Rebuttal- misterfries19

Throughout time, people have commonly used music as a healing device. African slaves would sing songs while working in the southern heat. When a soldier dies, the U.S. Military plays “Taps” at the soldier’s funeral. After World War 2, soldiers recovering from injuries or trauma found relief from their pain thanks to musicians who would come and perform in hospitals.

Of course, music is not the only known healing device in the world, nor is it the most commonly used. As science progresses, advancements in the medical field keep introducing themselves. Among them are new surgical techniques, new tools to use while in surgery, and new medicines. Another common medical practice that has nowadays been de-stigmatized is therapy. This includes physical therapy, but emphasizes practices designed for the mind and emotion, such as Psychotherapy and Emotional Counseling. The acceptance of newfound therapeutic routes comes hand-in-hand with more attention being paid to a patient’s mental health, and not just their physical health. As a result, medicine has been designed specifically to treat patients with mental health related disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

According to Siddhartha Mukherjee of The New York Times, the FDA approved of the drug Prozac in 1988. It was created as an “anti-depressant,” which is pretty self explanatory. After it’s first year on the market, Prozac had filled 2,469,000 prescriptions. People were ecstatic about the results of Prozac. According to John Markowitz, a Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Florida, it was a hit because it was the safest anti-depressant on the market. Previous antidepressants were hard to correctly dose, and dangerous if you happened to go over your dosage. Prozac is a much more controlled substance, however. Because of this, Prozac was seen as a safer route out of depression.

Prozac’s popularity continued to grow. Tony Soprano started using it on TV, and regular Americans considered it effective, and even life-changing for some. In the 1994 novel Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel talks about her positive experiences on the drug. Before trying prozac, Wurtzel was, by her own despcription, living in “a computer program of total negativity . . . an absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest.” After starting Prozac, however, she recalls miraculously waking up one morning and not feeling depressed anymore. Wurtzel states

 “One morning I woke up and really did want to live. . . . It was as if the miasma of depression had lifted off me, in the same way that the fog in San Francisco rises as the day wears on. Was it the Prozac? No doubt.”

By 2002, the number of Prozac prescriptions in the United States had risen to over 33 million. And by 2008, anti-depressants had become the 3rd most prescribed type of drug in America. This could be because of a lot of outside factors. In reality, the 2000’s were loaded with a lot of stress-inducing events. The attacks at 9/11 left a nation in shock and dismay, while also heightening our attention on the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would not let up. And to make things worse, the collapse of the Housing Market in 2008 introduced the Recession. It is no wonder that Americans were being prescribed more anti-depressants.

After anti-depressant prescriptions had really hit their peak, people began to seriously question the drug’s abilities. With more people using anti-depressants than ever, it was always more likely for new complaints and side-effects to be reported. By the 2010’s, anti-depressant usage was being discouraged by some doctors. Psychologist Irving Kirsch referred to anti-depressants as nothing more than sugar-pill placebos, not equipped to deal with the more complex psychological issues of individuals that may require much more than a pill to get a grip on what the problem really is.

Some doctors began to start re-thinking the logic behind how anti-depressant’s work as a whole. Depression has always been thought to be caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain. As serotonin levels diminished, depression kicked in. Thus, drugs were created around the goal of producing more serotonin for the brain.

When doctor’s actually began looking at the serotonin levels in depressed patients, they saw that serotonin levels really were not that low. But the people were still depressed. Thus, the theory that depression relied strictly on serotonin levels was debunked.

Even more research showed that serotonin WAS in fact a big part of determining mood, but it was only an ingredient in the recipe. But, the drugs did improve our understanding of depression. So, although Prozac might not be the answer that the 1980’s thought it was, anti-depressants can still be used effectively.

So, what are the other ingredients of this anti-depression recipe? If the drugs are not enough, what should be done? Like stated earlier, modern medicine has opened up different means of therapy to the world. Group-style counseling groups consisting of people undergoing similar hardships have been introduced. One-to-one therapy with a Psychologist can also be effective.

And then there is the use of Music. Music can also be a tool in treating depression. How? According to EverydayHealth.com, listening to music can help the body produce dopamine, which is a chemical that has to do with controlling behavior. Also, the rhythm of the songs helps to provide a rhythm for breathing, which can help control heartbeat and other bodily functions.

A study done by the British Journal of Psychiatry showed even more evidence of musical therapy being effective. In the study of 79 patients with depression, 46 of them received standard care, which included anti-depressants, psychotherapy sessions, and psychiatric counseling. the remaining 33 received the same treatment, as well as 20 different hour-long musical therapy sessions. The group that participated in the musical therapy reportedly showed lower rates of depression than the group who hadn’t, as well as more improvements in day-to-day functions.

So, is music the answer? No. But neither are anti-depressants. Taking one or the other will not rid anybody of their depression. Does anybody really know what will? No. But, one thing is for sure: These are definitely two ingredients in the complex recipe that we are continuously improving upon to fight depression. As time and science move forward, we can only continue to try all resources at our disposal, and continue to see what improvements can be made in the coming future.

References

Borchard, Therese. “How Music Therapy Can Relieve Depression.” EverydayHealth.com, Everyday Health, 4 May 2017, http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/music-therapy-to-relieve-depression/.

Hatton, Randy C. “25 Years after Prozac.” Home, Pharmacist.com, 1 May 2013, http://www.pharmacist.com/25-years-after-prozac.

 

Mukherjee, Siddhartha. “Post-Prozac Nation.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Apr. 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/the-science-and-history-of-treating-depression.html.

Causal- Misterfries19

Since I am researching the influence drugs may have on music, with an effort to better understand why someone may try or regularly use drugs, I must also research the opposite. Drugs and Music are so commonly intertwined that there is no telling which may have been inspired by which. Every situation is different. Thus, I must also research why drugs may be used as a compliment to music, as much as I try to find information on how music may compliment drugs. Should I look for statistics that show a direct relationship between certain musical preferences and increased drug use, or should I try to find information on how a certain artist’s album sales spiked parallel to the growth in popularity of a particular drug? Both? This entire topic is basically causal, or I am trying to determine if it is or isn’t.

Music is Therapeutic

If you’ve ever read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, or, if you’ve been inside any kind of history class between now and whenever school began for you, you probably know that slaves weren’t treated with much care. Slaves were not considered people, and because of this, they were given expired food, rough clothing (if any at all), and had no bed to sleep in. Days were excruciatingly long, and would a lot of times involve a whipping or two. Basically, life was painful. The mind of the American slave is one of a depressed but naive soul, searching for a release from the pain they experience everyday, but not really knowing what else it is that they can do.

Slave owners would seldom give any thought to how their slaves were feeling. They were property to the owner, and would be treated as such. However, one conclusion slave owners did jump to is that “a singing slave is a happy slave”. Out in the fields, slaves were known to sing songs to pass the time. The songs would often contain religious undertones, as well as references to death and freedom. In reality, the owners were somewhat correct, but also horribly off point in their assumptions. Slaves sang out of hope and despair, not happiness. The songs themselves contained lyrics that pointed to something great and achievable, if the slavery part of life ever ends. It was within these songs that slaves found strength and hope, even in the most painful parts of their days.

In more recent instances, we actually see Medical Professionals utilize music to help with the healing process. After World War II, music therapy was introduced to soldiers combatting PTSD. Having seen what they had seen and done what they had done at war, it was a serious challenge for a veteran to re-enter society.

Community musicians began to visit veteran hospitals to play for those suffering from physical and emotional trauma. Nurses and doctors noted the positive physical and emotional response—how the hymns and melodies reached patients in ways that traditional therapies were unable to — and began to hire musicians for the hospitals. (Borchard)

While hearing a song might not heal a bullet wound or cure polio, it was accepted by Doctor’s as a way of keeping spirit’s high and improving mood. A few years later, the NAMT (National Association for Musical Therapy) was founded. This provided training and certification to people who wanted to become a musical therapist.

As time passed, the willingness to admit to and receive treatment for one’s mental health became more widely accepted. The emotional trauma experienced by the soldiers after the war is now commonly seen as being a result of PTSD, Anxiety, or Depression, among other illnesses. Once the stigmas surrounding mental health began to fade, these moods were finally seen for what they are: Illness.

The realization that mental illnesses are just as real as physical illnesses brought with it a more open mind for people in the Medical Field to use when treating patients. Patients suffering from mental illness now have a variety of therapeutic options to help alleviate their symptoms. Doctors now advise the use of Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Counseling, and antidepressant medicine. However, studies still indicate that the use of Music can still be vital in treating Mental Health. In 2011, for example, a study conducted by the British Journal of Psychiatrist focused on 79 patients who had depression. All of the patients received standard care, which included Psychotherapy, Counseling, and Antidepressants. However, 33 of the patients also went to weekly musical therapy sessions, while the other 46 did not. After three months, the 33 who participated in the musical therapy as well as the standard therapy showed much more improvement in their Depression, as well as their everyday functions.

But, how does Music Therapy actually help depression? Well, listening to music actually provides a blueprint for the listener to control their breathing to, as they hone in on the rhythm of the song. Getting control of breathing can slow one’s heart-rate, and greatly alleviate tension in the body and calm someone down. Once the patient is calm, it is easier for the Doctor to converse with the patient about whatever it is the patient wants to say. Engagement with music also makes the body produce more dopamine, the chemical in our brain that transmits information, and controls a lot of our emotions (Bookshire). Dopamine is also hugely associated with reward-based behavior. In simpler terms, Musical therapy can help fight depression and anxiety by making it easier for the patient to breath, so that it may become easier for the patient to discuss their emotions more authentically.

Nowadays, it’s become a part of our culture to listen to the right song in our time of need. When my friend passed away two years ago, I found comfort in listening to a few of the songs he really liked, even though I didn’t really like them. But, every time I hear the song “Post to Be” by Omarion, I can’t really help but think of all the drives to practice where I would just sit there and pretend to laugh (even though I didn’t like the song), and he would bust a move to it as if the driver’s seat were a dance floor. Every time I hear that song, It’s like the best and worst feelings come rushing back to me. So, personally, I don’t need to read a study to make me believe that music can help people. I have my own life and emotions, and I experience what I experience everyday. As does everybody. Pain is so hard to pinpoint. What one person is feeling can be completely and utterly unique, in comparison to any other person on this Earth. Thankfully, we live in a society that recognizes the need of the individual, so there are countless kinds of medicine, therapies, and treatments available to us all. What may work for one person, may not work for the next person, and vice versa. That is why it is important to keep an open mind, seek help, and give music a shot if you’re ever feeling down.

 

References

Borchard, Therese. “How Music Therapy Can Relieve Depression.” EverydayHealth.com, Everyday Health, 4 May 2017, http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/music-therapy-to-relieve-depression/.

Brookshire, Bethany. “Explainer: What Is Dopamine?” Science News for Students, 17 Jan. 2017, http://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-dopamine.

Douglass, Frederick, and Celeste-Marie Bernier. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Broadview Press, 2018.

Erkkilä, Jaakko, et al. “Individual Music Therapy for Depression: Randomised Controlled Trial | The British Journal of Psychiatry.” Cambridge Core, Cambridge University Press, 2 Jan. 2018, http://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/individual-music-therapy-for-depression-randomised-controlled-trial/A1CD72904929CECCB956F4F3B09605AF.

Definition Argument- misterfries19

If you watch Fox News or CNN, you might get the idea that, at this moment in time, humans really suck at solving problems. But in actuality, we are as pragmatic as we ever have been. Or, at least as hopeful, or willing to experiment. A good example of this instinctual quality can be shown through how humans deal with sickness, injury, or pain. Nowadays, if we have a headache, we can take an Aspirin. If we break an arm, we can have a cast put on that will mold it so that it heals the way it was meant to heal. These discoveries and antidotes come as a product of thousands of years of guessing and checking; studying and discovering what we have at our disposal to solve our problems.

The earliest known records of medicine can date back to the Old Testament, or before. There is no known paper origin of medicine, but humans have been known to experiment with herbs and spices as remedies for different problems for thousands of years. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines Medicine as “a substance or preparation used in treating disease”. By the transitive property, we can assume that for something to be “medicinal”, there must be a disease at hand to fight.

But what is a disease? Words like Influenza, Polio, and Parkinson’s come to mind. Crippling illnesses associated with a weakened body. To treat or cure these diseases, medicine in the form of an injection, pill, or physical therapy can be applied to the situation. A disease can be defined as “a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms”. By this definition, something can be called medicinal if it is a substance or preparation used to fight any symptoms or signs that may show that something in the body is not functioning properly.

Like stated earlier, Doctors may suggest to a patient the use of Aspirin or Motrin to deal with a headache. A headache should require no definition, but in my own words, it is physical pain in the head. So, what about psychiatric diseases and mental illnesses, such as PTSD or Anxiety? In a 2012 report by U.S. Medicine, it was recorded that 141,000 Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans were diagnosed with noncancer pain. 32% of them were diagnosed with PTSD. Of the 141,000, 11.7% were prescribed Opioids to deal with the pain. Among the pool of the 32% diagnosed with PTSD, 17.8% of the Veterans were prescribed opioids. In this instance, the PTSD, although considered mostly psychological and not physical, was categorized as a disease, because a substance was prescribed to treat the impairments it may bring on.

So, Medicine can be used not only to treat physical ailments, but mental ailments as well. Now, the definition of Medicine defines it as a “substance or preparation”. Having focused on the substance, let us look at what a preparation implies. Alternative ways of healing other than ingesting a substance include things such as therapy, acupuncture, and meditation. In a 2014 article published by Julie Corliss of Harvard Health Publishing, the results of an extensive study conducted by John’s Hopkins Medical School could show a possible link between Meditation and a decrease in Anxiety. 19,000 meditation studies were sifted through until 47 unbiased studies could be evaluated for effectiveness by the school. The results of the 47 different studies showed that Meditation, although not a substance of any kind, can be used to lessen anxiety. This would indicate that Meditation is a form of medicine.

Meditation is a practice that requires nothing but the mind and a desire to focus. Nothing must be ingested, and nobody is performing any kind of ritual or surgery on you. So, if Meditation, which simply includes doing nothing but thinking and breathing, can be considered medicinal, then what other preparations can be considered Medicinal? The APA (American Psychological Association) published a report in 2013 on the psychological effects of Music. In the article, a meta-analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin and Dr. Mona Lisa Chanda of McGill University in Montreal focused on 400 studies involving music and it’s health effects. The studies showed that Music can actually improve the body’s immune system and decrease stress. The same study showed that in patients preparing for a surgery, Music was more effective than prescription drugs at relieving stress.

As shown above, the APA endorses the use of Music when treating psychological illnesses or conditions such as Anxiety and Depression. If these psychological conditions or illnesses cause impairments to the body or parts of the body that can be identified through signs or symptoms, then these psychological illnesses can be defined as being diseases. In conclusion, if these psychological illnesses or conditions can be defined as diseases, and if Music is endorsed as a helpful remedy that combats said diseases, then we can define Music as a form of Medicine, because it is a practice that helps fight disease.

 

References

Corliss, Julie. “Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Anxiety, Mental Stress.” Harvard Health Blog, Harvard Medical School, 3 Oct. 2017, http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967.

Novetney, Amy. Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, Nov. 2013, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music.aspx.

usmedicine.com. “More Opioid Prescriptions Adverse Effects for Vets With PTSD.” U.S. Medicine, U.S. Medicine, 21 Apr. 2015, http://www.usmedicine.com/agencies/department-of-veterans-affairs/more-opioid-prescriptions-adverse-effects-for-vets-with-ptsd/.

“Medicine.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medicine.

“Disease.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disease.

Safer Saws- misterfries19

1A. Schmidt Law Firm– Outraged Plaintiff- On the website for Schmidt Law Firm, a post regarding injuries due to table saws reads “Although SawStop safety technology has been around for more than ten years, not all table saw manufacturers have adopted it.”

1B. The Law Firm is making the claim that manufacturers are well aware of a new and advanced technology that can be used to prevent injuries when using table saws, but have neglected to adopt it. SawStop flesh-detecting technology gives the saw the ability to stop completely in 1/200th of a second, if it touches human flesh, which would prevent any damage or injury. But, it has not been widely accepted.

1C. The Law Firm is making an Evaluative claim about the manufacturers. After evaluating the technology available and the amount of manufacturer’s using the technology, the firm makes it’s claim that not all manufacturers have adopted the technique.

1D. This is a reasonable claim that doesn’t portray all manufacturers unfairly, but calls out the minority that have yet to adopt such an obvious improvement. It is effect enough because in all honesty, this is the kind of technology that all table saw companies should utilize. Although most already do, I still find myself offended that a few do not.

2A. Amputation Lawyer– Again we visit the Schmidt Law Firm website, where they also deal with amputations as a result of table saw accidents. The site claims “Approximately 10% of those injuries, or 4,000, result in amputations every year.”

2B. The Law Firm is making the claim that out of all injuries due to table saws, 10% result in amputations every year.

2C. The Schmidt Law Firm is making a numerical claim when they say that 10% or 1/10 of all annual injuries due to table saws result in amputations.

2D. The claim is most likely not inaccurate, as it is backed up with actual numbers that aren’t outrageous, but it is not backed up with a source for the statistics. However, while the claim doesn’t portray the amputations as being unbelievably common, they do show that they do indeed happen, and you are not alone in seeking help.

3A. Rules Mandating Safe Laws are Likely to Pass- In relation to the probability that mandating safe power tool laws is inevitable, ToolGuyd.com states that “There’s been no mass media attention to this. No outcry by the Power Tool Institute urging bloggers and woodworkers to object to this.”

3B. The claim basically states that, in regards to the possibility that power tool manufacturers will be mandated to use safer techniques, there has been no type of reaction from power tool enthusiasts to combat these mandates.

3C. The claim is evaluative, but it is almost an ethical/moral claim as well. It is evaluating the situation and quantifying how many people did not speak out against the probable new mandates, claiming that nobody has brought attention to this. The tone in which he says this intends to invoke a sense of guilt from the media and Power Tool Institute, which questions their morals.

3D. This claim is not backed up by any source, but it is possible that the claim is not untrue because, well, having regulated safety technology that can save lives and injuries is a progressive idea that the media wouldn’t want to halt.

4A. Power Tool Industry Too Powerful-However, SawStop still makes the only saws with skin-sensing technology, and it accounts for a tiny fraction of sales.” 

4B. This is claiming that SawStop is the only manufacturer with this finger-saving tool in the industry, and it still doesn’t really sell.

4C. This is a comparative claim. By saying that SawStop makes the only saws with this technology, they are being separated from other companies in the industry, and their capabilities are being compared.

4D. This is an effective claim that makes the reader cast doubt over what it is that people aren’t seeing about the SawStop saws. Coming off of a lot of talk about how much help the SawStop saws may be, this sentence grabs the reader and makes them ask themselves “why?”

5A. Government Action Pending – In a statement pertaining to the proposal of mandated rules for power tool safety, Chairman Inez Tanenbaum stated“Despite my public urging for the power tool industry to make progress voluntarily on preventing these injuries, no meaningful revisions to the voluntary standard were made.”

5B. Inez Tanenbaum makes the claim that he had previously urged for legislation regarding safety with power tools, and when he did, nothing was done about it.

5C. Tanenbaum makes an evaluative claim about the reaction people had from his initial Moral/ethical claim, where he called for people to move towards more safety provisions. In this sentence, he is making an evaluative claim, but he is referencing a moral claim.

5D. This is a smart, self-serving claim that serves to better the image of Tanenbaum in light of the probable laws being passed. In the context of the article, Tanenbaum is happy that the changes are finally being made, and he cites a time when he called for the changes in the first place as a sort of triumphant reminder.

Visual Rhetoric- misterfries19

Play Catch with Her

0:00 – 0:03

As our scene begins, the sun seems to be on the verge of rising above or falling beyond the horizon of an invitingly calm low tide. I can’t actually see the sun, but it’s rays are reflecting off of the ripples of the waves and pyramids in the sand, making the entire frame look like a piece of granite taken out of a kitchen countertop. Closer to the edge of the water is a young man, alone for an instant. Dressed in all black sweat pants and sweatshirt, his outfit changes my perception of what season it may be. He doesn’t seem too cold, but I get the sensation that it is a fall evening. Standing near the water, and alone for an instant, he punts the ball into the air. As the ball ascends towards its vertex, a tiny girl wanders into frame, immediately in awe of the ball. She is dressed in all red or pink, which shows a strong contrast to how the young man is dressed. This could be drawing us to her femininity, or it could be representing how vibrant and optimistic she is in her young age. In contrast, the man’s decision to wear all black could be showing us somebody who is despondent, or who has grown somewhat lonely. Whereas the little girl is simply enamored with the ball in all of it’s flight and descension, the man seems to be unconcerned with the ball. He is tossing the ball out of boredom. The relationship between the child and man is unknown, but it is possible this is a father-daughter moment being shared with us. Further analysis makes me doubt this, however. As the ball falls, the girl approaches it, wholeheartedly. She wants the ball. The man sees the girl intercept his route to the ball, and he backs away. It doesn’t seem affectionate, or expected, because his backing away doesn’t accompany a smile or any kind of physical gesture other than the blank half content look the guy has had on his face the whole time. He backs away from the girl almost hastily, as if he didn’t know she was there. I almost get the sense that he has been politely annoyed by the girl.

0:04 – 0:08

The scene shifts instantaneously to a whole new surrounding, but the atmosphere remains remarkably familiar to the previous few seconds. There is no change in mood. The sun looks to be rising, as we can see morning dew in the foreground of the scene, on what is somewhat longer cut grass. In the distance, a charmingly quaint and slightly beaten down house nestles between a few shrubs and trees, and is towered over by a dominant oak tree. Attached to the house looks to be an outdoor porch, closed in by windows and screening, but maintaining the outdoor feeling. Finally, we get to the figure in the center of the frame. Judging by the his frame and clothing, we can determine this is a man. Donning washed blue jeans, worker boots, a baseball cap, and a jacket, the man seems to be well on his way into the day, despite it being obviously early. This man is representative of a blue collar individual. A real “man at night, man in the morning” kind of guy. Almost fading with the pixels of the camera, we can faintly see a windmill peer up from above the tree line. This can possibly be even more evidence that the setting is a farm, and the man is the farmer. As we drop back into focus, the man shines almost inversely, as his shadow pierces the light coming from the sun to give him an almost divine look. The front yard is empty, but full of long grass and sunlight.

 

White Paper- Misterfries19

My Proposal

In my research paper, I intend to dive into the relationship between adolescent drug use and how the music teenagers listen to can effect their perceptions of different drugs, in an effort to help better predict future drug tendencies in our youth and stop them at the source. Studies show that popular music in America over the past 50 years has included more and more references to drug and alcohol abuse over time. Over the same course of time, the feelings adolescents have about different drugs have changed significantly. Other studies can show a possible similarity in the relationship between why people choose to use drugs and listen to music, as opposed to trying to find out which causes which, music or drugs. Through the careful analysis of mainstream musical lyrics and studies conducted to show drug preferences and tendencies among adolescents over time, medical professionals and parents everywhere can gain a better understanding of the adolescent mind, as well as predict future usage trends and implement strategies to stop the trend from growing.

  1. “Exposure To Cannabis in Popular Music and Cannabis use among Adolescents”
    • Essential Content of Article: In an effort to identify a possible relationship between Cannabis use in teenagers and Cannabis references in the music these teenagers listen to, The Society for the Study of Addiction conducted surveys at three different urban high schools. The Survey was designed to see how often 9th grade students in these environments smoke weed, if ever, while also asking how often the students listen to music containing references to weed. The results showed that 12% of the students were cannabis users, while 32% had used it before. The students were exposed to 27 Cannabis references a day, which is much more frequent than the average. The study showed that while it does not cause cannabis use, students who are more prone to hearing these references have a higher chance of exposure to cannabis at a young age.
    • What it proves: By giving me statistics on early marijuana use in teenagers who listen to music containing marijuana references, I can make claims about the music’s effect and draw links to later stages of drug use.
  2. “What has America Been Singing About?”
    • Essential Content of the Article: Sage Journals dipped into the biggest billboard songs from the past 50 years (1960-2010), examining the songs’ lyrics to see what most artists were singing about. In the early years (60’s), songs were mostly about love and intimate relationships. But, as years progressed, songs tended to be written more about the sexual side of relationships, and eventually more so about other personal problems, such as drug and alcohol abuse. By the 2000’s, the frequency of drugs, sex and alcohol references in America’s popular music had reached it’s highest point.
    • What it proves: This article can be utilized to show that there is a growing interest in music about certain vices, such as drugs and alcohol. The article can also be used to understand how these changes can show differences between people of different generations.
  3. “Key Findings on Adolescent Drug Use”
    • Essential Content of the Article: The University of Michigan published this in-depth study about adolescent drug use between 1975-2017, including statistics showing a drug’s availability, perceived risk, disapproval ratings, and other factors among the opinions of adolescents. The study breaks down each drug separately, explaining their specific trends as time passed from 1975 to 2017.
    • What it proves: This article will be absolutely key in my research. This study doesn’t just show statistics about how much a certain drug is used. It actually finds a way to show the ever-changing opinions and perspective on different drugs from the eyes of the adolescent experimenter. This article can help me get inside the minds of those being studied so that I can better understand why these trends occur and make claims about possible drug trends in the future. Coupling this article with statistics from the article on what pop music is being written about, I can cross reference and make conclusions about my topic.
  4. “Is Cannabis a Gateway Drug?”
    • Essential Content of the Article: Wayne D. Hall and Michael Lynskey examine three popular notions regarding Marijuana and its moniker as a “gateway” drug. The three notions examined claim that Marijuana use comes before the use of other drugs, and the younger and more frequently one is exposed to it, the more likely they are to seek other drugs. By examining different explanations as to why these claims even exist, myths about the start of usage can possibly be debunked one day. Findings in the article indicated that sometimes a progression of illicit drug use from Marijuana can be more complicated to comprehend than it seems, with biological factors coming into play, as well as changing social norms among the people being exposed to the drugs.
    • What this proves: This article can help show a possible connection between music referencing marijuana leading to marijuana use, and early marijuana use leading to other illicit drug use. There are many factors at play, but social norms playing a factor in one’s inclination to try a drug can possibly be effected by the music that is socially accepted.
  5. Relationships Between Adolescent Psychiatric Diagnoses, Musical Preferences, and Drug Preferences
    • Essential Content of the Article: Bridget Doak of Temple University attempts to draw comparisons between the reasons for using a particular drug, and the reasons for listening to a particular kind of music, while also seeing if these preferences correlate with Psychiatric diagnoses. After surveying 58 students, results showed that among students with diagnoses, there is a strong relationship between why they listen to a particular kind of music and why they do a specific kind of drug. The results show that they are two different avenues used to achieve the same feelings.
    • What it Proves: This article can help us to better understand the relationship between drug use and musical tendencies based on their perceived goals of usage. It also shows that there is a correlation between certain diagnoses and what kind of music or drug is used to “deal” with these diagnoses. While the article will not so much provide me with proof of one being a cause of the other, it can show me how both drugs and music play a part in the everyday life of those who already use it.

 

Sources:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02801.x

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735617748205

https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/142406/Overview%202017%20FINAL.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09595230500126698

https://watermark.silverchair.com/21-2-69.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAiUwggIhBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggISMIICDgIBADCCAgcGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMBxjXnkjKwUt-94yRAgEQgIIB2HvAeRY377vKVlaIW7SKWSNAA91XOXsHmLEGdXaaO1pjZ5ghGdQOggalKtyiivf_G9RakTfObMFBgpzUky6BDdiaHOjksB4crW0szvlLe056b4tpHzsD9atCdr7OR-SEh4rLyH3T8c20weKnRWMHAN__sS3KW7wBxbpWsj1xaEcTf0QHdrEn8wA24sJNZGrGb4NS_wfSS8PL5kImVIT74Q7m2Cp00mi_PaPo_p16OSJor-N3tDHiUpE3EzP8_v7u7hBrl8s6Y_4ykkULqOR005tr7at5vlM7iSgtsqgza4M9XKtz1htTSnqZ9ULhLCzNL-dtUFlHKtFSonEcfONd22LBnErnjfNYfHSQ0CR8_983eEXdXXN1ziJIaHQ6oVOvQ7ot_53U4lx0G2k45rrQcS0pz7tEK5gPyLzE-WHF85FXOre6brPaKZJVW4davztujhtuooYukuAj1HX_tv5y3072KNVE5dKi7Z6FrMXRV3mJndA45tTkOP4jDCoQKnvEz-fufGIu4pw3DCS3GxYNrRKeR5F44zW4QgW7mGEAlh99vh9rJ3odgaNr0uXCu-efXbvLFrfKDaf29xO8pf6QJs3f11wXG9QG2dhfZCJ5Wk3NRpuFCDEua98

 

Stone Money- misterfries19

Its almost impossible to look around and not be suffocated by money in 2018. Well, not your OWN money, but money in general. Basketball players sign new deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars everyday. Rappers talk about dropping thousands of dollars in strip clubs. College students find themselves stressed over their finances everyday, whether it be making sure they’re recieving the correct financial aid, or just making sure they’ve got a few bucks in their pockets and a meal on the table.

These are just some pretty relevant, off-the-top examples involving money that someone my age might see on any given day. Not problems. Just instances where money has its two cents in whatever it is that is being paid attention to. All they show is one thing; the world revolves around money. The industrial world has taken over. Paper money, global banking and little pieces of plastic that we can swipe on a scanner and buy things with. Logging onto your bank account from your Iphone and moving a couple hundred dollars over to another account in 30 seconds. This is the world we live in.

With the world and all of it’s money becoming more and more connected as we move forward into the future, it’s shocking to me that there are still places like Yap.

As I began to listen to the NPR broadcast The Invention of Money, I was introduced to Yap. What is Yap? Yap is a tiny island in Micronesia, once colonized by Germany. What is unique about Yap (in context to money), is that there is no type of banking system. There is no paper money, and no financial records. There really isn’t even a system to measure currency against itself! On yap, the only money traded is limestone, in the form of a wheel. If a deal is to be made, the buyer must present the seller with a limestone wheel. To get the limestone, the natives have to travel by boat, hundreds of miles to an island that has the stone. This seems way too complicated,  but its really quite similar to bitcoin, if bitcoin was literal. According to Anne Renaut in The Bubble Bursts on E-Currency Bitcoin, there is only a set amount of bitcoins on the web, that can be mined if you put in the effort. This is similar to the limestone currency limit established at Yap. But, on Yap, they then have to carry the stone back, across the ocean by boat. The size of the wheel isn’t specified, but it is expected that you make sure the stone is of acceptable size for whatever is being purchased.

As wacky as that sounds, it gets wackier. An old legend among the people of Yap tells of a huge blockbuster deal. A massive deal was to be made between two families, and one family set out on their voyage for a gargantuan stone. After finding and crafting it, they set forth home, only for a storm to hit, and the stone to be lost at sea. Deal cancelled? Maybe if this was the MLB. But when they returned to Yap, the deal was honored, based on trust that the effort was made to get the stone. Where the stone lies now means nothing. But the wealth provided by the stone was still passed on.

The economy on Yap is based entirely on trust. The system works because everybody trusts each other, and in doing so, they trust the system. It doesn’t even seem as if the people care very much what happens to the limestone once they actually receive. What is more important to them seems to be the actual act of giving the stone. It is almost ceremonial, as if this is what is actually being exchanged. An acknowledgement from someone else that they are not trying to screw you over. It creates this “what is mine is yours and whats yours is mine” type feeling in the community, which is good, and obviously works for them. The story of the sailors who lost the giant stone at sea, only to still be rewarded upon return, show that the money was never important in the first place. And even after losing the stone, they were still treated as if they were high class and very wealthy among their community.

Its just so hard to imagine this kind of scenario playing out today. Wouldn’t the sailors expect to return home embarrassed and empty handed? I mean, the deal is the deal. So if the stone never even really mattered, why do they even risk their lives traveling all that way for it in the first place? Why not cut out the middle man and just not ask for the stone at all?

The simple answer is that the stone itself is not really the payment. It might be the “currency”, but it is not the payment. These stones are very large, heavy, and hard to carve. To present someone else with even a small stone takes a lot of time and effort. Adding onto the fact that the stones themselves are on another island, and it starts to really become a hard task. The payment is the task itself, and the respect earned and given between both parties. It becomes apparent that a wealthy man is not just simply a man with limestones laying all over his house. A wealthy man is one who has respect from those he deals with. Money becomes a figment of imagination, and the actually recognizing of the other party becomes more important.

We see this theme in American history too, only in a more paranoid frenzy rather than a peaceful deal. In Friedman’s essay The Island of Stone Money, he actually compares the Yap people to a scenario from our past. In 1932, France had all of their assets in the US converted to Gold, out of fear that the US would not uphold the gold standard. But, they didn’t want to ship the Gold back to France, so they kept it at the US bank, separated and accounted for in their bank account. This frenzy can actually show signs of how we look at money, as well as taking from what the people of Yap do as well. The French were concerned for their physical belongings in the gold they owned. They were concerned for the money itself. But in the end, they ended up feeling safer and more secure about their money after separating it in the bank, even though the money didn’t move and nothing really happened to it.

References

Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” Counterintuitive, Stanford University, Feb. 1991, counterintuitive2015.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/stonemoneyessay.pdf.

Glass, Ira. “The Invention of Money.” This American Life, 19 Feb. 2018, http://www.thisamericanlife.org/423/the-invention-of-money.

Renaut, Anne. “The Bubble Bursts on e-Currency Bitcoin.” Yahoo! News, Yahoo!, 13 Apr. 2013, sg.news.yahoo.com/bubble-bursts-e-currency-bitcoin-064913387–finance.html.