Journal 7

With the semester coming to a close, this is just a short reflection on the class.

What in the world was this class supposed to teach me besides how to pull a paper out of a very vague prompt?!

I felt that separately the topics were very interesting but there seemed to me that any crossover was forced.

Also, I would have been very grateful if we talked about what we were supposed to have read for that day.


Journal 6

In the reading of The Buried Giant, I have only one real question and maybe it was answered but Does crossing to the island mean dying?

The boatman is one of the most ambiguous characters. At first he seems like a passing character but he, or at least a version of him, shows up at the very end.

The image of the boatman is a very common theme when looking at the death myths in culture. Greeks believed that there was a ferryman across the river Styx. It is in many hymns about “crossing Jordan” in the African Christian Spirituals.

Another reason that I think that the going to the island means dying is that we find out that Beatrice and Axl’s son is dead but at the very end she believes that they might catch a glimpse of him on the island.

Journal 5

Honestly, I hate ethics. There is always more than one answer, one never really better than the other. Considering the trolley example, most would say to switch tracks an let the one die instead of the five. Almost everyone would change their mind if the one was someone they loved. In ethics, there is no non-biased answer either. If you chose to kill the one instead of the many, it’s because it’s easier for you to defend and cope with, less blood on your hands as it were. The decision isn’t made using any of the ethical principles we talked about. In situations like that there isn’t enough time.

This is were the debate for robots comes in. If we were able to create artificial intelligence that doesn’t mean we have created the solution for ethical and moral dilemma’s. There are too many theories to sift through in order to make a decision and we don’t know which method, if any, is the best.

Another thing is that we are not ready for artificial intelligence that takes a humanoid form. We have enough trouble dealing with the differences in our our species, do we really think we can handle the complications that a new being creates. Right off the bat people would be fighting over the subservient behavior some would want rather than give them rights. We will never create a robot with a human like capacity. There is no way to program grief, happiness or sadness only responses that may resemble such emotions and reactions. The human race would not be able to cope with another fairly sentient life form that could preform task and out live us without major fighting first.

Journal 4

As the week comes to a close, I find myself thinking on two details.

  1. What constitutes consciousness? We say that we are conscious and that there are levels of consciousness but how can we measure it, in its entirety, if we ourselves don’t know the limits. There is no telling what we can discover about the mind so who’s to say what level we are on and how we should compare to other beings.
  2. Ethics have always confused me. Because there can be more than one answer, none of them completely correct, it bothers me. As some people say there are multiple ways to get to the same place. In science, this is true but you should, if you are doing it right, end up in the same area, if the original science is wrong you just present the different results and let the scientific community test again to find the truth. In ethics there are multiple way to reach multiple ways to reach different places or the same place with details slightly shifted.

Week 3

Week 3


This week gave us a lot to think about.

The main issue being the excessive absurdity being coming from the white house. From the misguided attempts at national security to the appointment of the totally under qualified Betty Devos to the office of secretary of education. It was heart-warming, despite the fairly frigid temperatures, to see the support everybody showed towards our immigrant friends. Every time I hear that people immigrants are a problem I think that I should say something like “how do you think the Native Americans felt?”

I even see a thin vein of this in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Both the Church and Hank thought that what they were doing was for the best. The Church worked its way into “the Factory” so that they could take control when Hank left. They thought that they were restoring order. Of course if this Church was really historically accurate, they would probably have more selfish reasons than that. Hank saw the people of the 6th century as less because they did not have the advancements and motivation to work that he did. He thought that he was helping them realize their potential as humans. The connection to our current situation, is that the people in charge think that what they are doing is for the best. And it’s never the best for everyone. Though Hank brought the 6th century’s technology into the realm of his modern age, he had to re-in doctrine the people living there. He changed social dynamics so radically, that it probably threw many of the people for a loop and if they didn’t follow his ideals, they were left out. Hank also killed like 30 people for no reason. Because of the Church’s scheming, they caused the atmosphere that lead to Hank’s eventual belief that everything had to be destroyed before it could be rebuilt. This caused the needless deaths of basically every knight in the kingdom.