Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Mechanized Society *Spoilers*


Image result for brave new world soma

 I have currently finished 4 books as of now, including my AP novel, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World takes place in England during the year 2540, where most people live in this almost magical futuristic world. In this dystopian setting, babies are born in factories and grow up in these strict social castes, such as the Alphas and Epsilon. People take these happy drugs called soma and participate in many sexual activities to forget how miserable their lives are in this society. A boy by the name of John was supposed to be born in a factory and be assigned a caste, however, after his mom got lost in a weekend getaway things took a turn for the worst (or better in some opinions. John eventually grew up "normally" on a reservation where many natives occupied the area. After he reaches civilized land, he experiences the total flaws of the society: how everyone is so disenchanted by reality, and how even when they are in a state of realization, they cover it up with drugs and sex. One event over another eventually leads to Johns fatal death, suicide. 
   In a way, I feel like this can be related back to our world now. In our society, even though we don't have babies popping out of a factory, and having an assigned social class, people tend to show segregation towards one another, whether it be the color of your skin, how you dress, or your own personality. This can at times lead to tensions or this superiority ideology over another. Drug addiction has also played a really huge role in this story, (aka soma). In our world, specifically in America, 24.6 million people, 12 and older, do drugs, having this concept that they can stop whenever they want. However, after reading an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long-term drug use can result in significant changes in the brain function that can persist long after the individual stops using drugs. Almost most of those who consume or intake these drugs, at an excessive amount, struggle with reality, therefore try to find a new one. This can be related back to those living in the civilized world in Brave New World, and how they consumed soma, attempting to falsify their physical existence. 

   I personally loved this book, mainly due to the unsettling but still surreal experience it had to offer. 
   There was a quote that did stood out to me:
   "I want to know what passion is," she heard him saying. "I want to feel something strongly."
   
 What really captivates this scene is that this statement is very defying towards society. A man by the name of Bertrand stated this, a man who was raised in the civilized world. In the civilized world, emotion is lacked by almost all the population due to the extreme usage of drugs, therefore there is no remorse or sympathy found between one another. I just found it quite astonishing that he was able to cope with his actual feelings without falling into the disillusionment that the society had to offer.
   
   What distinguishes this book from many other is that it doesn't hold back-meaning it's not really that censored when it comes to certain remarks, phrases, etc found in the text. As an AP book, I found it quite surprising that it was somewhat an easy read, and I plan to read many more AP sci-fi novels later on in eleventh grade.

  To read more about this AP novel, click here!
                                   

   

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Metal vs. Flesh

   Currently, I am reading The Circle published by Dave Eggers. The book introduces the main character, a young girl named Mae Holland, who is ecstatic to work for a company, also known as The Circle. The Circle is this intensely popular web company that has taken the world by storm in its short six years of existence.  Mae Holland is an amiable person, who displays loving kindness to her parents, who have grown to the point of needing assistance and care, as well toward her close friends such as Annie Allerton. Little does Mae know that she will encounter many occasions that inflict her personal life while working for The Circle, such as love affairs, the invasion of her privacy, all of which are motivated by a single source. Technology. The book experiences some unhinged scenes that will make you sit on the edge of your seat, and also provides somewhat of dark vibe which overall enhances the books' plot. A scene that really captivated me was when Mae, after committing a crime, got caught by her company and was forced to "go transparent". This meant that at all times, Mae would be recorded for the rest of her life and that if she ever refused to not be taped, the company would leak her information to the world. If you think this is crazy, it's only the beginning. Eventually, her mentality becomes more and more deranged as she undergoes many ill factors such as anxiety and depression. The worst part is that she's not allowed to tell her parents or friends about this undisclosed horror in which The Circle has brought upon her.
   A couple weeks ago I watched an episode called "Shut up and Dance", which is about a 17-year-old boy named Kenny who undergoes the ivnvasion of privacy from hackers who caught him doing actions that if revealed to the public world, would be detrimental towards the rest of his life. In this episode, the hackers provide Kenny with several commands in which he must follow. The commands are mainly criminal based such as the robbing of banks and even murder. Yeah, dark. And when Kenny thought he completed all the tasks and was set free from the absolute control that restricted him from his daily on goings in life, the hackers revealed their last text to him, a picture of a troll face. The siren of police cars could be heard from a distance and the blue and red illumination
streaked the
screen.
     In both stories, we observe mankind versus technology, and the detrimental effects it plays on
people. In a way, I see technology both as a pro and con. Without technology, advances in health care and modern structure wouldn't even be prevalent, but with it, it has provided the aspects of cyber bullying, invasion of privacy, etc. However, at times I feel like we've accepted the role technology has played in our lives, whether it falls under education, research, or gaming, without knowing the underlying superstition behind it. Personally, technology has played a pretty big role in my life when it comes stuff like social media, video gaming, studying, etc. The Circle is probably by far my favorite book because it contains many elements such as thriller, sci-fi, and yes, even romantic aspects. If you let Eggers writings get to you, who knows, you may just drop your phone and take a few steps back from it.



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

True Life: The story of Tim

Hello! My name is Tim and I'm your "lovable" geek, music enthusiast, and wannabe doctor. It's a pleasure to meet you. I grew up in Carrollton, Texas, raised in probably the top 5 hottest places on Earth known to humankind. I'm socially awkward and somewhat quirky, but over the years I've learned to manage it (to an extent). I've read books practically my whole life, mainly because my parents and teachers forced it upon me when I was young. Don't get the wrong idea though, I enjoy reading novels, especially if they're based on mystery or science fiction, but in all honesty, it's not really a leisure to me.

So far, as of last semester, I have surpassed my goal of reading 5 books, and I hope that this semester I can read at least 7-9 books, including my AP book, Of Mice and Men. Knowing that this will be a challenging goal to accomplish for me, I’m going to try my best to keep up with my reading not only in class, but outside as well.

Currently I’m reading Happyface by Stephen Emond. The term “ Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” fits well in this scenario, for the book does not portray much glee or joyfulness in the life of Happyface. The symbol of the book represents the title itself,a mask , that the main character “wears” in the form a smile, in which his smile manages to convince everyone around him that everything is okay. I feel that in today's society, many people wear these masks in order to fit in with the social norm, instead of expressing themselves with their own taste. In Happyfaces’ perspective, he wears a smile on his face so that he doesn’t have to be an outcast, for the last thing he needs in his life right now is for someone to interact with him in a negative way. I just started reading this great novel, and I hope that I can travel through Happyfaces’ journey and experience the feelings he undergoes in his life as he carries on in high school.

   

A Mechanized Society *Spoilers*

  I have currently finished 4 books as of now, including my AP novel, Brave New World , by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World takes place i...