Blog 1: Why Our Memory Fails Us

Thesis: While we may not know why our memory fails us the comment sections never seem to disappoint, which is why the New York Times needs to have a ranking system to encourage civil and thought provoking dialogue. [Analyze and relate to rhetorical triangle.] 

[Analyze rather than summarize.] In the New York Times article “Why our Memory Fails Us”, authors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons make their case that our memories fade and change as time passes and it happens even to the best of us. They use the story of scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson and his recalling of controversial statements he believed President Bush made about the Muslim community after the September 11 attacks. Taking a closer look at the arguments and facts made in this article you can clearly see other than recalling events that took place there is no real argument about how or why our memories fail us, they just reinforce the idea that it does happen to everyone. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] Throughout their article they use an appeal to pathos, using an emotional story that happens during a difficult time in America. There were no facts represented on how our brains remember things or information given on how this organ associates memories with events. They did however mention a study done about how confidence is linked to good memory. Although no data was presented or facts backed by any scientific research,the case study mentioned helps appeal to logos [good point] . [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] They also used ethical appeals, every person named in the article are well established in his/ her field, and are respected individuals [good point]. Their tones as author could be taken as judgmental at times and sympathetic at others. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] When they talked about Dr. Tyson’s mix up they were sympathetic [use of pathos] same as when they spoke about Hilary Clinton’s ordeal; but towards the end of the piece their tone changed slightly when speaking about politicians taking blame for their actions to a more assertive tone on how they should deal with these misunderstandings. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] The comments section takes on a different perspective depending on which section you look at. The top comment in the reader’s choice funny enough was from Dr. Tyson and admittedly I do think was thumbs up by readers to get a reaction out of the authors, he did provide some links to further explain the misunderstandings. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] The second top comment is again I believed thumbs up to create a little disorder, he attacks President Bush for not being intelligent, and despite the authors only called Bush intelligent in one sentence he dedicates an entire comment section to proving the authors wrong. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] The third top comment is actually the only comment that opens discussion up further, sharing his own thoughts and experiences of mistaken memory. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] For the New York Times pick all three top comments contributed some kind of discussion to the article. They commented not to argue or bash what or who the authors have written but to agree, disagree, or share an experience, this kind of dialogue is one that encourages the flow of ideas. The New York Times comments pick do not belittle and disheartens the work of the authors, which is why I do believe there needs to be a ranking system in comment section.


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