Monday, January 30, 2006

An idea hit me today and I want to know what people think:

We talked the first week about what progress is and whether or not we can call technological change 'progress.' Here's the thought that hit me: what if 'progress' is the combination of consonant and vowel sounds we use to express increasing clarity? Granted, what we deem progress today brings up all sorts of new questions, but think of the clarity with which we can view those questions because of our progress thus far.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I think the ideas proposed today in the discussion were of a very high caliber. Working as collaborators can be difficult. If you have ever directed, you know the feeling. Oftentimes, rejection feels like someone is trying to stamp on your child, who has suddenly been shunned by the world. It is not a pleasant thing to feel, but I'm sure everyone will experience it at some point during the process. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast. Even when you write alone, editing is often necessarily and can be brutal, especially if it is done by an outside source.

In relation to this notion of collaborative art, I was recently reading an article in The New Yorker about the gestation of a new opera by the artists Peter Sellars (not Clouseau!) and John Adams (not the ex-President!). The opera is relevant to what we are doing because it too is about science. Dr. Atomic takes as its subject J. Robert Oppenheimer and the detonation of the atom bomb at Los Alamos. Primarily, the opera is about the effects this experiment would have on the members involved, but it also hints at the impact it would have on the whole world. It was only after the bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that Oppenheimer understood the true implications of his findings and tried to take action to stop them. It is a sad story; Oppenheimer's security clearance was eventually revoked, and he was forced out of the prestigious position he had held in the scientific community. Of course, Oppenheimer was not the only person involved in the Manhattan Project, but we often associate his image with it. Sellars and Adams may not have been studying the Human Genome project, but they, much like us, were crafting a piece of theatre based around science. The article does not only shed light on this new project; it also documents the working relationship between Sellars and Adams. It is very interesting to read because the men are so different in their methods. They, however, were able to get along and craft a piece of art that hopefully would resound with its prospective audience. We, as members of this project, have the same responsibility to each other, as Sellars and Adams did, as we explore the issues of our topic and try to craft our own theatrical work. As I was saying yesterday, each of us has a responsibility, both for the research being done and its potential effects and for the art we create because of it. If we cannot respect each other in this rich environment, how can humanity even have a chance of working out its differences (which is a dream, but hard to see as a reality)? I expect great things from us all.

And now, Elliott steps down off his liberal soapbox, picks up his Dr. Pepper, and calls the police.
If anyone is interested in reading a very interesting paper on cloning and the ethics involved, here is a link.

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v3n2/pdf/FERRE.PDF

I came across this when we were supposed to research the Human Genome Project, and I got wildly side-tracked. I thought it was extremely interesting, so I thought it would be worth sharing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I found this website online and I'm only sharing because we talked about the health care system today during the debates. It's a site that is having a contest about ideas from everyday citizens about how to fix part of the economy and encourage job growth. Anyway, one of the ideas is a solution to the health care system. The other ideas are interesting as well. Also, the idea that a contest like this can stir public debate and possibly effect change is something I had never thought of. I'm not sure how effective it is but anyway, here's the site: www2.sinceslicedbread.com

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This particular blog will serve as a discussion board for all of us. I will be doing much more with this after I figure out the program. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, everything that I've used so far is reversible.