Alexa Lorraine DePablo Assignment 2 Critical Perspective Team 10

**please tag your team number in categories or your work will be lost or graded late**

Critical theory refers to the conception concept of new approaches aiming to question and denounce ideas that oppress humanity. In Marshall McLuhan’s 1969 Playboy Interview, he proposes that “the medium is the message”. By questioning previously held ideas, creating room for debate and wanting to better society he cements his theory as being a critical theory. strong thesis

One of the determining factors in identifying whether an idea can be categorized as critical theory is if it questions previously held assumptions.  Marshall McLuhan sets himself up as an individual bent on disrupting common thinking within the first few lines of the interview when he states “I want to map new terrain rather than chart old landmarks.” A self-proclaimed investigator, McLuhan begins to elaborate on his theory of the medium being the message and the sentiment that the medium is more altering than the content it contains.

By simply introducing his theory of the medium is the message, McLuhan is creating room for debate. Introducing any new idea into the world is cause enough for talk, but introducing a concept that disturbs peoples blissful ignorance is an invitation for  profound discussion. The interviewer poses a question early on regarding what McLuhan’s critics have to say about his methods, presenting us with evidence that he has already started a debate. McLuhan goes on to counter multiple points the interviewer shares as the article proceeds, producing thoughtful discourse.

Finally, McLuhan’s purpose for sharing his theory is simple: to better society. His goal is education and describes a state of self-hypnosis called ‘Narcissus narcois’, a syndrome in which man is unaware of the effects that new technology is creating, much like a fish who is unaware it is surrounded by water. Snapping man out of this state would alert him of his surroundings and that’s precisely what McLuhan wants. He knows that ignorance towards mindlessly consuming and participating in electronic media makes man susceptible to pain and identity loss therefore conscious awareness of it is what will save mankind. His theory aims to save man from the oppressive and anxiety-inducing hold that electronic media can cause.

McLuhan’s theory disrupts society’s routine act of being engulfed by media without even realizing it, but does so through educating and hoping we do better.

PauleyNiecea Assignment 2 Team 10

McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

Thesis: McLuhan was a little-known professor until he started wowing the world with his critical and deeply-thought ides ideas which he presented in his books. While McLuhan discussed the society as a whole in details in the books, he cut a reputation for his deep thought and understanding about the impact of the media on humans. While McLuhan uses a style that is rather complex in his writing, the revolutionary nature of his ideas attracted him to not only his students but also his audience across the globe. However, not all people appreciated the abundance of rich ideas on his work. He came under attack from his colleagues who found his ideas to be untested, unproven and demented and dangerous.  In the interview, McLuhan addresses a wide range of issues, concerns and the content of his work, and the following is an analysis of the content of the interview. this is great. well written and informative


***you need to tag your team in categories or it will be difficult to find it***

Does McLuhan question commonly held assumptions?

Yes, one of the most outstanding features of this interview, and which has been the foundation of McLuhan’s work is his tendency to question or even go against commonly held views and ideas. From the beginning of the work, McLuhan says that he is always making explorations, without even knowing where they will lead him. He says that he is taking a pragmatic approach to his work, and he considers everything that he is always doing his work without having a pre-determined ides in mind. It is also notable that McLuhan refers to traditional facts as sterile, meaning that he is pursuing new ideas in his work. The fact that McLuhan seeks to test everything without taking them as absolute confirms the idea that he is questioning commonly held assumptions. 

McLuhan has made it clear that he intends to question the long-held assumptions which a number of scholars have ignored even in the modern technological age. McLuhan says that “…scholars evidence few signs of modifying this traditional stance of ostrichlike disregard” (McLuhan 3). It is clear from this statement that McLuhan is determined to attack the commonly-held assumptions about the media and society. Even when modern scholars are avoiding the issue, McLuhan is demonstrating that he is not afraid to venture into these controversy-laden topics.

Does McLuhan expand the bounds of debate?

Yes, McLuhan has made a tremendous effort to increase the bounds of the debate. Apparently, there are many factors, cultural or otherwise, which have a tremendous impact on the behavior of humans. McLuhan describes the extent to which language can have an effect on the psychology of man. While appreciating the fact that humans are captured in strong tribal webs, McLuhan says that when a tribal man becomes literate, he may have an improved perception of the world, and that may influence the individual’s new perception of the world. There is a sense in which McLuhan expands the bounds of the debate so that he may get as much information as possible to support his hypothesis. 

Does McLuhan aim for the betterment of society?

Yes, McLuhan aims at the betterment of the society. For instance, when he talks about the tribal man and the extent to which it contributes to conflicts, his idea is to minimize or possibly eradicate the conflicts that arise from these differences. He refers to Africa and the extent to which tribal differences have affected the continent. He, therefore, seeks to contribute to the development of possible ideas that may be used to end the problem. 

As indicated above, McLuhan is using a critical perspective in his examination of social phenomena, and that is effective in making his ideas acceptable to a majority of his audience.

excellent job (except you didn’t tag your team #)

ASSIGNMENT 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective – GROUP 10 – AUSTIN ZARLING

Assignment 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

      Marshall McLuhan is a master of many things from rhetoric to pop culture, but he is also a master of the Critical Perspective. McLuhan does an amazing job explaining and supporting his idea that the medium is the message. He flawlessly disproves others opinion of his theory, expands on many aspects of his theory, and ultimately releases this information and conducts the interview to help his theory become more well known to better the society we live in. Great thesis!

      According to the interviewer in the Playboy Article, many of McLuhan’s critics call him and his theory erratic, inconsistent and eccentric, but that doesn’t change his belief in his theory. In the paragraphs following that question, McLuhan is able to explain the reasoning behind their distrust and eventually discredit it. He takes a simple “yes, because” response to the debate and takes it a step further. He addresses the elephant in the room by explaining, like a scientific experiment, his method of research, although less conventional, is in-depth and has the ability to adapt and be in “constant flux” with the environment around him. He continues to explain not only this critique, but many more throughout the interview very well with ample reasoning to support his argument.  this is a very well-structured paragraph that includes insightful analysis

Not only does McLuhan answer his critics calls, he addresses widely adopted assumptions of him and his theory. McLuhan takes simple and complex assumptions like the idea that the importance should be in the media not the medium and discredits them. He is able to use the Critical Perspective, pick apart the assumption, and then make us question the assumption and the information used to support the assumption.

McLuhan found this topic to be of the upmost importance to not only himself, but to society as a whole. He thought that “the effects of the media have been systematically overlooked by social observers,” and felt that needed to change soon for the betterment of society as a whole. He also believed that his research and theory would help us stay with the program rather than being one step behind as usual. He says that society is beginning to understand the affect the medium of the media has on us, but not as much and not as well as we should. McLuhan says these dangers were not as powerful in the past due to its effects being felt more gradually, but because media is progressing at such a fast rate, it could lead society down a hole that there is no coming back from. The whole point of his theory is to help us, as a society, understand the changes that are caused by the medium of the media, or the way we view the media. He wants us to be able to see how the way we view things affects the outcome of society. This was very interesting reading rather than summarizing and repeating commonly stated truths about McLuhan and his theories.

Why Our Memory Fails Us

Thesis – Chabris and Simons keep an open mind about how our memories fails us but still strongly remain on facts. do you mean rely on facts?
Dr. Tyson pointed out a false observation about what president Bush had stated during his speech about 9/11. The argument was based on how Dr. Tyson memory about how the speech came about. Either Dr. Tyson tweaked what he remembers overtime or whether he relied on the confidence as a signal of accuracy. What people seems to forget is that, people memory is really based on evidence that can be remembered. Not based off what your eyes and signal of accuracy is forcing you to remember. please separate paragraphs in wordpress.
The eyewitness argument is meet by confidence. Basically, the more confidence you have about any certain situation may lead to a higher percentage on how correct and fluent you can remember things. Henry L. Roediger and K. Andrew Soto experience indicated that for false memories, higher confidence was associated with lower accuracy. Logic of this goes with the hand to hand statistics they had for it. These weren’t what these scientists think that may happen, there were reasoning behind what they put out to the world. Psychologist Sir Frederic Charles argument were basically saying over time your memory will eventually change. The argument and logic he makes behind his statement were pretty simple. I bet if you can record yourself telling a story in 2018, by 2030 the same story you’ve been tell all these years will be a little bit different. This is how Frederic Charles argued his point. The more time the more the details change, That’s how I would restate what Mr. Charles said.
One is confident and the other is accuracy. People tend to mix these two which creates a huge conflict. Most of these examples was too broad and others was on point and gave just enough details to satisfy its audience.
The Arguments Chabris and Simons presented varies. They throw out different situations and different conflicts out there. The way they built their cases is by providing Rhetoric sequences. Logos came in when data was collected by more than 30 separate research labs. Pathos was expressed when Dr. Tyson apologies for the misconception about what he encounters and misunderstood about President bush’s speech due to his lack of memory. Ethos was brought out in numerous of ways. Brought out when Dr. Tyson credibility was crush because of misconception. Also, the way they can built their cases is by doing and providing more and more experience and statistic charts. Furthermore, when research labs show collective data, which can prove reliability. Chabris and Simons rely more facts and studies. Why? Because of you take information from whoever, it might or might not be accurate. So to prevent all of this, it’s better to get the facts and not opinions or what people think. Their tone as authors were open minded. They weren’t leaning in one direction but they were willing to provide different scenarios on about how memories can sometimes mislead you.  strong grasp of the readings and rhetoric. there are structural and grammatical errors, so please proofread your work and be sure all sentences are correct.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Work Cited
Chabris, Christopher F., and Daniel J. Simons. “Why Our Memory Fails Us.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 Dec. 2014,

Assignment 1 Joanna Ravachi team 20.


In the article ” Why our memory Fails us” Simons and Chabris tried to explain some ideas about misconceptions made about the memory. They talked about professional studies and historic events and how ethos, logos and pathos are involved. (not a thesis! please review thesis statements!) 

           In the article ” Why our memory Fails us” Simons and Chabris tried to explain some ideas about misconceptions made about the memory. They talked about professional studies and historic events and how ethos, logos and pathos are involved. The characters? what do you mean “characters” use different grammatical words which express a lot of emotions in the context. For example, if they are using some pronouns like “us” and “we”, we can assume that they are personally relating with the topic expressing a lot of emotions making some emphasis too to pathos. I think that the article is really good, interesting, different and adequate (too many adjectives, be concise) because we can realize that when Simons and Chabris are talking everything about the studies, they change their conversation to a more formal tone to gives authority to the authors which is really important in that moment.

       On the other hand, we can see that there are some ethos components in the article. At the end of article, we can see how the author gives their credentials, two psychologists, Cristopher F Chabris professor at Union College and Simons professor at University of Illions. (sp?) Proofread your posts please

         If we focus the article in logos, we can explain one anecdote to understand much better this part. Chabris and Simons started the article with an anecdote telling a kind of comment that Dr. Tyson said about Bush, saying that the memory does not require an article )memory could fail easily.  The authors focus this part in logos supporting the idea that how the memory is not solid or good (good is too vague, be specific) just because of a book of two psychologists called: Henry L Roediger III and K Andrew. At the end they realized that memories can transform with the confidence. please read about articles, ‘the’  I don’t quite understand why you are using them incorrectly. 

           After reading the articles I went to the top 3 comments In the “Readers Pick” and I could realize two appeals to pathos and one appeal to logos. The first comment was by Dr. Tyson when he apologized of his error which caused a lot of interest in the lector because of the importance of the feelings and emotions that the Doctor present.  The second comment is someone believing that Bush is not intelligent so he only use quotes to cover this defect. The third and  last comment  Is linked by pathos  because of the feelings that it presents and  the emphasis in the article of the wrong memory but with good intentions. I think that the top 3 comments are related to logos because each comment include their points of views and personal ideas.

         In my opinion, the New York Times comments is really good because it presents different opinions and ideas  from different people and different points of view, so it can and gives give you one a bigger field of view with more opportunities to study and critique  the topic in different and many ways. Sometimes there is some comments that should not be shared because of their content but in my opinion, they are good because it helps you to think MORE than you know.

“Thinking outside the box allows you to get rewards outside of your reach”

Matshona Dhilwayo

Hi Joanna, Please visit the Writing Center. They will help you in person. Your ideas are rather good, but your writing, sentence structure, and word choice needs improvement. I am sure you will improve with practice and assistance.











Ids 3309 Rhetorical Analysis Team 24


In the article “Why our memory fails us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons and the Article “Comment Is King” by Virginia Heffernan, both authors effectively provide information on subjects of matter using various rhetorical devices like logos, pathos, and ethos. Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons argue that our memory is not perfect, but our memory failures do not necessarily mean we are dishonest or incompetent. We should apologize when we make a mistake and be more understanding of others’ memory failures.


Here is the essence of the Chabris and Simons article. Your paragraph, which follows, needs some organization and clarity.

Chabris and Simons build their case with logos, relying on scientific studies of  memory. They establish the authority (ethos) of Tyson, an astrophysicist. They establish their own authority as psychologists (ethos). They refer to studies by Roediger and DeSoto, as well as Bartlett and the National Academy of Sciences. All of this scientific background  (logos) points to the fact that we are overconfident about our memory, but we can be very wrong. Our memory is not perfect. When we make memory errors, we should apologize, as Tyson does (this shows pathos, feeling). We should also show forgiveness toward others (pathos). 

In the reader comments, Tyson uses ethos (his reputation) and logos (his reasoning) to defend himself. He also uses some pathos (he is annoyed to have to explain himself). The second person, Dow, uses pathos (ridicule, irony) to make fun of George Bush, who frequently said stupid things while president. This reader comment is not so mcuh on target, although amusing. Finally, Jacob Sommer uses logos to defend Tyson (reasonable analogies) and he also uses emotion to ask us to be forgiving of one another’s memory failures. 


There is an abundance of stories or articles that have the ability to direct the readers appeal to the opinion of the author. In the article “Why our memory fails us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons and the Article “Comment Is King” by Virginia Heffernan, both authors do this. The Authors both use many Rhetorical devices to get their point across. Beginning in the title of Chabris and Simons article “Why our memory fails us” the title poses a deliberating question towards the reader. The authors use Logos to in this act, to question the memory of the audience. Chabris and Simons’ article is very prevalent in the use of logos and Ethos in their writing also. Providing trustworthy evidence from research that was done by astrophysicist and host of the Tv series “Cosmos” Neil Degrease Tyson and many others. As the authors add the profession of the Tyson, a form of credibility is established within the readers. It shows that Tyson’s background can back the information that he has cited. The Authors use ethos to appeal to the readers. Ethos is used in personal and relatable experiences spoken of throughout the distortion of memory. Personal appeal is a great way to catch the reader’s attention and possibly affect the opinion on a subject, which is what Chabris and Simons have done so great as it is shown throughout the readers pick in the comments section. “We all do this; it is a human frailty” stated by a concerned citizen. The use of “we” informs the reader there is sympathy show for Tyson. The commenters are effectively influenced by the use of Ethos and even Pathos. The commenter does not put Tyson at fault but instead give him grace.


+egins the article by giving the credibility of Anne Applebaum by incorporating her recognition. For example, being rewarded “the Worlds Most Sophisticated Thinkers” by Foreign policy magazine. The use of this provides a great source of intelligence and credibility just Chabris and Simons add in their article. While doing this, Virginia Heffernan also uses Pathos in the article by speaking on subjects that are very controversial like pro-immigration, pro-free trade and anti-torture. As Anne Applebaum’s ideologies on the topics are presented, the readers may easily be shifted either negatively or positively by the subject of matter. The audience may corolate as a woman who is fighting for equal rights with men. “Like no male columnist at The Post, Applebaum is regularly called “sweetie” and “dear” by commenters who disagree with her” is a quote from the Article and evidently shows how the author has some form of aggression towards the words that are said towards a woman. Heffernan, to end her article persuades the audience through using an emotional appeal through the use of pathos to show that the commenters are at fault as they compose lengthy comments on posts of journalists and readers like Heffernan.





Secrecy Assignment Hailey Brun Team 17

I will grade this when you repost it with your name and team number on top.

All of us at one point of our lives have been put into a situation where we must lie to protect a secret or someone with a secret. This information that we know and cannot tell another person can make us break our morals. I have experienced this a couple times in my life and it has shown me how secrecy and lying interrelate.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, I had just come home from school when I read a distant whimper from upstairs. I walked upstairs to find my sister crying on her bedroom floor. About an hour later I had learned that she had gotten three detention slips for the next three weeks and that our mother had to sign them. She was scared and so I told her I would sign the slips and not tell my mother of the incident. In that moment lying and secrecy are intertwined. I had told my mother that she was staying after school to complete tutoring so she wouldn’t be suspicious of her coming late.

This experience did empower me a lot because I had power over my sister with this secret that I promised to keep. I couldn’t tell my mom, or my sister would get in trouble. As an analyzed this situation from the past I can know see that this lie made anything I said less credible. This is because the information from the source already has a rep for lying could very well just lie again. For example, I thought I a lot about if my mom found out, I would be less credible to her because I had already lied first. This made me think a lot about lies, and that maybe helping my sister wasn’t worth the after effects.

To complicate the matter further, my sister told my other younger sister about the situation as well. However, my other sister used it to her advantage and wanted to breach confidentiality. She wanted to expose the secret for her own gain. This made me feel like I had to stop her from saying anything to my mom for my own benefit. I had to lie again in order for other sister not to tell the secret. I felt like one lie turned into another and I needed to tell more lies in order for no one to find out that I covered for my sister.

Looking back at the experience, I can clearly understand how lies and secrecy in interrelate. That just one lie or one more secret can make someone dig a deeper hole for themselves. In the end, my mother did find out about what happened and it did make me less credible. This has taught me how strong the power of information can be and how information had hold someone to their fate. Overall, lies and secrecy are seen a lot today in people with the  most high and powerful positions in the world. Very good job. You were able to analyze the layers and unfold them in an organized essay.