The fallibility of memory

The article begins with an anecdote that is supported by both logical argument [give examples of the use of facts] and the reliability of its source [use of ethos] deGrasse Tyson, demonstrating that even the intellectual heir presumptive of Carl Sagan is subject to the fallibility of human memory. Imparting upon the reader a rudimentary understanding of false memory formation and its consequences, the author reinforces the role of the misremembered in our collective narrative with examples of former POTUS and FLOTUS G.W Bush and Hillary Clinton. Statements made by these two strike me as being poor examples [Analyze the authors’ rhetoric rather than express personal opinion. Were they using ethos because both had been in the White House?] due to both of their histories of verbal contortionism, selective memory and consistently evasive public speaking styles. In the end Tyson’s commitment to truth prevails [use of ethos?] when confronted with evidence and he admits to having misremembered [use of pathos?].

Tyson’s own comment on the Op-Ed is essentially two links to notes on his Facebook that rationally and politely itemize the events described his commitment to reason and civility are as always themselves quite inspiring. With a disastrous lowering of standards [Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] [comma] Keith Dow blurts out an ad hominem tirade centered around GW’s foot in mouth syndrome, while funny when the quotes where fresh, it’s totally irrelevant to the piece and by now as stale as a Lewinsky joke. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] Jacob Sommer regales us with some anecdotal banter about his personal experience [use of pathos] with rationalizing, optimism and giving others the benefit of the doubt.
[Analyze rather than summarize.]  Comments available online both allow the reader to connect with the prose that they are interpreting and disconnect the audience by giving them justification, to dismiss the narrative. The level of the commenters on this forum are more focused on analyzing the prose and connecting with the ideas being presented. The main thesis of both the comments and the main article focus on supporting the arguments presented.
[How do the authors use the rhetorical triangle to convince the reader and how do they support their arguments?] The difference between the reader picks and the New York times choices are the comments in the former contain run on sentences and their arguments are more drawn out. It is obvious that they did not do much editing and instead focused on saying anything and everything that they could remember on the subject. While easier to read, and follow subjectively, the latter is much more concise and filled with relevant examples that thoroughly comprehend the subject matter.
[Relate to rhetorical triangle.] Human beings are fallible, this we know as a subjective truth, the article provides easily relatable examples to focus on their thesis, “…We are all fabulists.” The ease with which we are manipulated and can blend fact with fiction. This controversial knowledge found in basis of psychological principles illustrates the strength of the mind and its ability to combine information to create a narrative. The article flows from a specific point to the more general concept of our fabulist nature.
[Relate to rhetorical triangle.] Narration is used to inform and bring this concept to the forefront of our minds. A current example is the Mandela effect, where a sect of the populace all believe a certain “fact”, that cannot be proven. As in the case of a film that there is no evidence of or that many people believe that Nelson Mandela died in the 1980’s. Memory is a tricky thing and it is easy to get confused or have our minds fill in the details. It requires constant vigilance to remain objective in a world where even your mind is not completely trustworthy.


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