By Greg Bayles
This essay examines virtual governance and economy as essential components in the foundations of virtual and digitally-hybridized civilizations. It looks at existing social and political systems in two online worlds, EVE Online and Second Life, and examines the virtual currency Bitcoin as a potential model for robust, independent virtual economies. This essay closes with commentary on the increasing hybridization of real and virtual worlds and calls for exploration of these novel environments.
Continue reading Civilization in the Digital Age: Virtual Spaces and Hybrid Reality
by Scott Raia
This essay uses phenomenological psychology to examine the themes of Michel Gondry’s 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, specifically the associationist and cognitivist schools of psychoanalysis. This essay observes the film’s claim that real-world suppression of memories is impractical and dangerous. This essay investigates some of the film’s allusions, including the poem by Alexander Pope from which the film derives its title, as evidence of the film’s stance against attempts to remove painful memories. This essay concludes with a subjective reading of the film text’s implications that support the theme that memories are integral to identity.
Continue reading The World Forgetting by the World Forgot: Cognition and Memory in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
by Josh Randall
This essay is an examination of religious depictions in science fiction, particularly within the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This essay finds that Deep Space Nine doesn’t seek to actively challenge and change cultures and religions by analyzing the Ferengi (a peripheral religious organization and species) and the actions of Quark, one of Ferengi’s members. Instead, Deep Space Nine incorporates a more realistic, positive, and sophisticated view of religion than previous Star Trek incarnations and the science fiction genre in general have done.
Continue reading The Believing Bartender