When you find one answer, you get another question.

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In Kilian, Ch. 7, I found the most relatable information and seemingly applicable skills for my day-to-day life.  For one, the discussion of blogs was certainly something that hit close to home!  My only experience with blogging has been through this SHU academic blog, but it was quite revealing to peer into mini-history of blogs as a whole.  It’s not that I didn't realize there were so many blogs, I did (and do), but I didn't think they were so well-defined.  It's not just a personal blog, it’s an introverted blog (which Kilian's description of seemed a little depressing.  Is the vast majority really of introverted blogs really "'chaos,' random,' 'neurotic,' and generally reflective of a failed life"?) or a news blog or a specialized blog.  What category I found surprisingly absent though was the academic blog! 

Also helpful in ch. 7 was the discussion of resumes.  Although I live in the internet age, the idea of creating an online site solely dedicated to my professional portfolio never crossed my mind.  Well, maybe that's because, until now, I had zero programming skills that would have enabled me to create such a profile.  But now this is something I can consider and would no doubt come in handy during the rapidly approaching years of internship and job searches.

Ch. 8's discussion of propaganda, on the other hand, was a little more difficult for me to wrap my head around.  As I see it now, propaganda is neither inherently good nor bad; it’s just a type of communication tactic.  It is like advocacy, that is, persuading an audience to accept an idea, elevated to a larger scale.  With this much larger scale and audience, however, also come more opportunities to abuse the modes of persuasion, like playing to peoples' belief in myths, using fallacies or using unethical propaganda devices. 

But for a term that is usually vaguely defined at best, I can't help but think that propaganda is everywhere, and that I encounter it no matter what role I'm in.  As a US citizen, I'm exposed to political propaganda; as a student, I’m exposed institutional propaganda; and (hopefully later in life) as a communication professional, I will be not only exposed to but part of the creative process behind corporate propaganda that is targeted to consumers.  But no matter the situation, the same underlying questions remain...Is the message truthful?  Is the messenger credible?  Is the argument logical?  And where should the line be drawn between what is advocacy and what is fallacy?

 

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