Forum 1: Class Community

Dear all, I look forward to know you all and to see how our discussion helps us to know more about each other and at the same time give us a greater experience of contributing to the discussion forums, but as I said in the class, let’s start with getting to know each other and sharing of ideas on what made you take the Global ‘cyber politics’ course. Let me introduce myself, some of you have been in my classes before and for few of you this is the first time. Well let me take a more casual route than talking about my education qualifications or professional experience. I am from a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean called Sri Lanka, well many people did not know it existed including the immigration’s officer who processed me many years back entering USA. Apart from my academic interests such as International politics, cyber space and technology, I am a movie buff and love sci-fi, fantasy genres and a fan of Japanese anime. I grew up in time where American soft power was at its Zenith utilizing the star studded arsenals of Hollywood and the TV studios. I was born to the Star Wars era, grew up when the Ex-Governator ,was the Terminator and matured in life when the Internet took all our lives by storm and this cyber storm has changed everything and I can’t imagine how it would feel to be in a cyber-apocalypse, these days i am hooked on to the 100 on CW and Banshee on CINEMAX.. lets start talking about you guys

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95 thoughts on “Forum 1: Class Community

    Alita Rogers said:
    January 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Friends! My names Alita Rogers and I’m a member of the Alpine Ski Team. I live in Kappa where I’m the house manager but am originally from Burlington VT. I am very excited to take this course for a number of reasons. I feel, as I’m sure we can all agree on, that technology is the future and it’s learn how to like this, or get left behind. My mother is a kindergarden teacher and it always shocks me when I visit her classroom. iPads are given to every student in her school and they know how to work them better than I do! Coding is know a class, all be it an up-and-coming one, but still becoming more regulated in elementary and middle schools.
    I think the idea of government and politics utilizing technology is fascinating and a very necessary in this era. More about me though, I went to an academy for ski racing in Stowe Vermont where I found out about and fell in love with St. Lawrence. I am a sociology major and government minor here hoping to have a career in Washington DC someday. Until then, however, my favorite spots in Canton are Asian Buffet and The Ticker and I can be frequently found searching for the ODY secret bathroom. In the next few semesters I am looking to go abroad to either Kenya or Denmark, get more involved on volunteer work, and just keep having a blast!! I look forward to getting to know all of you!

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Alita tell us more about how these kindergarten kids use ipads and what for? I am interested to know what they learn

        Alita Rogers said:
        January 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm

        My moms class used them almost daily for math, literacy, practicing letter formation and creativity.

      Ibrahim Khan said:
      January 20, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Alita! It was nice to read about you. I agree with you on the fact that keeping up with technology has become a necessity in this era as the younger generation is highly involved with technology and gadgets. Even I get surprised to see my cousin’s four and five year old children knowledge with using Ipads.
      You’ve mentioned about going to an academy for ski racing, how long were you there for? And how was your experience being at the academy?

        Alita said:
        January 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm

        Hi Ibrahlm!! I went to my academy for 5 years, 8th-12th grades. I loved it!!! I had private tutors in all my subjects and would skype, email, text with them, whatever it took, so I could be skiing and racing everyday! This opportunity made me very independent and self motivated to succeed both academically and athletically at SLU.

      Kyle Swartz said:
      January 21, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Hey Alita! My mom is also a teacher (but for third grade) and she been talking about how her school has been increasing the amount of technology exposed to students especially at the third grade level. They have computer labs with Apple computers for every student and i believe they’re thinking of providing iPads to students just like at your mom’s school. It’s crazy to think that only a few years ago it was exclusive to own an iPad or the latest computer and now they are simply provided through tuition to lower-schoolers.

      Joe said:
      January 21, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Hey Alita, being that you are a big skier and from Burlington Vermont, I would like to know, what is your favorite mountain to ski in Vermont?

        Alita said:
        January 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm

        Hi Joe! Hmmm good question… I learned how to ski at a tiny hill near my house, Cochran’s, and it will always be dear to me. However, my true home hill, Stowe, is probably my favorite in VT! My favorite ski area in the US is probably Mammoth in CA.

    cyberoutpost responded:
    January 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Alita it is good to see you have started off this conversation, the first conversation is always little challenging and difficult but I hope the class will soon engage in an interesting discussion, thanks for the starting it.

    Louie Freda said:
    January 17, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Hey everybody! I’m Louie Freda and I am sophomore Government major from Watertown, NY. I really wanted to take this class because I want to increase my knowledge about how the advancing technology world is impacting the existing world of politics. Hopefully at the end of the semester I will begin to better understand the relationship between the two. I was really shocked when U.S. CENTCOM was hacked the other week, I didn’t believe that the U.S. would allow itself to become so vulnerable. I am also really interested in the restriction of the Internet and how that will play out in international politics.
    I went to a small, private, Catholic high school in Watertown where I played football, baseball and wrestled. I found out about SLU through family connections and have never regretted it! On campus I love hanging out and watching sports my friends. When the weather is nice I love going to the rope swing to relax for the day. For sports teams I love a pretty random collection: LSU football, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Yankees. Hopefully next year I can participate in the D.C. semester and in the future work in the federal government. I look foreword to getting to know all of you as the semester progresses.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 18, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Louie i was interested in your observation about the CENTCOM hack did you feel that American’s live a significantly secure life?

        Joe said:
        January 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

        Harinda, I too feel uneasy about the safety of our nation regarding the web and cyber politics. Like Louie, I find it very alarming that our military command was hacked by extremists. After seeing todays statistics in class about the number of users with access to the internet, I was surprised to see some countries in the top 25. With China on the rise as a global powerhouse, I fear that they will surpass our intelligence agencies and have another one up on the United States. I also feel that with so many threats to the US out there, it is imperative that the next generation of thinkers specialize in cyber security.

        cyberoutpost responded:
        January 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        Yes we will have a more elaborate and deep discussion on cyber security later towards the semester but I see many of you guys are interested in it

        Louie Freda said:
        January 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Joe, I read up on a more detailed account of what the extremists hacked. While it is the official public account of US CENTCOM, that account did not have access to sensitive information. That account is used to transmit unclassified information only, it is however very embarrassing. It shows the mighty US military has clear weaknesses. I agree with your earlier point, “With China on the rise as a global powerhouse, I fear that they will surpass our intelligence agencies and have another one up on the United States.” While I think that is a valid point I am much more concerned with the threat of a future cyber attack from radical non-state actors (ISIL/IRA…) or other nations (N. Korea/Iran/Pakistan/Russia come to mind). I agree with you, “I also feel that with so many threats to the US out there, it is imperative that the next generation of thinkers specialize in cyber security.” The way to solve the threat is to start encouraging young, smart, and ambitious Americans to consider careers in cyberspace.

      Alita Rogers said:
      January 18, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      I just competed a SLU program in DC and met some great alumni from the US State Department who are always happy to help SLU students. I can connect you with them!

        Louie Freda said:
        January 19, 2015 at 11:53 am

        Professor, personally I feel that American’s live very secure lives. I believe that citizens we feel secure as well. I feel that I have accesses to civil protection and the right to a relatively fair justice system. I feel that my personal liberties are strongest protected by the combined might of the armed services. I was therefore very alarmed when the military command that is supposed to be responsible for the Middle East was hacked by extremists it is supposed to be fighting. While I feel that America is very secure from conventional threats against liberty and freedom, the new cyber battlefield makes me uneasy. I feel uneasy because I don’t understand the technology and feel America really lags behind other nations. I feel uneasy knowing that our own intelligence and cyber agencies, with all their funding and broad power to violate conventional civil liberties, are seemingly helpless to stop good cyber attacks.

      Zayn Thompson said:
      January 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Louie. I see that you want to increase your knowledge in the world of technology. Do you have any career plans that would relate to this topic, or are you just interested in learning something new? Also, regarding CENTCOM, do you think that the U.S. underestimated its enemies capabilities regarding cyber attacks. I, too, am interested in how internet security will continue to evolve not just in the US, but worldwide as well.

        Kyle Swartz said:
        January 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

        Hi Louie, I wonder why you believe that the US “lags behind other nations” with regard to cyber strength. Of course based on our previous lecture we know that the growth rate of technological use in the United States is not number 1; however that does not necessarily mean we have fewer cyber capabilities and weaker cyber security than countries with faster growth rates of internet users. Of course there are groups such as Anonymous and ISIS who clearly have the capabilities to hack into a variety of different networks and servers but if you think of an internet hack as a bomb, the situation becomes more clear. Yes, there have been bombings in the US but does that change the fact that the US is still one of the largest world powers? The same thing goes for a cyber attack, it may be devastating depending on the size of the cyber “bomb” but it doesn’t change the fact that the United States is a world leader in cyber security. Theres always a way to destroy a physical target no matter how difficult it is to reach or how tough it is to destroy. You simply have develop a weapon capable enough of destroying that target. It is exactly the same with cyber attacks. Hackers are cyber insurgents.

        Louie Freda said:
        January 21, 2015 at 11:59 pm

        Zayn I don’t have current career plans in the cyber field, I am just interested in something new. How about you? I believe that the U.S. might not have underestimated its enemy’s capabilities as much as not taking potential cyber attacks from non-state actors (groups who don’t fit the typical enemy) seriously.
        Kyle good points, I disagree however. I think that the continued and success of the “attacks” indicate that the U.S. lags behind other nations. Wikileaks and Ed Snowden directly highlighted the weakness of U.S. cyber capabilities. The targeting of huge corporations like Home Depot and Sony indicate to me that hackers are confident in their ability to succeed and escape without punishment. In the actual world an attack on Sony Studios or a Home Depot would result in a swift and effective show of force. In the cyber world the U.S. is incapable of such swift and effective action in response to attacks.

    Reed Mcleod said:
    January 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Hello Global Cyber Poltics 377-01. My name is Reed Mcleod and this is my third year at THE St. Lawrence University. I was abroad in London last semester and I believe my time overseas has played a large role in taking this course. Th e majority of my classes revolved around both British and Global politics. It was fairly easy to understand how the development of the internet has changed the Global political platform. From the way countries communicate to the way they engage in battle, the internet has forced states to adjust to this new cyber environment. Now more about myself. I am from Hingham Massachusetts and a government Major. I was once an athlete here at SLU but I have retired from anything physically competitive. I am both interested and excited to see how this hybrid course will play out.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 19, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Reed any specific reason for your interest in British politics?

        Reed Mcleod said:
        January 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

        I was mainly interested with seeing how British Politics both compares and contrast with the US. Before taking the class, I always assumed since the two government share a similar democracy their governmental system would have a similar structure. To my surprise, the both hold their own differences when it comes to a range of issues

        cyberoutpost responded:
        January 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm

        Sounds interesting I wonder if Grace has any interest in British politics

        Grace Segrave said:
        January 21, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        British politics does interest me quit a lot. Sadly, I do not know much about the ins and outs of their political systems and stances but am always eager to learn more. Reed is there anything I should know about today’s politics and/or problems?

        Reed Mcleod said:
        January 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

        Grace, one aspect of the British Political system that the English take great pride in is their NHS. Standing for the National Health Services, this program offers free immediate healthcare to any individual within the country. Unlike the current system here in the US, healthcare in England is fairly affordable and the majority of the people get the necessary care. As with any major political system, the NHS does take on some criticism. Some argue that the system is too socialist and as a result the quality of doctors actually suffer. Despite what may be the case, the majority of people I talked to in London had only good things to say about the program.

        cyberoutpost responded:
        January 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

        This is an interesting point the NHS had been the cornerstone of the British Welfare society but it is under severe stress due to various reasons, I was expecting the new conservative government would radically overhaul it but it seems not the case, it still is much better than the insurance industry infested American Health care system.

    Zayn Thompson said:
    January 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hi everyone, I’m Zayn Thompson. I am a sophomore Government-Canadian Studies combined major, and I’m from Pasadena, CA. I was interested in taking this class because Cyber politics is something that I know very little about, and it seemed like an interesting topic. With technology growing in the world, I am interested on how it can affect politics, and its overall impact in the world.
    I went to a Catholic high school in La Canada, and found out about SLU through different college fairs. Three graduates from my school in the last two years came to SLU and recommended it to me. Two students from my HS graduating class ended up going to Clarkson.
    I am hoping to spend spring semester of next year in D.C. to get acclimated to different types of work in government. As for a career, I am still searching around to see why I like best, but so far I am most interested in the FBI. I am looking forward to getting to know you all.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Zayn why FBI? care to elaborate?

        Zayn Thompson said:
        January 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm

        Yes. My grandfather spend his whole career as an FBI agent. I think hearing and talking to him about what he did really sparked my interest in that field. Also, many of the tv shows that I enjoy watching are also associated with criminal justice institutions like the FBI.

        cyberoutpost responded:
        January 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm

        Zayn do you follow Black List?

    cyberoutpost responded:
    January 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Alita, Louie and Reed, it is great to see you guys starting your posts, while others do there primary comments you guys can develop a conversation among yourselves, based on the information about your selves, academic interests and anything that you guys can think of to start of a conversation

    Joe said:
    January 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Hello, My name is Joe Nickerson and I am also a sophomore government major here at SLU. My home town is Bedford Hills New York, just an hour outside of New York City. I attended Fox Lane high school, and worked at the Bedford Golf and Tennis Club during my summers. This Spring I will be taking on my first season on the Men’s Lacrosse team, while trying to make deans list. One fun fact that I like to share with people getting to know me, is that I have seven sisters and no brothers. A lot of people seem to find that interesting, and it has served to be a good icebreaker for me.
    Last spring I was fortunate enough to take International Relations with Harinda Vidanage, which helped me with my decision to take another course with Professor Vidanage. I hope one day to become a politician of some kind, and in todays day and age with advanced technology, a course like cyber politics will only help me understand the future of cyber politics.
    A huge reason I love St. Lawrence so much is because of the beautiful north country that helps make our school unique from others. Although the winter seems to never end, the beginning of the fall semester, in my opinion, is the most beautiful time of the year. Going down to the river and running the trails in the woods are just some of my favorite things to do during that time. I also love to play hockey and to ski, so the winter time up in the north country certainly has its perks.
    I’m very interested to see how this hybrid class style will play out. I think the online video meetings and the online forum will be great.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Joe any career plans or ambitions you like to share with us?

        Joe said:
        January 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm

        I’m seriously considering the option of attending law school after my time at SLU. If that’s the case I would like to become a lawyer and after that start pursuing a career as a politician. It seems politics is always relatively controversial, and I would like to get involved in the controversy, see what is really going on.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Joe, the most intriguing question for me is how was life growing up with Seven Sisters ?

        Joe said:
        January 20, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        Growing up with seven sisters was not always the best. Unfortunately they did not have a lot of common interest as me, however I lived in a fun neighborhood with a lot friends who I could play with.

    Michael said:
    January 18, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Hello, My name is Michael Edson. I am a sophomore majoring in PCA and minoring in Government. I am from Greenwich, CT but have not lived there since 7th grade. I went to a junior boarding school in Deerfield, MASS called Eaglebrook then after 9th grade I transferred to the the Salisbury School for the rest of high school. I do spend the summers in Greenwich, caddying at a country club called Round Hill Club. Caddy is probably one of the best jobs I have had so far because I choose my hours and have meet some important figures in society. I have carried for a CT senator and the former Chase President of International Business. They are boring people but if there are any hockey fans in this class I carried Mike Richter’s bag and Mark Messier was in my group during that round. One of the coolest experiences of my life. If anybody knows the golf commentator Michael Breed I didn’t carry his bag but I was in the same group as him one time. I am the fourth person out of five people in my family has attended St. Lawrence University except for my younger sister who is still in high school. I have been a St. Lawrence fan my whole life.
    As Joe said in his comment, I was also in Harinda Vidanage’s International Relation class last spring. He is one of the best professors I have had here at SLU. He is the main reason why I am taking this cyber class this semester. Also Dr. Vidanage tweets some great articles about drones in the middle east. I am taking this class because I am interested in knowing more information about Cyber warfare and if our wars in the future are going to be fought by humans or people behind computers.
    Outside of the classroom, I am apart of the squash team which unfortunately just lost to Trinity College this weekend but beat Yale today 6-3. So we will now be ranked second in the nation but will still have a great chance of winning the national championship. I am also a big SLU hockey fan. Even though our team is not doing great this season going to Appleton Arena for games is one of the best activities here at SLU. I am happy I got into this class and looking forward to getting to know everybody in this class.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Michael, I know we had this conversation before but I am sure the class would like to hear it too, share with us how your opinions of the world and it’s people did change or were influenced by being in the Squash which i believe is one of the most diverse team outfits at SLU

        Zoë Kagan said:
        January 19, 2015 at 10:45 am

        Hi everyone! My name is Zoë Kagan and I am also a sophomore on the squash team. Though my fellow female teammates are not as highly-ranked as the men, we also have a lot of fun traveling, competing and being somewhat diverse. The women’s team also has several players from other countries, making the bunch pretty diverse as Harinda said. The team as a whole has exceeded my expectations as a group of friends, coaches, and competitors; I love it. Growing up playing squash opened my eyes to the global aspect of the sport. I always enjoyed meeting people from different places nation or world-wide, learning about their experiences, and making friends on a squash court. Squash certainly lead me to SLU, and I think that my experiences with squash and diversity have lead me to my Global Studies major. I am also planning on minoring in Film. I am from Chapel Hill, NC which is almost different enough to be considered another country. I grew up in Durham (home to Duke University) but moved to Chapel Hill where I attended East Chapel Hill High School, and pretended that I liked the Tar Heels. I am still largely undecided on which Carolina blue I side with as I have still never been to a basketball game and am somewhat disenchanted with UNC after recent academic scandal news. I have been interested in the intersections of the cyber world with the real world since being given access to computers from a young age (perhaps too young, maybe 5 or 6). Now, with my studies being focused on cultural and commercial globalization I found this class to be quite appealing. I also was in Harinda’s International Politics class last year which also brought me to this course knowing that I had enjoyed a previous government class with him. I am anticipating a very interesting class style in person and online! Nice to meet/read about all of you.

        Michael said:
        January 19, 2015 at 6:40 pm

        The squash team at SLU is very diverse group. Some of the countries our guys from are Pakistan, India, Egypt, Columbia, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. We have 4 out of the 7 continents covered. All the international guys on the team give me a different perspective of their culture. By the music they listen to, what they eat, to how they dress. Also it is interesting when they talk about the United States Government. I was talking to one of the Egyptians and he told me that the main reason why Egypt and other countries hate the United States is because of the US Government support of Israel. I knew that the support of Israel was a big reason but I did not know that with Egypt had a strong relationship with the Palestinians for a very long time.

      Joe said:
      January 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Edson, I’ve found your posts to be very interesting, and I think it must be awesome to be an American on the very diverse squash team. You first hand get to see the different cultures in a day to day life. What I am curious about is squash. Do you think that their are strategic differences or styles of play based on the regions the players come from? Do Egyptians have a different style of play than Americans?

        Michael said:
        January 22, 2015 at 1:19 am

        There are three types of playing styles on our team. There is the running style, where the player is trying to keep the rallies long and time consuming so that their opponent will get tried. They have great stamina but will not go for the attacking shot until they are certain of winning the point. That is the most common style on our team. The Americans, Canadians, Mexican and one of the Egyptians play this style. The next style is attack. This is the most common with our international players. It is a different way of playing the game but theses players are confident with their racket skills. They know that they can place the ball tight to the wall and make their opponent make mistakes with not as strong racket skill. Lastly there is the hybrid. Amr Khalifa plays this way. He wants to tire his opponent but is not afraid of taking chances. Another Egyptian on our team plays this way as well. Each style is different and there is no wrong way of playing. the difference between the Americans and Egyptians is that they have amazing racket skills and they are always attacking the ball. They play with no fear. Amhead Bayoumy told me the difference between Americans and Egyptians is when a match gets tiring Egyptians will play for the winner as soon as possible to end the threat of loosing. While Americans will try to fight out the match and be conservative with their shot selection and not attack as much. Hope that helped.

    Jonathan Root said:
    January 19, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hello everybody, my name is Jonathan Root. I am senior majoring in history and trying to finish my minor in sociology. I am from Greenwich CT, where attended Greenwich High School and played four years of football. I choose history because I felt being enrolled in a liberal arts program, allows me to choose something that interests me, not just something that is crucial for my future. The past four years at St. Lawrence have been a great experience, and cant believe it is about to come to an end. Some of the most interesting things about me is that I have an identical twin brother. He does not go to Saint Lawrence, but instead High Point University in North Carolina. My brother and I do look very similar, and confuse most people. Some other cool information about me is that my favorite sports team is the New York Jets. Over the past few years they have not been to good, and I have heard from numerous people that I should change teams. My favorite movie is Jaws. I have spent most of my life around beaches and out in the ocean. After seeing jaws, it brings a little more excitement and thrill to going in to the water. As I am approaching my last semester, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I am going to do after I graduate. After I graduate, my brother and I, and some of my close friends are taking a back packing trip for five weeks in Europe. We plan on traveling through countries, stopping in Prague, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Paris, Berlin, all of Italy, and Barcelona. The entire trip is going to be a great experience, but I am most excited for a planned skydiving trip in the Swiss Alps. I have been skydiving before, and cant imagine how much fun skydiving in some of the most beautiful mountains in the world would be. I have decided to take this course because our world is becoming more connected and advanced everyday. Understanding how people and politics protect themselves, other individuals, and countries, should be well understood for our personal future. I am looking forward to this class, and excited to better understand a world that I do not fully agree with or understand.

      Jonathan Wagner said:
      January 22, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Hey Jonathan, first off just wanted to say Jaws is an incredible movie! But the thing I wanted to ask was how close are you to your twin brother Ben? I also have older sisters who are identical twins and they are very close. They went to the same College together and share the same bedroom. However, now that there older they do not share a bedroom anymore. One lives in Chicago and one in New York City. But do you miss your brother a lot? Did you guys do a lot of the same activities in high school together? Do you have any more siblings?

      Nick Ford said:
      January 22, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Hey Jonathan!!! Though you may not know it, we have a few things in common. I am also from Connecticut and have a brother. I live about an hour northeast of Greenwich in Wallingford, CT. I have been to Greenwich multiple times and every time I am in the area during lunch I make sure to get a wedge from a local deli. The wedges in Greenwich are fantastic!!!

      Though I do not have a twin, everyone thinks my younger brother, John, and I look and act very similar. I look forward to meeting you and speaking with you during the web conversation sessions throughout the semester.

    Jonathan Wagner said:
    January 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Hello Everyone! Hope everyone had a great New Years. Can’t believe 2nd semester as already started. My name is Jonathan Wagner and I am a Senior History major. I am from Long Island and went to high school at Friends Academy. Go Quakers! I spent most of my life at Friends Academy, including lower school and middle school. I strongly consider Friends as my second home, or now my third home because St. Lawrence might have jumped up on my list. When I first arrived here at St. Lawrence I played Varsity lacrosse. However, this only lasted a year and a half….No regrets!!!I can’t believe this is my last semester here at St. Lawrence University and for all you younger kids. Live it up!
    Being a History major I have taken up much of my time studying the American Civil War. Now before I graduate I would like to take some Government classes because I have only taken one. International Relations was one of my favorite classes sophomore year and I would love to take some more classes on Politics. Another reason why I would love to take this class is that I want to be up to date on current events. I am very excited to get to know all of you and to get the ball rolling with class!

      Reed Mcleod said:
      January 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Awesome post Jonathan! Where did your interest in the American Civil war come from? Any relation to the soldiers who fought in the war (both north and south), or did you purely want to expand you knowledge on the subject?
      -@Reedtheseed10

        Jonathan Wagner said:
        January 22, 2015 at 9:45 am

        Great question Reed! My first class here Freshmen year was with Liz Regison who was teaching a Civil War class. I have always loved history classes, mainly focusing on the battles of each war. However, Liz showed me something different about the Civil War. While she entertained me on every specific battle that took place. She also dove deep into President Abraham Lincoln and why he needed to preserve the Union. After taking five history classes on the Civil War I have come to love President Lincoln. He was a man with a mission and was going to make sure that nobody succeeded from his Union! Another fact that pointed me in the direction of the Civil War was being from Virginia. My Sophomore year we looked at diary’s from men who fought in the Civil War from the North Country. The two brothers who I selected were from Potsdam but were a part of the Army of Virginia. They talked about specific landmarks that I remembered as a kid. This really captured my love towards the Civil War and I just had to learn more.

      Nick Ford said:
      January 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Hey Jonathan, I really enjoyed reading your post!!! You seem like a very cool guy, hopefully we can get to know each other as the semester continues. Though I am not a history major, I am also intrigued by American history. Other than the American Civil War, what was/is your favorite thing to study? I personally enjoyed studying the industrial and technological revolutions. Looking back at those periods in history, it is interesting to think about how our society is currently going through a telecommunications revolution, as phone and computer technology continues to advance.

        Jonathan Wagner said:
        January 23, 2015 at 2:59 pm

        Hey Nick, I total agree! I feel like we were “born digital” into this new era of technology advance. Studying the Industrial Revolution would be a great thing to study. Although I have not gone into that much depth about the Industrial Revolution, I so want to right now because of your opinion!

      Ryan Hackett said:
      January 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      Jonathan I’m liking this a lot man. I too loved my International Relations class, I thought it was very informative and kept me up to date with all current events across the world. I was just wondering what was one of your favorite aspects of the class and did you ever think about becoming a government major?

    Rob Scoon said:
    January 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hey everyone! My name is Rob Scoon and I am a senior, history major, here at SLU. This is my first government class and I look forward to working with you all this semester both online and in the classroom.
    I was born in Toronto, Ontario but moved to New Canaan, CT and went to school there. After my time at New Canaan High School I went to Trinity Pawling for a post-grad year. Im a hockey fan and love the Toronto Maple Leafs, its brutal. I like most sports and spend a lot of my time on the internet reading about different sport related stories. I also like current events and keeping up with what is happening around the world.
    I have two older brothers, one of which went to SLU. Hearing him talk about how much fun and how great the people are at SLU I knew that SLU was the right place for me. Pretty crazy that its my final semester already. Should probably start looking for a job…ha.
    Overall Im looking forward to taking this class and learning more about a topic that interests me. Hope to work with and get to know all of you this semester.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Any career plans Rob?

        Rob Scoon said:
        January 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

        Nothing specific as of now, Im open to trying new things and working in areas that I have never tried. I would like to say in the North East and hopefully work in NYC or Boston.

        Grace Segrave said:
        January 21, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        What makes you want to work in the States as opposed to Canada?

      Rob Scoon said:
      January 22, 2015 at 11:09 am

      I really like the US and most of my friends will all be living in the US, along with my parents. I also think that living in the US will provide better opportunities for employment. My oldest brother lives in Canada with his wife and loves it but says that he will move back to the US within 5 years. Hopefully I can live close to my 2 brothers.

        Jonathan Root said:
        January 22, 2015 at 11:52 am

        Mr. Scoon, your canadian and American background inspires me. You live a life of multiple cultural characteristics. I am curios about how popular social media is in the canadian or Toronto areas. As you may know, social media has grown rapidly in the US, do you feel it plays a major role in Canada or Toronto?

        cyberoutpost responded:
        January 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

        I like this question it would be interesting to see how Rob responds

      Rob Scoon said:
      January 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      I think social media plays a major role in Canada, much like it does in most countries now-a-days. There are people with facebook, instagram, and twitter and they use them just like we do in America. As far as I can tell there are a lot of similarities in social media usage and disadvantages in both the US and Canada.

    Max Johnson said:
    January 19, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Hey everyone. My name is Max Johnson. I am a senior majoring in history and minoring in government. A little about myself, I am from Chappaqua, NY and went to Horace Greeley High School. For my first three years at SLU I played football but decided to hang up the cleats last year. I am a fan of the New York Giants, Knicks, and Yankees. After graduation I hope to find a job in sports business, possibly in television.
    I decided to take this course to gain a better understanding of how cyberspace is progressing and the implications that might occur due to the proliferation of the internet on a political and social level. The world is becoming more and more connected but I am not sure if that is necessarily a good or bad thing. Another reason why I decided to take this course was due to Edward Snowden’s actions and the questions that ensued about cyber security. I am looking forward to learning more about the cyber world and I am interested to see how this hybrid class format works out.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 19, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Max can you elaborate little more on how Snowden really influenced you?

        Max Johnson said:
        January 23, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        The fact that one man had the ability to release sensitive government information is both shocking but at the same time sobering. At least for me, before the Snowden incident I never really thought of cyber security as an issue that needed more attention. I assumed that the internet, for both the U.S. government and the general public, was relatively safe and protected. Snowden proved my assumption wrong and thus prompted my intrigue into cyber security.

      Ryan Hackett said:
      January 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Hey Max, interesting piece you got here. I was just curious what do you think the cons are if we become too connected as a society? Do you think we are progressing too quickly?

        Max Johnson said:
        January 23, 2015 at 6:41 pm

        Rin, one con that I can think of is more globalization, which has proven to be a large economic challenge for the United States. Interesting you bring this up, I saw in the news the other day that Elon Musk declared that he will attempt to deliver internet access to everyone in the world by launching multiple satellites through his company SpaceX. I wonder what possible implication might arise?

    Grace Segrave said:
    January 19, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Hi everyone, my name is Grace Segrave. I am a government and environmental studies major. I live in Saratoga Springs, NY and therefore attended Saratoga Springs High School. In high school I rode at Skidmore College Stables as a community rider. Now I ride for the St. Lawrence riding team. We have been a really successful team and have won two national titles. Interesting things about me are that I studied abroad in New Zealand where I bungee jumped the seconded highest jump in the world. It is an 8 second free fall and I am pretty sure I did not breathe the entire time. In the end, it was one of the coolest things I have ever done. Another interesting fact about me is that I am also a British citizen. My plan for after graduation is that if I do not find a job I am really excited about, I might go live and work in England for a while before I come back to the states to get a real job. I am really excited to get to know the rest of you!

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 19, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Grace did you live a lot in London being a British citizen? or travel significantly with in the UK any adventures there similar to NZ?

        Grace Segrave said:
        January 20, 2015 at 4:56 pm

        My parents sold the family house we had in England (Long Ashton near Bristol) when I was in middle school. However as a child I used to spend pretty much every summer there with my grandmother. Now, when we get the chance to go to England, we just spend time visiting friends and family. I have traveled around much of Europe but nothing was quit as exciting as bungee jumping in New Zealand.

    Nick Ford said:
    January 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Hey class, my name is Nick Ford and I am a senior sociology here at St. Lawrence. I am from Wallingford, CT, which is twenty minutes south of Hartford, CT. I attended Xavier High School in Middletown, CT, which is an all boys private high school. In high school I played hockey and lacrosse, and am currently the goalie on the men’s lacrosse team here at SLU.

    Last semester I took a sociology class called, “New Media, Conflict, and Control,” and explored the increasing role of new media and communication technologies of modern society. These technologies have become powerful facilitators in conflict and democracy, as well as the paradoxical potential for control and surveillance of the government. As a society, we have become entrenched in this newly evolving media landscape and it has become a major catalyst in our social blanket. I really enjoyed this class and felt that Global Cyber Politics would also touch on the subject and look deeper into the political aspects of cyber space.

    I am really excited about taking this class, as it is a very intriguing topic and is my first hybrid class. I think the hybrid class format is very interesting and I look forward to the forum and video interactions.

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 19, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Nick, I am interested to know what the class on new media discussed under the theme of conflict?

        Nick Ford said:
        January 19, 2015 at 9:27 pm

        Throughout the advancements made within the new media landscape that our society has become entrenched in, new media and communication technologies have become increasingly normalized. Due to these advancements that are catalyzing our social blanket, the participatory culture that has become established has been corrupted for exploitative purposes to benefit major media corporations and the government. New media and communication technologies have evolved as functional “weapons of the strong,” as these governing powers attained power and control through advanced surveillance. As a result, the freedom and privacy of the participatory population of these new media and communication technologies has been compromised, as the participants have become dis-empowered.

      Joe said:
      January 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Dear Nick, Would you say that taking the “New Media, Conflict, and Control” course has made you more cautious with your actions and interactions on the web? If so, what precautions have you been taking?

        Nick Ford said:
        January 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        Hey Joe, GREAT question!!! As a matter of fact the “New Media, Conflict, and Control” course definitely made me more cautious with my actions and interactions on the web, especially with social media. Since everything posted online is easily visible and accessible, I have definitely been more aware of what I post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

      Ryan Hackett said:
      January 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      Nick, very interesting. I also study Sociology and believe this class will tie in with our major quite well. I was just curious, taking away from your New Media, Conflict, and Control class, what is one way major corporations and governments abuse social media outlets?

    cyberoutpost responded:
    January 19, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks for the interesting description we will look at this in a political context later on in the class

      Jonathan Root said:
      January 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Mr. Ford. Nothing beats some good cold cuts on a fresh wedge! Nick, as you know, we have to class together on the internet and social media. I was wondering what you think about the importance of social media in growing internet. Also, if so many countries do not have internet access, where do we see social media going, and how will politics advance towards a growing need for the internet.

    Ibrahim Khan said:
    January 19, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Hi everyone! My name is Ibrahim Khan and I am a senior at St.Lawrence majoring in Economics. I was born in Denver,Colorado but moved to Pakistan when I was only two years old and lived my entire life there.. After that I came to the U.S for the first time when I got accepted at SLU in 2011. As a kid, I was always involved in playing sports and outdoor activities and that is how I spent and enjoyed my evenings. Cricket is a big sport in Pakistan and surrounding nations including Sri lanka, and while growing up that was the main sport I loved playing. Other than that I really enjoyed horse riding, swimming, squash, tennis and hunting. I competed at national level at home in squash and tennis. While applying to a college in the U.S, a good squash team was one of my first priorities and SLU was the best fit for it.The team is very competitive and ranked high and has amazing personalities in both mens and womens team. We learn a lot from each other coming from different backgrounds.Without squash, I cannot imagine how I would have spent 4 years here at Snowland. As I was busy in my own activities growing up, I never paid attention to politics, but due to consistent high intensity turn overs in Pakistani politics and serious threats from non state actors, gradually my attention turned towards politics and government actions. Taking this class will help me understand how technology can be used, is being used, and would be used in the future to make political moves and what its impacts are on a local and international level. I have taken GOV 108 with Dr. Harinda previously and it was a great first experience being in a government class. I am very excited to learn that we are going to have online meetings, I have seen my sister and friends having online conferences at their work place. Getting that experience in this class will prepare me for the future.. I look forward to know you all and get familiar with different ideas and thoughts during the semester…

      Grace Segrave said:
      January 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      What is social media like in Pakistan Ibrahim? Does it play a huge role on the younger generation like here in the states?

    Mike Gellman said:
    January 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Hey everyone! My name is Mike Gellman and I’m a sophomore here at Saint Lawrence. I am double majoring in Computer Science and Political Science so it seems like a class named Cyber Politics would be a perfect fit for me. I am mostly interested in the international side of politics so I was glad to hear that it would be a big focus in this class. Of course, I’m also interested in the role that technology and the internet play in politics now days. From my studies in Computer Science I know that it is one of the fastest growing fields in history, so I can only image it will become an even bigger part of politics in the future.
    More about me, I am from Simsbury CT and like to do anything active. I played a variety of sports all my life but focused on Hockey and Golf in high school. When I came to St. Lawrence I picked up rock climbing and have been hooked on it ever since. I’m also a big fan of movies and T.V. shows. I just watched American Sniper and thought it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen so I would definitely recommend it. Currently my two favorite T.V. shows are Parks and Rec and Game of Thrones which I am anxiously awaiting the return of. I’m really looking forward to this class and to get to know all of you.

      Michael said:
      January 22, 2015 at 1:29 am

      Hey mike, since you are a computer science major. Do your think the government should push to make computer science mandatory class in public school? Do you think everybody at SLU should at least take intro to Computer Science?

        cyberoutpost responded:
        January 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

        This is an interesting observation and I hope at some point intro to computers or information technology should be a common foundation course

        Mike Gellman said:
        January 23, 2015 at 5:54 pm

        I would love to see Computer Science become a mandatory class in public schools within the next 10 years. Honestly, if it happened even sooner it would be great for this country’s future. The cyber field is the fastest growing field in history so it would be nice not to fall behind other countries (primarily China and India) or possibly get ahead. I wish I had taken a class before coming to SLU. And yes, I would recommend everyone taking a course while at SLU because it will, at the least, give you a better understanding of technology you use everyday.

      Cam Hickey said:
      January 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Hey mike, i too watched American Sniper recently and thought it was a great movie. But i was wondering if you have looked at our know anything about some of the public backlash that the movie has caused due to the bad light that they show Iraqis in the film. Personally i think that after reading the book, the director seems to have played down a lot of the negative comments that Chris Kyle had while writing the book. I just wanted to know what you thought about the movie and the way many Iraqis were depicted in the film?

        Mike Gellman said:
        January 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm

        Nice question Cam! Well since the movie is an interpretation of the book, I think it made sense why Iraqis were portrayed the way they were. It that was how Chris Kyle and the other soldiers viewed them. My opinion is that if they had left the racism and negative views out it would not have been as realistic and compelling because you would not have understood how much the soldiers despised the people they were fighting. Similar to many other American conflicts, drivers of war include pride and even fear, but also incorporate anger as well. This anger is what the producers were looking to present.

    Nick Moffitt said:
    January 20, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Hi all! My name is Nick Moffitt. I am currently in my last semester here at St.Lawrence as I will be graduating in May with a degree in Government and Canadian Studies. I am from Massena, NY which is only 40 minutes north of here right along the US-Canadian border. I play on the Men’s Club Hockey team here at SLU as well as being a member of the Crown Royalties Investment Club. I am a very big sports fan especially hockey. I cheer for the Colorado Avalanche, New England Patriots and the New York Yankees. I work at the Brewer Bookstore here on campus which I have seen many if not all of you at! I am hoping to pursuing a career in International Affairs, specifically in DC which is why I have a great interest in this class and others that I have taken within the Government department. I am really looking forward to seeing the type of impact the cyber world has on the political stage as our world is evolving at a tremendous pace due to the use and innovation of technology.

      Louie Freda said:
      January 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Moffitt, how can you possibly like the Patriots and the Yankees at the same time? It seems like such a paradox liking a Boston and New York team at the same time. While I respect the Red Sox and other Boston teams I can’t stand to see them win. There is still time to convert to a more appropriate team for a resident of New York!

    Ryan Hackett said:
    January 20, 2015 at 10:36 am

    What’s up everyone! My name is Ryan Hackett and I am a senior here at St. Lawrence University majoring in Sociology. I am very into sports and played football here at St. Lawrence my freshmen year. Since playing football I have become very interested in golf. Its vastly different from football, in regards to you are solely responsible for every single shot you take. Whether its a solid shot or a deadly slice, every shot is solely dependent upon yourself. Over the years I have come to respect that aspect of the game, which has deepened my appreciation for the sport. Along with loving golf, I am also an avid sports fan. Unlike many people here at SLU, I am a huge Yankees, Knicks, Islangers (Islanders and Rangers tehe), and most of all Jets fan. The Jets are awful and have been for years, but I will always love them. They take up a big chunk of my heart and break it all the time. But it’s okay because we will be the 2016 Superbowl champions! As to why I am taking this class… Politics have always caught my eye because it plays an intricate role in our society. It is a topic that is always changing and impacts every individual. Now in today’s world, with the advancements in technology, a large portion of movements and current events are being brought about through the internet in real time. This has had a profound effect on our culture, both good and bad. Throughout this semester I am excited to learn more about cyber politics and I look forward to getting to know all of you!
    Cheers,
    Ryan

      Jonathan Root said:
      January 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Mr. Hackett, words can not describe my pain for you and the jets. I am to a Jets fan, and bleed green. You are not alone. 2015 will be our year. On the other hand, if you do not mind, i am just curious about your political stance, and how that might shape your view on cyber politics. This question does not just direct towards you, but to every one, How do political parties throughout the world and US shape cyber politics.
      Cheers,
      Jonathan Root
      Woody Johnson.

      Nick Ford said:
      January 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Hey Ryan, I love playing golf too!!! I agree, I enjoy the fact that you are completely in control and dependent upon yourself for every shot. I kind of have the same feeling as a lacrosse goalie. I am the last line of defense on the field and I am in complete control and depended on to make a save/prevent a goal from being score.

      Though back to golf. Have you played on the St. Lawrence course? Its very fun to play and I definitely recommend it.

    Cam Hickey said:
    January 20, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hello everyone in Cyber Politics, my name is Cam Hickey. I am a sophomore and I’m still deciding my major, but I am very interested in history and government. I’m from Needham, MA, which is about 25 minutes outside of Boston. I went to high school at a boarding school in Southborough, MA called St. Mark’s School. In high school I played football and lacrosse, but since graduating my athletic career seems to have taken an abrupt halt. I’m a big movie fan, and just last night I went to go see American Sniper and definitely thought it was one of best movies I have watched this past year. I wanted to take this class to further my studies in government and after reading the course description I immediately thought that this was the class to do so. I took Harinda’s intro to international relations last semester so I knew that this class would be jammed packed with interesting facts and ideas just like his other classes. I’m interested and excited to see how this hybrid style class will work, as I have never taken a class like this before.

    Kyle Swartz said:
    January 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Hey everyone, my name is Kyle Swartz and I am a sophomore student at St. Lawrence from Chester, New Jersey. I am a Government-Canadian Studies combined major and I chose to take this course because I grew up surrounded by technology and I was interested in learning about how it affects people worldwide. I went to a private prep school in Gladstone, NJ named Gill St. Bernard’s School and heard about St. Lawrence through my cousin who graduated from SLU two years ago and through my advisor in high school. Throughout my life I have been an extremely active alpine skier, learning at the age of three and racing GS at age 12 for about five years before deciding it wasn’t for me. Since then I have become an active backcountry skier most notably in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. I am also an Adirondack 46er which means I have climbed all of the 46 tallest mountains in the Adirondacks at least once. I like every type of music (besides opera) and I also enjoy watching movies. I just returned from the St. Lawrence networking program in D.C. and I plan on spending second semester of my junior year in D.C. studying at American University. I am looking forward to taking this class with all of you this semester.
    -Kyle

      Andrew Wanamaker said:
      January 21, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Hope everyone is off to a solid semester. My name is Andrew Wanamaker and I am a senior majoring in economics. I know a lot of you guys in this class and I am looking forward to Cyber Politics. It is going to be an awesome last semester here at St. Lawrence. This is my second class with Dr. Vidanage. I took International Relations last semester and learned a lot and found the topics we discussed to be quite interesting. Politics is definitely one of the most widely debated issues around the world and I have enjoyed learning about the United State’s influence on the rest of the world. We definitely don’t realize how remarkable and lucky we are to have instant access to information through the World Wide Web. Technology has played a crucial role in our society. I really wonder what life will be like in the next ten years. Growing up during the PC era, I still cannot wrap my head around how advanced we have gotten with technology. I remember my parents using a car phone the size of a dumbbell and certainly did not imagine something like the iPhone to ever dominate our lives. When I’m not studying economics I enjoy reading about social, environmental, and political issues around the world. We will all be successful this semester if we take the assigned content serious and contribute equally. This is one of the first classes I have taken that will truly allow us to individually lead and engage certain topics that pertain to Cyber Politics. After last classes discussion pertaining to the governance of online search accessibility I was wondering if anyone knows how the Tor browser works and how the silk road operated for as long as it did. It seems like in our modern age of online surveillance that the United States and other countries would have been able to track and stop what was going on with the illicit silk road. I honestly never realized how complex the World Wide Web was after last class and cannot wait to get into the more technical aspects.
      -Wanamaker

      Zayn Thompson said:
      January 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Kyle, I too learned about SLU through my high school advisor. I see you have a great interest in working in DC. Did you enjoy your networking program, and did you build connections there that will be useful later? As a government major, I also hope to spend a semester or break in DC to get an idea of how work there would be like. Taking a course like this one should be very useful in all fields of government. Do you know what type of work are you looking to pursue in DC, or are you still trying to find why you like most?

        Kyle Swartz said:
        January 21, 2015 at 10:01 pm

        Hello Zayn, SLU Connect DC was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of participating. While we were down there, we went to a networking event hosted at the Fairmont Hotel where I was able to network with a host of different alumni from SLU. I am still not completely sure what I would like to do, but my backup plan is to apply for a secret service internship. I spoke to a few secret service agents when we visited the White House and they all seemed to love their jobs.

    Andrew Wanamaker said:
    January 22, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Did any of you guys watch Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday? I was able to watch parts of it but I then went online and found an interesting aspect that ha been a growing concern, cyber attacks against United States companies. Obama said in a part: “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism (NBC NEWS).” It seems that the internet has been an amazing advancement in giving America the Hegemonic Power but for how much longer will we be able to defend the new problems that can arise from threats and actions taken by certain illegal groups? Gareau who work for Nexusguard which is a firm hired to find certain holes explained that if a new law enforcement proposal was to be passed, he would become a criminal. I guess we will find out more on February 13 when the White House holds a cyber security Summit at Stanford.This meeting will be a collaboration of white house officials, Private sectors executives, text experts, and students. Its amazing that in our generation one that is much different than the past, is dealing with non harmful physical violence but more of a systematic sequence of violence that indirectly hurts us.
    Check this article out: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2015-state-of-the-union/sotu-will-obamas-cybersecurity-proposals-actually-protect-you-n289826
    -Wanamaker

      cyberoutpost responded:
      January 22, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      That is a very interesting observation and is a good common theme for discussion!

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