Genetic Memories

The question that comes into place is: How can advance technology help us solve psychological problems we face today and learn from our past ancestors? In this quest, we would look into the concepts of genetic memories. According to Wikipedia, in a psychology term, genetic memory is a memory present at birth that exists in the absence of sensory experience. For example, before a mother has her child and she experiences a traumatic experience in her life, its stored in her child memories. Then, she has a child and maybe sometime in her child’s life, he/she experiences the same traumatic experience but was more resilient and less affected by that experience. Science fiction references like, the Ubisoft video game Assassin’s Creed shows where one can easily tap into their genetic memories and relive the lives of their ancestors through a machine named the Animus. In SYFY show Stargate SG-1, the main antagonist named Goa’uld, is an alien race whereas they possess and transfer their knowledge to their new born Goa’uld so that they would have all the memories and knowledge of their past ancestors.

 In an article, written by Katherine Gillespie and published by VICE, she interviews Dr. Berit Brogaard, a University of Miami philosopher specializing in the areas of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind. She asks if there were more research in this field of study and how could it benefit humans. Brogaard say’s we as scientist need to see if events in our life can impacts our DNA, and if true, we could tap into it and create a more resilient offspring. However, some scientist would think if it is possible to tap into our genetic memories, it could possible lead way for scientist to genetically edit someone’s DNA and changing their personality and characteristics, which is unethical. Just recently, news outlets reported a Chinese scientist gene-editing twin embryos, making them immune to contract HIV. The scientific community was in uproar when they heard this. My point is if we had technology like the Animus or could biologically transfers all our memories to new offspring, we can possess the skills of our ancestors, learn the secrets of our history, and become more resilient toward psychological problems we face today like depression, and anxiety.

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Final presentation 

Tuesday 12/18/18.                  Thursday 12/20/18

  1. Chris                                         1. Justin
  2. Tyler                                         2. Phoenixx
  3. Vishal                                       3. Sajida
  4. Shange                                     4. Stanely 
  5. Pedro                                        5. Mohammad


Points to remember while doing research:

  • Could you say a little more about your topic¬†
  • Introduce your topic and your name¬†
  • explain what you’re doing¬†
  • Explain the significant¬†
  • Be more specific why is it important¬†
  • Connection to the sci-fi world
  • Don‚Äôt take anything for granted ¬†
  • Give background on your topic
  • Set a timer and keep a timer for yourself¬†
  • In text situations¬†
  • Images must be sighted¬†
  • Bring the research in¬†
  • Have a hook¬†
  • Part of your grade is being a good listener¬†
  • speak loud and clear
  • own your topic¬†
  • Make sure to site and it won‚Äôt be excepted if there is now inside the citation¬†
  • 5 W‚Äôs¬†

Questions you should think about before the presentation 

things to keep in mind before and during the presentation:


It’s connection to sci-fi¬†

Be prepared to ask questions 

You should know your topic  

Connect the dots for the reader 

Print your slides and notes out 

You can only put work sited if you talk about the work

Extra work consulted 

Wrapping Up the Semester

We made it! We’re just about through with the course, so I’m sharing a few things to keep in mind as we wrap up this semester:

Research Project
This research project ,worth 20% of your overall course grade, is due on Tu 12/18 at the start of class (2:30pm). Refer to the Research Project page on our site for details on this assignment, how to post it on the OpenLab, and the submission link for the Dropbox files. Also, refer to our in-class writing workshops (your notes, and the class notes about them), peer review sessions the feedback from me in our conference(s) about your draft, feedback on Essay 1 (including the Strategies for Drafting and Revising Essays handout that I provided), and the Writing Resources page on our site.

Final Course Reflections
Individual Final Course Reflections, worth 15% of your final course grade, are due by the start of class (2:30pm) on Th 12/20. You will be submitting the reflection privately (only I will see it) via Dropbox, as a Microsoft Word document (correctly labeled) and you will also bring one printed copy to our last class. Refer to the Final Course Reflection page on our site for details on this assignment and the Dropbox submission link.

Expanded Office Hours
We’ve already had a number of rounds of in-class peer review, and I’ve met with each of you at least once (some of you multiple times!) outside of class. As you know, I’m more than happy to continue to discuss your research projects (and final course reflections) with you, as you work towards finalizing your final drafts. In addition to my regular office hours, I’ll also be on campus and available to meet on Tuesday, 12/11 before 2:30pm; Wednesday, 12/12 between 12:30 and 3:30pm; Thursday, 12/13 (this is a Reading Day, so classes are not held this day) between 1:00 and 4:30pm. If you are coming to see me, please email me ahead of time to let me know, so I can plan to be in my office then and reserve that time for you.

Final Assignment Grades + Final Course Grades
The deadline for professors to submit final course grades for the Fall¬†2018 semester is Friday, 12/28/18 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, to review the breakdown and the grades’ rationale. You can also find all of your grades in your OpenLab Gradebook on this course site. If you would like to discuss any of your grades and / or receive additional feedback on your Final Project or Final Course Reflection, 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, and that you enjoyed reading some great short stories and media. Have a wonderful winter break & happy holiday season (best of luck in 2019!), & don’t hesitate to be in touch /stop by my office in future semesters to discuss your work in this course and beyond, chat science fiction in general, or just say hi  :)



In science fiction there are many fascinating topics or themes. One of the most interesting topics in my opinion is terraforming. Terraforming means transforming a planet or other bodies to maintain life. Although, this is a hypothetical process, we might be getting closer to terraforming. In the recent years, NASA, has been trying to find a way to terraform Mars. They have been sending Rovers to find more information about the planet. This shows that we might be getting closer to achieving terraforming.

I want to argue why terraforming is important for us, human beings. Terraforming may not be ethical, but we might have to depend on this process in the future as our population is increasing and when we face the issue of overpopulation.

This topic is indeed controversial and debatable among. Elong Musk himself said this is possible and others say it is not possible with the technology we have today and that it is not ethical for us to use planets that is not even ours. However, at the rate technology is increasing, maybe someday in the near future it will be possible, and it will not be just a topic of science fiction. For it not being ethical, I think people will not think of it after it has been done and when they will be able to move in and not worry about overpopulating the place.


This post talks about what Terraforming is. So, I used it to gain a better understanding.

This post talks about how it is not currently possible to terraform Mars with our current technology.

This is post is basically the point of views or argument between Elong Musk and NASA

This post talks about how terraforming works.

Uses of Architecture for Imagery in Science Fiction

In many science fiction media, the use of imagery helps the viewers/readers visualize the world in which the author is trying to convey. I believe that there are novels written by some science fiction authors that borrowed heavy influences of the surrounding architecture based on the time period which they lived in. For instance, borrowing heavily from destroyed buildings post-world war can influence writers to have their readers imagine similar types of destruction. Conversely, Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) borrows influence from newly aspirated design in architecture such as art-deco which emerged from art-nouveau during the roaring twenties, and the Bauhaus movement in Germany (1919-1930) during the making of the film.

Art Deco in Metropolis

Metropolis (Fritz Lang 1927)












Bauhaus Metropolis

Bauhaus – Metropolis (Fritz Lang 1927)

Some of these picture examples show how much influence the architecture of that era helped with imagery in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. These images help the viewers to understand the extent of industrialization in Metropolis which I consider to be a Utopia within a Dystopia. On one side of Metropolis, there is a utopia above ground where all the high class people live, and underground, what the workers would call a dystopia. Metropolis is one of the most significant science fiction movies ever made, and it tackles a few tropes about sectarianism, and utopianism as well as human artificial intelligence.

Another good example of the use of imagery with architecture is in Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Georges Melies, 1902) where we see what Georges’ imagination made up when thinking of the landscape on the moon, and what secrets it may hold. The harsh landscape, giant alien looking plants and large caves containing things that we would normally find on earth goes to show some of the limitations in our imagination.

Trip to the Moon

Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Georges Melies 1902)


There are many more types of science fiction subgenres that again, use architecture to help the readers/viewers understand the author‚Äôs vision. The idea of space exploration and colonization has led us to some great imagery. The imagery associated with technological advancements that are vastly superior to our current technology‚ÄĒso much so that it looks unfathomable.

eagle magazine

Eagle Magazine July 1950


This example of a 1950’s comic shows a great example of what the author had in mind about space colonization/civilization on other planets (in this case, Venus)

Ghost in the shell city scape

Ghost in the Shell (Masamune, Shirow 2017)


The common association with technological advancements is the urbanization of cities into what we would again consider to be a metropolis. The above example is a good depiction of what a futuristic city scape is like, massive holograms, tall glass buildings, apartment complexes all converge to give a sense of being urban, yet full of advanced technology.


Works Cited:

CńÉplescu, Oana Andreea. “Architecture In Science Fiction Movies.” 2 February 2015. 6 December 2018.

Ghost in the Shell. By Masamune Shirow. Dir. Rupert Sanders. Prods. Avi Arad, Steven Paul and Michael Costigan. Paramount Pictures, 2017.

Jackson, Gordon and Charlie Jane Anders. Great Science Fiction Creators Who Have Studied Architechture. 30 September 2011. Web Article.

Jacob, Sam. Architecture, Philip K Dick and Science-fiction Film. 4 August 2011. Web Article.

McCrary, Montez. The Architecture of “Metropolis (1927)”. 31 May 2012. Web Article.

Metropolis. By Thea von Harbou and Fritz Lang. Dir. Fritz Lang. Prod. Erich Pommer. Ufa, 1927.

Varah, Chad and Frank Hampson. “Eagle.” Hampson, Frank. Eagle. United Kingdom: Hulton Press; IPC Magazines, 1950.

Voyage Dans La Lune. By Georges Méliès. Dir. Georges Méliès. Prod. Georges Méliès. 1902.



Class Notes: 12/6/2018

Due Tuesday

  • Lightning presentations on your research project. Come prepared with your PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.
  • Work on final course reflection
  • Work on research project


Class Notes

  • Sajida will take extra credit class notes on the 18th.
  • Vishal will take extra credit class notes on the 20th.


About the Lightning Presentations                                         

  • They are a quick overview on what your project is about.
    • They are short, clear and straight to the point.
    • 2-3 mins long and roughly 3 slides.
    • Include citations, titles, pictures and works cited page.
    • Be prepared to take questions at the end.
  • Make sure everything in your presentation makes sense, including your sources and topic.
  • The presentations files will not be collected, so bring them in via flash drive or email
  • Although this presentation is ungraded, 20 points will be deducted from the final presentation if you do not do it (thank you, Stanley).
  • Email the professor before meeting if you want to talk more about your project (including the abstract, cover letter and presentation).
    • Although there are no classes next Thursday, the professor is still available to meet.


Suggestions for the Lightning and Final Presentations

  • During the presentations, video tape yourself so you can see how to improve yourself.
  • Record and talk to yourself if you can‚Äôt figure out what to say for your topic. Simply ask yourself questions and create a discussion, then play it back and listen.
  • Practice your presentation so that you do not go over the 3 min mark.


About the Cover Letter and Abstract

  • In the cover letter, you may discuss how the peer reviews, meetings and revisions changed your thinking process for the project.
  • The abstract summarizes your main points/arguments. It is 3rd person and approximately 350 words (315 to 380 words)

During class, we discussed the guest editorial and gave our own point of views on it.


Announcements :                                                                                                                             Thursday 12/6/18 work on research projects                                                                                             analog editorial and class discussion due  Wednesday 12/5/18                                                              (bring west world notes)                                                                                                                          Tuesday 12/11/18 : lighting presentation (preview)                                                                                  Thursday 12/13/18 reading day  (NO CLASS)                                                                                            Tuesday 12/18/18 and Thursday 12/20/18 (presentations) ALL PRESENTATIONS ARE DUE TUESDAY                                                                                                                                           Thursday 12/20/18 final course reflection (no exam)                                                                              * conference with Prof.Belli this week                                                                                                      also available next week                                                                                                                            Tuesday: before 2:30pm                                                                                                                              Wednesday: 12:30-2:30                                                                                                                                  Thursday: 12:30 and on

Research:                                                                                                                                                           -background (key terms, definitions, context)                                                                                             research/ summary heavy                                                                                                                           Рdevelopment / so what / argument (claims/ analysis- heavy)                                                               Рevaluate/ operational sources                                                                                                                     Рhelp (peers, online, Prof.Belli, library, learning center)

The Cruel Truth of Uplifting

Imagine, a world where animals are given the opportunity to increase their intelligence. Now, this could only be possible if mankind chooses to. If mankind were to choose to raise animal intelligence to a higher level, then that process would be called uplifting Uplifting is the use of technology or artificial intelligence to improve the overall intelligence of a non-human species. Now, the uplifting or the enhancement of animals can be a controversial topic. There are serious debates that argue the ethics, benefits, and consequences.

One of the most common ethical questions that are asked, Is it morally right? Now I would agree that the experimentation on these beautiful creatures may be harmful and could possibly cause deformities or even kill them. But if this process of uplifting could work on animals, maybe it can work on humans too. One of the possible benefits that uplifting can have is by increasing our own intelligence. According to journalist Baggaley, ‚ÄúThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investigating a less direct approach: sending electrical pulses into the body. Research indicates that zapping certain peripheral nerves ‚ÄĒ which connect the brain and spinal cord to the body ‚ÄĒ may help people learn skills faster. One of the major consequences that we could face during this process of uplifting is the extinction of animals. The uplifting of animals is not an easy task. It could take more than a thousand trials just to find the correct DNA. Not only that but with animals, their bodies are biologically different. They have a different set of organs from us humans. These animals will suffer and it could cost us in the future. We are better off just leaving animals as they are.

For this sensitive topic, I chose to argue that the uplifting of animals is cruel and not needed. Animals are naturally smart. They are capable of building their own homes, foraging for their own food, and repopulating their own kind. They do not need our help to sustain life. They are better off without our help. So for my research, I will be looking into the consequences of animal enhancement. One of the examples that I will be using is the 2011 film, ‚ÄúRise of the Planet Apes‚ÄĚ. This is a prime example of animal enhancement went wrong. This topic is important because it speaks upon the future. The human race is advancing in both science and technology. We should use this power wisely and only for our benefit. To conclude, as the great Winston Churchill once said, ‚ÄúWhere there is great power there is great responsibility, where there is less power there is less responsibility, and where there is no power there can, I think, be no responsibility‚ÄĚ.

Annotated Bibliography

  • Baggaley, Kate. ‚ÄúThese Brain-Boosting Devices Could Give Us Intelligence Superpowers.‚ÄĚ, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 May 2017,

This article proposes the invention of brain-boosting for humans. I used it as a reference to make the point that scientists are looking into ways to improve the overall intelligence of our own brains.

  • Dvorsky, George. ‚ÄúThe Ethics of Animal Enhancement.‚ÄĚ Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 29 July 2011,

In this essay, George Dvorsky explains his position on animal enhancement. He claims that is an ethical imperative. This helped change my opinion on animal uplifting.

  • Dvorsky, George. ‚ÄúRegulating Uplift to Prevent Abuse.‚ÄĚ Religious Opposition to Cloning, Journal of Evolution and Technology, May 2008,

In his paper, George Dvorsky, claims that uplifting could be done without the abuse of animals. He makes some good points but there is more information arguing that uplifting can be dangerous to animals.

  • Churchill, Winston, ‚ÄúSouth African Native Raves.‚ÄĚ 28 February 1906, The House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London, UK. Speech.

I used this quote at the end of my paper because I believe that it speaks the truth. Mankind has great amounts of power and we should use it wisely.


artificial intelligence (revised)

in science fiction artificial intelligence is always connected to the future. that with artificial intelligence everything will become better, with it comes an easier lifestyle or a easy way to do things. Artificial intelligence is always a way to perceive a better way of life for the future generations to come. In science fiction artificial intelligence is looked in different lenses good or bad. artificial intelligence still has a long way to go if it is compared to stories in science fiction and technology only has progressed a lot in the early 2000 till now but is not as strong as it is perceived in science fiction  novels.

artificial intelligence has come a long way from what it was t what it is now, yes technology  has excelled to various degrees but artificial intelligence has still a long way to go to what it is now there are many different things artificial intelligence is used for weather it be used medically, for entertainment and leisure there ore so many things that artificial intelligence has a role in .


in this article artificial intelligence is talked about in the scene of how it can improve the future and it doesn’t only have to be used in science but also for business in helping the future of it.

in this article artificial intelligence is talked about in the scene that it is humanly possible and that one day it would be accessible to have an AI that has the form of a human being.

(Revised Proposal) Genetic Modification Organism

Genetic modification of organisms have been around for thousands of years. The early version of genetic modification is through selective breeding by humans to produce organisms with desired traits, such as dogs with stronger sense of smell, flower with brighter colors, etc. However, that is still within the range of the same organism. With the advancement of technologies, humans have start with splicing and mixing the genes of two or more creatures. The manipulation of genes have gone beyond that of animals and plants, recently, there is a Chinese male named He Jiankui who performed a gene surgery on a pair of twin sisters Lulu and Nana so that they are immune to HIV infections.

The appearance of genetically modified humans is quite a heated topic. The splicing of other genes into humans is a huge advancement of human as a species, it can produce healthier and possibly stronger, more intelligent humans. However, like any other appearance of new, unknown topics, the uncertainty invoke feelings of fear within people. There are a lot of movies and tv series about zombie apocalypse involving human manipulation of biology. Furthermore, in the¬†Westworld, Dr. Robert Ford once said that once humans slip out of nature’s law, humans are done for (42:50).

Rangel, Gabriel. (2015, Aug. 9). “From Corgis to Corn: A Brief Look at the Long History of GMO Technology.”¬†

  • This text is a brief history of GMOs from the early selective breeding to modern use of technology.

Stein, Rob. (2018, Nov. 26). “Chinese Scientist Says He’s First To Create Genetically Modified Babies Using CRISPR.”¬†NPR.¬†

  • He Jiankui creates twin sisters who are have their genes changed to prevent HIV infections. The two children are currently healthy with their parents, but He faces criticism about the ethnicity of his experiment with human children.

Zimmer, Carl. (2018, Dec. 1). “Genetically Modified People Are Walking Among Us.”¬†New York Times.¬†

  • There have been bans and debates over human experiments, but some scientists have turn to underground research. Nowadays some people walking among us are actually like Lulu and Nana created by He, people that have their genes changed.