Sunday, May 11, 2014

Czarina Mae B. Enarsao

Primates and their Prime Social Dynamics
Reaction Paper on the Documentary, ‘Life of Mammals’

     David Attenborough, the one’s explaining in the documentary Life of Mammals once avowed, “Monkeys and apes have the richest social life of all mammals.” This documentary proved us how socially inclined they are to govern, to survive and to reproduce.
     These primates, as we have seen in the documentary, have their own ways of living with their fellow primates. They have this capacity to discover ways for survival. The means of acquiring food is different from each kind of primate. There are kinds of monkeys that hunt down on the ground while others uncover blessings in the forest’s canopy. It is as rich as cultivated gardens are, for primates. But the old same techniques don’t work all the time. That’s when their capacity to innovate and discover newer ways to gain food, lets them survive - just like how the capuchins rub a kind of plant that can repel them from insect bites.
     Being social components of this planet, they need to reproduce. As we humans say, “May the best man win!” The courting process is even harder for primates, kind of, compare to human beings. If a man dress himself to hide physical imperfections (and imagine what technology can do for humans), primates cannot. Unless you’ll put suit and tie on them – well, that’s not the real thing in the wild though. The real thing is that the male must show his assets to attract the girl he wants. Not only that, there are many adversaries to defeat; it’s strength and appeal and everything else. But every triumph comes with a prize. Mating is truly a sign of being a social entity.
     We witness primates fighting each other to get a partner yet there’s another side of them which is interesting to know -- their complex relationships. They have formed friendships and alliances to carry out certain strategies to win over the other groups and also for reproductive purposes. These coalitions create more intricate social skills because primates seem to be aware of who belongs to their kin. Being aware of relations needs a bigger brain to process, ergo their larger brain capacity equates the greater network of connections they could have.
     Regarding kinship, there is hierarchy. One remarkable scene from the video is that a female toque macaque removes food from the mouth of another female. Generally, an inferior one cedes to one of higher rank, of who is greater and stronger than the others.
     There could be endless possibilities of what monkeys and apes can do but their brain capacity is limited. With humans, it’s unbounded. But can you see how these so-called social climbers are so alike with us? We hunt, we mate, and we fight for the need to survive. We just need to bound respect for nature.

Reaction paper on the Movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’

          Equilibrium, according to the given definition of Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is “a state in which opposing forces or actions are balanced so that one is not stronger or greater than the other.” We sometimes encounter this term in Science and usually, in Economics. I think it’s known to us that John Nash, the protagonist of the movie, A Beautiful Mind, is a mathematician and an economist in real life.
          Why would I pin such term? Simply because I noticed this term could be linked in John Nash’s life in the movie. There is equilibrium between him and his delusions. He had these visual illusions (which technically are creative expressions only for the movie) that each has embodiment to fill in. It’s kind of absurd at first what was really happening in the movie. But things get down clearly when we knew that what we thought are his friends and later on, put him in jeopardy are actually hallucinations due to his schizophrenia. These are produced by unhappiness and pressure to be someone recognized. At first, he was weaker than his sickness that leads him to the hospital to be medicated in the course of shock therapy which seems vile to me. I don’t know how to handle schizophrenic people but that kind of medication is harsh I think. But later on, he rejected these illusions and this shows the equilibrium. The voices/visual representations might be there but completely ignored by Nash.
          I’ve heard that it was indeed a must-watch long ago before we watched the movie in class. But I think what my acquaintances told me about the plot of the movie was really misleading that’s why at first I really can’t find the kind of movie I was expecting. I quite felt it’s like a horror movie because of its gloomy aura and there’s the part of somewhat like persecution. Anyway, I really really felt giddy with how patient and sacrificing the wife of John Nash is in the movie. It’s something that proves that even in the tightest situations, you can trust love. But to my disappointment, the movie was just an adaptation of his life, too bad that the marriage life of Nash is not as lovely and epic like the movie. Ugh. It gave me stress when I found out about that! I thought it’s already a one-of-a-kind true love in real life. The hopeless romantic here got really dismayed. But the movie tells us something, true love is the best medicine to any frustration and depression.
     Lastly, the greatest equilibrium that could be: him versus his imperfections; he is genius, yes, yet schizophrenic; but he has still been capable of having the Nobel Prize in 1994, because of the Game Theory and the Nash equilibrium as well. No one’s perfect after all but no one said you cannot achieve what you want to.

What’s in Dreamland?
Reaction Paper on the Documentary about Dreams

          Dreaming is one of the usual things people do in common. Everyone dreams, I guess. I know even blind people do but not visually especially those who are blind since birth. For that, I think everyone relates to the documentary.
          Sleeping is the most pleasant thing for a college student. Well for me, that’s the best kind of prize I could get for accomplishing school works. It means everything is stable... for the meantime. But it’s not rest after all. The body might be soundly sleeping and undisturbed but the mind wanders in your dreamland. I assume my dreamland differs from your dreamland, to his, to hers and to anyone else’s. But in the documentary there’s a freaking truth I didn’t know about dreams. It could get interlinked! My dream could be some else’s dream in his/her perspective. I find it really weird, feels magical. Oh, dreamlands are forever magical and horrifying for me.
          I’ve read back then from an unremembered source that happy dreams are harder to remember than those terrible dreams (or nightmares!) It added that, people who usually tell they had not dreamt actually did but the dream was so pleasant they cannot remember it. I actually encounter that dilemma most of the time; it is appalling that nightmares are not forgotten easily and that happens when I am stressed or when I forced myself to sleep because that’s how normal people end their day, even if something still bothers me. I think that’s how experts concluded that we dream especially when there is anxiety within us. We actually dream usual than experts can measure yet we, ourselves, cannot tell because we cannot remember them.
          I just really want to know if dreams are longer than the reality’s time like what’s happened in Inception: an hour in a dream world is equivalent to actually five minutes only. Because compare to my everyday scenario, it is the other way around. For example, you set your alarm in the morning at 6 o’clock. While in the middle of a dream, it rang then of course, because you’re still sleepy, you put the snooze on and back to dreamland. You had this picturesque series of events that happened in like three minutes but after that few minutes you woke up at around 7:30 am already. Ugh. I sometimes blame dreaming for being late. I don’t know but that’s what happens to me all the time: shorter period of time in dreams but longer time consumption in real life.
          It’s pleasant to have dreams actually; you can imagine yourself in a different world. You have this separate entity that experiences a whole lot of things you cannot and in some terms, hopefully I’ll never come across, such as accidents. It shows off a kind of forewarning and gives you awareness to real things. I believe we dream for a certain purpose.

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