Monday, October 31, 2011

Hanna and Genetic Research Blog

Today we finished watching the movie in class, I missed the first half of it but I think I still got what was going on in the movie.  Basically Hanna is a genetically engineered human made to fight, which ties in with the question's we were assigned in this blog.

Question 1: what if you really loved your dog or cat and wanted one exactly like it?

If I was in this situation I would probably just accept that my animal is not going to live forever and I have to cherish the time that I have with it.  I do have to say that I love my dog and I would be devastated if I ever lost her, but I would not want another dog exactly like it.  Even if I got a clone of my dog that managed to look the same, even act the same and have the same personality, I still would know that it was not the same dog, its just a copy of it.  None of its memories, or the tricks that I thought it would be in this new dog, it would basically be an empty shell of my dog that I loved.

Question 2:Would you be willing to be part of a genetic experiment that not only strengthened your                            muscles but prevented them from deteriorating with age?

I definitely would take part in this experiment and I do not have any problem with it if it was implemented in to the current system and became widely available.  It would be great to never have to worry about deteriorating muscles with old age, I would be just as strong now, as I would when im 90, if not even stronger then.  But would you also live longer because your heart would never deteriorate either?  If that was the case then I would just consider that and added bonus, along with having stronger muscles.  I am in no way against this and I would be more than willing to have this done to me.

Question 3:if you had the chance (and it were possible), would you pick certain traits for your child before he/she was born?

No, I do not think that I would do that.  If I learned anything from the movie Gattaca I think it was that I do not want to fuel a geneticcly engineered society.  I would leave the traits for nature to decide, I think that having a geneticly modified  child I would be judged and ridiculed and so would the kid.

Question 3.5: Is this kind of genetic selection ethical?

(I seem to be stuck in italics in this font after copy pasting the ethic question and blogger refuses to change it)

No I do not think that this is ethical.  Just like in the movie Gattaca, the genetically modified people would have an unfair advantage over the natural born humans.  This may lead to them being discriminated and not even given the same rights (just like in gattaca).  If the only trait being changed though is disease prevention, then I would think that that may be ethical, but if you can pick all the traits, it is not ethical in my opinion at all.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blank Slate Blog Post (V.2 because blogger is not the champ of all champs)

For the third time today I am re-writing a blog post that decided it was going to vanish.

Here is the chunk from our discussion

Statement #2 - Mankind is basically good but society corrupts him/her - this one was a lot tougher to decide upon b/c students could agree w/ part of the statement but disagree with another part.  It seemed that a group of people ended up in the "I Don't Know" category.  This concept has been influenced by the discovery of the New World and the comparison of the Native Americans to Europeans.  The Europeans, in their conceit, couldn't understand how the Native Americans seemed to live in relative peace and harmony (compared to the Europeans and their religious wars), and many philosophers and writers felt that it was a lack of civilization, society or religion that kept the Native Americans conflict-free.  Pinker states that this concept is called the Noble Savage.  Mankind is good, but that society or complex structures and forms, according to Jean Jacques Rousseau, are what finally corrupt mankind. 

 - However, many of you were focused on the romanticized version of sociopaths (Dexter, Hannibal Lector) when discussing good or bad.  Do our actions make us bad or are there just bad people?  Is selfishness bad?  What about self preservation?  In many ways, the phrase, "the apple doesn't fall from the tree" could apply - we follow our parents' lead when we're young until we actually forge our own value unique system

For this question I went to the undecided section in the classroom.  I had mixed feelings because I believed that the statement was only half true.  I do not agree that mankind is basically good, because good is just what we percieve it to be, and it is diffrent to every person.  The crazy person down the street building a bomb may think that he is doing "good" because he will cause chaos and destruction, while to many others that is considered evil.  But I do agree that society corrupts people.  Eveery day people strive to reach social norms and fit in with the crowd, thus corrupting them and making them do things that they might not normally do.  So as you can see I have mixed views foe the statement.

Now on to the second part of the questions|

I do not think that our actions make us bad, because "bad" just depends on the interpritation, and everyone does things without thinking about them at some point in time.  I do not think though that selfishness is bad.  Is it frowned upon, yes, but we are built to protect ourselves not others, so we always strive to have the most of everything, and be the best at everything.

Sophies World Connection 4 (V.2 because blogger decided it would erase it -_-)

Well, this is the second blog that I have to rewrite because blogger was acting very strangely, but this time I am writing it in word so I will have a backup if blogger does not like what I write.  (I am hoping this will work when pasted into blogger because the last one had color issues)

Once again its time for me to write a blog about the “wonderfully interesting” book called Sophie’s World.  I will admit that I have been mostly skimming through this book and jotting down a couple of notes but I have not been absorbing all of its information, because I usually read it in other classes.  

After reading over half of this book I want to know why “Sophie” did not think that the events of the first part of the book were as strange as they were.  I get that it was a book, but still I did not feel like Sophie reacted in a convincing way.  If a strange man started contacting me through envelopes with no postage I would probably alert the cops.  Then as it goes on she finds it perfectly normal that Alberto is creeping/stalking her and knows everything that she is doing.  I understand how this whole section fits in the book (within a book)  but I just feel like it was not written in the correct manner and could have been written to be allot more convincing and interesting.

Real World Connection Number 4 (V.2 rewritten because blogger does not like me)

This is the second time that I have had to write this blog besides blogger deleted all my recent entries when my Internet was being shotty.  
In this real world connection I will be talking about the book Ender’s Game by: Orson Scott Card
We started reading this book in Sci Fi, but I had already read it when I was much younger.  But as we started learning about the Blank Slate idea in philosophy I started to relate it to relate that to Ender’s Game.  In the book the main character Ender has a brother and sister.  But both the brother and the sister are personality extremes.  The government in the book only allows each family to have two children to control the population, but because Ender’s family genes are perfect to raise a great tactician, they let the family have a third child.  This ties in with the blank slate theory because all three of the children were raised with the same methods by the same parents.  Peter, Ender’s brother is much to violent and unstable , and Ender’s sister Valentine is much two timid and shy.  Ender is perfect though because he is a mixture of these traits, and he can relate to people, while being strong but not crazy and  violent.  If people truly were blank slates those raised under the same conditions would have the same personality's, and just like in real life, it is the same in this book and  everyone, even siblings have different personality's.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Best Inception Blog Post Of All Time!

** SPOILER ALERT ** (maybe, read it and find out)

Rene Descartes' question - How - if at all - can we know whether the world we experience while we're awake is real or not? - really fries your noodle if you think about it too much.  So I am asking you to apply this question not only to yourself (part 1) but to the movie (part 2).  In the movie, the characters have totems to know whether or not they're dreaming.  But we don't have them to help us out, so how do we truly know?

(part 1) This movie made me relise that you cant really trust what is going on and you cant truley cant know if the things going on around you are real or not.  Maybe, we are still in a dream and when we go to bed at night we are just going into a deeper layer of dreams.  Or maybe even, what we think is reality is actually a dream and when we fall asleep we are actually waking up.  But, unlike in incption, we do not all carry around totems (maybe some of us do if they practice lucid dreaming and do reality checks) and we cant just check if the world is real or not, and it is impossible for us to ever find out.

(Part 2) Like I said in the first section, in inception the dreamers carry around totems.  They do this because to them they can use them as sort of a reality check and they can find out wether or not they are in a dream, no matter how realistic it is.  But people who practice lucid dreaming preform reality checks, such as looking in a mirror to make sure everything is the same, or breathing, (can you shut your mouth and nose and still breath).  With out these you cant really tell that you are dreaming, unless somthing unexpected happens.  But this movie also made my think, is our reeality actually real or not?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sophie's World Blog Numero Tres

In the book Sophies World, Sophie's starts to lose her grip on reality and starts to question everything around her, what is real and what is not.  Once again, like in our in class discussions, the movies Fight Club, the Matrix, Source Code Ect.  this is another piece of media that asks this question.  At first when reading this book I thought that Sophie was perfectly sane and the philosopher was just a stalker.  But as I reading I began to think that Sohpie's World is not actually the real world, she just thinks its reality.  I am beginning to think that she is somehow in a world (almost like a dream) that is run by the philosopher, where he controls everything and has the power to change everything.  But I feel like Sophie is real, just trapped inside someone else's fantasy.  The only way that I can be sure of what is happening is to finish reading the book itself!

Real World Connection 3 (aka I watched fight club for the first time)


After hearing so much about the movie Fight Club and how great it was I finally decided to watch it and see why everyone thought it was the bees knees.  During the first half of the movie, I was not impressed (I had extremely high expectations for this movie because I had heard how great it was), but as Tyler Durdan entered the picture it got allot more interesting.  Soon the narrators life was replaced with Tylers shenanigans and it seemed like as Tyler's world grew the narrators was being squeezed out of existence.  But then about 3/4 through the movie when you find out that the main character is Tyler, it gets extremely interisting.  This movie really got me thinking about reality.  Just like in Source Code, is your reality different from everybody else  and does that make it any less real?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

For this blog post I will answer two questions about the adjustment bureau,  Is Harry the Chairman?  Why or why not? And When Harry said to Elise and Norris that the Chairman rewrote the plan, the book showed a blank space ahead for the two of them.  What do you think that meant? 

Is Harry the Chairman?

No, I do not think that harry is the chairman.  In the movie the chairman seems to be some mysterious entity that controls the whole bureau and directs all the plans that are going on.  Yet at the same time that these plans are being developed Harry is working on trying to get David back onto his path.  Also the way Harry acts makes me think that he is not the chairman.  He is trying to help David but he has to be very secretive about it, almost like he will get in trouble if someone found out.  Also near the end of the movie, Harry gets a message that the chairman would like to speak with him.  This also leads me to believe that Harry is not the chairman.

When Harry said to Elise and Norris that the Chairman rewrote the plan, the book showed a blank space ahead for the two of them.  What do you think that meant? 

I think that means that the Chairman gave Norris and Elise control over their own plan, and there plan would be contentiously written as they lived their life's.  Earlier in the move the bureau is talking about two times when humans got their own free will with no plan.  They both backfired and horrible things happned such as the world wars.  But I think after the chairman saw how determined Norris was he decided to give out a third time of free will (only for Norris and Elise).  Thus they can write their own paths in life.