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Business Management Issues

2 REI operates more than 140 sporting goods and outdoor recreation stores in 36 states. How many of the

four tests of the competitive power of a resource does the retail store network pass? Explain your answer.

3 Review the information in Concepts & Connections 4.1 concerning Boll & Branch’s average costs of

producing and selling a king-sized sheet set and compare this with the representative value chain depicted in
Figure 4.1. Then answer the following questions:
a. Which of the company’s costs correspond to the primary value chain activities depicted in Figure 4.1?
b. Which of the company’s costs correspond to the support activities described in Figure 4.1?
c. What value chain activities might be important in securing or maintaining Boll & Branch’s competitive
advantage? Explain your answer.

Sample Solution

attack and kill each other, all for the purpose of his entertainment. Scientists are like children playing with fire, unable to see the consequences of their actions until someone gets hurt. Scientists enjoy experimenting because it is the most direct way of worshipping their religion, even if the result of this practice comes in the form of weapons such as ice-nine. Dr. Hoenikker "played puddly games with pots and pans and ice-nine" (166), as if the weapon were just a toy. The result of his childish experiments eventually would bring about Hoenikker's death, along with an icy doom to the world itself. When scientists experiment with the powers of Death, they open a Pandora's Box that entices them to create even more inventive ways to kill other humans. Despite the idea that their work actually serves a malicious purpose, scientists still believe that the rest of the world supports their religion and that all people "serve science too…even though they may not understand a word of it"(34). Vonnegut points out how all humans are in fact followers of science, thus participating in an active experiment of survival. The rituals of science are a disguise for destruction, thus making the idea of 'finding the truth' meaningless. Science is simply death cloaked in knowledge, a concept that a childish race like humanity cannot understand. Vonnegut views science as a bunch of foma, or shameless lies, because it is a product of humanity, a worthless race. Julian Castle expresses Vonnegut's opinions about the creations of Man, when he explains that "man is vile, and man makes nothing worth making, knows nothing worth knowing"(116). Since science was created to advance humanity, then it too is meaningless because all products of science are improving a miserable, hopeless race. When the narrator attempts to explain to Mona, another non-believer, about the wonders of science, she thanks him, but finds no point in this knowledge. Vonnegut depicts Mona as beautiful because science and its destructive capabilities have not tainted her. If those who are untouched by science become beautiful and perfect, then the rest of humanity would be the same if they disregarded their precious religion. But according to the Books of Bokonon, "given the experience of the past million years", humanity can hope for "nothing" (164) in the way of making themselves more modernized. Man does not want to give up his religion, and therefore is condemning himself to a barbaric lifestyle, never getting any closer to the truth he seeks. The knowledge gained from science is too precious, so man forsakes perfection for limited happiness in the ability to have power over the fate of millions. Vonnegut illustrates how science is a religion that caters to a selfish race of individuals, who would rather die than forsake the shameless lies they are indoctrinate themselves with. The world heralds its scientific triumphs as victories for mankind and products of ingenuity, when in fact these advancements are superficial. Vonnegut does not see any point in the existence of science, as it only bolsters man's ego, while giving him excuses to kill other members of his race, several million at a time. Ice-nine is the triumph of an 'experiment' which is in fact the culmination of human destruction, all in the name of advancing society. But man's greatest technological feat only serves as a weapon of mass destruction, thus proving that humans are only capable of creating instruments of death with their scientific knowledge. Science serves as a religion to the brainwashed, backward, and destructive society known as mankind, and its meaninglessness reflects the people who worship it with utmost reverence. Analysis This example high school English paper succeeds because it is easy to read. The essay was described by the grader as "well-written, insightful, in-depth and articulate" and having "great transitions and flow." The essay's commentary is particularly well-done - at one point, it points out that in Vonnegut's
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