Indian Noble Swords; Respect and Tradition

-Michael Melvin

There are many noblemen in the Indian subcontinent, but there are only a few noble swords. Some of these noble swords date back several centuries and were handed down to families within the noble caste after their first noble owner passed away. Many of them have sculpted hilts, elaborate scabbards, and unique blades that reflect their owner’s noble standing. For noblemen in India, a noble sword is a symbol of respect and tradition that reflects their history and values.

The noble sword is the only kind that can be used for duels amongst noblemen from different noble castes. The noble’s weapon of choice, no matter what type of noble he is, is his noble sword. Noble duels are fought to resolve matters of respect between noblemen, and they serve as opportunities for noblemen to test their noble swords against an opponent’s noble sword or noble duels allow noblemen to learn about new noble swords by having them tested against one another.

Noble culture does not allow noble duels between members of the noble caste, noble duels are reserved for noble-on-noble disputes. Because noblemen in India believe that noble swords are sacred and must be respected at all times, only the highest-ranking nobleman in any given noble dispute can call for a noble duel.

The scabbard is treated with great care because it protects the noble sword at all times

Noble duels are fought to the death, but most duels rarely result in fatalities. Instead, duels are fought until one nobleman is unable to physically continue due to fatigue or injuries. Because noble swords are so sharp and so strong, most noblemen can only fight their opponent for a short time before their noble limbs are too tired to continue.

Noble duels are generally fought in the noble man’s house, which is typically large enough to hold both noblemen and their duels. A noble fighting another noble must provide his own provisions for himself and his opponent. Nobles do not fight duels on an empty noble stomach, as these duels are always planned in advance and participants must prepare accordingly.

Because swords are sacred to noblemen, they can only be tested by the highest-ranking nobleman alive. If a noble sword has been passed down several generations or centuries, it is more likely that each owner tried the blade before passing it down to a son.

Noble swords are typically passed down from noble father to noble son, but only the highest-ranking nobleman can test each noble sword before it is passed on. Testing a noble sword during battle is the only way for noblemen to learn about new noble swords that have never been tested before. There are people whose job is to test noble swords, but only the highest noble ranking man can make rules regarding how each noble sword should be tested.

Each noble sword has its own unique name and identity, and it must always be referred to as such. A noble never refers to his sword by any other name than the sword’s noble name. This tradition ensures that these swords are never confused with regular swords because noblemen only refer to their swords by sword’s noble name.

Noble swords are typically crafted in shops specifically designed for noble sword crafting, but many nobles craft their own noble sword as an act of respect towards the blade and as a way to maintain noble tradition. Although noble swords are only tested and maintained by noblemen, the sword crafting is typically done by noble craftsmen and it requires specific tools.

Noble swords crafted for use can be forged with specific qualities that appeal to the noble who will own the sword. Craftsmen spend years testing swords for nobility so they can learn which qualities are most appealing to those who buy the swords. Craftsmen also seek out specific types of ores so that the final product has the highest chance for success.

Although noble swords are reserved specifically for noble use, there is nothing in Indian culture that prevents commoners from owning a common noble sword. In truth, noblemen encourage having common swords in their households because it adds a touch of respect to the home environment.

In India, noble swords are typically crafted from specific types of ores, including iron ore and noble steel ore. Iron is a very strong material that can be heated until the metal is a pure red. Although iron ore is typically heated until it reaches a pure red color, when sent through the noble process there is a chance that the final product will become partially noble. This type of ore can still be used to create a powerful and strong blade but in general, only nobles who cannot afford the more noble steel ore seek out regular steel.

Noble steel is the rarest and most expensive ore in Indian culture. A single block of this steel can be used to create an entire set of swords because the final product has a high chance to be fully pure. Although noble steel ore is more expensive than common iron ore, aristocrats are willing to pay higher prices for the benefits of owning a fully pure noble sword.

Although aristocrats are able to test their own swords without the help of others, aristocrats choose to allow other aristocrats to test their blades as well. When aristocrats compete in battle aristocrats typically use the trial of battle as a way to test their new swords. Although aristocrats do compete in battles for honor, they also compete in battles to learn about the blades that have never been tested before.

When aristocratic men test their noble blades through battle, all men who are present at the event must stand in attendance. When aristocratic men test their noble blades through battle, aristocrats who are not competing in the event must stand by and observe. Although aristocrats do take suggestions about which man should win, men are allowed to vote on who they feel is most worthy of victory.

Although noble swords are only tested by aristocrats, aristocrats in India will allow commoners to test their swords as well. Although aristocrats do not typically choose commoners themselves, aristocrats can allow any worthy warrior to test his or her blade by noble combat. Some aristocratic men make a point of choosing a specific type of person to test their blades with because aristocratic men only want their blades tested by a nobleman or anyone who is worthy of an aristocrat.

Although aristocrats may allow commoners to test their noble blades there are some rules about the battle that must be followed. When aristocratic men choose to have a commoner sharpen his noble swords on them there are certain precautions that aristocrats must take. Aristocrats must ensure that aristocratic men and commoners test their blades in a safe and non-threatening environment.

Although aristocrats will allow other aristocrats to sharpen their noble swords on them, aristocrats typically do not trust others. Believing that they may provide the owner with a false sense of security. 

Syracuse Campus Golf Outing 10/14/21 6:30

10 October 2021

Syracuse University Campus Golfing Organizational Flyer

Some of my most profound childhood memories took place on the golf course. I recall the immense anticipation I felt every week as Sunday—the day my dad took me golfing—approached. It was a quiet game, but I loved the silence; the course was a place to think profoundly and evaluate every aspect of the layout. As a college senior, I often remember people and places that have slipped my mind as so much has happened in the past four years. When this project was assigned, I took it as a challenge to create an organization that encapsulated my love for the game of golf. During my time at SU, I’ve enjoyed golfing with the friends I’ve made and found it to be something we have all bonded over.

Furthermore, I am taking a golf course this semester at Syracuse University, which sparked the idea to play “campus golf.” While at first, this was something I joked around about, I realized that I could use this assignment to physically design a golf course layout and bring my idea to life. My success in this project was due to creating my own opinion, class engagement, and my understanding of Illustrator.

By actually playing golf on campus, I figured out where possible holes could be for the Syracuse ‘back 9’. This was very gratifying as I was able to hang out with my friends and talk over a friendly game of golf. I was also able to experience the beauty of the Syracuse campus, which is something rare in modern times where technology is everything.

During class, I have been well engaged in the content being presented. By taking notes on the readings and actively listening, I can take away much from each class. I have logged into every class and even got a chance to learn a little about design software from our classmates. This part was especially important as it motivated me to sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud. 

As someone who is not a design major, I initially had no idea how to use Adobe Illustrator. However, after learning from my friend Preston Buhrmaster, I was able to use the pen tool. This tool was crucial to making the layouts of grass on the flyer reflect that of an image of the campus greenery. By using layers, I was able to mimic what land is available for golf. This was not the only precaution I took before building the final draft as I sketched how the course would look on a piece of paper from my notebook. Through planning and working consistently on the project, I have been able to make an excellent final presentation.

In one of our class sessions, I taught my classmates how to use Datawrapper for statistics and infographics. I learned how to use Datawrapper with my own insights on technology and similar programs I’ve previously used. I hope that my shared knowledge helped my peers make convincing infographics with great rhetorical applications. I not only appreciated sharing my own skills but also giving inspirational feedback and overall conversing with my classmates. It was equally helpful hearing what they had to contribute to the conversations we had and keeping their feedback in mind. 

The aspect of my project I am most proud of would have to be the articulate details. Each hole number is formatted onto the flyer to read vertically down the screen; I picked over my final product for hours before deciding it was finished. Patently, nothing is truly perfect, but the time and effort I put into this project resulted in my satisfaction. That being said, there’s nothing I’d change if allowed to do so.

Dark and Light: Contrast and Perception

Michael Melvin

Caravaggio Saint Jerome Writing

The nature of this presentation and paper revolves around the idea of dualism and how it plays a critical role in understanding contrast: Dark and Light, Knowledge and Ignorance, and Life and Death. Through assigning contrast to art we can understand the multiple perceptions within the simulation in question. It is from this third perspective that we are fully able to take in the art and understand the duality in energy and light that brings balance or dissonance to the subject in question. By breaking the illusion and focusing on the mutual relationship between life and death, artists are able to remind the audience of reality. Once the viewers are caught in this illusion and get a taste of realism, they will always come back for more in order to understand what is considered the avant-garde. 

Through viewing Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome Writing, we are instantly hit with much symbolism. Saint Jerome is on the right donning a halo which resembles that of an angel. To the right of the glowing Saint Jerome writing, we see a skull perched upon a book in the back corner. This skull is an example of a memento mori. During the medieval European period, through the depictions of skulls in contrast to human artifacts, 15th century artists were able to create deep symbolic work. This same theme reemerged in late medieval Christian artwork and this idea of looming ephemerality was always popular and thought of as avant- garde for its time period no matter what was displayed.   

Humans have always been obsessed with the idea of escaping fate, which creates a romantic lust in most god fearing citizens. Gohr states reasons why a negative depiction could be aesthetically pleasing by stating that, “The relationship between beauty and terror, eros and death, those time honored themes of art, are presented again by the painting. Negativity, death is introduced as a theme.” Gohr, “Remarks,” n.p. (Page 129). Oddly enough the sentiment Gohr is expressing is still true today. With the rise of postmodern thought, many are looking towards the Anti- Aesthetic in order to create the avant- garde.

While we ponder the ideas of fate and death, we also cannot overlook social injustices. Luey Lippard makes a fair point stating, “Political realism is usually labeled propaganda. Yet racism, sexism, and classism are not invisible in this society.”(Luey R. Lippard, 347). Through using political realism as an artist, one can make progressive propaganda that caters to the artists ‘struggle’. In this scenario the artist is using their platform in beneficial ways that cater to the avant- garde and ‘not being a sellout’. “Foster argues that the avante- garde returns to us from the future, repositioned by innovative work in the present.”(MIT Press) The avant- garde is the reinvisioned present, which is the ideal simulation for creating the world of your own choosing.

While one may think they full understand avant- garde and its benefits to modern art, German critic Peter Bürger states, “that all its activities can be subsumed under the project to destroy the false autonomy of bourgeois art- is problematic”(Peter Bürger) I feel that this new wave of art could be representative of a new age centered on perceptual reasoning. However, I feel that the raw power of this new wave of anti aesthetic art is only programmed to get a response out of its audience.

Concept of Dualism: Yin(阴) and Yang(阳) 

But knowledge is as food, and needs no less

Her temperance over appetite, to know

In measure what the mind may well contain;

Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns

Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.

John Milton (Bk. VII, ll. 109-130)

What follows the idea of modernity is the criticism of the manifestations. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German critic, stated, “Postmodernity definitely presents itself as Anti Modernity.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1). The idea that what is modern can be redefined through the avant- garde puts pressure on artists and creators to shape the future aesthetic; the anti aesthetic. By depicting realism through a hole in the lens, artists are able to provoke feeling and thought. While the reality is still just an illusion, this re-depiction creates a strong image in people’s minds. 

This idea of creating copies was actually done by many artists in order to create collections of great value. Benjamin H.D. Buchloh states, “The repetition of the original act of depletion and the new attribution of meaning redeems the object.”(Benjamin H.D. Buchloh). Simply put, by redoing something that people already know one can get a secondary effect on the market through a similar copy. This can be used in branding and marketing. Andy Warhol is known best for this repetition of everyday items, as seen with his Campbell’s soup can prints. Through the use of copies, the utilitarianism and capitalist ‘struggles’ are fully at work with the artist. While attempting to prove the reality of a robotic lifestyle, Warhol is unironically catering to the needs of society. 

Art should be a reflection of society during the time of creation. Due to the fact that art is noble in practice, many great artists have to receive funding in order to stay afloat financially. Due to the relationship between artist and art purveyor it can be difficult for an artist to create large expository pieces due to legalities and money. While the struggle within every artist is to fight for what they believe in as an individual Jurgen Habermas explains ‘the struggle’ as, “[The struggle] takes form of exposing every manifestation… drawing the connection between modernism and nihilism… between the Left generally and terrorism, anti- semitism, and fascism”-(Jurgen Habermas, 6) Basically this quote states that the artist struggle is to navigate the world as it is without giving up personal values. However, through looking into the contrast between two conceptually different ideas, we are able to see that perception plays a huge role in determining whether the struggle is applicable at the moment.

References:

Foster, Hal. The Return of the Real. MIT Press, 2009. 

Wallis, Brian. Art after Modernism Rethinking Representation. New Museum of Contemporary Art U.a., 1999. 

R. H. Fuchs, Anselm Feifer (Venice: Edizioni “La Biennale di Venezia,” 1980) 

Gohr, “Remarks,” n.p. (Page 129)

Foster, Hal. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. New Press, 1998. 

Glasses Cover Eyes: Duality, Knowledge,etc.

Giorgio de Chirico. Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire (Bildnis des Guillaume Apolinaire), 1914. Oil on canvas, 32(⅛)x25(½)” (81.5 x 65cm). Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre National d’Art et Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris

Heartfeild Portrays Hope That Baby Will Grow Up Strong

John Heartfeild. Hurrah, die Butter ist alle!, 1935. Photomontage in A-!-Z(December 19, 1935). Text reads: “Hurrah, the butter is gone! Goering in his Hamburg speech: ‘Iron has always made a country strong; butter and lard have at most made people fat.’”

Duality Between Ignorance and Cruelty

Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge. Work in Progress, 1980- 1981. Color photograph, 16 x 20” (40.6 x 50.8 cm). From a series of eight

Christy Rutt: Comment on City Hygienics(New York’s Banksy?) 

Christy Rupp. Making Visible During the Day Something Which is Nocturnal(formerly Rat Patrol), 1979. Posters: offset printing on paper, each 6 x 18” (15.4 x 46.2 cm). Various site in New York City

Duality of Future; Hope and Fear

Victor Burgin, Zoo 78

Duality Between History and Present

Barbara Kruger, Untitled, 1981-83

Distressed; Duality of Face

Richard Misrach, Playboy #38 (Warhol), 1989-91.

Duality in Nature

Tony Smith, Die, 1962.

Andy Warhol Finds Hope in Form of illusion

“Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible” -Jean Baudrillard

Window display with paintings by Andy Warhol, Bonwit Teller, New York, 1961.

Vito Acconcis’ Trademark Highlights Transience of life

Vito Acconci, Trademarks, 1970.

Dark Within Light: Racist Indoctrination of Youth Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson, Mining the Museum, 1992, details of carriage and KKK hood, Maryland Historical Society

Perspective; Outside view on Duality

Barbara Kruger, 1981

Utilitarianism and Capitalism

Andy Warhol. Campbells Soup Cans 1962

Life and Death; Transience of Life

Vanitas By Antonio de Pereda

Postmodern Anti Aesthetic

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917.

Memento Mori as Kitsch

Lindsay Lohan wearing Marc Jacobs V-Neck Cardigan Chocolate/Argent, Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf

Duality in Simulcra

Banksy paints London Underground train with sneezing rat not wearing face mask. The Arts Newspaper.

Minimalism and the Anti- Aesthetic

Buyers of Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 Banana Defend the Work as ‘the Unicorn of the Art World,’ Comparing It to Warhol’s Soup Cans. Artnet.com

Kaws and Transience of Life

Steve Aoki Kaws

Totally Wasted NFT; Is this Gen Z’s Keith Haring?


Totally Wasted is an NFT project run by Financial Wizard and Entrepreneur Preston Buhrmaster. This project assemples 3,500 minted collections with the Totally Wasted watermark. The inspiration behind the style of the watermark originates from inspiration of the notable artist Keith Haring. Totally Wasted challenges the conception of value and previous ideas of what makes artwork thrive.

Buhrmaster jokes on his OpenSea account stating, “I am waiting for an investment of a million doll hairs from my good friend Mark from cuba.” This unapologetic style is how Totally Wasted has been gaining the attention of a younger generation of investors. 

Totally wasted includes a collection of 11 tweet post NFTs. Buhrmaster has been a huge advocate for unrestricted crypto trade, believing that it will help a new generation become financially independent. Through his social advocacy, Buhrmaster has built a community on twitter referencing nipples, #wenquit, blockchain, and the minting of NFTs(i.e. Totally Wasted).

-Melvin

NFT Horse Racing; How I Bred a Horse in Zed Run?

July 30, 2021

Perpetual Motion Machine

“Here is an NFT that can be replicated. With the strong framework surrounding Zed Run, one can easily dominate a market run by virtual horse fanatics.”

Zed Run; The Horse Racing NFT

Candidate for Breeding NFTs


The previous owner bought it at 0.12. We bought it at 0.1.

Because ‘Zmu’ is a Mare she is able to breed in cycles.


Looking To Breed

I searched the breeding marketplace for stallion to breed. Finally I happened upon ‘Chain of Events’.

Big Stud in Town

There is a small fee that comes out of paying the stud owner to produce your new NFT.

Example of Stud Farm

This can range in prices, but I found a great option for not much.

Chain of Events
Highest Bidder on this Stallion

Stud Stats


Once the Stud is chosen and the breeding fees are accepted, both parties engage in a transaction which results in a new NFT Race Horse.

Owsley is Born

Conclusion:

This was by far the most ideal situation an NFT could have as an attribute. Due to the nature of the woman horse and the breeding cababilities that comes with owning the NFT, I was able to reproduce my NFT. After Breeding my horse ‘Zmu’, I had created a very new NFT: ‘Owsley’.

-Melvin

Exxon Continues To Save Its Own Ass

Michael Melvin

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

Rhetoric and How Exxon Continues To Save Its Own Ass

Exxon is a global energy conglomerate that is one of the largest publicly traded energy companies in the world. With such a large presence in the world, Exxon needs to protect the United States by abiding by ethical concerns brought to our attention by foreign countries they do business in. For many years, Exxon has used rhetoric to brand itself as environmentally friendly and conscious. By analysing rhetoric located on the Exxon website and by listening to interviews with the current and past CEOs of Exxon, we can truly see if the corporate ethics on a macro level matches that in action. As a company that has, in recent times, pledged support to the Paris Agreement and reduce its carbon emissions, it is essential that we analyze what the company stands for in order to fully understand how the future will present itself with this company. From an environment friendly perspective, crude oil should never be as prevalent as it is today. However, the demand that backs travel and energy is so large that companies like Exxon are allowed to continue practices that are bad for the environment. In order for Exxon to properly follow their ethics code, the company should be going into cleaner energy research. While this has been done, the market for gas and oil has only skyrocketed relative to the current economy. Will Exxon continue its old ways and ignore the growing concerns over climate change through the use of rhetoric? Or will Exxon pivot their stance on energy in order to promote a healthier planet? The answers to these questions could change at any moment based on the rhetoric that Exxon uses in order to promote its own self interests.

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 Exxon protects itself through corporate ethics and expediency, by using calculated vague words during press releases and interviews. This was primarily the job of Rex Tillerson, until his disassociation with the company in 2017 due to his nomination as Secretary of State. Through his dissociation with this large company, Rex Tillerson was given a cushy $180 million and let go. Initially, Tillerson started out at Exxon during the financial crisis in 2008. Since then, Tillerson has raised the company into the global conglomerate that we saw before the pandemic. Due to increased instability and concern over the future of crude oil, Exxon appointed Darren Woods as the new CEO. So far, Woods’ career as CEO has been a strategic failure. When Darren joined Exxon in 2017, the price of the stock was equivalent to 90 USD. Four years later, Exxon would reach unprecedented lows of 32 USD. 

While Darren Woods could never have predicted such low demand for crude oil, he is still the face of the company and should be treated as such. Presently, the price of Exxon is trending slowly upward. However, if we take into account the drastic measures we have to take in order to protect our earth, crude oil may never reach the old levels of demand again if we are really interested in combating climate change. However, as the pandemic restrictions start to lift, we are seeing an increased demand for traveling, and therefore fuel. The airline industry is a large consumer of fuel, and they single handedly rely on Exxon and other energy companies to keep up with demand.

One could make the case that Exxon has such large purchasing power that they can spend money on lobbying in order to protect their status as a dominant market player. Through lobbying Exxon has been able to twist the dialogue so that they can survive in the corporate world and while still using rhetoric to satisfy shareholders’ environmental concerns. In response to the idea that Exxon has been lobbying, the corporate company page discloses that lobbying is a vital practice for protecting democracy in other countries. There is literally a page on the corporate website that is entitled Political Contributions and Lobbying. This shows that Exxon is not hiding the fact that they are manipulating politics in foreign countries for the sake of democracy. However, in reality the use of the word ‘democracy’ could just be used as rhetoric in order to keep their global businesses running. Exxon already dominates the world with its business. Thus, one could say that the sun never sets on the Exxon empire and that would be completely true.

On the macro level, Exxon has tried to adapt to modern environmentally conscious times. What once was an Industrial Empire is now on the outs. With global ethics being an important subject matter in today’s corporate world, Exxon is forced to find different ways to expand their empire. However in doing so, Exxon may become a totally different company in the next 10-20 years if the environment is lucky. However to be completely honest, we have no idea what is going on outside of US borders, as most of our news is based in the United States and runs off of basically a ‘zoom call’. This is very terrifying and should scare any investor as we start to open up our borders again. If Exxon can only keep their rhetoric together for a little longer they can regain their old power dominance over the world. 

Exxon prices going down is not a new topic. After the previous CEO Rex Tillerson stepped down, Exxon has been slowly bleeding. It was only until the 2019 COVID pandemic, that Exxon stock fully plummeted. It was here that Exxon needed to step up their corporate ethos and rewrite their entire platform. This was especially vital, as their previous CEO was nominated as Secretary of State for one of the most controversial presidencies the United States has ever seen. This nomination alone shows just how powerful the CEO of Exxon is from a political standpoint. 

The new and improved Exxon company, which backed the Paris Agreement, stands for finding solutions to the problems that face the world and its environment. However, the company still believes that energy ‘improves lives’ and is ‘essential’. In response to this Exxon has diverted investors’ attention away from its past, in order to focus on a new era of cleaner energy. One concrete example of this can be found by looking at Exxon’s investor presentations. Before late 2020, the company did not regularly include slides that focused on the environmental impact of its business. However, the company’s two most recent investor presentations, from December 2020 and March 2021, have both included slides focused on Exxon’s efforts to improve the environment. Even before Exxon regularly made the environment a visible part of its rhetoric, the company issued corporate responsibility reports. These reports were not advertised or brought to investors’ attention during earnings calls, but they contained rhetoric that painted Exxon as a company that was continuously monitoring and researching its environmental impact. In an ESG report from 2010, Exxon focuses on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The company report says “Due to the possible negative impacts climate change poses to business operations, human rights an economic development around the world, we urge further integration of climate change into the core of ExxonMobil’s business strategy.” According to Bloomberg, from 2017 to 2018, the company’s total greenhouse gas emissions intensity per barrel of oil equivalent spiked by almost 6%.

Exxon has used many rhetorical strategies in order to divert the attention away from the messy impact that its businesses have on the global front. Exxon has used their algae biofuel as a way to divert attention from the concerns over the ethical dilemma that is Exxon. For a company spanning more land than any empire ever to grace this planet, the environmental impact of Exxon must be disastrous. What makes all of this worse is that the United States borders are closed and we do not have many journalists currently reporting many stories overseas about these environmental concerns on a micro level. However, we do have years of research by Exxon scientists pointing to the increasingly dangerous impact of Exxons business overseas. These scientific journals have been released to the public and have even led to the New York Attorney General investigating this matter. Another prominent example is Exxon’s recent embrace of carbon capture. In 20200, the company proposed a $100B carbon capture infrastructure initiative. While this initiative sounds like an environmentally conscious move by Exxon, it also functions as a way to use rhetoric to advance its interests. One critical component of this plan is the use of public funds. By using environmentally friendly rhetoric to propose an infrastructure project, Exxon is able to lobby for government funds to put back into its business. Instead of using its own funds to make a commitment to improving the environment, Exxon used rhetoric to make itself seem environmentally conscious without having to put up as much of its own capital. 

Analyzing the scientific articles provided by Exxon, many journalists began to report on the topic. This brought rise to the #ExxonKnew movement. The #ExxonKnew movement is based off of the principle that Exxon lied to the general public about information regarding climate change and growing worries about the environment. In addition to deliberately contributing to climate change, these lies directly contradict the Engineers Code of Ethics. The Code states “Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.” 

In terms of the #ExxonKnew campaign, the company already had an excuse: Lobbying. Using a dismissive tactic by acknowledging the campaign as competitor slander, Exxon just doesn’t acknowledge the logos of the situation at all. This is also evident when you visit the Exxon ‘Who We Are’ web page. It is here that rhetoric is placed strategically in order for the company to appear stable from an outside point of view. Also by blaming lobbying for a problem they are facing, Exxon is indirectly making lobbying a legit concern. 

As the world becomes infatuated with the idea of clean energy, the markets say otherwise. With Oil and Gas increasing by the day and global warming becoming a daunting threat looming over us, Exxon is forced to face the constant backlash from social advocates and journalists by using applicable rhetoric. Upon first look at Exxon’s ‘Who We Are’ page, it can already be taken into account that Exxon is using rhetorical techniques in order to convince the reader to support their own vision. Words such as ‘Human Comfort’, ‘Economic Prosperity’, and ‘Social Progress’ pop up in the summary of what exxon stands for. This is a take on pathos, as the organization’s purpose strongly reflects that of the company’s own bias. Instead of embracing humility in light of the situation at hand, Exxon uses key rhetorical strategies in order to distract the reader away from all of the controversy. By painting a picture of Exxon mobiles ‘humble’ beginnings, Exxon takes focus away from controversy and replaces it with a track record of success and stability. While this may seem vague and suspect, the investors love to hear rhetoric like this because it builds trust in the company’s value. By manipulating the rhetoric surrounding exxon, the company is able to keep a steady upward trend without much instability. However, competitors and social advocates can use the same rhetorical techniques to lobby against exxon. This can be seen through the #ExxonKnew movement, which has gained some popularity recently due to Exxons recent change in rhetoric surrounding the Paris Agreement.

The Exxon ‘Who We Are’ web page functions as rhetoric perpetuating the ideals of the company on a macro level. In order to figure out if the Macro vision actually worked, I went to an Exxon station in my area and asked some of its employees a few questions about the company and its involvement in the community. When I asked one of the employees if they thought that Exxon benefited the community, I got a resounding yes. One employee was cited saying, “Because it helps a lot of people out with gas and stuff like that”. This makes you wonder if the corporate ethos has rubbed off on its employees in the community. Overall through the rhetoric provided by said employees, I found that the corporate ethics seemed to have been lost somewhere down the line. However, the company did provide certain benefits to the employees I interviewed in the form of steady pay and Health benefits.

Through interviewing employees at my local Exxon station, I was able to gauge the awareness of such subjects on the issues regarding Exxon. However, it seems as if most of the employees are struggling to get by and rely on Exxon as a source of income. One of the women I was interviewing was also putting a kid through college, which is no cheap task. Even with financial aid, I have no idea how. With that being said, I wonder how the Exxons around the world operate on a micro level. This information is impossible to know as there are travel limitations due to COVID-19.

All in all it seems that Exxon is able to perform in the markets regardless of the controversy over their corporate ethics. The company seems to have an excuse for everything and has much swing in terms of purchasing power. For Exxon this rhetoric seems to be used in order to appear as a stable entity. By doing so, Exxon is able to stay out of the limelight even though they are so large and have such a global impact. Hopefully by reading this paper, you have learned where the real problem stands with climate change. The mainstream media tends to skew certain ways based on the dialogue they are trying to perpetuate. However, by doing so the media is always going to be biased to those who hold money and power. If we want to promote a more open dialogue, we should analyze more companies and see if their corporate ethics match up with what they are actually doing. 

-Melvin


Citations:

“Exxon’s Climate Denial History: A Timeline.” Greenpeace USA, http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/ending-the-climate-crisis/exxon-and-the-oil-industry-knew-about-climate-change/exxons-climate-denial-history-a-timeline/. 

Erprose. “Oil Giant Exxon Mobil Pushes New Climate Change Plan as Activist Investors Circle.” CNBC, CNBC, 15 Dec. 2020, http://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/14/exxon-mobil-begins-to-mount-defense-of-itself-and-a-bigas-activists-circle.html#:~:text=Exxon%20Mobil%20announced%20a%20new,the%20Paris%20Agreement%20reduction%20targets. 

HKS Authors See citation below for complete author information. , and Robert Stavins A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development. “International Climate Policy: The Durban Platform Opens a Window.” Harvard Kennedy School, 24 Jan. 2012, http://www.hks.harvard.edu/publications/international-climate-policy-durban-platform-opens-window. 

Ward, Andrew. “Shell Joins Exxon to Defend Paris Climate Accord.” Financial Times, Financial Times, 4 May 2017, http://www.ft.com/content/043320bb-1c59-301a-9e5d-20cce5dc28b1. 

“Political Contributions and Lobbying.” ExxonMobil, 15 Feb. 2017, corporate.exxonmobil.com/About-us/Policy/Political-contributions-and-lobbying. 

“Who We Are.” ExxonMobil, corporate.exxonmobil.com/About-us/Who-we-are. 

#ExxonKnew, exxonknew.org/. 

Gillis, Justin, and Clifford Krauss. “Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 Nov. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html?_r=0. 

Press, Associated. “Tillerson Leaves Exxon with $180 Million Retirement Package.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 4 Jan. 2017, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/tillerson-leaves-exxon-180-million-retirement-package. 

Update Sill Panel On Audi S6

Michael Melvin

18 May 2021 – Greenwich, CT

For a Feasibility Study, we chose to analyze what part of the wheel changing process took the longest time. We then were able to come up with solutions in order to make the process more efficient. Through physical testing and multiple survey responses, we were able to figure out the area where people were struggling the most. The majority of participants became stuck at the Sill Cover Panel.

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I believe that these covers are inexpensive and very difficult to operate. Personal interaction with the sill covers in the past resulted in my knuckles scraping against the asphalt and drawing blood. Now everytime I remove the sill cover, I bring a pair of gloves so that I can protect my hands. This should not be the case with an Audi sports car.

In order to protect customers from the most taxing step in the entire wheel changing process, I believe that Audi should look at different options for making the sill cover easier to remove. As a sticker to the old glove method, I would be complacent with receiving a pair of Audi race gloves so that I can remove the Sill panel with ease. However, I see an area where people are experiencing trouble and I would like to indulge in some ideas that could fix this unfortunate obstacle.

The first idea draws upon something similar to that of the Thule® origin. When I used to ski, I would use a rotating lock device on my roof rack. Due to the sleek design of the rack overing the catching point, the Thule® rack was the epitome of all roof racks. Ice, snow, rain, and hail; this design was impeccable and always proved to be effective. 

As someone who has dealt with the Sill Cover on the Audi S6 in extreme conditions, I am motivated to make sure no one has to go through the mental and physical hardships that I had to endure. When met with extreme conditions the normal ‘down N’ out’ maneuver was not working well as the entire apparatus was covered in ice. In this situation I just used work gloves, however, I feel that the average consumer would be in absolute agony.

This was, yet again, an example of how taxing the sill cover is and how to improve this situation for those looking to change a tire on an Audi s6.

The second idea draws upon the locking mechanism in your classic and generic clip-on belt. By using a simple snap and lock mechanism, the sill cover can be easily removed with the least amount of extra work. Customers do not like extra work and this would only ensure them that Audi has the best interests in mind when it comes to their premium customers.

The third idea is just a safety net in case you do not get this far. By supplying a pair of nice gloves in the wheel well, you can help owners perform necessary tasks without getting grease and mud all over their fine clothing.

In order to understand the target customer for an Audi S6 I compiled a survey which was distributed to a group of Volkswagen Group Car Owners in order to understand issues that most drivers within this corporation are dealing with. Through responses and product testing, we were able to figure out the areas of the wheel changing process that were proven to be overly strenuous. All subjects slowed down at the sill cover, due to the complexity of such a side quest.

In order to turn this issue into an asset, I felt that it would be best to mimic these examples based on successful products in the past. Due to oversaturation in the markets, you should be fine to use one of these and it should help convey the strive for perfect usability.

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When faced with extreme conditions and decreased mobility of the phalanges, it is custom to use clasps and locks, rather than using whatever the audi S6 has today for a sill cover.

By having participants interact with the vehicle, I was able to help gauge a particular issue, as well as help figure out a possible solution.

Through all of this, I believe that any of the choices would be sufficient. However, I personally feel that the inclusion of nice race gloves paired with slide out button sill covers would do the car wonders. I recommend that you take everything into careful consideration and think about this in the future.

-Melvin

NYRA’s Mistreatment of Animals

13 May 2021- Greenwich, CT

Photo by Zhanna Fort on Pexels.com

As a proponent in combating mistreatment of animals, I was disgusted to hear how overworked your horses are. As racing horses is an old sport, you have much of a grip on your organization and its dealings. However, I would like to engage in a conversation regarding the ethos of the organization itself. 

On your website it says, “Meeting the highest standards in thoroughbred racing and equine safety.”(NYRA Website) However horse racing, in itself, is not a safe sport for the horses. Many horses have lost their lives due to over racing and overtraining and it pains me to think that this will continue to happen.

When I learned last year that one of my favorite horses, Borough Boy, was euthanized on the track, I was in dismay. When you see a horse die on a track, the reality of the sport starts to kick in. Horses are gorgeous animals who should be protected and not raced into their grave. 

Saratoga, a main hub for horse racing, has become a death sentence for many horse averaging about 14 deaths per season in 2020.(Times Union) As the future generation becomes more aware of the mistreatment of animals, I feel that you will need to follow strict corporate ethics in order to just survive. Which is why I wonder if it is even worth backing the malpractice of racing these live animals.

If you want to discuss ways we can make this sport more ethically responsible, you could look into buying NFT Horses. While this is horse racing technically, these horses are Virtual Entities. Thus, NFT horses are a more approachable topic for discussion.

For more information check out this link:

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Battuello-13-deaths-and-counting-14413633.php

Leave No Trace Eversource

13 May 2021- Greenwich, CT

Dear Eversource,

I would like to make you aware of how your business is costing us extra money, due to the fact that your workers came over to cut down one of our trees. We were told that they wanted to remove the tree because it was old and a liability. Little did we know, but your employees were focused on only the top portion which was in direct range of the adjacent power lines.

As someone who agreed to them cutting down our tree, I was surprised when there was a pile of wood left out for almost a week. The damage done by these trees sitting on our yards is easily visible. Due to the fact that the wood piles were sitting on grass, much of our grass on our front lawn is in disarray.

Also, the wood left on our lawn was a hazard for anyone trying to use our front lawn, including our puppy. After your employees left our property without proper tree disposal, our dog went on a rampage. This was unwarranted as he could have choked on a piece of tree.

In the efforts to promote fair work ethic, employees should be forced to dispose of their remnants before leaving. Each day the log covered our grass and our lawn was slowly dying. At this point it is too late to do anything and we will be spending extra money on growing our lawn out to where it was before your workers went through with their chainsaws and left their mess for us to clean up.

Luckily we called back and they are resolving some of our current issues with the tree that still stands. We were told that the tree would be completely removed. However, half the tree has been sitting there for a week and has been an eyesore for the neighborhood. In order to be more beneficial to the community, I feel that employees should be held accountable for there actions so that such an event doesn’t happen again.

Thanks,

-Melvin