Saturday, February 28, 2015

We Are Legion: Hacktivists & Anonymous

Anonymous and Hacktivists were in the news last year because of the demonstrations we had in Brazil, protesting against the organization of the World Cup. This is a very controversial group of demonstrators and will generate a lot of discussions. Please, use this scene with adults only.


What does Hacktivism mean?


Hacktivism is the act of hacking a website or computer network in an effort to convey a social or political message. The person who carries out the act of hacktivism is known as a hacktivist.

In contrast to a malicious hacker who hacks a computer with the intent to steal private information or cause other harm, hacktivists engage in similar forms of disruptive activities to highlight political or social causes. For the hacktivist, hacktivism is an Internet-enabled strategy to exercise civil disobedience. Acts of hacktivism may include website defacement, denial-of-service attacks (DoS), redirects, website parodies, information theft, virtual sabotage and virtual sit-ins.


Hacktivism and Anonymous are connected:


II. Look at the sign below. What is the message given by Anonymous?


4
anon


III. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions below.


video


1. What is Anonymous?

2. How does the group operate?

3. What kind of activities is Anonymous known for?

4. How are hacktivists and Anonymous connected?

5. Read the answers, according to the site 

What is Anonymous?

Anonymous is a loosely organized international movement of online activists who share similar social and political ideals. Anonymous says it promotes access to information, free speech, and transparency, and also supports various anti corruption and anti authoritarian movements.

How does the group operate?

The group is generally perceived as anarchic, with no controlling leadership. Basically, individual members make their own decisions and relay their protest ideas and activities to one another via social media. If those ideas and activities gather enough support in that community, a collective agreement is made, dates and virtual “meeting times” are set, and participants proceed to launch a campaign to accomplish whatever goal they’ve set out to achieve.

Members of Anonymous say it’s easy to join the group. Just hide your identity while conducting your online activities and you’re in. Because of the complex, informal and, of course, anonymous nature of the group, it’s not really possible to establish an accurate demographic on its membership.

What kind of activities is Anonymous known for?

The group is associated with collaborative hacking activities (“hacktivism”) that are often launched as a form of retaliatory protest against governmental agencies, commercial entities, and other institutions. Such attacks commonly come in the form of denial-of-service (DoS) or distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), which shut down Internet websites or other Internet-based services. Hackers associated with the group have claimed cyber attacks ranging from minor pranks against various corporations to shutting down the website of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

 IV. Discuss these questions:

1. Do you agree with what the group Anonymous has done? 

2. What are some examples that you have found of hacktivism and activism? 

3. Do you think that hacktivism and activism is for the greater good of all or better off nonexistent?

4. There were many demonstrations in Brazil protesting against the organization of the World Cup 2014. Many demonstrators wore Anonymous masks. On the other hand, most of these demonstrations started pacifically but ended up with a lot of vandalism and violence, supported by Black Blocs, a group whose participants are usually associated with anarchism. What's your opinion about hiding one's face with a mask and promoting violent acts to achieve your demonstration goals? Were these demonstrations in sync with the Anonymous and Hacktivists original purposes? Why (not)?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Delivery Man: Sperm Banks

This film is a must. The story is moving and thought-provoking, but it is also a  lot of fun.



Discuss:

1. What is a sperm bank? What are the services offered by a sperm bank? Make a guess if you have no idea.

2. Visit the site on this link, Then answer the questions that follow.

  • What is the name of the sperm bank?
  • What services does it offer?
  • What are the costs?
  • Do you consider it expensive? Why (not)?
  • What's your opinion about this issue? How ethical is it? 
  • What is the trend in the future? Will it be an ordinary service, like purchasing a new car or house?
  • Would you be a donor? Explain it
  • Would you consider using a sperm bank if you could not have children?
  • Are donors altruistic or just looking for some extra cash?
  • Should the donor's identity be revealed if the child wanted to know it? Why (not)?




I. Watch the movie segment. Vince Vaughn's character is the biological father of of those young people he interacts with in the scene. The kids, however, don't know it. 


video
 Discuss:

1. What were the consequences of his sperm donation?

2. How should he deal with the situation? Should he let them all know they are his children? Explain why (not)?

3. What would you do if you were in his shoes?


Answer key:

  • What is the name of the sperm bank?  The Sperm Bank of California
  • What services does it offer? Donor Sperm, Sperm Storage,  Semen Analysis, Genetic Consultation
  • What are the costs? It depends on the services required. From US$9,000,00 to US$35,000,00 - sometimes more depending on how long the storage will take.
  • The other answers will vary.


MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - DELIVERY MAN


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jack and the Cockoo-Clock Heart: Making Difficult Decisions

This is a beautiful, magical and dramatic story of a mother who has to make a very difficult decision in life - giving her baby to be raised by someone wealthier, because she does not have the means to nurture him. It is a French animated movie spoken in English I loved it.


I. Work in pairs:

1. Have you ever had to make a difficult decision in your life? What made you decide what to do? Can you talk about it?

2. Have you ever made a wrong choice? Talk about it?

3. What would you do in the situations below? Explain your choices.

  • You are offered a fantastic professional opportunity, but you would have to be two years and a half away from your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend? There will not be any chances to see each other, just by using mobile devices (skype, facebook, etc). What would you do?
  • You  have two children. A four year-old boy and a three-year old girl. A criminal tells you to sacrifice one of your children or both of them die. He won't choose; you have to do it. If you don't choose one of them, both of them die. You cannot sacrifice yourself to save both of them. If you do it, both of them die. What would you do? Who would you choose to survive?
  • You saw your best friend's lover kissing another person. Your best friend loves her partner and is nine-month pregnant. You don't know how involved your friend's lover is with that stranger. Would you tell him/her what you saw?
  • You receive the news that the person you love most will die in two months. This situation can't be changed. He/she has a lot of plans for the future and is very happy with her life, her accomplishments and expectations for the future. However, he/she is not in a hurry and is planning things slowly. What would you do? Warn him and make him enjoy life immediately, risking fostering depression and desperation? Would you let him/her waste his time and opportunities to enjoy the time that is left for him/her without worries?
II. Here are six questions one should ask himself before making a difficult choice. Answer the questions, connecting them with each of the four situations above:


1. If I don’t do this now, will I regret it?
2. What am I afraid of?
3. What does my heart say?
4. Who am I really doing this for?
5. Will I like myself after this decision?
6. Can I cope with the consequences of my decision?



III. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions in exercise II. How would she probably answer those questions?


video

IV. What would you do if you were in her shoes? How would you answer those questions in exercise II if you were in her position?

POWERPOINT SLIDES 

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - JACK AND THE CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART