Twenty-First Century Genocide? It Could Happen in Uganda

December 14, 2009

I wasn’t originally planning on writing anything this week, as it’s finals week here at the University of Northern Iowa, however, I then read the scariest piece of news I’ve read in a long time.

In Uganda, there is a proposed law which would call for the execution of all homosexuals and AIDS patients. Citizens would also be imprisoned for knowing, but not reporting, homosexuals or defending gay rights in public. Further, the proposed law would be “an extraditable offense; any Ugandan even suspected of being gay could be extradited back to Uganda and punished” (Huffington Post).

Over the past month, many human rights organizations and fellow nations have spoken out against the bill, stating that it even discussing it makes a mockery of all the work that has been done in Uganda to gain human rights. Unfortunately, “it’s unlikely that pressure from other countries, even those providing development dollars, will make substantial impact on the law thus far. The bill’s author, David Bahati, of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, has been quoted as saying, ‘We cannot exchange our dignity for money'”(Huffington Post).

The fact that this kind of hate exists makes me so sad. It’s terrifying.

What can we do to help?

I’m not sure. I’m trying to start by spreading the message, and letting people know what’s going on. So please, post this article to your blog or facebook or twitter or email it out to family and friends.

Hate still exists. Discrimination still exists. Genocide could happen.

We have to be able to accept that before we can move on and take action. Then, maybe you can join or donate to Amnesty International or one of these other human rights organizations.

What are your thoughts? How can we work to create a world with less hate?

Cultural Object of the Week: Goodbye Makeup, Hello LED Eyelashes

October 28, 2009

I am so excited about this cultural object.  Japanese designer Soomi Park has created the weirdest thing I’ve seen in awhile–LED eyelashes. They were created in order create the illusion of bigger eyes, a trait many Asian women would like to have, according to Park.

There is some speculation that they LED eyelashes were created to spark social commentary on marketing towards very specific demographics.

What do you think they say about our cultural fascination with certain traits? Do you think they are a realistic fashion trend? Do you think you can see while you’re wearing them?

I expect to see Lady Gaga wearing them sometime soon.

Sources: Gizmodo, FashionTechnology

“It’s all about Sociology, Not Technology”

October 12, 2009

Last Spring, Bruce Nussbaum, a blogger for Business Week, wrote that what technology companies needed to start using sociology for innovating new ideas and marketing strategies for their products, instead of technology.

View the Article Here

He specifically states that Apple is a company that has done this, while Google has not. While I’m not going to choose sides on that debate, I found his argument that in order to successfully understand what consumers want, you must have a firm understanding of social systems and culture. This has become particularly important in our globalized economy. Perhaps more importantly (especially to me, as I’m a senior unsure about my future), this post made me think about how I can use my sociological education beyond the classroom, and perhaps how I can market myself as someone a company would want to hire.

What do you think? Do you think technology needs sociology?