Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Progress and challenges

In the past month, I have summarized and written the bulk of my sections on ExtrasThe Adoration of Jenna Fox, and Feed. Although I wanted to be done with all of this by the end of February, I only have two books left to review, Uglies and Ender's Game, and I feel that I'm in a pretty good place. Most of these works will average about ten pages, although Uglies will technically address three books, and will likely be the longest section.

Right now, I'm just writing, just drafting. I'm working through how I want to approach this paper. The main point of my work is the value of humanity, which is threatened by various technological implementations throughout the books I have selected. Although some of this can be attributed to transhumanism, not all of it is, which has been interesting for me, I'm certainly still referencing trans and posthumanism, but the technological aspect has gotten wider. I've begun to call the technological influences in my books "Radical Transformative Technology," which I believe well encompasses transhumanism, posthumanism, and everything before and in-between.

I've discovered that each book teaches different things regarding the importance of humanity, which has become the real purpose of my thesis. Feed teaches the importance of free thought. The Adoration of Jenna Fox address faith. Extras addresses the mistakes that accompany free will. Uglies addresses _______(I want to say "control," but I need a better word). Ender's Game addresses manipulation. In all of these themes, humanity is the uniting force, and can see the strands that link each work. When any kind of radical transformative technology is implemented, humanity suffers.

Interestingly, to me, The Adoration of Jenna Fox has been the hardest work for me to write about. I wrote about eight pages and stopped. The issue of faith has been challenging to address, however I believe it is crucial to my topic. I am a devout Christian, I believe that every human being has worth because they are God's creation and, when I look at transhumanism and posthumanism, I see potential threats to the sanctity of life. I can certainly make most of my arguments against radical transformative technology without getting into Christianity, and most of the works I have chosen have a non-religious base, but Jenna Fox is intrinsically tied to Christianity. For this reason, I think faith is something that should be considered. After all, it is an important element of many people's lives, and is arguably as important as free will and free thought. I have plenty of academic sources to back up what I want to say, but it's been challenging.

I'm still seeing where this is all going. Right now, I'm still happy. I think my thought process is doing just fine.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ideas Transforming

Throwing a few screenshots up to show how, when I write, I have conversations with myself in comment form. Every time I write, my thesis changes a little bit-- which is excellent, and I learn a little more about what I think about my own ideas. Even if it's not yet clear to others, I see the strands beginning to take form and it makes me very happy.




On a side note, yes it is a Saturday night, and yes I am doing work. My friends and my fiance will be quite happy when this is all over, because "you're always working, you're never around." Oops.






Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reading

This week, I've been working through How We Became Posthuman by N. Katherine Hayles, which is a key book in the field of posthumanism. Some of it relates to literature but, for the most part, it is a history of society's interest in technologically advanced humanity. I must admit, some of it is very dry, but it is fascinating and I'm happy to be reading the book in the field that all of the other books and articles cite. Next on my reading list is Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama.

The next portion of my thesis that I hope to knock off is the Lit Review portion-- the sooner the better!

Oops I forgot to blog last week....

So here's catching up. Last week, I wrote a portion of my Methods section and sent it to Alan, who gave me helpful feedback. I haven't updated it yet because I've been working on other stuff (see next blog). But anyway, here's a link to the Methods section in progress:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zqI-w7rFU7BzD3BEYoe0mfNSEbUxBIVv3HAfQGNlh_A/edit?usp=sharing


Progress and challenges

In the past month, I have summarized and written the bulk of my sections on  Extras ,  The Adoration of Jenna Fox , and  Feed . Although I w...