Kamin's blog

Recommendations?

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What should we read this summer?
(e.g. if you liked Starship Troopers, you should read the Foundation series by Asimov)

Gender Inequality in Oryx and Crake.

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Our brief discussion of how Snowman is a corrupting influence on the Crakers started me thinking about how Snowman teaches human principles of ranking. He introduces the concept that men and women should behave differently, picking the men to lead the trek and surround and protect the women and children. Biological sex differences may lead to men and women taking different roles, but Snowman assigns these roles of different value without explaining why, simply citing it as "the proper way" (350).

Pass

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I'm taking my second pass on Gibson.

Also, how awesome is watching Battlestar Galactica for class? I'm definitely not going to make it through four seasons, but I'm pretty hooked...

Duality in Midnight Robber

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Given the existence of two parallel universes in MR, it's an enticing idea to contrast the two -- each as offering its own different form of oppression, for example. Toussaint, while a diverse, safe (thanks to Granny Nanny), and relatively utopian-like civilization, gives up privacy to the point that one "couldn't even take a piss without the toilet analyzing the chemical composition of the urine and logging the data in the health records" (10).

Eshu

I was thinking about how Hopkinson's dialect critiques the normal technology-centric language of science fiction books, and the name "Eshu" came to mind. Looking it up on Wikipedia reveals some cool things (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eshu):

2 effects of capitalism gone wild

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I wanted to follow-up on the idea presented in-class that Snow Crash takes a similar stance on both prejudice and democratic government. Eventually both will be pushed out of existence as capitalist competitivism acts as the ultimate driving force for all socio-cultural change.

Dealing with Vulnerability

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I wanted to tie together two issues we discussed briefly in class: Lore's seemingly overwhelming worry about being discovered and themes of environmentalism.

Sygn and Family

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What acts and thoughts in day-to-day life separate a member of the Family from the Sygn?

taking pass this week

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After getting back at 2am from winning a Bay Area ultimate tournament that puts Claremont into the top 16 teams in the country... I'll take this one off.

To oppose is to maintain, and blue eyes

The issues of duality, competition, war, and progress bring to mind the Jane Elliott "blue eyes" classroom study. That link is knowledgeable, but not the most approachable, so let me summarize. In order to teach a lesson on discrimination to a homogenous Iowa elementary school classroom, she began an experiment where she declared children with blue eyes 'better' than the others.

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