Brave New World By: Aldous HUxley

“O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O, brave new world! That has such people in’t!” - Shakespeare, The Tempest

What is satire?

A piece of literature designed to ridicule the subject of the work.

While satire can be funny, its aim is not to amuse, but to arouse contempt.

A technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society by using humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule. It intends to improve humanity by criticizing its follies and foibles.

Utopia VS Dystopia

Utopia

A place or society that appears perfect in every way.

The government is perfect, working to improve society's standards of living rather than their own, social aspects of the community run perfectly.

There is no war or disease, only peace and happiness. Everyone outside this Utopian society looks to this place in wonder and awe, believing it is completely perfect in every such way.

“Manmade utopia is an oxymoron.” - Mike Duran

Dystopia

An imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives

Often times in novels what appears to be a Utopian society at first is actually revealed to be a Dystopian society.

The citizens are often revealed to live in terror, under complete control by the government, unaware of corrupt world in which they actually live in, or suppressed by the society as a whole.

aldous huxley

Aldous Huxley was born into a prominent intellectual family in Godalming, England, in 1894.

After a serious illness left him partially blind as a youth, Huxley abandoned his dreams of becoming a scientist to pursue a literary career.

Huxley moved to the United States in 1937 and for the rest of his life maintained a prolific output of novels, nonfiction, screenplays and essays.

He died of cancer in Los Angeles, California, in 1963.

Wrote Brave New World in 1931-1932, around the time of the rise of the dictatorships of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.

Brave New World is a dark vision of the future, it is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.

The Setting is 2540 AD; referred to in the novel as 632 years AF (“After Ford”), meaning 632 years after production of the first Model T car

Brave New World presents a future in which genetically engineered babies are produced on assembly lines, the social and economic divide between the haves and the have nots is legally enforced and discontent is quelled by advertising, medication, sexual encounters, and entertainment. Now, nearly a century from the novel’s publication, among its prophecies that have come to pass are the rise of dictatorial governments, in-vitro fertilization, genetic cloning, virtual reality, antidepressants and the invention of the helicopter.

Chapter 2: conditioning

"Drove downtown in the rain, Nine-thirty on a Tuesday night. Just to check out the late-night record shop. Call it impulsive, call it compulsive, call it insane. But when I'm surrounded I just can't stop. It's a matter of instinct; it's a matter of conditioning and a matter of fact. You can call me Pavlov's Dog. Ring a bell and I'll salivate. How'd you like that?" - Barenaked Ladies, Brian Wilson

Ivan Pavlov - Pavlov's Dog

Like many great scientific advances, Pavlovian conditioning (aka classical conditioning) was discovered accidentally.

During the 1890's Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food.

Pavlov started from the idea that there are some things that a dog does not need to learn. For example, dogs don’t learn to salivate whenever they see food. This reflex is ‘hard wired’ into the dog.

Unconditioned Stimulus (Food) > Unconditioned Response (Salivate)

Pavlov showed the existence of the unconditioned response by presenting a dog with a bowl of food and the measuring its salivary secretions

Pavlov discovered that any object or event which the dogs learnt to associate with food would trigger the same response.

Pavlov knew that somehow, the dogs in his lab had learned to associate food with him. This must have been learned, because at one point the dogs did not do it, and there came a point where they started, so their behavior had changed. A change in behavior of this type must be the result of learning.

In behaviorist terms, a person walking in the room was originally a neutral stimulus. It is called neutral because it produces no response. What had happened was that the neutral stimulus (the person walking in) had become associated with an unconditioned stimulus (food).

Would this work with other events? Pavlov started an experiment. One that he would devote his life's work to.

In his experiment, Pavlov used a bell as his neutral stimulus. Whenever he gave food to his dogs, he also rang a bell. After a number of repeats of this procedure, he tried the bell on its own. As you might expect, the bell on its own now caused an increase in salivation.

So the dog had learned an association between the bell and the food and a new behavior had been learned. Because this response was learned (or conditioned), it is called a CONDITIONED RESPONSE. The neutral stimulus has become a conditioned stimulus.

Pavlov found that for associations to be made, the two stimuli had to be presented close together in time. He called this the law of temporal contiguity. If the time between the conditioned stimulus (bell) and unconditioned stimulus (food) is too great, then learning will not occur.

Pavlov and his studies of classical conditioning have become famous since his early work between 1890-1930. Classical conditioning is "classical" in that it is the first systematic study of basic laws of learning / conditioning.

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