48-hour News Blackout


After reading Deresiewicz’s “The End of Solitude” article, I came to realize just how much I can relate to the majority of ideas that the author writes about in this post. very clunky language used here Deresiewicz goes into detail about the transition that we’ve made over the years: from not knowing what boredom itself was to being fully aware of it today and acting upon it when we experience the emotion. The author brings up multiple great points regarding Solitude today; one sentence that really caught my eye colloquial language was “Solitude becomes, more than ever, the arena of heroic self-discovery, a voyage through interior realms made vast and terrifying by Nietzschean and Freudian insights”. The reason this really appeals to me is that during my 48-hour news blackout, I found my self anxious for new content; constantly searching for things to do in order to not feel ‘bored’. In the first 8-10 hours, I found my self struggling as all my intentions were going towards opening the Twitter or Instagram app on my iPhone. However, once I applied a restriction (also known as Screen Time) on the operating system of my device, it was easy to not launch any news related application. Anytime I wanted to open an app that could feed me information, a pop-up screen would appear indicating “this content is blocked for the next xx hours”. This is where self-discovery comes in; I started to appreciate the smaller things surrounding me, whether it was finally practicing the guitar for more than ten minutes or just participating in social interactions with my family for longer than five minutes without looking at my phone. I also began to think about how our lives today compared to those who didn’t grow up with the Internet several decades back. Deresiewicz’s also brought up the point on how he was trained to be bored. To me, this translates over to growing up in a non-technological world where one is forced to interact with others at a personal level because there was nothing beyond that. In other words, when Deresiewicz’s states “I was trained to be bored”, it reflects on how solitude is different today than what it was far before. Boredom was the default as there was nothing more to look forward to because the human brain did not know anything greater than the concept of personally interacting with others.  Today, we have adapted our selves and minds to the presence of social media, phones, computers and more. It is why times are changing and why the emotion of “solitude” empowers and stimulates us to get up and seek new information rather than having no input at all. In my experience, we have accustomed and disciplined our minds to seek for relevant modern-day news in order to keep us up to date with recent and current events, so that we can later transmit or share with other acquaintances.  some good ideas and analysis here. the writing style is too colloquial and informal in some places. you also should have separated these ideas into paragraphs.


Individual Assignment 2 – Pedro Almeyda

McLuhan displayed his belief for the medium is the message in a variety of methods by predicting how society would consume media in the future. Though many were skeptical, in his 1969 interview with Playboy, he goes into detail explaining exactly what he means. By stating that the medium is the message, McLuhan has the opportunity to explain how past innovative technology, such as Typography, has changed how media is delivered: “The most important quality of print is its repeatability; it is a visual statement that can be reproduced indefinitely”. For McLuhan, this technology acted as a betterment for society due to the fact that audiences could now be up to date with current event news faster thanks to the mass production if print. 

McLuhan also challenges certain held assumptions, such as the idea that the content itself is the message, rather than the medium. He makes the case by detailing exactly how the medium has the power to influence the content that is being delivered. this is good  McLuhan doesn’t necessarily state that content plays no role, he just means that the source of the content itself has a higher level of influence. “Because unlike previous environmental changes, the electric media constitute a total and near-instantaneous trans- formation of culture, values and attitudes”. McLuhan uses critical perspective to analyze exactly how different cultures perceive the meaning of the individual message depending on their backgrounds, values and time. Specifically, he argues how messages were perceived and conveyed back in the day compared to today. Prior to the invention of the alphabet, man lived in a world where all the senses in which they conveyed content was neutral. “The primary medium of communication was speech, and thus no man knew appreciably more or less than any other”. Today we are able to analyze and make our own image of the message depending on how exactly it is delivered to us. McLuhan brings up television as an example of a new, modern world invention, that transforms how we perceive these messages. McLuhan opens up the bounds of debate by using ‘low’ and ‘high’ definition to measure precisely how the content behind each message speaks to us, and whether or not it plays a valid role in today’s’ society. High/hot definition referring to low audience participation, where the viewer does not actively shape the image that they are seeing and thus, not creating a full sense of understanding. This is because the information is being fed directly to the mind of the audience. Whereas low/cool definition requires more of an input from the user, allowing little influence from the source of the message.  “This is, of course, just one more reason why the medium is the message, rather than the content; it is the participatory nature of the TV experience itself that is important, rather than the content of the particular TV image that is being invisibly and indelibly inscribed on our skins.”

you need to break this up into paragraphs, but you did a goo job of analysis.

Pedro Almeyda – Team 5

Thesis: The authors of the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” use various rhetoric tools such as Ethos, Logos, and Pathos to develop an argument regarding Dr. Tyson’s misconception and thoughts towards a statement made by former president Bush.

“We get a lot of details right, but when our memories change, we only “hear” the most recent version of the message” -Christopher F. Chabri. avoid author quotes like this in your composition It is clear that Dr. Tyson may have misunderstood former president Bush’s actual words, and likely associated them with other thoughts in his head. Dr. Tyson, most probably, did not recall this association of thoughts and thus, was a victim to his own memory, without really noticing. This can be seen as the Pathos rhetoric tool to analyze why Dr. Tyson thought he had heard one thing, but turned out it was another. The authors of the article, Christopher F. Chabris, and Daniel J. Simons,  mentioned that flashbulb memories, which are memories associated with an emotional aspect, tend to fade or change with time. We still hold on to these memories in a confident manner/fashion.

According to the authors of the article, the more confident one is in their memories, the more accurate they tend to be. This, however, isn’t solely coming from them. The authors rely heavily on experience and studies and use clear and concise examples of rhetoric in order to back their arguments up and challenge Dr. Tyson’s contrary statements. The authors used Ethos and Logos by utilizing a case-study by cognitive psychologists Henry L. Roediger III, who attended Yale University and is known for studying and publishing work that correlates directly with ‘false memory’. Henry Roediger conducted a study to test for accuracy when recalling certain words in a list. The results indicated that while test-subjects still demonstrated high confidence, some were actually not accurate at all. The authors used this study as reasoning and proof to persuade readers of Dr. Tyson’s mishearing. This is achieved by not only displaying a formal and professional tone but also by using reliable sources, from a credible psychologist, in order to analyze the thought process behind Dr. Tysons’ statements and how he could have misinterpreted Bush’s’ words. 

When reflecting on the top three Readers Pick comments, Keith Dow shared factual pieces of information and dates from Tyson and Bush’s individual past, bringing up a point of Logos. Jacob Sommer’s particular comment was rather relevant because he brings up the point of how this could have simply been an honest mistake from Dr. Tyson. He went into detail regarding how people quickly jump to assume that all mistakes from well-known people involve malice. He uses the appeal of emotion to highlight that people make simple mistakes at times and they mean no harm through them. Doctor Neil DeGrasse Tyson himself also commented on this article by linking a Facebook post that further details his way of speaking at events: “I will be creating what I say on the spot”. This quote from Dr. Tyson goes hand in hand with Jacob’s comment. 


well written analysis fulfilling the assignment and demonstrating organized structural writing and grasp of concepts.