This article is indeed very thought provoking and intriguing. As much as we value security in modern society, I feel the government has become extremely invasive and made the common man vulnerable to losing all privacy. The thought that every time we speak on the phone our conversation can be recorded, or that whenever we cross the border our physical characteristics are being permanently stored in a data file is very unnerving. The media and government have instilled a sense of fear in us and this has made us willing to give up the basic rights of privacy that every human being should be
entitled to. People are too afraid to say no to any infringement of their privacy, as they are constantly being reminded that the government is working for our safety and hence these measures are necessary. We are too scared to say no and stand up to these unfair and flawed arguments.
The constant hype about terrorism by the government and media at present is a true example of the All or Nothing Fallacy. GPS tracking and all the surveillance programs adopted by the government in the name of security, is leaving individuals completely exposed. Another argument that hit home is the Luddite Argument. With the advancement in cellular technology alone, our privacy is being invaded. One example is Apple’s brand new iPhone 5s. This device includes a fingerprint scanner that allows you to unlock your phone and perform other functions such as purchasing items from the apple store. This is a major cause for worry as one may wonder if their personal information is being stored somewhere in cyberspace and can be accessed by criminals or government officials without consent.
I found the story to be very interesting. It was relatively easy to comprehend and some questions came to mind as I was reading it. I wondered if the underlying theme of this story was racism and segregation. I also was able to identify some literary elements including repetition for effect. The phrase, ‘happily ever after’, was repeated throughout the story. This made the story seem more like a fairy tale with a happy ending. However, I was surprised the ending was extremely violent and gruesome. I found it useful to visualize the setting to get a better understanding. With future readings, if I came across a story that was considered a ‘difficult read’, I would perhaps have to read it several times and try and grasp the meaning of each paragraph in depth.
This letter written by Stephen Fry is very profound and sends a strong message to its readers. Personally, I somewhat agree with Fry’s argument. It is not essential to ban the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014. The backwards social attitudes towards homosexuality must disappear immediately. Gays, lesbians and citizens alike should all be seen and treated as equals. There should be no unease or distaste looming in the country. However, if President Putin cannot come to his senses and continues to make scapegoats of gay people, the Olympics should be staged elsewhere. Humanity must be stood up for and another stain on the Five Rings must be avoided. The IOC must push against Putin’s political priorities and society’s attitudes and be assured that this will not affect participants or spectators in the 2014 Olympics.
Many questions came to my mind while reading this letter. Firstly, I do not understand why Russia has adopted such orthodox values. It is almost as if the country is regressing instead of progressing. In today’s world, Russia should realize the position it is in and learn from modern Western culture. In addition to this, why is it so difficult to comprehend that we are all human beings regardless of our cultural background. Shouldn’t benefits, freedoms and opportunity impact us all in the same way?