Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

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Multimodality and Persuasion

Damon Zex's MTV is DEAD! video amuses me - something that puzzles me is how much of that is the use of subtitles to underly the main points he's making. Visual aids have long been considered part of making a point, but use of them to make a visual underline of points made feels different in nature from adding background - it feels to me like his text is meant to add a feeling of "officiality" to what's said. Compare this to the (also highly questionable, but not intended to be funny) use, in L Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, where he uses each page's footer as an opportunity to (re)define any terms the user might not be completely familiar with. I suspect it'd be difficult to find a way to do the "we agree!" restatement in a book - the viewer needs to be already distracted/under a time crunch to not find such things ridiculous, while the opportunity to redefine common terms would be difficult to fit into a time-tied presentation. Both, I think, are particularly dangerous for people who are not good at critical thinking, although the world in general is a dangerous place for those people. I believe critical thinking can and should be taught at a fairly young age - at least as early as middle school.

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