20 Nov About the Journal
“Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master.” – Christian Lous Lange
You love stories like Contagion, I, Robot and Wall-E. You love playing zombie games. But you’d never admit your fear of technology controlling humanity one day.
In this issue, we explore the depictions of the apocalypse in the modern age of today. With the rise of technology, the apocalyptic trope has again developed in a whole new manner. It has crept into new forms of media, reaching new audiences with the help of technology. In contrast to the harsh reception that Mary Shelley’s The Last Man received, interest in the apocalypse has significantly risen. The stories that draw us in help us renegotiate our fears and beliefs with our circumstances, and apocalyptic themes are developing alongside mankind – evolving to reflect our changing fears, concerns and desires. Science and technology play increasingly prominent roles in today’s apocalypse texts, with artificial intelligence being a particular focus in films like I, Robot and Wall-E. The question thus comes about – why are humans so interested in the end of the world, and why this attention on science and technology?
Understanding how science and technology can overlap with the apocalypse – whether imagined or real – can give us an insight into mankind’s perception of death and destruction.
The articles have been arranged in this manner to facilitate the flow of ideas pertaining to the theme of TECHNOLOGY & MODERNITY. In Beauty of Misery, we explore the appeal of the apocalypse in popular culture, where the concept of an apocalypse emerges in various forms of literatures and even in video games such as Left 4 Dead and Metro 2033. Subsequently, Why I, Robot is a Persuasive Film in Imagining the Appeal of an AI Apocalypse introduces the idea of AI in an apocalypse, building on fears of new technology turning against mankind. By extension, the third article goes on to explore the compatibility between mankind and robots in shaping the future of humanity and how the rise of robotic consciousness does not always lead to destruction and the fall of mankind. Finally, as some sort of summary, the fourth article goes on to explore the shifts in the attitudes towards technology through the ways it is depicted in literature in the 1900s as compared to recent years.
As you immerse yourself in the reading of these articles, we encourage you to question any pre-existing perceptions you may have of the apocalypse, and think about how these ideas of the apocalypse might change in the years to come.