User:Christina.moore2/HUMN 4472 Journal
- 1 August 16, 2019: Science Fiction
- 2 August 23, 2019: Science Fiction
- 3 September 6, 2019 "The Swimmer"
- 4 September, 6 2019 La Jetèe vs. "The Swimmer"
- 5 September 13, 2019 "The Gernsback Continuum"
- 6 September 15, 2019 "Blink" vs. "the Gernsback Continuum"
- 7 September 20, 2019 "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"
- 8 September 22, 2019 "From Outer Space"
- 9 September 29, 2019 "The Girl Who Was Plugged in" Analysis
- 10 September 29, 2019 "The Entire History of You" and "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"
- 11 October 6, 2019 Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild"
- 12 October 6, 2019 "Bloodchild" and "Far Beyond the Stars"
- 13 October 11, 2019 "The Cold Equations"
- 14 October 13, 2019 "33" and "The Cold Equations"
- 15 October 20, 2019 "Impossible Dreams"
- 16 October 20, 2019 "Impossible Dreams" and "The City on the Edge of Forever"
- 17 References
August 16, 2019: Science Fiction
Science Fiction takes the ideas of new technology and advancement in science, as well as in civilization, to make a new and futuristic world come to life. The genre uses things like time travel, space exploration, robots, and advanced civilizations to create an idea of what life might be like in the future. For example, a Science Fiction story might show the hero traveling back to a time that, in reality is current but, seems distant, to fix a problem that has caused some issue in the future. The reasoning for a story like this would be to show there are things that need fixing now to prevent a disaster in the future as well as the steps that can be taken to improve future civilization.
August 23, 2019: Science Fiction
The genre of Science Fiction is one that is difficult to accurately define. That being said, one definition of the genre comes from Fred Saberhagen in the Encyclopedia Britannica 1st edition in which he stated that Science Fiction is a "genre developed in the 20th century, dealing with scientific discovery or development that, whether set in the future, or the fictitious present, or in the putative past, is superior to or simply other than that known to exist." Ursula K. Le Guin questioned in her introduction to The Norton Book of Science Fiction whether or not "the non-definability of Science Fiction" is "perhaps an essential quality of it?" She seemed to be on to something with this question. It certainly seems as though a main theme throughout the genre involves ideas that seem so far from present that they become otherworldly to those reading or watching them, but are actually not that unbelievable.
Fact Instead of Fiction
Science fiction uses fears and problems of the present and creates solutions that may not exist yet. For example, in Le Guin's detailed introduction she mentions Science Fiction in the 1960's, and how it explored "failures, limits, ends, and final things." While many works throughout the genre mention things like time travel, robots, and advanced technologies, many works also mention things that are non formulaic, such as alternate history, psychology, and parallel worlds. James Gunn mentioned in his article "Toward a Definition of Science Fiction" that "realistic questions are essential for full understanding and enjoyment" of the genre. So, while certain things within Science Fiction may seem outlandish it is important to really think about them because they not be as crazy as they seem. The documentary The Truth About Science Fiction is a great place to really understand the previous point. The documentary talks a lot about the predictions in Science Fiction works that ended up coming true. For example, the documentary mentions how H.G. Wells wrote about air warfare, atomic bombs, and watch telephones before any of those things actually existed. They seemed scary and crazy at the time, but it was not long before they became fact instead of fiction.
@Christina.moore2: Hello! I found your journal to be very insightful. As you have mentioned, science fiction has been used to predict the future and that is something I never knew about science fiction. Even from your first journal it seems like you had a pretty good feel of what science fiction was. Has the topic been something that has always peeked your interest or do you just know it from seeing it over the years?--Daisja30 (talk) 22:17, 31 August 2019 (EDT)
- @Daija30: Hi! Thank you. I have always found Science Fiction interesting, but I have also studied it thoroughly in a few other classes! Christina.moore2 (talk) 15:42, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
@Christina.moore2: I too found that defining science fiction was hard. It is as though there is no real answer to the question of what it is in direct terms. I appreciate your outside sources great use of them especially at helping others to understand why it is so hard to accurately place a label on this genre. However it does seem like you have more hands on knowledge of the genre them myself. I was never one to get into science fiction other than the modern day super hero movies some like to categorize as science fiction even though they aren't. --D.Sams96 (talk) 21:11, 6 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Please do not cite Wikipedia, like you would a source. You may link to pertinent articles. You should use strong secondary sources for citations. Alos, do not link to readings; just cite them correctly. Finally, please use paragraphs for readability. —Grlucas (talk) 16:46, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
September 6, 2019 "The Swimmer"
Science Fiction is known to have some mind bending themes, and the short story "The Swimmer", written by John Cheever is one that certainly follows that theme. In the story, a man named Neddy decides to swim home from a party using neighborhood pools. As the story progresses, the weather begins to change from sunny and happy to rainy, as well as the condition of the pools. At first, the pools are warm and the neighbors are inviting, but eventually the pools become cold or just dried up entirely. In the article "Cheever's dark knight of the soul: The failed quest of Neddy..." written by Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet, Blythe connects Neddy's journey to that of quest. It definently seems as though Cheever could have been making this connection. He says Neddy was "making his way home by an uncommon route", which "gave him the feeling that he was a pilgrim, an explorer, a man with a destiny". Neddy is going through trials involving the stormy weather and somewhat hostile neighbors. He is clearly growing weaker as the story progressing, and by the end he was "so stupefied with exhaustion that his triumph seemed vague".Even though he does complete his quest, it still seems as though he failed when he reaches his home and finds it empty. Perhaps the story is meant to say that even when things seem perfect it does not always mean they are. Neddy seems to have a very nice life, but it seems as though it has all fallen apart long ago, and he is simply living in denial of it.
@Christina.moore2 Good observation of the story. I will agree that it seems to be saying that when things may seem perfect but they aren't in reality. Good job pointing that out. Tami Marie 9:58 September 6, 2019
@Christina.moore2: Neddy wants to give off the appearance that everything is fine, but just as the audience comes to find out, appearances can only hold up for so long before one is faced with the reality of the situation that they put themselves in. Atallent (talk) 10:12, 9 September 2019 (EDT)
September, 6 2019 La Jetèe vs. "The Swimmer"
I see both the film La Jetée and the short story "The Swimmer" dealing with ontology and the issue of time. The protagonists in both stories long to live in the past. For Neddy in "The Swimmer", he is living in his memories of the past, while staying in a constant state of denial for the present. For the protagonist in La Jetée, he is prisoner of World War 3 who is being experimented on for time travel. He repeatedly travels back in time to start a relationship with a woman he once saw. In his article "The Memory of the Image in Chris Marker's La Jetée", Patrick French says the film "draws on the enigmatic force of the scenario of the 'second death'". The protagonist witnesses a man dying in the very beginning, and by the end of the story it is revealed that the man he saw was himself. Similarly, in "The Swimmer" it is revealed that Neddy's family has fallen apart or, symbolically speaking, has died. in the end, he comes out of his state of denial long enough to live through that metaphorical death all over again.
@Christina.moore2: I like how you connected Neddy and the protagonist in La Jetée with the theme of death. They both are in a way going through a grieving period. There is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance in both of the works. Neddy is in denial that he has lost his family, wealth, and friends. He bargains with his ex friends for money possibly to get his family and living situation back again. His depression leads him to drink more heavily. When he is sober he is angry with everyone else instead of himself. In the end it concludes that he has to accept his reality. His family, home, wealth, friends are all gone because he has caused the deaths of everything he had once had. The protagonist is in denial that he is in a realm of reality when he is under the influence of the drugs forced into his system. He is angry when he cannot get enough time with the woman of his dreams. He bargains for his freedom but is denied. He is depressed because he is a captive. Ultimately he must accept that his death is inevitable. MarinChristina (talk) 20:29, 7 September 2019 (EDT)
September 13, 2019 "The Gernsback Continuum"
The idea of individual Perspective is blatantly present in the short story "The Gernsback Continuum" by William Gibson. In the story, Dialta Downes instructs the narrator to take pictures of a perfect America. She is completely absorbed with the idea of an exciting futuristic world. In fact, that is how she views the present rather than the normal, and somewhat underwhelming, world that she is actually living in. Gisbon says she sees a world that "most Americans are scarcely aware of".
The World as it Really Is
Unlike Dialta, the narrator, who is viewing the world through the lens of his camera as he photographs it, sees the world as it really is. As he is taking pictures, the narrator notices "depressing strips lined with dusty motels, mattress whole-salers, and small used-car lots". Eventually, he sees "a twelve-engined thing like a bloated boomerang, all wing, thrumming its way east with an elephantine grace".
After this encounter, he goes to visit a friend who tells him he saw a semiotic ghost, which are "cultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own". In his article "The Gibson Continuum: Cyberspace and Gibson's Mervyn Kihn Stories", Thomas A. Bredehoft says that "by focusing on architecture from this future- glorifying era, the narrator has become susceptible to hallucinations based upon such former dreams of the future". At the end, the narrator experiences Dialta's amazing futuristic world for himself. Even though he and Dialta had different perspectives of the same world, the narrator eventually became so wrapped up in what she was saying that he began to change his perspective.
- @Christina.moore2: Hi Christina, I want to add to your take on "The Gernsback Continuum" is that Dialta has an obsession with all things hi-tech too. Not only is she wanting perfection, she thinks that the future will be better off technologically advanced. She wants to see the past through future lenses. The narrator is more of a realist and a bit of a pessimist, but I agree more with him than Dialta. He sees the world for what it really is and not something that can be unrealistically perfected. MarinChristina (talk) 16:41, 13 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Hi Christina! I really appreciated how you worded this: "Unlike Dialta, the narrator, who is viewing the world through the lens of his camera as he photographs it, sees the world as it really is." Maybe the author, viewing the world through the lens of his (science) fiction, sees the world as it really is too. This could be why he prefers our world to the shiny futuristic one at the end of the story. -MorganAtMGA (talk) 16:42, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Hello Christina, I like how you presented the perspective or viewpoint of a perfect world in America. I think that she is being progressive with technology and optimistic. The world will never be perfect because of our human nature to have differences among each other. She is almost replicating exacly what was happening in "Blink" where the angels were moving closer to her if she wasn't starring at them. I think about dreams of events that have previously happened in life as Deja Vu. The feeling of you have already been through something and are having another encounter with the same situation. Overall you had a great post. I look forward to reading more this semester.--TSmith2020 (talk) 18:32, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Hey, nice job talking about the perspective of a perfect world. It could be that the characters are viewing the world in a specific way. Tami Marie (talk) 9:58, 15 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: I agree with your perspective on a perfect world, I thought while listening to the story that maybe some of the unusual encounters some of the characters had through out the story could have been coming from trying to escape the imperfections they were uncovering. Ambersmith5 (talk) 09:19, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Did you listen to my L2 feedback? Please do so. (A link is not a citation.) You're missing a journal post for L3. —Grlucas (talk) 12:45, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
"The Gernsback Continuum" and the episode "Blink" of Doctor Who both demonstrate a similar take on the theme of perspective. In "The Gernsback Continuum" the narrator notices a flying ship while he is taking pictures. In "Blink", Sally Sparrow is taking pictures in an old house and notices writing on the wall with her name in it. In both cases, it is the camera that shows the narrator and Sally something that changes their perspectives.
Both are shown worlds that seem unbelievable and go completely unseen by everyone else. In both the story and the episode there are people who know of the new worlds. In the story, a woman named Dialta Downes tries to explain this futuristic world to the narrator who doesn't initially see what she is referring to. In the episode, the Doctor explains the situation to Sally through DVD Easter Eggs. Neither believe the others at first, but eventually grow to understand.
Influence of the Future
In the Ebook, More Doctor Who and Philosophy: Regeneration Time, the authors mention how the episode "Blink" revolves around the characters "influencing the future". They also say that if you "take away any past event, you remove its future effect". This statements seems to also go with the short story "The Gernsback Continuum". In the story, the past evolution of technology makes the idea of the futuristic world Dialta talks about plausible.
- @Christina.moore2: OK, I see your post now. This is an interesting idea, but it lacks development. Also, you must provide actual information in your references, like your Bredehoft citation above. Do not link to Ebsco — especially on Wikipedia — as most users will be unable to see them. —Grlucas (talk) 18:01, 16 September 2019 (EDT)
September 20, 2019 "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"
The story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick follows a man named Douglas Quail who wants nothing more than to get to Mars. He visits a company called Rekal, Inc. in an attempt to get false memories implanted into his brain. He has the procedure done and leaves somewhat satisfied. However,not long after leaving, things get very confusing for Douglas. This story has a clear theme of fantasy versus reality, as well as a blatant message about the control authoritative figures wish to maintain.
The Futuristic World
Douglas lives in a futuristic version of the world today. Clearly, people are already traveling to Mars to visit a civilization that resides there. In addition to space travel, people are interacting with robots that roam freely in society as well as driving hover cars. The technology seems to be highly advanced. So much so that companies are able to implant false memories into people. Not only are they able to implant false memories, but they can cover up real ones as well.
Fantasy Versus Reality
After having the memory implant, Douglas gets flashbacks of a trip to Mars while simultaneously remembering the implant procedure. He develops a sense that he might have actually gone to Mars, but he cannot be sure because of the procedure. He begins to slowly go mad with confusion and frustration. He finds a box of things he brought back from Mars, but cannot be sure he actually went. Douglas is soon after confronted by government agents who tell him he did, in fact, go to Mars. While there, he assassinated a very important person and thus was made to forget the trip. He agrees to go back to Rekal and have them try once more to erase his memories. This time, they attempt to implant a memory of Douglas saving the world from an alien invasion, only to find out that, once again, this is something that actually happened and was covered up along with the Mars trip. Up unto this point, Douglas has lived a complete lie without ever knowing it wasn't real. A website I found titled "We Can Read it for you Wholesale" said "how can we know that our life up to this moment, the one we remember in all its vivid detail, is real?"
- @Christina.moore2: I love your assessment of the fantasy against the reality. Wish you would have talked more about the idea of scientist or engineers ideas of the futuristic technology advances to compare it to the story but none the less this is a great post! --D.Sams96 (talk) 16:14, 21 September 2019 (EDT)
Throughout the story it becomes clear that much of Douglas' life has been covered up or erased. He is not allowed to remember moments and situations that he lived through because someone higher up didn't want him to. They were able to go and implant lies in his head so he wouldn't question anything, and the moment that he did they wanted to kill him. Douglas is controlled and silenced in such a way that he is not even aware of it. In today's world, society is controlled in a multitude of ways, but it is scary to think that, someday, technology could really make it possible to have our memories erased and changed without us ever knowing it.
@Christina.moore2: I like how you connected how Doug is controlled to how society is controlled nowadays. It is definitely scary to think that technology could have control over our minds. Interesting post!! Brebre143 (talk) 00:15, 21 September 2019 (EDT)
September 22, 2019 "From Outer Space"
"Jose Chung's From Outer Space" is the twentieth episode in the third season of The X-Files. This episode features two teenagers who claim to be abducted by aliens. The problem makes itself known when the girl, Chrissy, seems to remember a different story than the boy, Harold. Similar to Douglas in the short story "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale", the girl is put under hypnosis twice before the truth finally comes out.
Chrissy says right off the bat that she cannot remember details from the night of the alleged abduction, and is only able to recall details when she is put under hypnosis. Even then, for each time that she is placed under hypnosis she remembers a different story. Jack Sheaffer is another character that has trouble remembering certain things. Sheaffer is part of a military plot to confuse people with a fake UFO. However, Sheaffer tells Agent Mulder that he is almost positive that Major Robert Valle, the two teenagers, and himself were all actually abducted, but he cannot be sure. He insuates that his memory has been tampered with by the military who want him to think it was all a hoax. Chrissy eventually realizes that she was also wiped of her memories and given a false memory implant of a generic abduction story so no one would believe her. Both of the situations resemble Douglas' memory implantation that was forced on him by the government to forget his encounter with aliens, and also his trip to Mars.
Like "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale", we see organizations with higher power manipulating peoples memories for their own agendas in teh episode. In the book The X-Files and Literature: Unweaving the Story, Unraveling the Lie to Find the Truth by Sharon R. Yang, the idea of manipulation on the population by the government is touched on in Chapter six. In this chapter, Jason P. Vest says "the human personality can be so easily overwhelmed", which makes it easier to be taken advantage of. This idea is prevalent in the short story as well as the episode in the way that whenever someone knows something that they shouldn't their memories can be wiped without them ever realizing or remembering it. Just like the secret agents that interacted with Douglas, the military in the episode create false senarios to steer people further from the truth that they do not want revealed. With Douglas, false memories were implanted and not much else was done, but with the teenagers and the detectives a fake UFO was actually constructed and crashed, allegedly killing two men who may have been abducted and had their memories altered.
Both the story and the episode showcase different means of controlling the public, as well as showcasing futuristic technology and intergalactic communications. While "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale" used an advanced technology to implant false memories, The X-Files episode used hypnosis, which is not a new practice. Still, both show the extreme lengths higher ranking people with access to these means could go to to cover up the truth as a way to continue their control on the population.
- @Christina.moore2: Interesting post! I had noticed the same thing but I noted that they did it in a different way. Tami Marie (talk) 9:13, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christine.moore2: I also wrote about how the government tried to control the community by manipulating their memories. I found the X-files episode to be a little confusing, however. I still am not sure if the two teenagers were actually abducted or if it was the government was pretending to be aliens, or if the government pretended to be aliens to cover up the fact that there are actual aliens. So the episode was confusing to me, but I think that was partly on purpose by the writers.--Daisja30 (talk) 23:17, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Some good ideas here, and a nice attempt to reference secondary sources. Please see my feedback that I will be updating through the day on 9/24/19. —Grlucas (talk) 10:39, 24 September 2019 (EDT)
September 29, 2019 "The Girl Who Was Plugged in" Analysis
Society has a way of making people feel ostracized if they have even the slightest difference from what is considered to be the "norm'. Companies and corporations feed off of the society- created need to look as perfect as possible by creating product after product that add to the unachievable image of perfection. This is exactly the case in "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" by James Tiptree Jr.
The Need to be Perfect
The story starts off with P. Burke watching "her Gods coming out of a store". While giving praise to the three people, the narrator calls P. Burke "the ugly of the world". Right off the bat, the line has been drawn between the beautiful and the ugly without providing any details about P. Burke's character. This shows that the focus of the story is mainly on how people are treated differently based on the way they look. Unfortunately, this is not a far stretch from the way society acts today, including P. Burke's desire to commit suicide later that day.
Using the Human Body for Economic Gain
The company, GTX, comes in and turns P. Burke into a remote for their robotic creation named Delphi. While she is not participating physically, P. Burke is offering up her freedom and her mind to a company who wants her to give life to a walking, talking advertisement. She has been so beaten down by society that she does not even care what their ultimate motive is as long as she gets to live as one of the desired members of society. María Ferràndez San Miguel said in her article "Appropriated Bodies: Trauma, Biopower and the Posthuman in Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild" and James Tiptree Jr.'s "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"  that the story demonstrates "subjugation of the body for economic gain". This statement perfectly describes how P. Burke is being used by the company simply because she has been made to feel unworthy of doing anything else.
Looks Over Character
San Miguel says "the system sustains itself by making people painfully aware of the unbridgeable gap that exists between themselves and these god-like beings." P. Burke is treated horribly by GTX, but doesn't seem to mind because she knows that it is impossible to achieve the kind of love and admiration she receives by being Delphi. The fact that she falls in love with Paul Isham, who is in love with Delphi, is the only thing that makes her regret her decision, if only a little. Paul is completely taken by Delphi, and goes on a mission to free her when he thinks she is a human who is being used like P. Burke is. When he sees the real girl behind Delphi he is repulsed and doesn't want anything to do with her. The way that he favors a machine over a real girl captures societies desire for physically beautiful things. If something, or someone, is deemed unworthy by the masses it, or they, are rejected entirely.
September 29, 2019 "The Entire History of You" and "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"
The episode of Black Mirror titled "The Entire History of You" shows a world where humans have a chip implanted in their brains called a grain, that records everything they experience. They are able to play their memories back whenever they want using a remote. When they are doing this, their eyes take on a dull gray color and they almost look robotic, which reminds me a lot of "The Girl Who Was Plugged In". In fact, there are many similarities between the story and the episode.
Both the episode and the story showcase futuristic technologies that might not be so far fetched. In the story, robots have been created that can be controlled by a real person "with a brain in a sauna-cabinet in the next room". The idea of using robots to sell products may seem far fetched, but is actually something that is possible. Similar to the story, the technology in the episode is something that could be plausible as well. Privacy issues happen all the time because of how much of peoples lives are broadcasted on the internet. In the article "FTC v. AT&T: Black Mirror Brought To Life?", Brad Tharpe says "This public concern is only compounded by the fact U.S. citizens are particularly vulnerable to data privacy incursions due to the fact that there is no specified governmental agency charged with protecting data privacy". In both the story and the episode, it is demonstrated how these technologies, while sometimes convenient, can cause trouble.
Ostracizing the Undesirables
In the story, P. Burke is looked down upon because she is less attractive than many other members of society. It is because of this undesirability that she is chosen by GTX to use her mind for Delphi. In a similar yet different scenario, the prostitutes in the episode are mentioned to not have grains implanted in them for obvious reasons. In this case, the undesirables are eluded from participating in the technology rather encouraged to use it. Also in the episode, while at the party, a woman says she has removed her grained and has not had it replaced, which earns her some looks of disapproval. Because she has strayed from the masses she is now looked down upon. This goes along with the theme of popularity over individual opinions as seen in the story.
In the story, GTX monitors what P. Burke says through Delphi so they can make sure their living advertisement is perfect. In the episode, the people are able to erase memories from their grains if they do not want them to exist anymore. While it is not plainly stated that the company who implants the grains does not want the prostitutes to have them, the fact that they do not alludes to the public being aware that it would not be a good idea to allow those memories to be saved. These instances showcase how futuristic technologies make it even easier to control things that should remain private, such as our thoughts and our memories.
- @Christina.moore2: I agree on how technology in both the story and episode showed how it makes things easier for people to be controlled. I saw it was more profound in The Girl Who Was Plugged In since P. Burke didn't want it to be in her head. It ended badly for both protagonists but it was especially bad for P. Burke. Tami Marie (talk) 11:13, 29 September 2019
- @Christina.moore2: Some strong observations, especially about the "undesirables." You still need to work on your referencing. —Grlucas (talk) 12:01, 30 September 2019 (EDT)
October 6, 2019 Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild"
The story "Bloodchild" follows a family of humans, called Terrans, who have fled Earth and come to live on an alien planet ruled by the Tlics. The Terrans are offered a place to live on the Preserve under the protection of the Tlic government as long as they agree to have the male family members available to egg implantation. The birthing process is something traumatic and can be very deadly to the humans involved, and yet they are willing to do this when asked. In his article "Appropriated Bodies: Trauma, Biopower and Posthuman in Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild" and James Tiptree Jr.s "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"", Ferrández San Miguel says "If the sacrifices Terrans have had to make in exchange for living at the Preserve appear excessive, they are assumed to be justified by the danger that lurks outside." There is a clear dependence seen here between the Tlic and Terran. The Terran use the Tlic for protection and the Tlic use the Terran as hosts.
Even though there appears to be a balanced relationship between the Tlic and the Terrans, the Tlic are completely in charge. The process that the Terrans are forced to go through is essentially unbearable and usually results in the death of Terran. While they are offered protection and eggs that prolong their life and improve their health, it does not seem like a fair trade. Miguel says "a number of early critics... found parallelism in the practice of slavery in the US". One could argue that this is precisely the case here. The price that the Terrans are paying does not seem to be equal to the payment they are give from the Tlic in return. They have fled to this planet in hopes of refuge, but they seem to be taken advantage of.
- @Christina.moore2: This is incorrect:
<ref>name: FERRÁNDEZ SAN MIGUEL</ref>. See “Repeated citations.”
October 6, 2019 "Bloodchild" and "Far Beyond the Stars"
In the episode "Far Beyond the Stars" of the series Deep Space Nine we see Joseph Sisko receive visions from the prophets. The visions show Sisko as "a black science fiction writer by the name of Benny Russell who lives in New York during the 1950's", as stated by Lisa Doris Alexander in her article "Far Beyond the Stars: The Framing of Blackness in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine".
Racism in "Far Beyond the Stars"
The racism that Benny Russell receives is blatant. We see the editor of the magazine the Russell writes for exclude him and a woman named Kay from the staff photos because he doesn't want everyone to know that a black man and a woman are writing for the magazine. Shortly after this incident, Russell is frisked by police officers because they do not think a black man would be a writer or own a nice suit. He writes a story with a black man as the main character and the editor would rather scrap the whole thing than include the story.
Racism in "Bloodchild"
While it is not exactly the same type, there is also racism in "Bloodchild". The humans are used as hosts by the Tlics and do not receive fair compensation in return. While Gan and his family do live somewhat comfortably on the Preserve, previous Terran generations were seen as "not much more than big, warm-blooded animals" that were held in pens. They must obey the Tlic's or face the consequences.
Equality in Society
Both the story and the episode seem to showcase how, even in futuristic or interplanetary worlds, equality is something is hard to come by. Alexander says "If the audience wants to be cynical, they could argue that the notion of a truly equal society is [a] delusion". Even though both take place in the future, there is still a blatant struggle for equality.
- @Christina.moore2: With what you mention, I think it shows that no matter how much the world might advance scientifically or technologically, the people in the world should be evolving and getting better as well. That also makes me wonder, if it does come a time where humans encounter another lifeform just as intelligent as us, would we treat them fairly or would we automatically see them as a threat?--Daisja30 (talk) 21:55, 6 October 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: You still need to work on your citations. You should be using citation templates and never just a URL. Also, do you really need a source to summarize plot? These should be interpretive, critical support. —Grlucas (talk) 10:22, 7 October 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: Its interesting, and disheartening, to think about how the statement of equality being a delusion can be seen as true, even in our society today that has evolved since the writing of both these pieces, as well as significantly since when the vision in the episode from Deep Space Nine takes place. It is an issue that society keeps growing in little by little, but constantly regressing also at the same time. Tprouty93 (talk) 22:44, 7 October 2019 (EDT)
October 11, 2019 "The Cold Equations"
"The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin is a short science fiction story that tells of man named Barton who is the pilot of an EDS on its way to another planet. While on his journey he finds a stowaway named Marilyn who he must eject from the ship to save fuel. While this story demonstrates hard science fiction, it also shows a lack of morality and the complete rule of physics.
Hard Science Fiction
In his article "The Laws of the Space Frontier", Michael Underwood says "in hard science fiction, the story must be a cold extrapolation of precise scientific laws." This branch of the science fiction genre puts heavy focus on the physics aspect, which is what we see demonstrated in the "The Cold Equations". The entire story seems to be based around the physical law that the characters must follow. The law states: "h amount of fuel will power an EDS with a mass of m plus x safely to its destination".  Barton, as well as the other characters, are held captive by this law.
Physics over Compassion
Marilyn is shocked by the news that she must die even though "[she] didn't do anything to die for". Barton feels sympathy for the girl and wants to help, but all he can do is call control. Unlike Barton, the station seems to have no feeling about the girl being put to death. All the characters accept right away that she must die because the law says there is not enough fuel with her aboard. Underwood says "they surrender to their perception of these laws, living by them and acknowledging their power at a level that borders on religious devotion." The characters constantly repeat to Marilyn that there is nothing they can do to help her. Even though Barton feels sorry for her, rather than hope for a solution, he is also ready for her to simply accept her fate.
- @Christina.moore2: I see a relationship between SF and life. before we had all of this technology most of the times reasons for death were speculation. Then as science improved we began to be able t tell what actually killed something or someone. The point im getting at is that we tend to not want to let go until the death is proven or justified but we can not fight against fate. Whether we like it or not we have to move on or face the consequences.--TSmith2020 (talk) 21:55, 13 October 2019 (EDT)
October 13, 2019 "33" and "The Cold Equations"
The Battlestar Galactica episode titled "33" follows a group of humans aboard the ship Galactica as they are being pursued by the Cylons, or robots, intended to wipe out the humans. There is a clear connection between this episode and the short story "The Cold Equations" in that they both deal with human morality and advanced technology.
In both the episode and the short story there is a lack of morality among the characters, or rather there is a prioritization of something above human life. In the short story, physics is clearly prioritized over a human life, which, in this case, is a young girl named Marilyn. Rather than helping save her, Barton and the rest of the crew accept that she is going to die because the law says there is not enough fuel for her. In the episode, there seems to be a theme of consequentialism, which basically means that the ends justify the means. In the article "What We're Fighting For: Battlestar Galactica's Moral Philosophy", the author says "we should judge the morality of an action solely by its consequences".. This certainly seems to be the logic used in episode "33", seeing how the commanders would rather focus on saving a large amount of people over just a few.
In both the episode and the short story there is a clear use of advanced technology. In both there are space crafts that are involved in interplanetary travel, as well as new civilizations that are able to survive on other planets. While there is not much talk of artificial intelligence in the short story, it is a focus in the episode. The entire plot seems to be based around avoiding attacks from the Cylons, which are artificial intelligence. It is not clear why they are trying to attack the ships, but it is clear that they want to get rid of the humans. This idea plays off of the fear that society has of A.I. rising up and taking over civilization.
- @Christina.moore2: I enjoyed reading your post. I never looked at both of the stories as lacking in morality, so it was interesting to see your take on it. I saw it more as the characters trying to do the best the could, but some lives outweighed the lives others. Great Post!! Brebre143 (talk) 15:25, 13 October 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: I'm glad you mentioned that it's not clear what the Cylons wanted from the humans in the episode, Christina. I wondered why they were fighting too. Without more context about that, we really just have to assume that the humans are the "good guys" in the conflict, but there could always be more going on. -MorganAtMGA (talk) 20:42, 13 October 2019 (EDT)
October 20, 2019 "Impossible Dreams"
The short story, "Impossible Dreams", by Tim Pratt, follows a man named Pete who finds a video store from an alternate dimension. While there, the movie lover finds many films that he has been longing to see and has not had the opportunity too. Through his pursuit of the films, he finds many difference between his world and the parallel universe.
In his article "Parallel Worlds in Science-Fiction Literature", John Barber says "Parallel worlds are situated alongside our own, separate, unique, but occasionally intersecting." He mentions the idea that our "perceived universe is but a single aspect of a multiverse". This type of intersection is demonstrated in the story in the way that Pete is walking down a street he has been on many times and comes across a shop that seems to appear and disappear out of nowhere.
There are clear differences between the two worlds. One difference is seen in the movies. Both Pete and Ally are big movie lovers, but each remember the same movies differently. They remember different actors staring in the same movies, as well as different directors. Another difference between the worlds is the money. When Pete tries to pay with cash and his card Ally tells him they do not accept the type of card and that the money is fake. Also, the type of DVD players used by Ally and Pete are different.
October 20, 2019 "Impossible Dreams" and "The City on the Edge of Forever"
There are some similar themes found in the short story "Impossible Dreams" and the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever".While the story seems to focus on parallel universes, the episode focuses more on time travel.
In the episode, Dr. Mccoy, Spock, and Kirk travel back in time after going through a portal they found. While there, they meet a woman named Edith Keeler who plays a big role in the past when it comes to World War II and Hitler. If she is not killed Hitler will win the war. In his book Time Travel, John Hamilton says "a common time travel rule in fiction is that people who go forward or backward in time can observe events, but cannot be seen or change what is happening." He says that "even the smallest change alters history", and in this case the change is for the worse. Even though they do not want Edith to die, more lives are at stake.
Finding Love in Parallel Universes
In both the story and the episode a main character falls in love with someone they should not have. In the story, Pete is in love with someone from a parallel universe. In the end, she stays in his world and they are able to be together seemingly without any consequences other than her not being able to get back. In the episode, Kirk is not able to be with Edith because if he is there would be damaging effects to the future.
@Christina.moore2: I also talked about the idea of love in another universe. It made me think about those people who often feel lonely when they fell like they can't find love. Do you believe that their could be love for these people in another universe or space in time? Ever since this class started I've been having thoughts of the what ifs of science and its findings and that was one of my thoughts this week.--D.Sams96 (talk) 19:38, 20 October 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: The striking differences in the end result of both stories being changed by just the difference of past versus future is interesting. We can compare this in some ways to our own simple way of living. With the past, we have to accept what was and must be. With the future, we have more freedom to experiment and see what will happen, as it has yet to come. Tprouty93 (talk) 00:47, 21 October 2019 (EDT)
- @Christina.moore2: I find the idea of falling in love with someone from a different world interesting. Like in the text, if we did go to another world, what would happen? I think it would cause some type of catastrophe in our world because of the imbalance. What do you think?--Daisja30 (talk) 23:21, 27 October 2019 (EDT)
- @Daisja30: I agree with you. I believe that, although they are separate worlds, they are still connected. That being said, if two people from two separate worlds were to fall in love they would be setting off some sort of chain of events that perhaps could be catastrophic. Christina.moore2 (talk) 12:45, 28 October 2019 (EDT)
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