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World Scholar's Cup Lecture Outline

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Final Lecture with selected questions - discerned that there was too much an emphasis on AO2 (the style of the texts rather than the content).

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World Scholar's Cup Lecture Outline

  1. 1. WSC Lecture Outline: An Imperfect World Words to Light the Darkness Lamb to the Slaughter by R Dahl Evidence by I Asimov
  2. 2. We are aiming • To explore how these two stories are nodes for provocative ideas on morality, truth, and authenticity. • To follow on and deepen our consideration of word-level appreciation of language through connotation and The Matrix. • To consider ideas of authenticity and originality through defamiliarisation and Inception. •Can a criminal be a hero?
  3. 3. We are aiming • What is a crime, and who decides how serious a crime is? Who should? • Are there countries in which those accused of crimes are guilty until proven innocent? • How can someone be proven guilty of a crime? • What acts are considered crimes in some countries but not in others? • To what degree should citizens be involved in law enforcement? • Should a person be held responsible for breaking laws he or she doesn’t know about? • Should non-citizens be tried differently for crimes than citizens? • Should judges or juries be the ultimate arbiters of guilt or innocence? • What is the purpose of sending someone to prison? • Is it ever just to try one person for another person’s crime? • Is there a difference between a crime and a crime against humanity? • Is crime more common in certain societies or among certain groups of people? • Can a criminal be a hero? • Is there such a thing as “honor among thieves”? • What is the line, if any, between justice and the law? • Should the government be allowed to prosecute someone for a crime even if the victim says not to pursue charges? • What is the difference between terrorism and crime? • Can something be a crime even if it has no victims? • Is anyone who breaks the law a criminal? • What type of acts justify trying someone as a war criminal? • How should countries address crime that occurs across borders? • Should all countries follow the same legal code? •Can a criminal be a hero?
  4. 4. We are aiming • 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? • Should there be special sporting events for athletes who want to use performance-enhancing drugs? • Is cheating more acceptable in some cultures than in others? • Do men and women cheat at the same rate? • Do certain institutions encourage cheating? • Are people born with a sense of fairness? • How can schools prevent cheating? • Is it possible to cheat in war? • What is the economic perspective on cheating? • Should cheating disqualify a politician from winning elected office? How about lying? • Have you ever cheated? • Lip Syncing, Autotune, and the Limits of the Authentic
  5. 5. We are aiming • How would you define a state? Are nations and states different? • What purposes do states serve in the world? • How different would your life be if you had been born in a different state? • Do “perfect” states exist in the world? • What are the “best” and “worst” states you can think of? How are you measuring them? • Are democracies better states than non-democracies? • What is the difference between a failed state and a fragile state? • What do failed (and fragile) states have in common? • How much of state failure can be attributed to politics? • How much of state failure can be attributed to factors beyond a state’s control? • Who should be in charge of measuring a state’s success—its citizens, or other states? • If you were the leader of a failed or fragile state, whom would you ask for help? • Can there be such a thing as a failed region in a successful state? How about a successful region in a failed state? • What happens to a state after it fails? What happens to its people? • Has globalization made states stronger or weaker? • Do revolutions and uprisings save states, or further doom them? • Is a failed state a failed society? • Are some states doomed to failure? • Is the traditional concept of the state outdated in an age of globalization and the Internet? • Do your best to understand the current refugee crisis, also sometimes called the "Syrian" refugee crisis. Should all nations open their borders to people in need - or are nations right to reject any, many, or all of them?
  6. 6. We are aiming • To explore how these two stories are nodes for provocative ideas on morality, truth, and authenticity. • To follow on and deepen our consideration of word-level appreciation of language through connotation and The Matrix. • To consider ideas of authenticity and originality through defamiliarisation and Inception. •Can a criminal be a hero?
  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? • 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?
  8. 8. Key Questions from WSC • Further Key questions here: • Is crime more common in certain societies or among certain groups of people?
  9. 9. More detailed plots… • LttS Wife sits at home Husband reveals he will divorce wife Wife kills husband Wife creates false alibi Wife secretely laughs at inspectors eating lamb
  10. 10. More detailed plots… • Evidence Quinn and Lanning discuss whether Byerley is a robot – never eats. Robot morality is discussed. 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. A diversion… A tool for analysing: Formalism • Defamiliarisation. • Visual thesaurus: interconnections of language. • https://www.visualthesaurus.com/
  12. 12. A tool for analysing: Formalism • Intended connotations and possible connotations. Does meaning exist independently of our discovery of it? Should all countries follow the same legal code? • Matrix Albino fight: ‘ghosts’ of meaning – become tangible upon belief or recognition.
  13. 13. A tool for analysing: Formalism • Does intention matter when we interpret a text? Is anyone who breaks the law a criminal? • Swearing in Wolverhampton… • Death of the Author
  14. 14. Word-Level Analysis Diversion • 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 familiarise expected connotations (especially as we know the ending?). • Tired/told/knew
  15. 15. Word-Level analysis in our stories • Opening paragraph • Death paragraph • Discussion of the murder weapon
  16. 16. Word-Level Analysis Diversion • We are invited to consider not only if L is a robot, but also whether this matters. This is an increasingly common genre in popular fiction and film. • Where in this story do we familiarise expected connotations (especially as we know the ending?). • man./human 61 times: robot/robots 81 times.
  17. 17. Word Level analysis • Introduction of Mr Byerley, • Robots laws of ethics. • Madness at conflict. • Harroway trying to prosecute Byerley • Hostile attitude into the atmosphere • Robo psychologists…
  18. 18. Further Defamiliarisation (?) • Being familiar with things is not always a bad thing. • We need routine and first impressions in order to... Otherwise our minds will… • Primary recency effect.
  19. 19. Further Defamiliarisation • In LttS, our perspective is shifted so that we morally agree with the murder of her husband. • We are invited to connive with her success. • Is there such a thing as “honor among thieves”?
  20. 20. Further Defamiliarisation • In Evidence, we are called upon to question what it is to be authentic. • Are we morally obligated to report any cheaters we encounter? • The zombie question. • The idea of authenticity. • http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/prove-youre-not-a-robot- with-the-bot-or-not-poetry-challenge • Robots in Japan; talk to a robot ai.
  21. 21. • How important is authenticity to us? How important is being original? Lampstand idea... • Do we want to place ethics in the hands of a robot, who can be blind to justice? • To Kill a Mockingbird - equal before the eyes of the law, rather than other things.
  22. 22. Inception Ending • https://youtu.be/XQPy88-E2zo?t=2m44s - it he a robot or not? • 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?
  23. 23. Final Questions • Do we believe that truth matters? • What is more important: truth or effect? • Final question from WSC: What is cheating? How is it different from lying?
  24. 24. Both stories ending with ‘laugh’ ‘chuckled’ – purposefully playful. • Light for hope and release? Or… • Light for joy and irreverence?

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