Saturday, April 4, 2015

sci-fi option

For those of you-- Jordan, Miles-- who wanted to read sci-fi over the break, I'm offering this as an exercise in reading some terrific fiction and practicing your writing.  (It's required for American Lit, you can see their post here.)
Read a great science-fiction story about the increasing confusion between the lives of people, virtual avatars, and machines.  Here are some suggestions.  Read a few pages and see if one grabs you.  If you have a suggestion please post a comment so we can check it out too.

Imagine the following scenario.  You are being rejected for scholarships, university admissions, job opportunities, and even military recruitment because you are suspected of not being fully human.  Even as you read this authorities in a faceless office park are reading your file and determining whether to reclassify you as a tool and assign you to sorting multi-colored beads in a warehouse for the rest of your (battery) life.  Your job is to write a persuasive essay in which you prove that you are fully human.  It had better be good.  And it had better be on your blog by Monday, April 13.

Effective appeals will include:
  • Sound logic (think truth, validity, and effective use of ethos, pathos, & logos)
  • Avoidance of fallacies in reasoning and accurate identification of fallacies in the opposition's reasoning (so don't forget to include and debunk counterclaims)
  • Textual examples from novels and other source materials that illustrate:
    • How the book you chose used theme, tone, characterization, and/or other literary techniques to convey meaning to the reader
    • How-- even though science often begins with science fiction-- your world is different from the world described in the book
  • A thorough explanation of how your artificial body augmentations (braces, hearing aids, earbuds, phone-shaped hands, tattoos, piercings, etc. etc.) and habits (staring at screens instead of people, isolating yourself with personally contained music, e.g.) make you more human and not less.
Good luck.  I hope the authorities see you for who you really are.  Unless you really are a robot, in which case I hope they pull the plug.

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