New Technologies against Creativity in Writing
Today, April 15, 2013, when I visited my Twitter account, I found an article “The massive computerized professor: The future of testing and higher education will be one of laziness.” retweeted by Trent M. Kays. I thought it could be interesting for students to find out more about new technologies which allow replacing or substituting traditional way of checking essays. The author says that EdX, an online course enterprise created by Harvard and Massachusetts, created a program which allows to check and grade students’ essays online. Trent writes that students will have an opportunity to get instant feedback and professors will not waste time grading the papers. The author’s position is against that because he believes that if a computer cannot write, why should it grade our essays? Additionally, Trent says that what computer says doesn’t make sense because it cannot feel as people do. I totally agree with Trent because I have been at a situation when my essays were evaluated by a computer system. I think it was unfair evaluation. For example, GMAT test offers a writing section which has a certain standard you should follow. This program counts your mistakes, the length of writing, and clear evidence of the claim. Sounds good, isn’t it? I don’t think so because a computer system cannot evaluate creativity and quality of ideas. Moreover, in reality short essays could be much better and rhetorically more effective than long ones, but the system values long essays. GMAT instructors say that we should write as much as we can and try to include numbers which could be not real. This is done to prove that we can provide some evidence and prove our claim. It made me think of coercion or violence in relation to people by new technologies. Why should I try to understand the program whether the computer program should understand me? Why can a computer system decide whether I pass an exam or not? Why should I kill my creativity and experience stress? I cannot understand that. Therefore, I support the author’s position about inability of computers and computer systems to evaluate accurately student’s essays.
“Massivity” and Problems of Effective Writing In The Social Media
In April 15, 2013 Trent M Kays posted on Twitter a phrase, “Academics are trained to stop and think about what they’re doing, yet when it comes to “massivity,” some adapt blindly.” This post made me think of two things: an interesting rhetorical situation at the social media and assumption of why academics might adopt blindly some staff when it comes to “massivity”.
I think this sentence is a great example of a rhetorical situation at the social media because when writers or contributors usually use quotation marks and not give a definition, a reader may be confused and misinterpret the idea. In this case when the author uses the word “massivity”, it may be interpreted by different people differently. For example, in this context, for me personally, “massivity” could mean active writing at the social media platforms or something dirty, unethical, and stupid. Thereby, I suppose that Trent wants to say that when active unethical or stupid writing at the social media appears, academics also tend to join this conversation and ignore classical styles or rules of academic writing. It made me think of the phenomenon of crowd. In other words, it means that when many people do something together, another person is more likely to join them because of shared risk and responsibility. Consequently, Trent’s idea points out on academics who may behave differently at a social media platform rather than in the classroom or other professional environments. I think that the author’s ethos here refer to contradiction of an academic status and people’s emotions. This is my understanding of Trent’s post, but another person can understand it differently. Therefore, there may be a problem of effective writing at the social media. To make writing clear, writers and contributors should provide definitions of words or phrases which they put into quotation marks.
Social Media Business and Ethics Issues
Today, April 15, 2013, Justin Hodgson wrote a comment which showed his reaction to advertisement at the social media. He writes, “Clicked CBS News site to see news on Boston Marathon explosions. Had to watch Viagra commercial first before live feed began. Seriously?!”. This phrase made me think of the line between making business at social media and basic principles of morale.
I admit that it is unethical when CBS News shows Viagra commercial at the time of maximum visits to the website because of the tragedy. We cannot tolerate this. At the same time, we should understand that this is business. Showing commercials the company earns money. However, where is the line between the desire to get profit and stay humane? There is no the only answer. I believe that we should seek an answer in our culture, ethical norms, and basic understanding of capitalism. I think that companies should be ethical and give an opportunity to people choose whether watch a commercial or not. Otherwise, these commercials are not effective. In the contrary, they may promote negative perceptions and attitude to brands which are advertised, especially at the moments of national and international grief and some kind of nervousness. Thereby, I understand and support Hodgson’s reaction to the commercial which may offend somebody’s feelings.