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Blog #5


I pointed out to my peer that his thesis was not clear because it was not clear what his argument was. “This is a noble view, however, It undercuts the importance of art and ignores the positive effects it has on society. It is time to examine the point of view of Effective Altruists, the importance of art and how it affects our society, and defend the merit of creative artwork. It is important to examine the opinions and ideals behind those who oppose creative artwork, and to also examine why art is important. Though not always selfless, art is worth defending.”


While reading one of my peer’s papers, I suggested he enter some of his own opinions to help support his argument into his paragraph. “. Kaphar is trying to sell home the point that art is a reflection of society, and by holding a mirror up to ourselves, we can more clearly see what is right and wrong about the times we live in. The way Kaphar sees it, art is there to remind us of what we have done, and what should continue to be made so that we can display how far we’ve come as a society. Kaphar see that sculptures and paintings represent the ideas people had and highlight their priorities.”


I suggested that my peer move one paragraph to another location in the paper to help support another statement. The paragraph seemed to be better organized if it was moved under one of the first paragraphs instead of a closing paragraph. “Due to the revolutionizing world that we live in, standards are higher and society tends to focus on idealistic perspectives. Although art is does not help people, it allows artists to express their own ideas even though they are hindered and misunderstood. In Southan’s text, Peter Singer explains an analogy. His analogy explains the idea that if a child was drowning, one would not try to rescue them if they weren’t the one that caused the child to drown. This being a very strong analogy, supports the EA’s view on art. Singer’s question demonstrated the idea that there are bigger issues that are happening in the world, as art is not impactful enough to be beneficial to all. Effective Altruists believe that in order to save the issues in the world, one must contribute on a frequent basis or else their work is not considered helpful. In my opinion, I disagree with the EA’s opinion on making an impact, as throughout my experiences in my life I can say that I have seen and done plenty of good deeds that make an impact. I believe that art and self expression should not be focused on the amount of contribution, but by the positive impacts they make on an individual or society as a whole.”

Global Edits Vs. Local Edits

I personally had a hard time making global edits over local edits because it is easier for me to notice grammatical errors in other people’s papers when reading them. I am very picky about the wording of papers and making sure the grammar is correct so ignoring that and just looking at overall ideas was hard. I think once I adjusted to solely looking at general ideas, evidence, and organization, I made more efficient corrections. This seems to be very helpful especially when I will be revising my own paper. I think after using global edits to revise a paper I can get a more general overview of what needs to be fixed and then go back and correct the smaller, grammar or spelling mistakes.



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Blog #4

Reading and critiquing a peer’s introductory paragraph was a great experience. I enjoyed being able to point out what was positive and what needed more work. What I realized when reading a peer’s post was that I needed to check my paragraph for redundancy! I know that I can be a victim to redundancy in many long papers that I write. The most important part that I took out of this experience was that I sometime’s need someone to proof read my writing before I turn it in. Getting second opinions can help me avoid grammar and spelling errors, and hear other viewpoints that may improve my writing.

Introductory Paragraphs

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Blog #3

          Dree Urhahn and Jereon Koolhaas are the creators of a project that turned many poor neighborhoods from slums into artwork. They started as filmmakers for a documentary of a low income city in Rio. As their film was done shooting they came up with the idea to “plaster and paint” the unfinished homes of the town. This soon developed into them wanting to create “one big work of art” across the whole street. Urhahn and Koolhaas’ “design” caught the attention of the media and the press, leading them to find other areas that wanted the same. The large painting that went across dozens of houses and buildings had made this neighborhood pleasant. It had changed the townspeople’s lives, helping the outsiders see them as actual people and not “criminals.” After the help of numerous people, they were able to raise enough money to bring this to other areas in Rio, America, Curacao, and Haiti. This project had transformed not only cities but also people because of the new outlook and strong sense of community that it gave them.

          Southan’s article, Is Art a Waste of Time?, speaks of the opinion effective altruists have on using different types of art as a way to help people. This article is written by a writer whose career is based on arts. The passage discusses how people who believe in effective altruism strongly insist on solely working to relieve poverty and those who are in need. Southan describes the idea of doing good deeds via artwork versus “just handing over the money.” The EA idea is to help those who suffer by working as hard as you can and then “donating as much of it as you can.” Southan starts to see that his original idea of helping others, which was creating an amazing movie, is not as helpful as he thinks. Although he may not be doing all he possibly can, I believe that at the end of the read, Southan seems content as he is.

                    I can draw a connection between the TED Talk given by Dree Urhahn and Jereon Koolhaas to Southan’s essay because of the strong use of art, the idea of helping others and trying to make a difference. Urhahn and Koolhaas lead conclusions to how their art project in the low income neighborhoods had impacted the lives of the inhabitants. This is a clear depiction of how art is worth it and how a change in perception can change your surroundings. Vila Cruzeiro had previously been described as a town full of “crime, poverty, and drugs”. Because of artwork this city has now been called “an open-air gallery.” Using art, Urhahn and Koolhaas have been able to change the perceptions of others leading slums to become more pleasant. Southan’s article talks about the importance of helping others and making a difference. I have learned, after reading both of these articles, that helping others is important and that this can happen in many forms.

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Blog #2

As I read Is Art a Waste of Time? by Rhys Southan for the second time, I noticed a new perspective of the EA’s as described by Southan. When first reading the passage, I passed over a few important details which lead me to believe that maybe the EA is not trying to be harsh towards the arts but the general actions of others. A belief of the EA that Southan states is “Does your preferred good deed make as much of a difference as simply handing over the money? If not, how good a deed is it really?” This statement, and looking at the effective altruism website, helped swayed my view of the EA.

Southan also mentions that “As EAs see it, writing scripts and making movies demands resources that, in the right hands, could have saved lives.” I can relate this idea of the EAs to my life when trying to save money. Sometimes while I am trying to save money I put random amounts of money in my savings account after accumulating over a certain limit in my checking account. I usually will keep a limit in my checking account so I can spend money on coffee, go out to restaurants with friends, or for unexpected activities like bowling or rock climbing. Although I still am saving money occasionally, I am continuously telling myself it is okay to spend money on unnecessary things instead of putting money directly into my savings account every time I get a check. This is like how people spend thousands on making films and television shows when they are overdone, instead of limiting the amount of movies they put out so they can donate money to charity. The use of “glossing” the text was helpful to me in understanding more in the passage leading me to be less likely to get distracted and disinterested. One word I used was “utilitarian” meaning to “promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number” (

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Is Art a Waste of Time? by Rhys Southan



          In Is Art a Waste of Time? by Rhys Southan, the argument that different art forms can be used to help those who suffer was extremely powerful to me. In the beginning of this passage Southan mentions a retreat he was going on with a few friends, who are effective altruists. There, Southan starts to feel as if his work may not be as helpful to others as his friends believe everyone’s should be. Southan states “the idea that someone’s book, film, painting, or dance could be their way to reduce the world’s suffering struck Hilton as bizzare, almost to the point of incoherence.” I could relate to the feelings of Southan because I have also had moments where others did not agree with my ideas.

          Southan also mentioned radical altruism “which suggests a baseline donation of 10 percent of your income to effective charities.” He says that “EA comes down to: working hard to earn money and then giving as much of it as you can to the needy.” I was shocked when reading these statements because of how harsh they were. These statements reminded me of how my mother, a owner of two dance studios in NY, offers a free dance class once a week for transgender male and females from the LGTBQ community in our area. This class gives people the opportunity to express themselves and have fun through learning an art.

          Most people can not afford to give ten percent of their earnings to charities every year and my mother is a good example of how the arts can give back to those who suffer. When we give back to our communities through visual arts, filmmaking, books, or any other art form, we are allowing people to gain knowledge and happiness which can be equal to the donation of money.