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François Truffaut’s 1966 film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 is a premonition of the capabilities of future technology and the objectives they could potentially be used to accomplish. In a society where censorship is the norm, where freedom of speech and thought is practically non-existent, where information is burned and destroyed rather than consumed, the allure of innovative technology is the only solace the people have, and the only thing keeping the society functioning and the people alive.

The Social Dilemma, Jeff Orlowski’s 2020 docudrama, shows a range of technology experts congregating to warn the audience of the dangers of social networking. The documentary exhibits how the modern age presents people with the possibility of an artificial social life and a ‘social media’ as a measly compensation for the loss of the richness of life gained through real socialisation. …

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Australians on the moon: a near-future reality

It’s been 50 years since the first moon landing, and the moon was forgotten for half a century. Until in 2018, when NASA confirmed the presence of water-ice on the surface of the moon.

That’s right: there’s water on the moon.

Now we just need to mine it. But what does this have anything to do with Australia?

Australia has played a vital part in space study since 1957, even before NASA was founded, even if they were not on the frontlines of space exploration. When the USA sent Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins to the moon, Australia helped transfer those notable images of the first moonwalk in 1969. Further, Australia’s capital city Canberra was granted the responsibility of landing the Curiosity rover on the Martian surface in August 2012, despite the landing sequence not having been trialled beforehand, only simulated. …

Dubliners, written by James Joyce, is an anthology published in 1914. Dubliners, consisting of 15 seemingly unrelated short stories, is about the typical life of an Irish middle-class person living in Dublin (as the name suggests) in the early 20th century. Although it was published more than a hundred years ago, Dubliners is one of the most influential books of all time and is more relevant than ever to modern life. The stories revolve around the concepts of detachment from society, the feeling of paralysis and the alienation of people, that plague society.

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Alienation is not as obvious as it seems, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist

Mr Duffy, of A Painful Case, is a prime example of the fragmentation that plagues society today. The reclusive life he lived is mirrored in today’s millennials and Gen Z, who I daresay are infamously renowned for the extensive hours they spend on the Internet and social media, with barely any social interaction. The “mind forg’d manacles” (London, William Blake) that divided and alienated people from their communities a century ago have progressively evolved into the self-inflicted barriers we have today, including the Internet and technology. It’s a bit like Plato’s cave. …


Vihas Bomiriya

Finding the beauty in learning

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