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1 Lecture 3: Utopia/Dystopia Professor Victoria Meng Does Technology Determine Culture?

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Presentation on theme: "1 Lecture 3: Utopia/Dystopia Professor Victoria Meng Does Technology Determine Culture?"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Lecture 3: Utopia/Dystopia Professor Victoria Meng Does Technology Determine Culture?

2 Previously… Media Continuity All “old” media was once “new.” All media are human extensions.

3 Previously… Key Terms Content Form Message Medium

4 4 Lesson 3: Imag(in)ing New Media Lecture 3: Utopia/Dystopia: Does Technology Determine Culture?

5 5

6 Thomas More ( ) 6

7 Utopia (published 1516) 7

8 8 Utopia |yoō ˈ tōpēə| (also utopia) noun An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More. The opposite of dystopia.ORIGIN based on Greek ou ‘not’ + topos ‘place.’

9 9 Dystopia |dis ˈ tōpēə| noun An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. The opposite of Utopia ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from dys- [bad] + Utopia.

10 10 Some Popular Dystopian Works A Brave New World 1984 Fahrenheit 451 The Terminator series The Matrix series Minority Report I, Robot V for Vendetta Watchmen Samurai Jack…

11 Dystopian Stories 11 Dystopias are entertaining!

12 12 Dystopias are entertaining! Dystopias are cinematic! Dystopian Stories

13 13 Dystopias are entertaining! Dystopias are cinematic! Dystopias often use futuristic technologies as an allegory or displacement of social problems. Dystopian Stories

14 Blade Runner (1982) 14

15 Blade Runner (1982) 15 Blade Runner uses its dystopic setting to make its storyline more engaging; it uses imaginary technologies to exaggerate the nature and effects of the characters’ conflicts.

16 16 Blade Runner (1982) Blade Runner exploits the cinematic potentials of its dystopian setting.

17 17 Blade Runner (1982) Dilemma: If machines are too human, should we change our laws and our culture to accommodate their “human” rights?

18 18 Blade Runner (1982) Blade Runner (and other dystopias) allegorize and displace existing social problems.

19 19 Blade Runner (1982) Allegory 1: New technologies have both improved and complicated our lives.

20 20 Blade Runner (1982) Allegory 1: New technologies have both improved and complicated our lives. Allegory 2: Our industrialized and capitalistic society has alienated us from many other people.

21 21 Technology is a part of history. Raymond Williams, “The Technology and the Society”

22 22 Technology is a part of history. Technologies are both causes and effects. Raymond Williams, “The Technology and the Society”

23 23 Technology is a part of history. Technologies are both causes and effects. Technology does not emerge from a vacuum. It is informed by economic, political, technological and cultural factors. Raymond Williams, “The Technology and the Society”

24 Wrapping Up the Lecture 24 Debunk technological determinism Technology is not a bad genie; it is not separable from society. Ted Friedman, “Tweeting the Dialectic of Technological Determinism.” Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

25 End of Lecture 3 Next Lecture: Extended Abilities: Where is the body/world boundary? 25


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