Discussion facilitator: Daude Teel
Teacher bio: http://peoplescolloquium.org/teacher-bios/
Our species has a habit of imagining alternate realities, and a biological predisposition of which we have yet to fully understand: to dream. Fantasy and science fiction tales are one of the main manifestations. Whether it is myths, novels, movies, video games, we view these alternate universes as preferable. Preferable insofar as our gaze is taken in by them so much so that they themselves are placed over patches of our reality. Alternate realities are necessary for many reasons, but once they are brought into our reality and considered as a point of reference when trying to find a solution to a problem we face, we are destroying our capacity to succeed, let alone learn.
We will be discussing the reasons we gravitate to the unreal and use that as a reference point to the real. The way our hero's journey becomes realized as if the horrors in the story we tell are what we are really facing, or, if not, we create those horrors. There will also be an inquiry into the reasons for the romanticizing of dystopias. And, finally, how we can enjoy these alternate 'ideal' realities but keep them separate from the policies concerning our reality today.
- Can we escape the persuasion of fiction?
- Is there a correlation between being able to separate fiction and reality with being able to separate emotion and reason?
- Will myth, fantasy and 'ideal societies' be our downfall because we will always have an insatiable desire to actualize them?
- Is propaganda an inevitable byproduct and consequence of this desire?
- Why did the citizens of "Brave New World" (Huxley) create alternate realities and escapes?
- Is the suppression reality in favor of an ideal a part of the human condition?
- "The Real Purpose of Fantasy" https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2007/apr/23/bridgingthegapswhyweneed
- "Why Fiction is Good for You" (Boston Globe) https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2012/04/28/why-fiction-good-for-you-how-fiction-changes-your-world/nubDy1P3viDj2PuwGwb3KO/story.html
- "Utopia" Thomas More (full book) http://history-world.org/Utopia_T.pdf