Tue, June 14th–All

OK, so I’m not there. (Insert sad emoji here)

AP: Work on those scenes. We’ll be seeing them June 23rd. The SNF Project Presentations are on June 21st.

Humanities: Writing day. Essay are due June 16th on turnitin.com. Be smart. Be philosophical.

We’ll work together on possibilities in class and brainstorm a list to get you started. Here are some resources to help as well.

For example, you could write about the phenomena of being hated. Or regret. Or grit.

TH, June 9th–Humanities

First Question:

Bostrom’s Dragon. Let me tell you a story. Imagine if there were a Kingdom terrorized by an evil dragon that demanded 10,000 people be delivered to it–to be horribly devoured–every night. What should we do about it?

First Priority: Final Paper…

Resources:

First, we need to go over the details. The final paper is due on turnitin.com on Thursday, June 16th. I won’t be here June 14th–it will be a writing day for you. I’m asking for a 600 word final essay on a philosophical topic that relates to people’s real life.

First, we need a topic:

We’ll work together on possibilities in class and brainstorm a list to get you started. Here are some resources to help as well.

For example, you could write about the phenomena of being hated. Or regret. Or grit.

Then, time for you to think. Choose a partner and we’ll take a walk. Have a good discussion about your respective topics. We’ll come back and you’ll write for 15-minutes while you’re fresh about the experience.

Finally, I’d like you to take a look at the resources above and find three articles, thinkers, events, or facts that can add depth to your discussion. They don’t have to support you (in fact, it would be better if at least one didn’t), but they should give you material to work with.

 

Then, I want to take a quick look at Spinoza

Spinoza argues that true happiness is aligning our will with that of the universe. For instance, if our dog is killed in a car accident, we would have to acknowledge that this is a true possibility in this universe and that we have no right to rage against it. You buying that?

From the text…Seneca, Spinoza’s favourite philosopher, had compared human beings to dogs on a leash being led by the necessities of life in a range of directions. The more one pulls against what is necessary, the more one is strangled – and therefore the wise must always endeavour to understand ahead of time how things are – for example, what love is like, or how politics works – and then change their direction accordingly so as not to be strangled unnecessarily. It is this kind of Stoic attitude that constantly pervades Spinoza’s philosophy.

and then we’ll move on to Buddha. And, eventually, Confucius.

Tue, June 7th–Humanities

HW: Decide on your paper topic. Think hard. Jot down some notes.

Ok, first, we take the Brave New World test. Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever.

Then, I want to take a quick look at Spinoza

Spinoza argues that true happiness is aligning our will with that of the universe. For instance, if our dog is killed in a car accident, we would have to acknowledge that this is a true possibility in this universe and that we have no right to rage against it. You buying that?

From the text…Seneca, Spinoza’s favourite philosopher, had compared human beings to dogs on a leash being led by the necessities of life in a range of directions. The more one pulls against what is necessary, the more one is strangled – and therefore the wise must always endeavour to understand ahead of time how things are – for example, what love is like, or how politics works – and then change their direction accordingly so as not to be strangled unnecessarily. It is this kind of Stoic attitude that constantly pervades Spinoza’s philosophy.

and then we’ll move on to Buddha.

Th, June 2nd–Humanities

HW: Prepare for the BNW test on Tuesday.

Let’s start with a quote:

John: “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

“In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be un-
happy.”

“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be
unhappy.”

“Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right
to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right
to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may
happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured
by unspeakable pains of every kind.” There was a long silence.
“I claim them all,” said the Savage at last.

Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. “You’re welcome,” he said.

Which side are you on?

 

Then, we’ll answer questions from chapters 7-9 and 10-13.

Next, I’d like to talk Propaganda. In small groups, use the techniques of propaganda to convince society of one of the following ideas. Create a :30 radio ad that will broadcast continuously.

(from Mustafa Mond’s Department of of Propaganda at Mr. Moshe’s class website)

  • Shop ’til You Drop Subdepartment:
    You are responsible for promoting the idea that an increase in production and consumption lead to happiness and virtue.  Newer is better!  More is best!  Old is horrid!
  • Better Living Through Test Tubes Subdepartment
    Everyone belongs to everyone else!  And all have a role and a function in society.  Everyone has to do their part!  To understand and act on this is to be happy and to live healthily.  One cannot be reminded of this long enough – or forget the ugliness, squalor, and irrationality of the old family-model based on [sic] “parents”!
  • Never a Dull Moment Subdepartment
    Whether it be the Obstacle Golf, Orgy Porgy, or the Feelies, a normal person just wants to have non-stop 24-7 fun!  Sensory stimulation is the highest pursuit of the best form of happiness.  Don’t be the last to indulge in the latest greatest amusement!  And let’s all do it TOGETHER!
  • Happiness is a Pill Subdepartment
    Feeling a bit under the weather?  Gloomy thoughts clouding your day?  Take a Soma vacation! Pop a pill(s) and kiss those rain clouds good-bye.  Relief is just a dose away! What are you waiting for?  TAKE IT NOW!

 

Finally, we’ll talk caste systems. In small groups, do we have a caste system in the US? How many castes? Who is at the top? the middle? the bottom? How do we know who is who and why? What power do people have to move between castes?

If we have time, we’ll talk about Bostrom’s Fable of the Dragon next.

Th/F–June 2/3–AP

Reminders:

  • Finish your 4 books for Semester Nonfiction Project. I’ve decided to drop most of the non-book requirements. I’ll only ask that you either watch one documentary, read one longform article, or interview one real-life expert.
  • Complete 4 Rhetoric in the Wild Experiences. For each, you need a 1-page report that explains what happened and what you learned.
  • Contact me if you want to redo or take the 2nd half of the Final exam.

OK, let’s get moving…

Here are the rules to help you plan your blocking:

  • Don’t just stand still. After 3-5 lines, usually someone should move somewhere.
  • When you move, move for a reason. Just wandering from point A to point B pointlessly will be distracting. Create a motivation for the movement. Know why you’re making this choice.
  • It doesn’t have to be entirely realistic. Actors need to look at the audience more than each other, so allow them to “cheat” so that they can be seen. Sometimes, they’ll talk directly to the audience rather than each other. It’s not real; it’s drama!
  • Use levels. Find reasons and excuses for people to stand/sit/climb a ladder so that there isn’t just a flat level of people talking to each other. It’s boring to see a bunch of people standing on the stage all the time.
  • Give people things to do. Depending on what’s happening in the scene, actors should be doing something, completing a task so that they’re not just gawking at each other.
  • Create Stage Pictures. Think about how the actors are arranged in the scene. Does it look aesthetically pleasing? Are we engaged? Does their placement tell us something about the relationships and events of the play?

Ok, we’ll look at the early parts of Death of a Salesman to get an idea about what this looks like and you’re ready to go.

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