Welcome! Let’s make sure we’re on the same page:
- Syllabus and course requirements
- Class Interviews
- Define Technology
- Define Rhetoric
I want you to interview a person in class that, if possible, you don’t know from a previous semester. Report the following back to class (record this somehow, but I’m not collecting it):
- Year (don’t say “2020″–freshman, sophomore, junior, “complicated,” etc.)
- Job/Future Job
- Favorite Book
- Favorite Movie
- Favorite TV Show
- Favorite Video Game
- Favorite Technology
- What technology do you use the most?
- What do you expect in “Rhetoric [of] and Technology”?
What is technology? Let’s get started thinking about technology/ies broadly.
Ubiquity of Rhetoric
You’d think that with such a rich history, rhetoric would be introduced to students long before college. Well, it is, but not necessary as a pillar of Western Civilization. The term comes up when politicians or their critics denounce an opponent’s speech as empty; therefore, “rhetoric” is often associated popularly with “empty speech,” non-contributing verbiage, or fluff.
But the study of rhetoric is much more complicated. Just as each discipline has its own epistemology–the study of knowledge, its foundations and validity–each discipline’s communication has a rhetoric. And rhetoric isn’t limited simply to disciplines: Movements, Social Norms, Technology, Science, Religion, etc. have rhetorics. I often define such analyses into “rhetorics of…” as common factors surrounding the power or belief in a particular area. In other words, beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices are rhetorics of prevailing social ideology: One’s acceptance of cultural “truth” is based largely on one’s immersion into the culture’s myths and beliefs.
For instance, what’s the rhetoric behind Hollywood movies that end in marriage and/or babies? Well, getting married and having children is a major cultural practice, so that gets “played out” in films. Additionally, women are often consider babymakers in search of a man to donate the necessary ingredient, so female characters in Hollywood films have traditionally not been *complete* until they marry and have children or somehow fulfill a woman’s socially constructed “proper” role according to prevailing attitudes. Because our culture (remember, this is a generalization) favors families as opposed to singles, the rhetoric of our entertainment–the power behind acceptance or enjoyment of a film–conforms to the cultural value of privileging families.
A brief Introduction of Rhetoric.
Asimov’s “A Cult of Ignorance”
Let’s discuss the article you read for today. Areas to start or get to…
- Right to know
- Credibility and trust
- Reading scores
- Drop in magazine readership
- Ignorance, willful ignorance, celebrating ignorance…
- “true concept of democracy”
- “Why not trust the experts? Also, what’s wrong with highway signs having pictures instead of words?
Keep up With the Reading
I have the readings for the next few weeks on Canvas.