Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do You Want to Hear a Secret?

I just found this awesome site, which I would totally invest in if I had the finances to do so. I think this will be the next if these developers have the gall to continue what they're doing.

It's a website called: 

...and it's pretty revolutionary.

If you've gone to college, you probably remember the nights staying up late waiting for your priority registration date to come along, so that you could snatch the classes you needed before other people did. Well, this is exactly what Schedule Snatcher does, except it does it automatically.

This is nothing compared to the best feature. Schedule Snatcher will (and I've already had it for for me) let you tell it which class you want and wait till a spot opens up in the class (day or night), snatch it, and add it to your schedule!

Like I said, I already tried out the site and it snatched my Comms 332 class with Professor Robinson, one of the legends in the Advertising department, which class was previously full. So cool.

The way the site makes money (at this point...later, it might try advertising on its site, etc.) is an option called the "Premier Account." For a fee, you can get your name at the top of the list for a year.

At the current moment, Brigham Young University is the only school which schedule snatcher is activated, but hopefully, with our support, the site will soon expand to other schools.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mustard Popsicles

Why do we do the things we do? Why haven’t you jumped out of a plane without a parachute or punched someone famous in the face with brass knuckles?  Why haven’t you robbed a bank (assuming you haven’t…) or made mustard popsicles for your friends? You might be saying, “Well, because those things wouldn’t be normal…and the mustard popsicle idea is just gross.” If we look closer into our societal norms, we will see that we do things because of the consequences that follow, and, for that matter, we don’t do things, like offer our friends mustard popsicles, because they might not consider us friends anymore.
Consequentialism is defined as “the theory that the center of value is the outcome or consequences of the act.”(Pojman 247) We do things because we think about the consequences that will follow. We oft times do things because they are beneficial to the greatest number of people. This philosophy is a branch of Consequentialism called Utilitarianism, and is what I would like to focus on.
Utilitarianism is “the greatest goodness for the greatest number- and not merely the good of the agent.”(Pojman 102) When asked whether to help five people or just one, a utilitarian wouldn’t ask whom the people were. He would help the five (assuming the same or more good was done this way), because there lays the greatest number. Jeremy Bentham articulated the original concept of Utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill later built upon it.
They recognized a few strengths to this theory- the first being it’s simplicity. In a world full of complexities, it’s nice to be guided by an ideal that doesn’t have loopholes or exceptions. It is an absolute system that potentially has an answer for every situation. The next strength is that Utilitarianism goes hand-in-hand with morality. Utilitarianism is virtuous because it supports that morality isn’t so much about keeping the rules as it is about helping people and alleviating the suffering in the world. The last strength is that it proposes a solution to the problem of posterity. We have an obligation to look out for future generations, as prior generations have looked out for us. Utilitarianism advises helping the greatest number, even if that number includes people that haven’t been born yet.
Don’t get too comfortable just yet. As Newton’s Third Law states, “For every action [and ethical theory] there is an equal and opposite re-action [and dispute]” and Utilitarianism has some weaknesses of its own. The first is the very definition: “The greatest goodness for the greatest number.” So which is most important- good or number? Though simplicity is typically a positive aspect, here it inhibits our understanding of what we’re striving for. Another crucial problem with utilitarianism is the lack of foresight that we, as human beings can see. The results of action A will bring action B, etc. In the end (if there be an end), will this decision bring more happiness to more people than the other option? Pojman captures the next problem, “Following utilitarianism, I should get little or no rest, and, certainly, I have no right to enjoy life when by sacrificing I can make others happier.” (Pojman 112) There is always a better option to do greater good for more people than what we are currently doing. Economists call this “opportunity cost,” and it’s near impossible to know what the best thing to be doing is. Relativism is another objection to utilitarianism- that what’s important to one community might not be to another.
Even with all of these concerns, I feel that utilitarianism is our greatest option when deciphering what to do in any given ethical situation. So the next time you want to make mustard popsicles for your friends, don’t ask yourself, “Is this weird?” Instead, ask, “How many people can I make these for and how nutritious would they be?”

1. Pojman, Louis P. Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006. Print.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Philosophies On Life

    As I was with a friend on a date this past Saturday, we got to talking about philosophies on life. I thought the conversation was worth repeating, so I'm blogging about it! :P

     I had an epiphany when I was a young teen. As I looked around myself (while in middle school), I saw all the hurt and confusion that the world held. I found myself uncomfortable because of the lack of concern that kids had for others. 90% of the student body was concerned about looking cool, and in turn, many feelings were stepped on and relationships were severed.

Then it hit me.

    Cultures act differently. Different sexes deal with issues in different ways. Material possessions are more important to some than others. Different age groups care about different fads, but among all these differences, one thing remains constant. Every single person, no matter who they are, wants to feel loved and cared about.

    Aristotle had a similar philosophy. He believed that the root of all we do is happiness. If we do something, we do it to ultimately gain happiness.

    Let's take an example: You brush your teeth every night. Why? It's a burden and it takes away time that could be used doing others things that would bring you instant pleasure. Well, in the long run, you have cleaner teeth that won't cause pain; you don't get nagged by your parents; and that girl that you like might actually kiss you.

    Speaking of girls, my date, Amber LeBaron, had a great philosophy too. She said she likes to think about the fact that everyone is trying their hardest. I agree with this. In one aspect or another of every person's life, they are trying their hardest to do their best. More of their time and effort might go into one thing or another, but they are trying their hardest and putting forth energy. This is why it's so important not to judge one another. We also don't know what their circumstances are and what they're personally going through.

Anyways, this was my thought for the week.

Everyone wants to be loved.

Everyone is trying their best.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pullover Gone Well

Brandon Bishoff, a 22 year-old BYU student, may have just screwed up his life forever. It all came down to this point of anxiety.

“He said that he was nervous about the black car that was following us,” said Brandon’s girlfriend, Kristina Austin. They were driving on their way to pick up the most important symbol of their love. Little did Kristina know what was about to happen.

Sirens blared and lights flashed as Kristina exclaimed, “Those darn undercover cops!” Brandon muttered something under his breath- trying not to let Kristina hear.

His acting skills from high school would finally come in handy. “Everything is going to be alright,” he said through clenched teeth. Beads of sweat collected on his forehead.

“License and registration, sir.” The officer did not look amused and his tone just reinforced the fact. He walked back to the patrol car and returned within the minute.

“Sir, would you step out of the car, please,” the officer kindly, but sternly asked Brandon. Thoughts started storming Kristina’s mind and she felt clueless. She later remarked, “I didn’t know whether he had forgotten to pay a parking ticket or what.”

A few minutes went by. She decided to turn up the radio while she waited.

Looking in the rear-view mirror, Kristina saw a startling sight. Her boyfriend of three months had his hands in the air and the officer was searching him. “I felt bad staring, so I looked back down at the ground for a few seconds,” Kristina recounted.

There was a soft bang on the back of the car, so Kristina looked back. Brandon was handcuffed and shoved against the car! By this time, anyone would’ve been an imbecile not to know that something was wrong.

The officer walked Brandon around to the side of the car and asked Kristina to step out.  Kristina was almost in tears as the three of them walked around to the back of the car.

The officer then proceeded to handcuff them together and told Kristina, “I’m handcuffing you together so that he doesn’t run away. I’m getting something out of my car. Stay here.”

What was happening? Who wouldn’t be confused by the turn of events?

Brandon decided to come out straight. He said, “Kristina, I think I’m about to go to jail for a long time. I might as well come clean. There’s something I need to ask you before he takes me away.”

Brandon got down on one knee.

“Will you marry me?”

The officer, also known as Brandon’s uncle, came from the patrol car with a small box. “Here, you might need this,” he said. Kristina caught on, “You little PUNK,” she exclaimed, “of course I’ll marry you!” Brandon opened the box with Kristina’s engagement ring inside.

They were supposed to be going to get the ring, which was an hour away. Without Kristina’s knowledge, Brandon had convinced his roommate, Kyle Hollenback, to make the drive and get the ring earlier.

“It was probably the most fun thing I’ve ever been involved in,” Kyle later said, “I felt like I was contributing to something big. They’re really in love and I’m glad I could help.”

Brandon later said, “I’m really pleased with the way things turned out. My dad had suggested using my uncle for the proposal and I thought that was a great idea. I was expected her to catch on sooner, considering she’s met him before.”

Kristina retorted, “Yeah…I knew I had seen him before, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Not very many 40 year-old men have braces.” She smiled at her fiancé Brandon, chuckled and it was made apparent that they were in love.

Brandon and Kristina will be married in the Mount Timpanogus temple April 23rd, 2011.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Jimmer Epidemic

         The Jimmer fever has swept the nation and I've found myself in the midst of it. I've even become a big fan (shhhh don't tell anyone) and I make myself available to watch all the games now. It's not too often that a basketball prodigy comes through BYU. I suppose the last one was Danny Ainge ages ago.

         So this girl named Michelle Peralta, a fellow BYU student, got fed up with the attention Jimmer was getting and decided to do something about it. She wrote a complaint to a newspaper and it got published. Apparently, dozens of people wrote comments after her article almost ridiculing her. They made clever Jimmer jokes, and told Michelle to stop crying in essence.

        I decided to join the fun. Why live in a place if you're not going to get into the culture?

      I created this for Michelle Peralta, Jimmer Fredette, and Chuck Norris. 

Don't hate.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rockstar Advertisements

These are the advertisements that I created for my Communications 230 class at Brigham Young University. My group's product was Rockstar Energy Drinks and our objective was to diversify Rockstar from the other types of energy drinks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

English Blog Assessment

 This semester at Brigham Young, I've had the opportunity to attend a Freshmen English class. In this class, I was asked to make a blog and post periodically. I've greatly enjoyed the assignment and have used it as a way to share some of my feelings. It has helped me to realize my thoughts and share them with others.

If I had the chance, I'd do it again. In fact, I'll keep this blog going and continue to build a portfolio.