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Important Due Dates

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

 

ESSAY 3

Due on Tuesday June 12th (Finals Week) @ 11:30 am. 

We ask you to revisit the first essay prompt (included at the bottom of this page) and to compose a global revision of your first essay.

Your revision of your first essay should integrate a healthy cross-section of the readings and other material from the latter two-thirds of the course. You may or may not want to pursue the same thesis as your first essay; in any case, your third essay should not be a mere grafting of a few new paragraphs or pages onto the earlier essay. Even if your thesis remains the same, you are asked to extend your thesis to successfully integrate fresh material and to increase the clarity and improve the composition (grammar, diction, organization, so forth) of the old material.

The quality of your revised essay will be judged on:

1) the quality of your thesis (is it coherent and compelling?)

2) the integration into your thesis of diverse material from the latter half of the course, including at least three of the following readings-- Kosko, Atalli, Sagan, Benzon, Barrett, Watts, Clarke—and material from a variety of the lectures, including the guest lectures.

3) improvements in composition (i.e., the clarity, precision, and coherence of your sentences and paragraphs)

4) thoughtful and convincing treatment of counter-argument

Your essay should be between 4-6 pages (double-spaced, with reasonable-sized font and margins).

The essay is due at the beginning of the Final exam on Tuesday, June 12; please attach to the back of your 3rd essay, in the order in which they were written, your 2nd and 1st essays as well as the evidence of the writing cycle that led up to each of the three essays. Finally, please send a copy of your 3rd essay to Turnitin.com. 

[ Essay One Prompt: Compose a thesis to address Kosko’s assertion that “noise is a signal we don’t like.” As you ponder this assertion, consider noise not only as an acoustic phenomenon, but also as a component of physical reality (as discussed by both Kosko and Cohen), and as a concept we use to refer to a host of phenomena, natural and social. You should consider the etymological and, therefore, the metaphorical origins of the word “noise”; so, too, you should consider how our cultural understanding and use of the word “noise” has predisposed us to think of noise in mostly negative terms.

 

• Your essay must paraphrase and integrate the views of a healthy cross-section of the following: the ideas of Laplace, Pierce, Maxwell (each of these are discussed in Menand), Pythagoras, Plato, Einstein (see Cohen),  Schoenberg (see Rufer), and Antheil (see Braun).

 

FINAL

Due Tuesday June 12th Finals Week @ 11:30 am.

Your final will be composed of four parts (please bring a bluebook, but no readings or notes; a dictionary will be available in the room):

  1. a short (25 questions) fill-in-the-blank/multiple choice quiz on the major topics of the course (drawn from reading and lecture material)
  1. a brief (no more than 2 blue-book pages) paraphrase of your 3rd essay, with specific attention to argument and counter-argument.
  1. A visual representation of how you think one might best make coherent the major ideas of the course, while encompassing the broadest possible variety of course subject matter (i.e. lectures, readings). Your depiction may be done in the form(s) you deem most effective: diagram (stick figures, circles and arrows, Venn diagrams, etc), Rorschach blot, cartoon, landscape, portrait, so forth). (NOTE: This portion of your final will be judged both with respect to its originality (see Schoenberg) as well as its conceptual coherence).

4) A short essay (no more than 3 blue-book pages) in which you discuss how the CAT sequence in general and CAT 3 in particular, has helped your ability to think about the world about you in a multi-disciplinary manner. In particular,

you are asked to address the question of whether and, if so, how the CAT sequence, CAT 3 included, has allowed you to examine or to make meaningful connections with the subject matter of your other university courses or other subjects of intellectual or spiritual concern to yourself.

(Final Note: all written portions of the final will be judged on both content and form).

 

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Combined Prompt for Both Second Essay and Class Project:

 

“Pattern recognition is what human beings do; it’s a blessing and a curse” 

(from William Gibson’s novel, “Pattern Recognition”) 

 

 

         PROJECT:  

Gibson (in the quotation above) is remarking on the maladaptive consequences

of the fact that we are guided in our interpretation of and interactions with the world by a brain and a

sensorium which, evidently, cannot help but discern patterns, and discern them even where they do

not exist.

The fact, in other words, that our brain tends to generate pattern and meaning even where they may

not exist,  may be dangerously maladaptive, for individuals, cultures, and the species as a whole.

This danger is compounded by another problem. We have invented many powerful technologies to

reduce noise and clarify signals. However, the cultural context in which we have sought to

technologically limit noise, is also a context in which human beings, for a vast variety of motives and

varying degrees of success have sought and continue to seek to use noise to obscure or disguise

signals.

           In conjunction with all the other members of your discussion section, create a multi-media

project, using text, imagery, sound, as well as other possible media, to explore the ambiguities of

noise and signal, and our ambivalent motivations pertaining to these phenomena.  Every group

project must have a significant component that addresses the problem of how we are to recognize

and unambiguously and persuasively communicate (to a skeptical audience) a single salient,

empirically verifiable fact. 

           The creation of your project should arise from a dialogue between all members of your

section; however, the ultimate editorial and directorial decisions belong to your Teaching Assistant. 

 

            ESSAY: 

Parallel to your preparation for and completion of your group project, we ask that

you compose a 5-6 page essay that both explains and justifies the thesis of your group

project. Your essay should demonstrate that you have grappled with the subject matter from lecture

and discussion, as well as a broad array of readings (e.g.: Penrose, Herbert, Cage, Hayles, Kosko

(on stochastic resonance), Sagan, Damasio, Shannon, Bradbury, Calvino).

 

            SCHEDULE: 

Progress on your project and essay should conform as closely as possible to

the following weekly agenda (your TA may adjust the schedule to suit your group’s specific

purposes):

 

4th week:

Discuss and agree on a project; develop a strategy for completing the project; decide tactical

division of labor. 

 

5th week:

1 page description of your project, and your responsibilities and that of your peers in the

creation of the project.

2-3 pages of the first draft of your essay (integrating readings from week 4).

 

6th week:

1-2 page up-dated description of your group’s project, your role and your peer’s roles in

the project, and your assessment of what remains for you to complete the project.

3-4 pages of a second draft of your essay (integrating readings from week 5).

 

7th week: 

Rehearsal of project presentation.

Penultimate draft of thesis (5-6 pages; integrating readings from weeks 4-7)

 

8th week: 

Project presentation (in section) on Friday

 

9th week:

Final draft of essay due on Tuesday in Lecture (5-6 pages) 

 

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Essay #1

• Compose a thesis to address Kosko’s assertion that “noise is a signal we don’t like.” As you ponder this assertion, consider noise not only as an acoustic phenomenon, but also as a component of physical reality (as discussed by both Kosko and Cohen), and as a concept we use to refer to a host of phenomena, natural and social. You should consider the etymological and, therefore, the metaphorical origins of the word “noise”; so, too, you should consider how our cultural understanding and use of the word “noise” has predisposed us to think of noise in mostly negative

terms. 

• Your essay must paraphrase and integrate the views of a healthy cross-section of the following: the ideas of Laplace, Pierce, Maxwell (each ofthese are discussed in Menand), Pythagoras, Plato, Einstein (see Cohen), Schoenberg (see Rufer), and Antheil (see Braun). 

5 pages

 

Rough Draft

Due Week #2, Friday in Section: 4-13-07

Final Paper

Due Week #3, Thursday @ the top of Lecture: 4-19-07

 

*I know that the paper prompt says it is due on Tuesday of Week #3 but the due date

has been changed - they will make an announcement in lecture and probably

eventually change it on the prompt - Jakey

 

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