14 Day project

There’s a paradox in quantum physics world called Schrödinger’s cat. To put in simple terms it is called a thought experiment. When a cat and a leaking toxic gas container is put in side a box that’s not observable from the outside, the fate of the cat has two possible destinations.  Either the cat is killed by the poisonous gas or the cat survives. Until someone opens the container and peaks inside, the cat’s fate is uncertain to the world.  While the box remains closed, the cat exists in a so called “super state” that is both dead and alive. Reality of the cat’s fate is determined only through observation. The moment any form of observation is made to determine the cat’s condition, a reality is created. Due to our observation, nature is forced to collapse into one reality. Therefore, many questions can be spawned from this experiment. Reality only exists when it is observed and things are the way they are due to the perception of the observer for they are an outcome of a conscious being.

There’s a book called “The Secrets” that talks about laws of attraction that’s generated from positive waves emitted by our brains. Long story short, it claims that if a person thinks positively and since the positive things attract each other, good things will happen to this person. Skeptics have called this book a scam because it is a form of brain washing. The believer is convinced that every good thing happen is because of their positive attitude attracted fortune. Even within great sadness, the believer who practices this thinking will assume the bad things are actually good; however, this is just an explanation of random events, it does not disproof the laws of attraction introduced in this book.

So my question and goal of the 14 day project is this; can our perception alter reality? If I observe reality from a difference perspective, can I truly affect my surroundings?  During these 14 days I will conduct an experiment each day to change my point of view on nature and see whether my mind can bend reality or I just convinced myself into believing so.


Day 1:

So today I tried to do some research regarding the book “The Secrets.” Though I don’t have it, there are summaries of chapters online which I can read.  It is a interesting hypothesis regarding the positive brain waves but I still think it is a matter of perception instead of reality altering power. Chapter 3 claimed it works on a general level that what the mind concentrates on do not always happen or appear. So now I have to change my tactics because my original plan was to try out a new experiment every day but since this brain wave will only take effect after a long term trail, I must concentrate on something that lasts for 14 days.

hmm….I’ll think about it tomorrow.

WA #7

Today we value the Europe centric vision of beauty for women; tall, slim, pretty and blond is the ideal type. Deep down we know woman from from all race can be attractive and that all women are beautiful in their own right but due to the path of history our preference has been conditioned to one certain type. As a result many fashion styles worn by women of color have been disregarded.

Minh-Ha T. Pham’s website aims to credit some fashion choices that were ignored by history.

I picked this picture because it’s rare for a woman to dress in a man’s clothing, business man’s clothing. In addition she’s an African-American which completely challenges the old image of a white man in a suit.

The lady in this picture is very pretty. She’s attractive without fancy make ups nor excess exposure. Her choice of clothing is also very practical as described in the post, she makes up her own style while makes most of the practical uses of her wardrobe. There’s something expressed in this picture that’s been long lost in our culture. She obviously feels confident in herself without make ups nor additional items. To be contempt with oneself and smile so naturally at a camera, it is a very nice attribute to have.


The long forgotten afro! Although I would not try out the style for myself, because it’s quite trouble some in my opinion, it’s part of our history. Black people’s air are all very curly, something I noticed. The puffy looks of the…80s is quite amusing. You don’t see this very often, in fact I’ve never seen one person with this hair cut in my life. It’s very memorable, and definitely would be a challenge to modern day fashion ideals.

Major Post #3

I have heard many times that America is a melting pot; The land of the free where people of all races come together and merge as one.

That is however, a very common misconception. America is the front line of racial conflicts.

Because the differences between races are so noticeable here, there are more disharmony between each group than anywhere else. In a country where they are less racial groups, people will not categorize each other by race. There will be no struggle of power between races. Racism is  so noticeable in America because there are more people of variable ethnicity here; however,  facing racism right now is not such a bad thing. why? well let me explain.

Human beings are learning, constantly evolving and the earlier we face racism the faster will be able to put the matter behind us. Just like making mistakes, the younger a child makes bad decisions the earlier he or she will learn the lessons of life and avoid similar stumbles that will have large impact in adulthood. Human beings are still young, relatively, and so far we haven’t faced any significant threats that lead to distinction, so it is better we can all these problems out of the way first and learn to work together as one race. Nevertheless, problems are problems which should be dealt with actively and racism is a problem.

Today I’d like to talk about one group in particular, Asians. I believe Asian is a more interesting group for a simple yet complicated reason, they seem to be overcoming the discrimination. Racism is associated with power, a systematic structure that puts one group above all others thus granting them the necessary control to live better. In America Caucasians are normally in a dominating position, while African-Americans and Latinos are the next largest majority, Asians are portraited to be more well off than other people of color. As a counter argument to the racism is structured politically, Asians as a group of color have succeed due to their intellect and effort and any other ethnics that aren’t doing so well aren’t trying hard enough. Such wealthy image of average Asian families is misleading, made to deny the existing racial inequality.

Taken from disgrasian.com, there’s this post called “We are the 99% Chinese-American,” are some photo that correct represent the majority Asian families.

There are plenty of Asian-Americans in poverty, but as an attempt to redirect racial discrimination their existence are denied. These photographs were taking at the “Chinese Progressive Associations” which organized low-in come families, many of those are immigrants who live in San Fransisco. They have” their own depressing, heartbreaking but inspiring stories to tell.” Struggles and hardship transcend races and genders but the system created so a selected group of people receive most benefits from society.

Degrasian site is a great websites that points about family false ideology Asian-Americans face and attempts to point out all the flaws our society has grown to accept. The site was created by two young Asian American girls named Jen Wang and Diana Nguyen. They upload blogs daily about some of things they feel strongly about.

Sometimes racism is expressed so subtle, it’s implanted into our thoughts and we don’t even know it. Another blog on the Degrasian  site called ” No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please (Okay, Maybe Just A Little), in which describes costumes people wear during Halloweens that are offensive but unknown to the user. The picture above shows a man dressed up as a suicide bomber. Not all mid-easterners are terrorists, but they’re often associated with them, especially the suicide bombers. Although not a glorified culture, it is still part of mid-eastern culture and for someone to create a joke out it is very hurtful. Even I did not notice the discriminating content within these outfits until I read this article. Little things like this just shows how racism has made its way into our society and quietly turning us against each other. People who are on the opposite end of these jokes society gives consent to can feeling the agitation but to those who enforce them, it’s only a different sense of humor. They do not acknowledge nor respect anothers’ perspective.

Race does not exist as a biological distinctions nor does it have a scientific definition. It is constructed socially, a categorization created to divide us. What is suppose to be one race, is now ranked into many different levels. Due to these fabricated differences, human beings are constantly being put down and oppressed. The methods of oppression is powerful yet elusive. If we don’t actively point out the problems like these blogs have mentioned, then we will never move on from this stage of self-loathing. Humans will not come to an understanding nor acceptance and we will continue to divide ourselves until hate overtakes us.

Major Post – Shopping Mall

An assignment was given to describe our shopping mall experience, with the requirement to keep an open mind and analyze the infrastructure. After reading Lizabeth Cohen’s Consumer’s Republic, my last trip to the mall was some what different ; I noticed many things I did not acknowledge before. World inside the mall had its own structure, unspoken laws and a system which it runs on. However, even after such close observation I found myself unable to agree with much of Cohen’s opinion.

First of all let’s talk about my experiences. The mall had everything, close to everything at least, from every day items like make up, house decorations and shoes to luxurious goods. One thing the mall doesn’t have is grocery, doesn’t seem to fit in with the whole theme. It is structured just like down town, to simulate the traditional shopping environment. The lights were decorated as street lamps and stores divided into small sections put side by side. A lot of these stores are operated by private owners who are also average consumers. this opens up a lot of possibilities because consumers understand each other, and they’re able to adjust their business to accommodate each others’ needs. They’ll know what trend is popular, what material goods are in demand and can easily adapt to match current market needs. In addition, the gathering of different stores make shopping much easier. Consumers do not have to travel all over the place in order to find what they need. Furthermore, people are free to pursue self-interest needs in specialized locations which allows them to satisfy their desire.  The mall provides more than mere shopping options but a food court as well. Food options had a large variety to choose from such as Asian BBQ, burritos, Italian bread and more.All kinds of people eat here, I saw teenagers, couples, families and many others. It is a very nice resting area that allows customers to relax during their shopping spree and get refreshments. The stores themselves were also maintained nicely. Clean windows, damp revealing lights and fancy displays resonated a classy atmosphere. It’s a very nice environment, in my opinion for, the mall is designed to be such an appealing place. This however, is a problem according to Cohen.

In her book A Consumer’s Republic she argues because these stores are privatized they are free to exclude any undesirable members of society. Cohen claims the mall is designed for middle class families and divides the social gap between classes. During World War II the American people view consumerism as a way to support the war and being patriotic, as a result the middle class size doubled and “citizen consumer” became favorable for middle class. I agree that the mall is middle class friendly because they have the ability to afford material goods, but disagree that the mall is strictly for upper and middle class. “middle class size doubled” means lower class people have accumulated more health, as a result of our change in consumerism so to put in simple terms it is the lower class people have benefited the most from the mall because the circulation of economy increased an the poor became wealthier.

In chapter 7 of her book, Cohen talks about the core problem of shopping malls. “in commercializing public space, they brought to community life the market segmentation that increasingly shaped commerce and residence; in privatizing public space, they privileged the rights of private property owners over citizens’ traditional rights of free speech in community forums; and in feminizing public space, they enhanced women’s claim on the suburban landscape while circumscribing the power they wielded there” All in all, Cohen is unsatisfied with the idea that consumers shop for self-benefits or interest and malls created a social segregation between class, race and gender. what she failed to realized is, in my opinion, the mall does not reject lower class families but rather encourage middle class families to consume. There’s a difference. The mall is built for those who are willing to pay, it does not deliberately turn away another particular group. If a family is unable to afford much, then shopping anywhere will be a problem. By focusing on poor people’s inability to consume, Cohen created this false image of a political structure that circumscribes social classes.However, mass consumption works quite different. It draws out money that wealthy people hold and circulates them back into the economy, creating jobs and opportunity for those who are willing to work. It’s not a system that confines the poor but a way for them to catch up to those who are already wealthy. People now have the opportunity to start their own business,  more alternatives to become richer because there are such high demands in material goods. This opportunity is open to all race and gender.

The middle to upper class atmosphere shopping malls create is an incentive for those who are already rich to put their money back into the market. For poor people who don’t have money, it doesn’t matter how the are malls structured, they still won’t be able to afford anything anyways and without as many ways to spend their money, the rich will hold on to their wealthy and stay wealthy while the poor continue to be poor.

What Cohen wants is a government controlled market in which private owners can not discourage costumers but a controlled market is not democracy! She assumes the government will create an equal market system but no where in her book did she identify the corruptive nature of government. With all the self serving politicians around, the common people who do not have the power to lobby they will never be able to enjoy or given the equal opportunity to that consumerism provides. Where is the democracy if the government holds the power to distribute wealth? When the people can not distribute jobs themselves?

I do not share the same opinions as Cohen regarding consumerism therefore I cannot agree on changes she thinks that will improve the shopping mall experience. I will however, provide my own methods.

The problems shopping centers like Vally Fair Mall has is not that the stores are privatized like Cohen claims. It is not perfect, but nothing is ever perfect. A change I can think of that can make the mall more welcoming is to include in cheaper stores. Right now most of the stores sell popular brand items like Arbercrombie and Macies. If less known brands or local stores were embedded that sell same materials at cheaper prices, the competition between business will be more fierce which will in turn make prices more affordable and attainable to poorer families. Moreover, there should be more malls within the cities then it will be more accessible to people who have transportation difficulties.