Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fourth Blog Assignment: Chapter 7 Summary "The Right Sort of Madness"

          In this chapter, Ronson just returns from Florida where he interviewed Al Dunlap in hopes of gaining more information on psychopathic CEOs. After meeting with a Adam Curtis, a friend and documentary maker, Jon begins to question his own sanity and journalistic style. A specific quote from Adam that led to this questioning is, "we all do it. We wait for the gems. And the gems invariably turn out to be the madness." After deciding that some journalists try to find people with mental disorders because they are their best interviewees, Ronson tries to justify this behavior by providing the example of Charlotte Scott. He feels that this women does something worse for a career. Charlotte answered phones for a TV show hot line and asked these people what medications he or she is taking. Her job was to find contestants that were "just mad enough".
          Reflecting on chapters 6 and 7, I found the research methods of Ronson to be very interesting. Are his methods ethical? Ronson's interviewees are usually not aware of his true motives relating to psychopathy. I also found it very interesting that he began to question his career and felt comfort in finding someone with a career that completed actions of a more destructive means then the ones he participated in. This may also be a result of his anxiety disorder. In chapter 7, we are also first introduced to his wife, Elaine. This introduction brings a more personal connection between the reader and Ronson. Finally, I thought it was odd the way Ronson judged Al's wife. He states, "what sort of a women loved a man like that." Then later we learn that Ronson's wife now can identify lots of people they know as psychopaths. This shows the support she has for her husbands unique obsessions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Third Blog Assignment: Research Question

What are the advantages and disadvantages of attending a university verses the advantages and disadvantages of attending a community college?

Does the college you attend really have a huge impact on the future of an individual and his or her ability to obtain a job after graduation?

           I have chosen this question because, as a freshmen in college, I just went through the process of finding the right school for me, but I ran out of time to do research on the above concept involved with choosing a college. I will start looking for answers by searching for primary sources on the Internet and conducting interviews with a variety of diverse college graduates. The answer to this question will show that both types of schools will have advantages and disadvantages, as well as people living successful lives as graduates from both. With this said, I plan to look more into what each type of school has to offer for a student. I may run into possible problems regarding the fact that stating which type is better can often be seen as an opinion. Also, there are private and public universities. This may involve more research then I first suspected.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Second Blog Assignment: Chapter 4 Summary "The Psychopath Test"

         In this particular chapter, Jon Ronson continues to gain as much information as he can about psychopaths in hopes of determining if Tony is a psychopath, or if indeed he really is falsely accused. Jon meets with many experts on the subject. The main one from this chapter is Bob Hare, the creator of the PCL-R checklist and influence man in the research done on psychopaths. Bob's research is more on detection of psychopathy, not how to cure it. First, he performed the electric shock test on volunteers, both psychopaths and non-psychopaths. He found that the psychopaths never feared what was coming, while the non-psychopaths were scared shown by much perspiration. His next experiment consisted of the Startle Reflex Test. After being shown gruesome images, the psychopath would remain calm and show little to  no emotion. Then in 1975 Bob organized with many researchers and psychiatrists to observe the behaviors of a psychopath using the PCL-R checklist. By the end of the chapter, Jon came to understand Bob and Martha's theory about a malfunctioning relationship between the amygdala ant the central nervous system of a psychopath, and now has a strong desire to discover and research psychopaths that hold high positions of power in society and the negative effects this may be causing.
         In my opinion, it is quite scary to think that psychopaths could be the politicians and CEOs in our current society. It also unreal that a person has difficulty feeling any emotion and will stop at nothing to gain the maximum amount of power. In these two chapters it was also alto easier to read  about gruesome images, especially the bloodbaths of Constant's reign, because they are expected to be included and I mentally prepared myself for them. I also find it interesting that Jon Ronson is researching a mental disorder when he has a type of mental disorder himself. This idea occurs again at the end of chapter 4 when he describes that his "desire to unearth it outweighed any anxieties that were bubbling up inside". I thought the fake crying scene in chapter 5 was extremely odd, but it was a good example of what Bob said about psychopaths often faking emotion.