GSUMUN 2015

Last Monday and Tuesday, I attended my second high school Model UN conference at Georgia State. This conference was a little different than the last one as it was a partner conference, so I teamed up with my friend Ryan and we represented Kyrgyzstan in the General Assembly. This was the first partner conference that I attended and I really enjoyed it because having two people allows you to negotiate with more than one group at a time and overall be more efficient. We were tasked with creating solutions to three global issues, but only got around to resolving one (this usually happens). I have been enjoying Model UN so much this year and can’t wait until the next conference. Until then, here is the position paper that I wrote to familiarize myself with my country’s views on these issues.

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Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan)

United Nations General Assembly Plenary

Topic I: Promoting Democracy in Post-Conflict Regions

In the past few decades, democracy has become the international standard for optimal government and the cause of advancing democracy has been taken up by the United Nations to work towards democratic governance around the world, specifically in those areas affected by decolonization and conflict. Advancement of democracy has been a recognized goal of the United Nations since the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Article 21 of the UDHR states,”

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures,”

which can be referenced as an endorsement of democracy by the United Nations. It should be noted that the definition of democracy is not consistent between peoples due to ethnic and religious differences. The Kyrgyz Republic has consistently supported democratic principles since Kyrgyzstan declared independence. It is a major priority of the United Nations to enforce democratic reform in the LDCs, while respecting the individual states’ rights to administer democracy in the most effective way for their individual ethnic or social climate.

Topic II: Amending the Status of Stateless Persons

The recent conflicts in past decades have resulted in an overwhelming amount of stateless persons, which not only find themselves homeless, but without the protection from rights guaranteed to registered citizens of a state. According the United Nations, the universal definition of a stateless person is to define “a person who is not considered to be a national by any state under the operation of its law.” With the recent refugee crisis and the dissolving of state control in regions in South-West Asia, the number of stateless persons has skyrocketed. This presents an immense problem as stateless persons usually find themselves without access to education and are caught in the hold of poverty. As these stateless persons carry no legal identification or the abilities of basic education, they mostly find themselves unemployed which in turn causes a massive strain on social services at their destinations. This problem was initially addressed by the UDHR in Article 2 in which it stated that all persons are “entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind,” including race, nationality, sex, and age. Following the passage of this document, the cause of stateless persons has not advanced, and Kyrgyzstan sees this subject as an urgent crisis that needs to be addressed by the United Nations at once. Kyrgyzstan would look favorably upon a resolution calling for more acceptance of these stateless persons as it would be greatly beneficial to advancement of this cause.

Topic III: Addressing Security Concerns in Cyberspace

As technology and the internet evolves and reaches all around the world, we have seenan increasingly large and dangerous amount of cybersecurity threats throughout the whole globe. The increased level of technology has allowed for a large vulnerability to be revealed in many countries in the form of cyber warfare. These attacks take place through a virtual area called the cyberspace that is, unfortunately, a lot harder to regulate and control as it isn’t bound by one government.

This can be a good thing for oppressed citizens of a country that are lobbying for human rights and want to let to world know what situation they are in, but it also is very dangerous of the amount of information that is out of the web and the amount of damage that can be done if it gets hacked. Kyrgyzstan takes a strong point of view that aside from the overwhelming benefits that have come from this instant information and communication are a variety of risks that have been opened up. And there needs to be a mix of liberty and security while deciding a resolution if we want to live a peaceful and secure life. As cyber issues are becoming more relevant everyday, the creation of a sub-committee under the security council to effectively deal with these issues in detail would be looked favorably upon by Kyrgyzstan.

 

The Fall of the Roman Empire DBQ

In AP World History we do a lot of essay and papers and this one was the first of a new type that we did a while ago.
This was a Document Based Question in which I had to use a set of various documents to answer and support a question. I many wanted to post this essay specifically because my teacher thought it was good enough to post it on her website as an example.

Between 100 and 500 BCE, the Roman Empire was in a decline due to a weakening army, including less use of heavy armor and ineffective conscription laws, as well as over-extension in regards to barbarian invasion and too vast conquering. In addition to this, there was political and economic instability concerning agricultural failure and constant changes in leadership.

A major cause for Rome’s downfall around 500 BCE was a weakening military. Footsoldiers at the time more rarely wore the iconic Roman heavy armor which was so effective against Rome’s previous conquest, so the invading enemies easily defeated the defending troops (Doc 4) Concerning Military Matters was written just a couples decades after the sacking of Rome but before the the final collapse of the Western Empire so there is validity to his statements, and he’s possibly writing to persuade the government to bring back heavy army. The only limitation to this text is the fact that he was a Roman and thus might falsely accuse their loss on Roman armor instead of giving credit to the Gothic military. An account from the “barbarian” side would help fully understand the picture. Yet another Roman military fault is the failure to enforce conscription. Many were exempted from the drafts who might otherwise have helped defend the empire. (Doc 5) The Fall of the Roman Empire: A Reappraisal was written by Michael Grants, around 1500 years after the events it describes, and is written in a purely informational viewpoint. A document containing information the number of citizens conscripted from each profession would build a better conclusion about Roman drafting.

Another important reason that the Roman Empire collapsed is over-extension and uncontrollable borders. The vast wealth and lands of the empire only increased the extent its downfall. With its borders stretching from Britain to Arabia, and angry “barbarians” invading from all sides, it was only a matter of time for its fall. (Doc 1) Gibbon, in writing The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was informing readers of evidence they had at the time, 1788, for the collapse. A limitation might be not enough historical evidence, i.e. archaeological digs, etc. An additional document which would be of great help, would be an account of the life of a rich Roman and how it would lead to the “decay” of Rome. The “barbarians”, including the Franks, Goths, and Vandals, invaded primarily the Western half of the Empire, sacking and conquering the vast stretches of Roman lands. (Doc 6) The map’s point of view is limited due to its lack of major city sacking locations which would explain the disruption of trade and commerce in the late empire, only showing the paths the invaders took.

The final, but most significant explanation for Rome’s demise was it political and economic instability towards the end of the 400’s. High taxation on lands near the edge of the Empire, due to a huge military cost, caused a expansive withdrawal from cultivating farmland. (Doc 2) The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation was most likely written with an intent to inform readers about the military aspect of Rome’s collapse. An additional  In addition to this, the Emperor during this time rarely ruled for more than a year, with another usurper either assassinating the Emperor or taking over after his death in battle or plague. This constant shift in power left the Empire easy pickings for invading German tribes. (Doc 3)

The Western Roman Empire, between the years 100 and 500 BCE, began to collapse because of many things. The Roman army was weakening, having abandoned the use of heavy armor and ineffective conscription laws, as were they over-extended and unable to control their vast lands against foreign invaders. And lastly, the Romans’ government and economy were in terrible disarray from over taxation and instability leadership.

The Emerging World and Technologies

This year I am taking Computer Science Principles as one of my electives and I have to say it is probably one of my favorite classes that I have taken so far. It appeals to my passion for coding and building things on computers and I have learned so much in the class so far. One of our first assignments in this class was to research any emerging technology that appealed to us and write a paper so we could present the technology to the class. The only catch was that you could not research a technology that someone else was already researching, but I was lucky as I was one of the first people to pick their topic and I could pretty much choose anything I wanted. I thought 3D Printing was a technology that we would probably see a lot more of in the next decade and it was not taken yet, so I had to research 3D Printing for my paper. At first glance, I was kind of disappointed going into the class and having my first assignment as an essay, but when I started the project I really enjoyed it. I was writing about something that I was genuinely interested in so it felt more like just personal research than work. A couple weeks after that paper was due, we had a similar assignment but we had to choose another topic. This time I was excited to hear about the essay and couldn’t wait to get started. I looked around for an interesting topic that wasn’t really well known and I decided to write my next paper on wireless electricity, specifically in the wireless charging area. I really enjoyed writing both of these papers and learned a lot from them. It was a great decision to take this class and it is something that I look forward to doing when I goto school in the morning. But until then, here are the papers that I wrote. Hopefully you learn something new. Enjoy!
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3D-Printing

3D printing is a technology that is revolutionizing the pure basis of printing and mass production. Businesses have been using this technology for quite a long time now to produce prototypes for their products. This technology allows anyone with the proper materials to transfer a 3D model created on the computer into a tangible item within a couple hours.

3D printers use a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) file to print an object out of a plastic-based material. The printer has a super-heated nozzle that melts the material for just a second to allow it to be reshaped into an layers of an object. The technology of 3D printing has gotten to a point where the printing of other computers and certain edible materials is now feasible. However, the technology is still relatively slow as it takes many hours to print something of a small size. But don’t fear, there are so many new advances being made in this technology every day and it has so much potential that it very well will change the way that we think of life.

One of the most important uses that 3D printers are being used for right now is the printing of prosthetics used by many hospitals and health facilities. These printed prosthetics are relatively cheap compared to their alternatives and they are fully functional and easy to assemble. There is a whole community of people that are helped every year by these easy access prosthetics and anyone with access to the materials to print it can print their own prosthetics without the insanely expensive cost.
Another aspect that 3D printing will evolve is the number of small inventions that will actually get implemented. So many of the great technologies that we take for granted today started out as a random idea in a person’s head. Lot of these ideas that have originated today have not had the means of being produced and actually making an impact on the world. 3D printers allow for anyone with an idea of something to create a prototype at home and show it to the world. With these means, who know how many new inventions would be made known that could change our world in ways that we may have never imagined possible.

3D printing hasn’t really reached a point yet where it would be optimized for common use. Some of the most optimized printers right now are still the backbones of what could be achieved. Most of these printers can keep up with the demand of what is asked, but they do not have the most user-friendly interface. Keep your eyes open though because 3D printing is a technology that I think we are going to see a lot more in the next couple of years. Just in the year of 2015 the whole idea of 3D printing achieved a new level as advances were made and what was once just thought of was actually made possible. This technology has so much potential and will help change our world from the one we know to lead us to a better future.

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Wireless Power

Wireless power is a technology that has only recently emerged on the world market. It is something that has been widely speculated in the past, but it has never really been achieved effectively before. A long time ago, Nikola achieved this with his invention of the tesla coil which transferred bursts of energy from a set of copper coils, but it was very inefficient and expensive. But recently, a company called WiTricity has been developing and licensing wireless electricity/charging technologies and producing them for mass commercial use.

According to Forbes.com, the market for wireless electricity products will be at almost $4.5 billion market by 2016 and in the next 8 following years it is estimated to expand all the way to a $15 billion market. This just shows that in a few years this area of technology will be greatly expanded and people will think of it as part of their daily lives like how people think of their phones today.

Wireless power technology provide people with greater opportunities as it will virtually eliminate the power cable and allow you access to technology anywhere that has a power source nearby. Plans for future implementation of this technology could reach all the way from installing wireless hubs in your car, so your phone would instantly start charging as soon as you step into your car from college campuses that charge your devices when you’re on campus.

There are however certain doubts about the technology that it could pose a threat to humans as the wireless charging signals constantly going through your body could harm you after long exposure, but there is no solid proof to back up this fact and most electronic devices put out more radiation into you than you would think.

So in conclusion, wireless power is a market that we will most likely see expanding and becoming more popular in the future and we should be aware of everything that it is capable of. And wireless power is “green” as it will also allow for more electric based modes of transportation in the future.

Scipio “Iberianus”: Rome’s Scheming General

As a year-long Latin project, I was assigned the famous Roman, Scipio Africanus, to research and write about his impact on the modern world. Here’s the outline stage of thew paper.

  1. Introduction

Thesis Statement: Scipio Africanus paved the way for significant Roman influences on the cultures and languages in Spain and North Africa; was one of the first generals to make use of espionage for military victory, a practice that has become very prevalent in the 20th and 21st centuries; as well as innovating many military tactics such infantry column flanks and gained the admiration of many future generals by being arguably one of history’s greatest war leaders.

  1. Paragraph #1

Topic Sentence: Scipio Africanus won the Second Punic War, securing Rome’s influence and control in the Western Mediterranean.

  1. Scipio’s first, and most notable, assignment was to Iberia, modern day Spain, where he successfully brought the region under Roman rule. “…the Romans had assigned… Scipio… to Iberia and Africa with the intention of attacking the enemy’s domains and forcing [Hannibal] on the defensive.” (Acimovic 12)

  2. He conquered the city of New Carthage, as it was the capital of the Carthaginian base in Spain, and the city was later fully integrated into the Roman Empire. “Upon his arrival at New Carthage, Scipio took up a position on the peninsula so as to completely blockade the city.” (Acimovic 16)

  3. Iberian culture was influenced extensively by Rome, and Latin became the major language of the region, eventually evolving into modern day Spanish. “…Roman influence lasted longer and ran much deeper in Spain than in other parts of the Latin West.” (Kulikowski 1)

  1. Paragraph #2

Topic Sentence: Scipio was a pioneer in many military techniques such as his notorious infantry flanks and was the inspiration for many later strategists, many of whom consider him to be history’s greatest military leader.

  1. He had his first experience with combat at the age of seventeen, with his father. “Here the youthful Scipio, a lad of seventeen, accompanied his father, the Roman commander.” (Liddell Hart 9)

  2. He was versed in many tactical maneuvers such infantry flanking, and envelopment, which have been emulated by modern tacticians. “…Scipio was of true master at tactical maneuver, having trained his army in [flanking infantry columns, fixing attacks, cavalry flank tactics, envelopment, etc.]” (Gabriel 48) “Scipio developed [infantry maneuvers] to a high art and employed them with a brilliance and effectiveness unparalleled in Roman history.” (Gabriel NP)

  3. He always had the end goal of the war in mind, avoiding unnecessary battles and instead focusing on key victories. “While others urged [Scipio] to attack one of the Carthaginian armies, he decided to strike at their base. their life-line.” (Liddell Hart 27) “You will in actuality attack the walls of a single city, but in that single city you will have made youselves masters of all of Spain.” (Liddell Hart 30)

  4. Scipio would not give up until Carthage was defeated and yet never lost a battle. “… Scipio was satisfied with nothing less than a total victory…” (Acimovic 33) “[Scipio] ranks… as one of history’s few generals who never suffered a defeat.” (Gabriel NP)

  5. He gained quite a large group of fans, and is often considered greater than Alexander the Great, who at the time was known as the best commander to have ever lived, by many. “Scipio [procured] a degree of admiration which surpassed what was due to any human being…” (Berwick 26)

  1. Paragraph #3

Topic Sentence: Scipio was one of the first generals to use spies to acquire information and sabotage enemy operations.

He sent disguised soldier into enemy camps to map entrances and exits as well as vulnerabilities in their defences. “They were to look for outposts and sentries…” (Sheldon NP)

  1. He was the only Roman general to make extensive use of espionage. “In conducting espionage, Scipio seems to stand out as an exception among Roman commanders.” (Sheldon NP)
  2. Scipio often sent his spies out disguised as escaped slaves to avoid suspicion. “…sending out spies in the guise of escaped slaves, a ruse favoured by… Scipio Africanus.” (Crowdy 23)
  3. Essentially began the practice of espionage in war, influenced the creation of organization such as the CIA, ISI, and MI6.

An Ode to Carrots

We had to write an ode in Literature class and what better opportunity to express my love for carrots then there!

When you’re cut in half so enticingly,                                                                                          I find it quite hard to resist.                                                                                                        But when I relent reluctantly,                                                                                                    I see I’m a fool to desist.                                                                                                          To snack you with humus is quotidian,                                                                                    You surely won’t fade to oblivion.

Without carrots, I am but Niobe,                                                                                                  A sad woman, crying and lonely.                                                                                              But when carrots enter the fray,                                                                                              I feel it’s a Halcyon day.                                                                                                            As I enjoy the texture of your skin,                                                                                          I think of how great my life has been.

Your silky skin seeking to seduce me,                                                                                        Oh carrots! You orange and dewy delights.                                                                            As smooth as a newborn baby,                                                                                                You act as my guiding lights.                                                                                                    The sound of your crunch so terrific,                                                                                        I wish your respect were prolific.

Although the mush of your boiling makes me uneasy,                                                                 Your garlic roasted flavor gets me all queasy.                                                                         Shame to spud sharing your hue,                                                                                             It may be more starchy, but it’s got nothing on you.                                                                 Of all the root veggies, you are my favorite.                                                                             Don’t eat that whole carrot,                                                                                                       savor it, savor it…