Evolution of Rhetorical Manipulation

Katie Kelly

I’m not a fan of the term the author’s coined. Considering they went through the trouble of further defining and clarifying velocity in a literal sense and then proceed to very loosely apply it to the topic of rhetoric. I was hoping for something a bit more quantifiable (not in the sense of numbers but something identifiable; see where my issue is with loose application of concrete terms?). The authors discuss delivery but do not expand on what enhances or slows this velocity and a large chunk of this article was only peripherally related to the subject in the title. Manipulation of content and rhetoric is a topic that needs to be explored more, but the approach via ‘rhetorical velocity’ only made the subject matter that much more difficult to find among the weeds.

Ram discusses this act of rhetorical manipulation in the sense of academics where it is evident and prevalent. The need to lay a basis for a paper one is writing comes from prior papers that also reference earlier papers for their own basis, and so on till the beginning of time. This means that an author is only giving a small window and frame of reference to previous conclusions, or only utilizing the parts they need or benefit from. Destiny pointing out the critical question of “Is it worth the time to do this?” when trying to think ahead for third party use of one’s content is something very interesting linked to the idea of academic referencing. The idea is to be perpetuated throughout literature so as an academic author you want to be referenced as many times as possible. As they say, “I don’t care what you say about me in the papers, just spell my name right”.

So what is with this idea of perpetuation in relation to manipulation of rhetoric? I always think of the book The Selfish Gene when it comes to this type of thing. The need to carry on one’s “self” or work is present in all things. Including rhetoric. Consider that the purpose wasn’t to be continuously referenced and your work perpetuated, then perhaps it is worth the time to try and write to counter act third party interpretations and ensure that your intended message is the only one understood. Would the third parties who are set on using the information as they see fit just learn new tactics to counter act and tear apart the measures taken to make one’s rhetoric solely the author’s? That is the evolution of these type of things after all, to perpetuate the work and acts done. Manipulation only becomes more sophisticated the more barriers you prop up.

Perpetuating Information

So WordPress changed their layout, so I don’t really know how to add a category, let alone do I know if I’ll figured out exactly what we are supposed to do.

Anyway, I think that what Ram is talking about in his post about the way social media interacts with the “rhetorical velocity and delivery” concepts brought up in our reading and how information continues to move forward. I really liked the way he thought about it in regards to remixing that continuously happens.

If we’re being honest, this blog post is going to be short and confusing because today has been so long, and I really just want to sleep. However, I am purposefully trying to make the stylistic decision that as I briefly, briefly, BRIEFLY discuss this topic, I am not doing any of my normal blog linking things. No pictures, not hyperlinks, not SNL clips. This is on purpose because the topic of this reading was literally about how we perpetuate knowledge in different platforms. So in my quest for irony, I will not be direct linking or inputting photos to further rhetorically veloci-fy them. Instead, we’ll just be talking plain text.

I’m sure I’m not making sense at this point, which doesn’t really worry me at all. My eyes feel as though they may jump out of my head at any moment.

Regardless, I thought it was interesting when Ridolfo and Devoss started talking about the format of information made me really interested. Especially when they connected it to the question of “Is it worth the time to do this?”

This is something I’ve been fascinated with since WRIT 205. I think that thinking about how economical you’re being with the information you’re trying to convey is a super important thing to think about when hoping that your message or information perpetuates forward so that more views/readers/whatever-you-wanna-call-ems can focus on it. How do we get more people to see what we’re doing? Who should see what we’re doing?

I don’t know the answers. And I can’t think critically one moment longer. Not that I was doing much before.

Thanks for having class outside today. I really needed the Vitamin D.

A third party mediated writing in digital space


Jim Ridolfo and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss proposed a new term ‘rhetoric velocity’ in the article “Composing for Recomposition: Rhetorical Velocity and Delivery” which should be taken into consideration while writing in current digital age of writing. They emphasized that digital space made it easy for a third party to recompose the work have already done by original authors. And this remix can turn into positive, negative or neutral outcomes for the audience. While composing your original text you should consider how vulnerable or flexible your text is and then strategize your composition to prevent or allow re-composition for possible negative or positive outcomes. Remixing is becoming more and more common in current digital age.

I think that strategizing your text for rhetorical delivery is very important. It is very common for celebrities, they often allege media on controversies have made on their opinion that media have distorted their statement. Whenever a celebrity writes a tweet on Tweeter, a Facebook status or a blog post, it is widely redistributed by third parties on same platforms and other news sources. Remixing has new flavors and more often turns in negative way if your text is not strategized. Who is responsible for this? A communicator or receiver? I remember, once a film star said, “I am only responsible for what I say, not for what you interpret” on a controversy arose from his statement. It is more evident when you are writing on a sensitive topic such as religious matter. If the federal or state government releasing an official statement on a particular issue, there are more and diverse possibilities of re-composition. In such cases, a writer can mold the information to resist re-composition.

In academics, official notifications or critical information are imbedded in secured pdf to prevent copy and paste, hence it will take more efforts in re-composition. On the other hand, most journal articles allow copy and paste to make it easy for citation. Online videos that are unable to download have less scope for remixing; if you want to distribute the content of video, you have to share whole clip including what you want to show and what you don’t. In contrast, if the video can be downloaded easily, then third party will download it and will likely share the only information they want to show by omitting other parts of the clip. In current highly diverse digital world, it is important to take into account your audience and shield your information from unwanted remixing.

For a writer, it is not a easy task of shaping his/her piece of writing from remixing by unpredictable or continuously changing third parties. I also think that you can’t exclude the possibilities of remixing your text by third parties or possibilities of turning it out in a negative outcome, but you can minimize it by having a thought of way of remixing by third party, in mind during composing original work. Writers need to be learn more about ‘rhetoric velocity’ from the current scenario of remixing.