COM 135 Rhetorical Analysis

COM 135 Rhetorical Analysis - Tom Hohman COM 135 Professor...

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Tom Hohman COM 135 Professor Burke April 28, 2011 Rhetorical Analysis Humanity has always been extremely fascinated with where it has come from but even more so with where it is going. In a speech at the TED Talks conference in Florida in March, Doctor Harvey Fineberg did just that in his discussion of Neo-Evolution. As a speaker at the very prestigious TED Talks conference, Fineberg faced many challenges with the diversity of his audience and their expectations. I believe that he met these challenges well and his use of rhetorical tools was well executed. TED Talks are almost universally recognized as being the most prestigious, inspiring and relevant talks of our time. At the annual conferences, attendees have high expectations for the content and the quality of the speech. Because of this, all of the speakers, including Dr. Fineberg face audiences with expectations much higher than they would normally encounter. The stage at TED Talks is much different than that of an average auditorium. Dr. Fineberg had at his disposal the ability to display a multi-screen PowerPoint presentation as well as play sound effects. Because of this he is obligated to take full advantage of what is made available to him. Successfully integrating a multimedia aid into a presentation can be difficult but I think that Dr. Fineberg did this flawlessly. His speech fully took advantage too all that he was provided with. Every slide worked perfectly with what he was explaining and dramatically increased the effectiveness of his talk.
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Dr. Fineberg was well qualified for this talk. He has studied genetics and as a result has developed a solid belief in evolution. Through his studies of genetics and medicine he was able to form an argument that humanity should prepare itself for Neo-Evolution, or an evolution that is guided by humans. His warning was not that this eventuality would be good or bad, but rather that it was coming and that it would be what we make of it. He made logical connections that explained the benefits that this could have on our race and what its implications for the future might be. Genetic modifications can seem like something out of a piece of sci-fi and not something that we should have to worry about but Dr. Fineberg proposed that this was going to happen sooner than we think and we should be prepared for the ethical, moral, and social implications of genetic modification for us and our children. He cited that ability to change our genetic information is growing everyday and while globalization and modern medicine has slowed evolution, there are still options available to us to continue the process. “… but what if you could change the cells in your offspring? ... eliminate the diabetes, eliminate the hemophilia, reduce the risk of cancer? Who doesn't want healthier children? Here Dr. Fineberg makes a use of pathos by referencing children. This appeal is very strong for most people (especially parents). This appeal is also of logos because it is only logical to use advancements to our advantage.
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