April 29, 2005

Machines and Development

After analysing my thesis properly i decided that it was too broad and general, this presentation is an attempt for me to shorten my ideas and develop a new thesis and topic for my term paper.

Im not a technological oriented person, but it would be a lie to denny or ignore the influence that technology had among us through the outcoming years. All the kids fom our generation where raised in an era in which the nanny was television and the world of videogames was starting to emerge. Machines had dominated our ways of seeing and doing this,and in by doing so in modt cases this had brought toward us a helpful outcome.

But by working with machines and coexisting around them its the common fear that some of that dependence for that piece of machinery had also affected us in many diferent ways, dehumanizig us even, changing our ways thinking with feeling and making us instead begin to think more coldly and analitically, turning us therfore into living machines.

In the novel "The Diamond Age" we could clearly see an example this in the very begining of the story. The contast that it maked when we meet Bud for the first time and he describe getting a new model of his "scull gun". Here we have a character with a gun in his head, a piece of machinery that rest in his head.

We could see this as if this instrument would 'make him have a mind deprived of any human and emotions.' in fact as we meet Budd in the story we do realize that he indeed thinks as a computeried being, functioning with no emotion other than to function doing what he does best which is in his case robbing and terrifying people by using the only means of technology that he has available withing his reach, his 'scull gun". Instead of Bud acting with his concience and emotion he choses to be a 'hardhead' and find other useful more 'effitient' meassures to get ahead and succeed.

Also we see this relationship of a society dehumanized by technology in the story "The Machine Stops." This shows us a society in which everything and everyone is ruled by this giant machine, and how we can symbolize this technology and define it in an almost 'subgod' level, they base their whole society around them, they become like the machine, they only believe in efficiency and perfection. Anything unike in their world is considered forbitten. They had loss their humanity to this piece of metal that they themselves created, yet had become greater than that in the fact, that they had left themselves to be so influence by it, they do not realize, or do and not mind being under its control.

the play "The pick up Ax' is also a good example, in which the world becomes a video game in which only the stronger survive, the character in this story are consumed in their emotional loyalty by technology, bringing again the surface and mentality that only the strongest gets ahead. the vauge but present relationship in which echnology goes in between human emotions and friendship.

Also i would argue the possitive side of technology, the one used as a medium of comunication and development. In "The Diamond Age" however we see the relationship between humans in technology in also a very possitive light,, it was the relationship that Nell developed with the primer and how if it weren't for that tool, that piece of machinery that affected her and influenced her to learn and develop, she would had not overcome certain obsticles and most likely would had ended up like the rest of her family, her father, her brother and all the other low end people that where not worthy of the privi;edge of education and the knowledge of ideas.

And also the desire of Hackword's for a better future for his daughter, and the desire touse his abilities as a programer to achive a possitive "although an illegal purpose of achieving the book."

i dont know if to include and contrast with it another work of literature, from either another class or another writer outside it, maybe articles and outside information. I encourage you all to post coments in my site to see how it can be improved or changed.

-Thank You

Posted by MisheilaPellot at April 29, 2005 4:17 AM | TrackBack

You bring up many good points, several of which could stand on their own as topics.

Using The Diamond Age, Pick Up Ax, and The Machine Stops may be a bit much. The Machine Stops has only two real characters, and the conflict between them represents a conflict of ideas. Pick Up Ax also has only three characters, and the tension there seems to be that Brian and Mick both have a tug-of-war over Keith, though Keith ends up the clear winner.

In The Diamond Age, Bud disappears from the story very quickly, and at first it's not even clear why he's at all important. You'd have quite a bit of literary material to examine, but finding academic sources on precisely this topic will be a challenge. Remember, I'm not interested in whether you can or can't find an article that has already been written on your precise topic. I'm far more interested in your ability to demonstrate how you can use academic research (and specific references to the literary works) to support your own argument. Thus, if you find a book on technology and literature, or technology and gender, or the idea of human/machine hybrids, or any of the other themes you mention, if you can dissect that author's argument and apply it to your chosen literary works, then you'll be demonstrating excellent research skills.

If you're looking for help from peers, you might post questions on the blogs of students whose topics are similar to yours, offer them whatever tips and suggestions you can, and ask them to post or otherwise share whatever sources they find.

Meanwhile, there's no substitute for a discussion with a reference librarian. If you limit your library database search to only those articles that are available online, you are cutting yourself off from a lot of resources that are contained in print journals.

Good luck!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 29, 2005 6:58 PM
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