Eng 101: Virtual Reality & Composition

Bradbury, Lucidity, (Week Eight)

November 13th, 2011 by Casey Henry · Comments Off on Bradbury, Lucidity, (Week Eight)

Reading due today:  Ray Bradbury, “The Veldt,” available at:

Http://www.veddma.com/veddma/Veldt.htm

 

Assignment: Comment with a one paragraph response.

Possible questions to think about:

How does Bradbury portray the relationship of technology and nature?  Do you think technology as presented in the story limits, or enhances human knowledge or empathy?

 

 

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Scripted Interview, “Talking to Oneself,” David Foster Wallace, (Week Eight)

November 12th, 2011 by Casey Henry · Comments Off on Scripted Interview, “Talking to Oneself,” David Foster Wallace, (Week Eight)

Reading due today:  Excerpt from David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men (available on blackboard).

 

Assignment:  Please write a one-page (double-spaced)  “fantasy” interview between two famous historical personages (living or dead) about your topic (hence, these personages have something relevant to say about your topic, i.e. President Obama if you’re writing about foreign policy or government).  You may also continue another person’s interview for a substantial amount instead, if this seems more interesting to you.

 

 

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High and Low Art, Humor, Audience, (Week Nine)

November 10th, 2011 by Casey Henry · Comments Off on High and Low Art, Humor, Audience, (Week Nine)

Reading due today:

David Foster Wallace, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” (available on blackboard)

And

Dave Barry’s “Vacationland USA: Why Go Someplace.”   (http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/15/2204537/vacationland-usa-why-go-someplace.html)

 

Assignment:  Please write an one-paragraph response on one or several of the following:

What is “funny” about either piece?  Or what about the author’s tone / style / execution is funny?

What is the difference in style of humor between the two pieces, in your opinion?

Who do you believe these pieces are aimed at?  Why?

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“Virtual Infatuation,” (Week Nine)

November 8th, 2011 by Casey Henry · Comments Off on “Virtual Infatuation,” (Week Nine)

Read the following article & watch the embedded video:

http://singularityhub.com/2010/10/20/this-rocking-lead-singer-is-a-3d-hologram-video/

Also, read the following article on dating and World of Warcraft:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/fashion/24avatar.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

as well as the excerpt from Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on Blackboard.

 

Assignment Choice #1:

In your comments, post a Youtube video of a pop star, or moment in pop stardom, or a music video of a pop star which you believe exhibits similar qualities of “artificiality,” then describe why you chose that clip or what was specifically “artificial” about it.  This may be in the manner of dress, actual filming of the video, or some other quality which you can explain.

 

Assignment Choice #2:

Answer one of the following questions:  Is there something lost in the transition of avatar-to-avatar relations?  Is this still an “authentic” form of love, or human relational connection?  Why or why not?  Are there any overlaps between android to human love, avatar-to-avatar love,  and ‘actual’ human-to-human relationships?

 

Please designate which assignment choice you are responding to.

 

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“Dystopia as Present,” (Week Twelve)

November 7th, 2011 by Casey Henry · Comments Off on “Dystopia as Present,” (Week Twelve)

Reading due today:  J.G. Ballard’s “Billenium” (available on blackboard).

 

Assignment:  Find an example of something anticipated in science fiction that later came true.  How did the ‘uncanniness,’ or eerie similarity, of the description affect you?  Did it strike you as prescient?  Was it only partially correct?  How so?

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