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Friday, September 28, 2012

Armagedon

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Well, being born into religion, I have always been interested in the bible especially, with the book of revelations. In the book of revelations, it discusses Armageddon. Right away this word jumped out at me, so I looked it up in the bible dictionary. Under Armageddon, there was no definition, but there was a reference. In parenthesis it said, “(see World, end of)” before I went to the reference, I wanted to see what “Mr. Webster” had to say on the matter. Webster’s dictionary defines Armageddon as the scene of a final battle between the forces of good and evil, prophesied to occur at the end of the world. Right of the bat, battle scenes from The Lord of The Rings, pop into my head. The forces of good and evil engaged in battle on a grandeur scale.


So, then I went back to the bible reference (world, end of), and there were chilling passages that were cited, like, “…all the ends of the world shall remember…” “…The sun became black… and the moon became as blood…” “… The stars of the heavens shall fall…” As I read of all the things that were prophesied to happened, I couldn’t help but to feel like a single grain of sand in a desert, insignificant and helpless. Attached to the word Armageddon are visions and emotions. Im sure if we all knew that the world ended tomorrow, there would be widespread panic and mass hysteria. How would you feel if you knew that you were going to die tomorrow? To me, I see it as, “if its your time to go, its your time to go.” It’s amazing how the word Armageddon invokes all of these emotions and thoughts.







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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Evaluation of system thinking tools & techniques

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Introduction


‘At a broad level, systems thinking encompasses many methods, tools and principles that are oriented to looking at the interrelatedness of forces, and seeing them as part of a common process. This includes brainstorming and discovery techniques, scenario planning and graphs or diagrams representing the system relationships, as well as simply an awareness of unintended consequences.


The value of Systems thinking lies in its ability to assist organizations identify and effectively alter the systems they operate within, as a means of resolving the many challenges that may arise.


Through exploration of the concepts of the Learning Organization, this report aims to evaluate three System Thinking tools; Root Cause Analysis, Causal Loop Diagrams and Scenario Planning.


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Root Cause Analysis


Many organisations find themselves with unwanted, recurring situations. This is generally referred to as Root Cause Analysis, finding the real cause of the problem and dealing with it rather than simply continuing to deal with the symptoms.


In normal operational environments, it is often difficult to find candidates for root cause analysis as the situations which repeat are either distributed over time so one doesnt realize they are actually recurring, or the situation happens to different people so there isnt an awareness of the recurring nature of the situation. However, ‘those situations which are recurring with the greatest frequency and consume the greatest amount of resources to rectify are generally the most suitable candidates for root cause analysis.


An organisations first challenge in the use of any systems tool is that they must establish if the situation warrants the chosen application. RCA is best used on those situations which occur with the greatest frequency and consume the greatest amount of resources to rectify.


On completion of identifying the situation, the overall aim is to find the root cause of the issue and remove it prior to the cycle commencing again. However, it must be determined whether the removal of the root cause warrants the resources required to resolve the problem, rather than continuing to treat the actual symptoms of the problem.


The goal of root cause analysis is to investigate and determine the following;


• What is happening?


• Why is it happening?


• What is being done to prevent it from happening again?


Dealing with a recurring problem is not seen as an acceptable solution. Firstly, it is a requirement that the root cause be identified by the project team. Secondly, a plan is put in place to ensure the surrounding issues do not surface again in the near future.


Causal Loop Diagrams


Causal loop diagrams (CLD) are a way of attempting to understand inter-relationships which occur within all systems and processes. They trace cause and effect through a system and, in particular, attempt to model feedback.


There are two specific types of loops that are generally used to display system variables at work, the reinforcing loop and the balancing loop. The reinforcing loop depicts either growth or decline that is occurring within a system at an ever-increasing rate. A reinforcing loop is applied to a situation in which an action produces a result which in turn promotes more of the same action.


Represented in the diagram below is an assumption, the larger the Population the greater number of Births as there are more people of child bearing age. From our assumption, that any increase in Population will cause an increase in Births, and then a further increase in Population. These increases can be shown on the CLD by a + sign, as below. The positive sign indicates that a change in the causal variable will cause a change in the variable it is affecting in the same direction. That is, an increase in Population will cause an increase in Births.


This is the simplest CLD and represents a Positive Feedback Loop. A change in any variable will cause the system to continually move in one direction � either continually increasing (a virtuous cycle) or continuously declining (a vicious circle).





The above example demonstrates a reinforcing loop, in which two factors are identified as an explanation into increased population. The ‘elements’ in this example are ‘Population’ and ‘Births’ and the circle structure represents the forces of influence and the ‘+ ‘indicates that the influence adds to the element, had one element had a subtracting influence a ‘-‘would have been displayed. The above diagram is by no means complete. As Population increases, deaths must also increase. And as Deaths increase, the Population will effectively decrease.





The decrease in Population due to an increase in Deaths is shown in the CLD with a - sign. This sign indicates that a change in the causal variable (Deaths) creates a change in variable it is affecting (Population) in the opposite direction. This second loop is known as a Balancing Loop. Balancing loops can be applied to any situation where an action is used in an attempt to bring the other elements within a system into agreement.


The use of causal loop diagrams should be approached carefully as it will only be with a thorough understanding of the process and the ability to identify leverage points within the system that an organization will be in a position to determine the most appropriate ways of influencing change.


Scenario Planning


Scenarios are stories that pose alternative futures for the organization, based on assumptions about current trends and events. Usually a best-case scenario, worst case scenario, and a scenario somewhere in between are developed to map out the ranges of possible futures the organization might face, the threats and opportunities each future might pose, and what the critical success factors might be in addressing those futures.


One of the benefits surrounding the construction of scenarios is to promote learning by the planning team; sensitize team members to plausible, though perhaps unlikely, futures; and develop strategies better able to handle most eventualities. However, the main purpose of scenario planning is to directly face inevitable uncertainties for long-range future and strategic outlooks. E.g. Global Financial Markets


Acknowledging uncertainty in this respect means thinking in terms of different but equally plausible interpretations of what is happening and the effects it will induce in the long run. In scenario-based planning these subjective interpretations and expectations are reflected as a number of alternative paths for future developments. This approach to planning serves as an aid to develop strategies that promise success under most divergent environmental conditions.


In order for the project to be successful, it was imperative for each team member give adequate contribution on the past history and success of this type of technology in their region. However, it was the project manager’s responsibility to ensure that each of the Director’s focus on looking towards the many possible futures that lay ahead of the organisation and the possible challenges these futures may bring.


By the end of the discussion, the working group had a number of scenarios to consider, along with the affects that they may have on the organisation. It then comes down to a vote (at board level) on which of the possible scenarios should be researched further and inevitably be invested in. Exploring these scenarios gave the organisation a better understanding of our current goals and strategies in which to forecast our long term strategic position in the market place.


Conclusion


It is common practice for companies to rethink their business strategies. With systems thinking can come new mental models and a shared vision to take organizations into the next century. Through providing its people with the basic concepts and tools, an organization is in effect encouraging them to take responsibility of the environments within which they work.


Each has to do with how we think, what we truly want, and how we interact and learn with one another.”


However, some of today’s most successful organizations are embracing these ideas to meet the demands of a global economy where the value of the individual is increasingly recognized as our most important resource.





Bibliography


‘Root Cause Analysis’, http//www.systems-thinking.org/rca/rootca.htm


‘System Behaviour and Causal Loop Diagrams’, http//www.public.asu.edu/~kirkwood/sysdyn/SDIntro/ch-1.pdf


James R, ‘Validation of Casual Loop Diagrams’, www.pmcorp.com


‘Scenario Planning’, www.planning.mala.bc.ca


Jepsen, M. Turner, T. Marshall, J. Dibley, C. Paterson, H. Calway, B. Brown-Parker, J. Buchanan, N. ‘LEB50 The eBusiness Environment’, Swinburne University of Technology


‘Causal Loop Diagrams’, http//www.cc.jyu.fi/~aphalo/YMP460/pdf/foilsYMP460_C.pdf


‘Root Cause Analysis’, http//www.materialsengineer.com/A-root-cause-analysis.htm


McNamara, C, ‘Systems Thinking’, http//www.mapnp.org/library/systems/systems.htm


Senge, P. 14, ‘The Fith Discipline Field book’, London, U.K.








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ukiyo-e prints

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Varieties of Subject Matter in Ukiyo-e Prints


The Japanese woodblock print has been one of the more fascinating aspects


of Japanese aesthetic expression to western culture. Ukiyo originally was the Buddhist term for the fleeting secular world in contrast with the spiritual reality of Buddhism (Munsterberg 16) though in the Edo period the term was appropriated to designate in particular the red-light pleasure district of Edo, the Yoshiwara. This floating world of pleasure and amusement, often of an erotic type was the setting for a large number of ukiyo-e prints. (Munsterberg 16). Ukiyo-e prints in particular emphasized three primary subjects; the depiction of women and actors, genre scenes of daily Japanese life, and the depiction of nature. This range of subjects is represented by the six great masters of the ukiyo-e tradition, and formed the aesthetic foundation of Japanese printmaking for the next two hundred years.


The depiction of the women and actors of the floating world was the most predominant subject matter among the six great masters of the ukiyo-e print. Kitagawa Utamuro, Suzuki Harunobu, and Torii Kiyonaga were all interested in particular in the depiction of women in the floating world. Each of the three artists whose primary subjects were women portrayed them in a unique style peculiar to their own aesthetic sensibilities, though Utamuro is generally acknowledged to be the greatest artist of womanhood (Paine 66). Utamuro particularly excelled in his portrayal of erotic subject matter; it has been said that he is probably the greatest master of this genre in the entire history of the Japanese print. This however was not the only aspect of womanhood he portrayed. Utamuros women have been said to be more a vision of the artists notion of ideal beauty than of the beauty of any particular women he painted; he portrayed women beautiful as types rather than as individuals (Paine 66). The vision of ideal beauty which Utamuros women exhibited was unlike the typical Japanese girl of the times, women who were tall and slender and who were well aware of their erotic appeal and elegant beauty, which exercised such a fascination over men (Munsteberg 8). The print Mother and Child was one of Utamuros non-erotic prints genre where he portrays the delicate relationship between mother and child. Robert Paine describes his ability such that nor has any other Japanese artist handled the tender relationship of mothers and babies so ably and yet without sentimentality (Paine 67).


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Suzuki Harunobu the youngest of the six great masters; his women were characterized by graceful, delicate, willowy beauty (Munsterberg 4). His prints have been described as containing a poetic mood as well as sheer delicacy and charm (Munsterberg 50). This is especially evident in the print Girl on a Temple Stairs Performing an O-Hyakudo Dance where the lyricism and delicacy of Harunobus women is evident, as well as the interplay of a curving figure against straight lines (Paine 65).


Torii Kiyonaga is another of the great masters whose primary subject was the portrayal of women. Kiyonaga depicted tall, stately women who by Victorian writers like Fenellosa were compared to Greek goddesses (Munsterberg 80-1). His style combined realism and idealism, producing a simple grandeur and perfection (Munsterberg 80). Like all of the great masters his women were idealistically portrayed, which perhaps may be attributed to the sense of unreality in the floating world. These characteristics are especially evident in the print The Wind (c. 1780) in the hashira-e style (Takahashi 7). The verticality and simplistic, emotionally neutral beauty of the woman is characteristic of the comparison people have made between Greek goddesses and Kiyonagas women.


Along with the emphasis on the women of the floating world, the kubuki actors who inhabited the Yoshiwara were a subject which was explored by the great masters of ukiyo-e printing. The prints, called yakusha-e (Takahashi 7), were the focus in particular of the great master Toshusai Sharaku. Unlike the masters of ukiyo-e printing who focused on their attentions on women subjects, Sharaku doesnt idealize his subjects; he is a staunch realist. His portrayals of the actors of kabuki theater showing the actor as he actually looked rather than being an idealized portrait of him, they have a truthfulness and psychological depth not usually found in Japanese art (Munsterberg 101). His portrayal of the actors without their usual idealized glamour (Munsterberg 101) angered the public, and this may have been the reason why these prints did not enjoy the same popularity as did the very idealized portrayals of courtesans that Utamuro was producing at the same time (Munsterberg 10). His print The Actor Otani Oniji III is striking for its depiction of psychological depth, in particular anger, which was not often depicted in Japanese art.


Genre scenes were another important subject matter among the great masters of ukiyo-e printing, particularly in the work of Katsushika Hokusai. Though Hokusai created a large number of landscape prints, his emphasis was always on the relationship of man and nature Hugo Munsterberg writes that


Hokusai mirrors the entire world of contemporary Japan drawn in a very spirited, informal manner with a wonderful use of line. The emphasis is on the people shown in all kinds of occupations and positions working and sleeping, wrestling, fighting and making love, elegant ladies and poor beggars, ordinary laborers and farmers, as well as ghosts and grotesque monsters. In addition there are landscapes and buildings, birds and animals, flowers and trees, as well as scenes from history and legend- a whole encyclopedia of Japan in the Edo period (Munsterberg 11).


His print Fugi from a Lumberyard from Thirty Six Views of Fuji (c. 185) combines a narrative description of Japanese life while at the same time, with the presence of Mount Fugi, emphasizes the distinctively Japanese nature of the scene.


Nature also was a theme of ukiyo-e printmaking which was represented by the great masters, in particular, Ichiryusai Hiroshige.


In contrast with Hokusai, who was more interested in the human activity taking place in his pictures than in the aspects of nature, Hiroshige was primarily concerned with the impressions he got from the landscape at various times of the year (11).


Hiroshige is generally credited with (along with Hoksai) reestablishing the traditional focus of Japanese aesthetics as one based upon an appreciation of the natural world.


In his print Sudden Shower at Ohashi from One Hundred Views of Edo (c. 1857) Hiroshige captures the sensitivity and lyrical quality of the Japanese view of nature. No one up to that time had ever brought the scenery of Japan the sensitivity and poetic temperament of this artist (Munsterberg 1). Unlike Hokusai, whose paintings of the natural world were more concerned still with man as the focus of the print, Hiroshige fully restores nature as the focal point of Japanese aesthetics. When people appear in Hiroshiges works, such as in Sudden Shower at Ohashi, they are in harmony with nature rather than struggling against it, despite what might often be thought of as adverse conditions.


The variety and sophistication of Japanese woodblock prints has made them one of the most popular and treasured forms of Japanese aesthetic expression, particularly in western culture, where the prints have been seen to nearly epitomize the Japanese sensibility.


Munsterberg, Hugo. The Japanese Print. New York Weatherhill, 11. Pine, Robert Treat, Soper, Alexander. The Art and Architecture of Japan. Hong Kong Penguin, 158.


Takahashi, Seiichiro, tr. by Richard Stanley Baker. Traditional Woodblock Prints of Japan. New York Weatherhill, 17.


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The opinions of Cindy Sherman

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Cindy Sherman was born in New Jersey in the year of 175. She studied in New York at the University college at Buffalo. This is where she began studying painting. She had a keen interest in portraiture from this age. Surprisingly she failed the Photography course, because of technical difficulties. However she later learnt the skills from a different teacher, who was the first person to introduce her to conceptual art. She also took a great interest in altering her appearance to take on the role of various people. She would do this by the use of make-up, clothing and wigs.


She graduated university in 177 and moved to New York with fellow classmate Robert Longo. This is where she began photographing her famous film stills. Most of the images were of Sherman dressing as famous female film stars. She took most of the photographs herself, although some were taken by family and friends.


Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and


Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and


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Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.and


Sherman never officially gave her images names, therefore it is not clear as to who the portraits are of. This lets the onlooker draw their own conclusions. She did this deliberately.





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Thursday, September 20, 2012

boogers

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Karma kicks asses.


Oh my, impregnated at such a young age - well aint that a bitch. Even still, its funny to think just how insane things work out. Youre suffering the exact same emotions of what you hoped i would suffer myself. (IE heartbreak, anger, regret, PAIN). Proving, irony is only for bitches and fucks - take this as a lesson. On second thought, I take that back - dont take this as a lesson. I hope you suffer like this again. Itd be far more sweeter than kissing my ass, wouldnt you agree? Not to say Id actually allow you such satisfaction . . but you get the picture.


So you would you like to explain yourself, now. Coincidently, after the fact that every aspect of your plan failed miserably. You thought you had me right where to wanted me. Thought everything was running along smoothy, running straight in the bag. Hahaha, I laugh at that mess! I guess youre proven wrong. Shows you that actions, such as that of which you took, go unrewarded. Punished even, for that matter. You should have left things as they were, kept your mouth shut then maybe I would have stopped to listen for at least a second as you came on your knees to grovel.


But then again, leaving you on your ass seems like pay enough for my work. Have a nice life baring the offspring of a dirty one-night stand. Maybe you dont deserve it, but who am i to even give a shit about what you do (or who you do, or what you did). I sure as FUCK aint you, right?


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I wonder why those words sound so familiar.





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Monday, September 10, 2012

Greed in The Rocking Horse Winner

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The Rocking Horse Winner, by D. H. Lawrence is a short story in which money is a symbol of the substitution of love and affection. Lawrence presents an upper class family that is destroyed by greed because they always felt no matter how much money they had, they always needed more. This story is proof that Greed is one of the seven deadly sins.


At the beginning of this story the family did not have enough money to support their opulent lifestyle. D.H. Lawrence illustrates their situation like this �Although they lived in style they felt always an anxiety in the house. There was never enough money.” (p. 406) The family scrambles to pay bills at the end of the month but they keep servants and expensive toys under the tree during Christmas for their three children. An unspoken phrase whispered throughout the house, �There must be more money! There must be more money!” (p. 407) the whispering said. Even though the family had money, they wanted, they needed more.


The obsession of needing more money stems from the mother which has great influence on the whole house, especially her young son, Paul. The character of the other is portrayed negatively, she is not a very loving mother and she had a dysfunctional relationship with her family. She use to think she was lucky until she married her husband. Since her husband didn’t have very much money she felt they were unlucky. That is what she told Paul one day when he asked why they didn’t have a car of their own. She told him luck was what causes people to have money that she would rather be


lucky that rich. Paul told his mother he was lucky and she paid no attention to him. Her obsession soon became his obsession.


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Paul would ride his rocking-horse wildly demanding it to take him to luck. Nobody in the house knew why he rode the horse so furiously but the gardener, Bassett. Paul told Bassett that when he rode his rocking-horse until the end he gets the winning name to the horse races. Paul and the gardener became partners. He picked the horse and Bassett placed the bet. Paul had started out with the five shillings that his uncle Oscar had given him, but his winnings kept adding up. Soon after, Uncle Oscar became partners with Paul and Bassett. When Paul made 10,000 pounds he decided to give his mother 1,000 pounds every year on her birthday for 5 years. Paul didn’t want his mother to know he was lucky so his uncle set up the dealing with a lawyer. Paul saw the envelope from the lawyer and asked his mother if she had received anything good in the mail. She said �Quite moderately nice” (p.41) in a cold voice. She liked getting the money, but she wasn’t happy, she wanted more.


The same day, she had a meeting with the lawyer who was handling the money. Paul’s mother demanded the full sum. Paul agreed, she received the money. The author informs the reader, �There were certain furnishings, and Paul had a tutor…There were flowers in the winter, and a blossoming of the luxury that Paul’s mother had been use to.” (p. 414) The money ran out quickly. The voices in the house screamed even more, �Oh-h-h, there must be more money. Oh, now, now-w! Now-w-w there must be more money-more than ever!” (p. 414) The mother had created a vicious cycle. Paul hated that the house was taunting them and his obsession intensified. He rode his horse day and night


searching for the winning horse for the upcoming Derby. He rode himself sick. The winning horse finally came to him, but it was too late. They placed the bet as they always do and he won 80,000 pounds. As Paul lay in his bed looking very frail Bassett told him the news. Paul died. As he lay their breathless all his mother could hear is 80,000 pounds. Right before his death Paul asked his mother if he ever told her he was lucky. Her response was �No, you never did.” (p. 417) But he did tell her that day, if she would have paid attention, would she have stopped him?


People need money to live, and enough to buy the basic goods one need to survive, but everybody wants more money. More money means an easier life. The more money one has, the more money one wants. The family, especially the mother, always wanted more money in the story The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence. The Mother got more money but it was spent quickly and debt haunted the family. In the end the mother received 80,000 pounds but lost her only son. It is a natural thing to wanted money, but the mother took this want to extremes





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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cloud Gate

If you order your custom term paper from our custom writing service you will receive a perfectly written assignment on Cloud Gate. What we need from you is to provide us with your detailed paper instructions for our experienced writers to follow all of your specific writing requirements. Specify your order details, state the exact number of pages required and our custom writing professionals will deliver the best quality Cloud Gate paper right on time.

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In western dance there is a preconceived view of the dancers’ role on stage. On stage we often see male dancers with female dancers. Also there are set roles and certain movements for female and male performers. In Moon Water you see neutrality in gender. In Moon Water a dancer is just that, a dancer. Moon Water breaks free from the very restricting aspect of how we perceive the roles of the male and female dancers.


In Adair’s Women and Dance, Adair states, “as the body is central to dance training and practice, recognition that that which is socially constructed can be deconstructed offers a challenge to traditional practices.” Throughout Moon Water, the female and the male body is not central. All of the dancers are wearing white pants. The female dancers have flesh toned tops on making it very difficult to tell which dancers are female or male. Because of this neutrality between the male and female dancers, the audience is able to focus on more important aspects of the dance.


The movement of the dancers is one of the most important aspects of Moon Water. Unlike most western dance, there is not a climax in Moon Water. Moon Water moves horizontally through time. This horizontal movement allows for a very different development of the movements. Lin uses stylized arm movements that are based upon tai chi. Also utilized are circular movements that are found in martial arts. These circular movements fit into the horizontal direction of the piece because both do not a high, pivotal point.


The first image the audience sees in Moon Water is a crouching dancer. As the dancer rose, balancing on one leg as his limbs, fingers and even toes curled up. His movements smoothly moved between meditative and larger, circular movements. He was soon joined by other dancers. The other dancers preformed the same sorts of movements as they all progressed through a combination of different styled movements. These movements were a combination of tai chi, meditation, and modern and traditional Chinese movements.


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Throughout Moon Water there are many solos, duets, and trios. In these, as well as when all of the dancers are dancing, they are often mirroring each other. Throughout Moon Water there is stillness and an interesting exploration of slow movement. In the final section, water began to flow onto the stage. As the dancers progressed in the circular movements the flicked water continued the circular line as the dancers moved onto the next movement.


“The work’s slow and deliberate manner of unfolding requires patience.” (The Contra Costa Times, October , 00) The stillness seen in Moon Water is congruent with tai chi and meditation, both of which Lin drew on. The slowness tested the western audience, who, for the most part, is used to seeing faster movements. Moon Waters horizontal movement, also tested the western audience. Most performances have a focal point that the piece moves to. Because there was no pivotal point in Moon Water, the audience was able to see the devilment of the circular movements that progressed horizontally.


The music that Moon Water was set to also seemed to progress horizontally. Lin choose to set Moon Water to nine solo cello solos by J.S. Bach. These pieces worked well with Moon Water because they seemed not to have any pivotal point that was being strived for. The music seemed just to progress though time and space. This aided the dancers in their movements. The music also aided in creating an illusion on stage. It was able to draw in a new element that seemed to mystify the methodical movements of the dancer.


Lin often drew from Chinese folk lore. ‘In Chinese, the program noted, Moon Water is both a Buddhist proverb -- Flowers in a mirror and moon on the water are both illusory -- and a description of the perfect tai chi state -- Energy flows as water, while the spirit shines as the moon.’ (newsday.com) During parts of Moon Water there were mirror revealed on stage. These mirrors combined with the water on stage allowed for illusionary images of the dancers to be reflected out to the audience. These unclear images enhanced the movements of the dancers on stage. It seemed to be relaying that illusions and reflections don’t really excise, they just move through time and space. Also, because Lin drew upon so many different elements, they all combined in a way that illusionary. You a style of dance that is wrapped up in so many cultures and ideas, it is hard to tell if the performance was really real.


Moon Water utilized different styles of movement. Lin has a background in ballet, as well as modern dance. He trained with such dance legends as Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham. Other influences on Moon Water are modern and tradition Chinese movements, such as tai chi and meditation. Lin is also influenced by political, philosophy, and social commitments. An example of this is in his 14 piece, “Songs of the Wanderers” where children playing in a pile of sand influenced the piece. Through out Moon Water, Lin has incorporated many aspects of modern and traditional dance.


These diverse influences take Moon Water in a different direction then many other dances. “Lin Hwai Min has created another milestone in the development of dance.” Because of the combination of tradition and modern Chinese movements, and the influence of ballet and modern dance, Moon Water creates a new style of movement. “It is a ballet that daftly demonstrates the controlled grace and breathing of his tai chi trained dancers. (The Contra Costa Times, October )


One of the most interesting aspects of Moon Water is the neutrality of the dancers. Because of the neutrality of the dancers and their movements, the audience is able to look at all of the cultural and modern influences as they move and develop horizontally in time and space. The horizontal and circular movements combined with the cello solos by J.S. Bach created an illusion that reflected out to the audience in both the moon and the water.





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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Consumer-Manufacturer Relationships

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The American Honda Corporation has a great track record of consumer-manufacturer relationships, making it important to research the relationships it has built with the consumers. New technologies in communications and database management have led to an explosion of managing consumer relationships. This holds true, especially in consumer and business-to-business, as the marketing effort returns from a mass mentality to a shopkeeper’s mentality, from supply to demand marketing. The ideal one-to-one approach is through direct marketing to capture understanding, evolution, value and treatment of customers (Stearns 1).


The American Honda Corporation began as a small motorcycle company in 15. Today, Honda is a top manufacturer of motorcycles, power equipment, ATVs, generators, marine engines, and automobiles. From the first Honda vehicle, the S500, released in Japan to today’s top-selling Accord and Civic, Honda is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the automobile industry. In 167, auto production began in the Suzuka factory. In 17, the Honda Civic debuts and by 177, the Civic ranks first in United States fuel-economy tests for the fourth consecutive year. The Honda Prelude debuts in 178, followed by the most profitable Honda Accord in 18. In 186, Honda introduces its luxury line, Acura. By 10, the Honda Accord becomes the best-selling car model in the United States and wins the fifth consecutive 1st ranking in the J.D. Power and Associates Consumer Satisfaction Index.


Honda Motor Corporation’s basic philosophy of making products acceptable in international markets has led the Company and its subsidiaries’ unique business development since its early days. As customer acceptance of Honda products in key markets increases, this philosophy has expanded to a basic business strategy of making products wherever they are being sold in quantity. Through this approach, Honda has been able to contribute to the economic welfare of a number of countries that produce Hondas. An example of Honda’s commitment to the people and countries in which its products are sold is Honda of America Manufacturing, Incorporated, in Marysville, Ohio.


Because of successful marketing relationships with customers, Honda has gained a great reputation for itself. It has created a unique development and manufacturing capability producing a variety of consumer products built around compact, high-performance engines. By developing, manufacturing, and supplying ‘quality’ products, using local resources, and reinvesting capital, Honda fulfills its goal of being a responsible and contributing corporation.


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Honda always finds a way to delight its customers, be it the gas efficient hybrid vehicle or the launching of scooters in India; there is always something new to make Honda customers proud of the company. Honda realizes the need for achieving cost leadership and often devises ways to delight its suppliers, but it is usually difficult to find the right vendor. Honda tries hard to build a long-term relationship. In order to sustain long-term relationships, most suppliers are inter-linked with Honda. While some companies try to make the payment procedure complex, with the underlying intention of delaying the payment, Honda is trying to come up with procedures so that payment can be expedited. Such activities undertaken by the company makes it an ideal customer in the eyes of the suppliers who reciprocate by providing the best of their products and services at the lowest possible price. The symbiotic relationship results in fruitful association for both (Sharma 1).


Relationship marketing, itself, centers on all marketing activities directed toward establishing, developing, and maintaining successful exchanges with customers. It is crucial to maintain positive relationships with the customer and the manufacturer of the product, because loyal customers tend to be more profitable to keep than those who are price-sensitive and see little difference among competing products. Also, a company that is successful usually has strong relationships with customers, making it hard for any other competitor to penetrate the interests of the customer. For example, Honda spends more than $5 billion annually for materials and components from three hundred suppliers. The expenditures by the three hundred member purchasing staff at Honda of America represent eighty percent of the firm’s annual sales. Each sector of the chain is involved in manufacturing the product, the marketing techniques, delivery, and customer service support after the initial sale. If any of these factors were affected, so will the success of the popular products within the corporation (Hoffman et al 174).


Since the typical industrial corporation spends over half its sales revenues on industrial purchasing, supplier management has been recognized as crucial to the firm’s competitiveness, likewise with the Honda Corporation. Honda invests so mush to ensure the very best in quality, that the supply-in-demand must be more than expected to ensure a profit. The automobile industry is a good way to look at the traditional and relationship models of the buyer-supplier relationships (Kim and Michell 11). Several factors must be examined when looking at these types of relationships. These are the percentage of supplier sales to the automaker, the percent of non-redeployable capital equipment, annual man days of face to face contact, information sharing, assisting quality improvement, assisting cost reduction, supplier’s trust in automakers fairness, supplier’s expectation of unfair and fair treatment. All factors work to achieve the trust of the consumer (Kim and Michell 10). People’s identification with Honda is based primarily on the perceptions of its core or defining characteristics. The mission, structure, processes, and climate shape this identity. It also represents hierarchical constellations of characteristics or traits that are central to the Company and eventually, makes Honda relatively distinct against other automobile manufacturers (Bhattachanya and Sen 77).


Supply-chain management is a way of connecting operations of a company with other strategic suppliers and its main mediators and customers, therefore, improving effective and efficient productivity.


According to the elements contributing to effective relationships, consistency and reliability rank among those of importance. J.D. Power Vehicle Consumer Center, rates Honda vehicles among the highest in mechanical quality, performance, style, safety, fuel economy, and overall long-term reliability. Ratings by such a credible source as this, instills trust in potential customers as well as creates continuity for present customers. Customers, then, have confidence in Honda. The fact that Honda has an impeccable track record for their performance of their vehicles makes them an unbelievable commodity.


The American Honda Corporation has experienced marketing success, because of its implementation of the Acura Corporation, a luxury subsidiary, creating business-to-business marketing. Honda’s relationships are a viable strategy for social exchange, business-to-consumer marketing, and non-profit marketing (Arnett and German 8). With the establishment of the American Honda Corporate Foundation, the company is able to use Honda to be beneficial to the community through scholarships and grants, making a sector of Honda a non-profit organization (“Honda Corporate”).


The channel that Honda uses for its marketing relationships is specifically


Supplier - Manufacturer (Honda)/Assembly - Retailer (Dealership) � Consumer


Earlier, the supplier-manufacturer dynamics were introduced, but it is also important to understand the remaining tiers of the marketing relationship. The assembly in this model is one of the most crucial portions. If the assembly does not come through with a quality product, then a company like Honda could suffer from potential callbacks and costly repairs. If production creates a series of lemons, over time, consumers will lose confidence in the manufacturer. The dealership is responsible for delivering the product to potential buyers. If there are not good salespersons, then there will be less profit and also prices would not be appealing to customers, because there would be less demand for them. After the sale, it is important that the product continues to perform well. Customers need assurance; therefore, there is a warranty upon receipt of the vehicle. Also, there is customer service and maintenance services provided at local dealerships. All of these things contribute to overall customer satisfaction and makes relationships with Honda a good one.


In conclusion I foresee more research in the field of relationship marketing in an international context. Comparisons are made between the US and Japanese buyer �supplier relationships in the automotive industry and then between four of the major automakers in Japan. In the comparative study of the US and Japan the data support the existence of a clear difference in supplier management between the two countries. Further research directions may be suggested, both conceptually and empirically. Future research will probably give focus in the differences between the majors in each county and possible convergence between both types of relationships contractual and relational. There is a managerial implication drawn from exploratory studies showing that there is a potential myth that Japanese automakers have pursued very similar supplier relationships. They have more likely pursued different supplier relationships based on, for instance, their size and profitability. It is recommended that a comparison of the major automakers in Japan be made individually, not collectively. .





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Monday, September 3, 2012

Globalization and the United States

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Part 1


Introduction


Globalization is about worldwide economic activity �


As all of you know, globalization is about open markets; competition and the free flow of goods, services, capital and knowledge. In other words, the world as we know it is getting increasingly smaller with the advancement of technology, i.e.- the Internet, and planes and soon to come out, telecommunication over the Internet, but that’s another story. Because of this technology people around the world are more connected than ever to spread new ideas.


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Information technologies are the key driver of globalization, they open up a huge potential for greater efficiency through e-commerce, the Internet and the instantaneous delivery of information anywhere in the world, at any time. They also provide greater access to information and knowledge, THEY are the raw materials of innovation, and spread the free flow of information from all sources, which authoritarian regimes cannot stop even if they wanted to. Technology and innovation cut costs to the direct benefit of consumers. Some view it as a process that is beneficial�a key to future world economic development�and also inevitable and irreversible.


Yes this is globalization, but what is the role of the US They are the big brother, they are the ones who can prosper without global trading…it is the developing countries that truly depend on the United States


Kevin A. Hassett and James K. Glassman explain that


Rarely in history has one nation been as dominant in the world economy as the United States is today. The U.S. (GDP) -- exceeded $10 trillion in 00. Thats greater than the total GDP of the next five countries combined. All told, the United States, with 1/0th of the worlds population, accounts for one-third of the worlds output and, last year, more than three-fifths of its growth.


The U.S. economy is so large that its metropolitan areas produce more than entire countries. For example, in 00, Chicago had about the same GDP as Australia. Boston had the same as Taiwan; Dallas, the same as Saudi Arabia; San Francisco, Hong Kong; and Milwaukee, Pakistan.


Its only natural that such a dominant position can sometimes provoke envy and anger from other nations, but the truth is that economics is not a zero-sum game. In a world that is tied together by trade, the United States wins when other nations prosper -- and other nations win when the United States prospers.


The notion that wealthy countries and big businesses are the main beneficiaries of global free trade is flat-out nonsense. The United States could continue to prosper if it backed away from the world-trade stage. Even if it stopped trading altogether, the United States would continue to enjoy a high standard of living, with a GDP of more than $0,000 per person. Americas lifestyle might slip from 00 levels to mid-10s levels. Thats all. But if trade stops or even slows down, developing countries would be devastated. No longer would citizens be able to get quality goods at bargain prices. No longer would smaller nations be able to increase their markets on a vast scale.


But the United States understands the responsibilities that come with being the worlds largest economy.


Does the US take advantage of their position?


They must be if sweatshops exist, I mean, why do they exist


US Companies Profit From Chinese Sweatshops


By Jim Lobe, IPS, 1 March 18


WASHINGTON, Mar 1 (IPS) - U.S. clothing and footware companies, which import more than 15 billion dollars a year in Chinese-made goods, are profiting from sub-contractors whose mainly young, female workers toil in sweatshop conditions, according to a new report released here.


The report, which covers 1 factories in China, found that the foreign-financed boom in southern China is being fuelled by poorly-educated women from rural areas, who are unaware of their legal rights and forced to work up to 1-hours-a-day, seven days a week - for as little as 1 cents an hour.


Working conditions in China actually violate Chinas own labour law and internationally recognised worker rights, as well as U.S. coprorate codes of conduct, according to Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labour Committee (NLC) which released the report Wednesday.


Yet the workers - whose conditions approach indentured servitude - have no independent unions, human rights, womens or religious organisations to protect them, and US companies take advantage of their vulnerability, said Kernaghan.


Kernaghan used the release of the report, Made in China Behind the Label, to launch a national campaign to press these companies, which include some of the US most fashionable labels, to fully disclose the conditions under which their merchandise is being produced.


The public has a right to know in what countries and in what factories American corporations are producing and under what human and labour rights conditions, he said.


Several Democratic lawmakers have pledged to push for legislation this year that would ensure greater disclosure(discovery). The bottom line is that the American people should not, unknowingly, be purchasing products made in sweatshops, said Rep. Bernie Sanders.


Named in the report are such companies as Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Kathie Lee, Wal-Mart, Liz Claiborne, Esprit, J.C. Penney, The Limited, and K-Mart. Most of these firms maintain that they monitor factories where their merchandise is made, but investigators from the Hong Kong-based Asian Monitor Resource Centre and China Labour Bulletin found evidence of widespread, unregulated subcontracting among the sector of foreign, privately- owned factories booming in the south of China.


These factories operate in climate of secrecy, according to the report, often with no signs posted and frequently not even listed in business directories.


American companies are actually lowering standards in China as they shift their production from publicly-owned factories in the north to private, foreign-owned sweatshops in the south, slashing wages in the process, eliminating benefits, imposing excessive mandatory overtime hours, and tolerating widespread arbitrary firings and unsafe factory and living conditions, said Kernaghan.


In the Liang Shi Handbag Factory, which makes Kathie Lee handbags, for example, a work week consists of seven 10-hour days for wages as low as 1 cents an hour, according to the report. The factory has no fire exits and workers are housed in dirty, cramped dormitories, five to a room. After paying for one weeks worth of food and lodging, workers are left with only .44 dollars.


In the Yeu Yein Factory, which makes Nike and Addidas shoes, 50,000 to 60,000 young women ages 18 to work six or seven days a week, 10 to 1 hours a day, for 1 cents an hour, the report said. In some cases, workers living in factory-built dormitories are subject to constant surveillance.


Independent unions are illegal in China where, according to Sally Chun of China Labour Bulletin, workers lack minimum social guarantees and ...are subject to government repression and violence when they voice their demands.


She and Apo Leong of the Resource Centre expressed scepticism about the effectiveness of US corporate codes of conduct which have become more widespread in recent years, in part because of publicity generated about apparel-making sweatshops discovered in Central America and the Caribbean by Kernaghans NLC.


In an open letter to the White Houses Apparel Partnership, Kernaghan called for an immediate review of factory working conditions in China for their compliance with international standards and a ban on unregulated subcontracting. He also called for companies to ensure that their codes of conduct are posted in subcontracting factories and that human and worker rights groups are given access to workers.


The Partnership, which consists of six rights groups, two labour unions, and eight companies, including several of those named in the new report, has spent more than a year negotiating the mandate of an association that would certify companies compliance with a tough code of conduct. Such a certification would then permit them to tag their merchandise with a No Sweat label.


The Partnership has agreed to the elements of such a code, which includes virtually all of the demands put forward by Kernaghan, according to its co-chair, Linda Golodner, who is president of the National Consumers League.


The Partnership still has to work out details on what constitutes a living wage and how the code should deal with countries, like China, which do not permit freedom of association. Once these matters are resolved, it hopes that most other companies in the apparel and shoe industry will join the effort.


This reports poses a lot of very important questions for the companies and our own government to look at, said Golodner told IPS. She noted that Washington has done nothing to discourage companies from investing in China, despite the absence of workers rights there. This needs to be looked at very seriously, she added.


At the Tianjin Yuhua Garment Factory in China a young woman earns cents an hour. For over 60 hours a week she sews clothing to be sold in Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. She works in a sweatshop, but the profit margins from her sweat are not enough for some. Soon she may be laid off, as Wal-Mart moves its contract to a privately owned factory in the south of China with less regulations and even lower wages. There, Wal-Mart’s contractors can pay workers as low as 1 cents an hour to sew the same garments. Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world. They control almost 15 percent of the US retail market. And selling goods made in sweatshops helped their 18 revenue rise to $11 billion�$4 billion more than Canada’s 18 revenue.


Those who are accused of exploiting workers to maximize profits often respond by calling sweatshops an unfortunate, but necessary evil of economic growth and free markets. Claims are made that sweatshops are the only way to meet consumers demand for low-cost goods and that they provide jobs that otherwise would not exist.


And yet, sweatshops are not inevitable. They are not a necessary by-product of economic growth or the intended outcome of some dangerous force in the economic universe. They are the result of corporations single-mindedly seeking the fattest bottom line. This race to the bottom line squeezes out savings and profits at every level, but ultimately, from the sweat of the workers squeezed at the bottom of the cycle.


These factors drive demand for sweatshops Corporate greed U.S. and manufacturers have found that they no longer need to operate their own factories. In a world virtually free of borders, they look for subcontractors in countries where regulations are weak and labor and operating costs are lowest.


International policies


Governments, international trade regulatory agencies like the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and other foreign lenders create international trade laws and lending policies requiring developing nations to bolster their economies by creating export industries regardless of implications for social justice and environmental sustainability. And Third World countries desperately need the foreign money. But these policies have created a excess of manufacturing plants and plantations (often in countries with poorly developed labor and environmental laws), which allows U.S. corporations to dictate their purchase prices.


More specifically


ESPN Exposes NIKE


On April , ESPNs Outside the Lines ran an hour-long show on Nike and Reebok sweatshop abuses in Vietnam.


The crew also interviewed a 5-year-old female worker who - just a week prior - was grabbed around the collar and hit on the head by a male Korean guard as she departed a Nike factory during a shift change.


Some of the problems at the sneaker factories appear to be caused by language barriers. Many of the supervisors speak little or no Vietnamese. And some of them prefer a militaristic approach in dealing with workers.


When asked to account for these instances of abuse, Nike executive Tom Clarke kept talking about these events being taken out of context. He failed to explain what sort of context might justify physically abusing workers.


Aside from the physical harm in these sweatshops workers have to deal with ridiculous conditions


Workers in the Nike and Reebok factories breath a toxic mix of chemicals with only useless cotton masks for protection. Dara ORourke, an environmental consultant for the United Nations and human rights activist who has visited several Vietnamese shoe factories, says Wearing a cotton mask to protect yourself against hazardous solvents is like wearing flip-flops in the NBA, she said. It just doesnt work.


Nike says that it is working with its subcontractors to offer an environment that protects the workers health and safety. Health concerns were raised, however, when an inspection report that was prepared for Nike was leaked in November to the New York Times. Ernst & Young found that workers at one factory were exposed to a chemical that exceeded legal standards by 177 times in parts of the plant and that 77 percent of the employees suffered from respiratory problems. Although Nike says those readings are impossible, it was Nikes own accounting firm, Ernst & Young, which documented the readings.


There are other people that oppose world integration because they feel that it is another way of saying Americanization


Have you heard the word Americanization? In the early 100s Americanization meant taking new immigrants and turning them into Americans...whether they wanted to give up their traditional ways or not.


Critics now say globalization is nothing more than the imposition of American culture on the entire world. In fact, the most visible sign of globalization seems to be the spread of American burgers and cola to nearly every country on earth.


Even globalization champions like Thomas Friedman see it. In a recent column describing why terrorists hate the United States, Friedman wrote


...globalization is in so many ways Americanization globalization wears Mickey Mouse ears, it drinks Pepsi and Coke, eats Big Macs, does its computing on an IBM laptop with Windows 8. Many societies around the world cant get enough of it, but others see it as a fundamental threat.





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