Read for today: Chapters 7 & 8, Situating Research (link under announcements) + Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (excerpt under files) Kairos Day #3 (due within 24 hours)

Read for today: Chapters 7 & 8, Situating Research (link under announcements) + Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (excerpt under files) Kairos Day #3 (due within 24 hours)
Kairos, in rhetorical theory, is defined as an adaptation of a discourse to a given moment in time. For our current political moment, this will mean a reflection and response to events and controversies that now, thanks to digital and social media, move at lightning speed. On the day of (Tues or Thurs) I will post a topical prompt (based on a reading and/or current issue surrounding politics and media) under the heading Kairos day #1, Kairos day #2, and so forth. The goal will be 300 words, and due the next day (to approximate in-class writing). Spend about 30-60 minutes on this, focusing mostly on substance. Ive based these on local, national, and international issues in the past, and I will plan to integrate our reading material and course content into the prompts, as this will help you demonstrate another form of participation. Im also happy to receive topic suggestions that fit with the class via email!
choose from EITHER the analytical option (Option #1) or the creative/speculative option (Option #2). (Both options have both elements, but one is more dominant than the other)
Option #1 (analytical)
How does Carl Sagan’s “Demon-Haunted World” relate to current clashes of epistemologies (ways of thinking and knowing about the world) and values between scientific expertise and political expedience? In what ways does Sagan apply quantitative values and epistemologies (and methods!) to our political system in his chapter on patriotism (ch. 25, last section of excerpt). Do Sagan’s perspectives and methods still seem viable, valued, and/or ideal, in our own political circumstances? You may also consider here connections b/t the epistemology Sagan believes in and the methods (balony detection, ch. 8 of the ebook) of quantitative research.
Option #2 (creative/speculative)
Imagine you are interviewing a still-alive Carl Sagan. Write a (brief, 300 word) script of this interview. What questions will you ask of him, and how do you think he would respond to current issues and controversies? Still think here, as with option #1, about epistemologies, the scientific method, and political events.
Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my childrens or grandchildrens timewhen the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and whats true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.”The post Read for today: Chapters 7 & 8, Situating Research (link under announcements) + Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (excerpt under files) Kairos Day #3 (due within 24 hours) first appeared on Quality University Essay.

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