Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The two groups to have purportedly made statements against the vaccine are the Concerned Women of America (an ironic title) and the Family Research Council, who in a press release actually retracted any statement they may have made, by declaring that they actually support and will be "monitoring" the progress and implementation of the vaccine. The main problem in openly opposing the vaccine was that they wanted to have their daughters vaccinated.
This modern christian body; what are they, it seems that god is just this word used to denote a certain ambiguous force behind a body of people, the mysterious force which commands trust in administration of large ethical issues. That it is insanity to say women deserve to die for having sex, and thus we should not cure cancer, and that this is a christian notion(!!).
The fear of promiscuity in young women is what drives the opposition to this vaccine. Its interesting that promiscuity is a word usually associated with women. You rarely hear of men's promiscuity, if promiscuity is just a process by which one exhibits sexuality..... this disease has been virtually attributed to women alone even though men carry the disease equally, the difference is that men are significantly less effected by it and only a very small percentage will ever develop a type of cancer from it (what if the tables were turned and HPV caused a high rate of penile cancer in men? (sentence edited for content) I wonder, would we have the vaccine by now??)
A few quotes:
Wendy Wright says that, when she first heard about the possibility of immunizing preteens against HPV, she thought "it would seem to send a message that we're expecting the girls to be sexually active."
Concerned Women of America
The thing that makes it so f-ing scary is that people this delusional have influence.
Meanwhile, Harper says, she thinks some women far older than 11 or 12 will line up for an HPV vaccine, even if their insurance won't cover it. "I see as many women for abnormal Pap smears who are in their 40s or 50s as in their 20s," Harper says. The reason: Either the women aren't monogamous or their husbands aren't.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
One theory is that perhaps the individual person might atempt to transpose an internally relevent strategy on to an external reality. I think that the multiplicity of desires of an individual is by default, ruled by an "inner king" (a better term might be steward) so to speak, a single driver of a bus full of desires. How otherwise would the individual body fulfill any desires at all? (However, I have not thought out the idea of different agents of the multiplicity driving at different times.)
This assumtion was called into question in class and it was suggested that the "inner king/steward" was not a shared human condition, but a style of internal governance, and that a person might function under the inverse situation, which can be assumed to be self governance by multiplicity.
Here's why I disagree:
Human activity (vs inactivity), of any type involves decisions, which are an act of will and an exercise of power in the Foucaultian sense that any strategic planning toward a future end is political and an expression of power.
I think that this is also the moment when the individual chooses subjectification instead of objectification.
From a logical grammatical standpoint, a subject (noun) has agency to employ a verb, to excersise power. The object is acted upon by the verb, and has no agency.
The multiplicity (plurality), an object, cannot drive the bus because the bus, (a singular individual body) can only progress in one direction at a time since it is contiguious, and unitary. A plurality precludes subjecthood by definition, it is diffuse and incoherent. To infer that the multiplicity should govern the individual means that the individual chooses objectification and cedes the stategic intervention of power and agency of the individual driver of the bus, or self subjectified individual.
I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time, so don't be surprised if I do!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Apparently some topics of this class (especially Foucault and that strange movie They Live) finally broke some kind of door in my head that was locked and painted over. I catch myself thinking about media at least 2-3 times a day which is totally abnormal for me. And, of course, while I am paying attention to those things, they seem to appear much more often.
One of those appearances is this video (ad?) If you didn't see it - check it out. It's different, it's something to wonder about.
In the year 2014 New York Times has gone offline. The Fourth's Estates fortunes has waned. What happened to the news?
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Here's the URL:
But, I can't resist posting this revisionist imagery:
Monday, October 17, 2005
***INDIGENOUS FILM SCREENING at NEW COLLEGE***
"El Velo de Berta"
"The Veil of Berta"
A film about the Mapuche resistance to the RALCO Dam on the Bio Bio River in Chile.
will be at the screening
Tuesday, October 18, 7pm
New College Theater
777 Valencia Street
For more information call: 415-643-8210
or e-mail email@example.com
Co-sponsored by New College Media Studies MA Program
“ The Veil of Berta", is a delicate narration of the story of Berta Quintreman, an elderly indigenous women who at the age of 88 lead the last group opposing the constrtuction of the Ralco project, a gigantic dam that will stop the flow of the Bio Bio River, and flood the land where her native Mapuche Pewenche community, Ralco Lepoy, have lived for centuries. A woman with a strong personality and a unique blend of humor and energy, Berta lives alone on her small pieces of land, and observes all the traditions of her people. On a daily basis she greets the trees and the sun, takes mate ( a typical herbal tea) with her dead and says her prayers. But at the same time she confronts the authorities of Endesa and the government, manages to halt the machinery and works together with other families to prevent the flooding of their land.
Joris Ivens Competition IDFA 2004- Holland
Ramsar – Award, Best Documentary
V Festival Ecofilms, Greece
1st Mention of the Jury
3 Continents Film Festival, Italy
Jeannette Paillán, Director of the Mapuche community organization Lulul Mahuida, is a Mapuche filmmaker and journalist. She served as festival coordinator of the 7th Festival of Indigenous Film and Video (2004, Santiago, Chile). Her films have been screening internationally since 1994, and her documentary Wallmapu was awarded at the 2003 Human Rights Film Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Wallmapu (2002) is the first documentary entirely directed and produced by Mapuche. It is the first historical film of Chile from the indigenous perspective. "The Veil of Berta" is her latest film.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
(this address below is an article on them, but there is better information in books in the library, and their publication FILE magazine)
Saturday, October 15, 2005
the second bad call has just occurred in game 3. steve finley was batting with runners on first and third when he grounded to second to end the inning on a double play. HOWEVER, finley clearly hit the catchers glove with his bat when he hit the ball. that should have been catcher interference, resulting in bases load and 1 out. but it was botched.
now, afer these two huge mistakes, the umpiring crew for this series needs to be dealt with. however, they will not. for fans such as myself who want to see the angels go to the world series, it is a crock. the fucking umpires will go on with life like nothing happened and i will sit in my apartment loathing them for all etrnity. fucking a. now, instant replay in baseball is non existant at the moment but these two examples are prime canidates for the implementation of instant replay. i hear, "i dont believe in instant replay" from many critics and ball players included. but give me a fucking break. how could you not want insant replay after something like this happens. the angels already lost one game due to idiodic error. they are currently losing the second one due not entiely to error but partly. this is a BIG series. its the playoffs. next comes the world series. dont let it happen to your team like its happened to mine. stand up for instant replay.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
In light of our last reading about "Docile Bodies" I thought some of you might be interested in attending this free conference. Visit their website for registration. http://t4sj.org/
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
More on Industrial Design exercises: "A Glimpse of My Life Before Barthes"
Sleep deprived and exhausted I sat across the classroom wall plastered with countless shiny renderings of seemingly "futuristic cars." Our transportation design 1 class were to design a "sporty" two-seater. As the student presenting finished his sentence, the teacher paused before commenting, "...mmm...it's not sporty enough you know, it's not sexy. This line needs to be faster."
It got me thinking about what we, as a society considers "sexy" and how some cars are sexy and others are meant to be tough. Does "sexy" just mean curvaceous? As in the stereotyped body of a "woman" is supposedly voluptuous to the (currently) mostly male dominated trans industry? What did my instructor mean when he said, "faster line?" Do lines have fast or slow qualities? I can't stop thinking about how we, transportation design students, attempted to evoke emotions in the customers by signifying aspects of our design with cultural cliches. A classmate designing for the "women" market proposed a car based on the styling cues of make-up products. ARGH! I can't help but note the attempt to generalize make-up products as signifiers of a vastly diverse group of people called women. And then there's the whole thing about shiny. It's never shiny enough. What|why is human fascination with shiny? Does shiny still today signify the class status of being able to afford the long laborious process of acquiring and keeping a shine? O! How shiny became a status symbol! Note the birth of the car detailing business not long after the invention of the automobile. Even though cars are the least practical of all products to have a polished finish, nevertheless we have but shiny cars. (Note: recently the Smart Car was designed with interchangeable thermoplastic body panels. Although I like shiny its soft sheen is rather a pleasant contrast!) See: http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2002/autobodies/smartcar.html, and www.smart.com for pictures.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
http://www.mediaventure.org (the "good guys" of finance? see for yourself)
About the Internet Bookmobile:
FSM Information (for the devout and the curious)
Intelligent Design has it's day in court. Is anybody else paying attention?
Peace and Love,
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
Thursday, September 15, 2005
With that said, having heard about blogging in the media lately, I was curious. I looked it up in the wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog] WOAh! I had no idea this whole other universe existed. There are all these new words I don't even know. Words invented to describe a new frontier previously unknown to humanity. It's quite amazing...what would Marx have to say about all this? Marx would probably have a blog. I wonder what he would write . . .
Monday, September 12, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Critique, Subjection, Prostheses
Thursdays, 9.00-11.45, Conference Room
Instructor: Dale Carrico, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Before and after class and by appointment.
Sept 1 Introduction
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”
Sept 8 Diagnostic Essay Due, 2-3pp.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology
Sept 15 Marx and Engels, The German Ideology (continued)
Sept 22 Roland Barthes, Mythologies
Sept 29 Barthes, Mythologies (coninued)
Oct 6 Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”
Oct 13 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
Paper Due, 4-5pp. due
Oct 20 Foucault, Discipline and Punish (continued)
Oct 27 Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality
Nov 3 Foucault, History of Sexuality (continued)
Nov 10 Judith Butler, Undoing Gender
Nov 17 Butler, Undoing Gender (continued)
Nov 24-25 Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec 1 Wendy Brown, Politics Out of History
Take Home Exam Due
Dec 8 Brown, Politics Out of History (continued)
Dec 15 Concluding Remarks
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs” (revisited)
Paper Due, 4-5pp.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Some questions about the midterm…I hope they’re not too late:
“Progress is not proclamation nor palaver. It s not pretense nor play on prejudice. It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought nor a promise proposed.”-
- Litotes, as it is defined on the sheet is an “understatement, affirmation of something by denying its opposite. Example: Your presence is not unwelcome.” In Harding’s statement, he is denying the opposite when he describes what progress is not. This is closer to the example given on the definitions sheet than “Last week I saw a woman flayed…”
- The answer for Taft’s statement is noted as alliteration. However, I found the following example to be an even clearer instance of alliteration:
“Whales in the wake like capes and Alps Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep.”- Dylan Thomas, “Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait”
-This is a form of double alliteration, with the W’s, and well as with the S’s. Both are “repetitions of the initial consonant sound.” Although two forms of alliteration might be thought of as detracting from the either W or S, they are actually separated into two distinct parts of the sentence. The use of the metaphor (like capes) as well as the use of the word “and” both serve to break the sentence into sections and emphasize this double alliteration.
“It shreds the nerves, it vivisects the psyche- and it may even scare the living daylights out of more than a few playgoers.”- Review in TIME, 1966.
-Metonomy is defined on the “Types of Figures” sheet as “Substitution of word
for a related word, such as cause for effect of container for contained.” The word
“shreds” is a substitution for what it actually does to the nerves, and “daylights” is
a substitution for what is actually in the playgoers. Although auxesis is listed as
the answer, it is actually more applicable to the following speech:
“…and with firm confidence in justice, freedom, and peace on earth that will raise the hearts and the hopes of mankind for that distant day when no one rattles a saber and no one drags a chain”- Adlai Stevenson, acceptance speech, 1952
-Auxesis is “arrangement in ascending importance” which is parallel to the climb from “peace on earth” and “hearts” to “hopes for mankind” which is a larger entity.
Friday, June 24, 2005
1. Akademos / TextbookX.com Fall 2005 Scholarship Contest
Essay question relating to questions of life and death (Roujin Z has some issues regarding that issue)
When, if ever, does a person have the right to end his or her own life?
Fall 2005 Awards: We are offering three awards this fall.
* One grand prize: $2,000
* Two runner-up prizes: $250 gift certificate for TextbookX.com
Deadline: Entries must be submitted on our Web site by 31-October-2005 11:59 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time)
2. Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
FIRST PRIZE: $5,000
3 SECOND PRIZES: $1,000
5 THIRD PRIZES: $400
20 FINALISTS: $100
20 SEMIFINALISTS: $50
3. Americanism Educational League Essay Contest
"National Security vs. Civil Liberties"
The deadline has passed for this year, but March 2006 will be the deadline for next year's essay if anyone wants to check the site later on.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Just a thought I had after class today, primarily spurred by Jennifer’s comments with regards to the undeniably “sexed-up” presentation of the protagonist (and the ensuing discussion of the degree to which this is typical of the portrayal of the female within the genre of Anime)…
“The Machine and the Modern Subject”
Conference: The Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) 2006 Conference Deadline for submitting proposal: 9/15/05
From the Classical Age to the age of mechanical reproduction, philosophical and literary representations of the machine tell the story of an accelerating progress in science, and of man’s expanding empire into every part of thenatural world -- but they also read as a genealogy and blueprint for the modern subject. In this panel, we will be taking a cross-disciplinary approach to the question of technology and the modern subject, examining literary, philosophical and artistic representations of machines since the 17th century that give insight into the mechanisms of subjectivity. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: "decay of the aura”; discourse as production; the organism and the mechanism; theatrical machinery and state power; gender and the machine; bio-power and empire; and the technology of surveillance. Paperson specific technologies are encouraged.
Send 300 to 400-word abstracts toPeter Gaffney (email@example.com) no later than September 15.
The 2006 Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) Conference is March 2 - 5 in Philadelphia.
NEMLA is an organization for its members. All potential participants in theconvention are asked to be current in the NEMLA dues by October 15, 2005. Ifyou are a paid member for the 2004-05 year, you will not need to renew yourmembership until December 1, 2005; however, any non-members applying to be on apanel need to become members by October 15, 2005.Go to the NEMLA webpage www.nemla.org to see more information and guidelines for the 2006 Conference.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Here's the link.
In the ABSENCE then of a social context (or let's be frank, Imaginary) which lends support/confirmation to claims like, Daddy must preserve his delusion of decisiveness, we're agape - that's not what we 'see' Daddies doing! Notice that Solanas grounds male's "incompleteness/deficiency" in an emotionally traumatic rupture: defending against the desire to be 'female' (to be empathetic, individual, groovy, etc.) Solanas begins with graphical metonymy (substituting 'Y' for a, to use Dale's phrase, penised person) yet doesn't go on (like we might expect in that genre of discourse) to ground her claims in evolutionary psychology or the like. Instead, Solanas gives us a dominant discourse HERMENEUTICS of the traumatic rupture of the male. Meaning, she interprets our own social currencies (the father gives his daughter's hand in marriage, "take it like a man", the violent practices of manhood conformity, suburbia, and yes, academia, etc.,etc.) for how THEY THEMSELVES rely on a certain 'logic' of the metonymized Y and X.
That she inverts this logic is, I think, part of what is so powerful yet not readily recognizable. And as Dale suggested, can cut like a knife. We have to already let go of some of what Solanas is "cuttin'up" for her observations to fit with, as Liz put it today, "shared experiences." And how deep can the cut really go? That's some pretty thick Imaginary...
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
This being the case how might this fit into our critiques of the film, if the filmakers did this on purpose.
Also, In the opening shot of the film, at Rockefeller Center, the shot begins at ground level and tilts up the building, but it was clearly shot from the top of the building down to ground level and then reversed because all the people on the ground are walking backwards.
How might this reverse our discussion of the woman as the base/support of the phallus, this seems to support a reading that suggests men looking down on women?
· With a digital camera and a home computer, any aspiring filmmaker can produce a disc that may even wind up being seen by the public.
By Elaine Dutka, Times Staff Writer
For aspiring Stanley Kubricks — or "Super-sized" Morgan Spurlocks — digital technology and DVDs have become the great equalizer. In this era of revelation and very public soul-baring — "Running With Scissors," Augusten Burroughs' raunchy memoir of his youth, and "The Kiss," Kathryn Harrison's tale of a four-year affair with her father, are literary examples — the DVD offers people with personal stories to tell a potentially lucrative niche in which to do it.
Anyone with a bright idea, a camera and a little luck can wind up with a consumer review of his or her movie "posted on Amazon.com, right next to Roger Ebert's," as one filmmaker put it.
"Digital video cameras have spawned a whole generation of do-it-yourself filmmakers," said Darren Stein, 33, co-director of "Put the Camera on Me," the story of growing up gay and Jewish in an Encino cul-de-sac, which comes out on DVD July 12 from Wellspring. "The system has been democratized — you don't have to be David Lynch to tell your story."
Shot with cameras that cost as little as $500 and edited on home computers, these movies often gain exposure through the film festival route. If a project is accepted, it might catch the attention of independent distribution companies such as Wellspring and ThinkFilm or subsidiaries of major studios such as Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics.
Even if a theatrical release returns only minimal revenues, the risk is low because the cost is, too.
DVDs offer niche material another alternative and occasionally even spur a theatrical release. Lions Gate Entertainment signed Tyler Perry ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman") to a film deal after seeing how well self-distributed DVDs of his plays sold on his website. Robert Greenwald's "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" opened in theaters two weeks after it landed successfully online.
On July 26 Kirby Dick's "Chain Camera," which consists of 16 video diaries shot by students at Los Feliz's
The $8,000 "Put the Camera on Me," which Stein directed with childhood chum Adam Shell, follows on the heels of last month's DVD debut of the critically acclaimed "Tarnation," also released by Wellspring. In it, Jonathan Caouette creates a portrait of a dysfunctional American family through a psychedelic mélange of snapshots, Super 8 home movies, answering-machine messages, and snippets of pop culture. Bringing the audience inside his head, the director's goal, required only $218 — the cost of videotape and photocopies. (That sum, however, rose to $500,000 after the visual quality was upgraded and rights were cleared for "Tarnation's" theatrical release.)
As part of Apple Computer's "Made on a Mac" seminars, Caouette is demonstrating the software program in Apple stores nationwide — for a sum Apple declines to disclose.
"People who didn't see 'Tarnation' in theaters, who aren't drawn to the subject matter, are interested in it as a piece of technology," said Marie Therese Guirgis, head of acquisitions for Wellspring.
"Twenty-five years ago, it was only the studio system, with a few mavericks like John Cassavetes and Robert Altman making films on the side," Guirgis adds. "This is a golden age for independent film, a much broader landscape — and the consumer is the beneficiary."
Stein and Shell used a $1,500 Apple Final Cut Pro editing program to weave archival home movies Stein shot with his dad's camcorder in the early 1980s. Among his 50 mini-genre films, cast with neighborhood kids: a musical ("I Have No Friends"), a takeoff on TV journalism ("Crazy News") and riffs on subjects ranging from ninja fighting to Stein's hypersexuality.
Using a football-size "pro-sumer" camera ($3,000) favored by independent filmmakers, the duo shot additional footage of the children's parents — before and after watching the videos.
The 70-minute "Put the Camera on Me" generated good reviews on the festival circuit. (The Boston Phoenix even said it was reminiscent of work by Steven Spielberg and New German Cinema enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder.) It never made it to theaters, however. As the filmmakers tell it, a
Having a DVD, in any case, exceeds Stein and Shell's wildest dreams. "Jawbreaker," Stein's previous film, took in $25 million in that format after a lackluster theatrical run. And the format permits them to include 10 home movies in their entirety, in response to fan demand.
"DVDs have opened up doors shut for so long," said Shell, 29, who describes himself as the "straight, fat kid" in the movies. "The studios are no longer the gatekeepers."
In his Oscar-nominated documentary "Twist of Faith," airing on HBO on June 28, Kirby Dick put a camera in the hands of a man who was abused by a priest as a child. And in "Chain Camera" he employed a similar technique, giving equipment to 10 high school students. They recorded their lives for a week, then passed the Super 8 cameras to 10 friends. Over the course of a year, 200 stories emerged.
"The cameras were a tool of expression — a way of empowering the students," said Dick, 52. "The first film that gave cameras to people in a comprehensive way, it sidestepped not only the studios, but in some aspects the director as well.
"The portrayal of Angeleno youth is far more realistic than the one served up by mainstream shows such as '
In this era of revelation and very public soul-baring — "Running With Scissors," Augusten Burroughs' raunchy memoir of his youth, and "The Kiss," Kathryn Harrison's tale of a four-year affair with her father, are literary examples — the DVD offers people with personal stories to tell a potentially lucrative niche in which to do it.
Funded by HBO's Cinemax, "Chain Camera" cost slightly more than $100,000 — in part because the two producers and director worked for free. They'll be reaping money from DVDs, however, which will be distributed by Zeitgeist Films. Four stories have been added, with commentary by the student filmmakers.
"There's less at stake with DVDs," said Dick. "That frees you from the 90-minute or 120-minute mind-set and leads to experimentation."
"Born Into Brothels" took in $3.5 million at the box office.
"We're a perfect example of the leveled playing field because we essentially came out of nowhere," said Kauffman, who co-wrote and co-directed the Academy Award-winning film. "Without digital technology, this could never have been done because it was shot in very tight circumstances that didn't permit a sound crew."
Some viewers found Briski too intrusive in the on-camera sequences. Kauffman disagrees. While she wasn't initially intended to be on camera, he says, the
Wellspring's Guirgis is all for the change — but it's not without drawbacks, she maintains. "Fifty percent of the population under 25 wants to make a film," she said. "It's far more of an ambition than writing. "While it's good to make the means of creation more accessible, a lot of the material won't cut it."
First the whole Heaven and Hell dichotomy Steigler presents in his comments before the text is played out i interesting ways throughout the text.
For example, we focused for some time in our discussion the instrumentalization or denaturalization of the body and my thoughts along these lines were that this pointed to a separation of the body and spirit (which "Jill" seems to leave her body many times) which verious religions point to the temporal aspect of the body and the spirit as something that trancends it. This in some wasys connects to that Heaven and Hell concept.
Along these lines, I believe Jean mentioned today about the concept of Buddhism and some amount of fear that "Jill" had as she progressed and engaged with new technological advancements. And although I don't know much about Buddhism, when this aspect of fear came up I thought about a moment in Steigler's text where he mentioned that "Only those without fear, only those marked by her elemental form of prudence, made it through, Only humanity survived (271-72) ." This illustrates that their was no fear in the way "Jill" met technology just caution. This may prove contrary to the oint that was being made. However, since I am not well-versed in Buddhism I cannot really fully comment in this area. If someone else knows and can make this more clear (while situating my thoughts alongside the claim) I would be honored if you would share.
This also brings up another point this, article has a very specific form of "humanity" that it speaks of (please see above). Why were these the "chosen ones"? Was Jack not a human man? Did he not possess this elemental form of prudence? What's up with that.
And then, there is "the Mountain" home to "Jill" even in her eternal dream. The fact that this mountain is capitalized as though it is some mountain exceeding all others is an interesting yet small detail of the story. It is not until later on page 273 that we learn the name of the mountain when he tells us she returns to "Rainier." Is there a particular reason the mountain was capitalized and set apart before we even knew it's formal name? How might this be operating in the text? Is this even a relevant detail?
Okay now on to the Hughes piece...
I believe our discussion of this piece kind of settled around the question why is the gay marriage example being usedand in it's current location? The thing I wanted to mention (However, irrelevant it may seem) is that the way his article is structured kind of makes it seem as though he is commenting generally on social change, then also considering technological change as well.
He sets up his entire piece by pointing out Toffler's proposition reagarding social change (more general) he foreshadows his more specific talk of technological change by mentioning it in the fourth full paragrapgh when he says "They lived through the introduction of women's suffrage, the banning and legalization of alcohol,....spreading use of automobiles, televisions, etc..." but he doesn't directly introduce his commentary on technological changes until the section Democracy as antidote. In the firt sentence of this section he then says "Toffler was also concerned about controlling technological change" (more specific). This makes it seem as though the paper has more than one focus. Maybe technology wasn't the only thing he was commenting on.
Okay sorry for all that. Just wanted to put some other thoughts out there!!!!
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Physics genius plans to make 'Star Trek' replicator a reality
Tuesday June 14, 10:37 pm ET
"This machine makes every man self-sufficient. It takes the stickum right out of society."
That's a quote from a 1958 science-fiction story, Business as Usual, During Alterations, by Ralph Williams. It's about a machine called a duplicator, which aliens drop off on Earth as a test for humans. Put anything on the duplicator's tray and the machine makes an exact copy.
People go nuts, making duplicate duplicators, then making jewelry, clothes, food and money, rendering all products and cash virtually worthless. It's both a dream machine and a nightmare machine, giving everyone what they want but threatening to wreck the economy and the underpinnings of civilization.
So, of course somebody is really inventing one today.
And not some loony in a garage who thinks he's Dick Van Dyke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This is Neil Gershenfeld, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Bits and Atoms and a certifiable physics genius. He's got backing from the National Science Foundation. He's got interest from the Pentagon, venture capitalists and foreign governments. This week, he's in South Africa, where he's setting up one of his creations in Pretoria.
He calls his machines "fabs," and he's just published a book about his work, Fab: The Coming Revolution On Your Desktop - From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication.
Gershenfeld's ultimate goal is to invent home fabrication machines that will be as common as Hewlett-Packard ink-jet printers. They will be able to make anything: custom Barbie clothes, MP3 players, cow-shaped cream pitchers, Barry Bonds baseball cards from the 1980s when he looked skinny - you name it.
"We're aiming at making the Star Trek replicator," Gershenfeld says, referring to the machine on the USS Enterprise that could conjure up a cup of coffee or a toenail clipper on command.
How far along is Gershenfeld? Well, in one sense, not very. His fabs look like a cross between a computer and a high school shop class. The gadgets include a laser cutter and a milling machine, and together they make parts that must be assembled rather than churning out whole finished products. Users have tended to make one-off oddities, including a bag for silencing a scream in case you just have to let one loose in a crowd.
But Gershenfeld argues that his fabs today are the historical equivalent of 1970s minicomputers.
Before the 1970s, only big entities could afford to buy computers, which were room-size mainframes. The first minicomputers cost around $25,000 and could fit in a closet, allowing small companies or groups to own computing power. They were followed in the 1980s by personal computers, which fit on a desk and cost one-tenth as much.
And now, computing power is so cheap it can be in teenagers' bedrooms, working on such mission-critical tasks as instant messaging.
Similarly, Gershenfeld's fabs cost around $20,000 and can fit on a couple of tables. They do some basic fabrication that previously required a factory floor. And, Gershenfeld says, the fabs "can do today what you will do later with a single machine that costs $1,000."
It might be hard to accept that a machine will rearrange atoms into 3D products. But there are precedents. If you go into many research and development labs, you'll find a rapid prototyping machine that can make a 3D form out of plastic powder or liquid.
The other day, I met Thomas Mino, CEO of a nanotech company called Lumera. It can change the molecules in a plastic to give it different properties, depending on whether it will be used in radio antennas, circuits for computer chips or devices for drug research. If nanotech factories can build plastic products one molecule at a time, why couldn't that capability someday sit in your office?
Look at it another way: Back in 1975, anyone would've had a hard time believing consumers would eventually have home laser machines that would make optical disks that could each store the equivalent of 150 books. Yet that's exactly what a CD burner is.
In 2020 or so, you might be ready to play Wiffle ball with your kids but can't find the ball. So you'd go on the Web, perhaps finding a Wiffle ball design that's been modified by a aerodynamics graduate student so the ball dips like a Roger Clemens slider.
You'd download the design the way you download a PDF file today. Then instead of clicking "print," you'd click "fab."
The computer would dump the design into your fabricator, which would spray molecules from a cartridge to form the ball. A small fee for the design would get charged to your PayPal account. Otherwise, the only cost would be that once in a while you'd have to replace the cartridge, which no doubt would cost three times more than the fabricator.
As that example shows, in a fab world, hardware will be changeable - programmable - much as software is today. People could tinker with it and sell their customizations online. As Gershenfeld points out, it truly would become open-source hardware.
Gershenfeld dismisses worries that such a machine would undermine the manufacturing economy - just as home printers have not killed off the printing industry. "There will still be mass production for mass markets," he says. "Then for all the stuff that isn't from Wal-Mart, you make it at home."
Even in science fiction, society adapts to the fab. At the end of Williams' story, the characters figure out that instead of an economy based on standardized, mass-manufactured products, the post-duplicator economy would be one of mass-diversity. Their biggest complaint is that the duplicator didn't change things enough.
"The whole framework of our society has flipped upside down," says one character. "And yet, it doesn't seem to make much difference, it's still the same old rat race."
Monday, June 13, 2005
See everybody tomorrow morning in Dwinelle 188. Be on time!
Sunday, June 12, 2005
You still have plenty of time to complete the exam. It is adapted from an exam I have administered to students in my Rhetoric 10 course, and they are able to complete it, without notes or other resources at their disposal, in under three hours.
Part I (50 pts., total)
Section 1: Short Answer (20 pts.)
1. Describe the three rhetorical appeals, ethos, logos, and pathos.
2. Name the four Aims of Argument, as we have discussed them in class.
3. Name the four “Master Tropes”
4. What is the difference between a syllogism and an enthymeme?
5. What distinguishes a hypothetical from a categorical syllogism?
6. What is the inductive leap?
7. What is the difference between a scheme and a trope?
8. According to the Toulmin Schema, what is an argument’s warrant?
9. What is the difference between a paradox and an oxymoron?
10. What is the difference between the fallacies of division and composition?
Section 2: Identifications (10 pts. [incl. 2 free pts.])
Identify the form of the inference (the logical argument) in each of these syllogisms, and say whether they are valid or fallacious.
1. P, then q.
So, not q.
2. If a, then b.
B is the case.
Thus, so is a.
3. S, then t.
And hence, not s.
4. x, then y.
5. Circle the antecedent in this proposition:
If you studied for the exam, then I expect you will do quite well on it.
6. Is the following a deductive or inductive argument?
“Self-esteem appears to be at least a necessary condition for happiness. All the happy people I’ve known, whatever their other differences in personality and goals, seem to have basic self-esteem, whereas people who don’t have that trait never seem to be happy.”
7. Which of the following two sentences is a Trope and which a Scheme? Indicate your answer by putting a “T” or “S” in the space in front of the sentence.
“Band-Aids: Your child’s new body-guards.”
“I am stuck on Band-Aids, ‘cause Band-Aids stuck on me.”
8. What type of deductive syllogism is the following argument?
“According to the union contract, either we have to close the plant on labor day, or we have to pay the workers twice the regular pay. But we have too much work to close the plant, so we’ll have to pay the workers double time.”
Section 3: Matching
Matching Fallacies (10 pts. [incl. 1 free pt.])
1. Ad Ignoratiam
2. Ad Populum
3. Ad Misericordiam
4. Ad Baculum
5. Ad Verecundiam
6. Denying the Antecedant
7. Undistributed Middle
8. Petitio Principii
9. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
___ Teacher to Student: “And, finally, in reconsidering your position, you might want to remember who gives out the grades in this course.”
___ Parent to Child: “Fine. Go ahead. Quit school. Why should you care if you are breaking a poor parent’s heart?”
___ Why are you so skeptical about the existence of UFOs? Nobody has ever proved they don’t exist!”
___ Time is money, and time heals all wounds. So, it’s no surprise that money heals all wounds.
___ Anarchy would be a fine and beautiful system for society to adopt, if men were angels. Alas, they are not.
___ The Golden Rule is a sound moral principle, since it’s basic to every system of ethics in literally every known culture.
___ Order is indispensable to justice, for justice can only be achieved in the context of a social and legal order.
___ “I must say I’m not surprised Tara slipped on that banana peel and broke her leg, when not five minutes before I watched her step on a crack, walk under a ladder, cross a black cat’s path, and break her compact mirror without giving it a second thought.”
___ You should buy the new Bottle Blond Boyz Album. All the kewl kids are.
Matching Figures (10 pts.)
___ Summer session courses go on for an absolute eternity.
___ O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! -- John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions
___ Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance for the worse. – Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub
___ And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes. – T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
___ The prosecutor was a missile, zeroing in on his culminating point.
___ “Tho’ we’re apart, you’re a part of me still.” – lyrics of the song, Blueberry Hill
___ …and with firm confidence in justice, freedom, and peace on earth that will raise the hearts and the hopes of mankind for that distant day when no one rattles a saber and no one drags a chain. – Adlai Stevenson, acceptance speech, 1952
___ Progress is not proclamation or palaver. It is not pretense nor play on prejudice. It is not the perturbation of a people passion-wrought nor a promise proposed. – Warren G. Harding nominating William Taft in 1912.
___ It shreds the nerves, it vivisects the psyche – and it may even scare the living daylights out of more than a few playgoers. – Review in TIME, 1966
___ Whales in the wake like capes and Alps Quaked the sick sea and snouted deep. – Dylan Thomas, “Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait”
Part II (50 pts, total)
Section 1: Exercises (15 pts.)
A. Reconstruct the following arguments by identifying their conclusions and their premises. Then identify whether or not the arguments are valid.
1. The TELEBEARS system asks me all sorts of questions when I dial in. And we all know that if a computer were a conscious being it would ask me all sorts of questions. So TELEBEARS must be a conscious being.
2. If the United States completes a missile defense system before the rest of the world does, they wil gain enormous leverage over all other nations in any confrontation. For if the US completes its defensive shield firsdt, they will pose a credible threat of a first strike, and if they pose such a threat they will gain enormous leverage.
B. For each of the following enthymemes: 1. Supply the missing premise or conclusion. 2. Identify whether the missing element is a major premise, a minor premise, or the conclusion.
1. He must be annoyed, because he’s scowling all the time.
2. Mary crossed the picket line, so her lamb must have crossed it too.
3. New Yorkers are well-mannered, and no well-mannered people are uncivilized.
4. True freedom demands responsibility, and that is why most folks dread it.
5. No enthymemes are complete, and so this argument is incomete.
Section 2: Toulmin Schema (15 pts.)
Construct a strategy of support using the Toulmin Schema for the following enthymeme: “”Serpents make vile pets, because they cannot be trusted.” Be sure to identify all the parts of the Toulmin Schema, the claim, the stated reason, and to supply a plausible warrant, qualification, grounds, etc. [By “construct a strategy of support” I mean simply to provide an argument, but one which exhibits all the characteristics the Toulmin Schema identifies for analyzing arguments.]
Section 3: Short Essay (20 pts.)
Write an essay of approximately two pages in length [students who received the handout will probably produce handwritten essays that cover the blank space of the page on which this question appears, plus the back of the sheet, as necessary] analyzing the following passage from Frederixk Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Your essay should identify what you take to be the central claim of the passage, and then discuss how Douglass uses figurative language to make his claim and express it more forcefully.
“It was called by the slaves the Great House Farm. Few privileges were esteemed higher, by the slaves of the out-farms, than that of being selected to do errands at the Great House Farm. It was associated in their minds with greatness. A representative could not be prouder of his election to a seat in the American Congress, than a slave on one of the out-farms would be of his election to do errands at the Great House Farm. They regarded it as evidence of great confidence reposed in them by their overseers; and it was on this account, as well as a constant desire to be out of the field from under the driver’s lash, that they esteemed it a high privilege, one worth careful living for… The competitors for this office sought as diligently to please their overseers, as the office-seekers in the political parties seek to pelase and deceive the people. The same traits of character might be seen in Colonial Lloyd’s slaves, as are seen in the slaves of the political parties.”
Friday, June 10, 2005
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I think the basic issue was that many of you wrote summaries/lists, or an equally aphoristic re-argument of the broadest premises you could find in the Wilde text. That's problematic for a variety of reasons - generally, it's not a reading of the text (quite literally, you didn't seem to have READ the article so much as skimmed its propositions. A precis should call the text what it is: in Wilde's case, an aphoristic rant (say). To paraphrase is NOT to serve as a mouthpiece: it is to give a take of what, from any of a few different perspectives, is going on in this text. And, what's going on in the text can't be reduced to this or that proposition in the text.
summary of re-hashed (or in some cases, new) aphorisms: B-
summary focused on re-arguing certain points: B
mostly summary but with at least a glimpse of a take: B+
an identified take which plays some structuring role in the paper: A-
a clearly structured paper giving reasons for its take: A
Alot of you said something like, Oscar Wilde is arguing that only socialism can lead/allow for ideal individualism. I'm actually not sure how you can arrive at that as a take on what his text is doing. There's no campaign or program for how we're going to start dismantling private property. There IS, I think, an attempt to entrench how to GET TO socialism, but how so? Well, there's alot of Wilde talking about how we're actually all artists who need to ignore public opinion and start expressing our unique and special personalities (!). Then there's some interesting claims about how socialism will flow NATURALLY from this (the passages about evolution and pragmatics, for example). So really, all the stuff about socialism is a conclusion of Wilde's thesis that making art in the absence of authoirty is the condition of human flourishing, PLUS a claim about what this will lead to). What Wilde's text is DOING is calling for us to throw off the shackles of private property BY stoically retreating into being artists for ourselves. Then he promises that socialism will simply follow.
I'm not saying that's the "right" precis of Wilde's text, but it's one that I can get from the text (with, of course, room for variation and contention). But if you said that Wilde's text is calling for socialism, I needed you to say how you got that, and it needed to sound like you, not you imitating Wilde's style (as if we didn't get enough the first time around). Since Wilde TELLS us how to resists the damage of living in a society based on private property (his arguments for WHY private property is damagind are seperate) as the expression of individuals (i.e., start being an artist who ignores public opinion), I don't see how you can say that his text is arguing that we CAN'T be individuals until we live in socialist communities.
In terms of the paper you are submitting TOMORROW - which have to go beyond the level of generating a take on the text - here's an example of what I could do with the Wilde piece.
I could ask, how can Wilde advocate a position about ideal individualism as artistic expression, when he also effectively claims that there is no "stable" human nature "The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes." (p. 284). Doesn't Wilde's text depend upon a (quasi-Marxist) picture of human nature, which says that LABOUR is the activity through which we recognize and realize ourselves - and then specifically, Wilde wants that to be a certain kind of labour, namely artistic and "truly" individualistic (Art is the most intense form of individualism the world has ever known", p. 270).
So, I could try to read the text for how/whether Wilde resolves this - how de-stabilized is his claim about art, by his claim about (the lack of) human nature? What other conceptions does Wilde create for "the natural" - he does discuss a kind of evolution which he characterizes as unavoidable, teleological; aiming for something. "Evolution is the law of life, and there is no evolution except towards Individualism. Where this tendency is not expressed, it is a case of artificially arrested growth, or of disease, or of death" (p. 284-5). Well, hmmm, that sounds like an un-negotiable picture of "the natural" which can only progress in one direction. How does the account of human nature fit here? Then I sould look at the passages on "personality" and what kind of naturalistic rhetoric Wilde uses there.
A few different theses could emergy from this, but likely I would produce from this a paper which answered a question about what "the natural" is for Wilde, GIVEN the tension I show between him seemingly depending upon a certain account of human nature, yet also claiming that same nature is completely undeterminate.
So you see, my paper IDENTIFIES an issue BASED ON observations about the text, then goes on to offer an interpretation of a key term/concept ("nature") in order to see what kind of resolution the text offers.
I do NOT have to conclude from there that Wilde's text is flawed or contradictory (that would require a certain warrant about what "destroys" texts which my paper likely doesn't support). A warranted conclusion would offer reasons/benefits/suggestions for WHY this tension can't be resolved, or what it adds or disclaims about what Wilde's text is doing.
Good mantra to remember: the basic warrant of rhetorical analysis is that, texts are always at least slightly beyond the control of their authors - they always say more/less than the author intended. That's why we are analyzing texts, not authors. Texts "do" things even if their authors didn't mean to.
Questions/comments/freak-outs welcome, you can either post here or email me/Dale.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
I'm sure you all know about Proposition 71 that was passed last Novemeber for Stem Cell research...but do you know that it is being threatened? A little background on Prop 71... it mandates for 3 billion dollars to be given to stem cell research over the next 10 years, which gives hope to those with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Cancer, Paralysis, and innumerable other diseases/conditions that one day they will be cured. Senator Ortiz has proposed California Constitutional Amendement SCA-13 (which could be on the ballot this Novemeber) which places additional restrictions on stem-cell researc, adds additional oversight, and consequently slow down the disbursement of fund which California Voters overwhelmingly approved.
While Stem Cell Bonds are public money and it is true we researchers use these resources wisely , the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee, mandated to oversee these funds ( ICOC memebrs include top scientists, UC heads, including our own chancellor Birgenau ) has unanimously opposed SCA-13. We all know someone who has been affected by a serious illness..can we bear to tell them that they will have to wait 10-15 additional years for a cure because of the new Stem Cell restrictions through SCA-13? Now this proposed California constitutional amendment has to pass through the Legislature first, which hopefully will not happen, but if it does, look for it on the ballot next year and I strongly urge you to consider a vote against it.
Below is an article from today's LA times, which details the threat:
Senator Seeks to Delay Stem Cell Bonds
By Dan Morain, Times Staff Writer
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), an original backer of the stem cell initiative approved by voters in November, has emerged as a leading critic, contending that the measure fails to guarantee that poor people would benefit from any research gains.
"There is no true delivery of therapy to Californians as it stands now," Ortiz said, adding that the measure offers only a general statement on the topic.
Warning that Ortiz's effort could delay the measure from going into effect, scientists and patient advocates serving on the oversight panel fanned out across the Capitol on Monday urging legislators to oppose Ortiz's bill, Senate Constitutional Amendment 13.
"I don't know what her motivation is," Caltech President David Baltimore said, as he prepared to meet with legislators. "But I know the result is extremely dangerous and could undermine the whole reputation of the state as a leader in stem cell research."
Baltimore is one of 29 members of the initiative's Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. The panel convened at the Sacramento Convention Center, listening to Ortiz and several foes of her measure, and then launching its lobbying effort.
Board member David Serrano Sewell, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, held up his pills and said he and others who have ALS have little time to wait.
"Anything that impedes implementing our effort, I would have to question," he told Ortiz.
Panelist Dr. David A. Kessler, dean of the UC San Francisco medical school, noted that Ortiz's bill says the state "shall" make any therapy available to poor people. But he added that the initiative's goal was to finance research rather than solve the problem of how to provide medical care for all Californians.
"You are going to try to solve something that none of us in decades has been able to … solve," said Kessler, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner.
The board set up meetings for 21 panel members in the offices of several key senators and Assembly members. Robert Klein, the panel's chairman, and others said they would urge that lawmakers vote down Ortiz's bill.
"I would like to reach a compromise, but I don't think we will," said panelist Joan Samuelson, a lawyer on the oversight committee who represents people with Parkinson's disease.
Ortiz must obtain a two-thirds vote in each house of the Legislature to place her bill before voters. If she were to succeed, her proposition would appear on the next statewide ballot, which could be in November if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger convenes a special election, as he has suggested. Her bill would not require the governor's signature.
Californians approved Proposition 71 by 59% to 41%. It authorized the largest research effort ever into stem cells, which backers believe could help treat and cure illnesses such as juvenile diabetes and Parkinson's disease, as well as spinal cord injuries.
So far, the state has been unable to sell the $3 billion in bonds because of lawsuits aimed at blocking Proposition 71. The state generally will not sell bonds — and investors won't buy them — if lawsuits threaten to invalidate measures authorizing their sale. To help pay bills until the bonds are sold, Ray and Dagmar Dolby donated $5 million, arranged by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Ray Dolby is founder of Dolby Laboratories.
Ortiz's critics say her measure would further delay the bond sales until after the next election and could result in more suits.
Ortiz, saying that she has long supported stem cell research, argued that her proposition could help avert future litigation that might slow the bond sales.
She pledged that if the Legislature's attorney or state bond attorneys tell her she is "jeopardizing bonds, or my criteria and language is too vague and will encourage litigation, I will not move the measure forward."
"I'm driven by that, but it has to be based on the attorneys I'm working with," Ortiz said.
Silva Rhetoricae out of Brigham Young is an excellent source for trope explanations and a very general over view of Rhetoric as a practice.
I also recommend, if you're interested, reading Nietzsche's essay "On Truth and Lies in an Extra Moral Sense" for further account of literal v. figurative language.
This one offers an (even more!) comprehensive chart of rhetorical device terms. And, it's nicely dorky - note the Archimedes owl. (as a "symbol" of wisdom, the cliche of the owl is quite *ahem*, ironic, since owls are really not the brightest lights on the porch (in the bird world, comparatively speaking. Yes, I just used - er - metonymy?)
Then this one is a dense annotated history of structuralist/post-structuralist critical texts on "the discursive turn" - new theorists of rhetoric and discourse. It discusses alot of the names you heard dropped today (well except Donald Davidson).
China polices the internet
07/06/2005 12:04 - (SA)
Shanghai - Authorities have ordered all China-based websites and blogs to register or be closed down, in the latest effort by the communist government to police the unruly world of cyberspace.
Commercial publishers and advertisers can face fines of up to one million yuan ($120 000) for failing to register, according to documents posted on the website of the Ministry of Information Industry.
Private, non-commercial bloggers or websites must register the complete identity of the person responsible for the site, it said. The ministry, which has set a June 30 deadline for compliance, said 74% of all sites had already registered.
"The internet has profited many people but it also has brought many problems, such as sex, violence and feudal superstitions and other harmful information that has seriously poisoned people's spirits," the MII website said in explaining the new rules.
Will force people overseas
All media in China is controlled by the state, though limits on the internet have tended to lag behind as advances in technology outstripped Beijing's ability to keep tabs on users and service providers.
The government has long required all major commercial websites to register and take responsibility for internet content. But blogs, web forums, chat rooms and other virtual venues have been harder to police.
Now, however, the government has developed a new system to track down and close those caught violating the rules, the ministry said.
"There's a 'Net Crawler System' that will monitor the sites in real time and search each web address for its registration number," said one document listing questions and answers about the new rules. "It will report back to the MII if it finds a site thought to be unregistered."
The press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders protested the new rules, saying they would force people with dissenting opinions to shift web sites overseas, where mainland Chinese users might be unable to access them due to government censorship filters.
The Paris-based group said that in May, many bloggers in China received e-mail messages telling them to register to avoid having their blogs declared illegal.
"Those who continue to publish under their real names on sites hosted in China will either have to avoid political subjects or just relay the Communist Party's propaganda," the rights group said. "This decision will enable those in power to control online news and information much more effectively."
Edited by Andrea Botha
Here's a link to the original article.
Ths site also has links to some of the other things China's been doing, including the use of "cyber agents" and online propaganda.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Experiment with the blog and make it your own. Discuss the course, discuss your papers, discuss the readings, discuss the discussions, discuss your disgust with the weather, with politics, whatever you like.
There are some great technoloculture/technoethics links on the sidebar that I thought might interest folks in the class, as well as general writing resources. Check them out, and always feel welcome to discuss what you encounter in them in the course.
I hope this is a useful separate space for you all -- sorry it took me so long to bring it online! See everybody Tuesday morning. d
Advanced Argumentation and Argumentative Writing:
Varieties of Techno-Ethical Discourse
24 Wheeler Hall, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9.30-12 noon
Mailbox: 7408 Dwinelle
Office Hours: For an hour after class Tuesdays and Thursdays and by appointment.
This course is devoted to the study and practice of advanced argumentative techniques and assumes a basic background in writing and argument. We will examine works of theory and cultural criticism, popular editorials, legal and political policy, as well as literary and media texts. The texts in the class are all broadly organized around the theme of technological development, considered as a space both of imaginative investment and social struggle.
The problems and skills that emerge from our focus should have a wide applicability for research and criticism across the humanities. We will divide our time between three argumentative modes: deliberation, demonstration, and debate. Among the topics and questions we will be grappling with are: How should an argument that seeks to call basic assumptions into question be different in form from one that hopes to arrive at conviction, or to impact conduct, or to reconcile antagonistic viewpoints? How do we properly anticipate and assess the demands of a variety of specific audiences? How do we identify and deploy the argumentative content of figurative language? Just what is this process that is called "close reading" and how precisely does it relate to the Toulmin schema for the analysis of arguments? What kinds of claims properly emerge from the close reading of texts and how are they substantiated? What constitutes a "fact" in philosophical and literary criticism devoted to practices of close reading?
Required Texts (Primarily to be found in our Course Reader)
Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future”
Hannah Arendt, “Prologue to The Human Condition”
John Perry Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Paulina Borsook “The Crypto Wars,” from Cyberselfish
David Brin, “The End of Photography as Proof of Anything at All”
David Brin, “Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society”
Octavia Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”
Daniel Harris, “The Futuristic,” from The Aesthetics of Consumerism
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”
Eric Hughes, “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto”
James Hughes, “Using Democracy to Cure Future Shock”
Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence.
Walter Lang, dir. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy. Film: “Desk Set”
Timothy C. May, “The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto”
Katsuhiro Otomo. Film: “Roujin Z”
Nick Rombes, “Professor DVD”
Valerie Solanas, “The SCUM Manifesto”
Thomas Starr, “The Real Declaration”
Alex Steffen, “The Tech Bloom”
Bruce Sterling, “Maneki Neko,” from A Good Old-Fashioned Future
Marc Stiegler, “A Gentle Seduction”
Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”
Also, each student is required to purchase a blank notebook in which they will keep a writer’s journal, as well as a folder to keep track of all written assignments.
Course Requirements and Policies
1. Attendance – This is a six week intensive course and absences must be kept to an absolute minimum. You should warn me in advance about absences. When this is not possible, call the Rhetoric Office (642-1415) and leave a message explaining why you are absent. Keep in mind that missing classes or arriving late disrupts the community of the classroom, especially since you will be doing a great deal of work with your peers this term. Absences and lateness will affect your performance negatively, and will lower your final grade significantly.
2. Deadlines -- You are required to observe assignment deadlines. If you anticipate trouble completing an assignment on time, you must speak to me in advance about an extension. Any paper or homework assignment handed in late without an extension will be reduced by a half of a letter grade for each day including Saturdays and Sundays –- that it is late. Try to break the procrastination cycle: leave enough time so that printer failures, disk errors, and lines at the printout place do not make you late.
3. Format -- All written work for this course must be printed on a word processor or typed. Written work that is not printed on a word processor or typed will not be accepted (unless of course it is an in-class assignment), and the late policy (see #2 above) will apply. Always spell-check your written assignments. Resist the use of your computer’s thesaurus. Use your own vocabulary. ALWAYS proofread your papers after you have printed them out. Excessive spelling and proofreading errors will be subject to significant grade reductions. Also, it is a good idea to keep copies of papers and other important written assignments. Papers do get lost, and if an instructor loses a paper it is your responsibility to provide a new copy.
4. Participation -– Participation in class discussion is REQUIRED. I know that some people are less enthusiastic about class participation than others. Let me state my philosophy on this: Classroom discussion is the only way I know to make visible the genuinely broad range of valid responses any complicated argument will provoke. Understanding objections to your viewpoint will either sharpen the effectiveness of that view or it will change your mind, and either outcome can only be a good thing. If you are pathologically shy it may be possible to satisfy the participation requirement by attending office hours regularly. But please make an effort at class participation –- I’ll do what I can to make the class a safe environment for the exploration and dispute of ideas. Feel free to disagree with one another or with me or with anybody, but always respect one another and keep an open mind about other viewpoints. And keep in mind also that borderline grades will be affected both positively and negatively by regular classroom participation or by its lack.
Your final grade will be determined by summing the grades of the following assignments in the given proportions:
1. Peer Responses on the First Paper Draft 05%
2. First Paper 10%
3. Peer Responses on Second Paper Draft 05%
4. Second Paper 10%
5. Take-Home Mid-Term Exam 10%
6. Peer Responses on Third Paper Draft 05%
7. Third Paper 10%
8. Peer Responses on Final Paper Draft 05%
9. Final Paper 10%
10. Homework and In-Class Work 10%
11. Class Participation 10%
12. Final Report 04%
13. Journal 04%
14. Quizzes 02%
Course Requirements and Policies
I have read, I understand, and I agree to all of the course requirements and policies.
I. Attendance ________________
II. Deadlines ________________
III. Format ________________
IV. Participation ________________
A Provisional Schedule of Meetings
SKILL SET: An argument is a claim supported by reasons. Ethos/Pathos/Logos.
2-3 Minute Introductory Speeches
SKILL SET: Four Habits of Argumentative Writing: 1. Formulate a Strong Thesis; 2. Define Your Terms; 3. Substantiate/Contextualize; 4. Anticipate Objections.
Hand in Diagnostic Essay (2-3pp) on Anderson’s Piece
Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future,” Brin, “The End of Photography”
SKILL SET: Audiences/Intentions; Reading Critically is a Kind of Writing
Hand in Drafts of First Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”
SKILL SET: Intentions – Interrogation, Conviction, Persuasion, Reconciliation
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Starr, “The Real Declaration”
SKILL SET: Audiences –- Sympathetic, Unsympathetic, Apathetic; Rogerian Rhetoric
Hand in Paper One, Precis (3-4pp.) of Wilde’s Essay
May, "The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto"
Hughes "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto"
SKILL SET: The Toulmin Schema
Hand in Drafts of Second Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Brin, “Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society”
SKILL SET: Literal/Figurative Language; Figures/Tropes; Four Master Tropes
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
SKILL SET: Syllogisms, Enthymemes; Formal Fallacies
Second Paper (4-5pp.) Due
Borsook "The Crypto Wars"
Steffen, “The Tech Bloom”
SKILL SET: Informal Fallacies
Hand in Take-Home Mid-Term Exam
Screening of “Desk Set”
Rombes, “Professor DVD”
Discussion of “Desk Set”
SKILL SET: Terms for Film and Media Criticism
Sterling, “Maneki Neko”
Harris, “The Futuristic”
Hand in Drafts of Third Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Stiegler, "The Gentle Seduction"
Hughes, “Using Democracy to Cure Future Shock”
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Solanas, “The SCUM Manifesto”
Third Paper (4-5pp) Due
Screening on “Roujin Z”
Hand in Drafts of Final Paper to Peer Revision Groups
Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”
Hand in Final Report
Hand in Journals
Peer Revision/Discussion of Drafts
Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”
Final Paper (5-6pp) Due
Arendt, "Prologue to The Human Condition"
Closing Remarks: Technocriticism, Technoethics, Technocultures