Rhetorical Analysis Of The Great Forgetting By Nicholas Carr

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The Great Forgetting Nicholas Carr’s essay, The Great Forgetting, argues that automation causes employees to be less prepared and less skilled as they become over dependent on computers to do most of their work. Carr provided several examples of cases about pilots not knowing how to properly take control of the plane after the computers malfunction, taking the plane out of autopilot. Ultimately, it led to planes stalling and crashing; killing everyone in it. Instead of operating the plane manually, pilots become computer clerks as they turn their focus from piloting to monitoring the computers. Automation causes us to be disengaged from our work, decreases awareness, and gives us a false sense of security. Carr’s method of presenting ethos, …show more content…

However, Carr did not inform the readers his credentials and professional expertise throughout the essay. His profession is established at the end of the essay on a small footnote, which also provided his other essays and books. In the beginning of his essay, he establishes himself as a trustworthy source by discussing catastrophic events and providing small amounts of history. He also used quotes from historical figures such as the British mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead to make readers assume that he researched for his topic, which he did (90). Carr also provided opposing viewpoints by giving the reader’s quotes from theorists who are pro-automation and facts that prove humans can be “unreliable and inefficient” when they are responsible for operating simple tasks (93). Although he provided information from opposing views, Carr quickly refutes them by stating factors that counters the opposing statements. This method of counterargument discredits Carr’s authority because he rarely acknowledges the validity of the opposing statements, he focuses on the flawed aspect of …show more content…

He provided evidence such as the plane crashes caused by computer malfunctions. As we become over dependent on computers, we lose awareness to our surroundings and the mind starts to wander. Over time, some of the skills that has been learned are forgotten because they have not been used for long periods of time. Once the computer malfunctions and renders itself useless, we start to panic and try to correct it without fully understanding the problem. For data, Carr gives data such as how the human mind works when computers are involved. These data focuses on the anti-automation point of view. Statements such as, “psychologists have discovered some simple ways to temper automation’s ill effects”, can be found throughout the essay. In relation to statistics, he provides numbers such as the ones that represent the amount of people who died because of computer malfunctions. For example, a French plane was leaving Rio de Janeiro and was bound for Paris but later ran into a storm. The storm causes one of the plane’s sensors to give false readings and at the same time releases them from autopilot. The pilot’s lack of awareness to the situation causes him to commit an error, killing “all 228 passengers and crew members” (90). The sources that he used for all of the evidence, data, and statistics are not current. Most of the sources fall between to 2005

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