Posts tagged POL103

npr:

Adam Frank on “How To Love The Zombie Apocalypse”:
… the speed of our recent cultural evolution makes it difficult to lock in new stories speaking to the experience of living in complex technological societies. In a previous post I wrote that our many tellings of the Robot Overlords meme was one form of modern myth. The Zombie Apocalypse — with its prevalence in movies, books, TV shows and comics — must be counted as another.
But what exactly is this myth trying to teach us?

I’ve used zombies, cyborgs, and natural disaster themed pop culture in intro to IR courses before. Always nice to see another take on the matter.

npr:

Adam Frank on “How To Love The Zombie Apocalypse”:

… the speed of our recent cultural evolution makes it difficult to lock in new stories speaking to the experience of living in complex technological societies. In a previous post I wrote that our many tellings of the Robot Overlords meme was one form of modern myth. The Zombie Apocalypse — with its prevalence in movies, books, TV shows and comics — must be counted as another.

But what exactly is this myth trying to teach us?

I’ve used zombies, cyborgs, and natural disaster themed pop culture in intro to IR courses before. Always nice to see another take on the matter.

G-20 Summit Simulation

Earlier this semester, my POL 103 class had a UN Security Council simulation (dealing with a crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh). The next two weeks, they’ll be simulating a G-20 summit on climate-related matters. We’re going to focus on food security, energy security, and natural disaster preparedness. It’s the culmination of our “Apocalypse, Now!” series (cyborgs, aliens, and environmental catastrophe).

As part of their briefing packet, I’m asking them to read the following articles:

BTW, if you’re interested, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) brought in security & environmental experts to play out a “climate change war game" in 2009. The results were interesting. The war game was included in a larger package on an ABC series called "Earth 2100" (subtitled: "Is This the Final Century of Our Civilization?").

Just in time for tomorrow’s “Apocalypse, Now!” discussion in POL 103 about international relations & global climate change. I’m also going to show this report on the Maldives.

From guardian:

The broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough says scientists and environmentalists have been cautious of overstating the dangers of global warming, but recent evidence of melting polar caps shows the situation is worse than had been thought. He also discusses population growth and disappearing habitats

Discussing international relations & aliens in POL 103. This is the clip to start that discussion. It’s from Space: Above & Beyond (one of the best, most underrated sci-fi shows, perhaps ever).

Why this clip? For two reasons: 1) The show as a whole was an incredibly realistic portrayal of how humans would stumble into war with any extra-terrestrial species. 2) The show portrayed humans as equally culpable in that conflict and—as this scene suggests—perhaps not entirely “victims” in the war.

If we ever encounter extra-terrestrial life, I suspect this is very likely the result. The 1492 experience (two “worlds” encountering each other) suggests that very thing.

ADDENDUM: This is relevant to IR—and not far-fetched—because the experience of 1492 teaches exactly the same lessons as many science fiction stories do. Or, rather, they ask the same question: If a technologically advanced civilization encountered a “new world,” would it recognize its residents as sentient beings? Would it be able to communicate w/ them? What would be the consequences of lack of communication? How would the advanced civilization behave? How would the “natives” view the “aliens”—and how would they respond? History is full of answers to the questions sci-fi asks.

The First Geo-Vigilante: Russ George's Iron-Sulfate Dump | The New Yorker

Next week, as part of our “Apocalypse, Now!” series in POL 103 (intro to IR), we’re discussing global climate change and the realist/liberal responses to it (inspired by Dan Drezner’s discussion of zombies & IR). 

This little article seems to fit that theme perfectly.

Last week we discussed cyborgs; this week we’re talking about aliens (as in, from outer space). For that, I’m going to pull out this little gem. Oh, and this one!

Another piece for our discussion about IR & cyborgs in POL 103. This time, a short commentary on a recent series of Anonymous attacks in China. 

For our discussion in POL 103 about IR & cyborgs. An Anonymous warning to NYPD to stop interfering with Occupy movement protests.

For our discussion in POL 103 about IR & cyborgs. A CNN report on a recent Anonymous DOS attack on US government websites.

Tomorrow in POL 103: International relations and cyborgs. Part 1 of our Drezner-inspired “Apocalypse Now!” series.


SHIELD and the US: How Realistic Is the Avengers Movie?
“We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it,” Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison, tells Danger Room. “To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? …

In case you were looking for an IR theory based review of The Avengers.

SHIELD and the US: How Realistic Is the Avengers Movie?

We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it,” Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison, tells Danger Room. “To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.?

In case you were looking for an IR theory based review of The Avengers.