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  1. Hi All !!! I am new here, so apologies in advance if I am not posting/formating this correctly. In any event, below are the first two GRE essays I have ever written, 1 Issue and 1 Argument. I would GREATLY appreciate any insight, suggestions, critics and comments --- before I continue to practice. I want to make sure I am heading in the right direction with these essays. And if you are of a mind to give me a "score" I wouldn't mind. Critic away -- I can take it! Thanks! ISSUE TASK: Technology, while apparently aimed to simplify our lives, only makes our lives more complicated. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. A few taps of our thumbs, and we can be instantly connected to someone thousands of miles away. In just a few clicks, we can pay the rent, schedule a physical and still have time for lunch. These simple examples are just some of the ways in which advancements in technology have certainly simiplified our lives in ways unimaginable just a decade ago. There are infinite ways in which technology has made life easier, but communication and the ease of daily tasks seem to be two of the most positive. The ways to communicate with technology are numberous: email, instant messaging and "calling" apps such as Facetime, Google Hangouts, and Whats App, to name a few. These programs have shortened the distances between people around the world, making commincation with friends, family and even complete strangers just a click away. As little as twenty years ago, such connections were unthinkable. For example, a student on a gap-year, traveling through more remote parts of the world, would have to find an Internet cafe - almost a quaint idea now! - or a phone to relay to their family and friends that all was OK. Nowadays, a traveler can be in the middle of a desert, and manage to not only pick up a wifi signal and call a loved one, but actually show them their surroundings. What is even more amazing is that these options are not limited to developing countries, which can often be the case with new technologies, but are ubiquitous in developing countries as well. For example, in places like India, more people have cell phones than clean running water. It's mind-boggling, when you really think about how quickly these advancements have been thrust upon us. The daily tasks of life are another huge convenience that technology has offered the world. Everything from online calendars to scheduling a doctors appointment to paying bills are today considered the norm for most people. This saves countless time calling or traveling to various offices to conduct these transactions in person. However, technology's helping hand isn't all flowers and sunshine. There are several drawbacks to the ease these services, one of which is the disconnect in humanity. While humans use technology to quickly and easily connect with those they know, it has also created an environment in which we no longer communicate with those we don't. Walk into any cafe or university student center, and you will see individuals, and even groups of people, sitting together, heads bent over cell phones or laptops, immune to the world around them. In the past, these people would at the very least smile a "hello" to one another, and (gasp) even exchange some common pleasantries. While it's true that technology allows us to often communicate with strangers online, it doesn't encourage our communication with strangers in person. As such, technology certainly seems to have created a world in which we live together, yet apart. Another drawback to technological advancements seems to be the loss of certain skills. While calculators have been around a long time, their increased use has raised questions about young people's inability to do even the simpliest of math in their heads. The advent of the Internet has compounded this issue, making searches for algebra solutions just one click away. This environment has created a "quick fix" society, in which people have become accustomed to getting answers at a rapid pace. As a result, the formerly natural process of working through a process, and letting our brain flex a bit, seems to be wanning. In summary, their is no doubt that technology has made life around the world easier. However, we as a society must be aware the negatives of this simiplification and work together to hold on to some core values of humanity. ARGUMENT TASK: SuperCorp recently moved its headquarters to Corporateville. The recent surge in the number of homeowners in Corporateville proves that Corporateville is a superior place to live than Middlesburg, the home of SuperCorp's current headquarters. Moreover, Middleburg is a predominately urban area and according to an employee survey, SuperCorp has determined that its workers prefer to live in an area that is not urban. Finally, Corporateville has lower taxes than Middlesburg, making it not only a safer place to work but also a cheaper one. Therefore, Supercorp clearly made the best decision. Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted. Supercorp's claim that its decision to move the location of it's headquarters was "the best" decision is fraught with inconsistencies. Firstly, Supercorp states that a survey of its employees indicated a preference to not live in an urban area. However, there are several unknown compenents to this information. For example, what is the average age of Supercorp's employees and/or the average age of those who answered the survery. Does the average age skew towards older people or to those who are married and/or have children? If so, then this population usually prefers a less urban area, as they are more likely to enjoy a community better suited to family life or quiet. In contrast, those who are younger, single, and childless may prefer an urban area, which usually offers more nightlife, restaurants, and other activities that this age group tends to seek out. Secondly, Supercorp mentions that a recent surge in the number of homeowers in Corporatville indicates a superiority to Middlesburg. Yet, it doesn't indicate if the increase in home purchases was made by its own employees or non-employees. As such, there is no way to know if the new homeowners did so because they actually work for Supercorp, and wanted to live closer to work, or if that increase is merely a coincidence. If the majority of those new homeowners do not actually work for Supercorp, then this reference offers no support to the company's statement. Thirdly, Supercorp mentioned that the lower taxes of Corporateville made it a safer and cheaper place to work than Middleburg, a statement which is flawed in many ways. A community which has lower taxes impacts people who live there, not people who merely work there. So, if an employee doesn't actually live in the same city as their company's headquarters, they don't directly benefit from that city's lower taxes. In addition, a city with lower taxes doesn't automatically equal a safer community. In fact, it could suggest a community populated by lower-income individuals and families, which statistically often suggests more crime, violence and instability in general. So, Supercorp's claim of lower taxes in Corporateville, as currently stated, may actually contrast its claim of safety. In conclusion, Supercorp must conduct more research on the above mentioned issues, and provide those findings in detail, before it can solidly stand behind these assertations.
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