LITR 4368
Literature of the Future

Final Exam Essays 2015

Model Assignments


Sample answers for Essay 2:
personal / professional interests


Liz Davis

Technology: Rise of the Machines

"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them." - Isaac Asimov

In my midterm essay, I wrote about how technology is progressive and shapes who we are as a society. I still believe this is true because humans are innovative and strive to create new theories and machines. Society has adapted to using technology as tools with Siri, MapQuest and Google. I can control my entire TV including my Netflix, Xfinity, Pandora and Xbox One using only my voice. Soon we will have nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, maybe even time travel. Think about where we would be if we didn’t have smart phones. This tiny gadget has influenced who we are as a society and we would not be where we are today without that device. Technology is constantly evolving and we need to adapt not only to it, but with it.

Since the 1960s, NASA has been conducting research towards space exploration. We strive to know that we are not alone and want to know if anyone else is out there. If there are, in fact, extra-terrestrials, we could learn valuable information from them. In Hinterlands, Olga was a famous astronaut that explored the inside of a black hole. What she saw was so powerful and terrifying that she went crazy. She brought back an artifact from the black hole though, a seashell. The story states that “Olga's seashell generated an entire sub branch of the science [exobiology], devoted exclusively to the study of . . . Olga's seashell.”  Even though these astronauts knew they would die in the black hole or go crazy upon their arrival home, they still possessed the desire to explore the unknown and gain knowledge. If humans are able to learn about other types of physics and science, then we can progress to exploring more of the universe and maybe even come in contact with extra-terrestrials.

Tina Le states in her 2013 essay that “the future seems to sway towards the inorganic progression of our world.” It is commonly thought that aliens have a hi-tech lifestyle including weapons, transportation and biology. Their genetic code will be a foreign language to humans and their weapons and technology will be far more advanced than anything we can create on earth. Humans will be inferior and obsolete to extra-terrestrial beings. In They’re made out of Meat, the aliens don’t want acknowledge that humans exist. The aliens say “do we really want to make contact with meat?” They are repulsed that humans are made of meat and don’t think that they can be an intelligent lifeform. They just ignore the planet and move on to the next. Humans are elitist, but in actuality are small compared to the rest of the universe. We have to develop machines and new technologies so we can continue to progress in the future as a society and as a race.

          Another progression of technology is the integration of man and machine. Skynet did it in the Terminator series and AMC’s HUMANS has the idea of “synths” that function as robot assistants. The use of inorganic technology, such as computers and machines, leads mankind away from using organic materials, such as humans or plants. For now, humans are made of organic material but in the future might evolve into something new. In Johnny Mnemonic, Johnny has implanted a data storage system in his head. He relies on his cybernetic device merged with his organic brain to bring in money; his brain is his job. In Burning Chrome, Automatic Jack lost his arm in the war and now has a bionic arm in its place. Titanium heart valves, prosthetic limbs, metal hips; it’s really happening. The realm of medicine and surgical procedures are by far the fastest growing niche in technological advancement. Prolonging the human lifespan is a common desire and if we have to use inorganic materials to get there, we will.

Another way for humans to progress through the use of technology is virtual reality. There are many forms of it today such as video games, the Oculus Rift and the Holo-lens. In The Onion and I, the government aims to resolve its overpopulation problem by moving people into a virtual world. In this world, they are able to do whatever they want, have whatever they want and even scan their personal belongings into Cyperspace. In the virtual town of Bidwell, “nobody would feel dissatisfied.” Virtual reality is progressive for mankind because the Cyperspace is capable of doing what the earth cannot do – solve the overpopulation issue. This may not be the healthiest solution to this problem but it shows how much technology has progressed. In the future, scientists might be able to successfully design a virtual world that people can actually live in.

The advancement of technology means progress for the human race because humans strive for knowledge. These texts exhibit traits of technological change and its benefits for society. The evolution and advancement of technology is inevitable. Humans are ambitious. We strive to learn, explore and invent. Generation after generation, technology is evolving and humans need to adapt to the changes. In Tina Le’s essay, she writes, “We can either adapt or resist the technological advances that may eventually change us.” If society cannot not adapt to technological changes then, as a society, we will not grow.