Here are some things to think about…
• Bear in mind this isn’t an exhaustive guide to
what might be on the exam, but I promise
reading over all of this will help you.
• You should re-read all of the posts your
classmates made about specific rhetors, too
• And skim over the readings again.
• Pro tip for any exam, but particularly for mine:
pay attention to the things *I* stressed, since I’m
writing the questions. I’m likely to ask about texts
The exam itself
• Will be on Niihka, starting Monday, due by
• It’s timed. You get 2 hours and 30 minutes.
• It’s 16 questions, several of which are short
• It is meant to be relatively painless unless you
haven’t been paying attention/doing the
readings. In which case it might sting.
Remix is Like…
Remix is the act of taking one or more cultural
artifacts-- visual, video, audio, and/or
alphabetic texts- and deliberately mixing
elements together to create something new
that often specifically mimics one or more of
the sources. Many remixes are meant to be
satirical or overtly political, though satire is
The problem rises….
If you look at my definition, you see the
problem really, really early on: “you take one
or more cultural artifacts”– stress on the
“take.” On the next few slides are some remix
images I’ve made myself recently, just for kicks.
Yeah, I’m a big ol’ remix for fun nerd.
Key issue: IP law
The question here becomes “whose intellectual
property are these things?”
Are those mine? I “made” them, but I didn’t
make them from a blank slate. Am I allowed to
just borrow that stuff?
Let’s ask a lawyer!
Lessig on IP law
• Lessig declares that he has the following
–He is anti-piracy
–He is anti-war (meaning law vs. creators
–He is anti-lawyer and anti-lobbyist (he
includes himself here, so he’s anti-Lessig,
Lessig is like,
• “We need to hear less from lawyers and
lobbyists and more from artists [about who
• " This is a relationship
which is translated
to digital technology
player piano – “pirated” sheet music
radio– “pirated” records
cable TV– “pirated” network TV
betamax– “pirated” TV and movies
But as these were regulated, the law
always waited to see “the potential
of the technology.”
We Didn’t Start the Fire…
• “...this is not the first time radical new
technologies have appeared and changed the
way that culture gets made and distributed.
This is a constant theme...”
• But… The law favored the pirate in those old
cases. It is now "fit the technology
to the law" and not "fit the law to
Kress tells us:
“The approach from Social Semiotics not only draws
attention to the many kinds of meanings which are at
issue in design, but the “social” in “Social Semiotics”
draws attention to the fact that meanings always relate
to specific societies and their cultures, and to the
meanings of the members of those cultures.”
These images have meaning…
…because we know them.
They emerge from our culture and are reinforced by our culture.
That isn’t this, is it? = SOr is it?
Benjamin, who I promise is not the bad guy from Apt Pupil
even if he looks like him, reminds us:
“In principle a work of art has always been reproducible.
Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men.
Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by
masters for diffusing their works, and, ﬁnally, by third
parties in the pursuit of gain.”
Wysocki reminds us:
“Because we have all grown up in densely visually
constructed environments, usually with little overt
instruction or awareness of how the construction takes place,
it is easy to think of the visual elements of texts as simply
happening or appearing…as though… television sitcoms were
the result of a camera crew following a typical family
through their day.”
This remind you of your friends sitting
And these are just normal people enjoying
What Wysocki would ask us to do is…
..ask why. Think about why those images are
And maybe more importantly… why don’t
people think about it/why isn’t it sort of a big
deal to most Americans?
Starting with Aristotle
Aristotle, famed Greek thinker, is considered the
“Father” of rhetoric. His theories are many, but the
key foundation he formed for rhetorical theory can all
be mapped elegantly to a simple triangle.
Anyone remember that rhetorical triangle?
Moving to Cicero, we get the five canons of
Is akin to brainstorming. It’s about finding WHAT to
say. While the invention process might be peppered
with other things, it is primarily a moment of logic.
What do you want to say?
Arrangement is concerned with how the things
you want to say are put together. This can be as
simple as knowing what order you want to
present things in, but in technical
communication it has a great impact on things
like headings and figures as well as sequence and
visual arrangement on the screen.
Style is about ethos to a degree, and logos to a degree,
but it’s more than anything the home of pathos in
Cicero’s canons. HOW are you going to say what
you’re going to say? What’s your voice? How’s this
going to look?
Delivery is really the key to this whole system.
How are you going to GET what you want to say
TO the audience? Today, this is all about formats
and media, but it’s also about things like tone,
about choices like what type of paper to use,
email vs. fax, etc.
In Cicero’s time, you had to memorize anything you
delivered, lest you look silly trying to read from the
almost non-existent forms of paper you might find in
But the canon of memory isn’t as much about
remembering– it’s about knowing your material cold
so that you can switch-it-up if you need to. In the
business world the difference between being good
and being great is how you handle heat, and memory
here is a measure of that.
Names and ideas to be familiar with
1)All those rhetors from week 2.
2) Anyone in a video I had you watch for class
3) Kim Dotcom
4) DJ Dangermouse
5) Richard Dawkins
6) CM Punk/Kairos
7) Anything we read