Class- What connections do you see between Bradbury, Vonnegut, adn the Wesch videos?
Smith-They are all about challenging a system!
Both the books that Bradbury and Vonnegut wrote books about a dystopian or a false utopia.
They are all placed in the future also
Smith-I think that all of these have the idea that the world is moving very fast and there's not much we can do about it.
Natalie- I agree. All have some sort of oppressed situation and one or a few leaders that seem like they will soon challenge :)
Natalie- tell me more.Dominic and Courtney-who is your response for?
Smith- All of them are about how the future is going to be differnt than now and how we are so unprepared for what it is going to be like.
Smith-Between these three sources, the major similarity is that technology can be used for good and bad, and humans are too reliant upon technology to live without it.
Smith- all the stories are about people rebelling or challenging the system to get what they want. In the two stories the main charachters also get in trouble or even die.
It was for the class
Courtney- They are all based in the future that is relatively close. Most of us will still be alive in 2050 which is the date in The Pedestrian.
Smith- There is one connection between all of these selections which stands out above the rest: technology is changing the world we live in.
Smith- All have the idea that if we do not control our own future, it could turn out very bad.
Aaron-Good connenction. How does it relate to harrison bergeron?
Caleb- great idea, I was wondering what the videos really had to do with the writing pieces.Class-any more connections specifically with the videos?
Aaron- I agree with you. they rely on technology too much and cant live without it. Also, they've made it so that they cant really do anything with there lives
Aaron- I like the idea of the technology. I think that technology played a huge part in all three sources, and that technology will shape our future.
Mackenzie-whats interesting is that the future has changed so much, even though it is not really that far away
Smith- It's about technology helping us to challenge the sytem using new ideas
Anna- I agree with the oppressed situations. All the main characters they have don't realize how oppressed they are, and the characters also have the ability to challenge the system, but something stops them or holds them back.
Brooke- Do you think that this perception of our future is accurate?
Dominic- What does dystopian or false utopia mean? What do you mean by that?
Class- you are all speaking in generalities. Where are your specific textual examples to back up what you are saying?
smith-both books are about challenging the system in the way that they both keep everyone in order and away from knowledge.
Dom- In Harrison Bergeron, technology is used to hinder people, like the ear pieces and the bags of lead balls.
Aaron - More specifically, I think these stories show the negative effects of technology and how it can take over the human way of life in a sense.
Courtney- that's what's weird about the future. As the years go by, we create more and more quickly than we have in the past. it's exponential.
Class-In Harrison Bergeron, if everybody is handicapped then we are all equal right? Which person or people are less handicapped
Aaron- could you elaborate on how technology is affecting the two readings from Bradbury and Vonneuget. I don't think that that the humans in the last two are too reliant on technology, and in the Vonneguet version especially since it seems as though technology has taken over us, rather than us relying on it.
Smith- the videos had to do with the fact that we are trying to prepare for a future that we have no idea what it is going to be like. We have to guess about what it is going to be like to get a job in the future.
Smith-I think their all based upon how the government is taking over society, no one is free, everyone seems to be under supervision. The system is failing
Paul- I like how you said they rely on technology. Technology can also be a distraction as shown in the first video.
Noah-how do they keep people in order in THE PEDESTRIAN?
Dominic- I don't think everybody was equal. It just made the people who are bad at a certain skill, good at it. For example, it made a dancer better than an announcer than the announcer.
Victoria-Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to get to, but couldn't quite phrase it correctly
Courtney and MacKenzie- I agree with you- the future is always changing, especially in the area of technology. Just when you learn how to do something, it is already updated, or something new is out. Ideas keep building on to each other.
Dominic-The people who are "average" are probably less handicapped. They don't have to live with all of the noises, bags of lead, and silly masks.
Brendon- Yes thats true, but it can also help through the ways that it benifits us. It can show us more than a book can.
Smith-the man walking in Pedestrian challenges the system by going against the norm-walking late at night while evryone else is watching TV, so he is found suspicious of that
Courtney- I know its hard to think that we could all very well be alive in 2050 its seems so far now and there is so many things that will be different but no one can ever predict what because way back when everyone thought by now we would have flying cars but we don't. So the bigger question is how far will we progress in the next 40 years?
class- in both short videos it shows that as time progresses, so does the technological knowledge of people and machines.
Olivia-in The Pedestrian, they use a certain fear to control the population.
Chris-But the handicapper general had no mentioned handicaps. Was she so important that she was above the system. If one person is above how many others will follow.
Paul-They don't rely on technology, they dont have a choice their being forced by their superiors
Dominic- About what you said that if we are all handicapped, then we are all equal...i think it is kind of like the idea that without poor people, there can't be any rich people, because there is nothing to compare to.
Dominic- In the Harrison Bergeron story, the handicapped people are the people who would have enough power to change the way things were. This is why the government is handicapping them.
Chris- I agree with this. When will we ever be able to completely handicap everyone in all aspects? It cant be done or at least not for a very long time. unless we develop the right technology...
rachel- i do think that tecnology is helping us challenge the system, but i also think that tecnology is the whole reason why people are challenging the system
Chad- Well, it is more of an interdependent relationship, where neither party (humans or technology) could survive without the other. But if humans give too much power to the machine, it does exactly that, take us over.
Olivia- In the pedestrian the electronic cops keep people in order. The cop must of been doing a well enough job because after the 2052 election they got rid of 2 of the 3 existing police cars.
Olivia - The idea is that no one has to keep people in check in the Pedestrian because they want to sit at home watching TV. This is shown by the fact that there is only one police car.
Class- In Harrison Bergeron when it says "The year is 2081 and everyone is finally equal" to me it implies that everyone wanted to be equal to everyone else? Why is this?
Class- don't forget to proofread your response. Once again, make Word your friend. Also, where are you? You should be in the inner and outer circle. Get up and move your legs to the middle!
Natalie-they probably don't want people challenging the sytem because when people challenge the system it destroys order
Clairissa- But the people with all the lead and masks and sounds etc. didn't start out as handicapped, they were made to be that way, so really wouldn't they be the less handicapped?
Maria said they kept people from challenging the system. This was a good comment because especially in Harrison Bergerson they were physically disabling people from being smarter, stronger, or more beautiful. But Harrison broke free and challenged the system. However another aspect of the story is that for his independent actions and the fact that he challenged and broke the system he was killed, so what happens to us if we challenge the system?
Anna and the Whole Class- Is there any reason why we would want everyone to be equal?
Dominic- i have to agree with kelly because they r scared that people who are too advanced also could challenge them and cause change.
Dominic-There has to be someone to control everyone. If she is handicapped then there would be absolutely no order. Which is what they were trying to achieve in the first place. The people don't notice that she is really a bad person because they are not smart enought to see the truth.
class- I was confused about what the handicap was?
Dominic- In Harrison Bergeron the handicapps were giving the people who had the ability to make change. Because everyone was "equal" then they are easier to control.
Anna- that's a good point, there will always be someone that can't be handicapped(like Harrison) and it would be really hard to handicap ever single person onto the same level.
class- technology is just a creation of people, and "the system" when it comes down to it, is just the people and their new ideas
Caleb- Remember how they said what would happen if everyone acted like Harrison Bergeron (no handicaps? They said society would fall into chaos again. The people were scared of what society was and find the pros of the handicaps outweigh the cons.
Clarissa-Then it is a curse to be above average. To be born average is now everybodys dream
Dom- If everybody is equally handicapped, then no one is more handicapped than the next. It is just some people are able to fight through the handicaps better than others. George for example while being very intelligent, doesn't have the inner strength to fight through the handicaps since he always just gives up on his thoughts. Then there are people like Harrison who are able to fight through the handicaps better, and break out of them (literally and figuratively).
Caleb-I think that everyone wants to be equal is because the people who are "less" think that it is unfair to them
Dominic- everyone who is handicapped doesnt have to be really smart or something, they just have to be good at something. like the ballerina.
Brendon- A handicap was just something to hinder a person from being better than anyone else at a particular skill.
Class - The opening line of Harrison Berguson is " THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal." This implies that we have always been working toward equality and technology helps achieve that. But is this what we meant by equality?
Chris- An equal socity is hard because no one is different from the others. If someone is different then we can all learn the new things. If we were all equal, nothing would ever change.
Jenna- But they start out as smart and beautiful people. They might understand (if only for a short period of time) that there is more to life.
Brendon- the handicap was different things used to hinder people. So strong people were made weaker by carrying around weights, smarter people got the obnoxious noises to hinder their thoughts and prevent them from getting very far.(This is all to prevent anyone from challenging the system)
Caleb-I agree. It would require some kind of outside action to make everyone equal. Did people consent to this? Also, is everyone truly equal? It seems that some are happy about the events transpiring, while others would give their lives to change it.
Chad-I agree. I also think that by handicapping the people you take away any chance of them challenging the system.
Luke - Good point!
Dominic- I think the people that were the most handicapped were the smartest people. They had more to loose and they had more weight and their minds were constantly being messed with.
Chad- Well, more handicaps are applied if you grow to strong for them, like Harrison Bergeron had those earphones instead of the earpiece and the hugely heavy weight.
Aaron- Witht the handicaps, though, it makes us all robots essentially and we can't have some of the great things that have been made by extraordinary people. People being unordinary make a successful society.
Noah- What do they define as normal though? How do they decide what level of intelligence to put everyone at?
Everyone-Does it defeat the purpose of handicapping if you can tell people are prettier if they wear ugly masks and heavier weighs they are stronger?
Anna- I agree with the fact that we will never be able to fully handicap others. Like Harrison B. could still think for him self obviously since he challenged others. But i wonder why does the goverenment want everyone to think the same? Like there will then not be any one to think of the new sytems and the hanicapping technology so it also makes me ask if everyone was handicaped?
aaron- wouldn't everyone eventually outgrow the handicaps?
Class-Do cencership laws like the sedition act take away or ammendment rights?
Victoria- I think by "equality" it is meant that everyone has the same IQ, same strength and same ability to do anything. They mean equality in a sense that there is no competition between the people.
caleb- i think that it means that the people who were on the "lesser" side of skill assests wanted to be equal, and one of those lesser people became powerfull and made it happen
Olivia - Yes, I think it does. That is a good point.
Caleb- I agree with the fact that it implies that everyone was wanting to be equal. I think this is because throughout the course of all human history a group or ethnicity has always been trying to become equal. For example in the nineteenth century African Americans began fighting for freedom. In the twentieth century women wanted to be equal to men as well.
Caleb- Well, I wouldn't say a successful society, but more of a "safe" society, since no one wants to get rid of their handicaps and go back to the "dark ages".
Olivia-very good point. I was thinking the same thing.
caleb- i also wonder why the people would want to be equal. In todays time its always about how having so many unequal and different people shape our country.
Rachel-They wanted everyone the same so they had an easier job, they don't want to take the time and effort to deal with everyone elses problems, they became lazy
Noah- I agree because intelligence is just one of the talents that was handicapped. Basically any quality that made the individual unique or different was handicapped.
Olivia - I think its a situation where its not as much the mask that does the work, its the shame and fear that is put into the mask that works.
Olivia- thats a good point because even though you can't see the beauty of the person or their actual strength, you know that they are prettier than you or smarter because you can see the handicaps they were given.
Smith- I saw in both Harrison Bergeron and The Pedestrian, there was the role of government control in the society. In Harrison Bergeron, "George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times." The government gave handicaps to all the citizens, to make them all equal. In the Pedestrian, the government was still there, but it was not as prevelant. "The police, of course, but what a rare,incredible thing; in a city of three million, there wasonly one police car left." Police did not have such a big role in the society and keeping people safe as they do now.
Jared-Great examples. However, like I said before, does everyone really want to be equal?
Jared- And different ethnic groups will still want to be equal, like in District 9, where the aliens would like to have the same rights as humans.
Class- In Harrison Bergeron competition is eliminated. What would this do to the economy if nobody is trying to be better than another? What would happen to a country like the U.S.(which thrives on competition) if competition was completely gone?
Chris- I think that by all means that a lot of people think that everyone should be equal. It probably though is not the most gifted, but rather the average joes who envy the gifted. It seems as though for example in Harrison Bergeron that Hazel, an average IQ woman, enjoys the handicaps more so than George and Harrison, both very gifted people.
Victoria- When people say that they want equality now, I think that they mean something more along the lines of racial equality, or with money. Everyone has their own talents, which make up a society. If everyone is good at one thing, then together they are good at everything. When you take that away, everything is boring
Maddie-Yes. Because of this most people would probably like to be born normal. Therefore the government has swayed peoples opinions on normal with these handicaps.
Noah- I agree with you on how you said people on the lesser side and higher side of intelligence to balance society out. That is also why Hazel didn't have a handicap because she had an average intelligence.
olivia- yes i guess this makes sence. but thats not what they r worried abotu. they are worried about what they can do with their skills not whether or not people can see what they are skilled at.
Andrea- Yes, eventually their bodies may adapt to the handicaps, but as the videos implied (to me) there will always be new technology to be invented and made modern. It testifies to the title "The Machines Are Using Us"
Why are you all still sitting in your seats? Remember what we talked about yesterday- the focus lies in the center conversation. Apparently, Kelly is the only one who gets this.
Dominic- Laws like the Sedition act take away people's rights. That one in particular contradicts the first amendment and freedom of speech. Do you think that those types of laws should be allowed?
Brendan - The handicaps were different for different people. For people that were smarter they had a noise in their ear that scattered their thoughts so they couldn't think about anything for a long period of time which kept them from developing ideas. If you were strong then they tied weights in a bag around your neck in order to weigh you down, and if you were beautiful then they had ugly mask that kept you from being better than anyone else.
Steven- I think the idea of being equal sounds nice, no one being better than you, no one to make you feel bad about yourself. However, this reality isn't quite as nice.
Class-What is normal?
Whitney - Do you think that these stories are supporting or condemning government control?
Brendon- The handicap was used on everyone to make everyone equal. As it says "Nobody was bettter looking than anyone else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else." The specific handicaps are like bags of metal balls around the neck and ear pices that emit high sounds to intrupt your thinking.
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Savannah- Doesn't it show that some people are prettier then others because their mask is uglier, or some people are stonger because they have more weights? It's human nature to be in compition with eachother, it will never stop so why even try?
Savannah - Without competion, the exact same profits, products and work ethics occur every day. If the world is all equal, there is no variation in economy, good or bad.
Smith-There is a lot to focus on here. I'm just tryin to catch up. I can barely keep up with this convo, let alone the other one.
Smith- Because im trying to Scribe and answer questions and listen at the same time.
andrea/ class - and who gets to decide?
Smith- I think we are all too engaged in the current conversation out here and things are moving too fast. I'm not sure who needs to stay in the circle and who can leave.
jared- i disagree that there has ever been a goup of people who as wanted to be equal, i think just by nature man can never want that. through out history one group has fought to stay above another. even in the groups there are the leaders who put them selves on top of the others
Savannah- That is an interesting topic since that is very true. Everyone strives to be better so that they can be better than the person sitting next to them and maybe get the job or get in the college instead of them. This could very well destroy our quality of work, and therefore really destroy the economy.
Class- Is equal boring? How would life be if everyone was truly equal?
Everyone-This society must be pretty shallow. Their idea of "equal" is the lack of special qualities. It is these special qualities that not only make us who we are, but make us an equal in the minds of others.
Courtney- I also think that they want to balance out peoples' intellience. In the beginning of Harrison Bergeron after it was said that everyone was equal, the story said, "No one was smarter than another."
Aaron- Good point. Clearly people are still striving to become equal to one another.
Olivia- Your question made a lot of sense because when others see Harrison Bergeron with his multitude of weights and masks then clearly people know that he is very unique.
Andrea- "Normal" does not exist. Everyone has their own opinions and there will be no one thats fully agree on the idea normal, because for everyone, either themselves are normal or everyone else is normal.
Whitney-No. Laws like this only hide americans from the truth they are entitled to by law. These laws are unconstitutional.
maddie- the only way they can control the way people look is by the hanndicapps and putting masks on their heads.
Savannah- I think that competition is necessary in our country. When no one is better, like in Harrison Bergeron, then no one has unique talents, and they aren't able to use the ones they had. Our whole economy is based around competition. I think the economy would collapse if we didn't have competition. At what point do you think the competition should be controlled?
Steven- No one wants to be that odd person out or the loner kid. But then people also want to stand out as an individual. In the Harrison, the government took the first part to an extreme by making everyone exactly the same.
Rachel I really like that, the varying masks only make people different in bad ways - nobody could shine or be known for good things they have done.
maggie- I think that the government shouldn't be allowed to decide how smart or strong you can be. These types of things are part of your genetic make-up, and not something that should be tampered with.
Noahthats a good point noah i didn't think about it that way before.
Class - A really good point was just made in the circle. If your born handicap, what happens to you? Are you just killed because you'll never be equal?
Steven- There are always those people that think that they are the best.
whitney- i think that everyone should have the right to speech and the right to have an opinion, but I also think that everyone is different and naturally everyone is unequal.
Class- What benefits come out of an 'equal' society?
Brooke- Equal is very boring. It's the diversity in this world that makes it so great. Why do we travel? Because it's different.
Jenna - Although the only thing you take pride in is what makes you different from others.
Brooke- I think it would be interesting because then people would have to learn how to cope with it. There might be less competition and the world would be more calm and relaxed.
Victoria- Well, with advancements in technology, the deaf can hear, blind can see and crippled can walk. Just because you are born handicapped doesn't mean you can't be normal in the standards in Harrison Bergeron.
Class-In the pedestrian the police car has no driver. How does this represent how technology is predicted to take over our lives.
Stephen- I agree with you. Class- What is so important about being equal? why is it so bad to be different? Isn't the differences that make the world what they are. With out the super smart people and the super talented people, how would we have gotten to where we are today?
Dominic- I agree with you completely. When citizens are kept from the truth, then they start to wonder what is really going on. Plus, it makes an exception to the Constitution. And when one exception is allowed, then people think that it is justifiable to make other exceptions. Pretty soon our laws aren't a stable foundation for our country anymore.
Steven- I think most people and groups like the actual idea of being equal, but probably won't actually like it if this marvel would ever occur.
Class- Does technology encourage societies like the one In The Pedestrian or Harrison Bergeron?
Victoria- I think if you were born with a handicap, you would either be able to fix it with the highly advanced technology, or they would be sent to a kind of prison or insane asylum.
caleb - i agree completely, it affects the balance of nature and when humans start to mess with nature and human behavior, things are bound to go bad.
Natalie- Out of "equal" societies come "safe" people since no one is able to run faster then another, no one is able to do anything else more than another.
Dominic- Interesting idea, I like this symbolism, any other comments?
Class- The purpose of the handicapps is to erase competition between people, but wouldn't you know that if someone had a really ugly mask that they were just really pretty underneath, or if you had a lot of weight with you, doesn't that just mean that you are stronger? Couldn't it just turn into a competition for who could have the most handicapps, because then doesn't that mean that you are the best?
Maggie-Good point! For everyone to be equal, they would have to be equal financially. The government or other authority would have to compensate for a lack of money. This means that somebody could potentially not work and still make the same amount of money as any other honest person. How is that equal? It isn't!
Class- Is a change this dramatic ever good for everyone?
Maddie - It is an interesting point because as children were are encouraged be be individual and be whatever we want to be. But as adults, we are told to fit the status quo.
Anna S- While I agree that technology increases over time, the human mind is capable of some extraordinary things. I think that if the people really focused on overcoming their handicaps it could definitely be done. That also brings up the question though of whether or not the people in Harrison Bergeron that makes the handicaps are also handicapped. If they weren't handicapped they could easily outrun the people who overcame handicaps.
Aaron- I think in Harrison society is more focused on make life worse for people to make everyone equal instead of making life better for everyone.
Victoria- Then they make you an equal person. They might give you something to fix your problem.
Natalie- There is no benefits from an equal society, there will be no progress but we still need to keep up with the changing world.
Mackenzie- Without the technology in those stories, the society wouldn't exist. In Harrison Bergeron, technology is used to keep everyone in check.
Natalie- If we are all equal, then no one is inclined to have feelings of doubt, or that they aren't as good as everyone else. But when that competition ceases, then what happens to people's motivation to strive to become better?
Natalie- I dont see the importance of equal. As i said in the comment about i think that differences make the world what it is today.
class - in all of the stories there are social norms. the question is do we abide by them, challenge them, shatter them, or bend them?
Chris- Well, it isn't really about making life worse or better, it is making life equal, without competition.
class- Would you live hppily in an "equal" society??
courtney- that was exactly the point that olivia brought up above. like how using those handicapps would actually be counter-productive or at least ineffective. i think you're right about the competition too, how that would happen.
Rachel- I think your correct, if everyone was equal no one would strive to be better. Therefore, nothing would advance. The economy would be stuck in an internal stalemate.
Victoria- do they change the definition of equal? Would they handicap people even more?
Whitney- Good point!
jenna- i believe that there are a few people who do want to be that odd one out though. but i think that tose people in the past are now called geniuses or revolutionists. i think that all the major changes that have happened all over the world start with one single person standing out and asking why.
Mackenzie- I think that technology does encourage the want to be a perfect society because it can be achieved. No one person is better than the other, so there is no crimes and everything is how it should be.
Dominic- the police car represents how technology is taking over many of our jobs in society and soon the technology won't need anyone to keep it in check because they become like humans... Which can give it the chance to overtake us.
Clarissa- take into consideration the duration of time. Both stories are set far into the future so the change may not have seemed so dramatic. This makes me wonder again if this was people's choice or slow moving communism of some sort?
Noah - If I didn't know of any other way of life, I think I would be. It's like in the book " The Giver " by Lois Lowry. Ignorence is bliss.
class- What kind of person does it take to challenge a system?
Noah-I definitely wouldn't
Steven- I completly agree with you. If you work really hard for your money, but because you have to be equal, you would still get the same reward as someone who doesn't work hard at all. That is not fair! You can make your life better, you don't need the government to do it for you.
Calvin- I see your point. I believe the lower group strive to be equal to the higher group, but the higher group will fight to make sure that they remain on top.
Steven- i think that in these two writing they are equally financial because everyone has a tv and a home that they made it sound like all the home were the same too.
Noah- I would not live happily, but if I had went through the societal collapse in Harrison Bergeron, I would see why so many people are all for it.
Maggie- we do a little of all of those. we avoid the laws and go around them . Like a girl should wear girl clothes and that is wrong in this day. We avoided that norm.
Aaron - I know, but by making everyone equal, the government brings down the quality of life for everyone. This reminds me of a socialist society.
Noah- I think you would be as "happy" as everyone else living there. If ignorance is bliss then all of these people are just ecstatic all the time.
Class-What immagry can you find in the pedestrian. what is the significance of the houses and the TVs.
Rachel- I agree that they aren't any benefits from an equal society. Every step towards progress would come to a halt.
Anna S and Dom- The symbolism in this is also that the police car technology, is the one driving the man. This could also mean that technology might drive our lives so much that we become too reliant and it betrays us at some point.
Mackenzie- I don't think technologies encourage the people in the two stories. People seemed to be attached to their televsions. The society seemed more lazy because of how involved people were in technology. I think the Bergeron's were the average family watching their TV together as a couple. Mr. Mead in The Pedestrian represents "the law breaker".He also represents what people do today and how much the society might change in 40 years.
natalie- people would benifit from this by being able to know that nodody else has power over you. But what would the people be like if everyone was equal?
Frank- Why wouldn't you?
anna- i agree with you. from the standpoint of someone in like 1960, 2053 seems like a long ways away, and that anything was possible, but now, as a student in 2010, having this kind of control seems absolutely ridiculous!
Maggie- With the technology and society in place, no one can really challenge the system, and when the do, like in Harrison Bergeron, they get hunted down and dealt with. The system makes it so there is no way to challenge it.
anna- this is a good point. i think that today in communist countries, if you gave them a chance to get out, they would take it.
Class-Why does the police car in the end say that Leonard might have had an alibi had he had a wife?
Class- Who makes the television programs in The Pedestrian?
Courtney- I understand what you are saying. Putting those handicaps on makes those characteristics more obvious. In Harrison Bergeron, George it says that George was very intelligent, so they put a mental handicap on him. If everyone smart had a mental handicap, do you think that they would really be smart enough to realize what is behind those handicaps? Or, do you think that eventually, after so long of not seeing that strength, or a pretty face, that they might forget what those things look like?
Brooke - It depends on wheather they feel its worth it. Considering that if they lower the standard of equal, then that means they also have to lower there own abilities. Some people may object to more limitations.
Dom- The significance is showing what the world might be become if technology becomes developed too much.