Author Archives: Pedro Balbuena

The Influence of Science Fiction on the Perception of Real World Technology

Abstract

Science fiction has a great impact on real world technology. Especially when it comes to robots and androids. ‚ÄúThe idea of humanoid automatons goes back centuries–historian Noel Sharkey has found evidence of robot-like designs in ancient Greece–but the word robot is less than 100 years old‚ÄĚ (Suderman, 2015). The Idea of a robot has been in fruition for centuries. And became a reality throughout works of science fiction. And is conceptualized through authors and their unique perspectives and creativity.
The word robot was drawn from robota, a Czech word meaning drudge work. Capek’s story set the tone for decades of robot fiction, mostly by stoking fears that the servants could eventually turn on their masters‚ÄĚ (Suderman, 2015). As read in the breakdown of the word robot. In the breakdown the sole function of what a robot is made to do is serve and practically help the user. A basic function that science fiction pushed the limit on. By creating works of literature and film that depicted those functions in unique ways. Mostly giving the robot special functions like superhuman strength and advanced processing. This started the re-imagining of the idea of what a robot could be.
Science Fiction has re-imagined countless of real world technologies. The most re-imagined piece of technology within the Science Fiction spectrum are robots. This re-imaging of robots through science fiction influences the developments of robots and other real world technologies in the real world. And influences the perspectives of society on these real world technologies and robots.
‚ÄúThey found that researchers use science fiction in a variety of different ways. One is for theoretical design research. Another is to refer to and explore new forms of human-computer interaction, which researchers increasingly think is shaped by science fiction books and films. Then there is the study of human body modification, which is perhaps best explored via the medium of fiction‚ÄĚ (arXiv, 2018).
Scientist are also influenced or inspired by science fiction. Leading them to create and imagine past the boundaries of normal technology. This presentation will discuss the influence Science Fiction has on the perception of robots and other real world technologies. By demonstrating the portrayal of said technologies in the real world and the science fiction realm. And how those portrayals mold the perception of society.

Suderman, Peter. “Hi, robot: how science fiction androids became real-life machines.” Reason,¬† Apr. 2015, p. 56+. ¬†Academic OneFile http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A404447051/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=25ad53fe. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

arXiv, Emerging Technology from the. ‚ÄúWhen Science Fiction Inspires Real Technology.‚ÄĚ MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 5 Apr. 2018, www.technologyreview.com/s/610713/when-science-fiction-inspires-real-technology/.

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Positive Impact Of Science Fiction On Real World Technology

Science fiction has a great impact on real world technology. Especially when it comes to robots and androids. ‚ÄúThe idea of humanoid automatons goes back centuries–historian Noel Sharkey has found evidence of robot-like designs in ancient Greece–but the word robot is less than 100 years old‚ÄĚ (Suderman, 2015).
In the our current world robots hold a lot of responsibilities and functions. From robot arms that now assemble auto parts into cars. To programmed robots that hold various functions. Like being used to navigate an airspace and disarm a live bomb threat. These robots wouldn’t exist if the idea of a robot was not introduced in science fiction. ‚ÄĚThe word robot was drawn from robota, a Czech word meaning drudge work. Capek’s story set the tone for decades of robot fiction, mostly by stoking fears that the servants could eventually turn on their masters‚ÄĚ (Suderman, 2015).
In present time there are works of science fiction literature and cinema that push the boundaries on what a robot was, is and what it could be. In present time with the evolution of technology literature has taken a back seat to what Cinema can provoke in the mind of a viewer with a variety of literal imagery. Robots now can be molded to meet higher expectations and exceed previous expectations. The stigma being able to only destroy is outdated. And has installed fear of robots in society. But science fiction films have shown countless times positive interpretations of robots.
‚ÄúBicentennial Man‚ÄĚ, is an android who is purchased as a household robot programmed to perform menial tasks. Within a few days the Martin family realizes that they don’t have an ordinary droid as Andrew begins to experience emotions and creative thought. In a story that spans two centuries, Andrew learns the intricacies of humanity while trying to stop those who created him from destroying him‚ÄĚ (IMDB, 2017). In this film the robot is portrayed in a positive manner and explores the possibilities of robot to man and even man to robot. By involving the process of acquiring, synthetic organs, nervous system, etc. Technology that is currently in development but not as advanced as seen on the film. But inspiration no less and great step into the future.
In the present robots hold more than just one function, thats where A.I. comes to play. Artificial Intelligence is commonly related to robots and vice versa. This is a counter to the argument being made, of the positive impact science fiction has on real world technology. And that is some scientifiction works highlight the horrors and negatives of such technologies. Examples are films like the Terminator franchise and I Robot where a.i. and robots collide to rid the world of the human race.
A.I. is a reality that scares many and terrifies more. A fear that many in have in our society. And deeply fear becoming reality. A fear heavily influenced by these works of science fiction. An influence that works both ways. Fear is the reason A.I.s are in the back burner for many tech companies who can not control language barriers between it and other machines. Avoiding any apocalyptic events like those in the Terminator and I Robot. Essentially A.I.s themselves were considered a fictional technological advancement something implausible. But now that they are a reality and kept locked away because of man implied fears there potential and impact are held to a minimum. Although it’s notable the positive impact robots have on the world when it comes to problem solving and make use of time efficiently.

References.

Suderman, Peter. “Hi, robot: how science fiction androids became real-life machines.” Reason,
Apr. 2015, p. 56+. Academic OneFile http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A404447051/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=25ad53fe. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

This article talks about robots and how they existed in science fiction before they became reality. An a general thought about the influence robots have and had in science fiction literature and reality. This article helps me build a foundation for my topic.

Carpenter, Charli, and Kevin L. Young. “The New York Times says movies about killer robots are bad for us. It’s wrong.”
Washingtonpost.com, 16 Nov. 2018. Academic OneFile,
http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A562476912/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid
=ddc07a7d. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

This article explores the impact science fiction works of art negative portrayal of robots has on society. And how most of society being anti robot is driven by fear of what these weapons are. This article can provide a political type of view point for me.

Elliott, Stuart W. “Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and Work: Is This Time Different? As
technological innovation has eliminated many types of jobs over the past few centuries, economies have evolved to create new jobs that have kept workers well employed. Is there reason to worry that the future will be different?” Issues in Science and Technology, vol. 35, no. 1, 2018, p. 40+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A562292393/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=443f1b4d. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

This article talks about the impact of A.I.s and robots on jobs across the world. This article will help me by having a different viewpoint on the impact of both.

Griffin, Andrew. “Facebook Robots Shut down after They Talk to Each Other in
Language Only They Understand.‚ÄĚ The Independent, Independent Digital News
and Media, 21 Nov. 2018,
www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-artificial-intel
ligence-ai-chatbot-new-language-research-openai-google-a7869706.html.

This article gives a brief overview on facebook’s A.I. and its secrete language only it could understand and other machines it communicated with. This article will be useful for me giving me background on A.I. fears

arXiv, Emerging Technology from the. ‚ÄúWhen Science Fiction Inspires Real Technology.‚ÄĚ MIT
Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 5 Apr. 2018, www.technologyreview.com/s/610713/when-science-fiction-inspires-real-technology/.

This article talks about the impact science fiction has on real world technology.

‚ÄúScience Fiction: Shaping the Future.‚ÄĚ ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise
Development Research, research.asu.edu/stories/read/science-fiction-shaping-future.

This article also talks about the impact science fiction has on real world technology but makes a point that scientists and creators/artist stay connected to the implications and functions of such advanced technologies.

‚ÄúBicentennial Man.‚ÄĚ IMDb, IMDb.com, 17 Dec. 1999,
www.imdb.com/title/tt0182789/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1.

Summarizes the plot of this movie relating to my topic

‚ÄúWALL¬∑E.‚ÄĚ IMDb, IMDb.com, 26 June 2008, www.imdb.com/title/tt0910970/.

Summarizes the plot of this movie relating to my topic

Science Fictions Impact on Real World Technology

Science fiction has a great impact on real world technology. Especially when it comes to robots and androids. In our current world robots hold a lot of responsibilities and functions. From robot arms that now assemble auto parts into cars. To programmed robots that hold various functions. Like being used to navigate an airspace and disarm a live bomb threat. These robots wouldn’t exist if the idea of a robot was not introduced in science fiction. In present time there are works of ¬†science fiction literature and cinema that push the boundaries on what a robot is and could be. In the present time with the evolution of technology literature has taken a back seat to what Cinema can provoke in the mind of a viewer with a variety of literal imagery. Robots now can be molded to higher expectations and exceed previous molds. Like being able to only destroy or hold a specific task.

In the present robots hold more than just one function, that’s where A.I. comes to play. Artificial Intelligence is commonly related to robots and vice versa. With artificial intelligence and the technological advances and pushes humanity has developed since the start of civilization. A.I. is a reality that scares many and terrifies more. With popular sci fi films like the terminator franchise where a.i. and robots collide to rid the world of the human race. A fear that many in have in our society. And deeply fear becoming reality. A.I.s are in the back burner for many tech companies who can not control language barriers between it and other machines. Avoiding any apocalyptic events like those in the terminator franchise. Essentially A.I.s themselves were considered a fictional technological advancement something implausible. But now that they are a reality and kept locked away because of man made fears there potential and impact are held to a minimum. Although it’s notable the impact robots have on the world and humanity.

 

References.

Suderman, Peter. “Hi, robot: how science fiction androids became real-life machines.” Reason,Apr. 2015, p. 56+. ¬†Academic OneFile http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A404447051/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=25ad53fe. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

This article talks about robots and how they existed in science fiction before they became reality. An a general thought about the influence robots have and had in science fiction literature and reality. This article helps me build a foundation for my topic.

 

Carpenter, Charli, and Kevin L. Young. “The New York Times says movies about killer robots are bad for us. It’s wrong.”Washingtonpost.com, 16 Nov. 2018. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A562476912/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=ddc07a7d. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

This article explores the impact science fiction works of art negative portrayal of robots has on society. And how most of society being anti robot is driven by fear of what these weapons are. This article can provide a political type of view point for me.

 

Elliott, Stuart W. “Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and Work: Is This Time Different? As technological innovation has eliminated many types of jobs over the past few centuries, `¬† economies have evolved to create new jobs that have kept workers well employed. Is there reason to worry that the future will be different?” Issues in Science and Technology, vol. 35, no. 1, 2018, p. 40+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A562292393/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=443f1b4d. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

This article talks about the impact of A.I.s and robots on jobs across the world. This article will help me by having a different viewpoint on the impact of both.

 

Griffin, Andrew. ‚ÄúFacebook Robots Shut down after They Talk to Each Other inLanguage Only They Understand.‚ÄĚ The Independent, Independent Digital News and¬† Media, 21 Nov. 2018, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-artificial-intelligence-ai-chatbot-new-language-research-openai-google-a7869706.html.

This article gives a brief overview on facebook’s A.I. and its secrete language only it could understand and other machines it communicated with. This article will be useful for me giving me background on A.I. fears

Class Notes 11/15/18

Today in class we began our discussion on the Show adaptation of The Handmaids Tale. These are the notes from today and the questions/topics/quotes we interpreted and analyzed as a class.

Free Writing Prompt #1: What does it mean to be Human?

Thought Process for writing prompt:

Understanding one’s history to move on forward in life Self-awareness/ Self-regulation¬† Sustained well being without infringing on other feelings¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Feel/Emotions/To Love¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Individuality¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Creativity¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Empathy¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Potential/Growth/Desires/Conscious of Surroundings¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Free will/ Respect/Unselfish/Culture

Group Discussion: Humanity within The Handmaids Tale

Free will is stripped away from all people living in The Republic of Gilead. Thus giving people especially handmaids structurally made choices. Like the decision to be a Handmaid or become unwomen and live in colonies filled with toxic waste tasked to clean it all till death. An obvious choice from a survival standpoint. Which leads to the Anatomy of a woman the handmaids being used for a ‚Äúhigher purpose‚ÄĚ. An empty vessel of sorts used to carry Gilead’s purpose. Survival and the social classes set by Gilead creates an immense division between the women in Gilead. These social classes blind them from the actual problem laying in front of them (Social Division – /Stronger Together +).

Second Freewrite: Analyzing Quotes within Handmaid Tale

‚ÄĚThere is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to now you are being given freedom from don‚Äôt underrate it‚ÄĚ (24)

‚ÄúFreedom like everything else is relative‚ÄĚ

These quotes speak on the world before and after Gilead. In the first quote, Aunt Lydia refers to two freedoms. Freedom to, Freedom from. Freedom to refers to society before Gilead where there was freedom to do whatever one pleased (disregarding consequences). One could kill, steal, cheat, have a different sexual orientation/preferences, etc. Which meant everyone was exposed to the fact of being killed, stolen from, cheated on, and have had a different sexual orientation and or preference. The anarchy that leads to low infertility rates and high toxic levels. Freedom from is referring to life within the Gilead republic where all of these ‚ÄúFreedoms‚ÄĚ are crimes punishable by death. Freedom from being killed, cheated on, stolen from, with no freedom of will to decide or even have a sexual orientation or preference. Thus Aunt Lydia saying not to underate being saved from these actions by the Republic of Gilead.

The Second quote tackles the ‚ÄúFreedoms‚ÄĚ within the Republic of Gilead through Offred’s lenses. ‚ÄúFreedom like everything else is relative‚ÄĚ. The freedom she speaks of are the ones handmaids hold. Although they may not seem as ‚Äúfreedoms‚ÄĚ but overall necessities to live a functional life, in the Republic of Gilead they are somewhat freedoms. And what makes them relative is that their actions within Gilead determine their fate. Good behavior is awarded in a sense with being able to survive another day whilst bad behavior or unethical behavior under Gilead republic will have fatal repercussions.

Next Tuesday (11/20) we will continue our discussion on the Handmaids Tale and start our discussion on Westworld. Bring in Scenes that you want to discuss for both (H.T, W.W).

Two Peoples Choice due by Monday midnight (11/19)

For Our Westworld discussion have this question in mind. How is Humanity redefined in Westworld?

Freewrite about this question/ take notes from the episode that answer this question and bring in those scenes as well. This will help in preparation for our upcoming discussion.

Next Class, we will also have a  discussion about our final project. Be sure to attend this Tuesday class before break.

(Please comment any information you would like to add or I might have missed.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westworld: New World Order?

At the start of the first episode of Westworld we are thrown in into this altered reality. The episode majorly follows Dolores the main Host which is later known she is the oldest host with in this altered reality. She is being interrogated by the team responsible for hosts actions. At around the (02:00) mark Dolores is asked what does she think of her world which she replies with ‚ÄúSome people choose to see the ugliness in this world. The disarray. I choose to see the beauty‚ÄĚ

It is Obvious as the episode goes on that Dolores is programmed to have such responses so she could fit into the role the designers, programmers, and everyone involved want her to play. But at the end around the end (1:06:00) Dolores after the series of malfunctions with in the update reacts to the fly that sits on her face (like any other host).But this time she slaps it on her neck killing it. Signifying her deeper awakening a consciousness coming into fruition.

Continuing into ‚ÄúWestworld‚ÄĚ Park as everyone outside of the reality calls it. A recent update within the reality has caused malfunctions with in the reality with a set of characters that have interfered with the ‚Äúguests‚ÄĚ (actual humans) enjoyment of the park. Throughout the episode the affected hosts would either breakdown or commit actions outside their programmed roles. And outside the limit set for them to improvise. The host that standed out the most has been Dolores father after finding a buried picture around the cattle hold. Which appeared to be of a young woman possing in Times Square (32:22). Around the (1:02:44) mark it is revealed that some hosts have had previous roles within the reality park. And with this update fragments of those past roles have come back causing some malfunctions.

At the 1:01:26 mark Dolores father sites this Shakespeare passage after literally meeting his makers “A most mechanical and dirty hand. I shall have such revenges on you both. The things I will do, what they are, yet I know not. But they will be the terrors of the earth. You don’t know where you are, do you? You’re in a prison of your own sins.” This quote alone foreshadows what is yet to come to all involved with in this twisted reality.

Which may as well come forth from a dark figure within the reality confirmed as a guest. Early on stated the lengthy relationship he has had with Dolores in this reality. At the 44:42 mark the man in black says to the teller ‚ÄúThe others, they just come here to get their rocks off, shoot a couple Indians, There‚Äôs a deeper level to this game.‚ÄĚ He then continues to skin off his scalp which had a symbol or map under it. Eluding to the fact that there is a deeper level to this game.

Ford the creator states¬† “We’ve managed to slip evolution’s leash now, haven’t we? We can cure any disease, keep even the weakest of us alive and one fine day perhaps we shall even resurrect the dead, call forth Lazarus from his cave. Do you know what that means? That means we are done, that this is as good as we’re going to get.” He gets to the point that¬†androids are the next step of evolution. That humans have reached the end of their journey. These beings (hosts) might be the way mankind continues forward. if it does not it would be a fight for survival between man and machine which had been a recurring theme within our studies.

These moments within the first episode caught my eye and I believe will set up the rest of the season. Which like stated in class can lead endless reasons to why these events might have happened and what will occur after them. This is what makes Science Fiction a whole different reality from other genres because it can allows us to roam around and encounter endless possibilities. I will definitely finish out this series and stay updated with it as well. This show tackles not only scientific possibilities and technological advances it also tackles human possibilities and expansion of our beings.

 

A “Handmade Tale”

The Handmaids Tale, when I first read a few passages of the actual book I knew there was a dark vibe to it. But watching the first episode of the series really showed me the true darkness within this “Fictional World”. I could see why this book as a whole has become popular. The new presidential administrations methods and motto matches that of the hierachy in place within the Handmaids Tale.

At (16:25) An Aunt speaks to the handmaids at the red center and explains why¬†it has come to this point. And that is¬†a plague of¬†infertility¬†and toxicity¬†released in the world. A punishment from God. The Aunt without actual proof claims all the chaos is a part of gods plan. This is similar to the current presidential administration whose ‚Äúinformation‚ÄĚ is also missused and inaccurate. Around the 19:40 mark the aunt says somthing that left me uneasy. “I know this must feel strange to you but ordinary is just what you’re used to. This may not seem ordinary to you right now but after time it will become ordinary”. This statement concluded that these women had nothing great in their past lives and that from here on out that being a handmaid will be their normal.

Which is completely false, throughout the episode other women reveal information about their past lives and former happiness. Around 13:19 Offred has flashbacks of her young daughter and husband at a beach enjoying the water. Throughout the episode Offred has flashbacks of her daughter and constantly reminds her self to get herself together. She maintains strong in hopes of seeing her daughter and runing away with her far away. From the beginning of the episode I could see the physiological warefare between this hierarchy and the women. Around the 27:50 mark a handmaid is surrounded by other handmaids and aunts. Being accused of provoking her rape experience. The aunts get the other handmaids to agree with them which left me thinking how meticulous this hierarchy is to get these women to spy and plot against each other.

Woman Vs Woman is a recurring theme throughout the Handmaids Tale. This is seen perfectly within the Commanders Home between Offred and The commanders wife Joy. Pure hatred and sadness can be seen through Joy’s eyes through the completion of the ceremony. The root of that pain and suffering is not of Offred but the hierarchy and their sick physiological warefare. This is Due to our will for survival. Every Man and Woman within this hierarchy plays their part to survive. Joy willing and capable directs all this hatred and sadness onto Offred who is incapable of reciprocating the same energy back to joy. Because that’s risking her life death for sure. Death she does not want to face as she wants to be reunited with her daughter the will that keeps her going.

It is clear that the hierarchy in place has complete control over all its subjects and makes complete examples of those who are not within their control. At the 15:35 mark Offred and Ofglen decide to walk back home by the river. They encounter the wall that has a Priest, Doctor, and a Gayman hanging from it. Prime examples of what happens to those who disobey and don’t fit within the hierarchy. Death seems to be the penalty faced for any obstruction within the hierarchy that or being cast out of it to clear waste till dying days. The fear of death allows this hierarchy to maintain physiological control or advantage over everyone with in it. So much like controlling all actions.

At about the 47:45 mark The Aunt gathers all handmaids for a salvaging. ¬†A man is broughtout who¬†according to Aunt Lydia, raped a pregnant Handmaid and caused her to lose the baby. All handmaids are startled and upset. Offred is secretly breaking down at potential news of her friend Moira being killed. Aunt Lydia blows a whistle and Like Attack dogs on command begin to release all frustration, anger, all emotions onto that man a purging of sorts for these handmaids. They all stop and snapback to normal from this rabid state after the whistle blows again. Many handmaids seem relieved after the ‚Äúpurging‚ÄĚ but Offred is still in disbelief from what she had heard.

This first episode was like the story itself a machine. A machine that has tons of parts that allows it to work properly. This episode showed how this hierarchy gets all these pieces to work. When it comes to the handmaids their obedience is enforced by the Aunts and the wives of the Commanders. They separation between the handmaids and the aunts and wives. Allows the hierarchy to create tension and complete separation between them. As a result the complete control of Women. Because the women in higher positions fail to see the harm they are causing themselves and their kind but that again are blinded by the will for survival.

 

An Empty Home

In “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” Ray Bradbury uses a plethora of examples and sensory details to give an empty home life. Set in what¬†appears to be a post apocalyptic world, with no signs of humankind except this smart house. Which would fool anyone as this house picks up on a lot of human traits throughout the story. Which is what a smart home should do especially sheltering a family with individuals that have their own personalities, likes, dislikes, habits, etc. Habits and preferences the house picked up on and even anticipated for them.

“Nine-five. A voice spoke from the study ceiling: “Mrs. McClellan, which poem would you like this evening?” The house was silent. The voice said at last, “Since you express no preference, I shall select a poem at random.” Quiet music rose to back the voice. “Sara Teasdale. As I recall, your favorite‚Ķ.¬† “There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum trees in tremulous white; Robins will wear their feathery fire, Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn Would scarcely know that we were gone.” (Bradbury, 3).

Here the house recites word for word one of its owners favorite poem. A poem that heavily reflects the situation the house is currently in. A poem that possibly foreshadows previous events, events that left this home empty. ”¬†And not one will know of the war, not one will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly” (Bradbury, 3). These lines utterly give up what possibly caused the decay. Nuclear warfare is to blame for the decay.

Nuclear warfare as scary as it is. Is a possible scenario we ourselves live in especially with tension between almost all world governments especially those who posses such fire power. But being that this story was written in 1950 both Ray Bradbury and us were in periods in time with world governments have tension towards one another. In a period were the cold war started we can see that a race to be the most powerful country in the world left most of the world in ruins till this day. It is amazing the relevance of pieces of science fiction from the start of genre till now.

Although the cause of the decay is nuclear we can also see that it is also the cause of extinction of the human race. “The entire west face of the house was black, save for five places. Here the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the image of a thrown ball,and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came down.The five spots of paint‚ÄĒthe man, the woman, the children, the ball‚ÄĒremained. The rest was a thin charcoaled layer” (Bradbury, 1).¬† Here more evidence of the nuclear destruction. The shadows of the family that owned the home left across it and most like were caught in the middle of the destruction.

“The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.” (Bradbury, 2).¬† But the absence of this family did not stop this smart house from trying its best to be a home. The house crawled with helpers with their own personalities.

“The front door recognized the dog voice and opened. The dog, once huge and fleshy, but
now gone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud. Behind it whirred angry mice, angry at having to pick up mud, angry at inconvenience” (Bradbury, 2). Here Bradbury gives life to these robotic little mice. The dog symbolizes a final part of the family a part the house recognized. And was probably pleased to have. The dog ran through out the house and only found silence the decaying wounds it had made it weak and rabid. The fogs wounds are not explained how they came to it but it returned home to live it final moments no matter how dark or sad they were.

“Delicately sensing decay at last, the regiments of mice hummed out as softly as blown gray
leaves in an electrical wind. Two-fifteen. The dog was gone.In the cellar, the incinerator glowed suddenly and a whirl of sparks leaped up the chimney.” (Bradbury, 2). The dog was burned in the furnace a continuous burning fire. A fire that would soon meet the house and completely cleanse the world of the human race.

“The crash. The attic smashing into kitchen and parlor. The parlor into cellar, cellar into
sub-cellar. Deep freeze, armchair, film tapes, circuits, beds, and all like skeletons thrown in a
cluttered mound deep under.Smoke and silence. A great quantity of smoke.
Dawn showed faintly in the east. Among the ruins, one wall stood alone. Within the wall,
a last voice said, over and over again and again, even as the sun rose to shine upon the heaped
rubble and steam: “Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is‚Ķ” (Bradbury, 4). A fire started by a collapsed tree that caused the fire. A fire hungry for revenge.

The fire fed on everything it could throughout the house till it brought the house to the ground. Throughout this altercation both the fire and the house held a lot of personification. The fact that the fire fed on a lot of things through out the house and the house did it everything in its power to stop the fire, the mouses tried there best to clean through out the mess but to no avail. At the end all the helpers and countless voices sank to the floor along with the fire as the last traces of mankind.

You Can Smell the Past in the Air

This past Thursday October 4th our class was allowed within City Tech’s Science Fiction Collection. I didn’t know we had such a big archive on sci-fi literature until Prof. Belli told us about it a few times in class. To be completely honest I was not to excited about being around all these books. But as Prof. Belli started to explain the significance and value of this collection I became a little more interested.

When it was my turn to see the archive I had ideas of what I might see when I walked in and I was not disappointed but actually a little bit surprised. As I walked In I saw a lot artifacts pertaining to City Tech and its past before I reached the archive. As I reached the archive Prof. Belli gave us instructions on what to do with the books we were interested in. I was amazed about the quantity of books there was and the conditions of some works of literature. I could literally smell the past in the air. Even though we weren’t allowed to touch these crumbling books it was cool to look at them and see that their wear ad tear comes from being around so long.

A monograph, Titled Amazing Stories caught my attention. At first I took it because I believed it was a sort of comic book. But it was not though the cover did attract me and I’m sure it was used to attract other readers at its time. The archive had the whole collection of this monograph from its start till some time in the present. And it wasn’t the only collection of monograph it had. I was really stunned on the amount of literature around me up on the shelfs and still boxed untouched.

I didn’t get a chance to fully digest the whole collection and the monograph I picked out. But I was a great experience to explore this archive. And also have the privilege to hold such an archive in our school. Hopefully sometime in the future the collection can get the proper space it needs so that we ca¬† attract people from all over the world to come and share such a valuable collection.

Overall it was a great experience and it taught me that there is a lot more value in literature than I thought possible.

Reading Response 1: The Machine Stops PB

Reading the Machine Stops by E.M. Forster I picked up on a lot of similarities within our civilization. “The Machine” as it is called in the story embodies I believe, God. It replaces all religion and becomes a religion. Throughout the story you can see countless examples where characters in the story praise and pray to the book for answers, etc.. “She whirled around, praying to be saved from this, at any rate, kissing the Book, pressing button after button”. (Forster, pg.¬† 25) In what I believe are one of Vashti last moments you can see the amount belief in “The Machine” even after knowing that the machine itself had be rendered useless, powerless.

This story really coincides a lot with what is going on earth now. Technology for the better has improved our efficiency as humans and with the combination of science has improved our life spans and will continue to in the long run. As technology continues to develop and better itself. But a downside to technology is the heavy dependence on it, we see it was heavily illustrated by Forster in “The Machine Stops”. Today in society especially in the youth, technology plays a big role in our lives. The need of better cellphones and laptops, etc. increase by the year and the smarter and advance they become the more dependent we become as Users. As we saw in the story “The Machine” the members of that civilization depended heavily on the machine and we saw that clearly following Vashti and her journey to her son. We also learned that they were forced underground due to rapid decay of the earth a fault on to fall on us the human race.

In the past few years I questioned the facts on global warming and their reality. I thought as a young kid that it was all fake and some sort of political fiction to get people to vote or cause paranoia with in society. But these past few years as I matured and really opened my mind I have seen the harm we all have caused this earth. And this story maybe fiction but it is more of far off reality our future generations may live in. Especially if we continue to harm our earth and not come to face with the consequences before they arrive.

From the beginning of the story to the end we see the heavy dependence this civilization held towards the machine. Again I relate this to our current civilization and our heavy dependence on technology and heavy connection to it as it if were religious. But I do not blame our advances cause we will continue to try and better ourselves for generations to come. But we must do it in a way where we as a race don’t lose ourselves and lose connections with those who we love. And especially do it in a way where we can conserve our planet and pass down those teachings so that we can leave a home to generations to come. “The Machine Stops” By E.M. Forster to me was another eye opener to where my civilization is headed if no actions are taken by a majority of us. I admit it was an entertaining read but it also impacted me for the better.

 

 

Introduction P.B.

Hello All,

My Name is Pedro and I¬†am very interested in the Culinary Arts, Bussiness, Investment, and film. I love to play basketball around¬†my neighboorhood. and I enjoy going to the movies, parks, museums, and dining out occasionally. I desire to be in an influential position within 5-10 years so I could be able to help those who motivated me and helped me throughout my whole life. I hope¬†to achieve that by accomplishing my dreams of owning my own chain of restaurants. So I work as a Culinary Educator for the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. I help teach nutritional¬†lessons including¬†demoing a recipe¬†for participants to help get them to eat healthy¬†using their local farmer’s markets. During the winter break, I may work as much as I can and also try to visit my friend on the west coast, San Fransico.

My weaknesses as a writer¬†are organizing¬†my ideas and writing¬†and structuring my essays around those ideas. As a reader, I don’t¬†like to read lengthy¬†passages. Strengths¬†for thinking are I do come up with ideas to write about and I thinking of different perspectives on each topic and I¬†tend to overthink a lot¬†about it after so a weakness. I enjoy critical¬†thinking especially when a topic such as Scifi allows us as individuals to think beyond our comfort zones educationally, socially, culturally, etc. some of the professors¬†in my department¬†use open lab¬†and I’ve¬†had a lot of classes were I’ve¬†had to use open lab¬†to post assignments comments, access information, etc. Sci-fiction, Comedy, and Fiction are my favorite genres of literature. I believe science-fiction¬†is very interesting because it allows¬†for me to wonder what my ear future can possibly¬†be or may become. Scienfiction is connected with my major. Places like Disneyworld and Universal Studios combine sci-fiction, animation and a variety of other subjects into one place. Bringing people from all¬†over the world to enjoy sci-fi. Actually opening a sci-fi¬†themed restaurant¬†doesn’t¬†sound bad and it’s not the first one.

I expect to encounter pieces of literature that I can enjoy reading which I barely do and also find some films that might catch my interest and make me more of fan to sci-fi.