Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ethics of Autonomous Cars

      The first scenario is asking whether a self-driving car should prioritize larger vehicles, such as SUV's, or smaller vehicles, such as Mini Coopers.  I don't think the car should be programmed to hit any specific car.  If the self-driving car is programmed to focus larger vehicles, then large families are put in danger.  If the self-driving car is programmed to focus smaller vehicles, more damage will occur.  I think that the decisions of where the car should crash should be random, like it is today.  If the choice is random, then everybody in every single car has an equal chance of being hurt in an accident, but also has an equal chance of being safe in an accident.
     The second scenario asks whether a motorcyclist with a helmet should be prioritized in an accident, or a motorcyclist without a helmet.  The motorcyclist without a helmet should be prioritized in an accident.  Prioritizing the motorcyclist without a helmet will encourage helmet wear.  Although there will be more damage dealt to the motorcyclist without a helmet, the use of helmet wear in the future will overcome that consequence.  If you don't follow the law and neglect wearing a helmet, you kind of deserve to be prioritized.
     I think it's a good idea for the car to make random decisions using a random number generator.  Today, without self-driving cars, all accidents are random and there isn't an extra computer or mind that adds a burden to anybody in the accident.  If the car were to make random decisions, then the chance of being hurt and the chance of being safe are equal among all the cars involved in accidents.
     If the driver is not making control decisions, the driver should not be responsible for the outcomes.  If you're not even driving the car and you get in an accident, then you did nothing to cause the accident and you should not be held responsible.  If you were driving the car during the accident, then yes, you should be held responsible.  But if the accident was caused by a machine's error, then you had nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Passion Project Reflection III

     My passion project is okay so far.  Although I'm worried on how my presentation will end up, I feel like my research is solid and sound.  I've done research on various alchemists and I have gone towards the scientific side of alchemy.  I learned about elements discovered through alchemic methods.  I've even done research on several known chemists and scientists that actually practiced alchemy.  Although I haven't really gotten as far into alchemy as I would like to be at this point, I think I have enough information so far.  I think my presentation will be full of information and for time's sake, I may cut things out of my presentation. 
     I'm not really sure how I'm going to present my project.  I don't really want to do a Powerpoint because I dislike Powerpoints in general, yet I've done Powerpoints for my last two Passion Projects.  I was originally going to use something called PowToon, but I realized the voice-over option was not really what I thought it was, so I'm not going to use that anymore.  I've been looking at different sites for presentations and so far, I'm just seeing Powerpoint copies.  
     At this point, I would like to be working on the presentation aspect of my project.  But I'm not quite there yet.  I'm not even sure how I will present this passion project.  I'm sure I'll come up with an idea soon.  I would also like to have been studying magic alchemy by now, but I'm still finding information on the scientific side.  I think I already have a basic gist on spiritual alchemy, however, and I won't need to do extensive research on it. 
   Long story short, my passion project isn't quite at where I'd like to be, but it's still pretty good so far.  I hope my project ends up okay. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Passion Project Reflection II

     My passion project this year is going a-okay.  I've gathered a lot of information, actually.  So far, I haven't touched many topics, however I have a lot of information on the few topics I've found.  I'm really enjoying this project and I'm having a lot of fun researching things.  I've learned a lot on various alchemists.  There are even famous scientists and chemists in history that practiced alchemy, and I'm so amazed by it.  It's so interesting to see how alchemy ties into history.  Schools don't really teach about alchemy, despite alchemy having such an impact on the earth, so I think my project will be very useful and interesting.  It's a good topic to learn about. 
     The progress in my project, however, slowed down a bit from the last time I updated this blog.  I don't really know where to expand to.  I started with finding famous alchemists, and now I don't know where to go from there.  I'm thinking about starting research on scientific alchemy, but I'm not really sure.  I think I might research how alchemy came to many theories still used today. 
     I've been reading a little bit of The Alchemist, and I really like it so far!  However, I'm not sure if it's really "authentic" alchemy.  It might just be a story, but I'll still look into it.  It might be cool to expose myself to different theories on alchemy.  I think, however, I'm going to be more diligent with knowing a lot of information on a few topics than knowing a little bit on many topics.  If possible, I'd like to know a lot of information about a lot of topics, but I'm not sure if that's going to be possible. 
     I'm actually not sure on how I should present my project.  I want to refrain from doing a slideshow, as I made slideshows for my last two passion projects and I want to keep things fresh and interesting.  However, my camera isn't working so a movie may not be possible.  I've been thinking about making a little animation, but that's far too time consuming.  I'll keep thinking about it, maybe I'll think of an idea later. 
     Welp, I'll keep working on this.  I hope I get more work done.  I want to be able to have a lot of time to actually make the project.  I really don't want to run out of time.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Passion Project Reflection I

     My first passion project of this year will be on the ancient art of alchemy.  In the two days I've worked on it, I didn't really get a great amount of work done.  The first Friday, I spent the period searching for valid websites to get my information from.  I just copied and pasted all the URLs onto a big document.  The second Friday, I took notes on important alchemists and their significance in history.  For the second Friday, I took handwritten notes, since I learn best when I take long notes in a notebook. 
     The work I've done, however not being very much, was actually very important.  Researching different alchemists has allowed me to understand so much more about alchemy in general.  There are so many different types of alchemy from so many different types of countries and areas.  Many of the alchemists I've researched are people I could branch off on, to keep my presentation nice and fresh. 
     I could use this information to help me later as I develop my project.  Knowing a few alchemists from the past will help me in finding how studies during the age of heavy alchemy led to scientific advances and discoveries in more modern times.  
     There were some patterns in my work.  I wrote down the significance of all the alchemists I've studied.  Although I didn't collect the same type of information from each alchemist.  I did collect the basic overview of each person.  
     The work I did was very thorough.  I'm actually very pleased with the progress I've done so far.  The notes I took on each person was very detailed and told many things about them.  I'm really excited to use this information in my project later.
     Next, I'm going to continue researching important people of the alchemy age.  I think I want to know about more people.  After that, I'm going to research spiritual and magical alchemy. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Passion Project II Update ~ 2014

     Currently, my passion project is going at a pretty nice rate, and I like that.
     I've done several makeup "faces". I've done about four so far, which isn't too bad at all.  I've noticed that the gore-y faces are a lot easier than others, though, and that's a-okay with me!  However, I haven't really gotten around to doing the research part of special effects makeup.  I don't really know what else to research other than the purpose and what people do with it.  I'll think of something eventually, but for now, I'm really focusing on the creating part.
     I'm having a whole lotta fun just doing makeup every week.  It makes me feel like I'm some special artist who wakes up at 6 AM just to create something really cool.  Some of my "faces" are kind of laughable, though, so I might redo them.
     I still have to find a way to upload my pictures onto my computer and make a pretty little slideshow out of them.  I took the pictures on my phone, so I could probably just upload it to Google or something.  But I'm just kind of worried that something might go terribly wrong.  Maybe I'm just being paranoid.  I still want to do more faces, since four isn't exactly equal to thirteen.  However, I can do multiple faces in one day, so I might cram more faces into Saturdays.  I'm also running out of things to create on my face, so I have to look at google images for a lot of "inspiration".
     I'm doing well with my project.  I really can't wait for the final form of my presentation.  It's gonna be great, in my opinion.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's take a look in the mirror...

My Passion Project Progress

     My passion project was to create an "a capella" video with self-recorded music and editing. So far, everything has been great about the video. However, I haven't physically begun to create it.
     Before producing the video, I want to plan it out thoroughly so I don't come across a giant problem that I could have avoided by planning. My plans are all done, thank goodness. I found a good recording software, figured out how I want to edit the video, and chose a song. However, I've come across quite a few problems.
     The first problem is probably the biggest. I won't be able to do the video "tile style" like I had originally decided to. The editing program I use, iMovie, does not allow more than two tracks of video to play at the same time. However, I found a way through this problem when I realized that I could use the green screen. Although I can't have more than two tracks of video at the same time, I can focus on a more artsy style and use the green screen to have two versions of me on screen simultaneously. 
     My biggest achievement so far was definitely finding the song. The song is a Lion King medley, and it's fantastic because it's complicated and long (nearly ten minutes!). The reason why I wanted a complicated song was because it would teach me more than an easy song. 
     Welp, the only problem left is to create the video! I hope I don't have any problems getting the video to my computer like I did with my last video project, but I might be able to fix it or get around that problem. I can't wait for the finished product.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grades Going Through the Grater

     The lessons in ROGATE have opened my mind.  The grading system in school never really seemed unfair to me.  I was so used to seeing the grading system used today that I never really thought of it any other way. As Louka says so fondly, "THIS SCHOOL IS UNJUST!"
     Obviously, grades are necessary.  They tell us what we need to work on and what our strengths and weaknesses are.  We obviously need grades to guide us in school life, until we are old enough to realize those things for ourselves.  Grades are a way of communicating, to simply tell you, "Hey! You rock at English!" or "Hey! You suck at math!".  However, grades are very flexible, allowing your weaknesses to grow stronger as long as you choose the right decisions.  So, if you have a 67 grade average in math, obviously you would work harder in math to get a passing grade.

     Maybe the grading system we use today isn't telling us what to work on effectively.  Maybe there's a much, much better grading system other than the traditional system.  That "much, much better grading system" is known as a standards-based grading system.  Honestly, I've been fine with the traditional system throughout my entire life.  That was simply because I wasn't exposed to any other sort of grading system.  To me, it has always been a number, at most three digits telling me how I did on a test or homework.  However, once the standards-based grading system had been introduced to me, I realized how much better it truly is.
     The traditional grading system tells you exactly what percentage of something you have correct.  It tells you if you have an average, above average, or below average understanding of skills taught in a class.  However, the traditional grading system does not tell you specific skills you need to work on or how proficient you are in a lesson.  The traditional grading system has faults that the standards-based system covers. 

     I just want to say this again. "THIS SCHOOL IS UNJUST!" I feel as if the grading system does not accurately display my intelligence. One bad grade does not make me stupid.  But one good grade does not make me a genius.  I feel like a few bad grades turns your grade from an A to a B, when really, you didn't understand the topic at the time you took a test.  However, with standards-based grading, you can easily see which subjects you clearly understood.  It's not based on averages, but what you know and don't know. 

     I think we should use a combination of both systems.  Although standards-based grading is nice, it doesn't cover everything.  Traditional system + Standards Based System = a grading system that tells you what you need to work on AND gives you specific grades for your schoolwork.  I think that'd be very nice, don't you agree?