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Articles on Dystopia

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Is it a lovely autumn day, or is America burning to the ground? Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Feeling disoriented by the election, pandemic and everything else? It’s called ‘zozobra,’ and Mexican philosophers have some advice

Mexican philosophers have a word for the peculiar anxiety you may be feeling: 'zozobra,' a dizziness that arises from social disintegration.
On the morning of Sept. 9, San Franciscans woke up to a transformed cityscape. AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Why San Francisco felt like the set of a sci-fi flick

The eerie San Francisco skyline evoked sci-fi movies for a reason. Filmmakers are increasingly using color grading to tinge their films with two hues, orange and teal, to unsettle viewers.
The icon of Houseparty, a “user-friendly” application that rose in popularity during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Debate: Smile, you’re under surveillance!

In the current health crisis, authorities use our need for security and private firms our desire for entertainment to encourage us to give up our civil rights.
State police officers during a “Reopen Virginia” rally around Capitol Square in Richmond on April 22, 2020. Getty/Ryan M. Kelly / AFP

Are we living in a dystopia?

'Dystopia' is a term that's gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. But it's not a synonym for 'a bad time,' and a government's poor handling of a crisis does not constitute dystopia.
Wade Watts becomes a better global citizen when he reconnects to the real world in Ernest Cline’s novel ‘Ready Player One.’ Tye Sheridan stars as Watts in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation. (2018 edition of 'Ready Player One'/Penguin Random House)

Dystopian story ‘Ready Player One’ has tips for life after coronavirus

The bestselling novel turned film exposes paradoxes of fixing a broken system with its own tools. As we collectively meditate on the world's problems, why not imagine better worlds?
The Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, California on Oct. 31. AP/Noah Berger

California is living America’s dystopian future

'California is America fast-forward,' writes one scholar. Does that mean that the dystopian infernos that have consumed parts of the state are simply a picture of what awaits the rest of America?

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