It is in human nature to classify, organize, and put into a structure the things we encounter every day; when we implement this “order” into our lives, we get a false sense of security, a sense of empowerment at being able to have control over the chaos that is our world. When we take time to actually study and analyze these categories and boundaries we have tried so hard to set however, we see that much overlapping and blurring of the lines occur, even in what is originally thought of as two very different things. Often times, there are distinctions created between two things when none is needed. One such example is the boundary set between the disciplines of humanities and science. Using the rules that define realities and dreams to define humanities and science, we see that the defining qualities and more specifically, the methods of inquiry in both science and humanities are so similar—so similar that they can be used for both—that they almost need not be different disciplines.
I had too much fun creating this video. Some clips were cut off too soon, and others need to be cut, but I think I'll just keep it the way it is!
The world of Hollywood is very intense and cut-throat, each person trying so hard to be more unique than the next. With well over several decades of history and probably thousands of brains that have contributed to the success and reputation of Hollywood, screen writers and movie producers are trying more than ever to be unique and original. However, as much as society pretends that it is not, Hollywood is still very much a part of life, a part of biology. Years and years of studies have established biological concepts on survival and fitness that not only apply to humans and living things, but also apply to the elements that are part of our lives, just like entertainment and film. More specifically, the principles of adaptation that the discipline of Biology has well established can be applied to film, and has been used to successfully transform novels into film, as shows by the movie Adaptation, which was very loosely based on the novel The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.
For the first time in a really long time, I don't have much to say. I find myself confused between what I thought was clearly the message of Slaughterhouse Five, and the discussions we had this past week.
I thought that Slaughterhouse Five clearly showed the effects of war and how it cannot be reversed, can never be properly addressed, and most certainly, that the very root of the problem, which is war itself, can never be stopped. This was done by what appeared to a lack of structure, by the juxtaposition of Billy Pilgrim's so-called "time travels" and his reality, by the clever invention of Tralfamadorians and what they have to say. It seemed as if on the outside, Billy Pilgrim has gotten over what he has seen at war, by merely saying "So it goes" for every death he has to encounter or remember, relive. In reality, however, he still cannot escape his tragic past, and the way which he copes with it is by imagining this world of Tralfamadore, where everything already exists, has already happened, where he is not accountable for anything he had no power over, and where the inhabitants seem to be nonchalant about even the most devastating events like death, because there's no other way to correct, alter or change them. Tralfamadore was his escape, where he need not feel guilty for how he felt, being unable to stop the bombing in Dresden. I thought the message was to show that these are inescapable effects of war, that there is no way of changing it, just as his imagined world of Tralfamadore perceives time and events.
I really liked Aliza's juxtaposition of Plagiarism to Tissue Sampling. Like I mentioned in class on Thursday, I think they're very much same processes. With that claim, I'm also claiming that our physical self doesn't belong to us.
Yes, it's a scary thought. But I really don't believe that we own ourselves. At a molecular level, what makes you, you, is your DNA. Even if you have different mutations that are unique to only you—or your family—the fact remains that 99% of your DNA is similar to every other human being's DNA (Stix). Only 1% of your DNA is different from your next door neighbor, your professor, or even Obama. Thus, our DNA, the building block of the self, is collective property. If we all have similar DNA and it’s the same for everyone, it’s not really yours. It’s shared, collective property that you really don’t have any rights to; if scientists want to take your DNA, your consent is not needed.
It was reallly cool for me to learn about the science of memory and forgetting this week from the Radio Lab that froggies so kindly suggested for us. But, I think I focused more on the memory part rather than the forgetting part. I've always had this idea that in our brains, we hold some type of ruler, or at least linear object that contains the fourth dimension of time. In this ruler, the things we've done, the things we are doing, and the things that we have been predetermined to do (I guess this bit was heavily influenced by my faith) are already set, and it's just a matter of where the pointer (also part of the ruler) is at that determines what we experience. When we are recalling a memory, the pointer just sort of goes back in time through that ruler to "play out" our memories. The pointer has one flaw though, it can never move past where you are now; can't play the future.
“Learning is like a vending machine,” my father used to tell me, “You get out of it however much you put in.” The equation seemed easy enough. A student goes to class, sits in a chair and listens as the teacher speaks for a given amount of time, and by putting in the effort of listening and paying attention, she learns the concepts the teacher is trying to teach. This process seemed to fit the equation, seemed to be effective enough. After all, there is no other way that society has ever learned. For hundreds of years, we have been learning through a hierarchical structure, one in which there are set roles for teacher and student, and no movement in between the two.
I talked very briefly with Professor Franklin the other day about my experience in this class. I told him that I often find myself very opinionated and biased coming into class, and very confused going out. I told him it reminded me of entropy. But beyond that, it reminded me of a text we read in my ESEM last semester, called The Library of Babel, written originally in Spanish by Jorge Luis Borges. The main idea he had was that the Universe is filled with these hexagonal rooms, a representation of the amalgamation of the knowledge that everyone knows. One of the things I picked up from the text, is the whole notion that any attempt to establish order will always result in more chaos and disorder. He said, "Other men, inversely, thought that the primary task was to eliminate useless works. They would invade the hexagons, exhibiting credentials which were not always false, skim through a volume with annoyance, and then condemn entire bookshelves to destruction: their ascetic, hygenic fury is responsible for the senseless loss of millions of books. Their name is execrated; but those who mourn the "treasures" destroyed by this frenzy, overlook two notorious facts. One: the Library is so enormous that any reduction undertaken by humans is infinitesimal."