All posts by Erin Godshall

logical fallacy/poster assignment

Part 1

-They could broaden their horizons and realize how the world is much larger than their limited life experience has shown them.

In this sentence “they” refers to elementary school children.  This is a hasty generalization, because I am making the assumption that children have no worldly experiences.  However, many children, such as children whose families participate in the military, have lived in multiple countries around the world.  I could specify the statement to talk about how the majority of American children do not travel abroad at a young age.

-For all the benefits of the internet, there are scholars who are extremely wary about the freedom that the internet hands a group of children who are anywhere between the ages of five and twelve.

This is a pretty blatant bandwagon appeal, combined with an appeal to authority.  I speak of how people who have higher education are wary of giving the internet to younger children.  This could cause some people to change their position in the argument even though it is not backed up by any evidence.  I either need to delete the sentence or rewrite it completely, because it’s not supported by any data.

Part 2

In regards to my poster, I think I’m going to divide the main section of the poster into four parts, each of which will correlate to the four topics in education that I cover within my paper.  For each portion, I want to find a picture that correlates to the subject.  For example, on the math section, I’m going to attempt to try and take a screen shot of an online math game.  On the sides of the poster, I’m considering putting a list of positives and negatives to computer use.  This may be difficult with the word limit, but I’ll do my best to be brief.

presentation reflection

Going through the process of putting my own presentation together made me realize multiple things.  Firstly, that my topic was still incredibly too broad.  Other students had topics similar to mine, and that made me realize that I needed to narrow my research into a more specific topic.  I went from a broad take on the relationship between technology and society to a more focused look at the role that computers play on the youth in public schools in the United States.  After giving my presentation, the questions helped me realize that I needed to pick some criteria.  I need to figure out exactly how I’m going to measure internet and computer usage in elementary schools as a failure or success.  Also, I need to make sure to stay on topic with one type of technology (internet), instead of straying into other things such as smart-boards or podcasts.


Gustafsson, Ewa, Peter W. Johnson, and Mats Hagberg. “Thumb postures and physical loads during mobile phone use – A comparison of young adults with and without musculoskeletal symptoms.” Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 20.1 (2010): 127-35. 12 Oct. 2010

Sanchez-Carbonell, Xavier, Marta Beranuy, Montserrat Castellana, Ander Chamarro, and Ursula Oberst. “Internet and cell phone addiction: Passing fad or disorder?.” Adicciones. 20.2 (2008): 149-59. 12 Oct. 2010

Sultan, Fareena, and Andrew J. Rohm. “How to market to generation m(obile).” MIT Sloan Management Review. Jun. 2008: 35-+. 12 Oct. 2010

Jeffrey Zaslow.  “The Greatest Generation (of Networkers). ” Wall Street Journal  4  Nov. 2009, Eastern edition: ABI/INFORM Global, ProQuest. Web.  12 Oct. 2010.

“College Students in the Digital Age. ” The Chronicle of Higher Education  11 Nov. 2005:  Research Library Core, ProQuest. Web.  12 Oct. 2010. 

I think that my most promising source so far is the section from Adicciones that explores internet and cell phone addiction.  While all the other sources are articles deal with the social consequences of cell phones on the newest generation, this article deals with the possible medical repercussions.  I think that I could find multiple pieces of evidence to support both the good and bad sides of technology use.  This piece of evidence is very useful because it is concrete fact rather than opinion.


I believe that Stallybrass is trying to make a point about being well researched.  One must know a topic extensively before they form their own opinions.  If someone forms an opinion without looking at the research already existing in an argument, then they could be forming a biased or uneducated ascertion.  This is not to say that people can’t have their own opinions, but to have something completely original would be highly unlikely.  It’s important to keep this in mind when researching because the contributions that any one researcher may have to the ongoing discussion of the topic may be small, and they should anticipate this.  If a researcher completely disregarded someone else’s past findings on the topic, then there would be no point to that research in the first place.

Research Journal 4

I am interested in researching the link between technology (specifically cell phones or computers) and stress levels because I want to find out how much of an impact constant use of technology has on our bodies and minds.  This is important because we as a culture as constantly “plugged in” and should know the consequences.

-Is there a connection between short term activity and high blood pressure?

-Do cell phones and computers disrupt people’s ability to focus on one task?

-Does technology have a particularly negative effect on any age group?

Enola Gay

Everyone who plays a different role in a situation has their own version of the story. The controversy of the Enola Gay illustrates how these different versions conflict as groups struggle to have their version be known as the “official story.” When the Enola Gay was displayed in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 1995, the exhibit received criticism from veterans and politicians. They believed that Japan was being portrayed as innocent rather than an aggressor in World War II. The Enola Gay brought conflict once more in 2003, when it was to have a special exhibit once more. Rather than show the Enola Gay in context with all of its history and controversy, the museum chose to simply show the Enola Gay as a piece of technology (a more in situ approach). This time the Smithsonian was accused of not giving enough historical background, which many believe to show indifference to its victims. The Smithsonian has clearly had a difficult time displaying the Enola Gay without having a biased exhibit. On one hand, there is the group who view the actions of the Enola Gay as a heroic act to protect the United States. The other contingency sees the atomic bomb as a horrible aggressive act against humanity. This leaves the Smithsonian in the tricky position of trying to present the facts without seeming to lean to one side or another, since this is a highly debated historical issue.


Wal-Mart as a company has dominated America as the model for retailing for the past few decades.  Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, built the company on a foundation of high volume, low prices and fast turnover.  The portion of the corporate website that deals with the philosophy of Wal-Mart speaks of how they save their customers money by offering the best deals. This way, they reason, their customers have extra money to invest elsewhere.  What Wal-Mart fails to explain on this page of their site is that to offer these remarkable prices, they have to purchase their manufactured goods from foreign countries, primarily China.  According to a program aired by PBS, Wal-Mart relies heavily on imports instead of domestically produced goods.  Many companies within the United States cannot afford to sell their products to Wal-Mart for the prices they ask and still pay their workers reasonable salaries.  Wal-Mart simply drops the manufacturer if they can’t adjust to their standards, which sends the message that the company needs to have a factory abroad for Wal-Mart to purchase from them.  It is also sadly ironic that while Americans can afford Chinese products through Wal-Mart, there are very few industrial workers in China who can afford American made merchandise.

lecture on trip to europe

Frederick Douglass not only believed in being well spoken, well written and well educated, he also strove to be well traveled.  He gave this lecture describing his time spent traveling in Europe.  Although the date it was given was not clear, one thing that is clear about it is that it has been edited, likely by Douglass himself.  This indicates that Douglass was meticulous, not content with simply arguing or speaking emotionally, but having a planned and powerful speech.  The true interest in the piece however, is the detail in which Douglass speaks of the foreign countries.  He sounds almost reverent, and his writing is extremely poetic, which is a sharp contrast to the way he describes the United States in The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass.  However, it also important to note that Douglass does not condemn the United States.  He recognizes that some people believe that the United States will someday be the pinnacle of Western civilization, and he hopes for this, rather than scorning this positive view.  This just shows his optimism, as many would likely have little forgiveness for a country in which they were a slave.  The questions that this lecture raises are Douglass’s reasons for going abroad.  Were they purely personal, an attempt to further his self-education?  Or did he wish to educate those in foreign countries and raise international awareness of slavery?  Perhaps he simply wanted to bring his knowledge back to the United States.  Further reading of his speeches may hold the answer for these questions.