Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Communism and Copyrights

Today we began our lessons on Carl Marx. It was interesting seeing an unbiased (or less biased) view of Marx, as his theories are usually expressed in an antagonistic manor due to their communistic nature. I agreed with most of what he said. His arguments are very persuasive, and it occurred to me that studying him would make me a better persuasive writer. Unfortunately I do not have time in this class, but I will definitely pursue this in the future. Marx made several interesting arguments, the most significant (to me at least) was his theory that wage labor dehumanizes people. It makes their basic necessities: eating, drinking, and procreating seem like freedoms, and turns the whole spectrum upside down. This is a vast simplification, but I still think it conveys the point. Our discussion time, as always, delved further into the subject at hand and gave me a much better understanding of both the text and Kramnick's lecture.

After lunch we had our final guest lecture, which was a reminder of how close to the end we are. The speaker, Alan Mittman, was another friend of Professor Kramnick's and an attorney in charge of labor relations at Cornell. He talked to us about copyright laws, and the specific case of Häagen-Dazs vs. Frusen Glädjé. It was an excellent final guest lecture, and I learned a lot about the intricacies of copyrights, trademarks, and patents. If I ever invent something or start a business I will know exactly what to do in order to protect myself! 

I attended a brief (and optional) discussion with Professor Kramnick.  Today the subjects at hand were ice cream, Kramnick's doctorate, then the more serous matters of clarifying Burke's views, and relating Plato's ideas to modern politics.  I really appreciate the time he takes out of his day to stay and just talk with the students about whatever we bring up.

I met with Ulas briefly during office hours to make sure I knew what he wanted from my paper. It was very helpful, and as always I left feeling much more prepared. I am starting to think that the final draft of my paper will turn out very well. After I finished with office hours, I met up with Calvin and Hannon and while we waited in Donlon for Alex I finished up my readings for tomorrow. When Alex arrived we hung out for a little longer then went to dinner. We played a few games of pool after dinner, as is seeming to become a daily tradition. These daily games are a part of Cornell I will dearly miss when I return to the West Coast. Alex, Calvin, Hannon, and I hung out until check in, after that, until I went to sleep, I was focused on paper revision mode. I feel like I accomplished a lot today, and tomorrow finishing my final paper revision will be an easy task and leave me plenty of time to start studying for the final. Although I am happy with my A-, I am aiming for a solid A as a final grade in the class.

Tomorrow will be a busy day of revising, reviewing, and (finally) having lunch with Professor Kramnick.

1 comment:

  1. I'm intrigued by your comments about Marx. When you return we'll have to sit down so you can explain things to me so I can become better informed.

    As a photographer, I deal with copyrights on a regular basis. Or, to be more accurate, I deal in copyright infringement on a regular basis. People steal my photos on a regular basis. I've even had thieving lawyers try to tell me that it wasn't really the theft of intellectual property because my photos were on the Internet and when they're on the Internet they're free. Oh well...