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Posts Tagged ‘rhetoric’

The Rhetoric of the City Museum

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment
This documentary was created by students in ENGL 302 New Media and Technical Writing at Saint Louis University. The film both documents the class’s trip to The City Museum in Saint Louis, MO, and explores the relationship between people and things, which it sees as rhetorical. The film explores elements of intentional design and those aspects of things that exceed a designer or maker’s intentions. Following work such as the journalist Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants and rhetoric scholars Jennifer Bay and Thomas Rickert’s Heideggerian treatment of new media technologies, the film, like the class, explores the possibility that things are their own rhetorical agents.

We worked with two Flip UltraHD video cameras, a Sony Cyber-shot digital camera, and iMovie in making this documentary.

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Responsible information cascading means benefits for all

October 16, 2011 1 comment

Creative Commons License Goodbye War, Hello Peace by teru is licensed under a Attribution Noncommercial (3.0).

In this podcast, I analyze James Surowiecki’s argument that the more important the decision, the less likely an information cascade is to take place. I argue that information cascades can be used to make very important decisions if the people receiving that information or partaking in the information cascade act responsibly. Individuals cannot simply take others’ information or experiences at face value, but they must analyze that information and form their own understanding of the information. By always balancing others’ information with one’s own understanding, negative information cascades can be prevented and information cascades can be a useful tools people use to make many important decisions. I also connect this idea to Rivers’ analysis of rhetoric and how we must be active consumers and participants in rhetorical communication as opposed to passive recipients.

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Collective Intelligence- Podcast #2

October 16, 2011 Leave a comment

In this podcast, I discuss how the collective intelligence influence the foundation of Google. James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds allows us to discover the latter of our natural inclination of finding “experts”. As a collective whole, we come to decide what is good/bad or right/wrong. As the internet becomes more available and more useful, today more than ever, Google remain to be the most efficient way to surf the net, thanks to our collective intelligence.

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Collaboration as the Rhetoric of Technology – Podcast #2

October 14, 2011 1 comment

In this podcast, I discuss how technology encourages us to collaborate with one another using James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds and Kevin Kelley’s What Technology Wants.  Through this collaboration, we as a diverse group come to decide what is right/wrong, good/bad, and rational/irrational.  The word ‘collaboration’ dictates that it must be a group effort and not just the thoughts of one individual, which is something that is important to Surowiecki’s ideas.  I believe that without technology, we would be much less likely to collaborate with one another, and, consequently, some things in this world would not be as ‘good’ as they are.

The soundtracks used in this podcast are from the GarageBand Library.

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Blog #3 What Technology Wants

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I thought the chapter titled “Seeking Conviviality” was particularly interesting. In this chapter, Kelly discusses how we deal with technium. He begs the question if we have any freedom with all these different types of technology surrounding us. He explains that “the number of technologies to choose from so far exceeds our capacity to use them all that these day we define ourselves more by the technologies we don’t use than by those we do” (Kelly, 2010, p 239). I think this quote is interesting because often I feel overwhelmed by the number of technologies to choose from. We have so many choices of technologies to use that we now get categorized by the ones we don’t use. It was interesting how Kelly relates this concept to vegetarians. Individuals who are vegetarians frequently get more attention than those that are omnivores because they stray from the norm. This is just how an individual who for example refuses to use technology like a telephone or a computer gain more attention than those who do use these technologies. He furthers this thought by saying that “at a global scale, we opt out of more technology than we opt in to” (239). This is intriguing because I feel like I use so many different technologies everyday, but in the global scale, I hardly use any.

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What Technology Wants – Blog Post # 3

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

In his book “What Technology Wants,” Kevin Kelly discusses the evolution of technology, and although he makes many broad claims, I think he also provides a lot of good arguments for the place that technology has and will have in our lives. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of whether or not technology is making us into better humans. He says, “ The technium is reinventing us, but does any of this complicated technology make us any better as humans? Are there any manifestations of human thought anywhere that can make men better?” (Kelly 347). He goes on to answer this question saying, “How can technology make a person better? Only in this way: by providing each person with chances. A chance to excel at the unique mixture of talents he or she was born with, a chance to encounter new ideas and new minds, a chance to be different from his or her own parents, a chance to create something his or her own” (348).

Technology really is just an opportunity for us. As much of an influence as it has on our lives, we have the ability to influence it right back. We are not strictly obedient to the power of technology. Kelly asserts that technology provides the innovation, resources, and tools necessary to make great changes, and this is how technology can make us better as humans. This assertion also means that we have a chance to use technology to create even worse problems in the world. Technology, then, is not inherently good or bad for us; rather, it is the way that we choose to use it that will determine if it aids or inhibits the good. Likewise, rhetoric is not something that we say is good or bad; we use it to determine what is good or bad. Both rhetoric and technology are essentially creative, and we can take them in any direction that we choose. In the same way that we can use rhetoric to make people better, such as by advancing ‘good’ causes, we can also use technology to do the same.

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What Technology Wants-Blog #3

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Chapter eleven, Lessons of Amish Hackers, caught my attention because I honestly did not understand why we ridicule the Amish people because they lacked interest in technological advantages. Or vice versa, why Amish people feel that we are demonically possessed for using technology. It is not what the people want after all.

What does technology want? For starter, techniums want the attention, just as in nature the most poisonous plants possess sweet aromas and vivid colors. By proving technology to be beneficial for humans, we shall access these. Secondly, technium wants duration and breeding of its kind. By proving itself to be of good intentional, long use; humans will manufacture more techniums, the ‘breeding’ process will open opportunities for human talents to be revealed and extend life on the technium.

Kelly’s journey into the Amish community allowed him to conclude that the Old Order Amish people wanted contentment over all others, “fewer distraction, more satisfaction (229).” This contentment is of internal and communal aspect. This lead’s our author to a clear dilemma raised by the two culture, Amish and non-Amish. That “to maximize our own contentment, we seek the minimum amount of technology in our lives and yet to maximize the contentment of others, we must maximize the amount of technology in the world (238).”

Throughout “What Technology Wants”, he expresses the place value technology has in our lives. Technology is so intertwined with human nature and culture, that technology is a species in addition to evolution and is called technium. These ‘technium’ is indeed with us just as animals are occupying the world with us. Even though this new species emerge from the imagination of humans, due to a natural-selection type of process, technium took over and is now dominating us. Just as humans domesticated animals, technology is domesticating humans. How can something that is the product of the mind be enslaving of humans? Technology should have a limit and does what we program it to do. To each his own, technology by no means has limitations. It is contagious and is a revelation. Each technology is a parent of a new discovery and possibility. The other parent is human beings, greater technology will unleash human talents. The both of these are needed as humans continue to evolve according to ‘survival of the fittest’.

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