The Line Between Constructive Commentary and Subjective Commentary is a Thin One

      [Analyze rather than summarize. How do the authors use the rhetorical triangle to convince the reader and how do they support their arguments?] Chabris and Simons build their case in what they see as the problems of relying on one’s memory by giving several different examples included with audience reactions. From Neil DeGrasse Tyson, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, and even brief mentions of Oprah and Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett [uses of ethos because the people are famous], they are able to help their viewers relate to the point they are trying to make through these examples. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] As a reader, we are able to look at these and think of a time through our own personal experience where we were in the same situation of our memory failing us. It may seem as if they are playing on the audience’s emotions [use of pathos] since these examples are eliciting a personal response, however, all of these examples and studies are facts. The tone of the authors seemed to be very neutral. They never said any one person was wrong for their misunderstandings and they almost seemed to sympathize with this problem. [Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] I find this article to be very interesting because especially in recent events, instances of memory being challenged. Take the Mandela Effect for instance. This has been a phenomenon where a large group of people all remember something existing or happening, when in fact, it never did. Such as many thinking that Nelson Mandela died in prison when this never actually happened.

       The first top comment is popular because it comes from Neil DeGrasse Tyson himself. He includes links that elaborate on instances where his memory had failed him. It is not often that a public figure mentioned in an article will reply and defend themselves. [Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] The next top comment is written by someone who clearly does not like Bush. The comment does include links and statements of actual quotes said by President Bush, but since the comment is subjective and stems from the commenters personal feelings, this commenter is using pathos. The third comment takes an ethos approach and contributes to what the authors were trying to prove with their article.

        Next we have the three top comments picked by the New York Times. These comments compared to the top reader picks are more conductive in nature. Not all comments agree, not all disagree. However, they all provide to the topic and do not serve as a personal agenda. I feel this is an effective way to rank comments because it offers room for creative discussion amongst readers, and even authors if they so choose. A comment section is meant to do just this and by providing the readers with these contributions, it encourages them to contribute as well. Unlike the one reader’s comment about George W. Bush not being intelligent which had nothing to do with the article. We should be more methodically with our responses instead of resorting to our inherent emotional response. After all, according to Chabris and Simons, being emotional is how one’s memory can easily fail them.

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