The Fear

Besvarelse på engelsktentamen (2010) med "The fear" som tema.
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PART A: Task 1

1.) To walk drunk is, according to the text, more dangerous to you. Based on average there is a higher possibility for drunk walkers to die then for drunk drivers.


2.) One out of four homes has a toilet in the rural area and only one third got electricity.


3.) Indians prefer baby boys than girls for many reasons. The first reason is that the boy can go to school and get a job so he earns money and can take care of his older parents. He can, for example, pay the funeral. The second reason for why Indian families prefer to have a boy is because they don’t have to pay the marriage. Always the prides family is paying the marriage.


If an Indian family would get a baby girl they would a) have to pay the wedding and b) she would not be able to work, earn money or take care of her parents when they get old.


4.) According to the text, more than 100.000 young Indian women die in fires every year. Many of them are “bride burnings”.


5.) The condoms manufactured by the WHO (World Health Organization) are too big for Indian penises. 60% of Indian men have penises to small for the regular condoms. That’s also the reason why 15% of all condom use in India fails.


6.) A study shows that TV is good for the women in rural India. There is much less violence in a family which TVs then in families which out a TV. Families influenced by Television were also more willing to keep their daughters at school. The Families with a TV were more open for the fact that son and daughter, boy and girl were on the same level and had an equal value compared to the families without television.


7.) If we compare a car with a horse we will find out that the car is much faster and much more efficient to use. The horse pooped on the streets and farted out methane gas. I want to focus on the horse poop. Like the text describes there was horse shit everywhere on the streets, in the beginning of the 19th century. It was unpleasant and disgusting, but it was also dangerous. The huge poop hills were full of bacterial and insects which often caused disease.


Then, when the car came, no one thought about global warming or greenhouse gases. The visible change was made. The horse poop vanished and the “clean” car invaded many new cities. The pollution was not visible so no one thought of a car as a danger for the environment. Today, we know better.


8.) People are afraid of sharks, because the media reacts hysterical on every kill a shark makes. Media Interaction as Newspapers and TV-shows is having a big influence on our society today. Today’s media is not bringing up facts, but just tries to get it sold. Example: I’m writing a newspaper. I know, that sharks have killed 3 people in 2009 and 500 people were killed in car accidents in 2009. If I write that you should rather use official transportation I wouldn’t get my newspaper sold as good as if I would write about a shark attack in California.


Maybe it can have an influence that sharks are suddenly appearing. They look more aggressive then a car too.


The truth, which in real life, as in my example would be that you shouldn’t drive your car to work, is not going to be heard. The humans are far too lazy for that. If I than write about a shark attack in California and advise everybody to stay at the beach, it will be heard. This is almost sociology. Sharks are not attacking to be evil, as many people like to believe. They wouldn’t attack humans just like this without a reason.


9.) The “Freak” in Freakonomics stands for crazy and unusual facts. It compares numbers and statistic research in a way, which is less accepted in our society. Often it shows facts that we don’t want to know or we think we know it, and then we don’t. Freakonomics brings up subjects that are unpleasant or unusual for the society.


An example of that is the story you have told us. Your friend made research about how much a smoking person compared to a non smoking person costs the society. This was planned to use against smoking. He found out, that smokers are cheaper for the society then non smokers and he got told to not publish it. This is a little example. These surprises are also appearing in political context and still we define ourselves as democratic.


Task 2:

I assume that these pictures are all showing the same person. I interpret ate the woman on the big picture is a Muslim. The hidden hair gives me the impression that she can be a supporter of Muslimism. The picture on the left, further down on the page gives me the impression of being christen. Her skin color seems to be lighter and her tie is brought in a crossing position. She looks defiantly happier than the other ones. The picture on the left, lower than the big picture on the same highs as the christen woman makes a spoiled and unpleasant impression on me. She has a camera and her hair put up as a daughter in a rich family. I interpret ate the woman under the christen one as an unhappy, depressed and unlucky person. I guess she has had a birthday where something went wrong. I choose the picture under the spoiled woman. She looks friendly and pleased and makes a good impression. I would say that this woman is a Buddhism supporter. A reason for this conclusion is the butterfly on her nose. She believes in rebirth and she is nice to the insect to get more karma.



PART B: Free writing


3.) The Fear

Sometimes I have wondered why humans and every other living creature have things they are afraid of. These “things” can be cars, other animals, insects, disease and different occurrences, just to mention some of them. Every living creature has an instinct except for us, humans. We’ve got intelligence, but I’ll come back to that later. The instinct is a security system in the body. It rescues you from starving and helps to survive.


Example: A wolf is hunting after a reindeer in a forest. The instinct of the wolf tells him to hunt for food. Imagine he would not hunt animals, he would starve. Darwin’s evolution theory tells that every creature has its own instinct that tells it to do anything to survive and bring its own kind in to a next generation.


Back to the intelligence and the humans. The Humans got intelligence like some other animals did, but we have improved. Now the humans are able to think rational. We, the humans, have got our intelligence and kept our feelings from the time when we were monkeys. The intelligence works almost as a second look for humans: Is this really dangerous or is it just our old intuition which makes us believe so?


Many times we can block of the feeling that something is dangerous, but sometimes we can’t.


Example: Flying to Oslo is not more or less dangerous then everything else. My brain tells me: “Philipp, this is totally okay to do.” but my feeling tells me: “Philipp, don’t do this! This is dangerous.” Now we can wonder why my feeling tells me this. Flying is an unnatural activity for a human being. Let us believe in Darwin and start when we were monkeys. We lived primitive and easy. The nature has not made us able to fly. Then, thousands of years later we suddenly invent a flying machine. Then it isn’t surprising that some of us humans are scared. The next interesting object would then be: “Why are some people more scared then other?” I guess the experience has an influence on your feeling. If you experience that driving a car is un dangerous, there is a bigger chance that you will drive a car at the next possibility you get, then walk. Let’s go over to the sharks. If sharks really were so dangerous, we would have reacted much harder on every shark kill. Sharks are animals, they are not evil or aggressive. They can be aggressive and dangerous but just when you try to hunt them or similar actions.


Example: Let’s say that you are swimming in Florida and sharks are coming towards you. If you suddenly start to act hectically and make fast movements in the water or begin to sweat the sharks will notice that and get aware of you. The best way to act is to try to stay calm and make slow movements towards the beach. Normally they wouldn’t attack humans at all. Humans are fare to big for them and they don’t know how humans would react.


I get really irritated by newspapers when I read the headline: “Shark attack, stay out of the water!” Sure, sharks can attack but there are enough studies and research made to know that sharks aren’t monsters which try to destroy the human being as the newspapers like to pretend. Of course the newspapers get sold much better than if the headline would be: “Usual shark appearance in Florida.” All this drama around the sharks and which incredibly huge danger they are for us humans. As the text from the freakonomics tells. In average 4 people are killed by sharks every year. I guess some thousands are killed by cars every year. Of course there are much more people exposed to car accidents then to shark attacks. Now we can further compare the number of cars and the number of sharks in the world to get a more precise result.


Compare the sharks to the flying, which I wrote further up in the text. Which is more possible to happen? With other words, what should I be most scared of? Is it a higher possibility to be attacked by sharks then to crash while sitting in an aircraft? If we assume, that an airplane crash is more lightly then a shark attack and the newspapers would write as dramatically about a plane crash as they write about a shark attack much less people would react by not flying compared to all the people which would react with not swimming. Of course to stop swimming does not have as big consequences as if you suddenly stop flying.


Of course we can make statistics and compare numbers but as they also say in freakonomics, statistics do not help if it happens.


Example: I walk out the house and a brick is falling on my head. Then I don’t care about how unlikely it is because it happened to me anyway.

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