The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science …

Career Planning – What to Do If Your Job Is not What You Want to Do

In professional sports, football especially, there's a maxim: Failing to plan is planning to fail. This applies to several fields of endeavor, from military careers to project management – which is all about planning and resource allocation.

It is also a critical aspect of meeting your career goals. A large number of people, college graduates and not, sort of stumble through life going from job to job, and never actually focusing on having a career. The difference between a job and a career is not just silly solipsism, it's also a function of doing what makes you happy, and doing what makes you satisfied with the work that you do.

If you do not happen to be one of those people for whom office dronery is a satisfying career choice, or one of those handicfuls of souls for what working in a call center is your spiritual calling, it's time to take stock in what you do , what you enjoy doing , and what sorts of training you'll need to be able to make a living doing what you enjoy.

It may be that you can not earn the kind of money you need doing what you enjoy. However, if you can plan your training and your life around getting a job that will pay you well, historically you can cut back your hours of employment to work on the things you love to do.

For example, if you're good with computers, and detail oriented, possibly skipping college in favor of getting training as a systems administrator would serve you in good stead. If you're good with your hands, getting trained as a machinist can make you decent money and give you the satisfaction of doing something that requires skill.

Too many people think career planning is all about maximizing income potential. It's not. It's about maximizing life potential; getting an income you can live on is part of that – but do not, for example, guide yourself onto a career path you're going to hate. I've known several stock brokers whoave up seven figure jobs after two or three years because they hated the stress and the pace of it.

On the other hand, not having a career plan will more or less doom you to doing office work for middle managers straight out of a television program, or a life straight out of a Dilbert cartoon.

When doing your career planning – even if the current job is one that is not what you want to do for the rest of your working life – look at it from the perspective of "What from this experience will I be able to put on a resume to get a better job down the road? " Even being a manager at a restaurant gives you an experience in working with others that can be leveraged to other positions down the road. If your job offers any kind of training, keep that in mind; they can not take the skills …

6 Things Your Grandmother Told You About Happiness – Does Science Agree?

Happiness Lies in Random Acts of Kindness

In a recent study, participants were divided into three groups. One carried out five ‘random acts of kindness’ in a single day, the second spread them out over a week and a third served as a control. After repeating this for six weeks, it was seen that the first group experienced the most significant increase in happiness. “Kindness can jump-start a whole cascade of positive social consequences,” they observed. “Helping others leads people to like you, to appreciate you [and] to offer gratitude.

Happiness is a Journey

Our mind’s ability to absorb and adjust to both positive and negative changes means that no emotion, however strong, lasts forever. We soon return to our original baseline of happiness, regardless of winning the lottery or meeting with a serious car accident.

Our inability to hang on to happiness puts us on what is known as a “hedonic treadmill”. We’re always seeking out short term mood boosts, which means that happiness is not a goal but a series of joyful moments that run through our lives.

Happiness Comes When You Least Expect it

Studies show that those who consciously make an effort to seek out happiness in their lives actually report lower levels of happiness and satisfaction. On a related note, those who are more optimistic in life do report greater levels of self esteem and lower levels of depression, loneliness and stress, but their optimism also drives them to take greater risks, which makes them less likely to quit smoking and more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy.

Sharing Happiness Creates More Happiness in the World

Alice Isen, PhD, of Cornell’s Art College, found that the smallest gestures – a free sample, loose change on the sidewalk or an unexpected gift – can cause people to experience a thrill that drives them to show more generosity and friendliness. This in turn makes them more flexible, creative and better able to solve problems. These small bursts of good feelings can over time result in making people smarter, more productive and more accurate. They even conducted a study on radiologists and found that after receiving a small present, they made more accurate diagnoses!

More Choices Don’t Always Mean More Happiness – Appreciate What You Already Have

Although it’s widely accepted that freedom of choice gives us the agency to express ourselves and create lives that will make us happy, this may just be another myth propagated by capitalism. A study conducted on the topic showed that greater the degree of choice, the more miserable the individual.

Too many choices actually cause us to be overwhelmed, leading to an inability to actually make a choice – in other words: not free at all. With every new option provided, we find our own choice less satisfactory. Once you’ve checked out all the options, you are likely to eventually question and even regret the choice you actually make.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

While money definitely buys a lot, wealthy people …

Experiencing College Weight Gain? These 4 Bad Habits Are Increasing Your Waistline!

A lot of students experience College weight gain when they move away from home to go to school. Have you put on a few pounds since you left home? Do you know what to do about it? I am a recent College grad, and during my time at school I identified several bad habits that students fall into that inflates their waistline. Are you making any of these mistakes? If you are, you need to identify and reverse your behavior so that you can get the body that you want! Here are 4 bad habits that could be causing you to experience College weight gain:

1. Making the wrong choices in the cafeteria. In my cafeteria, there was a soft-serve ice cream machine available, as well as a desert tray. I saw some people who would eat two deserts per day, one with lunch and one with dinner. Packaged deserts got smuggled up to dorm rooms in bulk for later. It's no wonder people are experiencing College weight gain with habits like these; and this is just the deserts. The waffle bars, bagel bars, etc. are also killers. Pick a diet plan and stick to it when you're in the caf. There are plenty of healthy fruits, veggies, proteins, complex carbs, etc. to choose from. Look over the menu the night before so you can plan what to eat the next day and then stick to it when you are there.

2. Eating out late at night. Up late? I always was is school, and the caf is not open. So what are you eating? Pizza? Subs? Burgers? You can really ruin a decent diet with this one meal, so pay attention to what you are ordering. Once again, try to stick to something that will be on your diet plan.

3. Relying on unhealthy snacks. This is a similar story to number two, because it's based on your lifestyle. You're moving around to several buildings throughout your day, and all of them have vending machines or snack counters with unhealthy snacks. During a long day away from home, you're bound to get hungry and reach for one of these snacks to satisfy you. It's a lot better idea to pack your own snacks that conform to your diet plan.

4. What are you drinking? No, I'm not talking about your weekend activities. I'm referring to the fact that sugary sodas are available everywhere on campus, such as: vending machines in buildings andorms, unlimited supply from the caf, and fountain pops from snack counters or party stores. If you switch to diet, or drink water instead, you'll cut out a lot of unwanted calories.

The good news is that you can fight college weight gain, but you have to identify your bad habits that are the causes. Once you do, you can make a plan to get the body you deserve! …