Good Reasons

Lester Faigley, from the University of Texas at Austin, and Jack Selzer, from The Pennsylvania State University, are two prestigious authors of “Good Reasons,” teach us how to properly structure and understand rhetorical analysis’. Instead of using complicated terminology, they teach their audience how to find “good reasons” on how to properly argue in a rhetorical analysis in simple terms. With the terms they used, I was able to better understand the idea of rhetoric. After reading this article, I realized how much rhetoric occurs in my everyday life. When speaking or writing, most people present or shape an idea to a certain audience for a specific reason. This is known as rhetorical analysis. When reading, I struggle to identify the audience within the text. However, I believe that if I start to think that there is a specific purpose that the article is written for, I will be able to more easily understand who the audience is.  As stated in the text, one of the biggest challenges with writing is that you must “reconstruct the conversation surrounding a specific piece or writing or speaker.” I always struggle to avoid summarizing a reading. To me, unless I have an emotional connection with the story, changing the conversation is one of the most difficult parts of writing. After reading “Good Reasons,” I am finally starting to understand that rhetoric is the “how” it is written and “how” it is done. The “how” is what makes a text appealing to an audience.


Belief it or not

Science is the final say in determining if something is true or not. If you agree with this statement then you are not emotionally connected or devoted to your beliefs. According to the article “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science,” a person is more willing to disagree even with scientific facts to defend their beliefs.  Sometimes, when we try to push a scientific fact on someone, even if they didn’t have a strong belief in the first place, they will defend their belief even more. Even if they believe in the wrong thing, a person will not stray from their beliefs that they are emotionally attached to just because of the new evidence found against their belief. For example, those who have a strong belief in Christ will not stray from the idea of his existence just because of a scientific fact that says there is no way of his existence. People who are emotionally driven have been said to be able to find more ways of supporting and explaining that their beliefs are correct, making it even more difficult for scientific facts to have an effect on them.

When I began this article, I was intrigued on where the author would take the story of the Seekers. There have been many people who have been said to ‘predict’ the future, like the Aztec for example. Although a long article, the Seeker story caught my attention and made me want to continue to read further into the article. Once I learned about the different theories in which they show why some people stick to their beliefs even when they are wrong, I thought and discovered what kind of affect scientific facts have on my beliefs. To me, science does have an effect on some of the things I believe, but not all of them. Although I may not be as devoted to Christ as others, I do believe there is a higher power than humans even if scientists believe there isn’t. As crazy as it may sound, I also do believe there are others that exist in this universe besides us. Although there is no real proof of other life forms, my belief will not go away until there is science that can 100% prove it is false.

Beliefs are not just thoughts we construct in our brains on our own. Beliefs have been constructed and destroyed. Science cannot just make beliefs dissipate even if the belief has been proven completely incorrect. There will always be a person emotionally attached to a belief to keep it alive and striving. Science can prove facts, but it cannot disprove beliefs.

‘Fountain’ of Art?

When I first saw the urinal, I questioned whether it was truly art or not. I then realized I had to define what defines something as art. Many people would say art is several different things. Art could be something that brings out emotions from a person, brings out truth in a situation, brings pleasure to a person, and many other things. Is art defined on how a person perceives the object being called art, or is it defined from the credibility it has by the person who created the art?

To me, art could be almost anything. I believe that for something to be considered art, it would have to have some sort of credibility. I also believe that art has to be up for interpretations by many people. If I were to sign a pencil and try and sell it for one thousand dollars, I would never sell the pencil. I have no credibility to my name and without any ethos, people will only perceive that pencil as a pencil. However, if Duchamp was to sign a pencil and try and sell it for a thousand dollars, he would most likely be successful in doing so. Also, due to his credibility, people would ponder the idea behind the pencil.  To me, almost everything is some form of art because with the various people in the world, there could be many different opinions.

                Although just a urinal, it is also porcelain. These two different vocabulary words evoke different emotions from different people. If people consider chinaware to be a form of art, then wouldn’t a urinal be art as well? If Duchamp’s urinal was on display in a museum today, I would advise people to go and experience it for themselves. Although people may believe that a urinal has no artistic significance at all, I would disagree strongly. Even though a urinal can be disturbing to some, other people could admire it as a piece of work. Most people who would walk by the urinal would say that it is just a urinal and nothing else. However, if someone sees the urinal and perceives it to mean more than just a urinal, it can be considered art. Personally, I believe that if an object causes different perceptions to happen, then it is a form of art.

My First Annotation

Hertlein, Katherine M, and Katrina Ancheta. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Relationships: Findings from an Open-Ended Survey.” The Qualitative Report Vol. 9. 17 Mar. 2014: 1-11. Print.

Katherine Hertlein and Katrina Ancheta, the researchers and authors of “Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Relationships: Findings from an Open-Ended Survey,” are both graduates from the University of Nevada. Written in The Qualitative Report and using an open ended survey, this article summarizes both the disadvantages and advantages technology has on relationships. An open-ended survey is one that requires participants to answer questions with more contemplation then just a “yes” or “no” answers. Directed toward couples, this study tried to see if the advances in technology have increased “interpersonal relationships and verbal communication” (1). In addition to the open-ended survey, Hertlein and Ancheta used a recursive open-coding analysis to logically discover some key impacts technology has on “couple’s relational health” (2). Contrasting with a part of the survey, the “Look Up” campaign states that relationships are being controlled by technology in an unhealthy way. This text has given me the opportunity to further question if technology helps or ruins couples relationships. It also shows that although technology may challenge our social skills, it can also benefit them by making it easier to communicate feelings and emotions toward others.

Society’s Handicap vs. Handicap People

There seems to be this idea that if you are physically handicapped, that there is a level of defection in you. People say that these defections limit a person to things they can and cannot do. Sometimes society implants these limits they believe to be true into handicapped people’s subconscious and into able-body people’s subconscious. Instead of seeing the abilities some handicapped people have, society sees the downside of providing those people with the facilities to perform. The idea of limits prevents physically handicap-able people from making a contribution in society in the same ways that non-physically handicapped people can contribute.

In the Poster Child story, Hershey talks about how she would always be viewed different from the “normal person.” Having been a poster child herself, it is easier to believe Hershey’s story. She has been able to open my eyes to see that many telethons and other commercials that promote a person’s disability main focus are to make money. By getting people to ‘feel sorry’ for those with disabilities, companies are able to trick people into sending money to help “find a cure.” This is a way of the companies using a rhetorical style of pathos to raise money. The reason I put find a cure in quotes is because the way I see it, a cure can be viewed in two ways. When most people hear others talk about finding a cure, they think that it means they will find a way to get rid of the disease to help those infected live longer. I think another way of viewing the cure for those with disabilities is providing facilities that make them able to perform like all other physically able-body people. Our society thinks they have to heal those people of their disabilities instead of helping them perform like all other able-body people.

This article has led me to a few questions. When someone is identified as disabled, who are they comparing them to? Is a disability only a physical deformity or could it also be something as simple as gender or race?

Can we ‘erase’ mistakes?

People seem to be less aware of the effects our assumptions or judgments have on other people. Miller’s remark exemplifies a lack of awareness of prejudicial comments and how they do affect other people. At first, Miller was unaware it was wrong to make the statement. However, after being critiqued by followers, Miller eventually deleted his statement and began to apologize. As Miller tried to ‘erase’ his comment, it became apparent to me that society tends to try and ‘erase’ some of their ideas and mistakes as well. Although he may have physically deleted the statement, I don’t think his belief regarding obese applicants changed. I know I have made statements that have hurt people in some way and have tried to take them back, but the fact that I made the statement means that I believed it. You cannot just ‘erase’ a belief. Tracy E. Ore writes that our environment has set certain beliefs in our society that we think we must use to form judgments of others.

By reading this blog post, Collin Brooke has strengthened my belief in the idea that our society is fixated on the idea of ‘perfectionism.’  Not only do shows like the “Biggest Loser” focus on physical appearance, especially weight, many other companies, such as the Airlines and Victoria’s Secret,   use a subliminal message about weight. For example, Brooke talks about how airplane commercials condemned being seated next to a heavier set person. As I have seen in commercials, airline industries promote buying tickets in advance so flyers aren’t seated next to the ‘wrong’, annoying, or over weight flyers. Clothing stores, such as Victoria’s Secret, send subliminal messages to the world.  They do this by showing skinny women modeling their clothing. I am not aware of a commercial with heavier set women wearing Victoria’s Secret bras. Although these messages aren’t stated, these examples show that our society has formed and created the image of the ‘perfect person.’ Not only do we have this imagery and influence, it emerges in situations such as a public announcement about applicants for a job.


No Argument Wanted

By focusing on issues that may affect boys and girls my age, I came across a few ideas that really stood out to me. The first issue that stood out to me was the issue legalizing marijuana has caused. In today’s society, only a few states have legalized marijuana. Some people say this is beneficial not only for those that need marijuana for medical reasons, but for the state’s economies as well. Marijuana has seemed to bring a great profit to those states that are legalizing selling the drug. On paper, marijuana seems like all other drugs, unhealthy and deathly. However, I do not recall hearing a lot of stories that have been negative towards marijuana being legalized in those states. While people seem to complain about marijuana, people also seem to argue all the advantages it has. This issue seems to mainly focus on young teens. However, many who argue against marijuana come from a variety of age groups. Also, doctors would be involved in the selling of marijuana, as would the government.

                Another main issue that is occurring today is the effect social media and cell phones have on almost everyone. Today, it seems that instead of interacting with one another face to face, teens rather text each other or post about one another on social media. Too many people are distracted by technology today. Although people do not state the negative effects social media and technology have directly, they do it in subliminal messages. For example, AT&T has been promoting the ‘no text and driving’ movement. When I watch TV, I see about 1 of the AT&T commercials almost every time. AT&T gives this issue credibility. Our world’s dependency on technology has increased drastically in the past few years. Most businesses cannot function without the use of technology. Our world is dwindling in its social ability because technology has made it so easy for us to communicate with one another that we don’t even have to leave the house to say hi to our neighbors.  The people who seem to be most affected by technology are those in first world countries and those in developing countries. The youtube video called “Look Up” helped me to realize how much technology can really change one’s life. Sherry Turkle also argues two points about technology and its effects. She doesn’t believe technology is bad, yet she says it makes it more complicated for us to identify our human values.

                Although not specifically tied to people my age, I came across an issue that is not emphasized a lot. I came across the issue of the right to death. When I saw this issue, I thought it would mean the right for us all to die. However, what I found was that it discussed the issue of hospitals taking off life support too early for some people. I think the biggest audience to this issue would be the lower class. Many people feel that when someone from a lower class comes into the hospital, they shouldn’t be given as much treatment as people in higher classes. With this in mind, I believe that some doctors may take certain people off life support based on who can pay the bills. This would appear to the public that doctors care more about making money then saving lives.