Research Wishlist

For my upcoming research paper, I would like…

  • information about what kinds of data wearable technology collects.
  • some statistics about wearable fitness technology (specifically fit bits) effecting people’s health.
  • the opinion of someone of importance talking about the kinds of privacy risks wearable technology presents to consumers to use these devices.

Fitbit™ – Another Wonderful New Technology

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The intent behind making wearable fitness tracking technology mandatory for individuals in universities or businesses is almost definitely one of concern for the general public’s health. This technology would encourage better fitness through various ways such as grading students on their health. If people become healthier, that’s good for everyone right?28a91b455fd5be0ccca52670393bcd88

I won’t deny that I’m naturally skeptic and a little bit paranoid when it comes matters of technology. I consider myself fairly tech savvy and spend a lot of time learning about new ways the digital world is progressing. But this is where my concerns come from. Now I’m not one of the crazies that wears tin foil hats because the government is trying to read our minds with microwaves, but I do worry about what kind of information companies are collecting when we use things like fitness trackers.

The truth of the matter is that wearable devices like the Fitbit™ produce immense amounts of data. This data is the wonderful computery stuff that can tell us how many calories we burn, what we might want to buy online, and even where we are (in the case of GPS in our cell phones). There is no problem in knowing what your own data looks like. It can be useful to us in numerous ways. But when companies freely use and commercially distribute the data we’re producing with their technology, this practice becomes a serious privacy issue.

fitbitFrom a legal standpoint, cellphone companies own our cellphone data and Fitbit™ owns our health data. Extensive data about how much we exercise and where we sleep belong to corporations that are free to use and sell this information in whatever manner they choose. My concerns mainly come from the fact that most people are either unaware what or to what extent data is being mined, or they don’t understand what others can do with this data. So when I hear that all incoming students at Oral Roberts University are required to wear these fitness trackers and give this personal data (including when you’re active and when you’re probably sleeping) to the Fitbit™ cooperation, I get worried about the privacy and security issues that can arise.

-John Delgado

A Rhetorical Analysis Of A Rhetorical Analysis…

John Delgado’s rhetorical analysis of ‘They Carry Disease from Filth to Food – Kill All Flies’ has impacted my life more than any other analysis I’ve read this week. Delgado doesn’t hesitate to immediately analyze the poster on both technical and emotional levels from the very beginning of his paper. He even begins with what the cultural implications the poster can tell us about WWII era British society from the first paragraph.

He balances direct citations of the poster with personal analysis of the content throughout the paper. His evidence ranges from the art style of the poster to the words themselves (of which there are 11 quotes it total) and he is very liberal with direct references to the poster.

His language is serious but not overly academic which makes his paper accessible to a very wide audience (which is definitely what he was going for considering how many people he is trying to reach with his analysis). The paper continuously goes back and fourth between talking about what the poster does to the reader and how it would have effected soldiers back when it was produced. His arguments are laid out logically (especially his paragraph on logos which makes sense) and backed with sufficient supporting evidence, but a lot of his points about the imagery only reference how they make the viewer feel (but then again emotional arguments are difficult to prove with facts). The author himself doesn’t carry much clout being a fairly unknown name in the rhetorical analysis world, so he gets his ethos from the poster itself. Where he falls short to convince the reader based on his own authority, he makes up for with supporting evidence from the piece of propaganda itself.

Overall I think John Delgado analyzed the piece well on roughly five different levels. Those points were not developed as thoroughly as they could have been had he focused on fewer points or made the paper longer, but I think that his purpose was to show how these different aspects of the poster worked together to persuade the viewer. To that avail I think he did very well, and I look forward to reading his future works.

Kill The Flies Or Your Comrades

fliesThis poster from the World War II era was commissioned by the British War Office. It was made in 1939 by Abram Games, an artist who created numerous pieces of WWII propaganda. The poster deals with health, specifically how flies can spread disease through food. As indicated by the “your comrades” line at the bottom, this poster was intended to be seen by soldiers. Ideally, this poster would cause the soldiers to realize the dangers flies can present in terns of disease and encourage the soldiers to “KILL ALL FLIES.”

The initial aspect of this poster that catches the eye is the use of color. Only three things in this poster are not black and white: the food and the two ribbon like bands highlighting the large text. This draws attention to these aspects of the poster. The eye is first drawn to the word ‘disease’ because of the bright red color. The arrow then pulls the viewers eye to the food and then down to the poster’s ultimate message of death to the flies. Once these items are seen the viewer can then read the rest of the poster, but these initial words and symbols are what have been imprinted on the soldiers reading this poster.

Apart from the flat out saying “Kill All Flies,” the primary way this poster persuades its audience is through logos. Flies “carry disease from filth to food” and therefor you should kill the flies. This is a reasonable claim and presents a logical argument. This claim is backed by the nature of the poster itself. A printed poster hung in a military complex carries with it the ethos of the department that commissioned it and by extension the British government itself. The poster is then seen as a reliable source for information as opposed to, for example, a random magazine article (assuming that the soldier trusts their government more than the tabloids).

Emotion is another key way this poster conveys its message. The bottom line states that killing flies is a duty not just for yourself, but for “your comrades” and “your efficiency.” This use of pathos makes the issue not just about personal health, but about the army’s overall performance. That’s a fairly large jump in responsibility from taking care of yourself to taking care of the health of your nation’s entire armed forces. I think most soldiers would listen to this poster more than someone’s advice to kill flies if they want to stay healthy.

Orange you glad I rhetorically analyzed this?

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This is the label from a half gallon jug of Mayfield Orchard Pure Orange Juice™. The topic is obviously the orange juice itself. The author is the Mayfield Dairy company. And the purpose in making the label is to get their audience (the consumers) to purchase this particular brand of orange juice.

The label uses very positive language to promote the product such as ‘pure’, ‘100%’, and ‘Calcium’. The goal of the label is to depict the product as good for you. Other words that stand out are the blue circular label showing that the orange juice has as much calcium as milk.

The audience is most likely individuals that buy their own food and are health conscious. Because of its target audience the label promotes health in several different ways. Apart from the health related words, the image on the label shows cut and whole oranges which remind the consumer that this product comes from fruit and is natural. This imagery is used to entice the customer.

Another aspect of the label that is used to draw the consumer to the product is the color scheme. The main colors are green and orange which are the colors of leaves and oranges respectively. These colors along with the complimentary blue color are all bright and contrasting colors which draw the eye in to the image.

These features that invoke a sense of health are what cause consumers to want to purchase this orange juice. It is not marketed toward a more specific group of consumers other than just people who buy orange juice.

In my experience the Mayfield company succeeded in their goal by making me buy their orange juice instead of Tropicana’s (the only other brand sold at CVS). In my opinion, this label is a fairly effective advertisement.