Carr Discussion Questions

What is the argument that Carr makes in the article?

What did you find most compelling about the article?

Was there anything that you found weak in the argument?

What types of evidence does Carr offer in support of his argument?

To the extent that the bulk of the argument relies on rhetoric,  imagine a discussion of the same topic which takes a very different position on the issue and draws different conclusions—what would that look like?

Below are two sample statementson this issue that exhibit a rhetorical stance in the process (or guise) of offering information. Can you offer the same information in a statement that exhibits a different/opposing rhetorical stance?

“It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.”

“When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image. “


Studies of Online Habits

Here’s a link to the study/studies to which Carr refers in the Atlantic Monthly  article:

The Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future

The Literature on Young people and Their Information Behaviour

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Read this article for Sunday and prepare to discuss:

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

You May blog about is if you wish.

Note: Carr has a recent book on this topic (just came out in 2010) called *The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains*. The central question it explores (according to the publicity) is “As we enjoy the Internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?”

Here’s a related article from the Buiness Pagees if the Irish Evening Post that is worth looking at (and includes some discussion of identity issues at the end for those who are working on that topic):

It’s the Technology Stupid

Wikileaks Documentary

Her’s a link to the Wikileaks documentary on YouTube:

Login on the class wiki and go to the discussion forum to comment on the documentary under the new thread I created called Wikileaks Documentary Discussion.


Wikidot is the wiki interface we will be using for our collaborative rhetorical analysis  papers. To get started as a user, do the following:

Check your email for wikidot invitation

Click on the link to accept the invitation

Follow the link to create an account and sign in

Accept the invitation

Follow the link to the Digital Rhetoric Wiki

Go to the Sandbox link on the right menu.

We will, as a group, follow the instructions there.

Information ethics

It’s time to start talking about the rhetoric of information ownership and information ethics. For Wednesday, read this mercifully *short*” David McCraw’s lecture on Wikileaks and the future of Information Freedom.

There is a YouTube Video of the whole lecture and you are welcome encouraged to watch it, but it is *long* and slow to download, so I am not requiring it. There is a 10 minute excerpt here that you can look at to get a feel for it:

Snake Twitters and “footprints”

So, a poisonous Egyptian cobra escaped from the Bronx zoo in NYC the other day and was at large for about a week–It was just reported found about 10  minutes ago.

Apparently while on the lam, the snake opened a Twitter account and tweeted about her adventures around the city:

Before the snake was located, the NY Times ran a short blog piece about the Tweets which contains some very interesting info about how an anonymous Tweeter can be tracked down–using a digital footprints left by the “location data” captured by Twitpic, the photo hosting service, where, in this case, “the snake” uploaded a photo.