I really didn't like that there was almost no information on Mauritania, but so much information on India. I wasn't sure whether to direct my anger towards being assigned this place, or towards the stereotypical ignorance that we have for Africa in general. Either way, I was quite angry and wasn't entirely sure what to do about it.
Based in the theory of Five point Framework from the book Collapse by Jared Diamond, this project above was made with the propose of evaluate and grade (0-10) the collapsibility of two country by comparing each other.
The first country France, officially called the French Republic. It’s the second largest country in Europe (with 65,350,000 of people). The capital is Paris; the official language is the French, and the currency the Euro. They have a unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic government.
In the other hand we have Romania, a Southern European country, with a smaller population (just 19,042,936 people). The capital is Bucharest; the official language is Romanian, and their government is unitary semi-presidential republic. Like France, Romania also has as currency the Euro.
Both part of the European Union and they are in a very good condition of life in general. Those facts make harder the job of evaluate collapsibility and the criterion to grade it. Also my knowledge in cybernetics is poor, this I would like to change in a future presentation.
Overall by the process of making this project, I enjoy it and learned a lo about those two countries, and I was very impress with how those five point framework apply to any community, and even those that we think are very advance, had their point where they are weak.
North Korea is located on the Korean Penninsula between China and South Korea. They are an incredibly hostile country that constantly breaches the contracts of the United Nations at the risk of losing trade partners. Fortunately for them, China is a big enough ally and power to protect them.
Mauritania is a LDC (least developed country). They have an almost nonexistent economy and many water and crop problems. They're located in the western corner of Africa surrounded by Mali., Senegal, Morocco and Algeria.
My first thought for this project was how to make my project not boring without forcing myself to do more than I was capable. I instantly thought my best bet would be a Prezi, because not only can I work well through Prezi, it is easy to make an entertaining and knowledgeable project through it. I did all of my research first; using the five point framework as the basis of everything I gathered. Once I had all the research I placed them in the proper categories and graded each country.
The five point framework was pretty straightforward except for climate and environmental damage. In some instances, it was hard to tell what was a climate change problem and what was a environmental problem. In a lot of situations they can be interchangeable so it was hard to decide which would go where.
The one thing I would change about the project would be the final product. I think having a verbal debate rather than turning in a physical project is more effective. At the end, the entire class can vote on the grades for the five point framework of the country.
For this project, I researched the countries of Taiwan and Armenia. Taiwan is an island to the south east of the Chinese mainland, while Armenia was one of the first European countries to adopt Christianity as its official religion. Both of these countries have similar problems like irreversible environmental damage of its environment, they both have a past with hostile neighbors who have tried to overthrow both nations, and both have presidents who are not putting as much importance into environmental policies as they should be. The difference is that Taiwan keeps connections with its hostile neighbor China, because it benefits the island’s trade levels, while Armenia has not communication with Azerbaijan because of their dispute over territory. Another difference is that Taiwan is much more industrialized than is Armenia. This puts Taiwan on a higher range in the trade category, but on a lower range on the Environmental soundness category. Armenia is less industrialized and relies on mining for trade, putting them lower on both the trade and the environmental soundness categories. In essence, both countries have their kinks to work out. Though they continue to stand as nations, they must first resolve these small problems in order to avoid collapsing.
My process of this project was very tedious. Because of family circumstances, I am currently living in my grandmother’s house with no internet access, and was there fore obligated to use a smart phone for most of my research. I spent most of my free time these past two days researching these two countries and incorporated the information that I used for my “global trade, local cost” blog post in my benchmark for Taiwan’s information. I tried as hard as I can to fit this benchmark into my free time, but had so many things going on, that it was difficult to get a lot of information for the project in my work periods.
The Five points framework helped me because it gave me a guideline to follow for my research of the two countries. The easiest point on the framework was the climate and environmental damage category. There is a lot of information out there about the steps that international countries are taking build a greener environment. The hardest point on framework to research was the hostile neighbor category. Most of the hostile relationships of these two countries occurred many years ago. It was hard to find credible resources for this information, as most of these disputes are either settled or looked over currently.
If I could do this project one more time, I would start it earlier. As mentioned, I had a lot of work to do during the transcourse of this project, and feel as though if I would have started earlier, I could have finished earlier and saved myself some last minute stress. I would have started my research of Armenia a little earlier, as I did Taiwan. Prior research of Taiwan helped me in the process of completing this project, so I feel like I should have done the same for Armenia.
This project got me thinking about or Collapsibility range. The United States has friendly neighbors, and has friendly trade partners, but also has a lot of debt to countries like China. We also are a large nation, which put us to an advantage. We are also taking measures to create a greener environment and give voice to the people for modifications of law and government. I feel like the United States is pretty stable, accept for our trade patterns. If we don’t pay back our debt and start to take care of the resources that we have (we can’t use too much of our resources), we might collapse.
Here is the link to my text, sources and compare and contrast on these two nations
Here's the link to my benchmark.
Overall, this benchmark was a little challenging, but nothing that couldn't be handled. It taught me a lot about my election day country and one of the countries from my group study. I wanted to really go beyond what I needed to do for this project and even though I found myself cramming work in during the end, I feel like my overall project is pretty good. There are still a few things that need to be added onto the project, but for the most part, it's finished.
I selected Algeria and Uganda. Both countries reside in Africa (Algeria in the north and Uganda in Subsaharan). Although they both come from the same place, they're not equal in achievements and developments when it comes to the five point framework. Algeria is a little more advanced in its development of a country whereas Uganda still has a lot of trouble with natural resources, neighboring and societal issues.
I began doing my research a little later than I had expected to, but once I got to it, it wasn't really that hard to do. I did my research and made sure to make notes as I went along during the process. Once I had done the majority of my resources, I put it together in a PDF document that showed some creativity along with my knowledge of these countries.
The five point framework taught me a lot along the way. I learned more about Jared Diamond's view on the world and how societies grew as a whole. For the most part, it was really easy, but I found myself stuck when it came to neighbors/trade partners. But I got through it with some help from Google!
If I could change one thing about my benchmark, it would definitely be the process I went through. I should have started my work earlier to produce a better benchmark because I know that the information inside the benchmark isn't as fulfilling as it could be. I would have started earlier so I could produce the best work possible. But overall, I'm happy with my finished product.
I really enjoyed this project. It gave me a new perspective of a lot of things and allowed me to view another country that I probably never would have if I didn't do this project. I'm now able to talk about a couple of countries and how they relate to the five point framework in Jared Diamond's Collapse book.
For my Q3 Benchmark, I selected Slovakia, which is located in Central Europe, and Afghanistan, which is located in Central Asia. They both are basically completely different countries that have many differences and some similarities in many ways. I basically rated the collapsibility of each country based on the five point framework from Jared Diamond's "Collapse". The five point framework is Environmental Damage, Society's response to environmental problems, Friendly trade partners, and hostile neighbors. The process was pretty interesting for me, especially the time. I spent most of my time researching whereas I should have started putting toghether the project. For the wordpress work, we put our country's sources under the five point framework and it made it easier for me to put toghether the project. One thing I do think I should have done is I should not have procrastinated alot. Most of the time I pushed the BM off thinking I had time to do it but it soon came time to finish it up and I had a bit of trouble with time management. I did put alot of effort and time into the BM though, spending hours doing research and developing the best responses and collapsibility ratings for my countries, going in deep detail and long explanation. I also spent a large amount of time trying to find photos to make the product look nice and creative. Overall, I think my project is put together well and has good information entailed in it. As for the 5 point framework, doing the research was definitely the hardest part of all, especially because you needed the research to develop a true statement. Other than that, I think the 5 point framework was relatively easy to deal with and I think I had the necessary tools to assess the five point framework for my countries in my own mind. It was pretty straightforward, it just needed the time and thinking and that is exactly what I spent time doing and perfecting. If I could change one thing about my product, it would probably be the design or the format, because I feel like I could have taken it to another level with creativity; nevertheless, I think I did a great job overall. I would also try to take back time and start the project earlier while doing the research so that i could multitask and get more done. I think this was a fantastic BM that really tested my ability to assess my countries and really learn a deeper understanding of the possible things that might make a country collapse and have problems, and how many of those problems are intertwined. I had a great experience that I definitely recommend to the students next year.
The countries I examined for this benchmark were Poland and El Salvador. Poland is located in Eastern Europe (bordering the Baltic Sea) and El Salvador is in Central America. Both have been experiencing environmental damage and climate change due to heavy pollution from the local population and industries. Although El Salvador's conditions are much harsher, the people have done more to react to the damage and conditions than Poland's people have. However, the two nations are both stable when it comes to trade and neither one of them have an overhanging threat of war.
I was able to come across all this information by doing very in depth research. Going into this benchmark, I already had information on Poland's environmental damage because of previous assignments. So, I just took a step forward and researched the affects of this environmental damage, and most of the sources I came across also included information about Poland's response to the damage and climate change. Looking at the path I walked down when researching this with Poland (my keywords and google news searches), I merely did the same thing with El Salvador. Any general information or named organizations I came across I then researched separately to see what that was all about. Furthermore, researching the friendly trade partners and hostile neighbors were also very closely interlinked. I began with the CIA World Factbook for general information on what they trade, who they trade with, and what international problems/disputes they had recently. From there, I searched other sources for more specific information and facts. Also, if I did not come across much information this way on the hostile neighbors, I simply looked up who the neighbors of the two countries were and searched for the relations between the countries and their neighbors. This gave me the information I needed.
So, finding the information for the 5-point framework was simple enough. But, ranking them was a different story. I wasn't sure how to tell if certain conditions were necessarily "irreversible" or how much events that happened decades before affected the international relations of today. Therefore, actually analyzing the countries' collapsibility this way was a little difficult.
In the end, the only regret I have for my project is that it isn't very creative. I spent all my time and energy collecting facts and sources, so the only creative part of my project was that I made a little "red-to-green scale" video for my ranking - which I can't even show on SLATE. If I had more time to actually put the information together and more room around all my fact and information, I would have put in more pictures and maybe videos of interviews that I came across. However, as my project stands now, I am content. I did the best I could with researching and getting the information across and it is not horrible to look at. I'm satisfied.
Using the five-point framework was generally straightforward, although there were times when it was hard for me to separate the relevant from the irrelevant information when I was writing, because I'm always tempted to include every piece of information I have. I think I managed to do it well in the end. I do wish the whole piece was a little nicer looking, though. I think if I could do it again, I would make it more professional-looking.
The countries I chose were Japan and Serbia. The countries share a lot of commonalities involving environmental damages. My project overall discusses all of the five point framework points and also involves the ratings that I gave the country based on their performance. I decided to present my work on a pages document and convert it as a PDF file for online. I created my work in the same layout as a previous student's project at SLA. I really enjoyed the way she showed her project the way everything was organized. It was easy to read and to me I felt it was exotic yet fun and NOT boring.
Deciding on the ratings from the different countries I realized that I had to really be strict about it because this was the real deal to me. I felt as though it was complicated but then again it wasn't. I had a hard time trying to figure out, which number I wanted to give each country based on their environmental damages, climate changes and so forth. It was the point where I had to judge both countries on the same frame point. It got to the point where I didn't really focus on what other people thought because this was my opinion not any one else's.
If I were to do this project again I wouldn't wait til last minute like I did with this project. I would use my time wisely next time. I would also try to use a different kind if layout instead of going straight for Kimbery Bush's layout. It was creative and well thought out I believed I also think that maybe if I would have taken my time doing this project I would have though up a better way to present my work rather then following someone's layout.
If you don't see the project on the blog, use the following links:
Click here to view my project. (Dropbox)
If you prefer to view the project in Google Doc form, click here.
*Images may appear a bit blurry on the web.
The countries that I selected for my third quarter benchmark are China and Guinea-Bissau. Both countries share a large number of similarities environmentally and geographically. This project compares the various aspects of collapse of nations that are highlighted in Jared Diamond's book titled, Collapse. China is a very prosperous country in East Asia and holds the world's second largest economy and is the world's largest agricultural trader. While China is well established as a country, dense in population, very productive, and depended upon by other countries for trade, such as Taiwan, China has some instabilities that have serious potential to harm or completely fracture it as a country. Guinea-Bissau also has similar instabilities, but is an entirely different country that is poor, not well established (government wise), susceptible to more domestic threats, and depends on imports from neighboring countries to survive. The situations that contribute to societal collapse are addressed in this project to offer a clearer comparisons of the two countries and a informational medium for the public to access about both of these very interesting countries.
The project required a lot of research into each of these countries. In order to complete the research, we were given two projects that would help us dive right into the information of both of these countries consecutively. One project was our Region Project in which I (in a group) focused on East Asia - China for me particularly. During this project, I researched all of the things needed to assess the 5-point-framework that contributes to societal collapse, even though the project only called for research of local costs and economical facts about East Asia (China in my case). The other project was our Voter Turnout project in which we attempted to contact someone from a foreign country (Guinea-Bissau in my case). During this project I was also able to research the various aspects that contribute to societal collapse in Guinea-Bissau. Once I had good enough source (though not entirely idea), I started to take many notes and then compile information in a pages document that I organized with various shapes and colors to make it appealing. I then assessed each point in Jared Diamond's 5-point-framework of societal collapse.
It was fairly easy to research the points of "Environmental Damage Climate Change" because the sources are easy to access and the news is widespread about the countries. However, it was extremely difficult to find information on the hostile neighbors of the countries, their trade dependency, and the actions that these countries are taking to counteract environmental issues of climate change. I think that it is easiest to find things about the environment because they leave such impact that is widely recognized by the world, but everything else such as how the governments of these countries are approaching the issues and what is being done, is extremely hard to research because it is less recognized material. I wish I could have found more reputable sources that could give me straightforward answers, but what I found was sufficient in understanding each of the countries. Information about other countries also tends to be hard to access for some reason.
If I could change one thing about my project, I would have added visuals to add to the whole creativity of the project. There are no visuals in my product, simply because they did not fit as I would have liked them to and I had previously used many images in my previous projects. I did not feel images were necessary, but I do think they would have added to the final product now. Guinea-Bissau was hard to contact in my previous project and the country was just as hard to research. It appears that not many sources for this country exist and the reason being is because this country and countries like it do no receive the recognition they should. I had never heard of Guinea to begin with. China on the other hand was easier to research and therefore I included more information about China in the project. Only thing is that I wish I could spend more time working on this project.