Chapter 1: Time is on Your Side
Now that you’ve identified 7-10 interesting words, 7-10 definitions of new words, 7-10 lists of synonyms and/or patterns, 7-10 contrasts, watch Video 1.3: The Analysis of “The Ultimate Communications App” by Charles Justice and compare your list of evidence to the ones gathered in the video.
Tower of Babel
Battery, plugged in, download
Internet, network, app
Sunlight, fish, whales, plants, animals
|Property v. free
New v. original
Information v. language
Private v. public spaces
Human v. nature
Present v. past
Common v. private space
Collective v. individual
The Observational Paragraph
The next step is to consider your list of observations carefully and narrow it down to the best two. Review the information you have collected. What’s connected? Group similar observations together and think about which observations are the strongest and most interesting, and which observations are the most complex. Your small and focused pieces of evidence or observations should be something you can literally put your finger on. Your observations must then be one to three word phrases (ex. “Age of citizen”). Also consider whether your two best key observations support different elements of the author’s complex argument. Evidence that is too similar will end up building a repetitive argument that likely will not develop the level of complexity that is required to write at a university level.
Your goal is to look at the long list of evidence you just gathered and choose the best two pieces. Look at your entire list of evidence and ask yourself:
- Which of these pieces of evidence points most clearly to the author’s argument?
- Which of these pieces of evidence has the most interesting or complex language?
- Which of these pieces of evidence would I be interested in discussing?
- Which pieces of evidence overlap? Can I make groups out of certain pieces of evidence?
Look at your entire list of potential evidence, and, using these basic questions as your guide, focus in on two key pieces of evidence. Going back to “The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge” by David Bollier from the introduction to this text, and the evidence we gathered in Video 1.2, we went through the list, and with the above questions in mind, decided that the two pieces of evidence we wanted to focus on were:
- The binary between corporations and the public because Bollier wants to establish that the corporations are being greedy in their rush to privatize knowledge of many forms, whereas the public, he argues, has a fundamental right to the “common good” of that knowledge.
- The description of the copyrights and patterns as “anti-social instruments of control” because the author wants to ensure that the readers understand that copyrights and patents, when abused, are negative capitalist systems built around restricting, controlling and owning ideas and knowledge, and treating those ideas and that knowledge as property.