Week 3 – My Life as a Spacecraft: Technology Experience

This week we began the session by reading into deeper meanings behind an internet browser page, which happened to be on YouTube playing a space themed music playlist.

I worked with other members of my study group whom were located around my table to read into the browser page as much as possible.

We analysed multiple aspects of the web page, such as the music video as well as the layout of the browser page itself.

From reading into the browser page we managed to ask ourselves questions which further improved our web page analysis, for example:

  • Who made YouTube?
  • Where was it made?
  • When was it made?
  • How did they get the idea?
  • Who made the world wide web?
  • Why was the world wide web made?
  • What is the world wide web used for nowadays?

After doing this opening exercise, we went on to look at live footage from the first moon landing. Whilst doing this we did our best to transcript who and what we heard in the footage as we later had to decide who was going to play what character in a reenactment.

I was in a group with 3 other people. 1 played Neil Armstrong, 1 played Buzz Aldrin, and the other played NASA operator. As all the major roles were taken I decided to take a somewhat comical approach to the situation by envisioning myself as the machine “beeps” coming from the control panel inside the space shuttle, as well as the crackles coming over the radio used between the astronauts and those at the NASA base.

I then decided to write about the landing from the perspective as the “beeps” and crackles.

I achieved the following output:

We’re getting close, I can feel my engine slowly shutting down; I fear for those on board, what if we don’t make it in time? “Beep beep” I warn them.

They continue to descend to the white powdery mini planet, commonly referred to by Earth people as ‘the moon’.

They continue to alter their angle of descent, the tension is immense. 30 seconds of fuel are left. “BEEP BEEP” I desperately tell them.

The NASA man keeps radioing through to the Earth people flying this machine. I let them know my presence to make sure they know there’s danger “kkkzzzzk” I go between each sentence shared between the people.

15 seconds of fuel remains. I make my final attempt to make them understand “BEEP BEEP, BEEP BEEP!”. The astronauts are calm. Suddenly we make contact with the rocky surface. We made it. I decide one more beep is in order to celebrate. “Beep”. I am filled with relief and delight. It was a mission success. “Kzzzk” I let out in joy.

We later looked at the opening scene of a film called ‘A Space Odyssey’.

What is the meaning behind the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

It begins with early humans being dominated and controlled by their environment. They huddle in fear at night; they eat plants and are not willing to fight for survival against intruders.

Then the monolith comes and sparks some change in the minds of the early humans. They learn aggression and to strike out using simple tools, more specifically, using bones from a dead creature as tools to cause harm. This aggression allows them to start controlling their environment rather than being dominated by it, and they learn to kill in order to eat and survive.

The film cuts from the image of the bone hurtling in the sky to an image of a satellite in space, in order to simply demonstrate that mankind’s aggression and control over their environment in the earliest days was the spark that led us into space. There was no need to show scenes of humans developing the wheel, and then having wars, on and on — that simple edit from the bone to the satellite condensed the entire story into a single scene.

What is the importance in the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Personally, I believe that the opening of A Space Odyssey depicts that of evolution. Not just that of the aesthetics area, but that of knowledge and functioning also. It is crucial to have an understanding of evolution as we are continuously changing/ adapting to meet new standards, thus to put in a scientific term, evolving as the human species.

It also displays a strong message of the development of Space Technology. As I believe that the opening also shows how man has thought of travelling to space from the dawn of time; how did I come to this possible deeper meaning? Well, the cut from the scene in which the ape discovers the use of tools (by swinging the bone) to the satellite in the sky, in which the transition is the bone evolving into the satellite itself. This shows how thoughts and original ideas can become that of a outstanding, highly conceptual creation.

My Images for presentation:

 

Hannah Arednt: The Conquest of Space and the Stature of Man – Sentence analysis

1.) What was said?

“Has man’s conquest of space increased or diminished his stature?”

What does she mean?

In this opening sentence, Arendt asks a rheotorical question. That question of which is asking if our journeys/ adventures into space has made us humans/ laymen any more powerful.

2.) What was said?

“For the scientist, man is no more than an observer of the universe in its manifold manifestations.”

What does she mean?

In this sentence, Arendt is stating that it is possible that scientists believe that human’s soul purpose of existence is to watch the universe and try to gain as much understanding of it as possible.

3.) What was said?

“The goal of modern science, which eventually and quite literally has led us to the moon, is no longer “to augment and order” human experiences; it is much rather to discover what lies behind natural phenomena as they reveal themselves to the senses and the mind of man”

What does she mean?

In this statement, I believe Arendt is trying to explain that science is no longer competition amongst us humans, it is instead to understand the reasoning as to why such elements exist. For example, ‘The race to Space’ was competition between America and Russia to aim to be the first country to land a representative on the moon was done primarily to show which country was best, Although now it is done to help gain more evidence/ materials to gain more knowledge to the universe’s existence.

4.) What was said?

“The scientist has not only left behind the layman with his limited understanding; he has left behind a part of himself and his own power of understanding, which is still human understanding, when he goes to work in the laboratory and begins to communicate in mathematical language.

What does she mean?

In this sentence, Arednt is saying that scientists have left us layman (non-scientists) with only general knowledge regarding the universe, but he has also left a part of innocence/ naievness when he goes to conduct further research into studies of the universe.

What is odd about this sentence is the fact that she regards the scientist as “he/ him”, which could be regarded as Arendt stating that scientists tend to be of the male gender.

5.) What was said?

“It is, I think, safe to say that nothing was more alien to the minds of the scientists, who brought about the most radical and most rapid revolutionary process the world has ever seen, than any will to power”

What does she mean?

In this, Arendt is saying that scientists didn’t expect that what they brought to this world would change the world so dramatically, more than any other super power would be capable of, meaning that scientists themselves have had more of an impact in the way that the layman’s mind has evolved over any high powered figure.

6.) What was said?

“The sad truth of the matter, however, is that the lost contact between the world of the senses and appearances and the physical world view had been re-established not by the pure scientists but by the ‘Plumber’.”

What does she mean?

What Arendt is saying in this is that the scientists are just there to observe and discover whereas the actual physical appearance isn’t changed by them, it’s changed by the people that aren’t as focused on discovering but more so the ‘finding out’.

7.) What was said?

“The very integrity of science demands that not only utilitarian considerations but the reflection upon the stature of man as well be left in abeyance.”

What does she mean?

What Arendt is saying in this sentence in order to prevent possible change/ rebellion amongst the layman, scientists should not speak about practical work or the importance us humans have in the universe, thus keeping the layman in the shadows, although this is not a bad thing, as it is purely done out of safety for us.

8.) What was said?

“For the conquest of space, the search for a point outside the earth from which it would be possible to move, to unhinge, as it were, the planet itself, is no accidental result of the modern age’s science.”

What does she mean?

The scientists would have known what they were looking for before they started looking, in that the result of modern science’s understanding on the universe didn’t happen by accident.

9.) What was said?

“We have come to a present capacity to “conquer space” through our new ability to handle nature from a point in the universe outside the Earth”.

What does she mean?

The ability to now go into space leaves for further exploration meaning that until we actually explore further we cannot physically conquer anything else.

10.) What was said?

“The conquest of space and the science that made it possible have come perilously close to this point. If they ever should reach it in earnest the stature of man would not simply be lowered by all standards we know of, but have been destroyed”

What does she mean?

What Arendt is saying is that through the conquest of space in the development of getting there, there is potential for development in other areas such as nuclear weapons which could then instead of making man powerful it could end us all.

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