Sunday, May 9, 2010
The article "The Unburdened Mind" by Christopher S. Putnam takes a position that there are more people than anyone would believe that are actually clinically psychopathic. Psychopathic in the sense that they have no conscience, not that they are serial killers. The article claims clinically psychotic people are very common in the world, but just don't get noticed, either because society doesn't want to recognize them or because there is an ignorance about the symptoms of psychopathy. This matters to me because I want to become more aware of who the people are around me and how to handle interactions with all types of people. This matters to the world and education, because we as a community must learn how to identify abnormal behaviors in order to help people overcome their illnesses.
The article "PEPCON Disaster" tells about a company named PEPCON that created rocket fuels that are extremely explosive and send out massive shock waves. One day while a PEPCON crew was doing some welding work, a spark flew off and started a fire. When the workers spotted the flames, they ran to warn other workers to the danger. The fire spread to the rocket fuel building where it would eventually cause a massive explosion. There were only two people left in the building right before the explosion. One of them ran for safety, but the other was wheelchair bound. Knowing he couldn't make it out in time, he made the decision to stay behind and call the fire department, telling them to bring as many trucks as they could. When fire fighters arrived, there was no hope. When the shockwave from one of the smaller explosions knocked windows out of the fire trucks, the fire fighters knew more explosions and shockwaves would follow. A TV crew on a nearby mountaintop filmed everything. They caught the explosions on camera along with the massive shockwaves they created. When injured fire fighters came back to the town's hospital for aid they saw many injured people. This matters to me because the story shows the need for strongly enforced safety codes and policies in any situation with dangerous materials. This matters to the world and education because people employed in dangerous environments must be protected.
The article "The Flying Saucers of North America" is about the years following WWII, and the start of the Cold War, when everyone seemed to be seeing flying saucers. Many in the Army thought that the "aliens" were dangerous, invading Russians. The thinking at the time was that the Russians were collaborating with the Germans to build UFO's to invade the US. The reaction of many was that the US should build one as well and that's exactly what we did. Though it didn't work out very well, it was an admirable effort and resulted in many advancements in aircraft and aviation engineering. This matters to me because I'm interested in engineering and want to contribute to aircraft and aviation innovation. This matters to the world and education because this shows how we can make mistakes and learn from them.