For this blog entry, I would like you to reflect on the research and writing process and narrate (tell the story of) how you got the Essay 4: Media Mid-term paper and PowerPoint completed. What was the process? If you had a “do-over” what would you do the same? What would you do differently? Finally, on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your effort? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the final product?
PHOTO by Michelle Burgess from http://fineartamerica.com/featured/buddhist-monk-in-prayer-michele-burgess.html
Task 1: Go to www.cunygames.blogspot.com, click the "099" link and read and respond to 4 students' "Blog 6" on the Truman show. Task 2: Complete the full draft of Essay 4: Media Mid-term and submit to Blackboard in the Workshop as indicated. Task 3: Complete the PowerPoint for Essay 4 and Submit to the workshop as indicated. Task 4: Complete the MLA Test in the Assignments folder (closes 3 Nov.)
For Blog 6: Consider the following questions on The Truman Show and write a blog of about 500 words addressing the question or questions that interest you most.
1. What is are the similarities and difference between Truman’s life in Seahaven and a reality TV show like “The Bachelor”, “Survivor”, or “The Real World”?
2. Throughout the film, there are shameless advertisements and product placements presented as part of Truman’s life. Is it moral to use Truman’s life as a means to monetary gain?
3. During an interview, Christof states the following: "I have given Truman the chance to lead a normal life. The world, the place you live in, is the sick place. Seahaven is the way the world should be." Is Christof correct? What, if any, would be the benefits of living in Seahaven as opposed to the real world?
4. As Truman begins to piece together the falsity of the world that surrounds him, his view of Seahaven is radically altered. He starts to question and analyze all that he encounters. Can you think of a parallel in your own life that has changed the way you process the world?
5. In what ways are Christof and the television network similar to God? In what respects do they differ?
6. When speaking of Truman, Christof states: "He could leave at any time. If this were anything more than a vague ambition, if he was absolutely determined to discover the truth, there is no way we could prevent him." Truman eventually does discover the true nature of his reality despite the strong efforts of Christof and the network. What does Truman’s triumph have to say about the roll of free will in our lives?
7. Consider yourself in Truman’s position. If presented with the choice to remain in Seahaven, a place where you have been promised that “you have nothing to fear”, or to enter into another world that you know little or nothing about, which would you choose?
8. When Truman finally exits Seahaven, what do you think it is that he expects to find on the other side of the door?
In "Fate, Freedom, and Foreknowledge", Schick explores the possibility of the existence of freewill both inside the Matrix program and, more broadly in Neo's life. Do you think your life is determined by a special, individual fate, or are you free to choose as you wish? Use your own life as the basis and compare to both the Matrix film and at least one of the philosophical positions Schick explores.
"The Metaphysics of the Matrix" (55-65)--"Metaphysics" is the study of what is real and what is knowable; the term "Meta" meaning "overarching" or "all inclusive" and "physics" meaning "the study of reality". At the very simplest, then, metaphisicists try to come up with a system (a metaphysics) that explains the world that we live in and how we experience that world--how we know what is "real" from what is "imaginary". On pages 61 and 62, Gracia and Sanford us the terms "source" and "ontological status" to make distinctions that allow them to claim that the world in the Matrix is "unreal" and the world outside of the Matrix (outside of the program) is the "real world". What they heck do they mean by "source" and "ontological status"? Using whatever sources you see fit (though tell us where you looked!) come to an understanding as to what these terms mean, define these terms in your own words, and then tell us whether or not you agree with Gracia and Sanford's assessment.
C. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia CC. He has published books and articles on gender in science fiction film and fantasy and is an active science and technology writer.