Class Notes 12/15/20

Class Notes: 

  • Reminder:¬†

Do the teacher evaluation before the 18th

There is also a flexible grading policy in place this semester.

Office hours will be at 1:00pm today. 4:00pm appointments aren’t available.



What are the dangers of developing advanced artificial intelligence? 

A story about how an AI that makes paper clips become so powerful it takes over the entire universe in the Riemann- hypothesis catastrophe. 

The issue with narrow domains which have tons of ethical issues. 

In science fiction Wide domains are more common as these respond as humans would. 

The real world implications in areas like AGI and how even in a wide domain ethical problems are magnified. 

The risk of advancing AI in conclusion is the severe ethical consequences of a machine with limited human understanding. The idea that after a while we won’t be able to control that power. 

Philip –¬†

World building in science fiction and how it affects society ? 

The construction of an imaginary world without any plot holes. 

The impact of world building we have to account for all the possibility of all diversity because we cannot suppress certain topics that society has tried to censor. 

Claim Рscience fiction can raise awareness for certain issues for a discussion but not to specifically solve those issues. 

Xavier –¬†

Does hologram tech stay fit in the category of science fiction about the future ? 

Explain how movies affect the real world like biometric holograms and spatial reality displays. 

Why should we care ? It matters to us because of credit cards, medical cat scans and drivers licenses which all have holographic technology. 

The influence of sci-fi will affect us by advancing our technology. 

Khoury –¬†

How does time and the multiverse correlate with each other ? 

The theory that our universe isn’t the only one and there’s an infinite number of universes. 

The ethics of having choice and how every choice affects every universe. 

Arin Tang –¬†

Should development of AI continue ? 

Jack Ma’s thoughts on AI saying that it’s not terrible. 

Stating that society is uncertain of what AI stands for in society. 

People are questioning the bus, liability security and many other aspects of what AI affects. 

Oscar –¬†

How Indigenous science fiction changes the genre ? 

One of the ways that it affects science fiction is indigenous futurism

Class Notes 12/17/20



Last class. Hope you enjoyed the ride! 




My Presentation 


The Notion of Choice in the Multiverse 


I believe that the Notion of Choice can affect the Multiverse because of how Science Fiction Media has presented it. 


Rick Potion #9 Best Rick and Marty episode




Can machines teach us empathy?


Wall-E demonstrates how even Machine scan love 


Her demonstrates how technology can solve loneliness and the negative things we keep inside ourselves. 


What’s the different between Science Fiction and Fantasy when connecting to our emotions? 

Science Fiction is more plausible

It’s easier to relate to people like Theodore from Her than Percy Jackson


Science Fiction allows us to sympathize with the odd emotions that are felt through empathy. 


If a computer software, a blue alien, etc, can feel these emotions then so can I. 




Symbiosis and Science Fiction


What can symbiosis in Science Fiction tell us about highly perceived real world relationship 


Symbiosis: 2 or more parties are involved in some living arrangement


Mutualism: Mutual relationship

Commensalism: One benefits, cybernetic enhancements. Can become over reliant 

Parasitism: One takes over the host. The host starts changing. 

Predation: Predator to Prey. 

Competition: Fighting over one resource. Constantly evolving to get the upper hand over one another. 


Most represented Symbiotic relationships are sympathetic for the parasite. 




Human Genetic Modification


Manipulation of the Human genome through a technique known as Gene Editing


Eugenics: does not involve direct gene editing. Choosing between viable eggs


TALEN’s: Uses Enzymes to remove certain gene strands


CRISPR: Finds a specific bit of DNA in a cell and alters it. 


Could help to understand how viruses and diseases work and how to destroy them. 


Genetic modifications could have ethical complications behind them. 


Designer babies 

Permanent mistakes 



There have been cases where the thought of genetic modification needs consent or some sort of proof of ownership of the child. 



Artificial intelligence takeover in Science Fiction 


Artificial Intelligence: Machine intelligence, other than humans. 


AI Takeover: Artificial Intelligence that takes over the planet and destroys the Human Species. 


Utopian Takeover is great and makes a perfect world. Dystopian Takeover kills Humanity. 


Technology is getting to a point where some tech no longer requires human input to create


I, Robot: The Three Laws of Robotics. Had a robot programmed to kill, something he had no control over and directly ignored the Three Laws of Robotics. 


Transformers: Good AI vs Bad AI. 


Robopocalypse: An AI thinking it’s more dominant than Humans and sees itself as a God. 


In 2015 a German worker was killed by a Robot, it shows Human Error. 


Final Course Reflection 


Most people are working through it. 


Final Course Reflection Extended until Midnight of Sunday 12/20


Turn in Student Teacher Evaluation if you haven’t already done so.


Credit/No Credit option is available once again this semester. 


Don’t Email for Grade. They will hopefully be posted before the Holidays. 


Office Hours from 4-5pm today. 


Professor Belli will be teaching two other courses next semester. Similar schedule to Science Fiction Course, Tuesday/Thursday Synchronous. 


Live Long and Prosper! 

Class notes (12/15/2020)


CUNY has reestablished the Credit/No credit policy

Credit/No Credit Policy FAQ

Max presentation: What are the Dangers of Developing an Advanced Artificial Intelligence?

What are the Dangers of Developing an Advanced Artificial Intelligence?

It’s Clippy!

Paper Clip scenario:

  • Automated Paper Clip factory with Advanced AI gets out of hand.
  • The entire known universe has been turned into paper clips.

Riemann Hypothesis Catastrophe:

  • A scenario that‚Äôs unthinkable when considering current human capabilities, but very much a concern when imagining an advanced AI.

An advanced AI is any artificial intelligence that can outperform human capabilities across a wide domain.

Wide Domain versus Narrow Domain

Technology will continue to advance and our reliance on it will only grow. Without safeguards on AI research, there can be severe consequences.


Phillip presentation: World Building in Science Fiction

World Building in Science Fiction

Examples of World Building:

  • Star Wars
  • Harry Potter
  • Star Trek

Star Trek series:

  • First interracial kiss on screen
  • Lt. Data is the first android and artificial intelligence


  • Science fiction can raise awareness or stimulate discussion about certain issues, and not to provide a solution, but to help us feel better about our ability to overcome these issues.


Xavier: Sci-Fi and Holographic Technology

Sci-Fi and Holographic Technology

The motivation was from VR, 3D, and 4D

Examples of holographic technology and Sci-Fi:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Iron Man

Volumetric Display:

  • 3D light image using lasers

Benefits of holograms:

  • Credit cards
  • Driver‚Äôs licenses
  • Medical CAT scans
  • Bar codes
  • ETC.

Future Benefits:

  • Improves communication
  • Digital storage capacity increases
  • Medical Improvements
  • More Security
  • ETC.


Khoury presentation: The Multiverse and Time

The Multiverse And Time

The multiverse theory is the idea that the universe we live in is not the only one, and there is an infinite number of universes that may be similar to our own or drastically different.

Parallel timeline theory, there are multiple universes exactly like ours existing at the same time as our own.

Split timelines are an example of daughter universes, every choice you make causes a split resulting in a new timeline.

Split timelines are caused by time travel, going back in time and changing things.

Quantum mechanics is the study of how subatomic particles move.


Oscar presentation: Indigenous Sciencce Fiction changes the genre and why its overlooked

Indigenous Science Fiction changes the genre, and why it’s overlooked

Science Fiction is the creation of literature worlds where our imaginations create worlds.

Science fiction genre has been mostly Eurocentric views. But lately many cultures have arisen to science fiction to its roots which allowed more culture and diversity.

Indigenous Futurism is an extension of Science Fiction, it is the idea of a future where indigenous believes creates/influence the worlds.

Eurocentric views, means that there is a large cast of European ideas or forms of living.

A wave of modern authors are exploring Indigenous cultures as living, vibrant, and firmly fixed in both the modern and future worlds.

Class Notes (12/8/2020)

Future Class Note Takers

Next Class (Next Tuesday): Derick and Arin
Next Thursday: Ronald and Xaiver
(Yes, there are duel takers so that everyone has taken notes at least twice!)

Please come into the next 2 classes on time or even early. (5 minutes early at most.)

For your final presentation next week, here is the rubric to look at. This will be used for grading next week:

Presentation Rubric for Final Research Project (Fall 2020, Professor Belli, ENG 2420)

Questions used for the presentations today:

Things you thought were awesome ūüôā
Things you thought were less awesome + advice / questions for making it more awesome :/


There is no class this Thursday. There will be no normal office hours either, but Prof. Jill will be around to discuss your project, but this still has to be made by appointment.

Image work needs to be cited!
Whoever is doing a presentation, please keep your screen up for Q & A!

Final Presentation Schedule
6 on Tuesday (12/15)
6 on Thursday (12/17)

If you don’t come in on time, you will lose the ability to present your work.

Class Notes (12/3/2020)

Revised research question and answer – could be used as a thesis.

Professor Feedback on last class peer review:

      • A little broad
      • A clearer link between the research topic and science fiction needs to be developed – General relationship to science fiction
      • An argument of why the topic matters


3 classes left


Presentation Details

Provide some background information/details when presenting the topic.

Can still present if the proposal does not get approved in time.

Email ahead of time for a meeting on Monday (12/7/2020)  if needed.


2-3 minute presentation on Tuesday

      • No set number of slides
      • Elevator pitch may help/ intro and conclusion
      • Overview of the project


6-8 minute final presentation

      • Not too much text on slides
      • Works cited slide
      • Rubric for presentation can be found here
      • Recommended topic sentence for each slide

Presentation order for Tuesday 12/8/2020

      1. Max
      2. Derick
      3. Philip
      4. Oscar
      5. Ronald
      6. Khoury
      7. Xavier
      8. Arin
      9. Justin
      10. Shamach
      11. Itmam
      12. Edward

Class Notes 12/1/2020

Professor: Congratulations to those who took part of the Symposium, as well as those who attended.

~~ Symposium Discussion ~~

Max: It was good being able to hear from the class and their thoughts, mainly those who rarely talk in class.

Derick: I was just nervous the whole time

Professor: Thankfully for the time my internet worked….. Did anyone get to make it to the key note? All of the videos are finally up, if anyone is interested. Might be useful for research, and talks. There is a long gap between the research done and when published.

~~ (Free write into peer review) <5 minutes> ~~

Professor: We will do a research work shop, and then work on a refined paper. Will be the hardest part of the semester.

Free write (sum) and think about your research, reflect on your work. (Broad reflection)

*Identify what your research Question is? <30 seconds>*

~~ Read out loud the research question ~~

Max: Is it possible to codify a moral and axiological foundation for an artificial intelligence that is entirely new and alien?

Ronald: What is multi-verse theory and could it be real?

Derick: How does Science Fiction effect how we understand our emotions?

Khoury: How does time and multi-verse correlate with each other?

Xavier: How does science fiction influence the real world and our progress in holographic technology?

Shamach: Why do most science fiction stories see symbiotic relationships as negative?

Oscar: How does Indigenous Science Fiction effect the genre?

Arin: How is the relationship between men and machine?

~~ Group Work ~~

Professor: Give thoughts about each others work. How many of you have researched. I have the sense that folks need to do more promiscuous research.

Professor: If you end up where you started in this research then it is to do it wrong, maybe there will be some proposal changes. Open mind-ness to research is much better to do.

*Identify 5 key terms that are relevant to your topics.*

~~~ To make this class note interactive, if I missed some parts please leave them in the comment section. Thank you~~~

Class Notes 11/17/2020

Peer review of Annotated Bibliographies:

  • Split up into groups of 3-4 people and look over each other annotated bibliographies.¬†¬†
  • Write comments in the google doc about your peer’s annotations; give feedback


  • Do annotated bibliographies even if you still didn‚Äôt do them.¬†
  • Worth 10% of your grade¬†


Research Project Individual Conferences 

  • Sign up if you haven‚Äôt already


Work on individual research project

  • Research project guide can be found under the assignments category.¬†
  • Presentation last week of class


Next Class:

Attend City Tech Science Fiction Symposium.

  • Info about the symposium can be found under schedule for 11/19 and in your email
  • Our Class Roundtable starts at 12pm. Come during our regular class time at 11:30am.


Due tomorrow: Revised annotations 


Extra Credit opportunity: Attend additional parts of the symposium and write a blog which is due by 11/22



Class Notes 11/12/2020

Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae РClass Thoughts 

  • Was very Different¬†
  • Back and Forth between music and the plot¬†
  • Presentation was very rich and colorful¬†
  • Janelle shows to be heavily influenced by the idea of Afrofuturism¬†


Janelle ‚Äú I am the American nightmare, I am the American Dream‚ÄĚ ( Expresses that the American dream is to yes be free, but in what space and context if this freedom allowed?:Race, gender, etc)¬†


Science Fiction Tropes 

  • Higher technology¬†
  • The Sound (Music)¬†
  • Abandonment of humanity (Androids, cyborgs, emotion)¬†
  • Names of people-using numbers in names is common in science fiction¬†

(Robert-Similar to gamer tags in which using number in your name is almost required so there are no duplicates) 


Thoughts and Ideas

Oscar- ‚ÄúThe way that the movie was structured and formulated really paved a theory I had about humans, since taking psychology in High School. I was formulating a theory about what humans have become to follow due to their confusion. And this film showed that humans have begun to confuse lust for love, this is due to the amount of things she(Janelle) said throughout the film‚Ä̬†


Myself-When it comes to conforming, society always rejects people that are different, until it can be used and exploited 


“People worked so hard to be free. You were lucky (Could be the idea that people in modern times have life easier than those who came before) 


Ending of Dirty Computers may represent the saying ‚ÄėYou can not fix what is not broken‚Ä̬†


Lack of Representation in Science Fiction for African Americans 


Project Info and Etc 

Theme for project – Race and Science Fiction, but does not mean it is solely on African Americans. Other races or the human race as a whole is allowed


If you did not register for City Tech Symposium on 11/19, do so by today 


Roundtable for Symposium will be 12:50-1:35 

Questions relating to Science fiction and society of all types will be asked towards students on zoom call 


3 Extra Credit Options 

  1. Attend Utopian roundtable and blog about it
  2. Be apart of City Tech Symposium Roundtable 
  3. Stay longer than class time for another session during the day and write about it

Class Notes for November 11 2020

Race and Science Fiction 


Space is the place 


Was very different. 

Confused; had to watch it twice 

There is a lot going on in the film. Both aesthetically and historically 

Songs to show everyone’s different frequency 

Bets on who would win. 


When you work on sources for annotated bibliography, it doesn’t have to solely be in this area. 

How did the film make u think about race and science fiction? 

Sparse responses 


Watched Dust Sci-Fi Digital Series ‚ÄúAfrofuturism‚ÄĚ Sun Ra Part 1 and take notes¬†

What does it say that the message still resonates with us? 

What else does the series bring up? 

The pyramid in the movies 

The ‚ÄúSpace in the Place‚ÄĚ clothes¬†

Arkestra being a pun of orchestra. (music is the bridge to outer worldliness) 


Watched Afrofuturism Explained: Not Just Black Sci-Fi | Inverse and take notes 

Ideas from video (Ripped from chat): 

“This is not our land. This is not our people.”¬†

Afrofuturism provides an avenue to transform ourselves and communities 

Clothes being made to openly show how person is inside. (Freeart Clothing) 

Afrofuturism is not a concept that just became a thing, its something that people liker Harriet Tubman did when she arose to create a better future for people of color. 

“Black women, for example are often hypersexualized leaving them at a greater risk for sexual assault and violence.”¬†

To me, Afrofuturism isn’t like Marvel’s Black Panther in the sense of Vibranium technology and advancements, it’s like Black Panther in the idea of having a Kingdom of only Black People. A place where the oppressed are the prosperous ones. ¬†

I liked how a lot of the fashion and music were pretty experimental. I couldn’t hear much from the song that girl was singing but it just sounded like a heavily distorted language 

we have used their work of art to see how they live their life. audiobility to see how they sound like.  its ironic how black people can be hyper-visible and hyper-invisible.  afroturism is the pathway to black liberty. 

For this video the part I noticed is afrofuturism is to see themselves in the future despite a distressing time now. To me it sounds similar to paradise or utopia where people forget about the 500 plus years of slavery and racism. 

“a 500 year history of colonialism, slavery, racism and segregation have left people of African diaspora with a disjointed idea of what it really means to be home”¬†

Afrofuturism gives the representation that is normally ignored in science fiction, while also more directly tackling the themes that science fiction references. 


Conversation of the film 

Dun Ra is a trying to be a prophet. Bring them away from their treatment. They are skeptical of Sun Ra’s motives because of history. 

Overseer vs Sun Ra; Anarchy vs utopia; working with the system or pulling them out (scene in the beginning when Sun Ra talks about bringing black people to another place with music.) 


Jimmy Fey split of black and white soul 

Music get dense when something happens in the movie 

Some people thought Sun Ra was doing the music only for money and fame. 

NASA trying to steal secrets from Sun Ra.  Bubbles takes a shot for Sun Ra.  Conflict between Black people’s creative and artistic idea to be co-oped and commodify. 

Overseer’s position. (antagonist) exploit to get ahead does not seem to have the black people at heart 

‚ÄúEverything you desire from this planet and never have received will be yours in outer space. ‚ÄĚ Quote says a place that will come true in Outerspace.¬† Saying that the space in Outerspace is going to be a kingdom of heaven type thing.¬† Dope shooting person allowed onto ship because he doesn‚Äôt seem to feel he fits in on earth.¬†



Please do the readings assigned. 

Class Notes 11/5/20

Discuss Election

      • “Cautious Optimism”
      • Releasing the pressure
      • Fragmented way of doing elections
      • Suppression¬†of voting
        • Trump Lawsuits
      • Lincoln Project
        • Against Trump
        • Made up of Republicans including¬†Michael Steele

Class Notes Schedule 

  • 11/10 Tommy
  • 11/12 Khoury
  • 11/17 Paulo
  • 11/19 Symposium?
  • 12/1 Oscar
  • 12/3 Edward
  • 12/8 Mafrurza
  • 12/15 Derrick
  • 12/17 Ronald

Next Week

  • Afrofuturism
    • Three Texts
      • Space is the Place main text
      • Annotations of all three texts
        • May or may not be collected
  • Survey Due Sunday 11/8
  • Possible quiz Tuesday
  • More texts Thursday

Annotative Bibliography

  • 2 sources due next Thursday
  • Small Excerpt of source
  • Must relate to Race + Science Fiction
  • What does it add to the conversation?
  • How does it tackle science fiction + race?

Primary Vs. Secondary Source

  • The primary source is first-hand information
  • A secondary source is a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere.

Classes in Spring 2021

  • Film through literature
    • English 2400
    • Tuesday/Thursday
  • English 3302
    • Self Help Literature

Individual research paper

  • We will work on throughout the rest of the semester


See You Yesterday

  • Consequences of time travel
  • Ethical + moral responsibility of technology

“Greatest philosophical + ethical debate of modern age”

  • Unintended Consequences


    • Sebastian’s Funeral
      • “Like so many of you, Where is the Justice?”

“When will there be justice?”

“None of us do”

“No one deserves this”


What do you think the ultimate message of the movie?