Your Proposals, Visuals, and Annotated Bibliographies are due today.
Plan for The Day
Well, we certainly had a lively discussion on I, Robot yesterday. I hope we left with not consensus but an understanding that technology, systems, and culture are complicated to identify and perspective is important. As you approach situations in a variety of contexts, it will be best to remember that your perspective will be different from another’s, and you would be well served to, as carefully as you can, listen for clues to identify how others’ perspectives have formed. Knowing why someone concludes the way a particular way doesn’t make you a better person, but it can make you a more effective communicator, supervisor, advocate, an co-worker.
- Hicks & Devaraj, “The Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America”
- NASA found Soror! (Planet des Singes)
- QT, The Existential Robot (another class’s page)
- I, Robot’s Conclusion (Who’s in control of Technology?)
- Last bit on Visuals
I hope we get around to Huff’s “How to Lie with Statistics” today (on Canvas under “Files”), but, if we don’t, we’ll get to it on Tuesday, and it will be a part of the final exam.
We could study ethics related to technical communication for an entire semester much like many of our other topics. Unfortunately, we only have time to scratch the surface. Ethics in technical communication is often overlooked because many mistakenly see “technical communication” as transmitting “truth” from the expert (engineer, scientist, or technician) to the reader. However, like all communication, we must make choices concerning what to include and what not to include…hmm…that can get a bit tricky.
- If you include something, why?
- If you don’t include something, why not?
- Do you have a naturally bias-free disposition?
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s look at how ethics form. I hope if you haven’t had a class related to your major about ethics, you soon will. I’d hate to be your only “ethical” perspective in college. Let’s jump on over to our ethical analysis webpage.
Ethical Dilemmas for You
Take a look at these dilemmas for class. To whom are technical communicators responsible in business settings? Are there any non-business technical writing (or communicating) settings?
And what class assignment would be complete without having a homework assignment to follow up? Exactly–none. Here’s your Ethical Dilemmas Assignment–due Wednesday 8/02.
Ch. 3 “Writing Ethically”
Let’s breeze through Ch. 3 (a very short chapter) and then move on to think critically about statistical (mis)use. Show me you’ve read and tell us the important aspects of the following:
- Codes of Conduct
- Ethical Communication
Readings for Analysis
Let’s see if we can discuss these readings below:
I had a larger case study in mind, but that might have been a bit too ambitious. Instead, let’s look at the links below on HIV/AIDS and, as a bonus, we’ll check out a statistic from Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance (1992)–on Canvas. Several of you are going to explain Global Warming or related science topics for your project, so this will be especially relevant to you. Of course, the overall point will be about our (social, perhaps) commitment to facts, figures, and statistics.
- Height of Inequality
- HIV/AIDS among African Americans
- Don’t miss the “Technical Notes” section (p. 12) of the 2011 Surveillance report
- I’ll give you a hint: Read the 2nd paragraph that starts out “Data on diagnoses of HIV infection should be interpreted with caution” (p. 12). The link should jump right to page 12.
Let’s look at voting statistics (time permitting).
- Maryland Voter Turnout 1992
- Maryland Voter Turnout 1996
- Maryland Voter Turnout 2000
- Maryland Voter Turnout 2004
- Maryland Voter Turnout 2008
Keep Up with the Syllabus
We’ll continue our discussion on ethics and statistics on tomorrow (8/01). If you haven’t read Darrel Huff’s “How to Lie with Statistics,” do so before next class…it WILL be on the final.
On Tuesday (8/02), I’m giving you time to work on your portfolios, so use that time wisely. Your Portfolios are due on 8/03. We’ll also do a presentation discussion, so, if you aren’t there, you’re telling me you are ready to present on Monday, 8/07 when the first group goes.