Sunday, October 27, 2013

Social Evolution Analysis

Nicholas ReetzHumanities Block 2Sherman

Blog Post Numero Dos

Fall, Mortality, and the Machine: Tolkien and TechnologyTechnology can be defined as the enemy to "the good life," as it often is portrayed in fantasy writings such as J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The mechanized, polluted future is always a nightmare hanging over Humanity's horizon, fantasy or reality; Sauron epitomizes it in the Rings Trilogy as he cuts down forest after forest in a quest for world domination, while Gandolf represents the protagonist Magic that wants to save the Peoples of Middle Earth. The idea of Technology only resulting in desolation, and of Magic being the only opposition against such a future, however, is very misconstrued. A matter of opinion, the argument can easily be reversed as Kirill Eskov does in The Last Ringbearer, twisting Magic into the antagonist. The only item standing in the way of this Eskov's prediction is the fact that Science has already triumphed over Magic: the age of the Magician was centuries ago, modern society revolves around the Scientist.

pg 129 "In every epoch, the ruling ideas...of its domination." From the chart concerning Epch shifts, the lines from page 129 best describe this article: the quote describes the ideological shifts Human Society goes through with each generation. Mentioning the ages of Magic and Science in Society, it presents the ideas of what the future would be like if Magic had triumphed over Science. Some generation at some point would've put their foot down and specifically stated that they would no longer accept Magic as a place in society, mirroring the ideological shift described in the quote.

From Snow White to Brave: the Evolution of the Action PrincessIn traditional popular culture, any sort of female protagonist is most often a Princess, rarely venturing out of the class. Iconized by Snow White, the values of fairness, beauty, and femininity are obvious. The recent movie Brave, however, uproots this classic image as the rough and tough Princess Merida takes the scene. However, despite contradicting feminine values, the fact that she's a Princess remains. Until Heroines manage to break this last barrier, and increase to the massive number of Heroes that exist, Women will always be culturally expected to fail and be saved by a Man.

pg 124-25 "It shows that history...a special character."This quote asks what values the current generation is pushing for, in contrast to those of the previous generation. As the article specifically revolves it's argument around two films, one from the previous generation and one from the current, this quote asks questions that directly relate to the article and will help in the understanding of it. The question of female values in each movie is an ongoing argument today; while not as unequal as it was years ago (Male bread-winners and stay-at-home Females), today's generation still struggles with equalizing the workplace, among other gender-related issues.

Pop Culture Has Turned Against the Liberal ArtsLiberal Arts have become criticized more and more these days, finding enemies in the political, intellectual, and economic worlds. Even the entertainment world is turning against it, as movies such as Liberal Arts and Hello, I Must Be Going have recently been released. In contrast to the popular Indiana Jones series of the 80's (a Liberal Arts Superhero), these recent films identify that "Pop Culture" is changing to a stance opposing Liberal Arts. What little hope there was about Liberal Arts making a come-back in the T. V. series The Office was crushed in the final season premiere as the two main characters are hinted at following paths of entrepreneurship and motherhood. The story being, that even when someone in today's society manages to break free from the office, the dream they want to end up living still isn't a part of the Liberal Arts persuasion.

pg 123 "In the development of productive forces...of fundamental revolution ."Both the article and quote describe how as technology changes and generations are replaced by generations, ideological shifts occur as well. Liberal Arts are no longer a profession honored by popular society, compared to the much envied Indiana Jones of the 80's; The ideological shift being that Liberal Arts are no longer a crucial part of society functioning.

The Meaning of Square: What's So Great About A Cashless Society?Starbucks' adoption of "Square" as a payment form identifies the technological changes modern society is experiencing, and points out that we are moving towards a cashless society. Working without tangible currency holds a variety of benefits, such as facilitating financial transactions and encouraging social interaction between seller and buyer, in contrast to the inhuman swiping of credit cards. However, by making it so easy to spend money, many Americans may not realize how much they do spend and could easily cause financial trouble for those unwilling to pay close attention to their online bank records. Whether a cashless economy is beneficial or not, though, the steps Starbucks is taking is proof we're moving towards it. The question isn't of if other businesses will follow suit, but rather when.

pg 129 "Of course, we shall not...quality and quantity."This quote describes the way in which Society is chained by certain elements of itself. The element being, from the article, cash and credit cards. While offering both sides of the argument as to cashless vs. cash Society, it most definitely weighs towards supporting a cashless Society. Certain benefits it included in the description of the wonders brought by switching to an entirely technological economy were that it would free us from having to try and meet the different requirements of stores and the population would be free to merely walk and walk out of a Starbucks with their goal accomplished in a matter of minutes. No longer would be chained down by the dollar bill. The quote identifies how technology and Society evolves to free us from what holds us back. While it's new technology, the idea is the same as it has been for thousands of years. We as a society, are just trying to make life easier.
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