Monday, January 9, 2012

Things Fall Apart!!! Postcolonialism? (:

Ummmm! Here's another blog! Yay!? (:
     Anyways we just learned about postcolonialism, which is intellectual discourse that brings together different cultural identities and colonization affecting the strength of identities.
     From a postcolonial perspective, "Things Fall Apart" desccribes the colonization of Niger throught he lens of the colonized individuals. Back in the past centuries, colonizing was a huge deal for economic purposes.  In the novel, the Englishmen come to wipe out one of the villages, which aggravates Okonkwo. However, the native tribes did not have the desire to fight and the whites started to convert the natives into Christians to take them away from being "savage". Now, there are two different cultures, but both are believed to be correct. The Christians believe that all the men should be part of the church and there's only one God to worship. On the other hand, the tribes cultural Ibo thing is the opposite; multiple gods and spirits are worshipped. For instance, this culture of theirs even eliminates and kills twins, becoming very fringe in the society to take over and colonize the tribes. Not only cultures, but also the governement side from a postcolonial perspective brings about in the novel. The District Commissioner describes thatthe burning of the dead tribal leaders' houses and the church needs to be based upon "the most powerful ruler in the world" (160). the Commissioner looks up to the Queen and only the Queen since she has the highest title at the table. The packet we got in class on "Historical Development of Postcolonialism" talks about how Europeans were biologically superior to any other race and the ones to rule the world. The Commisioner narrows his mind into believe only the Queen can do such things and rule the world, and only her.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Techno! Technocracy! Technopoly!

     Before introducing the chapter, a technocracy is practically a society where people care more about the effieciency rather than traditional concepts. Postman's “Technopoly” introduces the ideology of capitalism and how Arkwright's development of the modern fctory for increased efficiency brought us to a technocracy. “By 1850, the machine-tool industry was developed – machines to make machines” (Postman 42). People were not just typical humans, but instead used as business people for the industry.
      Huxley's “Brave New World” relates to Postman's chapter when Huxley mentions that in the World State, "ninety-six identical twins [were] working ninety-six identical machines" (Huxley 7). Machines are no longer just helping humans with technology, but now machines may be taking over humans and controlling them. "Technocracies brought into being an increased respect for the average person, whose potential and even convenience became a matter of compelling political interest and urgent social policy” (Postman 6). Like Huxley says in Brave New World, “even epsilons are useful” (Huxley 67) and "ninety-six identical twins [were] working ninety-six identical machines" (Huxley 7). At some point in the future, machines are going to become way more intelligent than us humans. These citizens in the World State each had to work to build a whole society for a better and efficient community. In other words, machines are taking out the useful intelligence out of our brains. People in the World State consider Ford as their God (After Ford and Before Ford), which connects to Postman's thoughts of out world turning into that same exact way.
      In relation to Kurzweil's article, Kurzweil fears the concept of machines taking us over, where Postman views only the positives of it. It's practically up to you to believe what you want to believe. Postman or Kurzweil? Is the world really going to come to a point where you cannot differ machines from humans or are we going to live under machines instead of creating them?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Watch Out . . . 2045; it will come before you know it, immortality!

Lev Grossman's magazine article, 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal, consist of several concepts that cause the audience to wonder about the future. Grossman introduces that in 1965, a high school student, Raymond Kurzweil, predicts a reasonable prediction that machines will grow to be more intelligent than us humans. This thought starts to worry humans and start to think if machinery is more of a relief for the people or a fear to the people. However, Grossman labels people who believe that machines will control us humans as radicals and cynics. In other words, Grossman is trying to say that people who believe this turning point must support and believe it enough to give their own life to the machines and technology. I think that the only advantage out of this turning point is if one were to die and suffer from a disease. Since in this case, machines can give a healthy mind to a diseased human and save them from dying. However, do us humans want to live forever and end up slowly transforming into an actual mind of a machine?

    Grossman's article relates to Huxley's Brave New World due to the article's foretelling of the world's future. In Brave New World, Bernard is a pretty smart person and has his own insights of Big Brother. Bernard plays as the role of Raymond Kurzweil in Grossman's article becuase Bernard makes predictions of the future and foretells things that the rest of the people in his world cannot recognize. The technology in Brave New World is the technology that Kurzweil predicts will take us humans over in our world. Just like the article, Brave New World uses medicine and drugs to keep the people looking young and staying happy. The only difference is that Brave New World's limit of living is at the age of sixty, where in the future, Grossman mentions that us humans will be able to live each day getting younger, rather than growing older every year.

    In AP psychology last year with Howerton, we learned about an experiment that worked with the cells of mice reversing in cell processes. There was an experiement where the cells were tested with a cure. Scientists were successful and were able to keep the mice living by removing the damaged cells. Grossman also mentioned this experiment in his article and shared the results with the readers, revealing that "the mice didn't get better; they got younger" (Grossman 3).

    Immortality and the growth of machines are the main concepts throughout this article. All in all, this article proves that it is possible for technology to overcome us humans. Humans have read stories, articles, and even seen movies about this growth, like The Matrix. Do you believe in this possible future or not? Think about it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Check it! It's NARNIA!

I just read this essay,, about C.S. Lewis and his criticism on the series of The Chronicles of Narnia being a myth or not. The author of the essay, Alicia D. Costello, views the different characteristics to determine if the series are actually a myth or not. Costello starts off with a great introduction, bringing in the readers to a somewhat interested state of being. “In the seven books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis creates a viable mythology that stands alone according to his standards, passed down through oral, prophetic, and natural means.” As studies were gathered together, several results illustrated the different and many mythologies he had referred to for the Narnia books, like Greek and Norse mythologies. Alicia Costello proves the point using actual, textual evidence from other critics and Lewis’s own Narnia books. For instance, in Lewis’s sermon “Myth Became Fact,” he mentioned that “myth is the isthmus which connects the peninsular world of thought with that vast continent we really belong to” (141). In addition, C.S. Lewis reveals a characteristic of Christian mythology mentioning that “The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be a myth, comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to the earth of history. It happens” (141). 

Although the author supposes that readers understand what a mythology is, the author still follows any points she makes with a crystal clear example, like textual evidences. In addition, the author follows many rules for proper grammar and writing techniques. For example, she ends up listing all, not just some, of the seven and plus characteristics of mythology. Throughout directly telling and quoting what every characteristic was, she also gave a well understanding description of it after, which helped readers understand clearly. She was able to reach out to many audiences, from high school students and older, since tons read the Narnia books and her essay had enough interest. Not only that, but the author structures his paragraphs in a way where it is easily to establish which characteristic is which. Overall, Alicia Costello wrote a well essay in which all audience should be able to understand due to the several textual evidence cited throughout the facts and details.