Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Polarized Nebraskan

Polarization Present in the 

Daily Nebraskan

Based on the article 

"Voting is a privilege for contributing members of society"

     Throughout this class, we have been exposed to multiple works from experts on polarization in the United States and in specific communities. One piece of writing I stumbled across is not by an expert, but certainly someone with a strong opinion. Zach Nold in the Daily Nebraskan gives a unique and provoking idea set, which caused pandemonium in the online and traditional readers. 


The Article

     In this article, Nold proclaims that only members of society who contribute more than they receive may vote in elections. Therefore, people who get 50% or more government financial assistance would not be able to vote based on a new law he would like created. There would, of course, be exceptions for people who are disabled, have already worked for 40+ years, and are receiving VA benefits. Now, logically, this opinion is very skewed to the republican side. However, I would like to focus on the polarizing effect it had after citizens read the article rather than the ideas in it. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sneaky Slogans

It’s truly amazing the effect that a simple slogan can have on a political campaign. Since William Henry Harrison began the trend in 1840 with “Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too” the slogan has been a vital tool in capturing the minds of Americans. In the current election we can track the popularity of slogans using social media to see how often they are mentioned. Since everyone and their mother are involved in some sort of social media it’s fairly easy to see which slogans the American people are getting attached to, but why? What makes a slogan effective?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Memes Erme Gward

A meme as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” These pictures, videos, slogans, and more have swept the internet and made us all gawk and say “Erme Gward Intrenert.”

Pressure on the Videographer

Videographers and video editors in today’s society have a lot of pressure put on them, and not just professionals, but amateur videographers as well.  Professional videographers and editors are pressured by their companies to put out a good product that people will enjoy.  Amateur videographers who post on sites like YouTube want to have videos that will receive a high number of views because often times they can be paid for ads on their videos based on the number of times the video is viewed.

A Heated Debate Indeed!

As the election grows ever closer and closer, I am sure all of you are asking yourself, which of the two candidates should I vote for? Which one's ideals align most to mine?

Wason’s Task and Confirmation Bias
Chris Duerschner
Confirmation bias shows up pretty much wherever you find opinions.  Some would even say that opinions are only possible because of confirmation bias, or at least a precursor to it.  The basic gist of the concept is that people tend to filter out those things that conflict with their convictions and only perceive those that reinforce them.  The focus of this post is not, however, to explore the extent to which confirmation bias occurs or to detail its underlying mechanism, but to explain the experimental evidence that shows it does occur.  Because confirmation bias is such a simple event; it makes sense that the most well known study that demonstrates it is also simple. 

"The Party of No"?: Considering the Contemporary Manifestations of Raum and Measel's "Monolithic Opposition"

Over the course of the semester, we've learned of countless specific polarizing rhetorical techniques.  In order to contextualize their often technical definitions in the academic pieces we read, it seems necessary to consider their manifestations in the contemporary political climate.  Monolithic opposition, as described in Raum and Measell’s study, is the way in which an entity perceives or attempts to portray an oppositional force itself, rather particular elements of its ideas as unequivocally and consistently unreasonable.  As a rhetorical strategy of subversion, it derives its effectiveness from other polarizing tactics that work to establish the perception of a clearly defined battle in a political debate.  In presenting the interactions of his or her political party with another as militaristic, a politician tends to use motive disparagement (presenting the opposition’s motivations as despicable), and artificial dichotomy (portraying debate as having only two distinct positions).  These various tactics work in concert to present the same war-like picture and begin to create a frame of reality wherein the idea of a monolithic opposition is a natural extension of logic.