Week 16 Blog Response

After watching Transcendent Man, this movie can directly be connected to Frankenstein in the sense that both creators want to create something that can somewhat serve as a purpose to themselves. In Transcendent Man, Ray Kurzweil mentions that he would someday like to resurrect the life of his father. Concurrently, in Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein strives to recreate life through the pieces of deceased human beings, thus producing his Monster.

The issues that I feel are raised with both lie along the lines of whether it’s morally acceptable for these “recreations” to thrive in society, and also the issue of whether or not these new “beings” are able to thrive in society, and if so is there a possibility for more of them to be created and live on as if they were normal human beings that were conceived naturally.

I feel that with today’s technology, there one day may be a possibility for the recreation of life in human form, but I feel that a technologically-innovated “human” wouldn’t fulfill any greater purpose than a robot or another piece of technology would. However, I do feel that it could be very much possible sometime in future, but it isn’t the same as a human being born out of flesh as opposed to being created in a laboratory, which is what Frankenstein did in his story and what Kurzweil is attempting to do now.

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Week 14 Blog Response

2. Ted: What the fuck are you doing? You killed him. Are you going to kill me next?
Allegra: Pikul, he was only a game character. I didn’t like how he was messing with my mind.
Ted: You didn’t like that, so you killed him?
Allegra: He’s only a game character!
Ted: Allegra, what if we’re not in the game anymore?
Allegra: If we’re not?
Ted: If we’re not then you just killed someone real.

 

I feel that during this particular scene, it may have been a shift in direction for me. At this point, I was a bit convinced that they may have switched back into reality, but once Allegra killed Ted, I instantaneously knew that they had to still be in the game, especially when Allegra screams out “Did I win!?” in triumph. The beginning of the closing scene in the movie when they actually reveal who the real video game artist is was when I could tell that the entire last portion of the game–the two waking up in the house to it being ambushed and out for Allegra’s life yet again and Ted revealing that he was a double agent–had to have still be considered the last part of the game because the events that do occur (spot-on murder in cold blood for no reason, Ted’s reveal, Allegra’s suspicions coming true and her ironically still living even though everyone’s out for her) realistically wouldn’t happen in reality.

This point in the movie further indicates how one’s existence can be either interpreted in certain ways or misinterpreted completely, and this idea arises numerous times throughout the film when Ted may constantly ask whether he is in the game or in real life or when he tries to get Allegra to come to a similar realization. When the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred, it may become difficult for a person to accept this or to come back to his or her senses and understand that the type of world that they’re partaking in isn’t actually how life is.

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Week 13 Blog Response

I think that Six may love Gaius, but only to a certain extent. I feel like she wants to have some sort of a relationship with him but at the same time she needs to fulfill her duties as a Cylon.

The current relationship that she has with Gaius seems manipulative, and it probably is. She doesn’t get upset with him when she catches him cheating on her, and I feel like she only says that she loves him in order to keep him around for the things that she needs to get done to end the human race, such as implanting the chip inside his mind and playing a major part in this decision-making, especially throughout the second part.

However, I do think that maybe as the series goes on, Six may begin to have feelings towards Gaius but only if those same feelings are reciprocated right back to her. As shown in the parts of the episode that we watched in class, Gaius is using her for his own pleasure and he really shows no legitimate feelings for Six. But I feel as here twin continue to interact mentally as the series goes on, some spark might ignite into a flame.

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Week 12 Blog Response

In the first part of Battlestar Galactica, we were introduced to the crew of the Galactica the Cylons, and learned that just when they thought that everything was peaceful and calm between the two groups, the Cylons decided to wage war on the humans.

The most interesting characters to me definitely have to be Lee “Apollo” Adama, the Commander’s son and the Commander himself. There is obviously some tension between father and son as the Commander tries to keep his crew focused during the war while his son has other plans aboard the airline that he’s on at the point of attack. There is also tension due to the fact that Apollo’s brother was lost in a previous attack, and while Apollo looks at the loss from a brother’s perspective his father approaches the topic of conversation with a more militant viewpoint.

The differences between both characters is apparent. Although they’re related, they have two different battle tactics and definitely two different attitudes towards their own jobs. Although the Commander obviously has more experience under his belt, his son comes off as overconfident and slightly arrogant since his promotion to Captain. These differences thus add towards each character’s own personal concerns: the Commander is working hard to save his own ship from being destroyed whereas Apollo seems to try to take matters into his own hands and acts almost a little selfishly.

I feel that the present situation between both men is normal, especially after the loss of one son and then again for the Commander as he watches his second son die on screen. I have never personally experienced loss throughout my life, but I feel that I can empathize with the anger that Apollo felt after his brother’s death and the guilt that he tries to impose upon his father at the beginning of the episode, only to almost be confirmed at the end when the Commander watches the aircraft become destroyed on the radar.

I feel that the first episode focuses on the normality of loss and anger and all of these other emotions because at this time, the remaining humans both onboard the starcraft and also on Earth can express these kinds of feelings against the Cylons even though we as viewers haven’t been fully introduced to the enemy just yet.

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Week 11 Blog Response

After reading Chapter Six in Representations of the Post/Human, the idea of diversity and acceptance throughout the environment in Star Trek was the one that impacted me the most, especially in regards to the debate over whether or not Data can be truly classified as a human being as opposed to an android in Starfleet’s society.

I really liked how the author expounded upon the fact that everyone in this society in accepted for whatever creature or form of living being that they are, whether they’re human or an organism from another planet. Everyone lives and works together in a functioning society for the better good of those on board the ship. It’s completely irrelevant to everyone the origin or background of the ship’s inhabitants, and the fact that this sector of Starfleet (and Starfleet itself, I presume) both tries not to make the same mistakes as their predecessors did throughout history (genocide, racism, war, etc.) and also stands up for those on board who are of different backgrounds and heritages.

In regards to Data, I feel that this is shown throughout the episodes that we’ve seen in class, especially in the first episode that we viewed when Data is trying to be handed over for an experiment. The way that Captain Picard blatantly defends Data and fights to preserve his life throughout the episode made an impact on me. In today’s world, the chances of meeting someone who would defend another person of a different race or background are very slim to none, even though initial racism and segregation is no longer a defining factor in the way that society lives, acts, and behaves.

It is through this that Data is able to live on without being looked at as a product of a man or treated as a machine that deserves no regard for the value of a human life. That, to me, is the most prominent idea that shines through both the chapter and the episodes.

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Week 10 Blog Response

In the most recent episode of Doctor Who, we meet characters who are clones of their human selves called “gangers.” To me, the most interesting of the group had to be Jennifer because although she was a legitimate clone of her human self, she was also fully and totally convinced that she was who she was formed from.

The ganger’s abilities to think and feel the way that they can think and feel in their human forms allows them to behave and react as if they were human. In Jennifer’s case, her humerus ganger forms enable her to convince Rory that she is indeed the real Jennifer and further allow her to recollect memories of her childhood and of her entire life, thus making her fight to survive greater than ever before.

For Jennifer, she acts so realistically that Rory has no other choice but to believe that she is indeed human due to her emotional state. Her ganger is so set on that she is real that her way of handling her present situation is by trying to convince those around her that she’s a human being and that she deserves the right to live.

She’s given that chance to live for a bit until her true monstrosity is unveiled at the end of the episode. However in the events leading up to that, she is able to manipulate the emotions of those around her, especially when she purposefully shows Rory the pile of rotting flesh from all of her previously-destroyed gangers. Therefore, her response to avoiding becoming another piece of flesh left to wither away is to act out violently towards those trying to destroy her and somewhat eerily desperate to those who she tries to get to save her life and save the factory.

Jennifer’s fear of being destroyed is the fuel to her rage and violence and ultimately the driving force behind the intense will she has to survive. She doesn’t want to die, and her feelings of fear towards death stem from her prior knowledge of what actually happens inside the factory and how the workers’ distinct lack of care and concern for the value of a human life is eminent throughout the workplace.

Throughout the episode, Jennifer’s attitude doesn’t change. For sporadic moments in the episode, the viewer thinks that there might be a chance that she is either a) really a human being or b) going to turn away from the possibility of a war. Obviously, neither choice happens, but the way that she comes across to those viewing her actions and the reasoning behind those actions make it convincing because she can be so versatile and unpredictable.

Overall, I think that Jennifer is a very complex character. Clearly her experiences at this factory have disturbed her mentally and play some sort of role in the way that she reacts in the situation that she’s put in.

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Brainstorming!!!

1. My favorite film that we’ve seen thus far has to be either of the Terminator movies (they’re all good), or Gattaca. In regards to the Terminator saga, I find both the plotline enjoyable and the action sequences very entertaining. In analyzing the films, I also find the concept of free will and destiny very interesting. Watching the movies keeping that thought in mind definitely changed my previous perceptions of the saga. In Gattaca, I really liked how the movie was able to portray a future where genetic engineering was the sole component to everyday life and how absolutely different society would become if the world was really run on a system such as that. I also thought that Jude Law did a brilliant job in the movie as well.

2. The character that I empathized with the most probably had to be John Connor. I could relate to his feelings of wanting to do something else with his life but being “predestined” to do something else. I could also relate to the feeling of needing some sort of connection between myself and another person, just as John looked for and tried to form those relationships between his mother, the Terminator, and even Kate.

3. The common themes that I’ve noticed throughout the films is how human manipulation, whether it be for the sake of science or destruction, changes the relationships between humans and also between humans and machines. Sometimes it brings the human race together, other times it brings humans and machines together. There can also be instances where war is waged.

I also feel that there are some films that have similar plotlines, if that can be considered “agreeing” with one another.

4. The film that is the most relevant to me in thinking about humanity and technology probably has to be A.I. The use of genetic engineering for the common good of society can be helpful to some families, such as David became helpful to the family in the movie after they lost their child. I don’t think that it helps in trait selection, because no one perfect and no one should attempt to manipulate the laws of nature in order to create “perfection,” but in regards to building realistic machines and programming them to express emotion could be beneficial to those who are looking for that sort of option.

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