Drilling In Good Habits in AFJROTC

To achieve comfortability with their drills, AFJROTC initiates were given the opportunity to unite with their comrades through a two week training session at Scripps Ranch High School from September 11 to 22.

According to air university, AFJROTC, or Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Camp, aims to “Instill Values Of Citizenship, Service To The United States, Personal Responsibility and Sense Of Accomplishment.” To reinforce these goals and welcome new members of AFJROTC, flight sergeants and flight commanders familiarized themselves with the initiates.

The main objective for the training session was to polish drills. Justin Bui (9) comments, “Practicing absolutely helped me to perfect my drills, and it was definitely helpful to become more comfortable around my class leaders, who were outstandingly friendly.” By making initiates feel welcomed, class leaders ensured their colleagues success. Jacob Wong (9) states, “All of the commanders were awfully welcoming and instantly aided those in need.” Ultimately, all the thoughtful acts performed by members of AFJROTC during the session helped to set a foundation for their future accomplishments. Becoming acquainted with fellow initiates gave the training sessions meaning and let members enjoy AFJROTC more. Cadet Allison Areola (9) explains, “I personally enjoyed meeting new people from the bootcamp and being able to communicate with others my own level gave me more appreciation for all the learning I received from class leaders.” To most, it was delightful having someone to empathize with. Struggling with drills easily became frustrating and tiring for most, but having a companion to work it out with let cadets have a more pleasent assembly.

AFJROTC Boot Camp For First Year Initiates Kianna Hill

Don’t Panic! This is Only a Drill

Drilling in Good Habits in AFJROTC

Some first year initiates felt the same comfort from the boot camp that took place from September 11 to 22 compared to similar gatherings. Cadet Derek Phan (9) states, “I attended summer leadership school which was two week training of leadership skills, this first year initiate boot camp for AFJROTC felt relatable in the sense that we learned to cooperate with one another.” Although the boot camp leaned more toward military discipline and knowing your drills, it positively incorporated social skills throughout the two weeks. One of the skills, confidence, came from the positive thinking, practice, training, knowledge and conversing with other people that all the cadets did daily. Adam Asuelo (9) says, “I feel way more confident than I did before the two week training because I noticed my colleagues were struggling with the same movements I was, and all the practice really made me feel like I could complete the drills close to perfect on my own time.” From this confidence, cadets were able to achieve personal responsibility for their drills.

Flight commanders and sergeants felt that the initiates attending the September 11 to 22 bootcamp were better than last year’s. Evan Dicker (11) states, “The cadets were a lot better this year because they are more motivated to actively participate with everyone else and soak up all of the information we provide them in order to overly succeed throughout the year.” Initiates this year are starting off strong with the drive and willpower to master their drills and have a good time with fellow cadets with the social skills taught to them from the two week training.

Many of the cadets who attended the two week boot camp, with newly acquainted social skills, are looking forward to the rest of their training throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Scripps Ranch’s flight sergeants and flight commanders will continue to guide the cadets as they completely master their drills. From here on out it will be a wild ride for all members in AFJROTC.


Local gun violence causes uproar

By Noah Lowy

Copy EditorScreen Shot 2017-06-02 at 10.49.52 AM

On April 30, 2017, the San Diego community was stunned by a deadly shooting rampage at an apartment complex in the University City area which took the life of one woman and injured seven others. For the citizens of San Diego, the horrors broadcasted in the news every day have now become a reality. The issues surrounding gun control have gone from something San Diegans merely read about, to something they must strongly consider. However, many Americans have experienced gun violence in their own communities. In 2015, there was on average, more than one mass shooting (4 or more wounded/killed) every day in the U.S. That statistic is horrifying, yet no steps are being taken to fix the problem. The lack of action is shocking, and exposes the underlying faults in America’s firearm legislation. In order for any serious change to occur, the government must reconsider the importance of the right to bear arms and must work to better enforce background checks, extend waiting periods, and ban certain firearms.

America consistently places number one in the world in many gun related statistics. The U.S. has the most firearms per capita of any nation, and while America accounts for only 5% of the world’s population, 31% of all mass shootings occur in the U.S. The reason for America’s struggle with gun violence comes down to the accessibility of firearms. America has surprisingly loose gun legislation, making firearms easily accessible to nearly any citizen without a criminal record. Guns are available at chain stores like Walmart, where background checks can take just minutes, and at gun shows where background checks aren’t required. According to the FBI, in 2014, 66% of all regulated gun transactions are approved within minutes, and if a background check isn’t completed within 3 days, the sale is allowed to proceed. Firearm transactions which are unregulated by the government do not require background checks, and they can be easily arranged on a variety of websites which connect buyers and sellers.

Guns are simply too easy to purchase in America, and when background checks are conducted, they are still too lax. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, while quick, has several major flaws. The database which allows background checks to be conducted in minutes is incomplete and doesn’t account for certain aspects of many gun buyers’ history. For instance, many states do not share mental health records with the NICS, meaning there is the possibility that mentally unstable people could still obtain firearms in those states. There is also the possibility of human error in the checks, as in the case of the Charleston church shooter. He was able to purchase a gun though he had been known to police for illegally possessing the drug Suboxone, which should have barred him from buying a gun. However the police records were not found during his background check, and he was able to purchase a .45 millimeter handgun, which he used to murder 9 innocent people.

Compared to America, other nations with much stricter firearm regulations have seen dramatic declines in mass shootings. President Barack Obama commented on this, saying “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” For instance, Australia enacted serious gun control legislation in 1996 after a series of horrific mass shootings throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. The legislation, called the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), is a series of laws coordinating the regulation and banning of certain weapons. The NFA started a gun buyback program which took over 650,000 firearms out of circulation, it tightened background checks and gun licensing processes, increased the waiting period to 28 days, and required owners had a “genuine reason” for owning a gun. Since that legislation passed, Australia has had one mass shooting. One mass shooting over a 20 year period, compared to America’s 136 mass shootings in the first 6 months of 2016 alone. With a difference that drastic not only in the numbers, but in the actual laws, it is apparent that America’s current system isn’t working, and that adopting legislation similar to Australia’s would benefit the country greatly.

The first step towards improving the gun problem in America is to acknowledge that the 2nd Amendment is outdated. The world was vastly different in 1791 than it is today. There was the threat of invasion, and many people on the frontier relied on firearms to defend against attacks from Native Americans and to travel safely through the unsettled country. However, most of this is irrelevant and inapplicable to today’s society. The 2nd Amendment is outdated and must be revised or repealed in order for significant progress to be made.

Many in favor of guns believe that the right to gun ownership is an essential facet of being an American, and that it is a natural right and part of American heritage. It is also believed by the NRA and many supporters of gun laws that background checks are an invasion of privacy. While it is true that the right to own firearms has been embedded in American culture for centuries, it is undeniable that other developed nations with different gun laws and gun culture do not experience the same issues. According to the Lancet journal, implementing universal background checks could decrease gun deaths by 56.9%. It is hard to argue for privacy when countless lives would be saved by thorough background checks, and it is hard to defend a culture that allows thousands to die.

The firearm situation in America is quite concerning, and with the current pro-gun administration, there seems to be no hope of enacting new gun control laws within the next 4 years. With more mass shootings occurring every day, the fact is the situation isn’t getting better. Politicians on both sides of the aisle must realize that the “freedom” to own firearms under the Second Amendment must not be allowed to outweigh the freedom to go to school without worrying about a possible shooting, the freedom to go to a movie theatre, night club, or place of worship without worrying. The fear and the unnecessary bloodshed must end.

Air traffic needs control

By Kailey Williams

Staff Writer

Since the early 1900’s, people have relied on airline services to provide for them a safe and comfortable flight to their given destination. Recently, these airline services have been failing to accomplish this goal and have been doing an unsatisfactory job in the views of the public. Due to this, Congress has stepped in to reprimand the airline companies and warn them to solve their issues. The airline services need to undergo a change in their customer service in order to gain trust back from the public.

One incident occurred on a United Airlines flight in April of this year. Due to overbooking, the airline staff randomly selected passengers to be forcefully removed from the flight. A video went viral that showed of one of the passengers, Dr. David Dao, being violently removed from a flight after he refused to give up his seat so an airline employee could have it. Due to this, lawmakers questioned airline executives about a number of customer service concerns, including overbooking policies as well as the lengthy fine print of so-called contracts of carriage, which are the terms and conditions passengers unwittingly agree to when buying plane tickets. The viral video of Dao being dragged from his seat through the airplane aisle caused public outrage to explode over Dao’s treatment. United Airlines announced new rules and said they will increase the maximum compensation offered to a passenger to voluntarily give up a seat on an overbooked flight to $10,000, though this doesn’t solve the issue. Airlines need to stop overbooking flights to compensate for passengers who may not show up, and stop selling tickets immediately after the seats fill on a plane. It is common sense to not sell more tickets than the capacity of a plane, and airlines need to begin to take these things into account.

Another incident occurred in April on an American Airlines flight, in which a male flight attendant upset a female passenger and then got in a confrontation with a male passenger who tried to come to the woman’s defense. A video shows the flight attendant violently grabbing the woman’s stroller and striking the woman, nearly hitting her child, and then threatening the male passenger who came to support her. One witness, Olivia Morgan, states, “The flight attendant wrestled the stroller away from the woman, who was sobbing, holding one baby with the second baby in a car seat on the ground next to her. The flight attendant was violent when taking the metal stroller from the woman and nearly hit the baby with the stroller.” Morgan said that afterwards she talked to the woman about the incident, who said a female flight attendant told her she could look for space to store the stroller because it folds up very small. She states she tried to tell the male attendant what the previous woman had told her and he would not listen. These altercations between attendants and passengers aren’t the only problems arising from the airlines. A few weeks ago, a man was stung by a scorpion on one of the planes. The conditions on these flights need to be improved in both customer service, comfort, and safety.

Due to the harsh conditions found on these flights, a trial has been brought to the attention of Congress in order to fix the issues at hand. United Airlines President Scott Kirby, United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz, and executives from American Airlines, Alaskan Airlines, Southwest Airlines, spoke as witnesses at one of the hearings. Munoz apologized again for the April incident, saying, “No customer should be treated the way Dr. Dao was, and we understand that. As CEO, at the end of the day, that’s on me, and this has to be a turning point. We will do better.” Even with the apologies, the airlines still have a lot of damage control to do to gain back the trust of the public. Representative Frederica Wilson suggested the airlines need to increase and improve the amount of training provided to employees. Munoz responded that United would strengthen training in customer service and how to keep complaints and conflicts from escalating.

The airline companies need to step up their performance and ensure that their staff know how to handle all types of situations. Whether it be overcrowding, a stroller, or a scorpion on a plane, airline employees must be prepared to properly and calmly react to a situation, without causing arguments or outrage with their passengers.

Capitalism upholds individual rights in the free market

By Nick Cassol

Staff Writer

Though the nation’s founding economic principles were that of free markets, increasingly people find themselves at odds with a system that appears to benefit the corporate elite more than everyday Americans. The US does in fact enjoy such an economic system, but it is not that of free markets, as the American people have been told. Rather, it is corporatism. Capitalism should not be blamed, and socialism should not be implemented. Instead, the market should reflect the basic struggle that all humans strive for – freedom and liberty.

Economics is the science of human incentive. Man’s incentive and desire for resources is what defines an economy in the most simplistic terms. The difference between the various economic systems is how they deal with human incentive. Most – including socialist, feudal, mixed, and corporatist – seek to suppress incentive. Capitalism seeks to encourage it. By permitting laissez-faire capitalism to exist, basic incentives will always be followed. The pursuit of the natural motivation to obtain resources is beneficial to all, as people are always most productive when working for personal gain. Such increased productivity is why capitalism, at the very least from an economic standpoint, is the superior economic system. Resources incentivize humans, yet economics itself is the study of limited resources. Desire for limited resources is what drives competition, and therefore productivity. Competition is essential to capitalism; businesses and merchants strive always to be better for the consumer than the last guy, which both serves as a check on the system, and drives productivity.

What drives an economy are prices, which represent the supply and demand for any one item. If the demand for a resource is high, the supply becomes depleted, and the price goes up. When the demand for a resource is low, there is an excess of supply, and the price goes down. This simple relationship left to its own devices can benefit both the consumer and the provider in a free market; the consumer purchases something because they have decided that the resource is more valuable than the money required to buy it, and the provider has decided that the money is more valuable than the resource. In socialist or mixed economies, the government distorts this supply-demand relationship by means of harmful regulations. One example is the minimum wage. The minimum wage determines the lowest price a worker can be paid, effectively setting a price floor on the price of labor. Because of this artificial floor, the price of labor is higher than it would be in a free market, thereby lowering the demand for such labor. Driving down demand for labor drives unemployment up, as the cost of employment becomes too much for employers to bear. This hurts workers as well as businesses, and both parties lose in this situation, a far cry from the win-win scenario described in a free market. Another regulation that hinders the supply-demand relationship is price controls, which, as the minimum wage sets a price floor, price controls set a price ceiling. They determine the highest price a provider can legally sell a good or service, even when the demand for such a good or service far exceeds the artificially set price. Because the price misrepresents the demand by making it lower than it would be in a free market, the supply becomes depleted.

As bad as the government tearing down businesses is, actively embellishing them is quite likely even worse. Such embellishment defines corporatism, the economic policy the US has been pursuing since the early 1970’s. The first half of the twentieth century definitely saw a move toward socialism for the US, and while this move still persists with people like Bernie Sanders being prominent figures in American politics, the country, or the government and corporations rather, have become much more fascinated with corporatism. The first examples of corporatism can be seen in 1971, when President Nixon dropped the gold standard. Without an actual entity to back up the value of money, its value became solely based on arbitrary interest rates set by the Federal Reserve, which is composed of private bankers. Obviously, being made up of private bankers, interest rates can be exploited for corporate benefits, and indeed, since the early 70’s, there has been a rapid increase in income inequality. Those on the left blame this inequality on the Reagan tax cuts and subsequent Republican administrations who also cut tax rates for corporations, and while this indeed is part of corporatism and surely affected income inequality, the actual implications are too small to cause large scale inequality. In addition, the trend of income inequality began somewhere around 1975, six years before Reagan even took office, and continued to grow even during the Clinton and Obama administrations when tax rates were jacked back up. Rather than random tax cuts, the distortion of the value of money once the unbiased and concrete value of gold became irradiated has contributed the large-scale income inequality, and is a prime example of corporatism in action. A more well-known example of corporatism is found in the 2008 financial crisis. Large corporations and big banks were going out of business due to their own financial irresponsibility and incompetency, and rather than letting them bear the cost of their actions as in a free market, the government jumped in a bailed them out. Meanwhile, the American people, who lost much in the crisis as well, were not given such generous treatment.

While free markets work best from an economic standpoint, they are also morally correct. The three natural rights of man are life, liberty, and property. All are essential to individual freedom, as they all describe the most individual entities that man possesses. The free market is the only economic system that upholds these principles. Governments in socialist economies through their regulations take away the most individual of individual rights, and are absolutely opposed to the freedom of the individual to pursue their right to life, liberty, and property, so long as they do not infringe upon another individual’s same rights. Author and philosopher Ayn Rand writes, “The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right to self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing retaliatory use of force under objective control.” Basically, the government may only use its inherent power to act against those who seek to take away individual freedom, rather than to be the agency of tyranny themselves.

The free market is economically sound. Why? Because economics is a science, and when left to its own devices, works naturally, and though it is certainly not perfect, it is self-correcting, which is as close to perfect as possible. The free market is morally sound. Why? Because it is the only system where the government does not seek to control, to use force against, and to take away basic rights from the individual. It is not a coincidence that the free market works on both spectrums. The free market works economically because it pursues a policy of freedom for individuals. Why? Because individuals are most productive when free to pursue their incentive, their passions, and their dreams, and when their desires are not subverted by the government. When their basic rights to life, liberty, and property are upheld rather than held back, individuals make decisions for themselves rather than the government making them for them, and they can make smarter and more productive decisions because they are individual to them. The basic rights to individual liberty must be reflected in market policy, and ultimately, mankind triumphs when it is free.

Hovering over dangerous territory

By Nathan Nguyen

Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 10.39.04 AM Technology is constantly changing, growing, and advancing. With these changes comes a great deal of speculation about what the result of these changes will be. One of the most significant issues that is affecting one of the largest corporations in the country are whether or not drone delivery systems should be legal and whether they invade certain rights. Although this breakthrough may sounds like a fantastic innovation, issues pertaining to privacy, technological impediments, and overall safety express major concern for safety, efficiency, and productivity.

Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that they will be using drones without human interference, to deliver packages within thirty minutes of purchasing them. Vice President of Amazon, Paul Misener stated in an interview with TIME Magazine, “These drones will weigh about 55 pounds each, but they’ll be able to deliver parcels that weigh up to five pounds. It turns out that the vast majority of the things we sell at Amazon weigh less than five pounds.” The delivery drones will use GPS technology in order to find houses and will almost definitely have a camera in order to ensure a safe landing and navigation through its surroundings. It’s very unlikely that Amazon will use that information to collect data on you for the government, but more importantly, the company will have to have to implement privacy protections in place. This is because Amazon’s drone delivery system may be a form of trespassing on private property according to the Federal Aviation Administration when it flies over the airspace above a person’s property. CEO of 3D robotics, Chris Anderson, comments; “The use of drones for delivery in built-up areas around people” makes no sense, citing safety concerns. [Jeff Bezos] is ridiculous on the use of drones; however, for farmers and agribusiness he has a point.”

In addition to this problem, if the drone somehow fails and falls on private property, the many people are arguing that the drone ceases to belong to Amazon, including the package that the drone is carrying. In addition, one of the biggest hurdles for Amazon may be the logistics of using the drones to deliver to so many different types of addresses including homes, apartment buildings and commercial properties that each have their own problems to solve for a successful delivery, all while using a fairly vulnerable technology. For instance, a group of researchers from the University of Texas recently hacked a sophisticated drone using a store-bought GPS system. Todd Humphrey, a professor at the University of Texas, explained that, “If you can convincingly fake a GPS signal, you can convince an (unmanned aerial vehicle) into tracking your signal instead of the authentic one, and at that point you can control the UAV.”Although, Amazon may have some sophisticated system it’s working on to overcome those hurdles, but it will be extremely challenging.

Finally, the drone system can lead to injuries to both Amazon and people who are subject to having drones flown over them. Not only is the expensive drone equipment lost, but so is the item that stands to be delivered. This can cause millions of dollars in lost revenue per year. In addition, Amazon may also have a great deal of angry customers to deal with since customers prefer systems that guarantee delivery, not prevent it from occurring. Dr. Darren Ansell, a British expert in unmanned aerial vehicles, told the BBC that “The [drones] do not currently have the awareness of their environment to be able to avoid flying into people.” In terms of personal injuries, the drone system is not a perfect technology, and as such, problems can easily arise. If a drone were to harm an individual or to damage personal property, then Amazon will incur a range of hefty costs and perhaps even a number of lawsuits on behalf of those who have been injured. Along with major injuries, the new drone system may be thwarted because regulators may require brands to have insurance policies on the drone system. The insurance policies that the brands will be required to institute will not be cheap, but very costly. With the high costs involved, the revolutionary move to turn drone delivery systems into a reality throughout the country may be in a major let-down.

Although drone delivery might seem like the next big step for delivery companies, the process should be slowed down due to issues pertaining to privacy, technological impediments, and overall safety until more solid hardware has been developed.

13 Reasons Why raises important discussion

By Kyla de Vera

Staff Writer

Netflix released the new series Thirteen Reasons Why on March 31, 2017. It is an adaptation of the bestselling 2007 young adult novel by Jay Asher. The series follows teenager Clay Jensen as he finds a box with his name on it lying on his porch. He discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate, who tragically took her life a few weeks earlier. On these tapes, Hannah explains the thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. This show has received backlash that viewers with mental health problems will have an impression of glorifying the choice Hannah made, but experts argue that watching this show will not increase the chances of youths trying to commit suicide. This show can be beneficial because important topics on mental health are finally being discussed.

Co-producer of the show, Selena Gomez, was in a similar situation to Hannah Baker, and thought this show had a powerful message she had to share by making the show. In a post-credits video titled Beyond the Reasons, Selena Gomez explains, “We wanted to do it in a way where it was honest. And we wanted to make something that can hopefully help people, because suicide should never, ever be an option.” The show’s critics argue that young people who watch are presented with a sensationalized version of suicide because Hannah gains power and attentions through her suicide. Some of these critics are mental health experts who say the show could pose health risks for certain young people. A statement from the National Association of School Psychologists includes cautions and guidance for educators and families of teens who might watch the show. However, according to Eric Beeson, a professional counselor at The Family Institute at Northwestern University says, “It’s unlikely that one show alone could trigger someone to attempt suicide.” Discussions about what is going on in the show is vital to help stop prevention of teens who feel like Hannah.

Many others suggest the show provides a valuable opportunity to discuss these important topics with young people. It is also essential to teach young adults how to identify warning signs of depression or suicidal thoughts among peers. According to Nic Sheff from Vanity Fair, “When it came time to discuss the portrayal of the protagonist’s suicide it seemed to me, the perfect opportunity to dispel the myth of the quiet drifting off.” ProtectHer founder Alexis Jones, thinks the show has a better chance to get through to kids than any presentation ever could. Jones says, “It’s more powerful than coming in with a PowerPoint. Getting invested in characters, and then talking about the different aspects gives us the chance to say, ‘If you’re ever feeling like Hannah, let’s make sure you get help because many people cared about Hannah.’ This is a show to be talked about in an educational way. It’s emotional, it’s disturbing, and necessary for teens to realize how their actions affect others.” Despite the controversy with the ending scene, this show has an important messages to talk about.

Thirteen Reasons Why has been a popular show among teenagers although it has brought up a lot of controversy. Watching this show will not increase the likelihood of young viewers to commit suicide. Nonetheless, talking about mental health subjects is difficult, however this show is an opportunity for more people to talk about what can or is happening. This show is an adaptation of a book, which both wanted to convey a message on the importance of people who feel like Hannah Baker, how much words and actions impact lives, and how to be there for others to prevent tragedies like Hannah’s. Having a show like Thirteen Reasons Why will start more conversations on mental health, which is good because people with mental health issues need to be heard and supported.

Echo Look can’t stop looking at you

Ashley Lo

Copy Editor

A camera can now help you choose an outfit for school every day. The Echo Look is Amazon’s newest product in their line of “smart speakers” that can perform skills based on the verbal commands of the user. It is designed to assist people in their wardrobe decisions, take full length selfies and suggest outfits that would complement the user’s style and body shape. The introduction of the Echo Look represents the unique issues of privacy infringement and reliance on technology that these devices create.

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Courtesy of Britney Whitman

The Echo Look has camera with LED lights and will take hands-free pictures and videos of the user on command, allowing people to see their appearance in different outfits. It also includes a depth-sensing camera that can blur the background. When a user is unsure about an outfit, the Look’s Style Check uses algorithms and advice from fashion specialists to provide an opinion, rate fashion choices, and help users choose between fashion pairs. Ultimately, a final score is given to allow users to collect and compare outfits. Amazon will also give users advice about what clothes to purchase.

Through the nature of this feedback, the camera raises concerns about privacy and the power of machine learning. Echo Look will presumably be stationed in the bedrooms of users, and some are concerned that the device can detect identifiable objects in the background and use the information to influence marketing to specific users. Through machine learning, the Echo Look has the power to identify an object and its characteristics. In an interview with Wired, Louis-Philippe Morency, a machine expert at Carnegie Mellon University, explained, “In a simplistic way, we’re going from being able to give things names or nouns to being able to give them adjectives. We can describe not just that it’s a shoe, but it’s a red shoe.” Through this feature, Amazon can bombard customers with products online based on their interests revealed through the objects captured in pictures. Although some may argue that this is a similar feature to what companies use when users allow “cookies” on their computer, The Echo Look now gives technology a look into users’ private homes, not just their purchasing history. The Echo Look demonstrates the break of the barrier of privacy. As technology advances, it has the power to manipulate the minds of users in their everyday lives. By allowing devices such as Echo Look to gain access to information one’s consumer patterns, people are therefore allowing technology to essentially control their purchases, preferences, and even their behavior. Many people are unaware that technology has such an influence on how we act and what we buy. Often, people believe that they have enough selfcontrol to avoid the marketing tactics that companies use. However, people can be affected subconsciously as advertisements and promotions are constantly appearing in everything they see and hear. By giving the Echo Look access to your own home, users make themselves more susceptible to different kinds of marketing tactics.

Many consumers are not thrilled about Amazon’s Echo Look, and survey data from Business Insider Intelligence shows that it is unlikely to gain mass market adoption. Over 82% of people said that they were unlikely to buy it, and only 3% said that they would buy it as soon as they can. Many people reported that they were worried about their privacy, unimpressed by the price, or not interested in the style feature. Business Insider suggests that the Echo Look does not resonate with customers like previous Amazon products have succeeded in doing. The need for a device such as the Echo Look is not prevalent, and people are not willing to try such a new and daring product.

The Echo Look raises another important question: Are people becoming too dependent on technology? Technology has played a large role in shaping society, and has many useful functions in society. Robotic surgery, navigation systems, and access to information are just a few examples of its importance. Although technology has made a positive impact in the world by mastering tasks previously impossible or difficult for humans to perform, people are becoming reliant on it for simple skills that most can easily perform themselves. People ask their ‘Alexa’ speaker to add items to their grocery lists rather than simply writing one out, they text a conversation that they could have face to face, and they instruct their Google Home to turn off their bedroom lights rather than walking the ten feet to push a switch. The Echo Look demonstrates that human beings are letting their basic functionality and judgement be controlled by devices. However, although it may be simpler or more efficient to delegate these tasks to technology, it is not always the best choice. In an interview for The Cambridge Student, Robert Hart states, “Certain tasks have major impacts that really do need human judgement before being enacted. A striking example of this is the rise of autonomy in military robotics. Robots could one day, potentially very soon, make decisions on life and death. Such decisions arguably require ethics.” Humans are more than capable of making these decisions based on judgement. For the past hundreds of years, human beings have had no issue choosing their own wardrobe. Why do we suddenly need a computer to advise us in fashion choices now? It is a matter of availability and laziness. When the choice that requires the least effort is placed in front of someone, they are likely to choose it. However, in doing so, they increase their dependency on an electronic device and waste their abilities as a human being.

With the introduction of the Echo Look, Amazon has crossed a barrier of privacy and reliance on technology. Our lives have become dictated by technology, whether we realize it or not. Our everyday actions are controlled by nonliving devices. With the increased functionality of technology, it has become easier to rely on it for tasks that we have been doing on our own throughout the majority of our lives. People have let technology manipulate their minds and their behavior.