by xiaojizi, Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:57:50 PM EDT
Ask most people how they define the American Dream and chances are they'll say, "Success." The dream of individual opportunity has been home in American since Europeans discovered a "new world" in the Western Hemisphere. Early immigrants like Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur praised highly the freedom and opportunity to be found in this new land. His glowing descriptions of a classless society where anyone could attain success through honesty and hard work fired the imaginations of many European readers: in Letters from an American Farmer (1782) he wrote Mabinogi online gold
. "We are all excited at the spirit of an industry which is unfettered and unrestrained, because each person works for himself ... We have no princes, for whom we toil，starve, and bleed: we are the most perfect society now existing in the world Mabinogi gold
." The promise of a land where "the rewards of a man's industry follow with equal steps the progress of his labor" drew poor immigrants from Europe and fueled national expansion into the western territories buy Mabinogi gold
Our national mythology is full of illustration the American success story. There's Benjamin Franklin, the very model of the self-educated, self-made man, who rose from modest origins to become a well-known scientist, philosopher, and statesman. In the nineteenth century, Horatio Alger, a writer of fiction for young boys, became American's best-selling author with rags-to-riches tales cheap Mabinogi gold
The notion of success haunts us: we spend million every year reading about the rich and famous, learning how to "make a fortune in real estate with no money down," and "dressing for success." The myth of success has even invaded our personal relationships: today it's as important to be "successful" in marriage or parenthoods as it is to come out on top in business Mabinogi money
But dreams easily turn into nightmares. Every American who hopes to "make it" also knows the fear of failure, because the myth of success inevitably implies comparison between the haves and the have-nots, the stars and the anonymous crowd. Under pressure of the myth, we become indulged in status symbols: we try to live in the "right" neighborhoods, wear the "right" clothes, eat the "right" foods. These symbols of distinction assure us and others that we believe strongly in the fundamental equality of all, yet strive as hard as we can to separate ourselves from our fellow citizens.
by xiaojizi, Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:56:25 PM EDT
When families gather for Christmas dinner, some will stick to formal traditions dating back to Grandma's generation. Their tables will be set with the good dishes and silver, and the dress code will be Sunday-best.
But in many other homes, this china-and-silver elegance has given way to a stone ware-and-stainless informality, with dresses assuming an equally casual-Friday look. For hosts and guests, the change means greater simplicity and comfort. For makers of fine china in Britain, it spells economic hard times buy Mabinogi gold
Last week Royal Doulton, the largest employer in Stoke-on-Trent, announced that it is eliminating 1,000 jobs--one-fifth of its total workforce Mabinogi online gold
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Although a strong pound and weak markets in Asia play a role in the downsizing, the layoffs in Stoke have their roots in earthshaking social shifts cheap Mabinogi gold
. A spokesman for Royal Doulton admitted that the company "has been somewhat slow in catching up with the trend" toward casual dining. Families eat together less often, he explained, and more people eat alone, either because they are single or they eat in front of television;
by xiaojizi, Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:21:46 PM EDT
In this age of Internet chat, videogames and reality television, there is no shortage of mindless activities to keep a child occupied. Yet, despite the competition, my 8-year-old daughter Rebecca wants to spend her leisure time writing short stories. She wants to enter one of her stories into a writing contest, a competition she won last year.
As a writer I know about winning contests, and about losing them. I know what it is like to work hard on a story only to receive a rejection slip from the publisher aion gold
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. What if she doesn't win the contest again? That's the strange thing about being a parent. So many of our own past scars and dashed hopes can surface cheap aion gold
A revelation came last week when I asked her, "Don't you want to win again?""No," she replied, "I just want to tell the story of an angel going to first grade."
by xiaojizi, Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:19:15 PM EDT
Public distrust of scientists stems in part from the blurring of boundaries between science and technology, between discovery and manufacture. Most government, perhaps all governments, justify public expenditure on scientific research in terms of the economic benefits the scientific enterprise ha brought in the past and will bring in the future. Politicians remind their voters of the splendid machines `our scientists' have invented aion gold
, the new drugs to relieve old ailments, and the new surgical equipment and techniques by which previously intractable conditions may now be treated and lives saved aion money
. At the same time, the politicians demand of scientists that they tailor their research to `economics needs', that they award a higher priority to research proposals that are `near the market' and can be translated into the greatest return on investment in the shortest time cheap aion gold
. Dependent, as they are, on politicians for much of their funding, scientists have little choice but to comply. Like the rest of us, they are members of a society that rates the creation of wealth as the greatest possible good cheap aion money
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In such circumstances no one should be too hard on people who are suspicious of conflicts of interest. When we learn that the distinguished professor assuring us of the safety of a particular product holds a consultancy with the company making it, we cannot be blamed for wondering whether his fee might conceivably cloud his professional judgment. Even if the professor holds no consultancy with any firm, some people many still distrust him because of his association with those who do, or at least wonder about the source of some his research funding.
This attitude can have damaging effects. It questions the integrity of individuals working in a profession that prizes intellectual honesty as the supreme virtue, and plays into the hands of those who would like to discredit scientists by representing then a venal. This makes it easier to dismiss all scientific pronouncements, but especially those made by the scientists who present themselves as `experts'. The scientist most likely to understand the safety of a nuclear reactor, for example, is a nuclear engineer declares that a reactor is unsafe, we believe him, because clearly it is not to his advantage to lie about it. If he tells us it is safe, on the other hand, we distrust him, because he may well be protecting the employer who pays his salary.