People’s Choice Posts #1: The Machine Stops

As you know, throughout the semester, I am going to be choosing a “featured post” (or “posts”) for each blog assignment, to highlight examples of successful blogs. But … what I might find compelling or well-done in a blog post might not be the same thing as your peers do. Enter “People’s Choice Posts,” which allow the students to read and honor awesome writing by their classmates (or themselves!). This also helps to bring student voices into the course more fully, as each students’ blogs because required reading for the course.

Here’s how it will work. Read through your classmates’ reading response blogs on “The Machine Stops” and choose your favorite post. You can choose a post for any reason, but you always must clearly articulate your rationale for choosing it (e.g., why did you find it interesting, compelling, likeable, provocative, etc.?). This rationale can refer to content, style, creativity, etc. If, after reading everyone’s posts, you strongly feel that your post is your “favorite,” you can always vote for yourself, but you need to provide a rationale for doingso.

In order to register your vote for this week’s “People’s Choice,” “leave a reply” to this post, and in your comment, provide your chosen post, an excerpt from it + rationale for choosing it. Provide the title and author of the chosen post, along with a link to the post you are citing (please provide the link in the same comment: don’t make a separate one with just the link). Citing is really important (in this case, citing your classmate!), and this is a way of giving credit to other sources and putting yourself in dialogue with them.

Comments/votes are mandatory, should be made no later than Tuesday, 9/11, at 2:30pm: the person with the most votes will earn the coveted “People’s Choice” honor for this round of posts! I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why.

10 thoughts on “People’s Choice Posts #1: The Machine Stops

  1. Pedro Balbuena

     “People often mistreat machines in real life, so the idea of a machine wanting to keep humanity under its thumb isn’t too far fetched. The real reason it didn’t annihilate humankind is possibly because it knew that it needed someone to fix it, only to realize near the end, the knowledge of repairing technology was lost forever.” ( Tyler Yuen). I choose Reading Response 1: The Machine Stops written by Tyler Yuen. This response stuck out to me because I saw some of the vocabulary we went over in class. Tyler also summarized the story as he analyzed. His thoughts were organized and helped me even though I read the story pick up on things I missed. As well as to relating the story to another form of media, Intertextuality.

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  2. Vishal Naraine

    “All the while that humans thought they are advancing, they do not realize that they are building towering walls around their minds and restricting themselves to the known. The goal is to make progress, not perfection, for things end or are lost the moment that something is perfected or completed” (Sheng Nan Zhang). I chose Blog 1: The Machine Stops by Sheng Nan Zhang because of three major points she made. Her first point was that ‘The Machine’ prevented people from having a creative mind and an adventurous spirit. Without creativity, humans are no longer searching for answers by themselves but they choose to rely on ‘The Machine. Her second point was that ‘The Machine’ caused physical isolation. She noted that as humans, we rely on human interaction as a comforting mechanism. Her last point was that ‘The Machine’ is causing human’s physical health to decline. She claims that ‘The Machine’ offers everything that is needed to survive and causes people to be inactive. She continues on to say that ‘The Machine’ kills of the athletic children leaving only the unfit children to survive. Ultimately, I chose Sheng’s post because she created a compelling argument for why technology reliance can lead to mankind’s downfall.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2018-eng2420/blog-1-the-machine-stops/

     

     

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  3. Karen

    “The “Machine” is essentially the most powerful. It has extinguished all religions, and has created a religion, acclaiming itself a “GOD” People rely a lot in the progression the machine has given them.”( Jesus Mosso.) I chose Jesus Mosso response “The Machine Stops Blog #1” because of the way he expresses how the machine was viewed as a god which is constant theme throughout the story. Not only this but Jesus constantly referred to important themes throughout his story while analyzing the text. This is seen in the way he brings up how everyone is made to think a like. Throughout is analysis I was able to see a lot of the same ideas I had but wasn’t sure how to word into coherent thoughts. 

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  4. Karen

    “The “Machine” is essentially the most powerful. It has extinguished all religions, and has created a religion, acclaiming itself a “GOD” People rely a lot in the progression the machine has given them.”( Jesus Mosso.) I chose Jesus Mosso response “The Machine Stops Blog #1” because of the way he expresses how the machine was viewed as a god which is constant theme throughout the story. Not only this but Jesus constantly referred to important themes throughout his story while analyzing the text. This is seen in the way he brings up how everyone is made to think a like. Throughout is analysis I was able to see a lot of the same ideas I had but wasn’t sure how to word into coherent thoughts. 

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2018-eng2420/author/jesusmosso78/

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  5. Tyler Yuen

    “I believe that whoever is in charge of the citizens of this world make it a primary objective for everyone to be the same. This isn’t difficult to believe because If they made an effort to control the birth and death rate, why not the personalities of their citizens as well? Controlling their own people’s personalities would allow the one in charge to stay in power for a long time because they can easily eliminate any potential rebels that could be a threat to the Machine.”  (Christopher Navarrete). I chose Reading Response #1: The Machine Stops by Christopher Navarrete because his post provides good insight and questions about the citizens under the Machines care, something I didn’t consider too deeply when reading. As he pointed out, all the citizens practically have the same personality. They all hold the same beliefs and similarly shy away from direct human interaction. It may sound silly but it’s almost as if they’re becoming robots themselves.  Not like actual emotionless machines but robots stereotypically act in a very automatic and predictable manner as though they’re programmed. In the story, what do we find out about the humans? They all have the same hobbies (sharing ideas), same fears (running away from direct sunlight), and same lack of capability (can’t even pick up a book off the airship floor without the Machine’s help) despite being nowhere near each other most of the time? They all act in a very robotic/similar manner and this is a result of the Machine isolating them and treating them all the same.  In my analysis, I considered it was actually the Machine which was growing something akin to a consciousness and was beginning to use its vast capabilities to take over the human race but it’s entirely possible that the creator of the Machine also wanted to limit people’s individuality so the Machine wouldn’t have a hard time controlling the citizens. Overall, I chose Chris’s analysis because it opened my mind up to consider a different aspect of the story.
     

    Reading Response #1: The Machine Stops

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    1. Phoenixx Neil

      “All the while that humans thought they are advancing, they do not realize that they are building towering walls around their minds and restricting themselves to the known. The goal is to make progress, not perfection, for things end or are lost the moment that something is perfected or completed” (Sheng Nan Zhang). I chose Vishal’s response on the story. It is a very similar concept to how the world is inadvertently striving to be. The society we live in now revolves around our social networking lives and our phones, laptops, and anything that we perceive to be beneficial in our daily lives. We seem to forget that we have lives outside of a screen and camera. Just as in the story, there seems to be a disconnect between people although they are “connected” in some sense. The idea of isolation of one’s self also correlates to our modern society in that, once a person tries to remove themselves from social media, other people might think they would want to isolate themselves. Vishal also goes on to talk about how “the machine” seems to be this entity that people in the story have a reliability on in order to do–anything really. It is a good point to be made about the story.

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  6. Christopher Navarrete

    For my people’s choice post, I choose Pedro Balbuena. In his blog post, Pedro compares some of the similarities between the short science fiction story’s world and our world. He explains how much we rely on technologies such as cell phones and laptops. We rely on them so much that we practically live with it. Pedro states, “[t]oday 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.”

    Pedro also made me think about how this world can become a reality if we continue the way we live in our world. He brings up global warming and states,  “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.” Overall, Pedro makes a thoughtful comparison between our world and the short stories’ world. 

    Reading Response 1: The Machine Stops PB

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  7. sheng

    “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. (Pedro Balbuena)” I choose him because of the connections that he makes to our current society, such as the use of smart phones and the increasing problem with global warming. Instead of picking the faults with the society portrait in the reading, he enlightens his audience to the posing dangers of our own society.

    Reading Response 1: The Machine Stops PB

    Pedro Balbuena

    Reading Response 1: The Machine Stops PB

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