Friday, January 27, 2012

Chapter 14: Visual Arguments

WELL! In case you were wondering, chapter 14 of Everything's an Argument is about visual arguments! :O
The chapter discusses the power that visual arguments can have, whether it be strong or weak. Visual arguments take the phrase "a picture's worth a thousand words," and take it to a complete other level. Words aren't always needed in visual arguments; they can be extremely powerful with or without them. Another section in the chapter discusses how to analyze visual elements of arguments. THEN, it gets into "Using Visuals in Your Own Arguements," emotional appeal in visual arguments, visual arguments based on character. This chapter pretty much just picks visual arguments apart in their entirety, breaking them down for a better understanding of how they work, how they can be effective, etc.

The section on "The Power of Visual Arguments" held my attention the most, so I'll go a little more in depth on that one. Right away, the sections gets into important memories, horrific and not, including 9/11,  Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Visuals can have influence us greatly, and sometimes, they "pack more punch than words." The idea of using visuals started in ancient times in Egypt. Other examples are used to show just how pervasive visuals and visual arguments are becoming. Once graphic computers came around, production of visuals skyrocketed. In visuals, "them medium is the message" They're starting to take the stage more than words.
This just goes to prove that a visual argument can be simple, even poorly made, but can still hold quite a bit of power. I don't think this one was a legitimate argument posted somewhere important to fight for the legalization of marijuana, but whoever made it is getting their point across just as clearly as anyone else would be able to do it.

1 comment:

  1. Well, there goes my idea for the visual argument project.

    Okay actually mine is on a totally different subject, but what really surprised me about that example is how simply it was constructed using an easy program like MS Paint or something. This could serve as a sort of guideline on how we as amateurs in this class might be able to make a successful visual argument about something - just make a simple comparison between two things, or make an analogy. Adding a small amount of facts and statistics will go a long way as well, assuming that such things are relevant to your topic and they're available.

    So anyways, your example of a visual argument reminded me of the facts and statistics that comedian Doug Benson assembled in his documentary Super High Me, because some of the results were quite contrary to common assumption. In the movie, Doug abstained from pot and alcohol for a month, then took a series of tests to measure his overall health and mental capacity. Then for 30 days straight, he consumed as much pot and pot products as possible, then repeated the tests. Overall, his SAT scores were higher after the month of smoking pot, and so was his sperm count (which goes completely against everything we were taught in school, haha). Since I can't attach images or screenshots to show the kind of charts I am talking about, people interested in seeing what I am talking about should go see Super High Me on youtube...if, for any reason, to observe the interesting use of visual arguments.