Journal 10

This week I watched my classmates present drafts of their posters and also presented a draft poster with my group. Since being in college, I actually haven’t presented a poster in a course. Usually classes require a slideshow or movie. I have made and presented a few research posters, but they are very different than the ones we are presenting in this IP course. Compared to the research posters I have worked on, this poser had much less texts, more pictures, no graphs, and no sections like “methods”, “data”, or “results”. I liked working on the presentation of the poster. I think it was hard to find a balance of not putting too many words on the poster and making it look like we spent more than 5 minutes on it.


My group presented self driving cars and how they relate to work, ethical dilemmas, and memory. I think our presentation was a good first run through, but there was a lot for us to improve on. For one, we needed to look at stats of the current self-driving cars.


On Thursday we spent the last part of class talking about the Buried Giant. The main thing we focused on was how the author addresses to the readers. He uses words like “you” to make the reader feel included and part of the conversation.

Journal 9

This week we spent both classes watching Memento. The movie’s story wasn’t linear, instead two stories were shown simultaneously one starting at the beginning of the plot and one starting at the end of the plot, and both meeting in the middle. The story moving forward in time was shown in black and white, and the story moving backwards in time was shown in color. There were other hits to help viewers decipher at what point of the plot they are watching. Some of the hints include what tattoos he has and what condition his car is in.


The movie was about a man, Leonard, who had a condition. His condition didn’t allow him to retain new memories for more than a few minutes since his serious head injury. The way the movie was structured allowed viewers to see his life through his perspective. The colored scenes like I mentioned before worked backwards chronologically. So like him, we don’t know what has previously happened. Watching the movie for me was slightly confusing, but almost more vulnerable feeling because I didn’t know how to perceive the characters since I knew so little about their past. In class, one person used the word isolated and I agree. When Leonard woke up in a hotel with no recollection of what he was doing or where he was, I too didn’t know anything. As he looked at his tattoos for what to him seemed like the first time, I too looked at them for the first time.


In class we compared Leonard’s brain to a computer. His condition seemed to have reduced his brain to a machine. Things go into his brain, and are spit out, but nothing stays, nothing is stored in memory. He does remember feelings and emotions, when he wakes up, he remembers he wants revenge on his wife’s killer. One question this movie brings up is what is left, what remains of a person when their memories are gone?

Journal 8

In class on Thursday, we discussed the idea that companies may start selling people’s private browsing history to advertisers and other companies, and if that would be morally wrong. Internet service providers are what people have to go through to obtain Internet access. Personally, I think that the ISP should give people the choice of opting out or very blatantly notify their costumers that their searches are being shared.


I did a quick Google search and learned a few days ago the senate voted to remove what is called the broadband privacy rules. These rules require the ISP to require their user’s consent before sharing the user’s private browsing data. Now we are just waiting to hear what the House and President decide. Depending on the outcome, the ISP may be able to share their user’s search history without obtain their users consent.


We also spent a lot of time discussing our poster projects. I am looking forward to working with my classmates and hearing their perspectives on the topic we chose. Our plan at the moment is to look at self-driving cars, the moral dilemmas, how they will reduce work, and how autonomous cars relate to memory. With the addition of self-driving cars, driving jobs, such as truck drivers, uber drivers, and pizza delivery drivers will loose their jobs.

Journal 7

Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand explores the idea of someone having to restart their life in a completely different culture. In Delany’s novel, Rat Korga is the character that moves to a different planet after his gets destroyed. In class on Thursday, we discussed what questions and technology assistance we would provide an individual whose planet (or previous living) was destroyed.

I had similar questions as the ones we discussed in class. I would ask how they are feeling, learn about their culture, and try to the best of my ability to comfort them. I would want to learn about and document their culture and society. I feel that with only one survivor from a different world, it would be very beneficial and educational to record what life in the planet was like. I would be interested to know what the social structure and government was like and how it compares and contrasts to what we know in the US and on Earth. Discussing the relationship between individuals on their previous planet would also be interesting. If they were comfortable talking about their personal story of living on a planet that got destroyed and their feelings towards everything that happened, I would ask them.

Another theme in Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand is gender. In the book, the concept of gender binary is opened up and explored. For example, Delany uses the pronoun “she” for beings of any gender.

Journal 6

This week we read two of Asimov ‘s short stories, and a piece on machine bias. There are similarities between Andrew, the robot from The Bicentennial Man and Multivac, the giant computer from All the Troubles of the World and The Last Question.


In All the Troubles of the World, Multivac is a huge computer used to predict the future, greatly reduce crime, and protects individuals from themselves and each other. Multivac can also answer questions that people ask and print out a response. In this story though, Multivac seemed to have a mind of it’s own, it was able to decide its own course of actions. Multivac ordered a boy to attempt to assassinate Multivac itself. This request showed that it was very possible, with more practice, Multivac would be able to learn deceit. Multivac was acting like a living being and in the end, when asked what it wanted, Multivac said “I want to die”.


This is very similar to Andrew. For Andrew, he started out as a robot, taking care of the Martin family. He starts showing signs of having a mind, feelings, and other human characteristics, like Multivac. Still, Andrew had to obey the three rules of Robotics. This is similar to how Multivac couldn’t stop being a machine. Multivac couldn’t prevent reporting that itself was in increasing danger, and Multivac wasn’t able to hide the instructions it gave to the boy when the Corrections officers requested the record. Both Andrew and Multivac lived lives as robots with a mind that was able to think for itself. In the end, both Andrew and Multivac wanted to die.


A side note is that we also discussed the way Asimov portrays his female characters. Most of the characters in his short stories were men and the women characters were often described as shrill and less than the men.