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YangQianchi_RHE

YangQianchi_RHE

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Published by Qianchi Yang

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Published by: Qianchi Yang on Nov 29, 2010
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02/03/2011

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Yang 1Qianchi YangErin Dietel-McLaughlinFirst Year Composition29 September 2010Technology and Us: What¶s The Reflection?Technology is something that is built by people yet remains mysterious to people themselves.It is something that serves as a tool but works in a complexity beyond that of tools. They areapplied every day aiming to better our lives. Day after day, people are getting used to the life based on all kinds of advanced technologies: waking up in the ringing of an electronic alarmclock, washing up with an electric motored toothbrush, walking straight to the fridge to get a bottle of skim milk, people start their days surrounded by technology. However, as stated inWinner¶s article ³Technological Somnambulism´, we seldom question about our acquaintance with technologies as they appear repeatedly and repeatedly(Catherine, 646).Are technologies leading us in the right direction? Or are we overly depended ontechnologies that we would probably lose ourselves? The battlefield for this debate has long been, and will continue to be, in fever. On one side of the battlefield, we have EllenDeGeneres, with her article
This Is How We Live
, representing the critics who warn people of their dependence on technologies; on the other side, we have Theodora Stites, who claim, in avery personal way, that technologies build her an asylum. Both articles are persuasive,enriched with tons of facts and details. However, from my perspective, DeGeneres¶ article ismore efficient in touching the audiences.Ellen DeGeneres is a well-known comedian and actress as well as the host of a talk show. Her 
 
Yang 2article, ³This is How We Live´
 ,
is published in her book 
The Funny Thing Is«
, which is oneof her best-selling books. In this article she put straightforwardly that she is frustrated by allthe technologies. Shejokes, in a comedian way, on how modern technology changed her lifein a way she does not wish to see. She believes that many of the inventions do not serveefficiently or properly. She recalls how she is disturbed by the auto-flush toilets which never work punctually²either too early or too late. She also believe that some of the inventions donot make sense, like the moving aisles in the airports²it is so embarrassing and puzzling ascene that people even need a transportation belt for themselves.
Can¶t they just walk?
³Weare just so lazy,´ DeGeneres concludes, ³they¶re just coming up with what I just don¶t think we need´; ³some things that don¶t need to be made easier are being made easier.´ (Catherine,589-590)On the other hand, Stites¶ article, ³Someone to Watch Over Me´, published on
 New York Times
, delivers a quite different opinion. Stites is a common person living in a regular lifelike everyone¶s. She depicts, in a very personal perspective, that her everyday life is ³cloakedin virtual intimacy.´ (Stites, ³Someone to Watch Over Me´)She emphasizes on how cyber communications filled her life: tons ofaccountsto different communities form the broadest tothe narrowest, satisfying herneed of intimacy in 360 degrees and offering continuousattention from others all day long. She gets online even before she gets up. As she comments,³Online, everyone has bulletproof social armor.´,Stites is thoroughly plunged into the cyber world. Virtual life, forStites, is everywhere.
 
Yang 3Both articles work efficiently in persuading their audiences. They work in a similar way, too.There are two rhetorical strategies that both passages applied, ethos and pathos:The first strategy is setting up ethos, that is, the credibility of the author.This strategy is, inessence, to lower the possibility of the authors being challenged or doubted. Usually theauthors will gain credibility by impressing their audiences with their academic achievement.However, Stites and DeGeneres, who hold few remarkable academic awards, instead achievethis strategy by appealing for a sense of agreement from their audiences, since in that waythey can bethought as a part of their audiences, and thus they can enjoy a high level of trustworthiness since they are already accepted.Both articles are filled with imagery of reallife experiences that efficiently raise the audiences¶ sympathy. One representative examplewill be DeGeneres¶ description of the automatic taps. She mocks ona very common scene thatwhen using the automatic taps, people have to move their hands back and forth repeatedlyunder the tap to complete a wash.This is, of course, an absurd scene that the taps actuallydisturb people. When DeGeneres makes the funny description, she actually bring herself a lotcloser to her audiences, since they are on the same side laughing at life¶s absurdity. By doingthis, DeGeneres can not only draw her reader¶s attention, but also reach an agreement between she and the readers.Another good example would be Stites¶ description on how sheflip through all her friends¶ (and friends of her friends) pages. She confess that sheincessantly scans through all her friends¶ posts and pictures to keep them on track, frommorning till night. She cannot live without the updates.As I read through these sentences, Isee familiar scenes unfold in front of me: checking my mails repeatedly, wasting time on

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