City Tech, Fall 2016

Author: Sky Captaina - Alex S (Page 1 of 3)

Samoylov Alex Final Draft of Write Up Reflection 12 18 2016

The concept of a utopia and dystopia has been debated to this very day on how it is defined. Many see it as either the perfection of the world or as its ultimate downfall as a society. However, each person has their own view on what is good and bad for themselves and for society, therefore over time many different versions of what a utopia and dystopia are have come up. Even with these different visions you have a further divergence of personal views based on the countless people who imagine it. This leads to an almost endless number of possible utopias and dystopias based on each individual. Past this understanding if the fact that each person is affected by the present and as that moves away from the point in time they created this definition, it too will change. This change happens because the worlds constantly changes, every event small and large creates an effect that is felt by people. This creates newer versions of utopia and dystopia in direct response to these changing times. The reason being that utopian and dystopian literature is anchored to the real world to create visions of what it might become, if society follows a certain path.
Society is made up by individuals, these individuals are indirectly linked to each other by necessity. The work that one does affects the other, and that other affect someone else by providing a service. Society is a chain of events, each link supports the next and is required to maintain the rest. Therefore, if an individual doesn’t see the world the same way others do, it leads to conflict and break downs in the link. This overtime, if allowed to spread, would cause a complete collapse in any system, particularly a social one. The end goal for each person would lead to a different point and creates a disharmony within the society. Particularly, if each person has their own method of trying to achieve their personal utopia. So, by logic utopia should be a communal vision that all of society should strive for together. However as seen in the real world even with good intentions, evil can come and take over. Dystopias are by many accounts failed utopian visions that were carried out incorrectly or allowed to be taken over by less righteous. The whole notion of dystopia is to show that human nature is powerful and flawed. They do not seek to make a world perfect for everyone as utopias do, their goal is to show reality that may come fourth if individuals do not work together.

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Write-Up Draft, utopia and dystopia

Abstract
The concept of a utopia and dystopia has been debated to this very day on how it is defined. Many see it as either the perfection of the world or as its ultimate downfall as a society. However, each person has their own view on what is good and bad for themselves and for society, therefore over time many different versions of what a utopia and dystopia are have come up. Even with these different visions you have a further divergence of personal views based on the countless people who imagine it. This leads to an almost endless number of possible utopias and dystopias based on each individual. Past this understanding if the fact that each person is affected by the present and as that moves away from the point in time they created this definition, it too will change. This change happens because the worlds constantly changes, every event small and large creates an effect that is felt by people. This creates newer versions of utopia and dystopia in direct response to these changing times. The reason being that utopian and dystopian literature is anchored to the real world to create visions of what it might become, if society follows a certain path.
Society is made up by individuals, these individuals are indirectly linked to each other by necessity. The work that one does affects the other, and that other affect someone else by providing a service. Society is a chain of events, each link supports the next and is required to maintain the rest. Therefore, if an individual doesn’t see the world the same way others do, it leads to conflict and break downs in the link. This overtime, if allowed to spread, would cause a complete collapse in any system, particularly a social one. The end goal for each person would lead to a different point and creates a disharmony within the society. Particularly, if each person has their own method of trying to achieve their personal utopia. So, by logic utopia should be a communal vision that all of society should strive for together. However as seen in the real world even with good intentions, evil can come and take over. Dystopias are by many accounts failed utopian visions that were carried out incorrectly or allowed to be taken over by less righteous. The whole notion of dystopia is to show that human nature is powerful and flawed. They do not seek to make a world perfect for everyone as utopias do, their goal is to show reality that may come fourth if individuals do not work together.

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Progress

Browning, Gary K. Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present. Ed. Abigail Halcli and Frank Webster. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.
“Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.’, something that I found to be very useful in proving a point I was trying to make but could not really put to words in a way that sounded good. The very first thing that I was able to find that as useful even if a bit limited from what I was able to read, still looking into to see If anything else could be added from this that other sources do not show as well.

Millwee., Kyle. Kylemillwee. N.p.: n.p., Sept.-Oct. 2014. PDF.
Seems to be a short essay by student from which I took a few quotes as it shared simuler ideas to my own on the subject at hand, not the best place to for information but it was helpful in getting another source of quotes from a writer named Ursula Le Guin about her book “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,”. This was used to help support my claims about people having their own views on what is a utopia and dystopia due to what they see as happiness.

SHELTON, ROBERT. Utopia-and-dystopia. N.p.: Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 2013. PDF.
This was one of my starting sources that I found early on and had information on many different utopian and dystopian works as well as what they showed based on their authors. It also had good examples that I used to back my claims and main objective in the paper. It had many good quotable parts such as “Some of humanity’s best thinkers and artists have, for 2,500 years, created moral compasses by distilling human wisdom (and folly) into imaginative works called utopias and dystopias” among others that helped to support the article and my own ideas. It also had a lot of the history of utopia starting from Thomas More and how his book lead onwards to others. Later sources built on this history.

Baccolini, Raffaella, and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Very modern look at utopia and dystopia in a as the author put it a “pessimistic” view. It offered a different view to what most other sources had shown in a more positive light and tone. This sorce was more personal and was a correspondents between the author and another person whom was interested in the subject. As most of the pages start with a “Dear, someone”. However this sorce was much harder to extract information from due to it not being aimed that way and was between people who understood each other better than I can understand them, still I am reading on to find more examples for counterarguments and a different view.

Grassmann, Hans, Ting Fa Margherita Chang, Mario Taverna, and Luca Iseppi. THE SOLAR AGE: UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA. HOW TO TRANSFORM GREEN WASTE EXTERNALITIES IN ENERGY AND BIOCHAR. University of Udine, Italy: Proceeding of the International Scientifical Conference. Volume III., 2014. PDF.
This was a really odd thing for me to find, here I am looking for information on utopia and dystopia in the format of book reviews, articles, books on the subject and other written works and then I find this. An argument that states the solar panels can lead to a utopia or a dystopia, this suiprised to the point that I keep reading, just to see if this was a way of hooking people into reading a long engineering paper on solar panels or a valid argument. I still do not know, I stopped after they stated to just talk about the science behind the new panels and how to use them to not lead to the downfall of humanity. This is some of their points “There would be no pollution anymore, no net production of C02, global warming would come to a hold, the energy would be de-central, for everybody, in a certain sense for free. What could be more of a utopia?
Nevertheless, Solar energy is dystopia since we have to switch to solar energy as much and as fast as possible, and this will cause us much pain and problems.
Huge industrial values will be annihilated, for instance our knowledge about internal combustion engines will lose its relevance and therefore its value – the engineers of the main car industries, who have for decades always improved the motors, will have to retire”. Like I said before this never came to my mind and it is very useful as a modern day example of technology that could lead to actual change for better or worse. This also is part of the main thing point that drives utopia and dystopia, technology and society. This can lead to a better system of energy vs what we have now that is killing our world and save it for the future however the current effect can be devastating on the world order and society.

Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
This was really useful source for background information on the concept of utopia and dystopia, their origin, analysis of the origin and how it then devolved into a word, genre and the meaning. Here I learned about the concept of neologism and how it led to the both words being made and how it also created others like anti-utopia and satirical utopia. It also talked about why they were made and what they wished to show. Overall it is a very good source that I have used to fill in missing information from shorter sources like the ones above.

My main research topic is how people define what is a utopia and a dystopia. As with all things people created the idea of utopia and dystopia, with one being the opposite of the other. However from all the sources I have looked at there is no one set definition that everyone is happy with. That is due to the fact that as some put it “A utopia is “as you like it” not necessarily a “perfect” world just a world that is perfect in an individual’s eyes.”, therefore each person has a different take on what it is. “ Utopias and dystopia are asymmetrical concepts, akin to health and disease, whereby one persons hopeful dream is anothers dyspeptic nightmare.”, So why do so many write about a world that one or a few would ever see as a good place to be? The answer as to why people write utopian and dystopian works also varies based on the person, however for the most part it is to critic and offer ideas. As seen in one of the sources found, “Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.”. People dream of better worlds, lives, times, and conditions all their lives, the pursuit of happiness. I had also found something that was unexpected, a link to mechanical technology though a paper based on the problems posed by solar technology and how it can be used to create both a utopia and a dystopia.
(This was the best written start I had so far and the following is still being worked on, will improve and change to meet what is needed)

Following the advice given, I have found several interesting secondary sources regarding utopias and dystopias. After reading them and pulling out some key ideas and quotes, I incorporated them into a new revision. This revision is more based on what was found and has a better argument in place with points to support it. The main idea is still how people define what is utopia and dystopia based on many factors such as when, where and why. The argument that I am countering is that utopia and dystopia have a single broad definition. Now, the idea of what utopia and dystopia are has not changed to the point where it is indistinguishable from their origin to today on a base level, however as seen with many different literary works the setting and main ideas are different based on the time they were written. As technology, society and world orders changed, so did the settings of utopian and dystopian literature. Due to the fact that people would no longer feel the same impact, in some cases with books written about a vision of the world that is no longer valid to them. This is where prospective comes into play as it also changes with time and the individual. Perspective is based on understanding. Someone who has never experienced or heard of an event cannot understand its importance both in the real worlds and the fictional one. This is why history is important because it teaches the significance of past events so that they are not repeated or at least can be recognized within current once. That is also the main point of utopian and dystopian points to show how something could be positive or negative based on evolving trends that the writer has seen or is worried about seeing.
I will continue to look at the old sources found as well as new once that I’m looking for, to use as additional background and supporting arguments which will add to the paper. This will also be included in some part of the upcoming presentation.
As said before all the new information gathered will be looked at to create a cohesive presentation that will follow a similar set up in the upcoming write up. The power pint I am making will have bullet points that will be used to aid at my discussion while not being word for word that I am saying as well as having quotes from the research that I’ve done.

Still need to find a good way of writing the paper with strong topic sentences that work of the main idea. I am aware I did not show of them above, due to them still being worked on, progress is slow and I do not like showing things that are not done yet. This a problem for me, basically I cannot decide on how to format it because most of it is still up in the air. Should have a better idea after presentation is done.
Other than that, wanted to know if the sources I have are good or if some of them are not within the realm of what is allowed.

research update

My main research topic is how people define what is a utopia and a dystopia. As with all things people created the idea of utopia and dystopia, with one being the opposite of the other. However from all the sources I have looked at there is no one set definition that everyone is happy with. That is due to the fact that as some put it “A utopia is “as you like it” not necessarily a “perfect” world just a world that is perfect in an individual’s eyes.”, therefore each person has a different take on what it is. “ Utopias and dystopia are asymmetrical concepts, akin to health and disease, whereby one persons hopeful dream is anothers dyspeptic nightmare.”, So why do so many write about a world that one or a few would ever see as a good place to be?
The answer as to why people write utopian and dystopian works also varies based on the person, however for the most part it is to critic and offer ideas. As seen in one of the sources found, “Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.”. People dream of better worlds, lives, times, and conditions all their lives, the pursuit of happiness. I had also found something that was unexpected, a link to mechanical technology though a paper based on the problems posed by solar technology and how it can be used to create both a utopia and a dystopia. At the time I did consider that something like solar panels could be sued to create a utopian and dystopian world, I was aware of the changes it would bring if put into general use but the idea of it completely altering the current world stage was not one of them.

Research used found via google scholar
Browning, Gary K. Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present. Ed. Abigail Halcli and Frank Webster. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.

Millwee., Kyle. Kylemillwee. N.p.: n.p., Sept.-Oct. 2014. PDF.
SHELTON, ROBERT. Utopia-and-dystopia. N.p.: Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 2013. PDF.
Baccolini, Raffaella, and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Grassmann, Hans, Ting Fa Margherita Chang, Mario Taverna, and Luca Iseppi. THE SOLAR AGE: UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA. HOW TO TRANSFORM GREEN WASTE EXTERNALITIES IN ENERGY AND BIOCHAR. University of Udine, Italy: Proceeding of the International Scientifical Conference. Volume III., 2014. PDF.
Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.

The past lead to the future

The trip to the science fiction archive in city tech’s library was something that i did not think would be as fun and engaging was it turned out. Seeing how much work was done to perverse old volumes of science fiction was astounding, as well as very generous by the donor who spent a long time collecting of the works that we now have access to. I spent a lot of time looking at the old covers and seeing many illustrations that seemed to have inspired later workers or proves that we have a very limited imagination when it come to something like spaceships and future technology. What i also liked was the mix between what was real and what was made up in the cover art of some of the magazines given to us, the one had was of a dragon going after a early 4-15 eagle which is a combat aircraft still in use today. Many of the other cover tired to have something that was different but still human to them, they would have been very radical at the time they were made but they still stayed true to the roots of science fiction, odd but believable, far into the future yet still close to home and many other things that make the genre what it is. Full possibility and filled with opportunity to grow. Much like the archive, it has many things within it and not all of it was on display and yet there is so much more to add to it, older works that are missing, new works that have yet to become famous and worthy of a place to be and many more to come. Seeing the past works and then looking at what we have now, it becomes apparent how much it has grown to this day. Science fiction has become popular, it has a massive fan base, it is longer something that only a few would read and talk about, it has set the stage for people to learn about the world around them and about the stars and now it is seen everywhere. All the films and shows that have come out and still are coming out, add to this ever growing world of endless possibility. And i only wish to have more time to view all of the art, to read many of the stories, and to understand more about the roots of science fiction and it’s growth to what is had become today. Everything is possible, there are so many things to wrote about, to read, to understand, to question, to learn and most important of all, to share and store. For knowledge is only useful if used, shared and absorbed bu others who will then pass it on to others who will do the same. The problem starts when people use this information for their own gain and do not share it’s power with others, such as reading the only copy of a book and then claiming it to be yours or using the power it contained for your own advancement and gain.

The Round Table

I was at the Science Fiction Symposium from 1 30 to the end of the roundtable segment in which I took part of. Overall it was a very interesting experience for which I was saw many different aspects of science fiction, both from those who write and tech it and follow students who are learning with me. Many of the things said at the round table were things that I agreed with but would not have perused as far as they did, such as the idea of terraforming and if it is wrong to do so on other worlds. Or the idea of marketability of an IP, based on if it has too little lore and look like a money grab vs if it has much lore and is done to add to the existing lore like Warhammer 40k vs that star wars prequels. Side note I do not really see anything wrong with the prequels, they started what we saw ended in eps 4-6 of the film and it was done in a way that made sense, Also really loved the ships in those, they were new, slick, chrome and were nice to see. At the round table many people shared what they loved about the genre and how they came to it. Shows and films like Star Wars and Star Trek were brought up as well as what they are watching or reading now like dark mirror, west-world and others. So now I have new shows to look at and think about. We also talked about our research projects and everyone was able to express their ideas that they were following. Everyone was great on the roundtable, however I would go off track or on for too long with something like the 3d printers and how they are starting to look like the star trek replicators. Also we kept going to the machine stops as point of reference to the point that is was getting old, but it had great points to it that everyone could use to tie in with and shows how good of a short story it is. It was also interesting to see how people’s majors helped to shape how they see the genre and what thy look at within it. Overall it was a nice look at what others see and think about when asked the same question about Science Fiction and all the response that were different from each other and yet could be tied together by the same string. Also I really enjoyed to be a part of the event and would most likely do it again.
The panel that was before was also very informative upon subjects of interest such as happiness and how historians could use Science Fiction to better understand ideas of the people involved in the past, why they did not see something as import to record or why certain events are obscure. The idea of happiness is also very interesting because it seems simple however to actually make people and organizations go after these ideas is difficult. Even the military has tried to make a happy psychology course in their training but it is seen as too spiritual because it borders on what many religions tried to do. And people said that those who do not believe in religions would not be able to pass, while the military has said it is not in the way and is meant to bring people together. Everything is more connected then people think and Science Fiction can be applied everywhere.

Update, lost in a sea of possibility

Alex Samoylov
The main part of the Archive Project I want to focus on is the idea of perceived utopias and dystopias along with the idea that the two are closers to each other than their definitions allow. Both of this is posable because of people who created the definitions to utopias and dystopias as well as what they believe they are. People within the same society tend to have the ideas as to what is good or bad, however there are those who are outcasts and do not agree with the masses. People see the world from where they are and unless they are put somewhere else their perspective will not change. Some people are born into lives of luxury while others are born into poverty and in some cases it is not possible for them to leave from that place. Caste systems are an example of this, people born into them are not allowed to move up or down from their starting point even if they have talent or skill. Now this is dilemma, those on the top of the society are living like kings while all others are in worsening conditions the further down they go. So is this a utopia and dystopia? For the top it is a utopia but for the bottom most it is a dystopia, now the middle or second to the top may be in a bit of a grey area. Even with a caste system some people do better than others, you can have a poor king while having a rich merchant. So how does that change things? A king with no money while living and seeing the wealth around him and with others may come to see the world he lives in as a hell. A similar problem was faced by the high class Roman families that held power for many years, they were out of resources from years of keeping everything within the families and needed new blood and money. So the Romans allowed the marriage of wealthy plebeians into the high families of patricians after the plebeians attend rights within Rome otherwise they would have no power in high society. And yet in India the caste system remains, and over the years people have accepted it as a way of life because of religion and tradition. Now India as a state has grown over time and has become powerful but is it a utopia. Some enjoy massive wealth to the point of seeing a gold car as something of old news and massive city have been built in the desert and near the coast. But many have not been benefiting from the wealth being spent and made in this growth. There is an old system of economics called trickle down that would in cases work but in practice it stops at a certain point not far from where it started. So once more to perspective, from the view of most nations of the free world the caste system is wrong and an out dated model, this view is also shared by the current Indian government but the steps taken to reduce it have not led to it being removed. So it is seen as a system that leads to problems, hate, crime, violence and other negatives, so in many cases this is seen as a dystopia. This example can be seen in Brave New World and Metropolis, with the latter leading to a revolt versus the system. Yet much like In Brave New World and Metropolis the people at the top care little for those below as long as they work and do what they wish. However there is a positive side to this system as well, you can never fall out of your cast, the poor king will still be where he is and will never bow to the rich merchant. There is a safety net for each caste, you cannot fall down but you also can not move up. Under socialism everyone should be equal but the problem is people are not equal, everyone is different in some way and some people need more than others. Also people are not saints, and will always want more, have envy, hate, desire and other things that will make them want to get out of the box they are put in. Also how can you pay a doctor the same you pay a teacher or construction worker? They have different fields, time spent learning, ability and importance. But under socialism they all derive the same, the same house, car, food, and anything else that they get. However this is a theory, in practice it has led to terrible things like the USSR and China. The people were put on the same level but that was not the middle ground between rich and poor but simply poor. Many who were well off had their homes taken, their cars, land and everything else they had to given out equally to the people, the problem was most of the goods were given to those in power, they now lived the life of luxury that the kings before them had lived in. At the same time they also realized why the kings before them could not satisfy the people, there was just not enough for everyone. Russia was too big to feed everyone who lived within it with crops and food from fertile regions, so they started to kill their own people, take land and used the lives of those who believed in them as suicide squads to get it done.
People create the world we live in they often make one where they benefit more than others if possible, particularly if they get to rule this world they make. That is why the words utopias and dystopias were made by Sir Thomas More and J. S. Mill, to use them to describe what path the rulers of the world are taking, either one that leads to a better place or one that will lead to a place that no one should be in.
Now the idea of a utopia was coined from the Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book of the same name and it means no-place vs a good place as most people use it today which would be a Eutopia. Also the term dystopia coined as an antonym for Utopia by J. S. Mill to describe something “too bad to be practicable” vs something “too good to be practicable”. So by definition neither of these two worlds are possible to exist, at least to a point. It is not possible to have a complete world of no wrongs as much as it is not possible to have a world full of wrongs. Both would stop functioning after time when they reach a point of critical mass. Then there is the fact that both of these ideas are that, ideas made by people and people are different, change, create, destroy and die. Over time things change, what was not possible to be 60 years ago is now part of daily life and now there is something new that is not posable. People’s view of what is bad or good changes based on many factors and that is what is then used to define a utopia or dystopia, because there is no real example of them in the real world, to a point. Some people get born into a world of money and luxury and do not have day to day worries for most of their lives and to many who are not in that position they see It as a dream, a utopia if you will. However that is not truly the case, true they do not worry about living day to day, paycheck to paycheck, but they worry about stocks, inheritance, siblings, ransoms, blackmail and other thins that the masses no do dream off. Each world that a person occupies is their reality and that dictates what they see as a good place or bad place to be. In reality utopias and dystopias are mixed together, one day you are above others living a good life and the next day everything you had can be pulled from under you and you live in a bad time. Utopias and dystopias are opposites of each other, particularly if kept separate from one another, however elements from each are possible to be seen because of way the world works and how works capture that aspect to make the world believable. There will always be a top and a bottom to a society, the difference is what the gap between them is and how many are in each group.

What is a utopia and dystopia?
How people define them and how people are defined by them
Why they exist as an idea
What they show about society over the years thought media
How the idea has evolved
What is there to learn from utopia or dystopia?
Claims
People define what is a utopia and dystopia
People have perspectives on what they believe is a utopia and dystopia
Utopia and dystopia are extremes but at the same can be a part of the same society at the same time
Utopia and dystopia can be broken down to a personal level and that can be in flux
Reflection
Once more I tried to make a good set up for the Proposal and it came out with writing about history and the current world. Because that is the main point of Science Fiction writing to show the real world what may happen, to warn, to teach, to make people think about ideas and make them question things. Everyone writes about what they believe is important, what they see as growing problem. For years it was the fear of technology taking over the world, this lead to movies, books, talks and even steps at making technology more user dependent. However the development of AI is still underway and there are whole systems that have no user input for long periods of time where they run themselves. And this is the big problem for me, I go very wide with what I write, I my mind this is all attached in some way or another. I jump off one point to make another because it pops into my head and then I go off and write about that losing my first claim in the process and all sense of structure. However that is mainly because I do not write proposals, do recall ever having to write one before and because of that I have been mainly going at this like an essay yet without the structure because it is not an essay but I do not know how to make it a proposal and fit all the information I had and gained with research. The main problem is still formatting into a packing that will make people understand what I am trying to say without the need of me to be there to explain it alongside what I write. Also I feel that the wording I am using is a bit off and that my idea is not being convoyed the way I want it to be.
Research
Where the term Utopia and dystopia where made and why. Early works of the genre and later works like we have read as well as media. How everyday use of the word has changed what it is versus the first meaning set. How people have used the themes to show possible worlds both good and bad based on a single idea or invention. How posable it is to have them in the real world as well as how it depended on the people you ask. The effect that it has had on people over the years as an idea as well as media. How people see what is a utopia and dystopia easier in works verses the little bit of it in everyday life. The realizing that works written many years ago match several trends today and the foresight of those works.

Live Long and Prosper

Alex Samoylov
With the past works being mainly utopia or dystopia in a short span of time I cannot help but influenced by them. So the idea that I have come with is the theory that a utopia or dystopia cannot exist without the other at the same time. Nothing is flawless, somewhere within a utopian society there is a sacrifice or suffering by a group or groups. In a flawed world like a dystopia, some live better all the rest, they can be seen as a utopian enclave. Light creates shadows but also removes darkness, but darkness is the natural state of things. Trying to make a good society is difficult because people do not all share the same desire, particularly over a larger number or region.
At the same time there is the question of which is better. Now that may seem as a pointless question, obviously it is the good place vs the bad one. However is it really? A utopia in many cases is the end of the road, there is no need to advance once you get there. Why innovate, invent, and search for new things if you are the best possible place. If people have everything they need and it is stable, why ruin that. Now a dystopia is a world filled with bad things, but it is also filled with opportunity. There people may suffer but they will try to get higher than the hole they are in. Often they will fail and even those who do get out will not get far. There are no happy endings because there are no endings. A dystopia stays alive longer and is a failed utopia in many ways.
However with the two being a part of each other and definition of the two being open to interpretation it is difficult to defiantly say what world you are looking at. A good example is the universe of star trek, in which Humanity has come together on earth under one government and set out to explore the stars. On their travels they made friends with different alien races as well as foes, all the while advancing in technology. This technology was used to create better lives across the union made with earth and all races called the Federation, Earth became a paradise with no problems to speak of. People had homes, food, time, art, culture, health and near limitless opportunity that expanded each day as the frontier moved out. So from this information it seems as earth is finally a utopian planet, with no crime, war, poverty, hunger and other problems. However what the other human colonies that are on the frontier, a long way from home and all the resources that is contains. Entire regions of colonized world are living as most people did back in the wild west, limited supply, vast amounts of unworked land, no local peacekeeping forces, bandits who come and go and a want to move away from the federation. Starting to look like a dystopia. Now this is why it is difficult to classify Star trek as one or the other along with all the wars that happened between the Federation with the Klingon Empire, the Romulan star empire and other forces that threaten all life in the universe. Now case by case you can say that the overall the federation is a better place to live vs the Romulan star empire where there the culture of the people is create plots and carry them out to get power or leverage on someone else, all the while being watched by their version of the gestapo. However as a universe it shows all sides with the humans being perfect even with what other may call flaws. Emotions and acting on them is seen as one flaw of humans by the Vulcans, a race that in its past almost destroyed itself and so suppressed all emotion to allow only logic to rule them. The Klingons are a war like race and see the Federation and humans who made it as weak, they have pride and honor and a lust for battle. However their political system is heavily corrupted with a cast system and houses of families that carry out blood feuds that last until one of the other is dead over centuries. Each race was made around once such idea what humans at one point were, it was to show what would happen if we allowed one part of ourselves to become dominate. There was even a race of small troll like people called the Ferengi who were the embodiment of greed and profit, even selling their own family to make money and deals. With all the said, it was always the people who shaped what was good or bad. The Klingons saw war, killing, pride, honor and dying anywhere these things to be great, that they would go to their version of Valhalla as the honored dead. The Ferengi see nothing wrong with making a profit anyway they can, regardless of the laws, consequences, morality and anything else. All they want is to see the gold at the end of the tunnel, they also need to buy their way into their heaven as well. This is a huge difference in peoples, societies, ideology and ways of life between the two, and both dislike the other for who they are. The Klingons are too violent to make long lasting deals with and the Ferengi scheme too much for the liking of the Klingons. And from our perspective they are both too far into one negative attribute of humanity.
There is a similarity between “Star Trek” and “Metropolis” in how they show sin and giving into it. In Star trek each race is an extreme of one part of us as shown with pride and greed and other if you go deeper into it. Metropolis had the 7 deadly sins in the cathedral that came out with the fake Maria when she started to perform. Now in both it is a small part of the whole production but it is there long enough to become a point. The main reason that people have conflicts is because of the7 deadly sins, they lust for power, they envy others, they given into greed and they are full of pride. This is the reason that “Brave New World” states as well, with the removal of inhibitors in society and making everything they want in reach, they remove this problems. There is still lust but it can be fulfilled, there is pride is ones work but it does not lead to conflict because the others around you are the same. There is no greed because they have everything they need or are thought to believe that they do, the same applies for envy. Brave New World has everything in balance, there is no more war, conflict, problems and everyone is happy. Yet it is a dystopian world, why? Because we would not want to be there, because it is alien to us. It is in so many ways what many would describe as utopian, people had perfect health, they want for nothing, there is peace, there is order, yet the cost is too high for us. Freedom is lost, art is removed, culture is twisted to suit the state, and the church is of the state. Everything is made to serve the greater good of the state with the top echelon living well and endowed. This leads to “The Machine Stops” with the machine serving the people and the people treating it like a creation of god or a god itself, another world with peace, order and all needs met. However once more the people are not free, they live in small cells, avoid people, talk through technology and do not grow. They do not like new ideas left alone, they believe that the more people that filter it the better, that emotions and feelings of the first person who said it color it wrong. In the end their world falls into pieces and most parish, all because they became like sheep, waiting to be taken care off. That seems to be one of the key points of dystopias, that people in our do not wish to treated like livestock and have their freedoms taken from them as seen in “The Machine Stops” and “Brave New World” and to an extant the workers of “Metropolis”.
That is what I want to look at, in the works we have read, others and in the real world, how much utopia is in a dystopia and the other way around. One can become the other because all of the elements are there, in a perfect world there will some born into it who will wish for change and create it. However in a society that has lost the ability to accept a new vision of perfect, there will be conflict that can lead to the downfall of both new and old. What will remain will be a flawed version of on or the other or both. The other case is in a dystopia, there will always be dreamers. This people will wish for a better world and pass on their wish to the next generation and in time enough people will wish for that they will take action and rise above what the world has given them.
That is the main part of utopia or dystopia worlds, the people. People make things possible or impossible all by themselves. They can make the world a good place or one worse then hell, they create their own heroes and villains, they decide what is right and wrong. So if you wish for your vision to be made you need to control or influence them, now the way that is done is what will create a utopia or dystopia. Through fear, power and propaganda it will be a dystopia in the eyes of the people, but if you win their hearts, minds and do great acts for the people then it is a utopia. As long as no one realizes the truth, you can run the entire world from behind a mask, thought others and get to what you want all without the people ever turning on you.
History has many examples of this such as the USSR, Nazi Germany, China, North Korea and other nations where the people believe they have all they need or want. Nations filled with people who believe in their leaders, they have been thought to thank them for everything they have. As well as nations whose people believe they have a say in what is done and what is the greater good. Everyone who is not a part of the masses is seen as an outsider, crazy, wrong, antisocial, a bad influence, a dissident, a traitor. What if these people are the only ones who see the world for what it is or is not? Or are they truly just lost to what others have found.
The idea behind what is a utopia or dystopia is something that is not clear as show above. The people decide what it is in both the real world and the fictional one as well. There would be no conflict or struggle if the people of a dystopia accepted their world and lived it, as it was done in “Brave New World”. Otherwise they would the same problem they had in “Metropolis” with the workers revolt. So at what point do people say something is no longer pure good or pure bad, when does the greater good fall under personal wants, needs and freedoms. When does the freedoms, needs, and wants of people fall beneath the greater good. More to the point what is the greater good? Should the greater good not only benefit the whole but the people within as well? For instance surveillance of people is an invasion of privacy however it can remove dangerous elements from society before they have time to cause harm. Also not everyone is under surveillance so why should people care if someone is, if it’s not them then they do not care. Yet the more they allow the right of any individuals the more they lose their own rights that are equal to other individual. Unless they believe they are not equal to them for whatever reason. Now we deal with classes, stature, connections, and other things that make people stand above or below others in life.
There are no absolutes in life, everything is grey until it is judged by someone or something. Killing is wrong, unless it is for a good cause as stated by a nation, organization, religion, king, money or another reason. A war is just as stated by a nation, it is for a cause, a reason above a personal one. It is not murder, it is killing under orders so it is not illegal and it has to follow rules. Anything can be written as good or bad for the right reason based on perspective and who wins. History is filled with wars that were bloody and started because of greed, yet few are written as such. Everything is written by people for people, there is no impartial party involved. Due to this everything is based on that persons beliefs, views, feelings, life, experience and the time. The idea of utopia or dystopia was made by people, to describe something that cannot happen and yet could. That is the tricky part, many people say utopia is impossible because it calls for too many things to be perfect but it is the opposite with dystopia. A dystopia is very much so achievable and it can keep get worse. As with most things it is difficult to make something good but requires no effort to make nothing. Now what is bad with nothing? Well nothing means that no work is being is done, with no work done on something then something else will fail unless it can made by someone less, however if more people start doing nothing then it falls apart. As said before people run everything, without people currently nothing will be done. Even if it is to push a button to make something work, a person is still needed to start it. Until androids are made that role is on humanity. And in theory the only thing stopping people from having a utopia is other people and themselves.
People – the ultimate riddle of the universe, one that they search for an eternity.
Main points that I want to cover
What is a utopia and dystopia?
How utopia or dystopia are intertwined
How people define them and how people are defined by them
Why they exist as an idea
What they show about society over the years thought media
How the idea has evolved
What is there to learn from utopia or dystopia?
How close are we to utopia or dystopia?
How it can be used to teach about the past and the current world.
Works Cited page
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World ; And, Brave New World Revisited. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. Print.
Smith, Wayland. The Machine Stops. London: Robert Hale, 1936. Print.
Metropolis. Dir. Fritz Lang. By Thea Von Harbou, Giorgio Moroder, and Giorgio Moroder. Prod. Giorgio Moroder. Perf. Gustav Fröhlich and Brigitte Helm. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Memory Alpha.” Memory Alpha | Fandom Powered by Wikia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. (Star Trek)
Roddenberry, Gene. Star Trek. 1996. Television.
Reflection
I tried to incorporate all feedback into the revision by adding details while not removing too much from what was at the start due to the ideas attached to them. Additional revision is needed based on the new feedback to come and by that time should be good to go. However when I say detail, I mean I went crazy and added 2 pages worth of text that may or may make things more clear. At the very lest it is a good starting point to fix for the upcoming essay or assignment. Or it will make no sense because it all only works in my mind where it is all held together by what I do not know. Because that is still my problem, getting my idea out there in a manner that other people who do think the same way I do can understand it. Over all the first draft of the proposal was well accepted and was on point, something that will be lost in this version I am sure. So following the set up I had this time I added some research, and by that I mean I explained a whole part of Star trek lore and how it works in some parts with other works we have read or seen. It was at that point that I saw more similarities between them and the concept of utopia and dystopia. All of them deal with people, societies, right and wrong, sins, control, and freedom. Star trek is something I that I have watched, read and loved many times over due to the depth it has to its self, it never felt old, it always had something more to add the next time you re-watch it. I watched the same series of Star trek Deep Space 9 3 times and each time at a different age and therefore time. In each case I found something else with the show, why the cast someone, why they added this episode, what message they tried to carry over and all the while it was enjoyable. At each age I learned something different, when younger I wondered about the technology, liked the characters and was inspired by it. Later I came back and saw that many things they showed were out of reach of our own technology, but the characters became more this time. They had more meaning behind their actions, mannerisms, what they did and why. Everything was more real when I got to the point to understand it better in terms of our own world. Star Trek as I once said is a great measuring device of the real world based who is cast, what is shown, when this all happened and the feeling of the show. The best part is the continuity of it all, all most everything lines up perfectly. And I said that because not everything is always perfect, in some cases entire scenes have problems in keeping people believing in what is shown. But the best thing about Star Trek right is the fact that I lines up perfectly with the idea of a utopia or dystopia cannot exist without the other at the same time, as seen in the conflict between the attributes of each race.

The ramblings of a mad man lost between worlds

With the past works being mainly utopia or dystopia in a short span of time I cannot help but influenced by them. So the idea that I have come with is the theory that a utopia or dystopia cannot exist without the other at the same time. Not thing is flawless, somewhere within a utopian society there is a sacrifice or suffering by a group or groups. In a flawed world like a dystopia, some live better all the rest, they can be seen as a utopian enclave. Light creates shadows but also removes darkness, but darkness is the natural state of things. Trying to make a good society is difficult because people do not all share the same desire, some just want to watch the world burn.
At the same time there is the question of which is better. Noe that may seem as a pointless question, obviously it is the good place vs the bad one. However is it really? A utopia in many cases is the end of the road, there is no need to advance once you get there. Why innovate, invent, and search for new things if you are the best possible place. If people have everything they need and it is stable, why ruin that. Now a dystopia is a world filled with bad things, but it is also filled with opportunity. There people may suffer but they will try to get higher than the hole they are in. Often they will fail and even those who do get out will not get far. There are no happy endings because there are no endings. A dystopia stays alive longer and is a failed utopia in many ways.
That is what I want to look at, in the works we have read, others and in the real world, how much utopia is in a dystopia and the other way around. One can become the other because all of the elements are there, in a perfect world there will some born into it who will wish for change and create it. However in a society that has lost the ability to accept a new vision of perfect, there will be conflict that can lead to the downfall of both new and old. What will remain will be a flawed version of on or the other or both. The other case is in a dystopia, there will always be dreamers. This people will wish for a better world and pass on their wish to the next generation and in time enough people will wish for that they will take action and rise above what the world has given them.
That is the main part of utopia or dystopia worlds, the people. People make things possible or impossible all by themselves. They can make the world a good place or one wore then hell, they create their own heroes and villains, they decide what is right and wrong. So if you wish for your vision to be made you need to control or influence them, now the way that is done is what will create a utopia or dystopia. Through fear, power and propaganda it will be a dystopia in the eyes of the people, but if you win their hearts, minds and do great acts for the people then it is a utopia. As long as no one realizes the truth, you can run the entire world from behind a mask, thought others and get to what you want all without the people ever turning on you.
History has many examples of this such as the USSR, Nazi Germany, China, North Korea and other nations where the people believe they have all they need or want. Nations filled with people who believe in their leaders, they have been thought to thank them for everything they have. As well as nations whose people believe they have a say in what is done and what is the greater good. Everyone who is not a part of the masses is seen as an outsider, crazy, wrong, antisocial, a bad influence, a dissident, a traitor. What if these people are the only ones who see the world for what it is or is not? Or are they truly just lost to what others have found.
People – the ultimate riddle of the universe, one that they search for an eternity.

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