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yay! I'm quite giddy today. :)
I had my first class last night for microeconometrics and we mostly went over how to use STATA :D
Then I had a brief convo with one of my profs (there are 3 for this class) and he said I can potentially do a research experiment instead of a final exam.

The catch is that I now have a week to find a topic, research it to find an approach that hasn't been done, and write a proposal.

So!
answer me this if you will:
what do you personally want to know about? what things make you wonder if they have a relationship, or how a relationship might effect the economy or society or the country?

from my brainstorm last night I wondered this:
does allowing gay marriage or civil unions or recognizing gay marriages from other states (NY) effect a states revenue?

from a few other people I got these:
does a person's (very wealthy person) faith/religousity effect their spending habits or the actions they take with their money?

what environmental factors (social expectation, family expectation, available educational resources, diversity of available resources, family background, town/city location, town/city/county wealth, environmental diversity, heterogeneous exposure to other people/cultures/beliefs, etc) effect a child's development - their expectations from life, their drive to perform well in school and/or go to college. How do these factors influence it?
(this lady works a lot with children from inner-city and inner-country environments who have limited exposure to things outside of their communities and limited push to experience things outside of their community and she wants to find a way to help these children achieve their full potential as people.)

what do you want to know about?
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so, with the solid b I made on my midterm in public policy, I got some combination of grades on the final and my porn paper to make a b+ in the class. I have no idea what that combination is though, so I don't know how I did on my paper and this disturbs me.
I'm also a little bummed because this is the first b I've made in my grad school career.

tomorrow I start microeconometrics (what a mouthful) and things aren't moving forward on a good foot. I ordered my book late, but low! the package arrived yesterday afternoon (in the midst of a giant thunderstorm that took out the power for a couple of minutes).
and it was the wrong book.
they sent me the wrong book two days before my class starts. now i'm trying to find the actual book and hoping I can get it before the weekend so i can do my homework. gads!
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For my public policy class I have to write a paper that will be 1/3 of my grade and since I can't do gay marriage like I wanted I decided to pick pornography or, more practically, obscenity laws. :)
so I'm thinking of looking at the practicality of obscenity laws that govern the placement of sex shops and strip clubs in the face of the following arguments:
1) the laws are said to protect children from early corruption during their developmental years.
2) young children do not pick up on sexual innuendo and that doesn't start until they begin to become sexually aware around 12 or 13 - puberty. with the internet a child that wants to experience these things will be able to. there's no real way to prevent it. childeren are more tech savvy than their parents, and tech continues to evolve so that banned content is accessible if you know how to look for it. a child that wants to be corrupt will become corrupt.
3) the restrictions placed on sex shops etc actually add to their visibility because they stand out by not conforming to other shops presentation - in britan they have blackened or opaque windows so people can't see in. this creates an air of mystery to be solved and also builds a sense of taboo on the shops. this would lead curious children to seek out the answers they cannot find by observing the world they're in. thereby promoting the early corruption the laws seek to prevent.
back to "children who want to be corrupted will become corrupt"
4) whereas, if you put pressure on the parents to instill the morals they want in their children, a sex shop with a more common window display will not entice the child to corruption.
5) it's not the state's place to impose restrictions on a business for the sake of a prudish parent who doesn't want to put the effort they need into raising their child in a modern world. the costs of the restrictions far out way the benefits available to society because technology advancements provide easy access to those who want to find it.
6) only those who want to find it will become corrupt. because a child with solid morals of his/her family will not seek it out
7) this does of course require open discussion with your child when they become curious so that you can address it appropriately and steer their development in the direction that you want. but in today's world, this is the only way to truly insure your child develops your shared morals. otherwise they will be raised by their friends, neighbors, tv, and the internet w/o your guidance

thoughts?

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