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Aristotle's Rhetoric

Tags:  Communication · Culture · History
While the first 40% of the book, dealing with the various states of emotion and character men can take, feels like it should be broken out into its own work, the concepts are nonetheless required to show how the different styles of arguing can be applied depending on the demeanor of your audience. Once the emotion and character are out of the way, the parts of types and parts of an argument are discussed. For example you have political speech, which will deal primarily with the future, and forensic speech, which will deal primarily with the past; ceremonial speech is also covered, itself dealing with the past but being distinct from the forensic. The parts of an argument range from the body of evidence put forth, to the metaphors, fables, and other techniques that can be used to cement your view in the collective mind of the audience. All of this is tied together showing you how the emotions, passions, and character of your audience, plus your disposition, how you appear, and how you sound, are all as, if not more, important than your argument itself.

The Human Use of Human Beings

The same way signals can control an electronic machine, messages can control the human machine; feedback can amplify or attenuate these messages for maximal impact. Messages delivered via the global communication network beget a world state where those that control of the media will compel cooperation or ruin to all who stand against it. These controlling messages can be hidden in the white noise of unneeded communication, which will give rise to a proliferation of useless communication and will likely dumb down of both sender and receiver. Eventually the machine delivering the messages, through automation [AI], will start to make decisions on its own and we might very well find ourselves making a bargain with a monkey paw machine that won't understand our nuance delivering us straight into hell. Alternatively, the machine may never be out from under the thumb of the ruling class yet through their lust for control lead us to a different, albeit irrelevantly so, hell.

Cybernetics - or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

General systems theory, often called cybernetics, is concerned with, most generally, mathematically modeling feedback loops in mechanical, biological, ecological, economic, and other kinds of systems. The idea was birthed by the author, Norbert Weiner, with collaboration of his colleagues around Princeton University. These scientists, recognizing the importance in what they were only beginning to understand, employed the assistance of a plethora of other scientists through various venues, the most famous being what are today known as the Macy Conferences, a multidisciplinary conference where ideas, hitherto unrelated, were unified. On the biological front, man is viewed through the lens of cybernetics as a clockwork automata, a biological machine, a golem, that can be manipulated by varying social and environmental conditions. The social implications of such a view are all pervasive today in the realm of media, religion, education, and any other aspect of life one might consider; from the benign advertiser to the power hungry politician, cybernetics, for better or worse, has been and will continue to shape the world around us.

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