TA - Jenn
GISAT 160 / Fall 2008
Read the assigned text three times slowly before starting to answer the questions. Answer in complete sentences and provide specific examples from the text. Maximum length is four pages at 12-point type, with 1.5-line spacing, and 1-inch margins
1. What is the thesis (or central claim) of this text?
• The ever-growing pace of technology poses a great risk on society and could one day render the human race into extinction.
2. What are the author’s motives for writing the text (authorial intent)?
• Joannie Fischer is warning us about Bill Joy’s nightmare and how it should not be ignored – “Joy may not have the answers to the problem, but thanks to him, no one any longer denies the fact that the threat is very real. Maybe we should start comparing Bill Joy to Paul Revere.” She wants to inform us of the possible threat that technology poses in our near future, and not to just overlook it.
• Fischer is also informing us about the threat technology poses to us as human beings – “The emerging technologies of the new millennium, he argues, are rendering humans as endangered species…In short, humans are in the danger of extinction due to high technology that displaces us and renders us useless.” She wants us to limit the amount of intelligence we put in our technology so that it won’t one day take over.
3. What arguments does the author use to support the thesis?
• Fischer gives examples of things that have happened in the past, such as viruses and bombings – “New scientific developments have often caused unintended problems in the past, such as the overuse of antibiotics leading to the rise of stronger, more deadly viruses, or atomic science leading to the bombing and annihilation of innocents.” She gives those examples of what has happened in the past so that we can interpret what could happen if technology were to get out of hand.
• Fischer gives examples...