I'm Crowdsourcing My Homework

I'm Crowdsourcing My Homework

I have to write this 10 page history paper and I really need your help.
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Hey guys, it's Julian. It's been a rough past couple of weeks. Midterms and papers have just been piling up, you know? I've spent too much time watching Netflix and posting on Yik Yak about watching Netflix and not enough time in the library. It's the usual story. Anyway, here's the deal. I have to write this 10 page history paper and I just really don't have the time. So, I thought to myself, you know what? It's the 21st century. I'm an Internet kind of guy. I have a problem and scarce resources. Let's crowdsource it! Unfortunately, Kickstarter and Indiegogo only have cash donation options, so I'm taking my cause to The Odyssey, since writing an article is another thing I have to do this week and now I'm killing two birds with one stone.

Here's how it's gonna work. I have a few different donation tiers that will come with some cool perks. Each donation tier also includes the perks of all the lower donation tiers. Crowdsourcing! Got it? Good. Okay, here we go.

If you donate a sentence, you will receive proper attribution in the form of a footnote! In case you had the wrong idea before, I'm all about academic honesty. If you think that just because I'm crowdsourcing my essay means I intend to take credit for the work of others, you are closed-minded, my friend. It's 2015. Everyone gets a footnote. MLA, APA, or Turabian per request.

If you donate a paragraph, you will receive a sentence beginning with "Scholars such as [YOUR NAME HERE] have argued that..." I don't care what anyone else says. If you donate a whole paragraph, that makes you a "scholars such as" in my book. This sentence can go before the paragraph that you donate or somewhere else in the essay if you'd prefer.

If you donate a page, you will receive a signed copy of the final paper. That's right, an 8.5" x 11" printed copy of the paper personally signed by both me and my professor! Just for you! The signature can be personalized as you wish. Limit one per patron.

If you donate a mediocre thesis, you will receive a framed, signed copy of the final paper. The thesis can be anywhere from a single sentence to a whole intro paragraph, just so long as it isn't really saying anything new or interesting and shows little more than a rudimentary understanding of the course material. Limit $100 for the frame.

If you donate a strong thesis, you will receive a private reading of the paper. That's right, if your thesis makes a specific and interesting argument that can be supported by both historical facts and arguments from respected historians, I will perform a private reading of the paper just for you! If you'd prefer someone other than me to perform the reading, I will do my best to accommodate this, but I can't make any promises.

So there it is, Internet. I hope I've gotten you guys pumped about this paper. Remember, if everyone pitches in just a little bit, it has the potential of getting at least a B-plus, maybe even an A-minus.

Cover Image Credit: socialbrite.org

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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This Phone Kidnapping Scam Could Cost You Thousands And My Situation Should Be A Warning

This article is to tell you my story and provide tips on how to understand what is a scam/how to prevent them.

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A few weeks ago, my family was caught in the middle of a kidnapping phone scandal that costs us a couple hundred dollars. Many times you hear these stories on the news and think it couldn't happen to you or your loved ones. Then, when it happens, you haven't taken any cautionary measures. This article is to tell you my story and provide tips on how to understand what is a scam/how to prevent them.

This scam took place between my sister and father at first. All the scammers needed was the two phone numbers and some computer software to trick us. They began by calling both my sister and father at the same time. The call to my sister's phone looked like it was coming from my father because they use software that made the call come from my father's phone number. Caller ID showed my father's name and made it seem like they had his phone. The same concept happened to my father with my sister's number.

After they get you to pick up, they told both my father and sister they had kidnapped the other. They told my father they kidnapped her off the streets. They told my sister that my father had a debt to pay and they're holding him hostage until they get the amount. At this point, both my sister and dad think the other is being held hostage (when neither was). They tell you not to hang up the phone or they will hurt the loved one.

They then ask for money in the form of VISA gift cards or such. They will tell you to buy/max out multiple cards to the highest it will allow (usually $500) and then tell you to read the numbers of the card to them. This makes them untraceable. The number varies between each scammer so that might now always indicate a scam.

The reason you don't immediately hang up is that they are smarter than just telling you they have someone you love. For example, they used personal information they made my sister tell them against my father (and vise-versa). They make you say your location (ex. my sister's college) and what is around you to make it believable.

Also, people tend to begin these times and they will use all of the info you share against the other person they called to make it seem real. On top of the info, they record parts of the conversation when someone is talking and play it back for the other. In our case, they told my sister to say, "Don't worry dad, I'll take care of us. We'll be okay". Then, they played this clip back for my father to make it seem like they actually had her there.

Now, most people just think it's so easy to just hang up and call bullshit but they make it very clear not to mess with their rules. They told my father not to tell anyone about this, stay on the line at all times, and do what they say. If he was to not listen, they threatened to rape and/or kill my sister. This obviously is a brutal image to even imagine, so it's not worth risking it. So, he stayed on the line.

My mother then came up to my father and figured out what was happening and the real game began. She took the phone and used her skills at lying to delay buying the cards. My sister didn't have anyone with her at college so she ended up giving them a few gift cards. She then was stranded at a Kroger just waiting. They kept her on the line to keep recording her voice for my mom. Now that my father wasn't on the phone, he called the police and began investigating. He called her roommate and asked if he had seen my sister.

The roommate hadn't seen her; however, he had her location turned on. He tracked her to Kroger and ran there (he lives in the city). The roommate and my father worked with the police and SWAT team to get my sister. Meanwhile, my mom is just acting like an idiot and asking many questions because she wanted them to think she was confused. Any lie she could think of, she was using.

When the SWAT team saw my sister, they didn't grab her immediately. They made sure nobody was with her. After confirming she was alone, they radioed that they had the victim. This caused my sister confusion because she didn't think she was the victim. She still thought they had our mom and dad. So she's yelling at SWAT to find my parents. They then bring her to the station and explain what was actually happening. After my parents got confirmation my sister was safe, they called the scammers out and they hung up immediately. All were safe and the police were now trying to track the scammers.

Overall, it took hours to get the full story from all 4 people (and what you just read was the abridged version). They then took my sister's phone and made my parents come to pick her and her phone up.

HOW TO PREVENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

- Turn on your location with at least 3 trusted people and tell your family who has it

-Make a code word in case this situation happens so you know it's real

-Never actually buy the cards they ask for

-Always have a pad and paper so you can write notes to people if they are around

-DO NOT tell them how much money you have

-Never trust the scammer, even if they tell you some true information

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