"The reputation of anyone who is subjected to media scrutiny will eventually be diminished."
The intensity of today's media coverage has been greatly magnified by the sheer number and types of media outlets that are available today. Intense competition for the most revealing photographs and the latest information on a subject has turned even minor media events into so-called "media frenzies". Reporters are forced by the nature of the competition to pry ever deeper for an angle on a story that no one else has been able to uncover. With this type of media coverage, it does become more and more likely that anyone who is subjected to it will have his or her reputation tarnished, as no individual is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The advances in technology have made much information easily and instantaneously available. Technology has also made it easier to dig further than ever before into a person's past, increasing the possibility that the subject's reputation may be harmed.
The above statement is much too broad, however. "Anyone" covers all people all over the world. There are people whose reputations have only been enhanced by media scrutiny. There are also people whose reputations were already so poor that media scrutiny could not possibly diminish it any further. There may very well be people that have done nothing wrong in the past, at least that can be discovered by the media, whose reputations could not be diminished by media scrutiny. To broadly state that "anyone" subjected to media coverage will have his or her status sullied implies that everyone's reputation worldwide is susceptible to damage under any type of media scrutiny. What about children, particularly newborn children? What about those people whose past is entirely unknown?
Another problem with such a broad statement is that it does not define the particular level of media scrutiny. Certainly there are different levels of media coverage. Does merely the mention of one's name in a newspaper constitute media scrutiny? What about the coverage of a single event in someone's life, for example a wedding or the birth of a baby? Is the media coverage of the heroic death of a firefighter or police officer in the line of duty ever going to diminish that person's reputation? It seems highly unlikely that in these examples, although these people may have been subjected to media scrutiny, these individual's reputations are undamaged and potentially enhanced by such exposure.
Without a doubt, there are many examples of individual's whose reputations have been diminished by media scrutiny. The media's uncovering of former U.S. President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky will most likely overshadow the entire eight years of his administration. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan's sterling reputation has been tarnished more than once by the media; first by media coverage of his gambling habits, then most recently (and in a much more harmful manner) by news reports of his marital infidelities and the divorce from his wife of thirteen years. Fame and fortune can turn an ordinary individual into a media target where reporters will stop at almost nothing to "dig up dirt" that will sell more newspapers or entice more viewers to watch a television program. It could even be argued that media scrutiny killed Princess Diana as her car sped away from the privacy-invading cameras of reporters in Paris. There is no doubt that there are a large number of people who have been hurt in one way or another by particularly intense media scrutiny.
毫无疑问，也有许多例子能证明一个人的名声会被媒体审视所毁损。媒体对美国前总统Bill Clinton与Monica Lewinsky的风流韵事的揭露极有可能会将其八年的执政生涯置于阴影之中。超级篮球明星Michael Jordan一世英名也被媒体不止一次地玷污，首先是被有关其赌习的媒体报道，其次是最近--且以一种更具致命性伤害的方式--被有关他婚姻不忠以及与其结婚13年的妻子分道扬镳的报道。当媒体记者不择手段去挖掘某些可促使其报纸销量大增的"猛料"时，或去诱惑更多的观众观看某一电视节目时，名和利就会将一个普通人转变为媒体追踪的目标。我们甚至可以提出这样一种论点，即正是媒体的审视将Diana王妃置于死地，随着她的汽车去竭力逃脱巴黎街头的记者们那侵犯隐私的相机镜头。毫无疑问，肯定有许多人被极其强烈的媒体聚焦以一种方式或另一种方式所伤害。
In summary, it seems impossible that for every person that is subjected to media scrutiny, his or her reputation will eventually be diminished. Millions of people are mentioned in the media every day yet still manage to go about their lives unhurt by the media. Normal individuals that are subjected to media scrutiny can have their reputation either enhanced or damaged depending on the circumstances surrounding the media coverage. The likelihood of a diminished reputation from the media rises proportionally with the level of notoriety that an individual possesses and the outrageousness of that person's behavior. The length of time in the spotlight can also be a determining factor, as the longer the person is examined in the media, the greater the possibility that damaging information will be discovered or that the individual will do something to disparage his or her reputation. But to broadly state that media scrutiny will diminish anyone's reputation is to overstate the distinct possibility that, given a long enough time and a certain level of intensity of coverage, the media may damage a person's reputation.
To state that the study of history is only valuable if it is relevant to our daily lives is to ignore the value that history has beyond the day-to-day activities of human beings. It would seem to be a rather shallow statement that implies that humans only live just to survive rather than planning for the futures of their children and the environment.
"People work more productively in teams than individually. Teamwork requires cooperation, which motivates people much more than individual competition does."
Teamwork as a whole can naturally produce an overall greater productivity through the concept of "synergy", where the total of the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. But the idea that people work more productively in teams rather than as individuals is going to vary greatly between the types of teams that are organized, the end reward or motivation for both the team and the individuals, as well as the individuals themselves.
Regarding individuals, some people are born with the desire to succeed, no matter what the situation or task that they are facing. These people may evolve into the classic "Type A" personalities that work ferociously because they are driven by an internal fire that says they must always be doing something, whether individually or as part of a team. Other people may desire to be less socially involved or are very highly competitive with other people. For these people, their work is most productive as individuals, because the very idea of cooperating with other people limits their effectiveness and efficiency because they simply do not want to be a part of the team. Whether this mindset is innate or developed over time does not matter, it is merely the state of their being and neither motivation nor rewards can generate inside them the desire to work collectively as a team.
Some people are highly motivated by social interaction and the desire to work with others towards a collective effort. Obviously these individuals are at their most productive when working as part of a team. Organizational behavioral studies have shown that Asian cultures are much more likely to develop this type of collective behavior as opposed to the more individualistic behavior associated with Western cultures. It could naturally be assumed then that there may be cultural values that can determine whether people are at their most productive individually or as part of a team.
Another variable is the end reward that is involved with the task at hand. Will the rewards be greater if the team works together towards a common goal, or are the rewards more geared toward individual performance? To the extent that the individual is motivated by the end reward, obviously his or her performance inside of a team may be more or less productive with respect to the entire team, depending on how the performance is rewarded. Individual goals may interfere with the group performance. Synergies may not be achieved because the individuals are not working towards a whole "sum" but rather towards an individual reward. Productivity thus will vary for each person as a team member or as an individual depending on the degree to which that person is motivated by an individual or overall team reward.
Finally, the degree of productivity of a person will depend upon the type of team that is organized. Is the group composed of equally contributing individuals? Does the group have an outstanding leader that can motivate both the individuals and the team as a whole? From a pure productivity standpoint, the presence or absence of a charismatic and exceptional leader can make all the difference whether a person would be more productive as a part of a team or as an individual. Personality types that work well together can prove to be much more productive as part of a team than as individuals, and vice versa.
Fundamentally, measures of productivity depend greatly on the individuals themselves. The dilemma facing leaders in all areas of life is how to best assess these individuals to determine how to best harness their capabilities to reach their ultimate productive capabilities. Whether a person is more productive alone or while working in concert with others is one of the great challenges that leaders and managers must face to accomplish tasks effectively and efficiently.
Finally, the writer notes that the decline in the amphibian population has been blamed on the introduction of trout into the park's waters in 1920, but then dismisses that argument on the purely specious basis that it does not explain the worldwide decline. This part of the argument blithely dismisses the very relevant fact that trout are known to eat amphibian eggs. This attempt to "prove a negative" is the last resort of those in search of some vain attempt to prove the truth of the matter that they are asserting. It is basically impossible to "prove a negative"; this is an attempt to shift the burden of proof back on to the nonbelievers of the argument. The global environmental situation and that of Yosemite National Park are not perfectly correlated, and the fact that the trout may very well be responsible for the decline cannot simply be dismissed without further proof.
"Colleges and universities should offer more courses on popular music, film, advertising and television because contemporary culture has much greater relevance for students than do arts and literature of the past."
To the extent that contemporary culture is, by definition, current, it does have a much more immediate impact on students and people in general than do the arts and literature of the past. Contemporaneous events directly affect everyone alive at the time because they are occurring at precisely the same time as the individual's existence. But to paraphrase a famous philosopher: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." To a great extent, past arts and literature shape who we are as people at least as much as, if not more than, contemporary culture does.
Everyone alive today is affected in one way or another by the events of the past. Past events have directly led to the way that the world is shaped today. The arts and literature are one of the most well-preserved and documented resources that can give us a direct link into what actually happened in the past. Consider the religious writings of the Bible, the Koran and those of Confucius, as well as those related to Buddhism, Hinduism and all other religions. These writings directly relate to, and in some cases to a great extent control, the behavior of human beings today even though most were written hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Artworks relating to these religions also have a profound effect. Consider Michelangelo's work in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, or the vast myriad of historic Buddhist statues throughout Asia, or the ancient Muslim mosques throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. It would be difficult to argue that contemporary culture has more relevance to today's students when compared with the relevance of these examples of past arts and literature.
At times it is difficult to determine what exactly is the difference between contemporary culture and the arts and literature of the past. Shakespeare's classic writings are continuously being adapted into current movies that are often big hits with students and the general population as a whole. Millions of people every year view classic works of art in museums all over the world. Readings of religious texts have never gone out of style with a large part of the world's population. Clashes between centuries-old cultures and religions, such as that of Western countries and Islamic extremists and that of Hindus and Muslims in India, demonstrate that the religious artifacts that could be called arts and literature of the past are very much a part of contemporary culture.
While the past can certainly not be ignored, a large part of what students must learn at university is based on contemporary culture. Most religious learning, at least of one's own religion, occurs either at home or early on in a student's education. At the university level, studies of politics, business and the computer sciences must deal in great detail with the latest advances in contemporary culture in order to remain up to date and relevant. Other subjects, such as mathematics, agriculture, and the arts and literature themselves look largely to the past for the core knowledge that is taught in these courses. The application of these lessons from the past are entirely appropriate to help put contemporary culture into some type of historical context that can help students to understand and comprehend the rapidly changing world that they are living in.
It would seem self-evident that a properly educated university student must find a balance between studying contemporary culture without neglecting the study of arts and literature of the past. The study of one is not mutually exclusive of the study of the other. The benefits of a well-rounded education come from not only knowing the state of the world as it exists today but also in knowing how the world arrived at this stage of development in the first place.
只要当代文化--依照其定义--具有当代性，它无疑比昔日的艺术和文学对学生乃至普通大众具有一种远为直接的影响。同时代的事件会直接影响到生活在那一时代的每一个人，因为它们的发生与这个人的生存正值同时。但这里我们可以复述一位著名哲学家的话，"那些无法从历史中汲取教训者注定会重蹈覆辙"。在相当大的程度上，昔日的艺术和文学造就了我们现如今的情状，其作用即使并不甚于当代文化，至少与当代文化相同。 生活于当今时代的每个人以一种或另一种方式深受过去事件的影响。昔日的事件直接导致了世界目前的运转方式。艺术和文学是保存和记载得最为完善的一种资源，它们能使我们与过去实际发生过的事情直接联系起来。 不妨考虑一下《圣经》，《可兰经》一类的宗教著作，孔子的著述，以及那些与佛教、印度教和所有其他宗教相关的著作。这些直接地与当今时代人们的行为相关，并在某些情形中在相当大的程度上控制着当今时代人们的行为，虽然它们大多数创作于数百年、甚至数千年之前。与这些宗教相关的艺术品同样也产生了深远的影响。我们不妨考虑一下梵蒂冈西斯廷教堂内米开朗琪罗的作品，或遍布亚洲的无数具有历史性意义的佛教像，或者散布在整个中东和中亚地区的古代穆斯林清真寺。与这些过去的艺术和文学实例的相关性相比，当代文化被说成与当今学生更密切相关，这一论点是难以成立的。