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Ready-Set-Tech: Utopias, Dystopias, Dreams and Nightmares

Utopias, Dystopias, Dreams and Nightmares 

Utopia, is a word coined by Sir Thomas More in the early 16th century, translating from the ancient Greek uo (not, no), and topos (place) as "the land of no place." It is an ideally perfect land, especially in its political, social, and moral characteristics. It's scheme for social and political reform are impractical, idealistic, and anti-intellectual, though, according to a friend of mine it still an interest and goal for which humanity strives. It has been often popularized in such books as Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, Golding's Lord of the Flies,  Huxley's Brave New World, More's Utopia (1516), Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984, Vonnegut's Player Piano, and H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, and movies like A Clockwork Orange, Animal Farm, Brazil, Fahrenheit 451, Gattica, Metropolis, and Shangri-La.

Here are two sites where you can read more about utopias: a link to the New York City Public  Library's documentation for the Western World's search for the ideal society (visit: Utopia in History), and a link to utopia as defined by writers, architects, and thinkers located within Anachron City. 

Fritz Lang's vision of the future in his film Metropolis.

Dystopias, in contrast, are an imaginary (though sometimes real!!!) land or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.

Though their original visions are "perfect," utopian societies, when practiced, often fail for several reasons due to human nature and become dystopias -- some of which you may have heard of, read about, and discussed both in and out of school. 

Would you like to live in a society in which you are equal in every way to every other citizen, a society in which competition is not allowed, in which intellectualism is discouraged, in which the assertion of your natural and unique abilities, and individual rights and qualities are punished? 

Some failed utopian societies:

The killing fields of Cambodia,
The Paris Commune of 1871,
Nazi Germany.

Continue examining the work done by the New York City Public Library by exploring their documentation on dystopias in the Twentieth Century

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