Lost in Nature – Farid Shirinfar

Monday’s lecture included an interview with Jane Poynter, a biospherian who spent two years and twenty minutes in Biosphere2.  This interview reminded me of the movie “Cast Away” where Chuck’s, Tom Hanks, plane crashes, and he is the only survivor on a secluded island.  The movie is especially thought-provoking as Chuck is the only character for more than half of the movie and thus there are no words spoken—only strong images.  The movie first depicts Chuck living his regular life among millions of other people.  After the plane crash, he is left alone on the island with none of today’s convinces; his drinking water is coconut milk; his room is a tent with a life guard board as it roof; his bandage is the pieces of cloth that he rips off from his own clothes.  To cooked, he needs to make fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together. 

Observing the living conditions of his life, it makes me wonder how pedestrian our lives can be.  To survive, Chuck heavily relies on his creative ideas: how to make fire, fish, and protect himself from harsh weather conditions.  We, however, heavily rely on the services provided to us by others.  It also shows how different we are in our intentions with regard to nature compared with our distant ancestors.  With Biotechnology, we modify goats to produce milk with spider net or cactuses that grow human hair.  Nowadays, it’s definitely not just about survival but much, much more.

I truly enjoyed Wednesday’s class.  I had thought of my project for a few months and plan to commercialize it within the next six months or a year.  Preparing my presentation for the car finder idea made me analyze it more from a commercial perspective.  Being deeply interested in entrepreneurship, the midterm made me think of possible commercial themes for the product.  In addition, the opportunity to present my idea to a big audience was quite enjoyable for me.

Another benefit of the midterm presentations was to hear others’ ideas.  Many of the projects were related to robotics: robots painting, taking pictures, and fighting instead of soldiers.  I am particularly concerned about the impact of robotics in military.  I think a factor significantly contributing to ending wars is human casualty; for example, most war protestors target their campaigns around the lives lost in wars.  Incorporating robots in the military would eliminate that factor and thus can prolong wars.  This, of course, is not to say that we should not do everything within our capabilities to protect our soldiers; it’s the opposite, the less explicit the damages of the war, the longer it continues which counts for more injuries and casualties in the long run.

For more info about “Cast Away,” visit:
http://imdb.com/title/tt0162222/

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