City Tech, Fall 2016

Author: Daniel Mayorga (Page 1 of 3)

Daniel Mayorga Write-Up, Final Draft

Abstract

The parallels between Military Science Fiction and real-world military weapons is by no means a mere coincidence. In addition, these parallels have benefited the U.S. military in terms of offensive weaponry and defenses. The fact of the matter is that most of the weapon development by the U.S. military is done through the inspiration drawn by Science Fiction films. Where the appearance of a weapon is taken into account and weapon engineers have to determine whether or not a particular weapon is implementable. Which leads to the question: If so, how? Several approaches must be taken to correspond with the weapon development such as the design process. Should a particular weapon have a ‚Äústrange‚ÄĚ appearance? There are¬†also decisions made in terms of the lethality of the weapon, which ultimately leads to applied limitations on a weapon if they are deemed too powerful. ¬†Lastly, there are moral issues to consider relative to a newly developed weapons. ¬†Should they be lethal or non-lethal? If there are many factors that affect the production of these weapons; how can¬†the U.S. military benefit from these parallels?

The first benefit will be the idea of developing biologically enhanced soldiers, in other words super soldiers. They are like human soldiers except they represent the stereotypical image of super humans. Which are individuals that are able to surpass beyond the capabilities of any regular person. Another Is the development of laser rifles, as they are very popular throughout Science Fiction films. They benefit the military in terms of the element of surprise however, they were made non-lethal. In addition, there is also the future production of auto-piloted aircrafts that are able to travel at unbelievable velocities and altitudes. Not to mention that the structure of the aircraft resembles designs from popular Science Fiction films. Lastly, one of the most important aspects to talk about when these parallels are being developed, is the limitations applied to the weapon in order to allow them to correspond with moral standards. This in turn, is probably one of the most influential aspects that is considered during the implementation process. The decision to make it lethal and non-lethal really depends on what a particular weapon is used for. Overall, these parallels have benefited the U.S. military in more ways than one.

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Daniel Mayorga, Write-Up First Draft

Abstract
The parallels between Military Science Fiction and real-world military weapons is by no means a mere coincidence. In addition, these parallels have benefited the U.S. military in terms of offensive weaponry and defenses. The fact of the matter is that most of weapon development done by the U.S. military is done through the inspiration drawn by Science Fiction works. The appearance of a weapon is taken into account and weapon engineers have to determine whether or not a particular weapon is implementable. If so, how? Several approaches must be taken to correspond with the weapon development such as the design process. Should a particular weapon have a “strange” appearance? There were also decisions made in terms of the lethality of the weapon, which ultimately led to applied limitations on a weapon if they are deemed too powerful. So how did¬†the U.S. military benefit from these parallels?
The first benefit will be the idea of developing biologically enhanced soldiers, in other words super soldiers. They are like human soldiers except they represent the stereotypical image of a super human. Which are individuals that are able to surpass beyond the capabilities of any regular person. Another Is the development of laser rifles, as they are very popular among Science Fiction films. They benefit the military in terms of the element of surprise however, they were made non-lethal. In addition, there is also the future production of auto-piloted aircrafts that are able to travel at unbelievable velocities and altitudes. Not to mention that the structure of the aircraft resembles designs from popular Science Fiction films. Lastly, one of the most important aspects to talk about when these parallels were developed, is the limitations applied to the weapon in order to allow them to correspond with moral standards. This in turn, is probably one of the most influential aspects that is considered during the implementation process. The decision to make it lethal and non-lethal really depends on what a particular weapon is used for. Overall, these parallels have benefited the U.S. military in more ways than one.

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Project Progress Blog #2

List of Sources that I found useful for the Research project:
1) Cipera, Kelly. ‚ÄúDefining the Genre: Military Science Fiction | Fandomania.‚ÄĚ Fandomania, 25 May 2013, fandomania.com/defining-the-genre-military-science-fiction/.
This source presents a definitive meaning of the sub-genre/term ‚ÄúMilitary Science Fiction,‚ÄĚ while providing multiple examples of works relative to the subgenre. The sub-genre is essentially about the military, which coincidentally involves battles that include the military, and they usually revolve around a futuristic scenery. However, cipera provides a more flexible definition of the term in the sense that it provides a deeper meaning to it. For instance, how works of the subgenre present info on current events, or how individuals use works as a way to form an actual vision of the U.S. Military.

I plan on using this source for the sole purpose of background information, as it presents a very insightful and very thorough definition of the term, ‚ÄúMilitary Science Fiction.‚ÄĚ It is important that others understand, to a good extent, the meaning of the term as it is a definitive core on the focus of my research.

2) Knight, Will. ‚ÄúUS Military Sets Laser PHASRs to Stun.‚ÄĚ New Scientist. N.p., 7 Nov. 2005. Web. 28 Nov. 2016. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8275-us-military-sets-laser-phasrs-to-stun/
This source presents a reason why laser rifles were set to stun. To put it simply, they were too powerful. The U.S. government developed a much weaker, non-lethal, version of the laser rifle which is said to dazzle targets. In addition, The Personnel Halting and Simulation Response (PHASR) rifle was developed at the Air Force Research and is said to be useful in terms of temporarily blinding suspects that tend to violate military roadblocks. This rifle was also developed in order to remove properties of permanent harm, which was a result from safety concerns.

This source will aid on supporting a claim relative to limiting the level of harm done by weapons that were shown in works of Science Fiction in real world applications. The laser rifles are obviously a very popular weapon in the Science Fiction world, so when the weapon was first developed, there were permanent side effects that violated moral values of the targets and the wielder. This source can be used to counteract the laser rifles shown in the film Star Wars, where laser rifles are very lethal.

3) Knefel, John. ‚ÄúHow the Pentagon Is Building the Super Soldiers of Tomorrow.‚ÄĚ Inverse, 7 Jan. 2016, www.inverse.com/article/9988-how-the-pentagon-is-building-the-enhanced-super-soldiers-of-tomorrow.
The U.S. military is planning on developing enhanced human operations. In other words, the development of super soldiers. The plan to implement soldiers of this caliber was due to the news that enemies of the U.S. are planning on developing super soldiers that were inspired by the film Captain America. The process on the production of super soldiers by DARPA, will allow soldiers to keep their initial state-of-mind, but they will be physically enhanced. There is also discussion on therapies post-traumatic stress, where DARPA aims to remove trauma that soldiers suffer from traumatic missions.

I plan on using this source for one of my claims on the development of the super soldier. This source will provide useful information on how the capabilities of human U.S. soldiers will be physically enhanced and how it will be beneficial. I can also use this source with the film, Universal Soldiers, which demonstrated the capabilities of super soldiers and how they were cured of their post-traumatic stress.

4) “Modern and Future U.S. Military and Civilian Aircraft.” Military Factory – Military Weapons – Aircraft, Tanks, Vehicles, Artillery, Navy Warships and Guns throughout History. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.
This source discusses the production and future production of U.S. Air Force jets, planes, UAV’s, etc. How aircrafts play a huge role in the effectiveness of military operations and how the airborne process should essentially bring an individual from point A to point B. This website also demonstrates images on future operations. Some that can be seen from films of Science Fiction.

I will be using this source for one of my claims that distinguishes the difference between offensive and defensive prowess from military operations. How they are different, and how some of these aircrafts were developed. For what purpose exactly.

5) “The U.S. Military Has Pain Rays and Stun Guns. So Why Aren’t They Being Used?” The Week – All You Need to Know about Everything That Matters. N.p., 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.
This source discusses the U.S. military’s decision to use non-lethal weapons and why they were created but not actually used. This source also presents some of the most strange, as in out of the ordinary, non-lethal weapons that the military has to offer.

I plan on using this source for two claims. The first one is already mentioned about the limitations of weapons. The other claim I will be using this source on is the production of non-lethal weapons and how they were implemented from Science Fiction works. This raised the question: Is there a complicated moral issue that prevented military personnel from using them?

6) Hodge, Nathan, “Navy’s Drone Death Ray Takes out Targets.” CNN. Cable News Network, 2010. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.
This source discusses the U.S. Navy‚Äôs desires to implement a sort of ‚ÄúDeath Ray‚ÄĚ that can be used to provide more defenses for their ships. However, these lasers tend to lose strength after traveling a certain distance which can reduce the effectiveness of the death ray nonetheless. This weapon is essentially an upgrade from the Phalanx that the navy already has in their possession.

This source will be used for one claim involving the defectiveness of attempting to create a weapon that has been shown to be deadly from Military Science Fiction films.

7) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Dir. George lucas. Lucasfilm. 1999. Film.
This film demonstrates a wide variety of weapons and such that are demonstrated by a collective military group. This is the essential point of focus that will be analyzed. I plan on comparing some of the scenes within this film that will provide a good support for the secondary sources that are listed.

8) Universal Soldier (1992), Dir. Roland Emmerich. StudioCanal, 1992. Film.
This film is relative to the stereotypical idea of a super soldier. Meaning that their capabilities as genetically modified human beings are displayed, with some side effects. I plan on using this source to further expand on the idea of super soldiers based on some scenes that demonstrate their enhanced human capabilities.

Introduction
There are many parallels that are presented between weapons from works of Science Fiction and real-world military weapons. The discussion on these parallels and how they were implemented by the U.S. military, exemplifies how they were benefited in terms of advanced offensive weaponry or defenses. The Science Fiction sub-genre, Military Science Fiction, exposes many examples in terms as to how Science Fiction works influence the production and research of military weaponry. Military Science Fiction is essentially about the military, which coincidentally involves battles that include the military, and they usually revolve around a futuristic scenery. Most of the influence is drawn from films, where the exposure of an exotic (out of the ordinary) weapon can appear implementable by weapon engineers. The design process is then applied, which will determine the compatibility of the weapon researched and its capabilities. What normally disrupts the production of a weapon, is whether the weapon can cause permanent harm towards targets or if they are just catastrophic in terms of lethality.

Claims

– In real-world military applications, weapons implemented from Military Science Fiction works are limited in terms of level of harm. Here I will explain how and why.
– The development of super soldiers is the involvement of enhancing human capabilities; can this be morally correct? Here I will explain pros, cons and why this development is or is not morally correct.
– The offensive and defensive prowess from the military can be derived from their aircraft development, which were influenced by Military Science Fiction films. Here I will use the aircraft development and their development in the near future.
РIn real-world military applications, the development of non-lethal weapons is proved to be ineffective in terms of use during a mission.  Why are they not used, yet they are developed?
– Attempting to implement deadly weapons from Military Science Fiction films is proved to be defective in the real world. Discuss how physics can limit the production of these weapons.
– Conclusion

Reflection
The process on finding additional secondary sources was a bit tedious, in the sense that most of it was repetitive. However I was able to dig deeper within the content of Military Science Fiction and was able to uncover a good amount of sources that will prove to be effective when drafting the research project essay. Some points of focus that I worked on was defining my key terms, which Is something that was discussed during the individual conference with Professor Belli. I developed my claims based on the focus of my research, which I believe will be supported with an efficient amount of details from the sources I have gathered. The next steps for me is to work on the presentation in order to showcase the current research that I have done, and hopefully receive some last minute feedback. Then comes the write-up.

Questions
Are my initial claims sufficient for the write-up? Or Should I provide more claims?

An Astounding Collection

The Science Fiction archive is a vast collection of Science Fiction material gathered by a single collector over the years.  It was great that the owner of such an astounding collection would offer it to Professor Ellis of City Tech. Now City Tech is the home of one of the most sophisticated collection of Science Fiction works with most of it located within the library.

The trip to the archive was a really interesting experience nonetheless. ¬†What really caught my attention was the fact that there were actual editions of magazines from WWII. ¬†I wondered at that instance of time, “how did the owner preserve such old literature¬†made with fragile material?” ¬†In addition, I noticed that the owner of this collection also¬†added manga¬†into the mix. ¬† Professor Ellis mentioned that the owner also had social interests. ¬†Therefore, he also collected works of different varieties.

When we got to look at magazines from the archive, they had some very interesting content. ¬†Aside from the novellas and some brief previews of novels to be released, the first thing I noticed was the advertisement from the back of the magazine. ¬†The first line of the first question from the ad read, “What if God is a computer? – see other side” ¬†I was honestly baffled by the question, but it’s understandable that Science Fiction magazines would have this type of content. ¬†When I browsed through the comments written to the editors, it was filled with complements and the fans desires for more novels. ¬†Overall, the magazines gave us a sense of how communication between readers and Science Fiction editors used to be in the past without all of the modern technology we have today.

Ultimately, the amount of books within the archive was overwhelming, since there were books still kept within boxes.  Surprisingly enough, there were also old machines that editors used back in the day that were scavenged and restored.  I hope that this archive will prove to be very beneficial in terms of research in the near future for students that are interested in Science Fiction.

Class Notes 12/1/2016

  • All of the class time was spent within the City Tech library looking at a very impressive collection of Science Fiction works, namely the Science Fiction Archive. ¬†The collection was given by a very generous donor who basically collected any type of Science Fiction work throughout his¬†years. ¬†This collection consisted of books, magazines, manga, etc. ¬†In addition, the collection consisted of works from different time eras and some were more fragile than others.
  • There was a PowerPoint presentation about the process on how the Science Fiction collection arrived at City Tech. ¬†Some of the major problems presented when housing this collection was resources and space. ¬†As a result, most of the collection ended up in the City Tech library.

Here is an overview on the content within the old Science Fiction magazines from the collection:

  • Science Fiction magazines have a mixture of content. ¬†They include short stories, novellas, and serializations of novels.
  • They include Scientific facts content, which involve space travel, physics, etc.
  • Editorials written by the editors.
  • The most exciting part, were the letters written to the editors. ¬†This can also be seen as an alternative to writing comments through¬†the internet.
  • These magazines contained advertisements, and pictures similar to political cartoons.
  • The magazines contained images based on the authors perception¬†of actual sciences.

Here are some images of some of the various content within the magazines.

what-if     poli      phy-and-metaphy

comments    ads-on-the-back    market-place

* IMPORTANT REMINDERS *

  • Next Week we will have Final Project presentations on Tuesday 12/6 & Thursday 12/8. ¬†Check OpenLab¬†for the day that you will present.
  • If you are unsure about what to include within the presentation, check the open lab site for the presentation requirements.
  • Reflection on¬†class visit to Science Fiction archive due Saturday 12/3 by 11:59 pm, categorize as ‚ÄúCity Tech Science Fiction Archive.‚ÄĚ
  • Final Project Progress Report due Monday 12/5 by 11:59 pm; post to OpenLab course site, categorized as ‚ÄúProject Progress.‚ÄĚ
  • In-Class Final Project Presentations (post before 4pm on the day you are presenting)

 

* If there is any other information that I may have missed, feel free to post it as a comment.

Project Progress

There are many parallels that are presented between weapons from works of Science Fiction and real-world military weapons. My project proposal is to discuss these parallels and how they were implemented by our society’s military, which then benefited them in terms of advanced offensive weaponry or defenses. The sub-genre Military Science Fiction, exposes many examples in terms as to how Science Fiction works influence the production and research of military weaponry. Most of the influence is drawn from films, where the exposure of an exotic weapon can appear implementable by weapon engineers. The design process is then applied, which will determine the compatibility of the weapon researched and its capabilities. What normally disrupts the production of a weapon, is whether the weapon can cause permanent harm towards targets or if they are just catastrophic in terms of lethality.

An instance would be the production of laser rifles, often seen in films such as Star Wars which exemplified their level of harm, and how their destructive power was limited in real world applications. In the film, Star Wars, there were laser rifles used in order to kill any opponent that came into contact with the shot. The rifle presented within the film was obviously too powerful, so the potential of the weapon would have to be heavily diminished in order to fit with moral standards. According to the article written by Will Knight, ‚ÄúThe U.S. government has unveiled a ‚Äúnon-lethal‚ÄĚ laser rifle designed to dazzle enemy personnel without causing them permanent harm.‚ÄĚ (Knight). In real-world applications, the laser rifles were implemented with a dazzling effect, thus not causing any real harm towards targets. In addition, the rifles were able to keep an exotic appearance, but their potential was deemed not-lethal. Even though these rifles are not lethal, they tend to be formidable when used against opposing threats that are unaware of the effects.

A current work in progress, is the production of super soldiers, which are human soldiers that are able to perform beyond the capabilities of any normal human. This is often seen in works of Military Science Fiction, namely the film, Universal Soldiers, where dead soldiers were revived and brainwashed to obey the command of their creator and they resembled that of a human which possesses subpar capabilities. In other words, these soldiers were stronger, faster, smarter, and by no means empathetic. In real-world applications, the process on the production of super soldiers by DARPA, will allow soldiers to keep their initial state-of-mind, but they will be physically enhanced. This will be done with an external exoskeleton which will enhance each soldier’s strength and endurance.

Research Questions
Some questions that came up during further research; can weapons from Science Fiction works be ethical in terms of their use towards others in the real world? How will the military benefit from the weapons implemented through the inspiration from Military Science Fiction works? What is the process of Sci-Fi weapon implementation; are there pre-requisites?

Initial Claims
-Weapons from Military Science Fiction works inspire the weapon production of real-life military weaponry through their exotic presentation and offensive/defensive capabilities.
– Super soldiers claim is mentioned above.
– Limitations of implemented weaponry claim is mentioned above.

Summary
The research I‚Äôve done so far was mainly about the weapon production implementation and future possibilities of other parallels. The sources I found are relative to military research, namely the laser rifles, super soldiers, and their involvement within several films. The articles will be the basis of all info that is or will be implemented by the military and the films will be used to discuss the parallels and several influences that they have with real-life military weapon production. I will begin to review certain novels that are listed within the articles that are categorized as ‚ÄúMilitary Science Fiction,‚ÄĚ in order to view some actual content.

Reflection
The peer-editing helped with the revision of my revised proposal, and it turned out to be more specific. I now have great sources to rely on for further development with claims and I hand-picked films that will aid with cross-sourcing. Some changes that I’ve made was to get the initial point of my proposal within the first paragraph, along with some background information. I actually removed one claim that I had initially because I felt that it was too abstract and could not get anywhere with it. I plan to consider some of the examples that my peers suggested, since they involve some form of dropped military weapon project.

Questions
– Can this proposal be refined further? Any suggestions?
– What is a proper way of cross-referencing sources?
– Is there anything in particular that I should change from this proposal that will eventually derail me from my focus?

Sources

Cipera, Kelly. ‚ÄúDefining the Genre: Military Science Fiction | Fandomania.‚ÄĚ Fandomania, 25 May 2013, fandomania.com/defining-the-genre-military-science-fiction/.

Knight, Will. “US Military Sets Laser PHASRs to Stun.” New Scientist. N.p., 7 Nov. 2005. Web. 28 Nov. 2016. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8275-us-military-sets-laser-phasrs-to-stun/

Crane, David, “”Newsweek” Attempts to Rebrand Gun Control Scheme as “Gun Safety” Cause: Tina Brown Gets Cute, Right Out of the Gate.” DefenseReview.com (DR): An Online Tactical Technology and Military Defense Technology Magazine with Particular Focus on the Latest and Greatest Tactical Firearms News (tactical Gun News), Tactical Gear News and Tactical Shooting News. DefenseReview, 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

“Newsweek” Attempts to Rebrand Gun Control Scheme as “Gun Safety” Cause: Tina Brown Gets Cute, Right Out of the Gate.

Knefel, John. ‚ÄúHow the Pentagon Is Building the Super Soldiers of Tomorrow.‚ÄĚ Inverse, 7 Jan. 2016, www.inverse.com/article/9988-how-the-pentagon-is-building-the-enhanced-super-soldiers-of-tomorrow.

Universal Soldier (1992), Dir. Roland Emmerich. StudioCanal, 1992. Film.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Dir. George lucas. Lucasfilm. 1999. Film.

District 9, Dir. Neill Blomkamp. TriStar Pictures. 2009. Film.

Revised Proposal

My original proposal was about the theme of exotic weapons and how it affects the plot, but after further research and planning, I feel as though this proposal is much better and much clearer.  I stumbled upon a sub genre of Science Fiction that I have never heard of, namely Military Science Fiction.  This sub genre involves the use of weaponry in a sort of speculative futuristic way.  One of which helps shape our real-world military’s creation of weapons and battleships.  My new proposal is how the parallels between science fiction and real-world weapons were created due to the influence that the genre has towards military weapon production.

A good example of the influence that Science Fiction has on real-world applications, is the exposure of battleships and other air crafts.  The production of air crafts or the model of the aircraft can be derived by the battleships that we see in films.  Take the film, Star Wars for example; there are parallels between their X-wings that occasionally hover about and the fighter jets that the military currently produce.  The architecture and the structure are slightly different, yet they serve the same purpose.  In addition, a huge similarity is present in terms of how both air crafts operate.  Both are essentially built for maneuvering and attacking during a battle.  They also display similar thrusters when they accelerate.

We often see parallels in terms of mobile weaponry used by military soldiers that is comparable to weapons exemplified in Science Fiction works.  Laser weapons were especially popular with military research as they attempted to implement a sort of weapon that can fire a high intensity laser towards targets.  However, lasers were made to be used as targeting instead of harming hostiles, in addition to that they can cause blindness.  If we were to look at the Halo series, we can see how the Spartans are often seen with sophisticated armor and weapons such as laser rifles.  Whereas, real-world military soldiers often possess heavily armored clothing, mostly bullet proof vests, and standard rifles.  Though standard, these rifles often come equipped with laser sights or laser pointers that help with firing precision.  Thus, we see similarities in terms of how soldiers are often depicted to have both armor and weapons equipped at all times.

Again, there are many parallels that are presented between weapons from works of Science Fiction and real-world military weapons.  With the utilization of the sub-genre Military Science Fiction, I am confident that I will be able to provide a great explanation in terms as to how Science Fiction works help influence the production and research of weapons.

 

Reflection:

I took a different approach in terms of finding out what I really wanted to do my research project on.  I originally began with the idea as to how the use of exotic weapons affected the plot of Science Fiction works, but something about that seemed strange to me.  It was a good starting point nonetheless, but I felt that discussing parallels between the Science Fiction weaponry to real-world military weapons was more interesting to me.

I followed the advice that Moises and Professor Belli mentioned, where I had to look around a bit more and solidify what I wanted to do.  If I didn’t take this new approach then I would not have discovered Military Science Fiction.  The discussion of parallels is something that we have been doing throughout the semester, where we would compare similarities between novels, literature, and films.  Hopefully with this new proposal, others will get a better sense as to what I want to research.  I have also gathered interesting sources and films that I plan on reviewing later on.

 

Sources:

‚ÄúDefining the Genre: Military Science Fiction‚ÄĚ by Kelly Cipera

http://fandomania.com/defining-the-genre-military-science-fiction/ 

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Dir. George lucas. Lucasfilm. 1999.

‚ÄúUS military sets laser PHASRs to stun‚ÄĚ By Will Knight

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8275-us-military-sets-laser-phasrs-to-stun/

‚Äú‚ÄúNewsweek‚ÄĚ Attempts to Rebrand Gun Control Scheme as ‚ÄúGun Safety‚ÄĚ Cause: Tina Brown Gets Cute, Right Out of the Gate.‚ÄĚ By David Crane

http://www.defensereview.com/newsweek-attempts-to-rebrand-gun-control-scheme-as-gun-safety-cause-tina-brown-gets-cute-right-out-of-the-gate/?file=article&sid=683

The use of Strange Weapons

A project proposal that I would consider is the theme of exotic weapons that works of Science Fiction seem to contain, and how these weapons play a role in novels or films that can affect the plot.   I choose to research about this topic because it interests me as most people seem to overlook the actual meaning behind weapons, or why weapons such as lasers were created within novels/films.

Some questions that I would like to answer are the following; why are the use of weapons a recurring theme in works of Science Fiction?  The variety of the weapon, is it the same in every novel/film?  How do the weapons help shape the plot or support the timeline within works of Science Fiction?  These are just a few of the many questions I would like to answer, but these are three that I feel are the most important to bring up.

From works of Science Fiction that we have done throughout the semester, there was already exposure of some strange futuristic weaponry.  In the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, we were exposed to a laser tube and how this weapon proved to be effective towards androids/humans.  In several other readings, there is a post-apocalyptic setting present due to nuclear weapons.  Right there we see how weapons already set the setting of a Science Fiction work as well as how it affects the plot.  Hopefully after some thorough research, I will be able to solidify the motive behind these weapons and how Science Fiction authors utilize them efficiently within their writing.

 

Mid-semester Reflection

I started off in this course as someone who has little knowledge on the genre of Science Fiction, mainly because I didn’t have any interest in it. ¬†After being exposed to several works/readings of Science Fiction, I have begun to understand that a piece¬†of text can become the source of many different ideas and that everyone interprets a specific scene within a writing much differently than others. ¬†So in a way, I view Science Fiction as the genre that makes people think critically about a text, as there are multiple ways to perceive it.

As a result from the readings/discussions in this course, I believe that my knowledge of Science Fiction developed dramatically. ¬†The discussions¬†mainly helped with my understanding of the genre. ¬†For instance, instead of just looking at a text and interpreting what’s occurring, I would now look for deeper meanings of the text. ¬†Brainstorm claims and arguments that can be supported by scenes presented within a reading. ¬†Not to mention compare the scenes within a work of literature to outside sources, as there can be definite comparisons. ¬†Most importantly, I believe it’s best to keep an open imagination when it comes to analyzing a piece of text.

Some assumptions/beliefs that have been challenged was that if works of Science Fiction were just made up stories based on someones incredible imagination. ¬†As we know, most of the works of the genre result in a post-apocalyptic setting with futuristic probabilities, and most importantly, a society that is vastly distinct compared to ours. ¬†So it’s natural to assume that these were made up, but there’s a different factor that plays a role here. ¬†These authors, such as Aldous Huxley and Philip K. Dick, base their writing off of the events that were occurring during their time period. ¬†For Huxley, he wrote Brave New World during a time period after WWI and before WWII. ¬†So his novel was influenced heavily on the moral standings of how a war can affect society. ¬†Dick wrote about the advancement of technology, and how the technological advancement will soon lead to a society where humans are either authentic or ersatz. ¬†After reading these two novels, I can now believe that these writers do not solely base their works on pure imagination, but on educated predictions as to “what will happen?”

Some new ideas that I’ve encountered is the possibility that some of the contents written by the authors of most of the readings we have done, can possibly happen. ¬†Mostly due to how their predictions make sense to a certain extent. ¬†If we were to take idea of robotics, and how the implementation of sophisticated technology done to the robots¬†can change the way they are made. ¬†In addition, we were exposed to articles about¬†androids being created in Japan. ¬†Another idea that I have encountered is how can society benefit from the works of Science Fiction? My first thought was that there would be no influence since these stories are based off of someones imagination but, as time progresses we see that most of these predictions are actually happening. ¬†Like how the idea of being politically correct in today’s society can contribute to anyone’s likability amongst spectators. ¬†When in actuality, political correctness is just rambling about what the people want to hear and not actually discussing any issues presented. ¬†These ideas came to me around the time when we were assigned to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick, and Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Mainly because most of the content within these novels can relate to actual events happening in the real world.

I suppose that this knowledge of Science Fiction can allow me to change how I view things at a political standpoint. ¬†A case in point would be how I view laws that are being passed every now and again. ¬†Instead of thinking about how these laws will affect me as an individual, how about I start thinking about, how will they affect us as a whole in the future? ¬†Analyze what a¬†specific law will change? How will it benefit us? These works of Science Fiction taught me how to keep a open mind on things, and learn to hear other people’s opinions. ¬†Something that I would rarely see myself doing in the past.

What I hope to learn more about in the second half of the semester, is how to properly analyze¬†works of literature that have a society, which can be declared as a utopia or a dystopia. ¬†Thus, further expand my understanding of the differences between the two. ¬†Throughout the works of Science Fiction that we have read, I¬†categorized utopia as a perfect society and dystopia as an unpleasantly bad society. ¬†Yet, it’s possible to have a society that starts out as a utopia, and then later on in the story, will eventually be exposed as a dystopia. This is just something that I believed I understood at first, but then again, I need to practice more with analyzing the differences.

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