Cartoons and Science: Imagining the Possibilities

For my blog post for this week I have
decided to focus on the cartoon Rick and
. This show follows the life of the Smith family which consists of the
parents Beth and Jerry, two kids Summer and Morty as well as Beth’s alcoholic,
self-absorbed mad scientist father Rick who recently has come back into the family’s
life. There are several reasons I have decided to focus on this animated
science fiction sitcom that combines elements of the stereotypical domestic
lifestyle with high stakes sci-fi rigmarole. One of the main reasons is that
throughout this series one of the biggest elements you will see is the
insignificance of the human race. The universe is a big place, and too often
humans get caught up in our own importance and value compared to other species
on our own planet. In a show that involves space travel, interdimensional
travel, as well as countless alien species as well as developed alien worlds we
get the chance to think about life where humans are not the only intelligent
life in the universe.

In this series we do not look how science
might help humans understand the most complex questions in the universe,
because Rick already knows the answers to all these questions. With no bounds
of ethics or responsibility Rick does science based of the goals of personal
gain or desire. In our world we often conduct science under strict ethical
restrictions and regulations, by taking a look at science that is free from
restriction we can see some of the potential possibilities as well as some of
the extensive potential issues. In one-episode Rick designs a device that gives
the family pet Snuffles sentience, this goes south though once snuffles
intelligence continues to grow and he begins to grow frustrated with the human
relationship to dogs. Snuffles creates a bunch of robotic mech suits for
canines that help dogs begin to take over the planet. In the reversal of human
and dogs power status we get the chance to see some of the ways humans really
undervalue and mistreat dogs. While this show is based of science fiction, I
think this is an important element in science. Many things that used to be
considered science fiction are very real today. Thinking of what might be can
be a motivator to make something grow from possibility to reality. Not to say a
cartoon featuring interdimensional portal guns, flying space cars made out of
trash, and goggles which allow you to see the life of yourself in a different
reality will are motivate new technologies but just to say the possibility is
there. By also hypothesizing over what things we do not understand may look
like we get a better frame to look at what we do have and what is possible now.
During this Series Rick begins to see not all the knowledge, technology and booze
in the universe can sometimes substitute for the companionship of your family.
Science is a tool to help improve the our daily and limited lives but it also
has the ability to bring much chaos and turmoil to those very lives. In the end
I would say the biggest connection to this show to our topic for the week is
with science comes possibility and with science fiction we get the chance to
see some of the improbably possibilities.


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