Monthly Archives: March 2014

Journal #5

Unlike previous books I’ve read in this class, ‘Dawn’, by Octavia E. Butler creates a scenario in which humans are not in control of their immediate future. I personally have enjoyed reading through and imaging some of these situations presented. The idea of humanoid beings traveling to earth in an effort to recuse humanity from it’s own destruction makes for an interesting plot. First visual contact with the Oankali by Lilith truly shows how it’s possible for intelligent life to take on various forms, alien to us. This encounter also demonstrates how two separate forms of life can perceive each other as strange or uncanny. Medusa is what Lilith use to describe Jdahya’s hair like sensory organs. This encounter might share similarities with those on earth. Through out human history, contact with different civilization has often lead to a wider understanding for both side and allowed the thought of being apart of a much bigger world.

Reading Journal #5 – Dawn

Octavia Butler’s Dawn is really an interesting book. The main question while reading through it is “why?” Why are the Oankali (an Alien race who have little to no facial features except for tentacles shaped around the eye sockets and no eyeballs) helping Lilith, a human who’s been imprisoned by them for around two years. She’s been by herself for a long time considering that her husband and only son have been in a fatal car accident that left them both dead, and with Cancer being in the family genes, her family suffered a great toll. However thanks to the Oankali, they cured her Cancer and made her live longer. The goal for the Oankali was to have Lilith train other humans in order to survive in the new world they’re going to be exposed to. My main question is still “why”? They never answer Lilith’s questions when she asks them, but they examine her without her consent. It feels like one of those horror movies where the main villain is usually the one you end up trusting the most because of how nice they are to you, only to get back stabbed. They act really nice towards even with doing what they did, but who knows? They’re not answering anything she’s asking, so they probably are hiding a secret from her.

Reading Journal 5 Dawn

we see lilith a “prisoner”, who shortly becomes free after two years in a cell. or at least she had thought so. Lilth is now part of a large experiment using humans, that survived the war, to one day go back to earth and rebuild. there are a bunch of survivors from the war on earth that were taken to the “ship”, which is somewhere in outer space controlled by a alien race. the idea being is that they can convince one human to teach the other humans, which are still unconscious, but will soon be awaken. Also to aid the, soon to be awaken humans to, communicate and learn from the aliens. certain memories have been erased from the humans. Why cant Lilith have paper and a pen to use which would aid her in what she she needs to learn from the aliens?

Reading Journal #5- 3/27/14- Dawn

Octavia Butler’s novel Dawn is a very terrifying outlook on what could happen to the human race.  “Humanicide” is becoming more of a threat as destructive technologies keep advancing, and more countries are gaining access to nuclear weapons.  What stood out for me was the social commentary Butler added to her writing.  This novel was published in 1987 during the midst of the Cold War.  The not so subtle hint at total nuclear devastation spoke measures back then, and it resonates even stronger now and in the near future.  The actions of the Oankali mirrored the atrocities committed during the times of slavery in the United States.  The Oankali treated the humans disgustingly, ignoring cries for clothes and depriving them of their culture.  This novel holds a lot of reflection on the past and present times.

Class Notes – 3/20/14

In-class writing

1. What was your thesis sentence?

2. Reflect on your paper-writing process. What aspects of the writing process worked well for you? What was the most difficult aspect of the assignment and/or you chosen topic? What would you do differently next time?

3. Name one thing you learned while writing his paper

Blade Runner

Next week’s assignment on course calendar

Journal #4

In the novel “ Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” written by Philip K. Dick a major theme I noticed was intelligence verse the inability to encumber. The two abilities/inabilities are contrasted and the term “chicken head” is used to describe those who are thought to be mentality deficient. Rick makes a comment in the beginning of the novel that he is skilled and has the ability to overpower and kill and android, but also acknowledges that the skill can be taken from him at any moment due to the radioactive dust the covers the world. John has already become a victim of what they acknowledge as the cloud and is now refrain to the term “chicken head”, which is a person that has a diminishing mental ability.

People who are referred to as chicken heads are looked down upon and treated as second class citizens. They are not allowed to emigrate to Mars because they fear that people who are infected would contaminate the other citizens. They are not even allowed to do certain jobs. This deceives Dick’s belief on what the future society will be like. In a sarcastic but funny way John is the character that has the most sense of humanity making him have more human traits than tan the others.

Class Notes – 3/13/14

intro paragraph
catch reader’s attention
introduce your argument/thesis

subject — what is the essay about?
thesis — what is your take on that subject?

persuasive essay

first paragraph – end –thesis sentence. clear statement of argument of the thesis
“In this paper, I will argue that ____”

Star Trek: Next Generation – “The Measure of a Man”

Journal #4

The topic of empathy is repeated throughout all of ” Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” as a way to differentiate humans from androids. It is believed that androids do not have emotion, and therefor cannot connect to organic life. Humans have made animals a symbol of morality, encouraging each other to care for them in an public, congratulatory way. This way of expressing empathy leads to the Voight-Kampff test, used to determine who is human and who is not. The focus on emotion isolates in-organics. 

 Rick Deckard, a hunter of androids, is obsessed with having a live, organic animal. Society has put so much emphasis on feeling for others that Deckard believes he does not feel empathy the way he should. He buys an electric sheep to replace his deceased one, but is not satisfied. Deckard does not think he can connect to electric animals or androids because they do not express emotion like humans. He uses his lack of a ‘real’ animal as an excuse for his dispassion with those around him. 

This idea is challenged later when Deckard has sex with Rachel Rosen, an android. She tries to prove to him that androids are not just machines, but do in fact have emotion. When humans display behavior that would suggest they lack empathy, Deckard begins to question his idea of what it means to be human. At the end of the novel Deckard gains an electric toad, and is unphazed by the fact that it is not organic.

Journal #4

In “do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” there was one part in particular that for me did not add up. that part was when Rebecca Rosen showed up at Decker’s place after he told her to go back to Seattle. this doesn’t add up because in that passage she goes up to the roof and in front of witnesses pushes his new goat off the roof. I understand that she was hurt by him but what I don’t get is why if living animals are so precious then why were there no repercussions to her actions. Even in this day and age where animals are not held in such  high regard, why is it in a time where you will be shunned if you don’t have one why can Rebecca Rosen get away with such a horrendous act?

Reading Journal 4-Ori Dona

in androids, there is a big difference in the way robots are viewed than that of caves of steel. The humanoid robots in androids are very close to humans in their physical appearance.They are very devious and move with a purpose. They are organized and have a common objective. Out of the 8 androids that escaped mars, all of them ended up getting retired by the bounty hunters suck as rick, Phil, and Dave Holden. This is due to the relationship between humans of earth and robots in general. In androids it is clear that their presence is unacceptable on Earth where as in caves of steel robots are just resented. There are bounty hunters who go about retiring androids where as in caves of steel they are not pursued. Even a robot such as daneel is still inferior in many ways when compared to a android such as Rachael. Daneel was constrained to his programming as apposed to Rachael who had a sense of free choice which makes her more capable and dangerous. At the end of androids, rick almost gets set up by the batys and Rachael. This cunning form of android reflects the relationship between humans and androids.