“Why Our Memory fails Us” uses real life situations to prove memory lose or memory alteration can happen to the most brilliant of people.

The article by FIRST NAMES Chabris and Simons begins by building Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson’s ethos by introducing him as an astrophysicist and a man who is intelligent in a broad range of fields. The article then mentioned how Dr. Tyson misremembered a quote by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 terrorist attacks saying, “Our god is the god who named the stars.” He remembered this quote because he was offended by how President Bush was talking about Muslims so he made a note of it to mention later. Dr. Tyson’s pathos is to blame for his misremembrance of what actually happened because President Bush said something similar but about a completely different event; about the spacecraft that exploded costing the lives of multiple astronauts.I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW AN EMOTIONAL APPEAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS FORGETTING Being an astrophysicist, Dr. Tyson was touched personally by this travesty causing his emotions to effect his perception of reality.

Memory failures are real and can have enormous consequences such as someone being sentenced to death for a crime they did not do, but found guilty based on memory failure of key witnesses. Scientists have urged the courts to rely more on the initial testimonies of a witness rather than courtroom testimonies because of the evidence of memory failure. The article builds logos for its argument by presenting actual situations that have happened and touching on the wrongful deaths or incarcerations of innocent people builds a pathos factor to the argument.HERE’S YOUR THESIS, BURIED.

The example of Dr. Tyson’s response after being confronted with the facts was a case of overconfidence, which can be related to a false memory. Usually, confidence and accuracy have a positive correlation but in a study done by psychologists Roediger III and DeSoto, a false memory could correlate to overconfidence. With actual scientific research done to back up their claims, logos is the main element of the rhetorical triangle.
The top three “readers’ choices” comments on the article were Dr. Tyson himself adding to the debate, a Bush hater focusing on the one statement saying the Bush was intelligent and a reader that offered an intelligent thought out response also adding to the debate.
The first comment was Dr. Tyson adding links to his Facebook notes where he recorded his memories for further use. He offered the links so the reader could investigate fully and see his perspective by adding logos to his defense.
The second response was one of pure emotion and focused on an adjective used to describe our former president. Many people did not like President Bush and this person posted multiple quotes by the former president that were embarrassing and not well spoken. This made the “readers’ choices” top picks because the readers’ emotions were struck and their logical and definitive thinking causing them to shut out everything else and focus a mundane element of the article.
The third was someone offering a different way of thinking, comparing a memory failure to a honest mistake. This positive attitude towards assuming someone made a honest mistake rather than acted maliciously made this a top three response.
The New York Times ranking method of the comments is not only effective but also necessary. Two of the top three NY Times comments were the same as the readers’ choices minus the Bush hater and his pure emotional response that added nothing to the article. The NY Times ranking system allows the reader to not have to dig through hundreds of meaningless frill.


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