ENG 2420: Science Fiction

City Tech, Fall 2016

Page 2 of 30

Ruben De La Cruz- Final Write Up

Hey all, in this project the main focus is to study how Science fiction film explores the idea that people suffer from a limited perception reality through dream sequences. This paper looks into various things like setting, dialogue and other sources in order to see what they portray about perceiving reality. This paper creates its claims by first answering  what is simulation? what is dreaming? and how do they relate? The reason being that many films portray these two experiences as very similar. This paper also researches the various connections films go into in order to portray simulation as though it were dreaming.

The films used in this paper is a list of five which include Lathe Of Heaven, Inception, Total Recall, Avatar and The Matrix.¬†Each film was hand picked for this due to the fact that they all show various examples of dream like sequences and how they effect the main characters of their films. What’s interesting about this list is that each film holds its place in science fiction, each film also tackles various different plots and or issues making it a very diverse collection to look at. The secondary sources are very interesting to, one is a book called Science Fiction Philosophy which presents a¬† large collection of philosophical works that connect to science fiction.

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The second book is called Terminal Identity, which was very helpful when trying to find various definitions on how and what simulation is. Dreams on film was another book that discusses how films use dream sequence and it critically analyzes a variety of dreams shown on films. Some excerpts from Descartes’s¬†meditations were used since they were the basis of allot of¬† Cartesian doubt, which is a recurring theme in¬†this essay that must be explained. An article called Simulacra and science fiction was used in order to explore how science fiction portrayal of simulation, dreams, imaginary etc. can¬† be understood. It makes claims on how the real and false should be understood. Lastly¬† two definitions from Merriam Webster’s dictionary in order to begin¬†start of on the research.

By the end of this paper readers should have a better understanding on how films use dream sequences in order to  retell many philosophical theories.

 

Marco Gallo Archive Project Write Up + Reflection_Final Draft

Abstract:
The Connection between Science Fiction and Fashion. The connections between Science Fiction and Fashion are not very evident at first thought. You have to study science fiction text and film carefully to see it. There is a clear connection between the two, and both of them would not be the same without the other. Science Fiction has for a long time influenced the design and creation of trends in the real world of fashion. Some examples that we see in our daily lives are those of streetwear that’s design is influenced directly by Science Fictions films like Star Wars and The Matrix. These films put great thought into how the costumes they use fit into their fantasy worlds.¬† So much so that many major films hire seasoned and famous couture and high-end fashion designers to concept and design their costumes.¬† Without the freedom that the big screen brings to play with and experiment with fashion ideas then our real world fashions wouldn’t be the same. Vice Versa the same can be said with Fashions influence on Science Fiction. Taking a look at films, whose worlds focus on dystopias and post- apocalyptic settings which has been a center topic this semester. We see that vintage styles and trends in our real world affect the world filmmakers and writers create. There is evidence of this in the leather-clad punk warriors in Mad Max who travel across the desert fighting for resources.¬† We see it in The Matrix who’s focus on the early 2000s and the rise of the internet, and our robotic overlords,¬† their costumes are based on the goth, all black leather and trench coats we saw in our youth. My research stems from watching major motion pictures who’s storylines and background development backs this claim up. Look at 2001: A Space Odyssey and how they hired a Couture designer to create streamlined costumes.¬† We see this connection between Science fiction and Fashion in many online publications that speak about where the films got their inspiration from, what trends developed because of these films and the last impressions they’ve left on the way we dress.¬† Science Fiction and Fashion seem like two completely different topics or fields. The truth is that one would not be able to exist without the other. They play off each other and without a doubt push one and other to greater heights.

 

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Class Notes for 12.15.16

Class Notes for December 15th, 2016.

Professor Belli shared with the class her favorite cookies that she had been lugging with her all day. Alex also courteously provided chocolates. Thanks again!

Reminder, please be tidy in your classrooms as some of the staff are becoming experts in small mammal coprology.

More importantly, please spread the word Professor Belli’s course next semester Paradise, Perfection, Anarchy, & apocalypse: The World-building of Utopias & Dystopias, English 3402-D602: Topics in Literature.

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Passionate peer reviews were exchanged and the drafts were discussed in groups.

Important Information

Final Draft, including the cover letter, is due on Monday, December 19th before 11:59 pm. The cover letter is an integral part of the final draft and your grade, it is not inconsequential. The assignment will be posted to OpenLab in PDF form alongside a 300 word abstract in the post. The assignment must also be submitted to Dropbox as a word document.

The final course reflection is due the next day, Tuesday December 20th by 4:00 pm. This is also part of the final assignment. It will be addressed privately to Professor Belli, so feel free to speak candidly and honestly. Comment on the course overall and use of the OpenLab website. This is to be submitted to Dropbox as a word document.

More on that here: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2016-eng2420/wrapping-up-the-semester/

Additionally, for Professor Belli’s convenience, mental fortitude, and your own grade, label the papers clearly.

E.g. Johnny Zapata, Archive Project Final Draft

Also, papers that do not have in text citation or a works cited page will not be accepted. Anyone who plagiarizes will fail the assignment. If you are uncertain how to properly cite a work, there are resources online and Professor Belli will gladly answer any questions emailed within reasonable time.

If you fail the assignment for any reason, you will fail the course.

Proposals for Science Fiction activities in City Tech!

  • I humbly proposed a Science Fiction book club in which no one would physically attend. I had good intentions.
  • Another proposal, Science Fiction versus Science Fact club.
  • Live chat in OpenLab

Professor Belli congratulated the class on their hard work, perseverance and the classes’ overall progress.

Good luck everyone!

Wrapping Up the Semester

We made it! A few things to keep in mind as we wrap up this semester:

Final Draft of Write-Up +Reflection
Due 11:59pm on Mo 12/19. Remember, you need to submit two ways: 1) create an OpenLab post with the revised abstract in the post and the Essay (with Cover Letter as first pages of the file) as a PDF (label correctly!) … this is a public document! 2) Dropbox as a Microsoft Word document (label correctly!)

Final Course Reflections
Individual Final Course Reflection is due by 4pm on Tu 12/20 (this is a mandatory‚Äďnot optional‚Äďassignment). You will be submitting the reflection privately (only I will see it) via Dropbox, as a Microsoft Word document (correctly labeled). Refer to the¬†Final Course Reflection page¬†on our site for details on this assignment.


Final Project Grades / Final Course Grades

The deadline for professors to submit final course grades for the Fall 2016 semester is Tu 12/27 at midnight. Please wait to view your course grade online through CUNYfirst (I will not be giving out final course grades via e-mail).

Final grades are non-negotiable, though I am always more than happy to discuss them/your work with you at any point in person. If you would like to discuss any of your grades/receive additional feedback on your Project (project grades will be posted as a “private” comment to your Final Project posts on our OpenLab site), feel free to e-mail me to do so (we can always also schedule an appointment to discuss your work in-person when we return to campus at the end of January, when the new semester starts up).


Thank you, & stay in touch!
Finally, it was a pleasure to work with you all this semester. I wish you the best of luck wrapping up the semester and on your final exams, and in your future endeavors at City Tech, & beyond. You all worked incredibly hard this semester, and I really appreciate your consistent effort and good cheer each week. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and learned a lot about science fiction and critical thinking / reading / writing / reflection. There will be some exciting developments at the college related to Science Fiction in coming semesters, so do be on the look out for announcements about them! Have a wonderful winter break & happy holiday season (best of luck in 2017!), & don’t hesitate to be in touch /stop by my office in future semesters to discuss your work in this course/beyond (or chat science fiction in general!), and/or to just say hi  :)

 

Corporations: Societal issues explored by powerful entities

Abstract

Corporations are considered to be the drivers of our economy and foundations of human innovation. They make everyday life easier for the people they provide the services to. But what happens when there are deeper issues that we are no exploring when it comes to business practices? The following explores the issues raised when it comes to the busienss practices of the multinational corporation in Science Fiction. Mainly, the potential for abuse with the rise of power, the ethics of business practices in science fiction and real life. Lastly, the deterioration of the human condition from the activity of large corporations.

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Terraforming Write-up

I would like to discuss a science fiction creation called Terraforming. Terraforming which means ‚ÄúEarth-Shaping‚ÄĚ is an idea taken from science fiction and mixed with real science. It basically deals with modifying another planet‚Äôs atmosphere, temperature, and surface to be similar or exactly like earth. It makes other planets habitable by Human beings, and any type of planet life from our own planet. The major questions i would like the answer would be why we want to terraform other planets, and what exactly terraforming is. I would also like to explore what we would gain from this technology. And through this technology what would Humanity gain in the end if we decide to look outside saving our planet for survival, and towards changing another to fit us.

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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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Gynoids and the Moral and Ethical Issues Behind Them

Why do the majority of robotic creations resemble the females figure? Where does this idea come from? This question and some other encountered along the way resume in only one term known as gynoids. A gynoid also known as fembot is a concept that appears in the science fiction genre to refer to a humanoid robot that possess female attributes. The term has gained popularity in the science fiction genre over the past years since many of the robots that are shown in films and movies depict beautiful and sexy female features. In modern science fiction, gynoids are depicted as domestic servants and sexual objects to attract their audience, in particular the male gender. In the actuality, the term gynoid has brought to reality as many of the robotic designs that have been developed, clearly portrays a female appearance rather than just simply robotic machine. The apparition of these female robotic machines in the real world has brought a reason of debate and controversy especially regarding to the female gender. According to some feminist groups, these machines are an example of how society perceives women which causes the objectification of women as well. For this reason, this essay discuss how this science fiction term translates into reality, and how these female-robotic designs contribute with the objectification of women as well, affecting the society we live in.

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The Connection Between Androids and African Americans

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The topic I went over for my project was how androids are similar to African Americans. The reason why is because it makes¬†things interesting to comparing humans with robots. People may say that it is impossible to compare an android to a human, but when it comes to researching, anything is possible. Even though there are differences between the two,¬†they are¬†¬†still similar because of the challenges they had to face in their lives. Allow me to go over some of the challenges they had to face. On the androids’ side, they had to deal with humans who try to not let them be part of society, and not allow them to continue on blending in the human society. Humans think that if androids are enhancing their knowledge of reality experience, they would become more dangerous¬†than they were before. In other words, humans don’t really trust androids when they go off alone without their creator supervising them.

As for the African Americans, they had to deal with society itself.¬† In the history of the African Americans, there were a lot of challenges that they had to face. Some African Americans had dealt with slave owners when they were slaves back then. While other African Americans dealt with segregation. It only takes a lot of guts, including famous black leaders to support the African Americans, to fight back. Without the black leaders supporting them, black people would still be slaves and segregation would still have continued. Through the years of how African Americans survived, it may have been a miracle for them. In other words, African Americans would rather keep themselves alive and let time take its course. They wanted to see whether or not there would be some changes in the society or that society would just remain the same. These details show that even though the androids’ and African Americans’ challenges are different, they still had dealt with the same problem. And that problem is none other than society. It may be possible that androids are like imageries¬†that are representing to the African Americans. When scholars learned about the African Americans and they started reading about the androids, they would know that androids are like African Americans.

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