City Tech, Fall 2016

Author: Cody (Page 2 of 2)

Class Notes 10/14/16

Big Question Reminder from last class:

  • What are different forms of “soma” within the novel?
  • What defines humanity?
  • Are emotions authentic from the Mood Organ
  • What is Authentic?
  • Where is the line drawn between cyborg/humanity.
  • The notion of passing.

New Questions raised this class:

  • How are nexus-6 android detected.
  • Why do the androids come back? (motivation?)
  • The “real” test to determine if you’re an android or a human (Bone marrow test)
  • Why do they rebel? Do they understand their circumstances (Sentience/feelings) -> adapt/evolving
  • Do they know they are androids?

Androids want to escape their masters and be free. (Gain dignity/respect)

They were only created for people to emigrate to mars.

There are flaws in determining an android from a human. Have there been mistakes made? Have they actually “retired” a real human by mistake?

Notion of the “other”, how do you “other” someone. The test privileges a certain type of emotion, and places those who can’t feel them into the “other” group.

Not everyone shares the same fear & disrespect for the andys.

Textual Analysis

Pg. 40

” A humanoid robot is like any other machine, it can fluctuate between being a benefit and a hazard very rapidly. ”
The Androids become a problem when they no longer benefit humanity.

Why did they create this new type of android?  Consumer Demand. The people wanted these types of androids, they demanded a new type something better to fit their needs on the colonies.

Retire is an euphemism. A way to self rationalize Rick’s job. Used to “dehumanize” androids to objectify them.

Pg. 57 Paragraph 4

“you’re a bounty hunter, you can handle a laser gun–in fact you’re carrying one right now. If you can’t protect yourself, how are you going to retire the six remaining Nexus-6 andys? They’re a good deal smarter than the Grozzi corporation’s odl W-4…….. But i hunt them, This way, with a reversion clause on the owl, someone would be hunting me. And he did not liek the idea of being stalked; he had seen the effects on androids,. It brought about certain notable changes even in them.”

Pointing out the difficulty of hunting the new types. Trying to bribe Rick to take the deal laid in front of him.

Rick notices he will be put in a situation where the hunter will become the hunted, and even he doesn’t like that situation. Might be some sort of sympathy shown for the andys.

Maybe they’re not rebelling because they are bad, but because the situation they have been put in. Bad situations make you do bad things.

  • Androids might not know they are androids, so how can you effectively pick them out if they don’t know themselves. (false memories planted etc.)

Start of next class Page analysis and subjects:

Page 42 Paragraph Two 


Fake ANimals

Connection between the andys and fake animals

Reminders for next week:

Blog due monday night, and wednesday night.

Midterm Format:

  • In class 75 minute test
  • Thursday 27th
  • Identification Question types (Identify where a passage is from etc.)
  • definitional question type (Define words etc.)
  • Short answer/analysis question (SHORT, TARGETED, PRECISE, FOCUSED, SPECIFIC, ORGANIZED)
  • Anything we done, read, discussed is fair game for the midterm
  • Review everything that has come up in class.

To study for the midterm. Read blogs, classnotes, review small texts, watch short movies, review scientific framework.

Key Terms:

  • What is Authentic
  • Utopian Enclave
  • Utopia, dystopia
  •  escapism (soma, etc)
  • Technological determinism
  • Simulation
  • The “other”
  • uniformity as an idea/standardization
  • the idea of doubling
  • Humanism vs the “savage”
  • cyborg
  • apocalypse / post apocalypse
  • automation
  • Juxtaposition (the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect)
  • Hierarchy (System of order)
  • euphemism
  • Genres
  • Elements of Fiction
  • Man vs machine vs society
  • conflict (identify major conflicts in the stories covered)
  • glorification of nature
  • illusion
  • objective vs subjective

Major key: Make your answers specific and not too general.

Ended class with a few minutes of free writing.

What is it to you the most important/significant thing you have learned or experienced so far?

What questions remain in your mind?

I wish my professor knew…………


Sorry for the late class notes post.

The Price we pay

Chapters 14-18 you come to understand the price paid in this civilization to maintain control, and to keep the society the way it is seen throughout the story. In Chapter 16 page 201 Mustapha Mond tells a story the world controllers giving a island called Cyprus the freedom that we would have today. They left twenty two thousand alphas run the island with no other caste to do any of the dirty work. He goes on to show how if a society where there were no lesser humans or “Epsilon semi-morons” to do any of the “dirty work” it wouldn’t survive. “All agricultural and industrial equipment was handed over to them and they were left to manage their own affairs. The result exactly fulfilled all theoretical predictions. The land wasn’t properly worked; there were strikes in all the factories; the laws were set at naught, orders disobeyed; all the people detailed for a spell of low-grade work were perpetually intriguing for high-grade jobs, and all the people with high-grade jobs were counter-intriguing at all costs to stay where they were”. Mustapha Mond gave legit factual evidence to prove why freedom and a society where everyone is looked to as equal will not work while John questioned the way things are. It took a civil war and the death of over half of the population of the island for them to want to return to the grasp of the world controllers, that is the reason why the society is as it stands as Mustapha Mond said “Because we have no wish to have our throats cut”(pg. 200).  Johns questioning of the use of the “Bokanovsky Groups” brought a very interesting reaction from Mustapha Mond, which tied into his story about the Alphas. It showed that a society of people who think they are equal it will not work, for there always has to be someone to do the “dirty work”. “A society of Alphas couldn’t fail to be unstable and miserable. Imagine a factory staffed by alphas- that is to say by separate and unrelated individuals of good heredity and conditioned so as to be capable (within limits) of making a free choice assuming responsibility. Imagine it!……It’s an absurdity”. His reasoning is that Alphas can’t and aren’t conditioned to do work lesser than their “class”.  Mustapha Mond’s reasoning behind the way their society is makes sense, but it’s still wrong. He explains why things are the way they are and the price they pay to keep them, but even he is “Conditioned” to think so. But in reality it is really fear that keeps them trapped in this delusion of Happiness they continue dwell on.

Clarity for Helmholtz

Helmholtz in the story Brave new World is a very bewildering character because he is someone who has everything but there is something missing. He is a creator and an intellectual who feels like he’s lacking something that even he can’t understand. I believe what he’s lacking is creativity, and the outlet to use his creative mind to create for another purpose other than creating propaganda in his job as a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. When he is introduced to John and this series of conversations with him about poetry something clicks, the greatest writer of the World State realizes that his life’s work has been for nothing, and that all he writes in his job as a lecturer, from the slogans to the lines for the feelies, is all a waste. “In all these weeks he had never come to so close an  intimacy with the savage as Helmholtz immediately achieved”. They became so close because Helmholtz saw what he was missing in John, and finally was able to understand what was wrong with him. Helmholtz Run in with the government is because he wants people to feel what he’s writing, he wants people to take his words and interpret them for themselves and feel what he’s going through. “I was trying to engineer them into feeling as I’d felt when i wrote the rhymes. Ford!”. He want’s them to feel the words, this was evident when John recited a poem by shakespeare and Helmholtz felt the word as he recited them. ” Helmholtz listened with a growing excitement. At “sole Arabian tree” he started; at “thou shrieking harbinger” he smiled with sudden pleasure; at “every fowl of tyrant wing” the blood rushed up into his cheeks but at “defunctive music” he turned pale and trembled with an unprecedented emotion”.  Helmholtz finally started to understand what he was missing his entire life these last three chapters, and i believe John is going to be the one who awakens the real poet hidden behind all the brainwashing and conditioning.

Most Human

In next few chapters you find out that Bernard is actually the most “Human” out of his peers, based on his reactions to specific events and how he takes things that happen to him.  The place you see this the strongest would be when Bernard and Lenina travel to the reservation and encounter people still living under the old ways, people not part of their “Ford”. Bernard’s reaction to everything that they witnessed was of someone who was interested in the way of life, while Lenina’s was of disgust and fear. While Lenina questioning how people could live like this Bernard seemed to not even be phased by their lifestyle. “they’ve been doing it for the last five or six thousand years. So i suppose they must be used to it by now”. His tone is of someone who is more accepting of their nature, while Lenina is more denouncing. Another interesting exchange was when they both encountered the Elder of the reservation Lenina saw something she could barely comprehend, while Bernard saw someone who was just old. “That’s because we don’t allow them to be like that. We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium. We don’t permit their magnesium-calcium ratio to fall below what it was at thirty. We give them transfusion of young blood. We keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. So, of course they don’t look like that, Partly”. Lenina didn’t want to listen to his explanation because to her the sight was enough to distract her from the truth, her “conditioning” won’t let her. Bernards inability to fit in and “conform” is because he still thinks he doesn’t let his brainwashing control his thoughts on situations. Another Situation where Bernard showed his different personality from his peers was in the Director’s office, he was threatened with a transfer is he doesn’t conform and stop with his “lapse from a proper standard of infantile decorum”. They want him to conform and be the alpha he was conditioned to be. Bernard took this threat like it didn’t matter “Bernard left the room with a swagger, exulting as he banged the door behind him, in the thought that he stood alone, embattled against the order of things”. Bernard is by far the most Human character, in a story of Programed conditioned cyborgs.

A weird new world

The first few chapters of “A Brave New World” You learn what a very peculiar world these people truly live in. You start off learning about basically their cloning process human reproduction is now done in labs, more so human beings are created for particular purposes, and their intelligence reflects that purpose. The “Caste” system basically fits each level of human from the smartest, down to the most unintelligent. The most interesting thing about that is, the fact that during their growth process these subjects are actually altered to either give them the best possible chance at intelligence or dumbed down so their intelligence is non existent. Each baby programmed to like or dislike specific things, and to enjoy doing what they are casted to do. This new world has a lower caste called the “Epsilons” who lack the ability to read or write because of they were deprived of oxygen, and have the most alcohol in their blood surrogate. They do the worst jobs that no one wants to do in this world for example an elevator attendant. Then you have the highest the “Alphas” who maintain the highest level jobs in the world, for example working the labs the others are created in. The character Lenina who is a Beta seems to be going against the system slightly. It feels like she’s going to be the one of the few who exposes what great terror this system truly poses on this world.

Shift Change

Metropolis a story about a perfect world until what’s truly happening in the depths under the city comes to light to Freder a son to the masters of this “Metropolis”. The workers are the real soul of this place, they keep the Machine running and without their constant work it will fail. When a worker wasn’t able to keep up with the pace needed to keep everything in order there was an explosion hurting said worker, and causing damage to other works around him and the Machine. If the workers don’t maintain their pace the temperature will raise if that temperature rises beyond a set amount it will overheat. It was when Freder actually traded places with a worker was he able to see what harsh conditions they work under, especially the 10 hour work day. Rotwangs use of the Cyborg or robot to try and control the only sense of hope the workers have to cling to, to survive in their world was interesting. It shows how evil technology can be when used for the wrong things, or put in the wrong hands. He used the most advanced technology he created to take the place of Marie just to destroy the one thing the workers had remaining, hope. Rotwang became this way because of Heartbreak, proving one the most important there of the story. The head and the hands need the heart to work in unison. Without his Heart he lost his compassion, and it lead him down a path to create what he lost, and use it for evil.

“Man is the Measure”

M. Forster’s short story “The Machine Stops” takes a look at the possibilities of Human advancement. A world where instead of praising a God, or having a religion you praise “The machine”. Humanity has become so advanced, that it depends on a Machine for survival. But this machine is what is hindering them from further advancement. Everything is done for the machine, Humanity has left behind what made them what they are to become more Machine than anything else. Down to reproduction and death isn’t a choice you make yourself, it has become a request that can be granted or refused by the Machine. In this world everyone strives to be the “Most Advanced” but little do they know it’s their blind loyalty that’s preventing them from true advancement. Everything that makes Humanity what it is was done through exploration, taking chances, and luck. In this society if it doesn’t give Ideas, it doesn’t matter, its “unmechanical”. I found that ironic, in this society its disturbing to even look at the sky, or stare at the stars. Humanity wouldn’t have traveled to the moon if it wasn’t for someone doing just that. “The Machine” pacified Humanity, it has given it everything it needs to survive, and with that has taken everything they need to advance. They strive for a “generation that had got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colorless, a generation “serphically free from taint of personality””, without personality they will truly become Machines, without it they will no longer be Human. Humanity forgot that they programmed the Machine, but now the Machine programs them, and with that came the end of everything. This reminds me of an article in the New York Times called “When Technology Sets Off a Populist Revolt” by ANAND GIRIDHARADAS. It talks about Technology, and how its advancements are going to put actual Humans out of work, replacing them with robots. It only starts with replacement of Humans with robots to do simple things. Convince and lack of personality was the downfall of society in “The Machine Stops” our world is not so far from this. We already order coffee on aps just so we don’t have to wait on line.

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