How the Past Can Help us Predict the Future

When you think about the future, what exactly do you imagine?  Maybe you find yourself seeing  a vision of flying cars and clothing that somewhat resembles a bright colored space suit.  Maybe you think of the robot helpers in our homes cooking and cleaning for us (and their inevitable revolution and rise to power of course).  Or maybe you've never seriously thought about it at all.

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Where Are They? A Look at Fermi's Paradox

One day, in the year 1950, a few physicists were gathered together enjoying their lunch and making casual conversation.  At some point, their conversation arrived on the debate of extraterrestrial life in our galaxy; are we alone in our galaxy?  They listed all of the facts as they knew them.  

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David CarderComment
Cast Away and the Importance of What We're Not Told

There's a scene from the 2000 movie Castaway starring Tom Hanks that beautifully displays a conflict that all art must wrestle with: how do you say something without actually saying it at all?... while this scene may simply show a volleyball floating off into the ocean, it’s not about a volleyball floating off into the ocean

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David CarderComment
Divergent: a case study of Plato's Republic

The society in Divergent seems to be built on this very same idea of justice: each person has a specific job to do in order to best benefit society as a whole.   However, what Plato's Republic portrays as a utopia, Divergent portrays as a dystopia.  In fact, Divergent seems to operate from the premise that nothing good can come from any "utopia" where humans are involved. This premise begs the question: why do these two very similar societies paint such polar opposite outcomes?

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David CarderComment
Live the Life You Have Imagined: why we don't succeed in following our dreams

Picture in your mind your craziest, most ambitious, you-could-never-do-that dream.  Think about the one thing that you have always wanted to do; the thing that people have said is too crazy to even try.  Now picture the life you would have in that dream, where waking up everyday would be no less than surreal.

With this in mind, think about where you're at right now.  What are you currently doing with your life?  Where is your current path heading?  Where do you see yourself being at in the next five to ten years?  How does this path align with your dream?

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David CarderComment
The Delusion of Optimism: a brief analysis of Voltaire's Candide

The main philosophical idea that is challenged in Voltaire’s Candide is the idea that our world is the best of all possible worlds.  It means that out of all possibilities, this world is the best, meaning everything in this world must be for the best.  Therefore, we should have an optimistic outlook on our life and the bad things that happen to us should not be viewed at as all that bad.  Candide, in this story, after everything that happens to him, finally begins to question that school of thought. 

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David CarderComment
The Dichotomy of the Heart

The Roman poet, Catullus, seems to uncover an interesting phenomenon that tends to happen within our hearts: how love and hate can both reside in our feelings.  He tells of the torture experienced within our minds when we experience these feelings, especially when they are experienced at the same time.  Unlike happiness and sadness, emotions such as love and hate must be directed at something or someone else.  One can experience happiness or sadness without others, but one cannot truly love or hate without relationship with others.

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David CarderComment
The Curse of a Loaded Gun

I was grabbed in the very first line: “My Life stood – a Loaded Gun”.  From this line alone, the reader can see the desperate situation that the speaker finds herself in.  To understand this deeper, one must take time to think about what a loaded gun is.  Guns carry a negative connotation because of their typical purpose: to kill.  However, a gun on its own is not enough to show the desperate place of the speaker.  A gun by itself still has a purpose, but no power.  With the inclusion of the detail of “Loaded gun” it adds a deeper layer of despair.  This detail not only shows a purpose, but the ability and, even more perhaps, the intent to carry out the purpose.

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