Journal 13

One day, Marq and Rat go on a dragon hunt. Korga expects that the hunt will end up in the killing of a dragon. However, he is mistaken. The dragon hunt is carried out with radar guided bows and rather than killing the dragon, hitting the dragon with an arrow allows one to share consciousness with the creature for a moment. Rat and Marq both succeed in the hunt and later sing songs together. Singing songs is known as the proper conclusion to dragon hunting on Velm. Later on at a dinner party, Rat Korga is smothered by attention because he is the sole survivor of Rhyonon. The Web sees this and eventually takes Korga away with spaceships of the XLV, an alien race. Marq becomes emotionally destroyed by the loss of Rat.

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is all about the travel between various worlds and their diverse cultures. The travel of love and heart is also depicted in the novel. Delaney was able to forsee and predict the World Wide Web through his discussion of GI. GI allows one to have the capability of knowing about everything in the universe. Since Rat under went radical anxiety termination, he is given a GI headset. This headset in turns gives him access to a vast amount of knowledge.

Journal 12

In Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delaney, Marq Dyeth is an industrial diplomat or trade facilitator. His profession involves the handling of interstellar and interspecies trading agreements. His home, planet Velm, is the planet home to six-legged creatures known as evelm, and also home to humans. The evelm and humans experience different reactions with each other in both the north and south areas of Velm. When Rat is sent to Velm, he is discovered by Marq. It soon becomes clear that these characters are the perfect erotic partners for eachother. Marq and Rat go on to have many sexual encounters. These encounters are shown through “sexual runs.” In the novel, there are various combinations of sexuality including hetero and homo sexual experiences.

Journal 11

The Black Mirror episode we watched in class was based off of two broad points, memory and ethics. Memory is simply the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. Facts, knowledge, and experiences all fall under the concept of memory. On the other hand, ethics is defined as moral principles which govern or person’s behavior. Privacy, security, and surveillance all fall under ethics. In the Black Mirror Episode, we saw how technological advancements disrupted people’s memory and privacy. Technological advancements gave the main character the power to see his wife cheating on him with another man. Cleary, the woman’s privacy was disrupted by the technological advancement of surveillance. In class we discussed how the human brain makes us forget things we wish not to remember deliberately in order to keep us from going insane. However, with the aid of a chip behind the character’s ear, he was able to recall everything which happened in his life from his memory. This could be seen as a helpful device yet also a device of destruction. The chip helped the man figure out the truth about his wife yet also caused the destruction of his marriage.

Journal 10

The worlds created by author Samuel R. Delaney in the novel, Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand, are very odd compared to the world we know today. In the world of planets Rhyonon and Velm, gender is constructed differently than how we know it. “She” is the standard pronoun for anything while “woman” is used to refer to any person. “He” is a pronoun used to describe someone you desire. “Man” is simply a poetic word. Delaney explains a process of cultural fugue which takes place in the novel. He defines cultural fugue as a process when a whole plant destroys itself by means of apocalyptic conflagration. In this case, Rhyonon was the planet which destroyed itself. Delaney goes on to describe two main paths of civilization. The first is called the family. The family is centered on the belief of humanity’s origin on a planet called Earth. The family is constructed on structured choice and predetermined objects. The family is singular and stays consistent. The other path of civilization is known as the Sygn. The Sygn believe in free choice and elusive objects. The Sygn lack definite understanding and are diverse. Furthermore, it becomes clear that Delaney is focusing on two poles in the novel. The first being cultural fugue where there is always total panic. The second being Radical Anxiety Termination where panic is impossible because anxiety is removed from every individual. Delaney sees the blocking of information as the ultimate sin.

Journal 9

In class we discussed the topic of ethics and different theories which relate to its meaning. One concept mentioned was rationalism. Rationalism is a belief that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious beliefs. Evidence, costs, and benefits are all examples of rationalism. Another concept we discussed was subjectivism. Subjectivism states that knowledge is simply subjective and there is no objective truth. Subjectivism simply implies that knowledge is based on personal feelings and opinions and not fact. Subjectivism can be related to the Radical Anxiety Termination in Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. The RAT Institute created slaves by limiting their anxiety. By removing anxiety from slaves, the process allows them to do anything for their masters and only believe that their own opinions are correct. The last theory we discussed which can also relate to Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is relativism. Relativism is a doctrine which states that knowledge exists in relation to culture and society. Sexuality in the novel is practiced in different ways on different planets. For example the understanding of sex is different between the cultures of Rhyonon and Velm. On Rhyonon, individuals of the same size are allowed to have sex. Anything which deviates from this practice is unacceptable. On Velm, sex between humans and evelm, six-legged creatures, is permitted.