Triton Future News: Exploring Race and Class in the Future at UC San Diego
In this creative project, I explored the world of UC San Diego and La Jolla in 2075. I wanted to try my hand at world building in a setting that is familiar but also unfamiliar. Being a senior, I often wonder what this campus will look like in the future and wonder if the problems I and many of my fellow students face now will still persist in the distant future. Additionally, I wanted to use digital media to explore this future world. While a piece of fiction or product design can include many themes from this quarter, I feel like the presence of online news will become more prevalent and can give an expansive insight into the world of 2075. I wanted to incorporate some of the themes I resonated with into a collection of articles written by students of the future, for students of the future.
In “The Case for In-Person Attendance” I explored how higher education could change with technology and the structural inequalities that are affected by these changes. The present disparity between students from affluent and working class backgrounds are enhanced despite the technological advances and immersive experience the future has to offer. This is similar to Ted Chiang’s “It’s 2059, and the Rich Kids Are Still Winning” as both allude to the wonders of the future while still being critical of how it perpetuates current systems of inequality. Additionally, parts of The Lifecycle of Software Objects were scattered throughout the website’s articles in discussions about VR and relationships developed in an online era.
On a more optimistic note, “The Kumeyaay: Where are They Now?” and “Retro Movies: Biidaaban: First Light” explore the future of indigeneity on campus and in the San Diego community. These articles were Lisa Jackson’s work and Kyle Whyte’s article on Indigenous science fiction. I wanted to imagine a brighter future for indigenous folks given the leaps in advocacy done in the past ten years. Both articles I wrote imagine and reminisce of the struggles of Indigenous people from 2020 until 2075 and the accomplishments and impact they created.
The main overarching question I had for this project was: what does the future look like for a UC San Diego student 65 years from now. I explored some of those ideas in “The Case for In-Person Attendance” and “Top 3 Activities at the Enya Art Studio.” In both of these articles, I tried to imagine the future student and what connections to campus they would like to explore. I believe when UC San Diego was formed almost 60 years ago, even though the technology and cultural setting was very different from now, the students at that time share many concerns and feelings as students in the present time.
Finally, I wanted to ask the question: what does UC San Diego and La Jolla look like ecologically in 65 years. This is explored through my op-ed piece as well as “UC San Diego in Danger as Shoreline Rises to New Heights.” Both of these pieces relied on made up statistics and facts to imagine the future of climate change and colonialism in La Jolla. In many cases of fiction, like in Rivera’s works, dystopias are written to serve as warnings of present conditions. While these articles are not exactly dystopias, the somber and more realistic tones I wanted to portray serve as warnings for students to mobilize and fight for environmental issues in the present.