Friday, October 2, 2009

My Essay That Didn't Win Anything

I wrote an eight-page essay for a scholarship contest. It didn't win.
Here are two paragraphs from my essay that didn't win anything:

Human society is a complex system, which is to say, it is not predictable; in order to know what the effect would be of a given input, it is necessary to actually experiment and find out what happens, which in turn changes the system such that if the experiment were repeated, it might have a different outcome. Not to assert that society is utterly chaotic and completely unpredictable; of course it isn't. The people of a society are able to feel secure that certain things will remain the same from day to day; this is one of the functions of a society. People within the society work to keep the society alive and functioning, there are necessary roles which support society; for instance, food production and distribution is necessary in any society, from hunter-gatherer, to complex post-industrial. In our society, that is, Portland, Oregon, we depend on a technologically advanced infrastructure to support our way of life. We need roads and houses and electrical power and computer networks. And these require constant maintenance, and this maintenance is done by the people of the society; thus they impact society, and society impacts them.
Not everyone works directly on the maintenance of the technological infrastructure. It is safe to say, I think, that most people don't, and some people are not even aware that it happens. I will add that maintenance of infrastructure is not the most important task imaginable, nor is it the defining element of civilization; the infrastructure is part of the foundation, it should not be the most interesting part of a society. Raising children and creating beautiful buildings and parks and making music and respecting the rule of law and enjoying one another's company are some of the things that happen in a healthy society. Those are the things that "make life worth living". Yet the infrastructure is necessary, in our modern society, to all those happy events. Without roads and communications networks and good drinking water the society would not have a place to be, and do those things, that show people at their best.

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Machiavelli "The Prince" Chapter XX part 5 Wordcloud

Wordle: Machiavelli "The Prince" Ch. 20

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Random Title Generator

If this generates a title of a book or short story already in existence, I assure you, it was completely random. If it generates a title you'd like to use, go right ahead! A word of thanks to those people who have created Javascript tutorials or put sample scripts up for people like me to see and learn from. (NOTE: There are a lot of words in this, some adult in nature. Just words, folks!)

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