of communication. Instead of being able to send a quick text to get together with someone, outings and meetings had to be planned in advance. Not having my phone served as a valuable experience because it helped me to realize the extent to which the average American is addicted to technology.


How much would you sell your right to vote for???









video

Intro

Hey all!
So here's the deal. Five students from Mr. Milner's 9:05 AP Government and Politics class were given the assignment to work in a group, and complete four commonweel labs. And on this blog, you will get to see everything, we did, thought, and concluded about these social experiments relating to social capital. Pretty cool assignment huh? Well that's how we do it and University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Any questions/comments... hit us up!

ENJOY,
Sarah, Khara, Gray, Max, and Cooper