In this short blog I will make a brief introduction of my research project for BCM325: Future Cultures. In particular, I will indicate my research topic, research plan and digital artifact presentation.
Personally, I am passionate about Japanese manga and the famous ‘Doraemon’ is undoubtedly among my favorites. The content is about a robot from the future, Doraemon, who travels back in time to provide help to a boy who struggles in life, through the use of his ‘gadgets’, which are tools of the future (22nd century in particular). As a little boy, I only dreamed of making life easier with those gadgets but have never thought of actually having any of them in real life. However, as time flew, I grew up and technology developed, I started to realise many of those gadgets have been turned into existence. Not a few of them, many of them. Watch this:
As you can see, the cutting-edge technology of the 22nd century that was depicted in Doraemon is on its way to existence in the early 21st century that we are living today. Therefore, I am optimistic that what Fujiko Fujo – the author – predicted in the manga was not just about a Utopian world (an imagined place where everything is perfect, symbolizing people’s hopes and dreams), but actually a future world that is not impossible to reach (Benson 2015). But the question is, are we getting close? Therefore, I decided to commit my research project to partly answer this question by focusing on one gadget that I believe is the best idea in the manga – the ‘Anywhere door’, a door that takes you anywhere you want by simply… walking through it.
I plan to focus my research into two sub-topics. First of all, because ‘Anywhere door’ is actually a means of transport, I will look at the transport revolution to figure out how developed transportation has been since the earliest days of human history. Although travelling to a destination that is thousands miles apart in seconds is a crazy idea, we still have the right to hope based on the incredible improvements in transportation throughout the years. The following infographics indicate the various achievements in transportation that humans have accomplished:
Looking at the above infographics, we can see that transportation has been through a long revolution process from the earliest days. People of the 15th century claimed Leonardo da Vinci’s idea of aeroplane to be crazy (Sails in the Sky, 1938), and now we are travelling intercontinently in less than a day in aeroplanes and claiming Fujiko Fujio’s (Doraemon’s author) idea of ‘Anywhere door’ to be crazy again, isn’t it ironic? We have reasons to hope, and I will put effort into research to find out whether those reasons are rational enough.
Secondly, I want to discover whether there is any scientific foundation to turn this idea into reality. There might be achievements that signals positive progress, but if there is no scientific and realistic base, that progress will have a limit. For example, in Doraemon, Fujiko Fujio once featured a machine that allows two people to switch their heads together to experience the other’s body. This idea has been initiated in real life with the case of Sergio Canavero, an Italian doctor who is researching to perform the world’s fisrt head transplantation (Brodwin 2016). Although there have been incredible improvements and discoveries in the medical industries, this idea still remains impossible according to several scientific foundations such as the head cannot stay alive on its own, the immune system cannot accept another body or the surgery has to happen in under an hour (Hardy et al 2017).
Therefore, through my research, I want to figure out whether ‘Anywhere door’ is actually science, or just science fiction. Theories about time and space such as Einstein’s ‘General Relativity’, which explains that space can be warped (Agarwal 2017), will be put into consideration .
Digital Artifact Presentation:
I plan to present my findings in form of a video which I believe to be more interactive as it provides more visuals. Along with the visuals, there will be a voice-over as explanation. The structure of the artifact will be mostly based on the outline of this blog post as I will introduce Doraemon as a background for my research topic along the evidence to prove that Fujiko Fujio was a genius for the future predictions. Secondly, my interest in the idea of ‘Anywhere door’ will be expressed and supported by the achievements in transportation history. Finally, I will make conclusion based on my scientific findings of whether this idea lies in the future, or remains a manga legend.
Agarwal, A 2017, ‘Anywhere Door: Doeramon’s Gadget into a reaity’, Research Paper, Aligarh Muslim University.
Benson, A 2015, ‘The utopia of suburbia: the unchanging past and limitless future in Doraemon’, Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 235-256
Brodwin, E 2016, An Italian surgeon has renewed his promise to perform the world’s first head transplant after a ‘proof-of-concept’ experiment on a dog, Business Insider, viewed April 29th 2017, <http://www.businessinsider.com/italian-surgeon-head-transplant-dog-experiment-2016-9>.
Hardy, MA, Furr, A, Barret, JP, & Barker, JH 2017, ‘Review: The immunologic considerations in human head transplantation’, International Journal of Surgery, vol. 41, pp. 196-202
‘Sails in the Sky’, 1938, Time, vol. 31, no. 18, p. 69.