Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blog 8


NEW SOURCE: Benesch, Klaus. “Technology, Art, and the Cybernetic Body: The Cyborg As

Cultural Other in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of

Electric Sheep.” American Studies 44:3 (1999): 379-92. Online.

This essay will be used to explore the way humans develop technology to construct identity, although I haven’t selected a passage yet that I find to be the most relevant.

Dick, Philip. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York: Ballatine Books, 1968. Print.

No explanation needed.

Dreyfus, Hubert L. On the Internet. London and New York: Routledge. 2009. Print.

I used Dreyfus as a commentary on the effects of technology as a result of disembodiment, so I’m going to continue to use it for that purpose in my revision.

NEW SOURCE: Feenberg, Andrew. Questioning Technology. London: Routledge, 1999. Print.

I’ve only glanced at this so far because I debated using it in my last revision, but I read an interesting segment about how technology is “unnatural” and how humans show examine their social relationship with technology, so this should blend in well with the rest of my paper.

Galvan, Jill. “Entering the Posthuman Collective in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of

Electric Sheep?Science Fiction Studies 73.3 (1997): 413-29. Online.

This essay will be used to argue about the detrimental effect of technology in that in prohibits collective action when everyone feels that technology brings them together for a collective good when it actually gives them that false sense of collectivity.

Marcuse, Herbert. "Introduction, Chapter 1." One-Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon, 1964.


What I’m mainly arguing about technology through this novel is that it leads to a lack of collective action and alienation, which is where Marcuse plays a role. I stretched him out a bit more in my last revision, so during this revision, I’ll have to see if I need to do anything else with him.

Sims, Christopher. “The Dangers of Individualism and the Human Relationship to Technology in

Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Science Fiction Studies 36.1

(2009): 67-86. Online.

This essay provided some insightful analysis about the empathy box and how it creates a false sense of togetherness. I might not use him any further in my revision, but I might just move it around as I rewrite.

I’ve become a little attached to my Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? essay because I think it speaks a lot to the discussion of technology and has the ability to weave in a lot of our readings from this semester to create a comprehensive idea of technology. I’m currently at eight pages, so another five will take to the preferable maximum of 12 pages. I think it takes a lot of finetoothing, which I hope to accomplish with printing the essay out and writing from scratch with some of the framework I’ve established so far.

The main argument I’m trying to make is how humans will create some technological tool with the goal of establishing a form of collectivity among other humans; however, it turns out to be a false sense of collectivity that consequently takes the form of alienation. I’m planning on losing a bit of the discussion about the meaning of “silence,” but just keep the parts of Isidore’s relationship with the empathy box. The purpose of the silence lost its meaning as I took the essay more in the route of society’s engagement with technology.

The introduction and conclusion will basically need to be written for clarity by introducing Marcuse and Dick together and how they will relate to the reader, and why the reader should even care. I plan to keep my discussion involving Dreyfus and the empathy box and embodiment, but I’ll do some editing on that and add details, which might be a good spot to discuss at length the KONY2012 example. I want to make sure I’m engaging with the reader enough to make sure he/she cares, while showing how it relates to Dick. It why the reader should care is because the essay will point out how technology does not lead to the collective action that they think it intends.

The one thing I’m debating is how I tackled Mercerism, because I feel like it’s a little unfinished and not serving the rest of the essay how I would like it to, but I think I can always work with it, because I don’t want to lose too much of Dick and turn it into predominantly Dreyfus. Really, the biggest challenge now for my revision is making a strong argument from the beginning and carrying it until the end, because I think I’m starting off a little shaky, building an argument throughout, then leaving on a shaky note.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I like your sources. As an aside, I'm 95% sure that Benesch was one of the guys who reviewed the manuscript of my book. I like his work. I also have a high opinion of Feenberg's book on Heidegger, so I hope he'll work out for you as well.

I don't have much to add here. I think you have a good handle on the research as well as on both the strengths and limitations of the original essay. I think you're at a stage where theres' a lot to be gained by rethinking the intro and conclusion completely, as well as reworking other critical parts.

What I liked best, though, was your discussion of what your thoughts on collectivity are. If there's one thing I'd *like* to see, it's to have an articulate argument on this subject- which, incidentally, I think would help you pin down what you're doing with Mercerism, too. Once the idea becomes clarified, I think Mercerism's relationship to it falls into place.

In other words - this sounds like a great approach.