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How COVID-19 affected my life

Most probably one of the worst things the person can do right now is to be selfish and made the world problem about himself. However, this is exactly what I am going to do in this paper.

2019 was a tough year for me. It is started with my legalization process in this country. It started with a different choice I had to make – I needed to refuse my citizenship and apply for asylum here in the United States, which meant I could never go back to my country. I could never walk around the streets I grew up in. Most probably I will never see most of my friends ever again. I will never enter the house I grew up in. Unfortunately, as sad as it is but going back isn’t an option. Despite my family, my friends and some nice childhood memories my country can’t offer me anything else. Especially, it can’t guaranty the most essential thing for a human being – safety. Not only authorities deny protection for people like me, but they also initiate persecution and spread hate among citizens.

So, as hard as it was – I started my asylum application, which surprisingly didn’t last long. In the middle of March, I already got approval and now was the time to make my American dream come true.

I don’t want to go deep into the details since it should be about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected me, but I want the reader to understand my position better.

After eight months of changing different minimal wage jobs, several panic attacks and taking control over my PTSD, I finally have been accepted to college! One step closer to my goal. In the last weeks of 2019, I made a list – well, not even a list more of a guideline – what I am going to do in 2020 and the upcoming decade in general. I promised myself to enjoy life, take as many opportunities as I can, be social, take care of my health – both physical and mental, take care of my look, start to dress stylish and many other things that I didn’t do in 2019. And, well, generally before.

And the first three months of 2020 I truly did my best to follow this guideline.

But the universe had a different plan for us all. The year started with a rumor about World War Three. And then not long after we heard about the novel coronavirus spreading around chine and slowly going out of it to other countries. We all remember the bird flu, swine flu, Ebola outbreaks so at that time no one expected what is going to happen. And while the novel virus was spreading around the Old World, we didn’t pay attention to that. We were going to school, work, events, parties, etc.

I remember the virus got my attention in mid- February when it started to spread over Iran. Since my country located in the North-Western border of Iran – I realized it is a matter of time when the virus is going to knock on the doors of people I care about. However, following the news about the spread of the virus in Europe and Asia didn’t give me any closure to see what is about to happen.

I remember receiving an email on Tuesday around 11 PM that classes on Wednesday are canceled. Then on Wednesday governor gave the order to switch into distance learning mode till the rest of the semester. Less than a week later – I received an email from my boxing gym that they are going to be closed. And in one day all the bars, cafes and restaurants have closed their doors. Some of them still deliver food, some of them won’t open ever again.

I was afraid that staying locked at home with this uncertainty of the future may trigger my PTSD. Thankfully it didn’t. At least for now. But I live in constant fear of the returning of my nightmares and painful flashbacks.

Despite all that mess in the world and my head, I am still focused on my long-term goal. I am being on top of my classes. Doing as much of my assignments as I possibly can. I even registered for summer courses in order to graduate faster. My short yet full of different events life had taught me – while our body has physical limitations, our mind doesn’t. So, the virus might be aggressive, dangerous and deadly but I won’t give up on life. I won’t let fear, anxiety, and uncertainty take over my life ever again.

Final Project Proposal

Topic/Title: Statistics and data used to incriminate/judge Black people and other people of color.

Research Questions:

1) How is data used to incriminate POC?

2) Does this data and statistics take in account a person’s delinquency when judging or incriminating that person?

3) How does the media depict data and statistics in regard to each race?

Final Draft Proposal:

My research proposal will be based on how data and statistics impact the portrayal of black and POCs and the incrimination/judging of these people.  I always believed that our prison system was unfair and there are multiple example of this unjust and unfair treatment of black and POCs in that system, such as Cynthia Brown and Nathaniel Woods.

Things I will be using:
•Conviction statistics between black/POC and white people accused/charged with the same crime.
•Documentaries/Articles that can help me answer my threes question.

Final Proposal Draft

Topic: Search history used to target individuals with specific ads

Research Question(s):

1) How can we maintain our privacy and prevent apps, such as facebook, from selling our information?

2) How is our search history used to target individuals with specific ads?

3) Could there be a breach in the “Terms & Conditions” rules?

4) Is our privacy violated when apps are using our information or data?

5) what is the contract companies have with one another in regards to consumer data?

Final Draft Proposal:

My research proposal will be based on how our own search history is used to target us with specific ads. I chose this topic because I find it very eerie how quick I receive ads after seconds of only searching them up. Not to mention, how long they last afterwards, months after said search was done! An example of this is; around the month of December looking up retroviewers for my best friend’s birthday. Months later and every now and then, my instagram gives me the occasional retroviewer ad. I also have looked into the “BarkBox” website and even offers discounts!

I would like to focus on the first question: How can we maintain our privacy and prevent apps, such as facebook, from selling our information?

In April of 2018, Facebook’s creator, Mark Zuckerberg had to testify to the US congress for selling user’s data and information to third party apps. He was thoroughly questioned during the days he testified and assured the congress, as well as users, that Facebook did NOT share private information with other apps.

Final Project Proposal

I plan on investigating algorithms in the Criminal Justice System because I discover it prejudicial how a judge decides whether to send you home or to jail to await trial using math.  They call it “risk assessment tools,” where they fill out your history, demographics information, and essential details to obtain a score. That score will determine how likely you are to commit another crime or show up at your next hearing date. The problem is when risk assessment tools become racist against people of color and Latinos. We need to understand how algorithms are created to define if they are useful and neutral. According to “The era of blind faith in big data must end” by Cathy O’Neil, to build an algorithm, you need two things: 1- Data: what happened in the past, and 2- definition of success: the thing you are looking for. In fact, algorithms can go wrong because they can repeat our past practices or patterns. 

I have many questions about using algorithms in the Criminal Justice System. The first, are algorithms a threat to justice? Justice is fair, equal, and balanced for everyone. What happened if that concept of justice is not applied to the reality because algorithms increase discrimination based on race, putting in risk the legislative branch? Judges are focus only on what numbers are on their screen without an in-depth evaluation of the person is in front of them. Another critical question, what data did they use to create “risk assessments tools”? Did they use data from the time people of color and Latinos were discriminated against? If yes, algorithms will repeat the same actions.

I need to find out the different risk assessment tools used by the Criminal Justice System, specifically in New York City in 2019. After I identify which assessments judges are using, I want to verify if algorithms were right. It is important to collect data to analyze the results of judges’ decisions against people of color and Latinos. I think it would be difficult to interview a judge to know his point of view regarding algorithms. Another complex aspect would be to understand how algorithms work since they use mathematical formulas.

Module for March 19-23

Step 1: Writing into the Week-

I think that the most relatable reading was the one about companies advertising. I had seen and tested out the theory in the past, to see if it was true. I haven’t explored all the different ways you can get ads on your phone, such as just speaking of it while your phone is near you. Based on the reading we did for it, I found it really interesting as to how ads can be quickly delivered to an individual. I would like to learn how other companies (other than Facebook and Target)  target their customers, or potential customers.

Step 2: Which reading sparked your interest?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/#7838d24f6668

Step 3: Research!-

Source Link (John Jay) #1: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ez.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=4c2df6cb-2f81-4b8c-bd0c-534c9ae38d52%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=68621986&db=bsu

Source Link (CNBC) #2: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/19/how-facebook-ad-tracking-and-targeting-works.html

Step 4: Share your findings-

Source #1: 

This article caught my attention because it offers a different perspective of ways companies can advertise to consumers. The article, written in 2011, explains how beneficial a digital wallet can be to be people. How companies can use the data from a consumer in order to partner with other bigger or smaller companies and offer rewards or incentives for those who purchase such products. At the same time, I think having a digital wallet could also share one’s information based on where purchases are made. If I am constantly buying fast food, chances are that the next time I go out, I will get a notification telling me where the nearest Chipotle is. I think the source is pretty reliable because  it talks about how companies can work with one another in order to promote their products. The author, Kristin Laird is a retail reporter and online editor. 

Source #2:

This article was interesting to me because it was a research done by a senior reporter from the channel CNBC. This article, written in 2018, talks about the different ways Facebook can collect data based on one’s research or while the app is open in the background even if you aren’t using it. My take from this article is that Facebook in its own way is sneaky. The way it is able to gather an individual’s information and distribute it to third party apps. I believe this source is reliable because the report comes from a trusted tv source. CNBC, a TV Channel from New Jersey is what the channel ABC or NBC would be to us, here in New York. While I am aware that sometimes, TV news and its reporters can spread false information, it seems like this article is one that is mainly based on facts and research rather than opinion. The author, Michelle Castillo is a senior reporter for the news company, Cheddar. Up until 2018, she worked for the news company, CNBC.

Step 6: Inquiry Questions-

  1. How quickly are consumers to buy what they are advertised?
  2. Do some companies admit that they “listen in” to conversations in order to gather information?
  3. How can we maintain our privacy and prevent apps, such as Facebook, from selling our information to third party apps.
  4. Why is it that not all companies sell our information? (ex. My dad is a member of BJ’s, yet the promotions and discounts we get are not really picked based on what we buy literally every time we go, yet they claim it is all “handpicked for us”.)

Research and Findings: eBureau and creditworthiness

As a person, who moved to the U.S. 2 years ago, I found it’s very absurd to judge people based on their Credit Score and I was shocked that there is such thing as a Credit Score. That’s why the beginning of the article about eScores really impressed me “Americans are obsessed with their scores”. Ironically, I am no different now – checking my credit score frequently as well as my grades for every small assignment I have and even my weight.

I decided to browse our John Jay college library (online of course) to find any articles about eBureau and eScores. And here’s what I found:

America’s three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – have information about 172 million adults, who have enough data on file. That makes 75 percent of total adults in the country, which means – there are 24 million people without any data available for credit evaluation and also 33 million people with not enough or “thin” credit files. Also, it’s been shown that 15% of rejection is based on a lack of positive credit information or no information at all – not because a person has a bad credit history. That lead bureaus to find alternative, non-traditional ways to analyze consumers – such as checking and debit accounts, utility bills, rent payments, history of address records, criminal history, purchase data, etc.

Additionally, over the last decade since all of our financial information is in our phones – like credit and debit cards, credit score information, etc. eBureau uses mobile phone numbers, emails, and business numbers to get information out of it. As for 2010, they possessed 460 million phone numbers linked to individuals.

Resources:

https://search-proquest-com.ez.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/docview/215232771?accountid=11724&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo

https://go-gale-com.ez.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/ps/i.do?p=HWRC&u=cuny_johnjay&id=GALE|A238791035&v=2.1&it=r

 

Kamila Bandwagon and Namecalling

Bandwagon

Example 1: Animal Farm (By George Orwell)

“In the novel Animal Farm, George Orwell uses bandwagon technique effectively. At the very beginning, a song “Beasts of England” seems to be very appealing and catchy, because everyone picks it up so swiftly as if they like the idea. Again, we see this technique when Boxer, a powerful and loyal animal on the farm, promotes bandwagon propaganda inadvertently with his work ethics, as he always tries to work hard. He maintains the view that, “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.” This shows he wishes to follow Comrade Napoleon and his ideas.

Bandwagon technique continues to exist as the animal only accept the ideals and changing commandments because other animals are doing the same. Another bandwagon technique comes out when Mollie is curious to know whether she will be able to wear precious ribbons and have sugar after Rebellion. However, Snowball informs her that they symbolize slavery and Mollie accepts this without any resistance, although she never believes it.”

Example 2: Julius Caesar (By William Shakespeare)

In William Shakespeare’s playJulius Caesar, Mark Antony delivers his famous speech at the funeral of Caesar, which is a brilliant example of bandwagon. Mark Antony has delivered this magnificent speech to win over the favor of the audience. He negates excuses that Brutus had made, though he had calmed down the public and persuaded them that Caesar had to die for their good. Antony comes forward and tells them that he hopes the crowd would not riot, and convinces them that Cassius and Brutus were murderers and responsible for ripping apart the town. Speaking on a personal level, Antony grabs public attention as he leaves his position and, being a commoner saying, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen.

Name Calling

Example 1: “Sometimes there is an implied threat that if you make an unpopular decision or arrive at a conclusion that isn’t favored, a negative label will be applied to you. For instance, someone might say, ‘Only a naive moron would believe that’ to influence your attitude on an issue. This strategy of anticipatory name calling makes it difficult for you to declare that you favor the negatively valued belief because it means that you make yourself look like a ‘naive moron.’ Anticipatory name-calling can also invoke positive group memberships, such as asserting that ‘all true Americans will agree . . .’ or ‘people in the know think that . . ..’ Anticipatory name calling is a shrewd tactic that can be effective in shaping people’s thinking.”
(Wayne Weiten, Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9th ed. Wadsworth, 2013) “Sometimes there is an implied threat that if you make an unpopular decision or arrive at a conclusion that isn’t favored, a negative label will be applied to you. For instance, someone might say, ‘Only a naive moron would believe that’ to influence your attitude on an issue. This strategy of anticipatory name calling makes it difficult for you to declare that you favor the negatively valued belief because it means that you make yourself look like a ‘naive moron.’ Anticipatory name-calling can also invoke positive group memberships, such as asserting that ‘all true Americans will agree . . .’ or ‘people in the know think that . . ..’ Anticipatory name calling is a shrewd tactic that can be effective in shaping people’s thinking.”
(Wayne Weiten, Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9th ed. Wadsworth, 2013)

“In politics, association is often accomplished by name-calling–linking a person or idea to a negative symbol. The persuader hopes that the receiver will reject the person or idea on the basis of the negative symbol, rather than by examining the evidence. For example, those who oppose budget cuts may refer to fiscally conservative politicians as ‘stingy,’ thus creating a negative association, although the same person could equally be referred to as ‘thrifty’ by supporters. Similarly, candidates have a list of negative words and phrases that they use when speaking about their opponents. Some of these are betray, coercion, collapse, corruption, crisis, decay, destroy, endanger, failure, greed, hypocrisy, incompetent, insecure, liberal, permissive attitude, shallow, sick, traitors, and unionized.”
(Herbert W. Simons, Persuasion in Society. Sage, 2001)

Example 2:

“Sometimes there is an implied threat that if you make an unpopular decision or arrive at a conclusion that isn’t favored, a negative label will be applied to you. For instance, someone might say, ‘Only a naive moron would believe that’ to influence your attitude on an issue. This strategy of anticipatory name calling makes it difficult for you to declare that you favor the negatively valued belief because it means that you make yourself look like a ‘naive moron.’ Anticipatory name-calling can also invoke positive group memberships, such as asserting that ‘all true Americans will agree . . .’ or ‘people in the know think that . . ..’ Anticipatory name calling is a shrewd tactic that can be effective in shaping people’s thinking.”
(Wayne Weiten, Psychology: Themes and Variations, 9th ed. Wadsworth, 2013)

Kamila Ad Analysis

1. The speaker in the ad is a Pepsi-Cola Company.The speaker trying to present themselves that their drink is very tasty and suitable for any meal and any party. He shows on this ad that they are very happy and funny.

2.The message  on the ad says: It fun to cook with this drink, make good confersation, when you drinking you feel like you bouncing.  They enjoy and have fun with drink as is says below photo: WHY TAKE LESS…WHEN PEPSI BEST.

3. The assumptions in the ad is says:MORE BOUNCE TO THE PEPSI BOUNCE.

4.  The audience of the ad IS people who drinking pepsi and smiling.

5. The strategies the ad to try to persuade the audience is the people happy, smile , the picnic floor food and bbq meal.

6.The pathos to presuade the audience to show people is happy and food delicios with this drink Pepsi.

7. The  advertising is very effective will work if a person who is very hungry and  if he or she see this ad and at this moment he or she is feel thirsty, then of course it is effective.  But I also think that it may not work for many people, such as vegetarians, or who are dieting, or those people who are against sugary carbonated drinks.

Research & Find- Loans

I was interested in finding out more about “Could Banks Deny your Loan based on your Facebook Friends?’ because I come from a low-income family, and right now I am the only one who is able to provide for those in my house, this means that at any moment we might have an emergency related to money. My social media is filled up with people who I am somehow closed to, but also meme pages. If I ever find myself in financial need will I need to fear about not getting help because I like to have a laugh here and there? On this article found in John Jay’s Library, “Think Finance Turns to Social Media for Clues to Creditworthiness”, the article talks about how many banks use social media to target future customers, but it can also be a good way to know who is likely to commit  fraud and who is truly having financial difficulty. They believe that not having an account is a ‘red alert’, how about those who are not friendly of technology, but have an impeccable credit record and have never committed fraud? Should they be deny a loan if they ever need one for not falling into today’s needs of having a social media account? Another article, “Borrowers Hit Social-Media Hurdles,” expresses that some banks use reviews in applications such as yelp, and eBay to check small business reviews and decide on their loan applications. Some businessman believe that the data provided by, us, individuals through social media “says more about them than their FICO,” and even though I agree to this part, I still cannot seem to change my mind about redlining someone because of the people around them. It is unfair to those who work hard to maintain a well-organized life, in all aspects, but in this case economically.