Farewell, President Obama

Thank you for the eight years of your life that you spent for America. Thank you for taking care of us, for putting up with us and never losing faith in us. Most of all, thank for listening to us and keeping your head on your shoulders and never losing sight of the future. Thank you for standing strong for eight years. We will miss you being in the White House.

Lisbeth Salander is a little Devil

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Something that gave even Lisbeth Salander trouble.

No Spoilers Ahead

I finished reading The Girl Who Played With Fire a couple of weeks ago. I really liked the book, but the big ham about women being underrated in their careers was focused on way too much (the same happened in The Fountainhead where the big ham was about how communism and conformity are the worst things ever and God help you if you support socialist ideas). In any case, after finishing the book, there was one thing that remained on the back of my mind. It was Fermat’s Theorem that was introduced early on in the book. I haven’t read the third book yet so I haven’t been given an answer by Lisbeth herself (if she gives an answer in the third book).

I was actually trying to figure it out. Since she said that Fermat’s Theorem was less about math and more about philosophy, then that means the answer isn’t supposed to be a supposed proof of the theorem but rather what it means in relation to the theme of the book. So I tried searching up the actual proof of the theorem and along the way found that there was a proof to the theorem (Wile’s proof) and that it was of no help to me. That was a dead end for me. So what did Lisbeth mean by it being philosophical?

Of course, Lisbeth would know very well what philosophical meaning there is behind something that people try to categorise and classify, but whatever name or condition they come up with to describe it, they just aren’t true and they don’t fit. Like Wile’s initial proof, people’s assumptions and expectations of her are often based on mistaken premises and false facts. Furthermore, since the theorem states that the formula Fermat came up with has no solutions, people trying to come up with a proof has to prove that there are, in fact, no solutions which means that they have to exhaust every means of finding a solution that solves the equation. Lisbeth, in all her peculiarity, has nothing of the conditions that her foster parents and her psychologists attribute to her, but they keep trying to cure her of the things that she doesn’t have. And like the theorem, Lisbeth is hard to understand and her behaviour is hard to prove and disprove and that means that once rumours establish themselves, her peculiar behaviour is hard to explain if one doesn’t know the context and that leads to much of her bad publicity in the book.

And that’s it. That’s why Stieg Larsson decided to include the Theorem in his books. To the people who published his story of Lisbeth Salander after his death, thank you for not including the answer to the question in the second book. I’ve had a bit of fun with this, but I did get frustrated when I didn’t know what Lisbeth meant while I was still reading the book (hence the title of this post). Only when I’ve had time to think things through weeks later did the answer come to me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my hands on the third book sometime this year and finish the series.

That’s all for this time. Read on!

To read more about Fermat’s Last Theorem, here is the Wiki page: Fermat’s Last Theorem

To read more about Wile’s proof, here is the Wiki page for that: Wile’s proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem

APUSH Unit III Essay Prep: Articles of Confederation to War of 1812 (circa 1770s-1800s)

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So this is the first of the APUSH posts. I don’t have Unit I or II up because at the time, I didn’t do a lot of preparation for the first couple of units and what I did have was not sufficient for any sort of studying. Because of that, I’ll start with Unit III. I should also say that I won’t give you everything you need for each of these prompts because that’ll be no fun and it defeats the purpose of being an AP student. I’ll only give you the basic points and the synthesis and contextualization. Oh and any events I list may or may not be in chronological order, so be careful of that as well.

I was given these prompts, you might have gotten something different for Unit 3:

(1) “Our prevailing passions are ambition and interest; and it will be the duty of a wise government to avail itself of those passions, in order to make them subservient to the public good.” -Alexander Hamilton, 1787

How was this viewpoint manifested in Hamilton’s financial program as Secretary of the Treasury?

  • Synthesis: Second Bank of America (chartered in 1816 after the War of 1812 because they recognised the need to have a national banking system as well as a consistent national currency which is what they had trouble with during the War)
  • Contextualization: They needed to have the American people be loyal to the federal gov’t (and by extension, to the Constitution) as opposed to their local and state gov’ts and through the various aspects of Hamilton’s Financial Plan, tried to encourage nationalistic sentiments especially among the wealthy and affluent.
  • Points:
    • National Bank- Bank was made to be a corporation whose stocks could be purchased by third parties (turning private financial interest into national economic interest)
    • Funding Plan- plan to “fund” the national debt by a cycle of continuing to sell and pay off bonds
    • Assumption Plan- the federal gov’t would assume all state debts in exchange for moving the capital from the North to the Potomac
    • Basic Idea: If the citizens are personally invested in the country’s success, then these people will have more of an inclination to do things in the interest of the whole country as opposed to for themselves or for their state.

(2) Evaluate the relative importance of domestic and foreign affairs in shaping American politics in the 1790’s.

For this prompt, you need to state whether domestic or foreign affairs was more important in shaping American politics in the 1790s. I’ve listed what was happening in both categories. And depending on which one you thought was more important, the synthesis point I used may have to be tweaked.

  • Synthesis: Cold War- how foreign diplomatic failures overshadowed the later half of the 1900s after WWII, which should have been a relatively peaceful time, y’know, because all the major powers in the world needed to rebuild themselves economically, politically and especially in Germany, literally. Some relevant points would be McCarthyism and the Marshall Plan.
  • Contextualization: There’s a lot of things you can use here. For example, the French Revolution could count if you do it correctly.
  • Points:
    • Foreign Affairs:
      • French Revolution, Jay Treaty, US’s neutrality in foreign wars (GW’s Farewell Address), X, Y, Z Affair and the Convention of 1800 (end of Quasi-War with France)
    • Domestic:
      • Everything with Alex Hamilton and his Plan, strict v loose construction (Federalists vs Republicans), Whiskey Rebellion, Alien and Sedition Acts
    •  Politics:
      • George Washington(once again, his stance on US neutrality), Hamilton v Jefferson, Two Party System, Election of 1796 and the “Revolution”  of 1800

(3) To what extent was the election of 1800, sometimes known as the “Revolution of 1800”, a turning point in U.S. History?

  • Synthesis: Election of 1860, another election that had a monumental impact on US history otherwise known as when Lincoln became POTUS and when the Civil War starts
  • Contextualization: You could bring out how Jefferson’s ideas differed from the Federalists’ ideas and how this disagreement was a source of contention in the past.
  • Points:
    • Jefferson was the founder of the original Republican party (historians now call them Democratic-Republicans, but I’ll just keep it simple) and was the chief advocate for Republican ideals, in contrast to the first two presidents of the US who were Federalist (although GW wasn’t officially a Federalist, his tendency to agree with Hamilton meant that technically, he was one)
      • this obviously means that this is the first time there was a Republican president
      • this shift to Republican ideals means that the focus of the country was no longer at the national level but at the individual and state level
    • confirmed (in a way) the existence and legitimacy of a two-party system
    • the beginning of the downfall of the Federalist party
      • Judiciary Acts of 1801- changed courts with the intent to weaken Fed. party
    • reduced military budget and debt of the country
    • General Idea: How power transferred from the Federalists to the Republicans and what happened as the result

(4) Compare and contrast the contributions of two U.S. Presidents between 1788-1810 in helping to establish a stable government after the adoption of the Constitution. (GW, Adams, Jefferson)

  • Synthesis: You can use Lincoln again because he was the first Republican president(the third party system-> Democrats vs Republicans) and he obviously drastically changed the country and helped stabilise the country by, y’know, winning the Civil War
  • Contextualization: There were three presidents during that time; you need to compare and contrast two in your essay. Whichever one is left, you can use for contextualization. I chose to use Adams as contextualization and how he continued Washington’s policies etc etc.
  • Points: 
    • George Washington:
      • highly respected and people followed his example (he had a calming effect during the turbulent times, so to speak)
      • helped America stay neutral with Proc. of Neutrality and Jay Treaty
      • put down Whiskey Rebellion partially through his reputation alone
      • set precedents for future presidents (it rhymes!-almost)
        • had an ideologically diverse cabinet
        • showed the people that having presidents doesn’t necessarily mean having to live under tyranny
      • exerted his presidential powers underneath the Constitution
        • for example, by passing the Judiciary Act of 1789 (that made the judiciary system and the Supreme Court)
      • supported Hamilton’s plans and thus put the US on good financial footing
        • included assumption plan and the moving of the capital, shifting loyalties more towards the country as a whole
    • Thomas Jefferson:
      • Louisiana Purchase-encouraged an agrarian economy
        • guaranteed the people’s independence as per Jefferson’s Republican ideals
        • Lewis and Clark Expedition- encouraged western expansion
      • a more minor thing- he decentralised power by disestablishing state churches
      • showed that a peaceful transfer of power was possible and didn’t try to stamp out Federalist influences in the gov’t
      • accepted opposition against him (John Marshall), confirming checks and balances
      • another more minor thing- had success dealing with the Barbary pirates which expanded trade in the Mediterranean

(5) Analyse the impact of the American Revolution on both slavery and the status of women in the period 1775-1800.

  • Synthesis: Since the Civil War has been mentioned multiple times already, the next most obvious choice would be th 19th Amendments: when women got the right to vote
  • Contextualization: The First Great Awakening
  • Points:
    • Slaves:
      • anti-slavery sentiments were present before (for example, Quaker societies in 1775) but by 1792, even heavily pro-slavery places had anti-slavery sentiments like Virginia
        • side note: GW made it so that upon his wife’s death, all of his slaves were to be freed. Martha Washington set them free early.
      •  Lord Dunmore’s Proc (encouraging slaves to join British forces in return for freedom) caused slaves to rise against their masters, prompts Americans to offer freedom as well, tens of thousands later fled with the British
      • set ban date for the importation of slaves (1808)
      • NW Ordinance 1787 prohibits some territory from becoming slave states
      • BUT 3/5th Compromise, Fugitive Slave Clause and the fact that twenty years was allowed for the importation of slaves to stop
    • Women:
      • increased respect for their competence and rationality in managing family’s’ farms and businesses while men were away at war (Revolutionary War)
      • only legal gain-divorce was easier in some courts (to negligible effect)
      • social changes-wives were treated as more of a companion rather than as being treated as inferiors, some more freedom in choosing spouses, spinstership didn’t seem to be so bad anymore, women began to push for education (for example, Philadelphia’s Young Ladies Academy in 1787)
      • some female activists became famous for speaking out against the patriarchy; Abigail Adams and Judith Murray
      • Republican Mother, mothers seen as the passers of liberty and virtue onto their sons
      • BUT no real (tangible) progress in political power of females, traditional belief that women are subservient and weaker are still strongly held on to

(6) Evaluate the extent to which there was continuity in the conduct of United States foreign policy between 1789 and 1823.

  • Synthesis: US’s initial neutrality during WWI.
  • Context: Highlight what wars and foreign conflicts there were that could have affected America’s foreign policy and in particular, public opinion and by extension, the two-party system and the rise and fall of parties (like how the Federalist party lost favour because of the Hartford Convention).
  • Points:
    • George Washington remained neutral during his presidency (Proc of Neutrality and Farewell Address, later during the Napoleonic Wars and French Revolution)
      • Madison, Adams,  and Jefferson tried to remain neutral as well, but America ended up waging war with the British (War of 1812)
    • Attempts to use trade as a diplomatic weapon( not trading with either France or Britain). SPOILER: it doesn’t work.
    • GW renounced French-American Treaty and even had a Quasi-War with France (a break from previous good relationship with France, also seen with XYZ Affair and the aforementioned Quasi-War)
    • continued expansion (land grab) through Louisiana Purchase, Pinkney Treaty, Adams-Onis Treaty, Convention of 1818 (joint claim with Britain to Oregon Territory)
    • Continued limiting British influence (Jay’s Treaty, limited effects, Rush-Bagot Treaty) 
    • Continuity: War Hawks and how they wanted war with Britain, continued to use US commerce as diplomatic weapon (Macon’s Bill #2, Non-Intercourse Act, Embargo Act), Treaty of Ghent restored pre-war relationship with the British)
    • Monroe Doctrine (by Monroe and John Quincy Adams) warning against foreign intervention in the Western Hemisphere

Moar Stuffs

I’m a huge bookworm and recently, due to circumstances out of my control, I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like. But there are plenty of books I have read and from time to time, I’ll share some with you. There will be a link to my GoodReads page in the sidebar somewhere and if you’re a sci-fi, mystery and fantasy geek like me, you’ll enjoy the list I’ve compiled. Of course, the ones that I’ve marked with less than four stars isn’t recommended, but that is also up to you. I’ll also occasionally add quotes of the day as well. That’s all for this time and happy reading!

APUSH

Hey! So this year was my first year taking AP Classes. And I decided to take three at once… And one of them is APUSH (AP US History). Since I’ve had trouble finding information for essays and things, I’ve decided to upload synthesis and contextualization for each unit as well as any relevant points so that other people might have an easier time. I hope you guys find this helpful.

Abortion

Hello everybody! Hope you’ve all had a pleasant week so far. Today, I’m going to tackle the issue of abortion. My stance is generally pro-choice and I will explain why. To those who immediately felt a rush of animosity at my words, please restrain yourself from any unreasonable actions. To those who haven’t read the About page on this blog, please do. There are clear rules on this blog as to freedom of speech and I will not censor opposing opinions as long as there is logic to back it up. However, if any comments contain hate speech and/or argues points that I’ve already explained (seriously, please don’t be repetitive), I will delete them. Let’s start.

The main opponent to abortion, it seems, is the idea that it is equivalent to murdering a human being. That is not true. A person is considered irreversibly dead when their brain activity stops, therefore it stands to reason that a person is considered alive when their brain starts exhibiting regular signs of said activity or scientifically speaking, when electroencephalography (EEG) activity starts. That occurs at around 25 weeks, about halfway through the pregnancy. The definition of death is not disputed and so, will serve as a consistent marker in my argument. So that means that people who oppose abortion in all instances on moral grounds won’t be able to argue that the baby is veritably alive until at least halfway through the pregnancy. Therefore, abortion should be allowed at least during the first trimester.

To further expand on the first point, some of the same people who claim abortion shouldn’t be legal on moral grounds also say that the fetus has a “right to life”. If that is the case, then wouldn’t the mother also have the right to her body and her life? Remember, the mother is a fully-formed independent human being with thoughts and dreams and instead, the greater consideration is given to a bundle of cells that is in no way able to live outside the mother’s body and thus far doesn’t have any sort of human thought or personality. Having a “right to life” ultimately means being able to choose for yourself so there is no reason why the mother can’t choose to not have the baby, especially if having the baby means that the mother’s life is threatened.

Another anti-abortion argument is that abortion removes the consequences to having sex. Some people are afraid that if you were able to just get an abortion if you get pregnant, then unmarried people would have sex willy-nilly and the country’s morality would degenerate. Their argument basically says that if you have sex, then you know you risk getting pregnant. Thus, if you do get pregnant, then the responsible thing to do is to have the baby. While I can’t argue for the decision-making skills in teens, I can safely say that having a baby at that time of their life is disastrous. But it’s not only the teen mom’s life that will be ruined, the baby will also be born in subpar conditions and will probably live like that for the rest of their lives. (Fun Fact: For all of America’s reputation as a country of opportunity, the percentage of people who actually move up in life is 4% and that’s not taking into account exactly how much they’ve moved “up”.) This doesn’t apply to just teenagers though; teenagers just happened to be the most understandable scenario. In that case, the more responsible thing, I’d say, is to abort.

That said, having an abortion isn’t an easy thing. Having a procedure isn’t cheap and it requires a certain degree of desperation on the part of the mother. Going through abortion is not only a financial problem but also emotionally taxing.

You could also say that the woman can use contraception to avoid pregnancies, but contraception isn’t effective 100% of the time and even then, you have to assume that the option of contraception is available. Also, Sex Ed. isn’t taught in all schools in the USA either, meaning there is a serious lack of information about such things in the areas of the US that are most affected by unplanned pregnancies. And to those few that say a woman’s body is capable of shutting down a pregnancy if the woman really didn’t want to get pregnant, then you’re probably dumb or drunk or both.

In reality, the underlying argument in the question of abortion is about women’s rights. Does a woman have the right to choose? Does the woman have to sacrifice her goals and dreams and part of her life to take care of an unwanted baby? However, there is one crucial question that is missing, is the man responsible for the baby too? If the man were to be held accountable, then would the same arguments be put forward against abortion?

I won’t say anything about abortion in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in serious danger because there are clear reasons why abortion in those cases is the best thing to do.

That’s all for this time. Thank you for reading this rather long post. ^_^ Please leave your thoughts and comments below. There are a lot of aspects to this debate that I didn’t cover so I’ll be counting on you guys to help fill in. Remember to back up your arguments!

Relativity

This is something that everyone can relate to. Simply put, what I mean by relativity is perspective. Your perspective and the perspective of your interlocutor, the context of the situation and possible hidden factors not apparent to the other person.

For example, my mother might be complaining that her parents keep telling her that my uncle has made an “appointment” to Facetime them. Thus, she complains, whenever she wants to talk to her parents, she has to keep in mind the time when my uncle is going to call so that the two calls don’t interrupt each other. By saying this, she implies that her parents are favouring my uncle because they specifically set aside time to talk to him while if my mum wants to talk to her parents, she will have to first make sure she doesn’t call when my uncle is calling. The example is a bit complicated to explain, but that is the case in a lot of interpersonal interactions. However, if you don’t understand the gist of it, please ask.

Now onto the perspective part of the example. My mum’s perspective is quite clear: her parents are prioritising her brother’s calls over her’s. Now here comes the hidden factors. My uncle works long hours each day and therefore means that he cannot call his parents whenever he wants. My grandparents live on the other side of the planet meaning nighttime here is daytime there. My grandparents must also be home and not busy in order to Facetime. There is an inference to be made here: if my uncle wants to make a call to my grandparents, he will have to find a time that fits both him and his parents, ergo an “appointment”.

Meanwhile, my mum is a stay-at-home mother so that means she can call my grandparents whenever she thinks they’re free and whenever she has spare time; a much larger time window than what my uncle has. So of course, her brother’s calls do take precedence to her calls, but the context of the situation and the reason as to why my uncle’s calls take precedence is also different. Therefore, it is not that my grandparents favour my uncle, it is the demand of my uncle’s situation.

Now, in this situation, if my mum was an intensely jealous person or somesuch, there would be a confrontation and other things may follow. Even to a more balanced person, the idea of their parents favouring one of their siblings is unpleasant and can lead to resentment etc. So these sort of small misunderstandings can actually have quite a large impact and that is also why people should, in these situations, resist the urge to react emotionally and instead think logically as to give the truth a chance and avoid any future unpleasantness.

What do you guys think? Do you have any examples from your life? If you have any ideas for future discussions, please feel free to e-mail me at terror6586@gmail.com and fill in the subject space with Outlet.

Greetings!

Hello! This is Lieutenant Demon Lord. You can also call me Ellen. I’m starting something new today and I’m hoping it will turn into something bigger.

On this blog, I want to:

  • Be able to explore a multitude of topics
  • Build an audience interested in the debate and discussion of said topics
  • Have an active reader base so that we can have a lot of varied input from many individuals
  • Share my work and get feedback
  • And as the site title reads, serve as an outlet to not just me but to many other inquisitive minds

To help along this process, I hope everyone participates and enjoy their time on this blog. Furthermore, as I am also trying to start a freelance writing career, this is an opportunity to develop my writing and gather a potential client base. To anyone who has anything on their mind, express it and… Read on!