aL xin's corner

Curriculum Vitae
STAT 111


I have written a lot but saved very little.

I am filling in this page in chronological order. The writing samples currently provided are not an accurate representation of my current style or current views. (The most accurate impression of my current views is probably going to be an in-person conversation, unfortunately).

Check out the Blog for more informal writing.

Happiness in the Meaningless - How to Enjoy Cat Soup (2840 words). 13 May 2020. (EXPOS 20) This essay applies absurdism, as described by Albert Camus in "The Myth of Sisyphus", to the 2001 animated film "Cat Soup".

Morality in the Machine (1370 words). 10 May 2020. (GENED 1093) Even if we produce computers with processing power rivaling or exceeding that of the human brain, an intelligent machine is not subject to the same ethical considerations as an intelligent human being. Our current moral systems are based in biological considerations and do not rationally extend to machines.

Morality is Probably Dead but That's OK (960 words). 29 Mar 2020. (GENED 1093) Through research on human behavior and psychology, we can reasonably conclude that a universal morality, or Moral Truth, does not exist. However, by breaking away from a single Platonic ideal we allow for flexibility in the development of local morality, or moral truth, an arrangement more applicable to humanity.

Plastic Power - What it Means to Forget in The Act of Killing (1860 words). 21 Mar 2020. (EXPOS 20) This essay applies Nietzsche, who describes plastic power as the ability of an individual or society “to grow out of itself…to heal wounds, replace what is lost and reshape broken forms out of itself”, to the Oppenheimer documentary film "The Act of Killing", which covers the 1966 Indonesian genocide.

Writing as an Exclusionary Practice (440 words). 21 Feb 2020. (GENED 1093) Writing has been pivotal not because it is an open means of communication, but because it is exclusionary. Though Wright describes the inevitability of vertical dissemination of writing within a polity, the barriers to horizontal spread of language between groups are less easily broken. These limits, though, allow writing to drive group success.

Compulsory Organ Donation (510 words). 21 Jan 2020. (GENED 1093) The discussion of abortion runs parallel to the question of compulsory organ donation. In both scenarios a person’s life depends on another forgoing a portion of their claim on their body. Because Thomson expands on the live donor scenario with the violinist example, we will specifically focus on post-mortem organ donation.