Feedback Reflection

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I am extremely thankful for all the feedback I have received on my project. It is all really constructive and will surely help me with configuring my essay over the break. Everyone seemed to like that I am using the transhumanist angle to assess these shows, which I am thankful for because I was unsure if anyone would think it made sense.

Professor was super encouraging and has suggested that I use specific resources that he has sent me to work with. Lisa has also stressed the importance of data gathering and I agree that I have much more work to do in terms of reading and incorporating sources. I have many resources right now, but also much more to find in order to create a strong argument.

Professor has also pointed out that I need to take my time in explaining and analyzing scenes from my primary sources. Similarly, Sara thinks that I should work on refining my argument by using some very helpful questions which she provided to help me assess different scenes and their representations of consciousness. I will definitely work on slowing down and doing my analyses with precision. This was actually a huge concern for me because I tend to run away from summary, but in this instance, it is necessary in order for readers who have not seen the shows that I am using to understand what I am talking about.

My next step is to really work on the suggestions given by my peers and Professor so that I can come up with a specific thesis. I think that once I know what my specific argument is, then I will be able to argue for it a lot better. For right now, my ideal finished essay is one that will make a unique argument that is both engaging for readers and scholarly. These are the most specific expectations that I can have for right now.

Good Luck with Your Projects & Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Project Progress

 

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Processing Progress…Please wait…

 

I’m sorry the file you are searching for cannot be found. (Just kidding! I felt the need for some humor. Forgive me.)

So far, the only progress I’ve made is random writing, which I guess counts for something. I have also made little lists of the things I want to discuss. The most exciting thing so far is that I’m not completely lost in my awesome topic anymore, thanks to the help of Professor and my peers. I have a clearer idea of what I’m doing for the draft. I have also been really considering my justification for using the primary sources that I did, especially because (as pointed out by Sara) there are many other films that do similar things that I will talk about (I think I may be close to an answer though).

I have also progressed in my ideas of how to structure the project. I figured it would be helpful (and kind of cool) to use two or three images from one or both series that I will be discussing to help with reader comprehension. However, this is a blessing and a curse because there are no images online that already capture the scenes I’m using (nobody cares like I do). Thus, arises a new frustration (if I even do this) to go in search of the scenes myself and take screenshots.

To add insult to injury, a new source that I had found to be promising and went to pick up, has mysteriously disappeared from the Queens public library. This is a sad day, but never mind, I shall find something else (I hope).

I am also thankful that what is due now, is just a draft (i.e. not being graded), but I will still do my best on it. I’ve been struggling with my paper sounding to much like a rant about television. I’m working towards making my draft sound more scholarly, but also bearable to read for my peers.

So far, I’ve been using Hayot’s strategy of writing a bit at a time, and as often as possible. Although, I’ve literally been writing—on paper (it helps me think). I also think that Walk’s move of the information on the topic being limited is actually motivating me. I mean this in the least cheesy way. When I think of how little attention my primary sources have been given, it makes me feel as though I’m actually making a contribution to scholarship by pushing through my paper.

 

*Sorry for all the parentheses. My sleep-deprived inner voice kept surfacing. I literally had to stop myself at a point.

Annotated Bibliography + Ballroom Diagram

Amen, Daniel G. Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance. New York: Three Rivers, 2005. Print.

Amen discusses ways of enhancing brain performativity in various ways that include lifestyle changes. One of his assertions is that there are many advantages for enhancing the brain through supplemental intake. While the supplements that Amen outlines primarily contain natural ingredients, there may still be a possible danger to constantly supplying the body with factory made substances. I will piggyback this idea for now as an alternative to using drugs to enhance the brain, but I may leapfrog later

Besser, Stephan. “From the Neuron to the World and Back: The Poetics of the Neuromolecular Gaze in Bart Koubaa’s Het Gebied Van Nevski and James Cameron’s Avatar.” Journal of Dutch Literaure (n.d.): 43-67. University of Amsterdam. Web.

I am primarily interested in Besser’s idea about the film, Avatar, and it’s depictions of the brain as a network. He discusses a larger scale example of what Limitless and Sherlock does with consciousness. The idea of connections between physical beings on a neuromolecular level may help me determine how this idea can be translated into my primary texts. I hope to use this idea of depicting the brain in film to show how the consciousness is also being depicted. I will piggyback this idea.

Damasio, Antonio R. Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. New York: Pantheon, 2010. Print.

Damasio’s claim of a core self and an autobiographical self asserts that the core self remains the same while the other can be influenced; it permits the existence of a richer form of consciousness.  This concept will help me to explain how Limitless and Sherlock depict autobiographical consciousness through the physical depictions. I will piggyback this idea, but there is also a possibility to leapfrog this idea when it comes to multiple depictions of consciousness.

Dehaene, Stani slas. Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts. NY, NY: Viking, 2014. Print.

Deheane’s theory of conscious access determines what becomes conscious based on what we focus on. He argues that this is a code of consciousness which constitutes a “neuronal workspace” for conscious thought. I will use this idea to aide in assessing Limitless and the way the drug NZT may have an effect on this workspace and bring unfocused thoughts to the forefront of consciousness. I will be primarily piggybacking this idea to help establish a realistic scientific claim for a fictional representation of consciousness.

Dumit, Joseph. Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2004. Print.

I was not sure how to integrate Dumit’s research on brain imagining technology into my work at first. However, I am going to start by considering how the brain imaging idea translates in the (fictional) realm of consciousness imaging. This is meant to help determine whether an image of consciousness would help us understand the concept and its functions better. I will piggyback all the way.

Sommerhoff, Gerd, and Karl MacDorman. “An Account Of Consciousness In Physical And Functional Terms: A Target For Research In The..” Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science 29.2 (1994): 151. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2016.

Sommerhoff and MacDorman’s discussion of subliminal awareness, hallucinations, and readiness sensory perception directly relates consciousness to being a product of the brain. I will piggyback this notion to help me explain how the portrayal of consciousness as a physical entity in Limitless allows it to be assumed that the show is linking consciousness to be a product of the brain.

Sotirova, Violeta. Consciousness in Modernist Fiction: A Stylistic Study. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print.

Sotirova’s book discusses the representation of character consciousness from a dialogue standpoint in modern fiction. I am still waiting to get a copy of this from the library. This source seems to primarily focus on the dialogue between fictional character consciousness and it’s relation to real world dialog. I may piggyback this source or leapfrog depending on how much of it works for what I will be writing about.

Swaab, D. F. We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, From the Womb to Alzheimer’s. Trans. Jane Hedley-Prole. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2014. Print.

Swaab discusses the disadvantages of drugs. He outlines that the use of drugs they can manipulate and trigger brain performativity and give a temporary effect. However, he strongly argues that these substances may cause lasting permanent damages to the physical brain matter.  I will piggyback this idea in order to analyze the use of drugs by the main characters in my primary TV programs.

Ballroom Diagram

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My ballroom diagram has me as the primary MC who is starting the conversation. My primary texts are both very modern and fairly new, therefore, there is very little analytic and scholarly information on the sources. I am using the various scholars depicted in order to show how these scholars will help me analyze the neurological aspects of the texts. Some of the scholars refer to each other in their works. Besser, Sommerhoff and MacDorman refer to Gerald Edelman who is a Darwinian neuroscientist. He discusses neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. He is depicted as a ghost in my diagram because he is not someone I have done much research on yet, but I hope to find some way that he can contribute to my research and insert him in the conversation. Besser also mentions Swaab’s argument about self-determinism in conjunction with Edelman’s Darwinian ideas. I will attempt to utilize the argument of these scholars as well as the arguments they make about each other’s work to analyze my primary texts.