Class Notes 5/7/15

I took over on notes instead of Zac.

A reminder that the project presentations start this Thursday 5/14 with the presenters going, but not in order, as the following:

  • Leo
  • Donovan
  • Aaron
  • Jonathan
  • John
  • Danny
  • Zac

Word of the day- Quorum: the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.

There was a majority of the class that were interested in going to the tour at the vintage Sci-Fi bookstore in DUMBO for 5/14 and based on what Prof. Belli gets in response from the bookstore we will go on that day and maybe even present there as well.

Prof. Belli briefly mentioned the reading assignment that was due, CH. 6 on the Sci-Fi book, and that it could help us on our projects as well.

A discussion on what is considered a valid source for our papers ensued. Remember that the paper needs a minimum of 5 secondary sources and a work cited page in MLA format, as well as the final slide in your presentation.

Then the discussion of what should be cited came about. If you are using an idea that’s not directly yours needs to be cited.

An optional addition to your papers was offered, A Works Consulted Page may be added, asides from the Work Cited. A Works Consulted Page is whatever sources that helped you on your way to your actual research.

  • We discussed on what is considered a reputable source:
  • A source that has been proven
  • Good Reputation
  • Credible

Where a source comes from adds to its reputation

Ask yourself to determine a valid source:

  • Who’s the author?
  • Publication venue, what and where?
  • What is the bias on a source, every source has one and needs to be considered
  • Contextualize the source, help the reader understand where the source is coming from
  • Understand the bias behind the source
  • Publication Date?
  • Purpose?
  • Is your source current?

Wikipedia is a good starting point but don’t ever cite it

Some good resources on Sci-Fi:

  • Science Fiction Studies
  • Extrapolation

Difference between Primary Source and Secondary is that Primary is the original source and Secondary are sources written about the original

Another optional addition to your papers is an Annotated Bibliography. Summarizes each source on Work Cited Page and helps to know where in your papers that information would go.

If you have gone to see a research librarian you can add that experience in your cover letter.

Make sure your city tech id is registered at the library in order to use the library’s catalog online off-campus.

Also Stay tuned on Sci-fi Bookstore tour for 5/14.


Class Notes 4/30/15

Open lab has a project 2 section to help with the project. Under assignments.

Should help aleviate some stress over the whole process. A lot of the following can be found on open lab.

  • 25 percent of grade, largest part of overall grade
  • Hand holding will be ending for the project. You are responsible for your work. Prof. Belli is still available for help, but only if you seek her.
  • Presentations are worth 10 percent of the 25.
  • 2 different grades, the write up 15%, and the presentation 10%. Separate, but similar content. 1 is on personal writing strength and the other is strength on presentation.


Everything will be due on the 14th. 2 weeks from today.

  • Firm deadline is at 2:30 when class begins.
  • No collection will be done in class. Everything will be submitted online.



  • A summary of your project.
  • The place where you present in as clear as form as possible what your project is.
  • Suggestions for the abstract will be available on open lab. Read on your own.


Next week will go in depth as to the submission process.


A minimum of 5 secondary sources.

  • Primary source is the original text you are looking at.
  • A secondary source is a text about what you are looking at.
  • If trouble is had, you should see Prof. Belli or visit the library.
  • Appointments can be made with the research librarians.


There is enough research in the world for any topic that you may wish to work with.


You can donate money in the welcome center for the earthquake in nepalm (?).


The written paper has a limit of 6-8 pages.

  • Has to incorporate research.
  • Questions can be answered by Prof. Belli.
  • Formatting is to be followed for any standard paper.
  • Images are fine, but they must have a purpose for being there. They do not count towards the page count.


No cover letter means no grade.

  • 1-2 single pages, single-spaced.
  • Purpose is to speak about experiences, what you learned in the genre.
  • Supposed to be a thoughtful revised letter.
  • Organized and friendly to the reader.
  • It is addressed to Prof. Belli. Speak your mind on your process towards the completion of your project.


Details on presentations are on open lab

  • Some type of slides should be incorporated into the presentation.
  • Pictures, quotes.
  • 10 limit presentation. Give or take a few minutes.
  • Dress professionally.


For presentation week everyone has to bring in food.

  • Q and A will happen after each presentation.
  • Backup with presentation should be brought in case even though it will be uploaded to open lab.
  • Those bringing videos, sounds, etc., should bring in a small clip.
  • Props can be used.


Reason for presentations

  • Fun
  • Give a chance to those who are not strong at writing to shine.


You can present however you want, so long as it makes sense.


Everything is due on the 14th. No changes will be made after that. Slides and work cannot be changed.


Presenting the 14th in no particular order.

  • Leo
  • Joel
  • Aaron
  • Danny
  • Donovan
  • Jonathan
  • Randy
  • John
  • Zac

Everyone else will present next week.


3 more classes till the end of the semester.


Next week in class there will be some leftover conversation from the book.

Bring the introduction to science fiction next week.

Most of class next week will be composed of a lab day. A day for bringing stuff in to work on.

  • Bringing laptop is encouraged.
  • Sources.
  • Proposals
  • Notes
  • Works in progress.
  • A chance to ask questions.
  • A hands on working day.
  • Help can be obtained from peers.


Free writing on writing proposals, asking questions, writing ideas, calming yourself.


Review from last week

  • Progress
  • Freedom/individuality
  • Cyborg/prosthesis
  • Gender
  • Control—emotions/behavior
  • Doubling
  • Alternate
  • Futures/past



  • Relationship between sequence of events/chapters & worlds (esp. ch 17)
  • Connie’s “sanity”/”reality” (ch. 20 )
  • Connie’s mind as utopia
  • Prisoners of war(322)—>relation to contemporary events (baltimore)
  • Luciente’s speech on circumstances changing the way we thing (327?)


Baltimore riots started due to the death of a man under mysterious circumstances with no investigations or arrests made.

Similar events have been happening all over the country.

Issues with people of colors being unfairly focused on by the police

Cameras and technologies helped bring attention to an issue that can no longer be ignored.


The power that the person whose side of the story is told holds.

Whose version of things is the truth? In reference to chapter 20.

The idea is similar to the story of Christopher Columbus and the story told to children compared to the truth.

Prof. Belli saw her ISR file this morning. Uses it as an example of an official document compared to how the events happened.


What do we think about the relationships among the characters

  • Dolly and her johns
  • Gildina and her contracts
  • Future folks and their lovers
  • Doctors and their love life


Connecting the 3 connies (consuela, Connie, Conchita) to the different worlds, present, future, evil future)


Was she admitted to the ward crazy or was she made crazy in the ward.


Next class we will begin focusing on the book.


Optional discussion will be available on open lab.

Do not believe the propaganda! (Class Notes 4/23)

DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES! I did not suggest presenting in front of the class; professor Belli’s words were an attempt to turn the masses against me!!!!!!!!! I hate any space that is within a 4 foot radius of the chalkboard (the front of the class).


Your Ideas for project 2 are due by tomorrow and must be labeled as proposal. The information you provide Professor Belli should outline the initial stages of your project and it has to incorporate basic research (google and wikipedia are ok). Make sure to include what purpose your project serves and idea of what kind of research your project would require. Your proposals should be no less than 2 paragraphs. The topic you choose must be something you want to learn about. Professor Belli will provide specific guidelines depending on the kind of project you choose. Be aware that the final product will consist of four parts: a written portion, component, presentation, and a write up. If you want to be among the first presenters, tell professor Belli.

You can ignore anything beyond this point if you so choose.

Class began with a forced change: Professor Belli made everyone sit in a different location. Perhaps she wanted to show us what it feels like to be controlled, much like Connie in the novel. After all, in class the only thing we can control is where we sit, other than that what we read/discuss is up to the professor. Our only sense of control was taken just like Connie; I can now officially sympathize with the character.

After the seating controversy of 15′ Professor Belli paired the class off into pairs, because groups of three or more means someone isn’t talking. The pairs were given 7 topics to discuss: progress, freedom/individuality, cyborg, gender, control→emotions, doubling, and alternate future. After discussing in pairs there was a class discussion about the topics we were assigned, and the following discussion (WHICH I PARAPHRASED….. A LOT) ensued………….

Joel– In the future society there are huts and farming yet their civilization is highly advance, especially their technology, compared to the present which has advanced architecture, but not technology.

Chris– Luciente’s progress  as a character can be seen in the way she deals that with the conflict between her and Bolivar. At the meeting with Parra, the two characters are forced to confront each other. Pg220

Belli– You would think that their are no problems, but in fact there are. When you change circumstances and environments people change. Are people inherently good or bad?

Carl– Connie is cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Madness is a coping mechanism; she connects with people and her delusions as an escape. There is a connection between Dolly on speed and Connie’s madness (273).

Belli– What does it mean to be cuckoo? There are connections to androids dream seen through the way that the sub-humans of those respective societies are treated. What is the proper response to “crappy circumstances”? Isn’t Connie actually responding in a sane way to these traumatic events? Are drugs good or bad?

Randy– Are Connie’s responses comparable to the flight, fight, or freeze response, that someone would have if they are about to be punched in the face?

Danny– Can’t the doctors also be seen as crazy?

Belli– Connie has no freedom; her only freedom is within her own mind, and now she is even going to lose that. Who gets to decide/control?

Leo (the man with the Metallica shirt \m/)– She feels imprisoned which is why she sees the future as a vacation (198). She needs to have some escape.

Eugene– Are we also question the reality of this world?

Carl– Connie wishes someone would help, but instead has to fall into female stereotypes (186)

Belli– Connie and the other inmates have to fall into gender stereotypes that the ward want them to. Future is meant to show what people could be if they had different opportunities.

Andrew– Limitations of what can be imagined.

Randy– The people of the future were born in test tubes; they were not birthed ina  natural way. So then couldn’t they be considered cyborgs?

Andrew– If everyone is birthed through machines despite lots of sexual activity, are the people of the future sterile?

Belli– Where did the motivation for ending female pregnancy come from? Females are held back by biological truths; therefore, it is an equalizing thing (97).

Randy– The word mother is still used; the concept is preserved.

Belli– The society wants to create a sense of equilibrium, but then why not make it so men have the ability to give birth?

Chris– No breasts, no ovaries.

Eugene– Why not get rid of gender overall?

Andrew– Sex is valued in the future society, and it provides a sense of enjoyment.

Belli– Project idea: how would you re-imagine genders, basically a utopia exercise.

Andrew– Third genders exist in some cultures.

Belli– What does consent mean?

The conversation ended there. Fun words mentioned…

Telos- A definitive end

Andros- Greek for man

Gyne/Gyno- Greek for woman

Quorum- You need a majority to vote.

Don’t forget to finish the novel guys, and rock the vote. The next blog will be the last one, from here on out the focus will be on project 2.


Class Notes: April 16, 2015

Free-writing exercise and discussion: What can we learn about a text we don’t like?

– Analyzing critically: emotions get in the way of people intellectually critiquing.
– Self-reflection and self-awareness: whether we enjoy or dislike a work, we ask ourselves why.
– We are forced to see an opposing view.

Discussion: Why does the majority of the class dislike Woman at the Edge of Time?

– Chris: Don’t like Connie as a character, no development at all. Also Connie is a bigot (towards the future family structure, upbringing style, etc).
– Andrew: The way the story is written, not engaging, too much back-story and exposition.
– Randy: Introduces elements and does not develop them, or they are solved simplistically.
– Aaron: Too many characters, overload. Becomes confusing.
– Joel: Connie’s life story is depressing.
– Donovan: There seems to be no point/purpose to the narrative.
– Danny: Progression of the story is very slow.
– Eugene: Brings up themes of race, gender, social disparity, yet nothing is done about them.
– Surge: Undeveloped themes.
– Jonathan: Confusing explanations.

Prof. Belli response:

– In utopian literature, typically if the message of the narrative is relevant, the characterization is underdeveloped. The main character becomes an “outsider”, a proxy for the reader. The other characters then proceed to explain.
– Historically, utopias are didactic in nature, whereas in dystopias the world is already made and the reader is thrust into the action (ex. Brave New World).

A look at excerpts from Woman at the Edge of Time blog posts:

– Talk about inverting chapters 1 and 2. Discontinuous narrative.
– Connie’s identity linguistically, socially and sexually.
– Lewis vs. Luis: aspirations to another identity.
– Connie’s three identities: Consuelo, Connie and Conchita.

Group Exercise: Identifying all of Connie’s characterizations and the individuals or entities that view her as those characters.

Results: throughout the book Connie is perceived by herself and by others as: mother, woman, very poor, impoverished, receptive, depressed, proud (as a woman), Chicana/Latina, secretary/mistress, survivor, pickpocket, maid/cleaning lady, mentally unstable and unfit for being a mother.


Righteous Indignation – being mad/angry in a condescending & superior way.
Didactic – preachy, educating in an annoying/pompous manner.
Extraneous – additional information that is not needed.


– Quiz on the book
– Catch up on readings
– Read Science Fiction: A Short Introduction (chapter 4: “Utopias and dystopias” & chapter 5: “Fictions of time”)
– Individual conferences over the course of the week, one-on-one with Prof. Belli to discuss: progress in class, essay #1, midterm, ideas based on free-writing and beginning of project #2.

If you were absent this week, contact Prof. Belli to schedule an appointment during office hours before next class. If you don’t show up it counts as an absence.

–end of transmission–

Midterm Notes/Class Notes for 3/26

Tried to get mostly everything down. Hope the notes help somewhat. -Donovan

Midterm Next Week!!!

Free writing assignment in class
First part reflecting on Project 1: What are you struggling with as a writer
Second part: What do you want to explore more in terms of texts, content, and themes
How do you think you are doing in the class?

Remember that the essay is entirely your opinion. Your data is not outside sources, it close reading of THE TEXT

Class Opinions/Struggles of the Writing Process

– Confusion about peer review process
– Using references and links did helped to make revisions
– Not using outside sources was difficult
– Keeping track of all the info provided by prof. was confusing and almost too much
– Coming up with a topic to write about was difficult
– It was Stressful
– Writing essay was like writing science paper (using data to back up thesis)

Class Question: Is there no wrong answer if it’s an argumentative essay (personal opinion?)
– You set up the terms to make a claim. You must have your reader believe your claim by clearly defining your terms and backing up your statements with evidence from the text.
– Be aware of the entire text (not just snippets) and examples that may counter your argument.

When you enter in a communicative relationship with someone (writing, speech), you must be ethical. In rhetoric, goal of being an ethical communicator is to be FAIR.

Karl: Don’t you leave it up to the reader to make a decision?
Prof. Response:
– Do not misrepresent the text by cherry-picking and selectively leave out certain points that may counter your argument.
– It’s always more persuasive to offer a counter-argument for the reader to think about.
– Beware of Rhetorical Fallacy (unethical/misrepresentative writing)
– Come across as a credible writer (believable)
– Fact + significance = a good topic sentence

When proofreading, do not make any comments on the first reading. See the whole scope of the paper. Sometimes most of what you want to say is there, you just have to fix the order.

SIDE NOTE: Very important, BAD HUNGRY PLACE aka BHP. Beware!!! If you don’t eat, you get cranky like prof. does.


Everything we’ve done is fair game!!!

Main things that will be addressed in the midterm

– Ability to understand the texts and movies we’ve watched
o Mainly discussions of science fiction terms

– Applied Questions/Themes and concepts
o Think about the themes, conflicts, values (i.e post humanisms, prosthesis, what it means to be human, etc.) and be able to say something critical about them

– Elements of Fiction (i.e. setting, plot, characters, symbolism, point of view, etc)

– Part of the midterm may or may not be about writing critically/the writing process

It’s not make or brake (10% of term grade), but still important

*** Characters, Conflicts, Values, Themes ***



– Man vs Machine conflict

– Religion

– Authenticity

– Lack of communication (face to face)- mediation

– Fear (i.e. machine stops)

– Following other people/control/obedience/leadership

– Importance of animals

– Isolation

– Technological Determinism: a belief (now a very overly simplistic belief/not very popular) that technology determines what happens in culture and society.

– Agency/responsibility for what is done with technology

– Setting (an element of fiction) i.e. postwar/post-apocalyptic setting

– Apocalypse: destruction/radical break where something new occurs

– Conflict of Man vs. nature

– Human crisis/ existential crisis: question of existence/place of man in the world

– Boundaries: What is the distinction between different entities?

– Simulation

– Ersatz

– What is genuine?

– Power (Roy with Tyrell, Machine Stops, Metropolis, Religion)

– Freedom is limited (i.e. Machine Stops they cannot leave the machine/Metropolis they must work for the machine/In Androids the Andy’s can’t leave Mars)

– Questions of individuality

– Whether or not you can retain free will in a world dominated by technology

– Emotional Aspect (i.e. empathy, sympathy, ability to identify with something different)

– Marginalization

– Identity Crisis (i.e. implanted memories, can andys have an identity without past experiences?)

– Conformity: To be the same as everyone else/to fit in
Tied in to the idea of norms
Can lead to solidarity (feeling of belonging to a whole group)

– Classes/Hierarchy

– Status/Appearance

– Consequences of technology
o Think about certain decisions and/or actions we make based on technology
o Causes us to look at ethical problems/possible solutions

– Cyborg (cybernetic organism)- Middle ground between machine and man (i.e. android is a merging of man and machine)

– Prosthesis: mechanical extension of a human (i.e. mechanical arms/limbs)
o Forces us to question authenticity

– What is the purpose of science fiction?
o Critiques on society
o Alternative thinking
o Extrapolations: Take facts and observations about a present or known situation and use them to make a prediction about what might eventually happen.
o The “what if”
o Thought experiments


The One About The Notes (3/12/2015)

Class Notes – 3/12/2015

To Begin With:

  • Our class, Science Fiction, has been featured overall on OpenLab in the Spotlight. Yay to us.
  • If you need help on how to use OpenLab, to give feedback, or attend workshops, follow The Open Road (OpenLab Profile) on OpenLab. Here’s a link you lazy bums:
  • Watching The Road is optional. If you would like a copy of The Road in a file format, see Chris or bring a Flash Drive and copy the movie from the class’s computer station onto it. Consider allocating at least 1 GB of space.
  • If you want additional optional resources added to the class, talk to Professor Belli during any class, during her office hours, or simply email her.


Our Agenda Today:

  • Discussion: Blade Runner/”Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
  • Discussion: MoMA
  • Discussion: Upcoming project
  • Discussion: “There Will Come Soft Rains”



“There Will Come Soft Rains”Brainstorming Session

  • Shows the value of nature; a competition between nature and technology.
  • House = the remains of human civilization; religious figure.
  • Short poem; it foreshadows the ending and is connected to the title.
  • The author gives the technology in the story some ‘emotion’ (sentience).
  • Technology evolving to becoming self-aware; awareness to a certain degree.
  • Machines can live on without humanity being present.
  • The machines are not in control of themselves; they are programmed and are not able to go beyond it.
  • The events taking place in the story may symbolize what is happening now in our society.
  • Self-demise; post-apocalyptic; the aftermath of war (post-World War II; the Cold War).
  • Animals; dog, bird.
  • The idea or importance of perfection.
  • Technology versus Nature.
  • There is always something that technology is limited to; nothing is perfect.
  • Rational versus Irrational decisions.


“There Will Come Soft Rains” – The Specifics

Now, think about this: Are we as humans significant as we think we are?

Title: August 2057 – “There Will Come Soft Rains,” what do we learn?

  • The story is placed into the future and the main title is taken from the short poem later in the story.

The first paragraph, what do we learn?

  • Personification: the opening sentence, “tick-tock, seven o’clock…:” a feeling of happiness?
  • Personification: technology is given human emotions; fear, “as if it were afraid that nobody would.”
  • “Emptiness:” loneliness, death, darkness.
  • “Repeating and repeating:” the technology goes along with its daily functions regardless of anyone present.

The second paragraph, what do we learn?

  • There are, or rather, were four people.
  • Personification: the stove ‘sighs’, and this is written in the story multiple times.

The third paragraph, what do we learn?

  • The daily agenda of the day is given.
  • We’re given more of the setting: “Allendale, California.”
  • Personification: The machine is given vision (eye sight), memory.

Film adaptation – The ‘machine’

  • More sentient and controlling.
  • Creepy, scary, menacing.
  • Less caring than the description of the machine in the story.
  • Mindlessly following his programming/orders.

Final Thoughts –

  • Robot mice, their role? They are programmed to clean (somebody actually said this and that was end of that discussion).
  • We’re given an absence of people in the first quarter of the story, but throughout the next sections, we’re described of the people who resided in the house in a cryptic way.
  • “Until this day… which bordered on a mechanical paranoia.”— The machine preserves itself by activating a security system.
  • “The house was an altar… the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.”—Religion becomes prominent in the story; the loss of religion, society. If we try to play god, we get shut down. Everything from the beginning symbolizes the ‘ritual’; there is no point in what is happening.
  • The dog – It’s alive. Yup… That’s all we said about that.
  • The short poem in the short story: nature will continue regardless of humanity being present. It foreshadows the ending. It tells the prequel of the story, during the ‘war’.
  • “Spring”: rebirth, reborn.
  • Post-Apocalypse: an opportunity to clear the slate; to start anew.
  • If something dies, it would be suggested that it was alive.
  • “The house shuddered…” it gives you the sense that the house is a being (yeah, even more personification).


Now, think about this: We usually seek out the differences between the movie and the story, but what is the real idea behind each separately?


Back to Metropolis – The Work Scene

  • The workers are enslaved because of technology, while the creators of it benefit.
  • ‘Human sacrifices’ (the workers) to the machine. The machine signifying a God.
  • The workers serve the machine and in turn, the machine serves the upper hierarchy.

Words Learned –

  • Anthropomorphic: given human characteristics; personification
  • Sentience: self-aware
  • Agency: having a say in a situation
  • AI, Artificial Intelligence: Man-made intelligence.


Eugene’s (very short) Presentation –


Notices –

  • Professor Belli will not be here next week (there will be class regardless, so don’t even think about it).
  • You can see, specifically, what you have to do for Project 1, among others, in the Assignments drop-down on OpenLab.
  • No blogging or online discussion due the coming week; focus your attention on the First Draft of Project 1.


Project 1 –

  • Use your blogs as a resource, but do not copy and paste, especially if you have spelling errors or grammar issues.
  • To put briefly, this is an analytical paper of the assigned text(s).
  • Your First Draft is due on Thursday, March 19th. This will not be graded, however, if it isn’t done, points will be shaved off your grade.
  • The Final Draft is due Thursday, March 26th. This will be graded.
  • There will be no written comments on individual essays. See Professor Belli to hear her feedback.


(kind of) Off-Topic –

  • Finding the line between man and machine is crucial [teurig test] [VK Test].
  • We saw President Johnson’s Ad, “Daisy.” That was some crazy shi…


  • Disney’s Smart House.

Class Notes for 3/5/2015

Started off with a free writing about five different covers of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Examined different versions of the novel’s covers:

Our current novel impressions:

  • Hunter – hunted with the infrared background on the sheep
  • Slavery
  • Reptilian  – perhaps chameleon to reference how androids blend in with the human populations

Bulgarian cover (?) (the one with the female humanoid android and the male human)

  • Surreal impression of Rachel and Deckard. Carnal relationship between Rachel and Deckard.
  • Desolate background
  • Electronic sheep (ersatz sheep) representation of man and machine.
  • Background ships could represent cops coming to stop the Carnal act
  • Does it actually matter if there are
  • Blanket represents a skin?
  • Blanket represents a division between android and human

German cover (?) (the one with the moon and the spaceship crashing on it)

  • Branding the book according to conventional stereotypes of science fiction
  • Might symbolize the androids escaping from mars
  • Used to highlight or obscure different themes of the book

Next we did group work, involving six questions about the film Bladerunner:

  1. Consider the differences between the novel and the film
  2. Consider the scene in J.F. Sebastian’s apartment, where the replicants encounter other automatons.
  3. Consider the scene in which Roy encounters his various creators.
  4. What’s up with the “unicorn” dream & origami figure at the end of it?
  5. Consider the theme of “eyes” in the movie.
  6. Consider the theme of memories in the movie.

We listed things absent in the movie that were originally in the novel*:

  • Mercerism
  • Iran
  • Empathy Box
  • Sheep
  • Isiodore
  • Post-Apocalyptic Fallout
  • Buster Friendly
  • The city is way more populated than in the book
  • No plot twists from the novel is present in film
    • No fake police department
  • No kipple

Things added to the film that was not present in the novel*:

  • Gaff – guy with the cane
  • Deckard’s lack of emotion
  • J.F. Sebastian
  • multi national metropolis
  • Film takes place in LA instead of San Francisco
  • Way too populated in the film
  • Sentimental love affair between Rachel and Deckard
  • Photographs as a physical representation of memories
  • Deckard’s Unicorn Dream

Drew attention to the concept of unnatural reproduction – presented by the android’s fixation on mother and father figures.

  • Leon and his ‘mother’ – Leon’s line just before he shoots Dave Holden
  • Roy and his ‘father’ – When Roy meets Tyrell
  • Rachel and her ‘mother’ – when she shows Deckard a picture of what she thinks is her mother

Took note of the scene when Priss first enters J.R. Sebastian’s apartment.

  • J.R. makes his own friends in the form of smaller automatons

Took note of the scene when Roy first sees Priss in J.R. Sebastian’s apartment.

  • J.R. Sebastian works for Tyrell as a genetic scientist
  • J.R. makes toys, to keep himself company
  • J.R. has a disease that accelerates his age
  • Strange how an automatons(androids) are playing with toys(automations)
  • Priss can be considered as a reference to a cyborg (part organic and part machine), and also a reference to blurring the lines between what is and is not ‘human’.

We discussed the idea of “what exactly is a cyborg?”

Question of the “other”. What does it mean to consider something as “other” than us?

Reliance on the Voight Kampff test or the image enhancements machine Deckard uses to detect Zora. Its interesting how humans need technology to detect technology. Many of the characters such as Tyrell and Chu have a deteriorated eyesight but are considered high in intelligence.

Discussed the importance of the scene where Priss is discovered by Deckard.

  • It is important in that it instills a form of fear in the viewer that Priss cannot be detected among the automations. If not instilling the fear, at least recognizing it.

*take note of minute 43 in the film about prosthesis*


Words to take note of:

  • Cyborg – half organic half machine entity
  • Posthumanism – after or beyond humanism
  • Hybrid – entity with mixed traits or elements
  • Religious 
  • Eyes
  • Prosthesis – artificial body part, used in the case of extreme injury of the original body part
  • Detective
  • Film Noir – films that encompass a genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity (Wiki)
  • Cyberpunk – a genre of science fiction set in a lawless subculture of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology. (Wiki)
  • Chiaroscuro – art term to mean a use of strong contrast between light and dark. (Wiki)

Relating MoMa’s Visit to Science Fiction text:

Words that come to mind when thinking about the exhibit:

  • Infrastructure
  • Social responsibility
  • Clean energy
  • Poverty
  • Affordable housing
  • Recycling
  • Innovation
  • Mega Cities (population is at least 8 million people)
  • Tactical Urbanism
    • planning for urban environments
  • Uneven growth 
    • Wide wealth gap
  • Development
  • Survival
  • Economy
  • Social responsibility

The ‘solutions’ presented in the exhibit do not exist in the realm of reality. They are a culmination of architectural and scientific expert’s work on ideal solutions to present and future problems.

When we think of Ideals we can think of it in terms of what is vs. what ought to be. Science Fiction can be used to hypothesize possible scenarios that we can use to examine our world today.


Homework reminder:

“there will come soft Rain” (3 texts) – found in the schedule

SF Short intro (intro + chp 3) – 3rd book that you were supposed to have bought

Response post to class discussion MoMa + Metrololis

Notes 2/26/2015

Why the mood organ is so important? (pg 1)

The importance animals play in this story.

  1. Pg 7.

Why does Iran feel empathy towards the andys?

Why does Iran have different attitude towards the end?

Why is the setting so important?

Why is there so much comparison between real and fake animals at the end of pg 12?

Empathy towards animals

Why is the suggestion of buying a cricket or a mouse so offensive?

Comparison on the tv between the andys and slaves pre civil war era

Why the specials of this society are treated the same as andys?

Pg 31 mention of spider.

Comparison between the real and fake

  1. Mood organ
  2. Animals

Last class spoke about themes.

As technology got better we got really good at fabricating fake things. It came out of necessity, for the yearning of things we took for granted. Like animals or interaction.  If the animals are so well made, where it is able to fool people. What is missing? What sticks out that people are still able to tell?

Wouldn’t it just be a conflict between the old and the new?

Real are spontaneous while the fake is programmed to do certain things at certain times.

Andys still do not understand the living. This can be seen when the andys where cutting off the spiders legs trying to understand.

Evolution, natural progression. Neanderthals not existing anymore where modern humans took over.

Foreshadowing, alluding to something later in the story.

Pg. 200, Androids always give up right before they are retired when they know they have no way out.

Andriods – Intelligent, higher than living species.

The will to survive could be a base programing.

Dichotomy (n.) – a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

Juxtapose (v.) – to compare two things side by side.

Main themes – What it means to be human.

Rick Deckards view of androids are just another paycheck, deserve to die.

Andriods lack emotion and empathy.

Calculative person, always think before they act, cold, no emotion.

Sociopath – No emotion but smart.

Association with Intellect – Higher class, able to process information quicker, manipulative, chameleons,

Purpose of wanting to pass as humans. Blend in, better communicate with humans.

Technology vs. Creator.  Created for a purpose, but evolve to overcome it.

False memories could be torture.

False Memories, Does this really exist?

Is these relationships between characters love or lust.

Labeling things as “Others” in the sense that this is something different and I should close my eyes and ignore.

Alienate – to isolate.


Topics after break.

Ending really is depressing.

Everything Deckard does gets shut down.

What is gained and what is lost with the story ended.

Such a boring and cliché ending.

Is mercer really fake?

Buster friendly android, Mercer in hallway

Reality vs psychotic breakdown.

Rick feels rachael feeling empathy towards her copy.

The fact that Racheal “gives up” on. Can we consider that an emotion or awareness?

Roy, Isidore the human is mistreated by the andys he turns into their slave.

What is the significance of ricks “mercer” experience on the mountain. (real vs no real)

The high climax of the story transforming into the ending

Rick says the electric things have lives too (pg 241)

“Fine” Iran said. “I want it to work perfectly. My husband is devoted to it.”

Chapter 16 ricks relation with Rachael

How would life be without the mood organ?

Rick goes to the roof of Rosen Association and see all the animals. He’s jealous of them not care but of greed. Ironically he hates his sheep because it is electric.

How does mercer talks to rick without an empathy box.



Impossible to physically interact with humans. Fallout, emigrated.

Iran more devoted to mercer. Towards the end Deckard bases his actions towards him.

What is Isidors position on mercersim.

Mercer is both life and death while Rick is Death and Isidor is life.

Buster Friendly

Buster Friendly, also android. Exposed Mercer to be fake. All andys someone knew what is happening.

Class Notes 2/19

Overall we discuss both stories “The Machine Stops” & “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

Started the class with a free write discussing the Conflicts & Value in the story “The Machine Stops”

Afterwards we go into our usual circle group to discuss the conflicts and value as a group here’s what we got:


  • Kuno/ His mother Vashti (External conflict)
  • Lack of communication between both characters
  • Humans vs. technology (external conflict) in this case the machine
  • Individuality vs fitting in (hive mind set)
  • Kuno wanted to be a parent but was denied by the machine, was there some anger after this?
  • Technology determinism (debut on whether technology controls us or we control it.)
  • The feature in technology that enables certain things.


  • Freedom
  • Life
  • Future generations
  • Humanity
  • Family
  • Fear


  • Kuno actions not only impacts his values and curiosity but it helps the Homeless that are also waiting for the machine to stop.
  • Vashti (Kuno mother) workships the machine as if it was superior.
  • Another topic that comes up is the theme is Fear both Kuno and Vashti have their own fear.
  • The Homeless rebel against the machine.


Took 5 min. break then resume on to the Book

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

Started off going around the circle asking everyone what they though of the first half of the book Chapter (1-5) in one sentence and here’s what I manage to record.

  • Anger (on husband & wife)
  • issue with the time based on when it was written vs. how to read it now or approach it with it taking place in the future.
  • Boring chapter 1 & 2 but still important.
  • Its all about chapter 1 (me)
  • Emotions (dialing in)
  • Disappointed overall
  • “Liked it, very cool”
  • Awesome
  • Related it to cartoons
  • Dives deep
  • So far okay
  • Novel is better than the movie that was based on it
  • Who’s an android and who to trust
  • Different character every chapter
  • Adaptation
  • Confusion


– Rick : He’s a bounty hunter that retires (kills) Andys(Nexus 6) for money.

– Iran (Ricks wife) : Dislike Rick and his job. She has a big problem with emotions and being alone. She’s describe as having gray un-marry eyes, she’s also empathy and has a issue with the whole Penfield mood organ.

– Electric sheep : Rick is ashamed of owning the so called “electric” sheep. Owning an animal is some sort of status in the society.

Theme: EYES 

A big theme in the novel consist of EYES which are used to tell the humans from the androids, we see that the novel starts off talking about Iran eyes as grey and unmarry foreshadowing some other events later on in the story.

-How does Rick deal with all the killing of the Andys while owning one at home?

The three class in the Novel




Regulars: A regular is a person who meets the requirements of an IQ test, and as such is permitted to reproduce according to the law.

Specials: A special is a person who does not meet the requirements set by an IQ test. By failing the test, a person is classified as a special, and therefore can not marry or emigrate.

Andys or Androids:  is a robotic life form that is designed to look and act like a human being. There are only subtle differences between androids and humans, the most obvious of which is that humans can feel empathy, while androids do not.


  • Post WWT (World War Terminus)
  • Northern California
  • There’s some civilization on Mars




  1. Inextricably bound: Unbreakable
  2. Ideology: Belief system or world view
  3. consequence: importance or relevance
  4. intrinsic: belonging naturally
  5. wearisome: tired
  6. ersatz: fake
  7. apocalyps: allows SF writers to create new worlds and new world order
  8. Contingency: unexpected
  9. reverently: sacred, holy religious
  10. acquiescence: he reluctant acceptance of something without protest
  11. delirium: an acutely disturbed state of mind
  12. norms: standards
  13. bamboozling: bullying


Some notes on Openlab and new class activities

Now up on openlab is the favorite feature post plug in located on the top right of the class site, where you will get to vote fore your favorite post every week. All you got to do is vote for your favorite post, give a short reason why you liked that post and pull your name at the bottom.

Blog discussion leaders

Zac, Nicholai, Carl

They are responsible for making a five minute presentation on interesting thing they found on the current week blog post.

Reading discussion leaders

Surge, Jon, Pete

they are responsible for having topic to discuss when we get into our circle discussion.

Surge Chp 1-5

Pete chp 6-15

Jon Last section of the book




Class notes for 2/5/15

Class notes for 2/5/15


The Professor did a review of the first class:

Asked if there were any questions regarding the syllabus


Clarified the Introduction


Professor Jill then:

Thanked all for the postings the Introductions

She said if you haven’t done your introductions, please do them

Assignments cannot be made up

Going forward Blogs are due on time

Don’t forget to categorize your blogs

If you feel lost or need help use Open Lab “Help” refresher


Reminder to use your name, not required but helpful

Also reminder to print out reading assignment

and bring to class


We spoke of the first read,

What is Science Fiction?

Science fiction is hard to classify, it is a hybrid.

Takes from many different things





Then we went onto free discussion: Class notes on the board

  • Annotating the Text and bring to class
  • Elements of fiction

Plot – Storyline- series of events; what actually happened

Characters – People who are in the story

Setting – Location/Time/Atmosphere

Point of View – Perspective

Theme – The main idea, moral of the story, message

Conflict – Clash, dilemma, problem

both (external and internal) values – competing


Then we broke up into groups and reviewed and put on the board our interpretation of The Machine Stops.


Professor reminded us that there is no class next week, but blogs are due on 2/10 and 2/17

Read Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep, segments (pages) to read will be posted by the professor and blog only on the segments. Revisit Metropolis over the next two weeks. Go over the schedule to catch up on your reading.

Features to View for exceptional blogs went to Eugene and Surge.