This book is a classic, but until now I’ve never gotten around to reading more than a chapter of it. The major premise of the book is that things should be designed in ways that make it as easy as possible to use them. While this sounds obvious enough, Norman points out how the every day objects around us, from doors to telephones, consistently violate the principle. He gives concrete guidance for designing just about any sort of project, be it physical or digital. At times the book delves deeply into psychological analysis, yet it provides many entertaining antidotes throughout and avoids coming across as dense. Definitely a must read for anyone who designs (or uses!) any product.
As a research prospectus I wrote for my historiography and historical methods class, this piece is not quite a finished essay. Nevertheless, I love the subject and believe others will enjoy reading through it. If you’re working on a similar project, the annotated bibliography should be quite useful. The numbers scattered throughout the text refer to the notes at the bottom.
To medieval Europe, Asia was a distant land of marvels, inhabited by strange creatures as well as monstrous races of humans. The difficulty of travel prevented more than a trickle of European visitors, and it seems that even the few accurate accounts of the region did little to change these views. Europeans based their image of Asia on ancient accounts inherited from Greece and Rome, and filtered these ideas through the lens of Christianity. The view of Asia in Medieval Europe does not seem to receive much attention; it is often relegated to the role of setting a foundation for examination of European colonialism that occurred in later centuries. Nevertheless, there are plenty of secondary sources that cover aspects of the issue to some extent. There are also a fair number of primary sources to draw from, and though finding something truly unique in the well-known sources available would be unlikely, a new take on the sources might be possible. Rather than separating them, I have included my discussion of the primary sources alongside the secondary sources that seem relevant.
Circular migration refers to the practice of temporarily traveling some distance in order to work. The distance and duration of the stay vary from a nearby town, traveled in a single day, to months or years spent in a remote location. The number of migrants in India has been estimated between 12 and 30 million, and the figure is believed to be rising (Bird N.pag.). While many migrants are forced into their situation by economic necessarily, this paper will focus on a different type of migrant. To these people, circular migration may not necessarily provide economic improvement, but it presents an opportunity to escape the confines of traditional social and economic relationships that dominate their lives. The essay will also examine problems associated with migration that must be balanced against its potential rewards.
This is a long, somewhat dense, but hopefully interesting look into an important aspect of national communities.
It is the mid 19th century and settlers are blazing a trail across the Great Plains of America. Their fearless procession proceeds with irrepressible optimism towards seemingly boundless horizons. A fledgling American nation has articulated its destiny and will advance west until it eventually spans the entire continent. Tragically, during this time of great national growth American Indian tribes are to be subjugated through a series of wars, relocations, and broken promises. A century later America is engulfed in the Second World War and a united nation stands up triumphantly to the powers of oppression. Yet this society founded on the ideals of freedom is destined to turn on its weaker members and force innocent Americans of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps. America has led the world in protection of personal freedoms but at the same time has been home to several humanitarian disasters. Being capable of both great good and great evil, it is essential to discover how we can shape our nation for the better. A national community is more than a group of people living within certain geographic borders. Something must bind these people together and sufficiently separate them from their international neighbors. The members of the community must feel some common bonds with one another. For an ideal national community these bonds must exist in the correct proportions. If the bonds are too weak, people will not see themselves as members of a community and will feel no responsibility for the well-being of their fellow citizens. On the other hand, a people too strongly united can impose their will over minority groups and stifle independent thought. An ideal national community is made up of many diverse factions which agree on certain basic principles but disagree enough on policy that no one group is allowed to enforce its will on others.