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  • Wikipedia | Dystopian Presents/Dystopian Futures
    very difficult to cite All of my teachers in my life except a physics teacher in high school have told me not to ever use Wikipedia as a source of information because anybody can change the information on the page Reply Jared Martin on April 4 2016 at 10 44 pm said I believe that the wholesale ban on Wikipedia throughout lower education especially high school is narrow minded but I understand where the opposition and adversity may stem from In addition I personally believe that using this website as a gateway for other information and potentially useful sources is very credible and worthwhile The function of the site as a means of distributing information to the public is very helpful and efficient but naturally has potential pitfalls with false information scattered here and there As a for a college paper I do not think it should be cited outright but should most certainly be warranted to browse for general knowledge and the occasional inspiration for a topic Because of its negative reception by many educators it should be left out of the works cited page and its content should not directly be used as a source unfortunately the use of this website would remove a sort of validity from the paper just by having this as a resource used The main argument against Wikipedia is that the information can be written by anyone online within reason As a result it is possible to use erroneous information toward an argument which could lead to even further complications in the future Overall Wikipedia s reputation is something that should stay away from a college assignment and used for personal knowledge and leisure Reply Weixuan Jia on April 8 2016 at 8 22 pm said I have been told countless times that Wikipedia would NOT be a good resource for a research paper It is important to know that Wikipedia can be edited by any person online I definitely agree this point since people s bias and personal opinions might influence what they type on the screen Thus as a student we might not be able to get a relatively more objective information However as you said Wikipedia is definitely a good start for a student who has no previous experience of studying on this topic Taking myself as an example I wanted to learn something about the Battle of Ravenna a crucial combat between the last troops of the Western Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic in 476 A D I knew nothing about this battle previously so I checked Wikipedia to get a very brief idea about what s going on during this combat Then I found this would be an interesting topic for me to dig in and I started to watch some documentaries and browsed other websites discussing about this topic in the next couple of hours Only having the chance of looking at Wikipedia first could I want to find more information about this topic If I had

    Original URL path: http://blogs.brandeis.edu/dystopia/wikipedia/ (2016-04-25)
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  • The People v Monstrous Terrorism | Dystopian Presents/Dystopian Futures
    Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas 2 22 Homo Sacer 2 24 Homo Sacer 2 24 2 29 Necropolitics Necropolitics Homo Sacer The Lens and the World What s your story Are they Right The Library of Babel Detropia 3 30 Wikipedia The People v Monstrous Terrorism Surveillance Colonialism and Shooting an Elephant The People v Monstrous Terrorism What were the most surprising interesting arguments that Puar and Rai make

    Original URL path: http://blogs.brandeis.edu/dystopia/the-people-v-monstrous-terrorism/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Surveillance | Dystopian Presents/Dystopian Futures
    and security to violation and discomfort Some believe that surveillance is being used to find a new way of meeting quotas in law enforcement for example Others feel that increased surveillance will hopefully translate to a lower crime rate and improved national security especially at a time when terrorism and political turmoil is enough of a motive for mass destruction Reply Anna Bulger on April 12 2016 at 8 10 pm said I think that the most common form of surveillance the kind of passive log of someone s activities and lifestyles people see through their social media Obviously this applies mostly to those demographics that use social media heavily but within those communities it becomes a sort of agreed upon and shared surveillance Part of the definition we are using for surveillance implies an aspect of secrecy and I actually think that that is clearly present in our use of social media While it is implicit that people look at the internet lives of others we use words like stalking and we think of the practice as creepy and weird even though information gathering is the point of social media at its bottom most level This effects people much more than I think most are aware of because a lot of times consciously or unconsciously your thoughts drift less from what I want to do and more of how do I want to be perceived Even for someone who is not very active on social media in that age range just the fact of having a small internet reputation is a type of reputation in itself it is just another piece of information that can be gathered about you without explicit permission Reply Gabi Tucker on April 13 2016 at 1 38 am said I am surveilled every day when I enter a store or a bank or even a school building Security cameras are placed everywhere to protect themselves from theft and criminal activity It also occurs when you are browsing products online and companies track your browser history and use that data to promote certain products to gain your attention I think that surveillance has a major effect on society however I think that it can be beneficial in some forms but detrimental in others For example I believe that security cameras can be quite beneficial in reducing crime On the other end surveillance occurs through the use of digital media and can violate your privacy and the NSA secretly monitors my browsing to make sure I am not involved in illegal activities There are positive and negative aspects to surveillance which can be argued Reply Rachel Marcus on April 13 2016 at 3 47 pm said The most common way for a person to be surveilled would be cameras that a re found in most public areas Children and young adults are under surveillance at school with attendance and logging into computers that belong to the school At home people are under surveillance when they are

    Original URL path: http://blogs.brandeis.edu/dystopia/surveillance/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Colonialism and “Shooting an Elephant” | Dystopian Presents/Dystopian Futures
    rewards in the future However I have never really considered colonialism from the perception of those oppressed by forced assimilation a negative byproduct of colonialism I believe that colonialism was only able to thrive in a time when countries were not as defined or advanced as today with so much legal and ethical documentation on how borders should be considered and stuck to Nonetheless there are still issues with borders and the opinions of citizens that are vying for the best possible outcome of the debate I believe the American people as a whole appreciate the notion of colonization because it is how our country was founded and how we further developed as a country with each passing decade Still in the same breath from the viewpoint of a Native American whose homeland was paved over that American ideal can be quite traumatizing George Orwell s Shooting an Elephant can demonstrate how a colonizer interprets the aboriginal s lifestyle as well as their purported views on himself in return There is a dichotomy of us versus them that shows the two conflicting sides of this dystopian utopian construct of colonization Reply Weixuan Jia on April 20 2016 at 3 54 pm said The age of colonialism gives me remind me of greed exploitation and atrocity Starting from the thousands years ago since the Carthaginian had built their colonies in Spain colonizers began to take advantage of the land that was far away from them and stole the resources for the prosperity of its own through strong military oppression of the oppressed Thus as the world was divided only into 40 countries before the dawn of WWI colonialism had shown its power as the dominant theme during that period of time Thus from my point of view the colonizers only serve

    Original URL path: http://blogs.brandeis.edu/dystopia/colonialism-and-shooting-an-elephant/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Dystopian Presents/Dystopian Futures | Dystopia is Now
    a moment of crisis at which a trade off is made between the desire for freedom which we might see as a desire to be free of corruptive language vs the desire for security to be safe from the disaster Dystopian literature often seems to view the letting down of the collective guard as the opening for dystopia but I think we should definitely not take this at face value P S If you are interested in how Latour tries to address this concern I can send you the article and or we can talk about it anytime Reply Julia Tartaglia on January 23 2016 at 4 47 pm said I agree with Orwell s argument that politics can be corrupted by the use of language that people accept superficially When people start believing the thoughts of others because the words sound good and trigger a positive emotional response they are not truly taking the time and brainpower to analyze the meaning of the words A clever politician will use ready made phrases with the intent to manipulate his or her audiences emotionally and lull them into neglecting their responsibility to think As these mind numbing phases are repeated they grow in power while people grow less likely to question them This phenomenon allows language to corrupt thought even among educated listeners who should know better such people would grasp the dangerous implications and potential consequences of words if they used their ability to analyze Our brains will protect us against corrupt thought only if we question the meaning and purpose behind the words people are using to influence us We have to be careful to analyze everything we hear because the effects of bad usage designed to trigger our positive emotional reactions can only be prevented if we are constantly on guard against them Citizens especially in an election year need to be aware of what politicians say and what their phrases actually mean to avoid falling victim to the corrupt use of language that dulls our thinking Reply Billy Chau on January 24 2016 at 9 11 pm said Although we sometimes make rash decisions to select a wrong politician that we thought would benefit the masses the North Korean government does not allow people to decide In the United States even if we make the wrong decision the people can still impeach the president and select a new one North Koreans do not have that luxury Their dictator is permanently their leader for life Reply Megan on January 25 2016 at 5 51 am said You both make important points and I think Orwell is useful in thinking about both Orwell s text does seem to be premised on a purportedly democratic system that he views as significantly compromised by empty rhetoric he is very concerned with situation which seem politically free in works like The Road to Wigan Pier and The Clergyman s Daughter On the other hand Orwell is most famous for his work on totalitarian societies in which not only is choice not an option but where in freedom of speech usually is not either It is definitely helpful to think of how language functions and what we might do to protect ourselves in both context Orwell seems to be fairly pessimistic about what happens once a totalitarian government takes hold which he sees as always a possibility in political formations Reply Jenni Lin on January 24 2016 at 6 05 am said I agree with Orwell in that I believe using phrases can sometimes inhibit our thinking Because imitation is much easier than creation a ready made phrase can be so convenient that we rarely contemplate it when we use it As a non native English speaker I often have trouble understanding the phrases when I first encounter them Some of them are easy to understand and memorize but most of the time they hardly make sense for people who do not know the literary or historical allusions behind the phrases or share the same cultural backgrounds When I first learned the usage go dutch I could not guess its meaning from the words According to what I read on the Internet this phrase contains some sort of stereotype that Dutch people are usually stingy and unwilling to pay for others bills This phrase has survived three hundred years and most people are now no longer aware of its negative connotation but by using it they become a disseminator that help spread the implicit stereotype Language has been such an integral part of our daily life it is something like breathing or blinking which we do not think twice before doing As a result the usage of language makes us vulnerable to brainwashing Realizing the power of language I do believe that we need to be cautious about the phrases that we use yet we should also be careful not go to extremes as too much precaution can fetter our thinking too Reply Megan on January 25 2016 at 6 02 am said Jenni You make an excellent point about the implicit bias ideology that pervades language This has been one of the chief insights of ideology critic especially the critical practices of race gender and queer studies This also reminds me of the current debate regarding trigger warnings and microaggressions that were particularly pointed last year Both have been characterized by some as a way of policing language that ultimately limits academic freedom and rigorous debate and though I think there is an important other perspective that is often neglected in this view it is interesting to consider Reply Gabi Tucker on January 24 2016 at 4 03 pm said I agree with George Orwell to the extent that language and thought do go hand in hand Language and the means by which one expresses themselves does in fact affect the way we think as well as the way that we express our thoughts Language may determine our thoughts to some degree

    Original URL path: http://blogs.brandeis.edu/dystopia/?replytocom=6 (2016-04-25)
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  • Dystopian Presents/Dystopian Futures | Dystopia is Now
    a moment of crisis at which a trade off is made between the desire for freedom which we might see as a desire to be free of corruptive language vs the desire for security to be safe from the disaster Dystopian literature often seems to view the letting down of the collective guard as the opening for dystopia but I think we should definitely not take this at face value P S If you are interested in how Latour tries to address this concern I can send you the article and or we can talk about it anytime Reply Julia Tartaglia on January 23 2016 at 4 47 pm said I agree with Orwell s argument that politics can be corrupted by the use of language that people accept superficially When people start believing the thoughts of others because the words sound good and trigger a positive emotional response they are not truly taking the time and brainpower to analyze the meaning of the words A clever politician will use ready made phrases with the intent to manipulate his or her audiences emotionally and lull them into neglecting their responsibility to think As these mind numbing phases are repeated they grow in power while people grow less likely to question them This phenomenon allows language to corrupt thought even among educated listeners who should know better such people would grasp the dangerous implications and potential consequences of words if they used their ability to analyze Our brains will protect us against corrupt thought only if we question the meaning and purpose behind the words people are using to influence us We have to be careful to analyze everything we hear because the effects of bad usage designed to trigger our positive emotional reactions can only be prevented if we are constantly on guard against them Citizens especially in an election year need to be aware of what politicians say and what their phrases actually mean to avoid falling victim to the corrupt use of language that dulls our thinking Reply Billy Chau on January 24 2016 at 9 11 pm said Although we sometimes make rash decisions to select a wrong politician that we thought would benefit the masses the North Korean government does not allow people to decide In the United States even if we make the wrong decision the people can still impeach the president and select a new one North Koreans do not have that luxury Their dictator is permanently their leader for life Reply Megan on January 25 2016 at 5 51 am said You both make important points and I think Orwell is useful in thinking about both Orwell s text does seem to be premised on a purportedly democratic system that he views as significantly compromised by empty rhetoric he is very concerned with situation which seem politically free in works like The Road to Wigan Pier and The Clergyman s Daughter On the other hand Orwell is most famous for his work on totalitarian societies in which not only is choice not an option but where in freedom of speech usually is not either It is definitely helpful to think of how language functions and what we might do to protect ourselves in both context Orwell seems to be fairly pessimistic about what happens once a totalitarian government takes hold which he sees as always a possibility in political formations Reply Jenni Lin on January 24 2016 at 6 05 am said I agree with Orwell in that I believe using phrases can sometimes inhibit our thinking Because imitation is much easier than creation a ready made phrase can be so convenient that we rarely contemplate it when we use it As a non native English speaker I often have trouble understanding the phrases when I first encounter them Some of them are easy to understand and memorize but most of the time they hardly make sense for people who do not know the literary or historical allusions behind the phrases or share the same cultural backgrounds When I first learned the usage go dutch I could not guess its meaning from the words According to what I read on the Internet this phrase contains some sort of stereotype that Dutch people are usually stingy and unwilling to pay for others bills This phrase has survived three hundred years and most people are now no longer aware of its negative connotation but by using it they become a disseminator that help spread the implicit stereotype Language has been such an integral part of our daily life it is something like breathing or blinking which we do not think twice before doing As a result the usage of language makes us vulnerable to brainwashing Realizing the power of language I do believe that we need to be cautious about the phrases that we use yet we should also be careful not go to extremes as too much precaution can fetter our thinking too Reply Megan on January 25 2016 at 6 02 am said Jenni You make an excellent point about the implicit bias ideology that pervades language This has been one of the chief insights of ideology critic especially the critical practices of race gender and queer studies This also reminds me of the current debate regarding trigger warnings and microaggressions that were particularly pointed last year Both have been characterized by some as a way of policing language that ultimately limits academic freedom and rigorous debate and though I think there is an important other perspective that is often neglected in this view it is interesting to consider Reply Gabi Tucker on January 24 2016 at 4 03 pm said I agree with George Orwell to the extent that language and thought do go hand in hand Language and the means by which one expresses themselves does in fact affect the way we think as well as the way that we express our thoughts Language may determine our thoughts to some degree

    Original URL path: http://blogs.brandeis.edu/dystopia/?replytocom=7 (2016-04-25)
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