Works-in-Progress

11/02/16

Blog Post Revised

Original: This article is simply one of the greatest rhetorical texts I have read in a while. It perfectly manages to convey ideas as complex as human neuromechanics, robotics and gait analysis in a nice to read article. Schramski takes a bunch of technical definitions, historical background facts and new scientific breakthroughs and mixed all of them in some kind of story full of twists and turns. From the anecdote of a ultra runner he builds up an argument about the complexity of biomechanics to then introduce us to the world of robotics and the new attempts to meet our biological capacities, finally living us with the whats next then? question.

Revised: This article is simply one of the greatest rhetorical texts I have read in a while. It perfectly manages to convey ideas as complex as human neuromechanics, robotics and gait analysis in a nice to read article. Schramski takes a bunch of technical definitions, historical background facts and new scientific breakthroughs, for example “…But really, it is complicated. Most biomechanical studies deal with how we negotiate smooth surfaces, perhaps with changes in inclination. Even that is tricky. We are unstable creatures: Both walking and running are a continuous state of imbalance in which one leg supports our body while the other goes through a swinging motion. Somehow our bodies and brains tame the instability and make it productive… Agility relies on cognition that occurs at a high level in the brain, but never breaks into conscious awareness.” And mixed all of them in some kind of story full of twists and turns “He calls upon his experience as a health practitioner—he was a physical therapist before he went full-time as an ultrarunner—when discussing matters as complex as neuromechanics and as simple as exhaustion. But for all his knowledge, he isn’t quite sure how he manages to jog these trails without twisting an ankle or falling flat on his face. ‘Well, you just do it,’ he says. ‘You get in the rhythm, the flow. There’s a lot to keep track of, but actually it’s not all that complicated’.

Using both scientific definitions of biomechanics and a discussion of the study of our amazing ability to uncounciusly coordinate our movements, and the anecdote of a ultra runner he builds up an argument about the complexity of biomechanics as he lets us build an image of the runner. Together they provide the reader with an ilustrative and full of information that makes the understading of the main argument more light and straighfoward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/30/16

Values in Science

For this project, we will focus on how people exploit science as a way to profit for themselves. Our first text is one on climate change from Science Tales, by Darryl Cunningham and our second text is a YouTube video from Stephen Colbert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29L2C5OI1Rg

Our transformed text will be a podcast, so naturally the genre will be an informative podcast. The medium that we compose in is through the internet (via soundcloud for example) or related areas (+ GaTech students). The main value that we want to delve into is greed and how it is used in society. Greed can be interpreted in many ways, but here we are only focusing on the use of greed in science, as a way for big businesses to higher their profits. We chose this value and these texts primarily as a way to bring awareness to how present this greed is in our society; not only is it humanely wrong, but also it is ruining and even killing people’s lives, and more people should be educated about it. As we develop as a scientific society, science and new technology should be used as a way to better the commonwealth, to expand our horizons. Yet we face the struggle of science being misused to improve the lives of a few people, meanwhile stepping over the lives of the general public. Also, as Georgia Tech students, having a big focus on science and in particular engineering, we feel like we have a moral obligation to focus on these topics and to be aware of this is the world.

The distribution of work will be pretty even, with all of us having the same roles to make the podcast, edit it, and ultimately deliver a presentation incorporating it. We expect for the next week to analyze these two texts in great detail, and then to begin the podcast by the end of the week. Then in the following week, we want to record the podcast and then focus on our presentation. Lastly, we feel that a group team would better the argument of this project since there will be much more ideas on the table coming from different people, and different ways to interpret these ideas (hence the podcast).

 

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08/29/16

  1. Describe your process. Which steps did you find most effective? Least?

I first sat down and just started brainstorming some ideas, what if I do this and then this… or I could first record this and then talk over it, should I record myself or something else while I speak to the microphone? After this brainstorming process I grab a piece of paper and started to draw in little boxes what each scene of the video would look like and how I could best connect all of this ideas. Both of this techniques were really effective for me, since I was able to clear my mind of everything else and truly focus on the way I wanted to convey my information.

  1. What part of your project did you find most effective?

I believe that the most effective part is the stop motion drawings combined with my voice explaining them. Through this method I was able to express my ideas through not only one but three modes of communication (verbal, written and nonverbal) which I believe makes ideas more easy to understand.

  1. If you could redo any part of your project process, what would you change? Why?

If I had to change something I would definitely improve the recording techniques of my video. Even though they are clear in mean and goal, I believe they could have been recorded with a better camera or at a different time to capture the perfect natural light and avoid some of the environment sounds.

 

09/11/16

Spinning Science

Ad: http://blog.tonicinternational.com/uncategorized/kill-the-red-with-croma-eye-drops/

“Kill the red” is an advertising campaign from an eye drops company called Croma which consist in three pictures depicting metaphors of itchy eyes. By comparing eye itchiness (a situation that almost all of us have been through) to fire, a snake bite and arrows it over exaggerates the feeling, encouraging the viewer to buy the product and avoid having to feel the so terrible pain depicted in the pictures. It also implies the scientific fact that this brand of eye drops cures eye itchiness; most of us probably don’t know what chemicals constitute the liquid but somehow the ad makes you trust this product.

All of this successfully manages to combine implied scientific value and rhetorical Pathos appeal to convey the perfect, easy to understand, advertisement. Also, the thing that makes this ad so effective is how easy it is to understand and its ability to instantly appeal to the viewer’s emotions.

The Pathos mode of persuasion is used by appealing to the viewer’s fear and self-consciousness that eye itchiness is not a fun feeling and it should be avoided if possible. Through the use of metaphors, a rhetorical figure used in the Pathos mode of persuasion, the ad compares eye itchiness with graphic representations of fire burning an eye, a snake about to bite an eye and arrows hitting an eye, extreme ideas that immediately make the viewers even more conscious of the seriousness of eye itchiness.

On the other hand, this ad poses an implied scientific value. Once the viewer understands the problem the ad conveys he or she asks themselves: what is the solution? The first thing that comes to mind, obviously, is the product that literally just reminded you of this problem. And even though most people just buy the product because the rhetorical strategy worked and it was good enough reason to buy it there is something more under it. The fact that this liquid “magically” cures eye itchiness is not magical at all, is just plain science. Therefore, the fact that a person trusts this product implies a scientific value on the product that is not necessarily textually stated.

09/16/16

Spinning Science Peer Review

1.-

Ryan:

Rhetorical Awareness: Competent

Stance: Competent

Development of ideas: Mature

Organization: Developing

Conventions: Competent

Design for medium: Competent

Falcon:

Rhetorical Awareness: Mature

Stance: Competent

Development of ideas: Competent

Organization: Competent

Conventions: Mature

Design for medium: Mature

2.-

I learned that when I write I am unsuccessful in communicating exactly what I meant. I try to use fancy words and sometimes over exaggerates arguments leading the reader to confusion.

3.-

If I had the chance to revise my text I would keep the main idea and supporting arguments but I would definitely change the wording and organization of my ideas. Basically I would rewrite the same text using different words.

 

09/21/16

Differences between articles

1. The popular science article poses a simpler view of the issue explained in the GaTech article.

2. The GaTech article uses rhetorical strategies like Ethos to support their ideas, while popular science doesn’t.

3. The audiences of both articles are different.

4. The popular science article summarizes the information of the GaTech article.

5. The level of knowledge to understand the articles are different .

 

09/25/16

Transforming Tech Science

Many times scientific publications which are aimed to inform the general public about a new important breakthrough fail to do so simply because most people find them boring and tedious to read. In consequence, important discoveries that influence people’s lives fail to reach a considerable amount of people, unable to carry out their own purpose. For example, Einstein’s theories of relativity are a set of very complex topics that many people don’t understand. In particular, their explanation of how gravitational waves result from vibrations in the fabric of space-time. But the problem is not that the information is not understandable, it is the way it is being conveyed to the general public.

The goal of this project is to try to convert abstract texts about gravitational waves, something that comes from Einstein’s theory of general relativity, into a song and interview that makes the topic very simple and easy for the people to understand (and funny too).

Our original text is a non-fiction scientific article found in in the CRA (center for relativistic astrophysics) section of GaTech’s webpage. This article was written through the medium of the internet so that it can be presented to a wider audience. Also, this text uses written information about gravitational waves as a whole, in addition to experimental results from researchers, and even graphs to support the discovery (written and visual modes of communication).

The transformed text will be a song about the article and gravitational waves as a whole, with an interview at the end. The genre of this song will be rap/hip-hop and the medium through which we communicate this song will still be the internet since that is how we will display our work. The reason we chose to do a rap is because it is a much more laid back and casual way of presenting information that can be unclear in the original article. Many people will not read an article for fun, but they might want to hear a catchy song. In addition, the genre and the actual song as a whole will elicit a wider audience, since most people wouldn’t read this article for fun. Besides the song we will conduct an interview with the artists who wrote the song in order to fill in any information not covered in the song.

The workload for this project will be distributed as follows: out of the four members in our group two will be in charge of the rapping, one for the chorus and one for creating and conducting the interview. The ones in charge of the rapping will meet on their own this Tuesday to create a rough draft of the rap. The person in charge of the interview will create the interview by Friday in order to edit it and create our final work. The last member of our group will be in charge of editing both the rap/hip hop lyrics, and the final song itself. We plan on having these steps done by Saturday, when we will all meet together and fix the minor details left as well as create our presentation for the week that follows.

This argument challenges the received idea that scientific publications have to be presented in a formal and technical medium.

video: https://youtu.be/jWkLtUkVKCY

Reflection

In my opinion the transformation of the Georgia Tech article to a song plus an interview successfully managed to transmit the information conveyed in the first one in an easier and fun way that brought a bigger amount of receptors to the same information. As students we knew more than anyone that this information posted in a scientific article was not appealing to the Georgia Tech’s student body, so we decided to take the exact same information and transform it into a funny rap followed by a gracious interview that conveyed the information at the same time it entertained our audience. This is why the genre chosen by our group perfectly accommodated our purpose: It made a heavy to read information easily understandable to any Georgia Tech student, and even more important more appealing to the student eye. During this project we worked in equal parts, and even though we all were part of the whole creation process each one had a specific task. Mine was to create and conduct the interview that followed the song. I personally enjoyed taking care of it, it was hard to create sarcastic jokes that actually could made the audience but once we started recording some of them just flowed by improvising. Our group mainly faced problems doing the song since we had to actually make scientific facts rime to the rhythm of a known song. In conclusion I think we managed to accomplish the goal of this project and sincerely wouldn’t make any change to our project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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