Transcending Words: How To Convince

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Today in my physics class, for non-physics students, my professor scrawled the familiar equation:

E = MC2

Then he asked the class what the equation represented.  The selected, overly confident girl, name all the critical parts of Einstein’s historic equation and then espoused on how faster than light travel creates energy.  The professor corrected her, cruelly saying that science fiction society did not meet until five.  She looked shattered.

This got me thinking; how do we become assured the facts we know are true.  We cannot just assume that they are true, Kay of Men in Black attested to when he informed Will Smith “Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet.”  Just because some fact is common knowledge or explicitly communicated does not make it true, although if there are any aliens reading this I would love this quote to be proven true. ( I want to believe)  It comes down to our personal reasonings to decide what is and what is not.  Therefore, I believe those forces that inform with our reasonings and make themselves agreeable tend to shape our perceptions of reality.

This got me thinking, more so than before, what makes an argument convincing?

I personally believe the most convincing arguments are those which we can prove to ourselves without any outside pressure or assistance.  Perhaps the laws of mathematics have become a lynch pin in modern society on this principle.  Rather than feeling out soft subjective answers the cold calculus can be solved, checked, and evaluated by anyone around the world.  A math equation is hard to argue with.

However, this means those with best numbers and manipulating equations can shape reality and build bridges of “truth” that anyone can believe in.  This assurance, I believe, may have been essential to bad bankers and shady real estate salesman as they convince innocent people to take unnecessary and costly loans.  Math shapes our perceptions of the world, for better and for worse.

Another sphere of undeniable convictions is the religious one.  People’s whole lives can be dominated by religious perspectives, from evangelicals in the bible belt to whole countries throughout the Arab World.  This is neither good nor bad; it just is.  In each of these popular religions there are religious texts, the Bible and the Koran respectively.  The books speak to anyone who is willing to receive them.  I believe that by being able to talk to a person in a personal and inherently religious manner that many normal barriers can be transcended.  By talking to the soul of a person many a zealous soul can be gathered for the faith.

On one end of the spectrum there are mathematically proven facts and equations.  On the other end there are inner, unbeatable truths that rest deep inside ones soul.  I believe that with the right zeal and ideals either of these routes can communicate any idea to an audience and convince them it is true.  New equations will secure funds to send rockets to Mars.  Religious blogs and passionate webcasts are already winning heart and minds across the world.  Perhaps my errant classmate stumbled upon a book that was powerful enough to speak to her soul and change her perceptions.  I know that I have run into more than a few.

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What is “Occupy Wall Street?” : The American Variant of the Arab Spring & The Origin of the Second American Revolution

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Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested For Campaigning For Basic Human Rights

It should be noted that the Arab Spring flared in America on September 24, 2011 and has since burned brightly, lighting downtown New York City while singeing Chicago, Denver, and Los Angles.  This global revolution has taken the form Occupy Wall Street here in America.  They campaign for ethical reforms for majority of the population, which are needed to combat the unconstitutional and immoral actions of the richest 1% of the population.   In the words of Michael Moore, “Something has Started.” This is the beginning of the Second American Revolution.

What are the Occupy Wall Street Protestors Moving to Accomplish?

They want to enact economic and judicial reforms on a national scale.

They are campaigning against a broad range of failings that have hurt the American public.  Several important issues are combating corporate greed, unshackling union’s collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, and overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a Supreme Court Decision that gave corporations the right to invest unlimited funds in political campaigns.  Many demonstrators believe the financial sector, embodied by the Wall Street Stock exchange, to be at the heart of these problems.  This is why ground zero for Occupy Wall Street is in New York City; they really just want their voices to be heard in the increasingly polarized and glaringly corporate political battleground.

Will They Be Successful?

Yes.

Their protest is the American manifestation of the Arab Spring, which has uniformly been unstoppable.  The trend with this sociopolitical titan has been that nations either meet the demands of the populace or inevitably fall to rebellion.  These protests will be historically noted as the beginning of either one or the other in America.

The Arab Spring has already been felt around the world, from the revolting Arab nations successfully completing revolutions, British looting of London, and Greek riots spreading anarchy.  Everywhere people are revolting against the same issues, only the names and places are different.  It is likely historians will it call the Jasmine Revolution, after its original name with the fiery startup in Tunisia.

These initial protests may not be successful, perhaps doing little more than slowing a few investors commute.  What is significant is that Americans are mobilizing not against any specific issue, but instead against the decaying economic order.  They are protesting the schism between the astounding wealthy and the numerous poor.  This is similar to other “Jasmine Revolutions.”

How Does Occupy Wall Street Resemble the Arab Spring?

Occupy Wall Street, which can be identified as a public organization for economic reform, bears striking similarities to the origins of most Arab Spring revolutions.

The Tunisians, the first pioneer of the Arab Spring, say their revolution was sparked by “unbalanced economic growth” as well.  Egyptians revolted due to, “rising food prices, high unemployment, and the corruption that pervades economic life in the region.”  Yemen is on the verge of a regime change, because of a widely corrupt government and major “economic grievances.”  With the exception of the corruption, all of these concerns are prevalent in every region of the United States.  The maldistribuiton of wealth and resources in America parallels those of the revolting Arab States; it was only a matter of time before distraught and jobless citizens took action.

Why Has There Been Police Brutality?

I would like to make note that while there have been a few occasions, including one incident involving dangerous use of pepper spray and others where police aggressively arrested unruly protesters, on the whole Occupy Wall Street has not suffered from unexpected amounts of police brutality.  This is a large-scale, well covered protest; incidents of this nature happen during such demonstrations.   It could be much worse and much more violent.  These cases of controversial police aggression are regrettable results from the patriotic activism of the protesters going beyond conventional terms of engagement.  These protesters knew the risks when they decided to stand up for what they believed in.  The policemen are simply doing their jobs; I would not judge them too critically lest they desert our popular cause entirely.  Everybody knows they did wrong, all we can hope is that incidents do not persist.

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