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Class Notes 04/ 18/ 11

Hilary_Brashear's picture

In continuing our discussion Chorost and new technologies Professor Dalke brought up Paul Grobstein and his discussion of language: we need an ambiguous transaction in order to get a response.

Mirella questioned if efficiency is getting rid of ambiguity? Can efficient communication still have an inaccuracy?

Sadie pointed out that we presume that efficient forms of communication (sending a text) can be more accurate when in fact it could be more ambiguous. (what did that text really mean)

Nick said that defining efficiency as something that is quick and to the point, assumed accuracy is a cultural definition of efficiency. Efficient communication leads to brevity which could be more ambiguous.

We then returned to a discussion of Teknolust and tried to process the exercise of observing and interpreting from last Wednesday. We determined you cannot separate observations from interpretations but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. To be conscious that we will not see the world “with pristine eyes” is an important exercise in and of its self.

Teknolust made to highlight human relations. What happens when you create a family of a virtual and a real world?

Liz asked us to think about the movie visually in terms of concentric spheresà movie about relationships and out inter dependency. Virtual world vs real world. SRAs interpreted as being Rosetta’s alter egos: in her head is the virtual world that defines herself. The clones represented her, actualized. Another interpretation was that they were actual beings that created a family of real and virtual beings. The virtual beings become real.

[Look at the attachment "Visualizing Teknolust" to see the concentric circles we came up with]

Apo’s interpretation: Rosetta is everything and Rosetta represents humanity

We then turned our discussion to Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild

We divided into small  groups to discuss observations and interpretations

In my group: m.aghazarian, smile, marina, hilary_brashear

-Humans as a technology for birth for the aliens. Interdependency they both need each other, the aliens take care of the humans but they need the humans to reproduce themselves. Metaphor for human relationship with technology: in the story we are the Tlic and the humans represent technology making   emotions a part of the relationship with technology.

According to Butler, “Bloodchild” is: A love story, a coming of age story, a pregnant man story, a story of “paying rent”

She also states that what people bring to the work is as important to the work as what she puts into it.

Interpretations of the story: Humans as technology, interdependency, the violence of the story, Pregnant man story, inequality and subjugation, Power dynamics, Eggs as a form of mind control, Role of love.

In our discussion many people brought up the confusion of the gender of Gan, some people thought Gan was female. This led us to the question of why do we automatically look for the gender of the characters?

We then moved to questions of how we view birth. Birth itself is violent and bloody, why do we view the birth in the story? Relationship of cesarean birth vs this cutting open. We decided that what is unnatural is the interspecies. The mixture of life and death

Our discussion then moved to issues of power.

Nick said the birth seemed unnatural because of the power imbalance, humans are so restricted, Gan does chose but what are his options?

We mentioned that it was easy to see the racial parallel but gender was more complicated. Butler said this was her pregnant man story, not the slavery story. It blurs the lines about interpreting sex

Kate: thought everything was human. Gan calls the procedure as alien and therefore wrong.

We ended with Professor Dalke’s thought: To what degree are we all aliens to one another.   


Visualizing Teknolust.docx12 KB


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