Balance is Key

To me, Enlightenment ideals are more important than Romantic ideals. I feel it serves human-kind more purpose, both on an individual and a social scale, to go through life’s decisions and struggles by using reason and personal betterment as the discerning standard as well as motivation. However, when the Romantic ideals of listening to one’s heart and heeding natural impulses are involved, the human experience becomes complete in my opinion. One becomes able to handle situations safely and profitably using reason, without losing himself to a siloed, specialized trade asked of in purely Enlightenment-led society. The Romantic aspects allow a diversity of trade and interest, and this is why it works well as a right-hand man to Enlightenment ideals.

I view Western Culture as a society as something that gives you hope that you can have the best of both worlds in terms of Enlightenment and Romanticism, although this is mostly untrue. It tells you you can make money and still have time for your family, love life, hobbies, and interests, but this becomes more untrue the more you need money or pursue money, which is the leading motivation in Western Society. Moreover, in this capitalist society, the necessity of money is stressed top-down and bottom-up, so the Romantic ideals are viewed as detrimental unless they get you money, such as being a musician despite low success rates. Therefore, I believe learning about these 2 schools of thought has given me a better perspective of Western Culture, allowing me to expand my understanding using the ideals of each to describe today’s lifestyle.

The most important takeaway from this class is that many scholars and authors strongly ponder societies and how to best exist in them, choosing greatly different methods to describe their beliefs. Voltaire’s satirical stories, though contain strongly clash with the styles of Locke and Kant, who structure their arguments in a bullet-point essay, in my opinion. There is merit to all of these clashing opinions and we need more deliberate argumentation questioning leadership and society as such as we face increasingly challenging times.

Intellectuality and Sensuality Coexist in Frank Ocean’s Music

Schiller gives an account of how beauty and advantageous thinking must coexist, and this follows under his belief that rationale and nature are two standards that must persevere in tandem for the well being of society. These things are immutable and equally embedded in the human condition or human nature, so they must be respected in society. Sensuality, or the appeal to the heart according to Schiller, is a necessary companion for intellectuality, or the appeal to the rational mind which is weighing out good and bad. I believe this is seen in one of my favorite songs by Frank Ocean, Provider.

In this song, Frank speaks about how he has been focusing on his career and how this has prevented him from seeing his best friend, which is his way of understating the fact that this is his lover in this song. This person who he loves is getting restless without him, but his intellectual side has caused Frank to prioritize accumulating awards, money, acclaim, and jewelry through these musical ventures; these are all things of value in society and are a rational pursuit. However, Frank, having reached success, longs to be back with his lover and ponders innocently, “said I’ll be your new best friend, or maybe more” at the 1:36 mark. While his intellectual appeals lead him to be goal oriented for the sake of his family’s well being, his friend appeals to his sensual desires, and these coexist as valuable pursuits for frank.

Moreover, his statement of “You had you some birthdays, could you prove it? Show me the wisdom in your movement” is a strong message showing the intellectual standards of Frank that he sets for a potential lover, thus showing that even in love Frank must have a partner who exhibits a balance between sensual and intellectual characteristics.

Problems with the Constitution and our Current Government

Apart from the laws protecting rights that were made for an older time, such as gun laws made for when people had muskets and primitive slow weaponry, there are other laws and conditions protected by the Constitution that prevent progress in modern times.

A big problem, in terms of the structure of our government, is that we have a system that’s built for inaction. There are many veto points with which The House can veto the Senate and vice versa. Members of each of these Congress branches are elected upon different schedules and represent different populations (in the sense that senators represent states of varying sizes, congressmen represent gerrymandered districts of equal size). When the chambers are controlled by different parties, which has become almost the new normal, they don’t agree on much. And their willingness to compromise seems to have shrunk.

That’s not the Constitution’s fault; rather, it is a change in the norms of U.S. politics. However, the Constitution currently provides and previously provided no method of breaking the impasse (as other systems of government generally do). You can just as easily note that it’s not the fault of a highly ideological member of Congress who prefers inaction to compromise. It’s just that when both situations obtain, you get gridlock. If we did have a chance to consider structural changes in our system of government, I suspect we would try to build in some new ways to overcome such standoffs. Hopefully, in a future similar to current, where conflicting ideologies present a favorable option and an unfavorable option, there is something in writing to ensure that desires for change can circumnavigate gridlock via party ideologies and allow action, despite a stalemate.

Sovereign Mistreatment of Communities

As I have mentioned earlier, “it ought not to be thought surprising that the rulers of a civil society should have the welfare and glory of their communities at heart” (165). Then why does the United States government fund, support, and enforce the separation of undocumented families via ICE? This is stripping a specific community of their basic liberties. These people, who statistically contribute to the nation’s well-being and economy, are being marginalized and treated inhumanely by being separated from their parents. The compassion and empathy in our hearts are being overridden by the improper qualities our government encourages in our society. A proper society has no place for blame, criticism, judgment, comparison with others, and the distinction of worth among men, and with the dingy and purposefully crowded situation these children are being exposed to, we are distinguishing between equals. All children are innocent under jury, but these detained are being treated as if they are guilty of crimes.

An overcrowded fenced area holding families at a Border Patrol Centralized Processing Center is seen in a still image from video in McAllen, Texas, U.S. on June 11, 2019 and released as part of a report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General on July 2, 2019. Picture pixelated at source. Office of Inspector General/DHS/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. – RC1DCB9C8AC0

Introduction Blog Post

Hello everyone,
My name is Raju Ivaturi, and I’m a 4th Year Cognitive Science major specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. I’m from just north of LA, and my interests include Basketball, lifting, making music, playing soccer, and playing video games.
My favorite book in the HUM sequence so far has been Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. I quite enjoyed the theme of repentance and how Faustus’ remorse kept gnawing at him as he continued to sin, showing that people ought to listen to their hearts and minds and live without regret. This book also showed me that even the greatest of humanity can fall victim to worldly vices, especially when they are greedy or want too much power.

Here is my favorite song ever (probably), and an inspiration in my own musical endeavors: