digitalrhetoric   195

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Agency and Autonomous Monsters in the Age of Fake News
Abstract:

This poster session will analyze the uses and abuses of digital rhetorics by the "alt-right," and explore the question of whether we are preparing our students for a treacherous and unstable reality, or providing aid and comfort to the enemy.
Proposal:

This poster session will explore one of the deep and abiding fears of teachers of rhetoric: that our methodologies, datasets, theories and instruction may be put to use in the service of powerful institutions and organizations that may not share our most deeply-held values. As a discipline, we both crave and fear the validation that the use and abuse of our rhetorical products entails. Hart-Davidson and Ridolfo, in their intriguing #rhetops project (RSA 2016) describe the abuses of rhetoric in asymmetrical conflicts, citing as examples the outsourcing of social media propaganda by Daesh (ISIL/ISIS), the rise of fake news bots and their influence on U.S. politics, the looming threat of autonomous writing technologies, and the fragmentation of authorship. I will trace some of the historical antecedents of these legitimate anxieties, and add to the list another potential threat, that of the misappropriation of digital, rhetorical tools and theories by what has come to be known collectively as the “alt-right.” The line between a tool and a weapon is often tentatively determined by ideology. This poster session will analyze that line and the ethics and problems associated with arming or empowering our students with powerful digital tools.
Tags:
rhetops
digitalrhetoric
rhetoric
altright
fakenews
rhetops  rhetoric  digitalrhetoric  altright  fakenews  cw2018 
yesterday by craniac
designing rhetorical technologies of deliberation – digital digs
As I’ve discussed here in the past and has become a recurrent topic in the field, Ian Bogost’s conception of procedural rhetoric highlights the way in which digital media can undertake rhetorical, persuasive objectives through its design and computational procedures. Adding in the kinds of insights Mark Hansen brings about the way ever-faster technologies constitute a kind of precession of deliberation, making decisions for us before we even realize there are decisions to be made, we find ourselves in a situation where it is necessary to acknowledge, investigate, and intercede in the ways our media ecology encourages particular cognitive and agential capacities in our relations with it.
digitalrhetoric  design 
5 weeks ago by craniac
The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students - The Washington Post
Those traits sound more like what one gains as an English or theater major than as a programmer. Could it be that top Google employees were succeeding despite their technical training, not because of it? After bringing in anthropologists and ethnographers to dive even deeper into the data, the company enlarged its previous hiring practices to include humanities majors, artists, and even the MBAs that, initially, Brin and Page viewed with disdain.
work  education  humanities  English  3030  google  digitalrhetoric 
8 weeks ago by craniac
George Lakoff: In Politics, Progressives Need to Frame Their Values « George Lakoff
What progressives call “rational arguments” are not normal modes of real reason. What counts as a “rational argument” is not the same for progressives and conservatives. And even the meaning of concepts and words may be different. Cognitive linguists have learned a lot about how all this works, but few progressives have studied cognitive linguistics. For a thorough review of such differences, take a look at my book Whose Freedom?, which shows how reasoning about freedom can take two utterly different forms for progressives and conservatives.
logic  digitalrhetoric  3010 
october 2017 by craniac
research - changemyview
Tan, C., Niculae, V., Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, C. & Lee, L. (2016) Winning Arguments: Interaction Dynamics and Persuasion Strategies in Good-faith Online Discussions, Proceedings of the 25th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW'2016).

"Changing someone's opinion is arguably one of the most important challenges of social interaction. The underlying process proves difficult to study: it is hard to know how someone's opinions are formed and whether and how someone's views shift. Fortunately, ChangeMyView, an active community on Reddit, provides a platform where users present their own opinions and reasoning, invite others to contest them, and acknowledge when the ensuing discussions change their original views. In this work, we study these interactions to understand the mechanisms behind persuasion.
We find that persuasive arguments are characterized by interesting patterns of interaction dynamics, such as participant entry-order and degree of back-and-forth exchange. Furthermore, by comparing similar counterarguments to the same opinion, we show that language factors play an essential role. In particular, the interplay between the language of the opinion holder and that of the counterargument provides highly predictive cues of persuasiveness. Finally, since even in this favorable setting people may not be persuaded, we investigate the problem of determining whether someone's opinion is susceptible to being changed at all. For this more difficult task, we show that stylistic choices in how the opinion is expressed carry predictive power."
digitalrhetoric  3010 
october 2017 by craniac
The Internet - Peter ​Garritano
Powerful photo essay on a "cloud" computing server farm. Shows what the "internet" looks like while also revealing the old slogan: "The Cloud is just somebody else's computer."
visualrhetoric  internet  photography  digitalrhetoric  cloudcomputing 
july 2017 by stevej27
the digital cul de sac in rhetoric and composition – digital digs
I’ve been catching up on some reading this summer and took a look at Courtney Werner’s article in the most recent CCC issue, “How Rhetoric and Composition Described and Defined New Media at the Start of the Twenty-First Century.” She looks at definitions of new media in some 70 articles across four journals: CCC, Research in the Teaching of English, Kairos, and Computers & Composition. Though her method is different, the impetus reminds me of Doug Eyman’s parallel investigation of how the discipline defines digital rhetoric (in his book Digital Rhetoric).

So if the future is so bright, why call it a cul de sac? While the diagram of the cul de sac neighborhood is static, the movement across it maps a series of detours and enfoldings. This has always already been the case with rhetorical practice as technology. Rather than imagining driving around and around, imagine instead a process of weaving or tempering steel or lab experiments or recording music and video: recursive processes that eventually have their recursions, their detours, built into technologies. Imagine writing itself for that matter. From that shift in perspective, one can pick up the disciplinary cul de sac neighborhood and put it to work doing something else.
digitalrhetoric 
july 2017 by craniac
This Cincinnati tire shop gave a nod to Baby Driver, and Edgar Wright noticed
Interesting article about a tweet from a Cincin-based store, and its "prof writer." Questions raised about the value of virality and circulation for businesses (prof writing question). Also raises a related question of whether or not this is news, and if so, when did circulation become news?
virality  circluation  viral  socialmedia  digitalrhetoric  newsjacking  profwriting 
july 2017 by stevej27

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