Thursday, March 22, 2012


The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. (Bill Gates, 2003)

If I had not taken socio 10 this semester, I would never have known that whatever I upload or post in the internet will be recorded and kept in a so-called database.

Frightened about the fact that all the information I share through the internet, I now limit and try to screen all the data I am about to post. This idea has taught me to carefully select the content I would contribute to the immense technological world that can be easily visited by different kinds of people from all over the world. Doing so gives me peace and somehow makes me feel safe to a certain extent.

Also, knowing that the global broad-based militant Islamist organization named Al-Qaeda sparked up through the use of the world-wide-web made my fear of the extreme effects the internet could have on the society a lot more serious. These terrorist movements benefit so much from the internet. The advantages of the internet have not gone unnoticed by the terrorist organization and no matter what their race or political orientation are, all of them seemed to find the Internet alluring.

Internet has become a very powerful tool in bringing together the different worlds of the different users of the said concept. The success of the actions Al-Qaeda has made or rather the innovation of the methods modern terrorism use with their attacks attest to everyone that the Internet, definitely, is capable of making what once was impossible to do, possible.

Relating this to my situation, the flaws of the most recent USC campaigning and elections were scrutinized and publicized by our sociology class through the internet. The action driven by pure volunteerism started when the classroom campaigns began to matter. Several problems were noticed like the bad compliance with some of the policies regarding campaigning, having black propagandas, excessive production of campaign materials, too much branding, irrelevant information on posters  and other problematic situations that are present throughout the campaign period of the USC elections. Our class posted our sentiments on the world-wide-web and aimed to collect as much signatures as possible for the newly elected psychopaths would only pay attention to our action if the petition gained the appropriate amount of signatures.

Surprised to see the results, within the span of about two to three days, the petition has gotten 700 and more signatures! That is only proving to us that the internet is really a breakthrough in our century.

Although there really are drawbacks associated with the Internet, it is still undeniable that it affects our society greatly. People nowadays would not be able to live in a world without internet. Just thinking about how much of a convenience it has been in our lives just makes the Internet a huge part of the society. Just like the basic concept in sociology wherein the society determines and affects the self just as much as the self affects the society, internet pretty much does the same. People created the internet and so in turn, the internet now can make a huge change to a person.

I can only hope that the benefits can overcome the downsides the Internet can bring.

Word count: 543

Pirates Can Live on Land Too

There are many different kinds of piracies. The following are the most famous methods to pirate data:

  1. Simple piracy – it is when the packaging of the pirated copy is different from the original and is usually a compilation of many different pirated data.
  2. Counterfeit – it is when the packaging of the pirated copy resembles the original and the pirates try their utmost effort to be as close to the original as possible. The companies’ trademarks are reproduced in order to mislead the consumer into believing that they are actually buying an original product.
  3. Bootleg – it is an unauthorized recording of live streams or broadcast performances. This is most commonly used in pirating music.
  4. Internet Piracy – this method has clearly gone viral everywhere in the virtual world. As long as you have internet access, you could be a consumer of the products made by this method of “pirating.” It is the act of compressing, posting and transmitting globally via the internet copyrighted material without the permission of the rights holders. It can be done through websites, email or through peer-to-peer file transfers. With the influx of netizens, this method would probably be the easiest way to grab a copy of the pirated material.
  5. Camcording – it is quite similar with bootleg but this act is done with the use of a lightweight, handheld camera, especially the one that records data in digital form onto a storage device such as a videotape, DVD, or hard disk. So basically, one pirates a movie or a video by taking a video of the video being played, more like an inception of videos or rather a video within a video.
  6. Signal or Cable Theft – it is the act of obtaining unauthorized access to cable television services. Here in the Philippines, it is more commonly known as the “jumper” wherein you connect another wire to the original cable wire to somewhat have an extension and let two televisions benefit from the single cable line.

But these merely represent the whole chain of startling methods to pirate data. There are a lot of ways other than the stated to “steal” whatever is not under your rights and use them for your own commercial gain.

That is exactly just how I would define piracy, an act of stealing and robbery or an unauthorized use of copyrighted material to benefit you and gain from it.

Here in the Philippines, piracy is very rampant and is somehow accepted by the public, mainly because it is more practical to buy the same content for a much cheaper price. There are even places known to everyone as the “domicile of pirated materials” such as the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, Metrowalk in Ortigas and Divisoria in Manila. Although there are these well-known hide-outs where all the pirates gather to sell their pirated products, a person will still be able to find wandering vendors sneakily whispering to their ears the words “DVD sir, ma’am” constantly. Some narrow streets have been populated by illegal vendors as well and even some houses in Manila have pirated discs posted just outside their windows. Generally, piracy is out of control in the country and the citizens don’t pay too much attention on this illegal industry that seems to grow really fast.

With the given motion for a debate that is – Philippines celebrates software piracy as a force for development, I easily made up my mind and decided to write a journal entry about this topic.

Although there are a set of laws that are anti-piracy in the Philippines, it will still be hard to diminish the outbreak of pirated goods. Just as other crimes like sexual abuse and murders are hard to eradicate, it is hardly different when it comes to piracy.

Piracy is not something a lone person could commit. The target market is essential for it to continue and still prevail despite the actions done by the government to eliminate this rising problem. The family of pirates is not only made up of the people who intentionally do the act of pirating or stealing but also consists of those who patronize their work. Their consumers greatly affect their determination to use piracy as a means to earn a living and develop economically.

Personally, I don’t think Philippines celebrates software piracy as a force for development for that would mean that the government would permit the noncompliant citizens and their fascination with piracy. Looking at the situation in a realistic way, there will never be a humane way to completely do away with this illegal industry. Somehow it finds its way to persist in the market even though the government pays attention to the crisis.

Considering that my family and I are constant consumers of pirated goods such as music discs and digital video discs, I would rather keep the industry and benefit from it even though it is definitely not ethical for those companies we are stealing from. But eventually, if this grows more as a problem in our country that it causes the companies to close down, then maybe it will be better if piracy just goes to the past and be totally banned in the country; because what is there to pirate if there aren’t even original materials to steal?

All in all, I don’t really believe that our country celebrates software piracy as a force for development because we can barely see any development resulting from it. There are only mishaps and more criminals caught from piracy.

It is piracy, not overt online music stores, which is our main competitor. (Steve Jobs, 2010)
Word count: 931

What If...

What if the Philippines never really withdrew from the colonizing hands of the Americas? What if we became the 51st state of the United States of America? How would our country look now and who would benefit from it?

First of all, if the Americans did not leave the country sixty six years ago, we would still have their military bases planted in the provinces in the North like Tarlac and Pampanga. Philippines will definitely be inhabited by many Americans and probably by other foreign nationals as well. The country would adopt most, if not all, of the policies and the set of laws imposed by the U.S. government on the states in mainland America. With all these at hand, eventually, the term “Filipino” will slowly perish and will become one with the languages that have already gone extinct; and the citizens of the Philippines, will be collectively called by something else.

Philippines will be the “swimming capital” of America with all the pristine beaches running from the northern tip of Luzon to the edge of Mindanao. With the possibility of making a great impact and a loud entrance in the world of tourism, U.S. government would probably develop the Philippines especially the astonishing sites like Amanpulo and Boracay. The Philippines will definitely be a very famous tourist spot to be visited by adventurous tourists who love the beach that are coming from different countries all over the world. Hopefully, preservation and conservation will come alongside the development and changes they would make in the country.

To be a world class tourist spot and since they will be having their military and naval bases here in the Philippines, they would see the need to invest a lot of money to improve the total fa├žade of the country. Roads shall be smoothed out by asphalt; electrical lines shall be underground; wastes shall be properly controlled and minimized; a new airport shall replace the old one; and Philippines, in general, just needs to be improved. After all, the money spent on the enhancement of the total look of the country would be compensated by the profit Philippines would get from tourism.

Aside from being a world class tourist spot, investors would also gain interest in putting up a business in a country run by the United States of America. This, in turn, would provide job opportunities for the citizens of the Philippines and be an aid in developing the country economically. Poverty would diminish in time and concepts such as death rate, birth rate, migration rate, infant mortality, life expectancy, fertility rate, literacy rate and the gross domestic product would improve. If these concepts or factors improve a lot then that would signal the start of the development of the country as a whole and this would mean that Philippines is finally having a step forward towards being a developed country.

These are just some of the benefits Philippines would get from being the 51st state of USA of the top of my head. Indeed, we will benefit greatly from it and there are many other advantages that can be named; in fact, there are numerous ways the Philippines could benefit from being the 51st state of USA. But in conjunction with the pros are the cons and one of the bad outcomes Philippines could get from it is the threat of being always attacked by the anti-US terrorists. Since the Philippines is in close proximity and surrounded by the countries like China, Japan and North Korea which are known for being anti-Americanism, the country becomes a great target for these neighboring nations if in case something goes wrong and they would like to spark up a war. These anti-US terrorist movements would love to destroy the military and naval bases of the US in the Philippines just because it is a smaller target and is far from the mainland making it hard for the Americans to respond immediately.

Although we may suffer from threats such as these, it is still undeniable that the Philippines would greatly benefit from being the 51st state of the United States of America.

But what if we already fought for our independence and gained it sixty six years ago and only thought of the benefits we would get from being the 51st state of the USA now? How would other Filipinos view this? Would the Americans themselves permit us to be their 51st state?

From an online discussion, I found out that many Americans would rather not have Philippines as one of their states for a number of reasons. They believe that the bad situation of poverty here in the Philippines would be a very big problem for them and would cost them so much considering the recession currently happening in their country. Also the distance between the mainland USA and the Philippines would be another problem in “Americanizing” the Philippines. They also think that the idea of making the Philippines the 51st state of the USA is quite impossible since Filipinos are too proud and nationalistic. There was even this ridiculous and quite gibberish response which says that there will be complications involved in uniformly placing 51 stars on the flag.

Overall, if Philippines really wanted to be the 51st state of the United States of America, then it will call for a petition. Signatures from the Americans would be needed and with the number of negative response on that online discussion alone, it could be concluded that it is highly impossible that the Philippines would be able to collect the needed amount of signatures on time. Besides, many Filipinos also refuse and rebuke this idea; they can see it as a demeaning action and just a product of the colonial mentality most Filipinos have.

With globalization just around the corner, it wouldn’t hurt Philippines to be joining America again. With the state of the world right now, it is very likely that there will be another world war in the coming years and it would be intelligent to join USA and have an alliance with them.

Personally, I would love Philippines to be the 51st state of America. Not only does it permit me to travel freely and enter different countries without needing visas but it may also be a way to finally alleviate the worsening situation of poverty in the country. Also, faulty rules of our unworthy leaders would be terminated. Despite being the 51st state, I would still love to preserve the essence of being a Filipino and keep the culture to even influence the other countries to adopt the Filipino culture.

So, what if Philippines became the 51st state of the United States of America? I guess, it will probably be the same. Only, we are now called the citizens of a group of states under a common government more commonly known as the United States of America.

word count: 1,147