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Day 6

Thursday, September 15

  • Corder Lecture and Exercise
  • Sample Podcast
  • Discuss Podcast Schedule

For Next Time

  • Read: What Technology Wants, 1-188.
  • Post: Podcast #1 (Monday). Tag: podcasts
  • Respond: Listen to each podcast (remember to “Like” those you think are especially good) and then comment on at least one (see Podcast Assignment Sheet for commenting guidelines. Revisit the Course Communication Guidelines as well).

Podcast #1 Prompt: So far this semester, we have discovered rhetoric as something more than value-neutral ornamentation that serves either good or bad causes. We have instead explored rhetoric as something creative and generative. That is, rhetoric (e.g., symbolic action, persuasion, influence, argument) is the means by which we collectively determine the “good” and the “bad.” Likewise, rhetoric is how we create and maintain social systems like economics, the law, and education. Rhetoric is also the means by which we shape reality by shaping our attention—we count as valuable what we see and what we see is a function of what we choose not to see. Additionally, we have seen that our identities are themselves constituted rhetorically, and that this is often why the arguments of others can be so threatening. Rhetoric is deeply personal as well as profoundly social. Though rhetoric is dismissed as cosmetic and manipulative, this course has asked students to see it was vital to our world and how we construct it.

As we move to discuss technology, we will not leave rhetoric behind (for there is no getting past rhetoric). Rather, we will bring it with us into the new media that surround us. That, then, is the task for Podcast #1 and its subsequent discussions. Students choose one or two thinkers we have so far engaged and suggest how we might use them to talk about (or make sense of) new media technologies. Ong and Slack et al., have already begun to suggest how rhetoric shows up in technology and how technology works rhetorically as a creative force or energy. Podcasts (at least 5 minutes long) should spend equal time discussing the thinkers used and describing how they might be applied. Comments should then address the strength and potential of the suggested way of rhetorically engaging new media.

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