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WSC Lecture:
Words to Light the Darkness
by Gregory Anderson
We are aiming…
…to explore how these
two stories are nodes for
provocative ideas on
morality, truth, and
authenticity.
“If...
We are aiming
To explore how these
two stories are nodes for
provocative ideas on
morality, truth, and
authenticity.
Questions from our Special Area
What is a crime, and who decides how serious a crime is?
What acts are considered crimes i...
Questions from A History of
Cheating
What is cheating? How is it different from lying?
Is cheating ever justified?
What ar...
Questions from Social Studies
What are the “best” and “worst” states you can think of? How are
you measuring them?
Are dem...
Very basic plot outline
LttS – A housewife
murders her
husband with frozen
leg of lamb:
investigating officers
eat the evi...
Very basic plot outline
Evidence – A
politician is
considered to be a
robot, but this is
never proven.
Should cheating
dis...
More Detailed Plot
Wife sits at home
Husband reveals he will divorce wife
Wife kills husband
Wife creates false alibi
Wife...
More Detailed Plot
Quinn and Lanning discuss whether Byerley is a
robot – never eats.
Robot morality is discussed (see nex...
More Detailed Plot
1) A robot may not injure a human being or,
through inaction, allow a human being to come to
harm.
2) A...
A diversion… A tool for analysing:
Formalism
Defamiliarisation.
Visual thesaurus:
interconnections of
language.The room wa...
https://www.visualthesaurus.com/
Connotations
vs
Denotations
Her mouth and eyes,
with their new calm
look, seemed larger a...
A tool for analysing: Formalism
Intended connotations and
possible connotations. Does
meaning exist independently of
our d...
Intention and Meaning
Does intention matter
when we interpret a text?
Swearing in Wolves…
Death of the Author
Should a per...
Intention and Meaning
Is anyone who breaks the
law a criminal?
Did they kill them both -- mother and child?
Did they wait ...
Can a criminal
be a hero?
Did they kill them both -- mother and child?
Did they wait until the baby was born?
What did the...
An aside… what is the purpose of
defamiliarisation?
"It's the old story," he said. "Get
the weapon, and you've got the
mur...
Being familiar with things is not always a bad thing!
We need routine and first impressions in order to save cognitive
cap...
Primary-recency effect.
Word-Level Analysis in LttS…
We are invited to sympathise
with a murderer. This is an
increasingly common genre in
popular...
Word Level Analysis in Evidence
We are invited to consider
not only if B is a robot, but
also whether this matters.
“Oh, a...
Where in this story do we defamiliarise expected
connotations (especially as we know the ending?).
man./human 61 times: ro...
Do we want to place ethics in the hands of a robot,
who can be blind to justice?
“Because, if you stop to think of it, the...
To Kill a Mockingbird – equality can only exist
before the eyes of the law, rather than other
things.
(World War Z)
Did th...
Evidence and Being Authentic
In Evidence, we are
called upon to question
what it is to be
authentic.
Are we morally obliga...
Evidence and Being Authentic
How important is
authenticity to us? How
important is being
original? Lampstand
idea...
The t...
Does Authenticity Matter in
Politicians?
https://youtu.be/XQPy88-E2zo?t=2m44s End of the Film.
Whirling Top: if it stays s...
Does free-will really exist? Matter?
The zombie question.
Psychopathology in
CEOs.
Profit Morality.
If a robot can be crea...
Is it innately human to cheat?
http://thecreatorsprojec
t.vice.com/blog/prove-
youre-not-a-robot-with-
the-bot-or-not-poet...
Is cheating part of surviving in the
real, flawed, fallen world?
Do we believe that truth
matters?
What is more important:...
Both stories ending with ‘laugh’
‘chuckled’ – purposefully playful.
Light for hope and
release?
Or…
Light for joy and
irre...
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World Scholar's Cup Lecture Final with Quotations

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Final Lecture with quotations attached to selected questions

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World Scholar's Cup Lecture Final with Quotations

  1. 1. WSC Lecture: Words to Light the Darkness by Gregory Anderson
  2. 2. We are aiming… …to explore how these two stories are nodes for provocative ideas on morality, truth, and authenticity. “If he told you that, you would send for a straitjacket. But if he tells you, ‘He never sleeps; he never eats,’ then the shock of the statement blinds you to the fact that such statements are impossible to prove. You play into his hands by contributing to the to-do.”
  3. 3. We are aiming To explore how these two stories are nodes for provocative ideas on morality, truth, and authenticity.
  4. 4. Questions from our Special Area What is a crime, and who decides how serious a crime is? What acts are considered crimes in some countries but not in others? Can a criminal be a hero? Is anyone who breaks the law a criminal? Should all countries follow the same legal code?
  5. 5. Questions from A History of Cheating What is cheating? How is it different from lying? Is cheating ever justified? What are the advantages and disadvantages cheating? How should cheaters be punished? Are we morally obligated to report any cheaters we encounter? Under what circumstances is cheating a crime? Is cheating simply about “breaking the rules”? Or is it about exploiting them? Do certain institutions encourage cheating? Are people born with a sense of fairness? Should cheating disqualify a politician from winning elected office? How about lying? Lip Syncing, Autotune, and the Limits of the Authentic
  6. 6. Questions from Social Studies What are the “best” and “worst” states you can think of? How are you measuring them? Are democracies better states than non-democracies? How much of state failure can be attributed to politics? If you were the leader of a failed or fragile state, whom would you ask for help? Are some states doomed to failure? Is the traditional concept of the state outdated in an age of globalization and the Internet?
  7. 7. Very basic plot outline LttS – A housewife murders her husband with frozen leg of lamb: investigating officers eat the evidence. - Can a criminal be a hero?
  8. 8. Very basic plot outline Evidence – A politician is considered to be a robot, but this is never proven. Should cheating disqualify a politician from winning elected office? How about lying?
  9. 9. More Detailed Plot Wife sits at home Husband reveals he will divorce wife Wife kills husband Wife creates false alibi Wife secretly laughs at inspectors eating lamb
  10. 10. More Detailed Plot Quinn and Lanning discuss whether Byerley is a robot – never eats. Robot morality is discussed (see next slide) Quinn attempts to get Byerley x-rayed: Byerley lawyers him. Byerley punches a man in the face on live TV during a political rally to prove he is not a robot. Byerley laughs at the possibility he is a robot.
  11. 11. More Detailed Plot 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
  12. 12. A diversion… A tool for analysing: Formalism Defamiliarisation. Visual thesaurus: interconnections of language.The room was warm, the curtains were closed, the two table lamps were lit…
  13. 13. https://www.visualthesaurus.com/ Connotations vs Denotations Her mouth and eyes, with their new calm look, seemed larger and darker than before.
  14. 14. A tool for analysing: Formalism Intended connotations and possible connotations. Does meaning exist independently of our discovery of it? Matrix Albino fight: ‘ghosts’ of meaning – become tangible upon belief or recognition. Should all countries follow the same legal code? As the wife of a detective, she knew what the punishment would be. It made no difference to her.
  15. 15. Intention and Meaning Does intention matter when we interpret a text? Swearing in Wolves… Death of the Author Should a person be held responsible for breaking laws he or she doesn’t know about? Of course I’ll give you money and see that you’re taken care of. But there really shouldn’t be any problem. I hope not, in any case. It wouldn’t be very good for my job.
  16. 16. Intention and Meaning Is anyone who breaks the law a criminal? Did they kill them both -- mother and child? Did they wait until the baby was born? What did they do? Mary Maloney didn't know and she wasn't prepared to take a chance.
  17. 17. Can a criminal be a hero? Did they kill them both -- mother and child? Did they wait until the baby was born? What did they do? Mary Maloney didn't know and she wasn't prepared to take a chance.
  18. 18. An aside… what is the purpose of defamiliarisation? "It's the old story," he said. "Get the weapon, and you've got the murderer."
  19. 19. Being familiar with things is not always a bad thing! We need routine and first impressions in order to save cognitive capacity. Otherwise we will spend our times reevaluating every little thing!
  20. 20. Primary-recency effect.
  21. 21. Word-Level Analysis in LttS… We are invited to sympathise with a murderer. This is an increasingly common genre in popular fiction and film. Where in this story do we defamiliarise expected connotations (especially as we know the ending?). Tired/told/knew That was better. Both the smile and the voice sounded better now. All the old love for him came back to her…she began to cry hard… no acting was necessary.
  22. 22. Word Level Analysis in Evidence We are invited to consider not only if B is a robot, but also whether this matters. “Oh, are robots so different from men, mentally?” “Worlds different.” She allowed herself a frosty smile, “Robots are essentially decent.”
  23. 23. Where in this story do we defamiliarise expected connotations (especially as we know the ending?). man./human 61 times: robot/robots 81 times. He deposited John with infinite care upon the cool grass.
  24. 24. Do we want to place ethics in the hands of a robot, who can be blind to justice? “Because, if you stop to think of it, the three Rules of Robotics are the essential guiding principles of a good many of the world’s ethical systems.
  25. 25. To Kill a Mockingbird – equality can only exist before the eyes of the law, rather than other things. (World War Z) Did they kill them both -- mother and child? Did they wait until the baby was born? What did they do? Mary Maloney didn't know and she wasn't prepared to take a chance. “Except that a robot might fall due to the inherent inadequacies of his brain. The positronic brain has never equalled the complexities of the human brain.”
  26. 26. Evidence and Being Authentic In Evidence, we are called upon to question what it is to be authentic. Are we morally obligated to report any cheaters we encounter? I will not submit to X-ray analysis, because I wish to maintain my Rights on principle. Just as I’ll maintain the rights of others when elected.”
  27. 27. Evidence and Being Authentic How important is authenticity to us? How important is being original? Lampstand idea... The thin man was laughing wildly. “You can’t hit me. You won’t hit me. You’re not a human. You’re a monster, a make-believe man.”
  28. 28. Does Authenticity Matter in Politicians? https://youtu.be/XQPy88-E2zo?t=2m44s End of the Film. Whirling Top: if it stays spinning, his experience is a dream. If it falls, he is in reality. Does it fall or stay spinning in this video? “It’s been proven sufficiently for the electorate.”
  29. 29. Does free-will really exist? Matter? The zombie question. Psychopathology in CEOs. Profit Morality. If a robot can be created capable of being a civil executive, I think he’d make the best one possible. By the Laws of Robotics, he’d be incapable of harming humans, incapable of tyranny, of corruption, of stupidity, of prejudice.
  30. 30. Is it innately human to cheat? http://thecreatorsprojec t.vice.com/blog/prove- youre-not-a-robot-with- the-bot-or-not-poetry- challenge Robots in Japan; talk to a robot ai. Googlebot.com If the madman died, the robot would require psychotherapy because he might easily go mad at the conflict presented him—of having broken Rule One to adhere to Rule One in a higher sense.
  31. 31. Is cheating part of surviving in the real, flawed, fallen world? Do we believe that truth matters? What is more important: truth or effect? What is cheating? How is it different from lying? “Except that a robot might fall due to the inherent inadequacies of his brain. The positronic brain has never equalled the complexities of the human brain.”
  32. 32. Both stories ending with ‘laugh’ ‘chuckled’ – purposefully playful. Light for hope and release? Or… Light for joy and irreverence? Stephen Byerley chuckled. And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to laugh.

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