The thing about users.

Yesterday I emailed a developer of some code I was using. He responded, which was nice, and gave me some suggestions. He also mentioned that my question was better for a mailing list and that if he answered every email from any user that he would not get any coding done. This got me thinking. It’s blatantly obvious that I should have checked a mailing list. I don’t know why I hadn’t looked for one, or searched it’s archives before I emailed him. I typically have that problem, where I will email something and not really think about it before I email it. This particular developer was quite nice, and offered suggestions, rather than just sending me towards a mailing list, and I thanked him for his time, and for writing the driver to begin with. This brings me to my point / thought today about users.
I don’t consider myself as a user. All day long I deal with “users” of the systems I maintain. I typically think of users in a derogatory manner, they are just users, they don’t have knowledge of how the system works, they don’t care how the system works, they just want the system TO work. So have I become that which I loathe? Of course I don’t think the software that I was working with was a box that I put things into and then magic happens and stuff comes out. In that I mean that I see the curtain and I understand there is stuff behind the curtain, I may not be able to read it, but I know it’s there and how it works, so does that classify me as a user? I would think not.
I think there should be some kind of club or secret handshake between those who do and make technology work. Maybe some kind of rating system, cause I am obviously not a developer, I have never needed to write code to make some piece of hardware work. I don’t know if I would even like that. The people who do this would be higher on the rating system for things of that nature. For things that involve networking, my rank should be higher, and treated as that of an equal between my peers.
Now don’t get me wrong, the developer of the driver was not treating me any different than he would be treating someone who had emailed him asking how to install the cd for their windows installation. And maybe my question was quite “noob”ish. I don’t know.

First PGP Key

I’ve just generated my very first PGP encryption key. You can find it here: 523C81E6 The fingerprint is as follows:
pub 4096R/523C81E6 2011-01-12
Key fingerprint = 1581 CFC1 CC18 2299 B383 F0E8 6943 D2BE 523C 81E6
uid Jonathan Allen Lindsey (My First PGP Key)
uid Jonathan Allen Lindsey (Work Email)
sub 4096R/846783E0 2011-01-12
sub 3072D/8DF59254 2011-01-12

I am more than happy to sign your key however you must adhere to the rules specified here:Keysigning Guidelines

English 111 – April 05 2010

Late for class, this is started at 6:00pm

Three papers were handed out entitled Grammar Tip Sheets.  Each was on a different subject: one on run-on sentences; another avoiding shifts in tense, mood, and Person and Number; the third Nonrestrictive Phrases and Clauses.

Avoiding Shifts in Tense, Mood, Person and Number

It’s very important to remember what tense you are in.  Changing tense is confusing to the reader.  Sometimes people start out in past tense, and then switch to preset, because it has more affect. 

Next Class: Three References.  APA Style

SF Express SE – APA Style Notes

APA Style

APA stands for the American Psychological Association.  APA refers to a sstyle of documentation of references.

In-Text Citations

The main purpose is to direct your reader to the original source of the information you are citing.

1.  A work that includes an author and page number

The last name of the source’s author, followed immediately by the year it was published in parentheses.  You can also put both the author’s last name and year of publication in parentheses. ex: Lindsey (2010) or (Lindsey, 2010).

You must include a page number for direct quotations. ex: (Lindsey, 2010, p. 200)

2.  More than one week written by an author in a single year

Assign lowercase letter after the date to distinguish between the two works ex: Lindsey (2010a) (Lindsey, 2010b)

3.  More than one work in a single note

Separate the citations with a semicolon and list them alphabetically.

4.  A whole Web site

Give the electronic address in the paper, but does not need to be included in the References list, this is only if you are not citing a particular Web document.

5.  Two or more sources in a single sentence

Insert the notes directly after the statements they support.

6.  A single source provides a series of references

Reference the first reference, then the page number after others.

7.  Quotations of forty words or more

Indent a long quotation five spaces from the left margin, omit quotation marks, and place the parenthetical note outside the final punctuation mark.

The References Page

List aphabetically every source you used directly, except for personal communications, title “References.”

1.  Center the title “References” at the top of the page, no quotes

2.  Arrange the items alphabetically by last name of the author.  Give initials for the first names.

3.  List two or more entries by the same author by year of publication, earliest to latest.

4.  Make first line of each entry flush with the left-hand margin.  Subsequent lines are indented by five spaces.

5.  Double-space the list.

6.  Punctuate items carefully.  Remember that a period ends each entry –except those that terminate with an electronic address.

7.  Capitalize only the first word and any proper names in the title of a book or article.  Within a title, capitalize the first word after a colon.

8.  When an electronic source includes a DOI(Digital Object Identifier), use the DOI in place of a URL.

Chapter 10 Notes

Why Argue?

Why do people write arguments?

People write arguments in pursuance of a goal.  To persuade people to believe what they believe, or at least see from their perspective.

Why do some arguments succeed?

Writing an argument, and knowing your audience, will make your argument succeed.  Writing an argument that is well researched, giving you expertise knowledge in the argument will help it succeed. 

What are the goals of arguments?

An effective position argument.  This does not solve the problem, just points the problem out.

A proposal argument gives solutions to the position argument.

Position Arguments:

The writer makes a claim about a controversial issue.

The writer first has to define the issue.

The writer should take a clear position.

The writer should make a convincing argument and acknowledge opposing views.

Proposal Arguments:

The writer proposes a course of action in response to a recognizable problem.

The writer first has to define the problem.

The writer has to propose a solution or solutions.

The solution or solutions must work, and they must be feasible.

What are Rhetorical Appeals?

The most important teacher of rhetoric in ancient Greece was Aristotle, who made the study of rhetoric systematic.  He defined rhetoric as the art of finding the best available means of persuasion in any situation.  Aristotle set out three primary tactics of arguments: pathos, ethos and logos. 

Appeals to Pathos: the Values of the Audience

Appleas to pathos are often associated with emotional appeals, but it does have broader meanings.  Pathos means connecting with the underlying values, beliefs and attitudes of your readers / audience. 

Appeals to Ethos: the Trustworthiness of the Speaker or Writer

Ethos refers to the credibility of a speaker or writer. 

Appeals to Logos: the Good Reasons or Logic Used to Support an Argument

Logos means persuading by using reasons.  Sometimes refered to “The argument itself.”  Logos was preferred by Aristotle. 

English 111 – March 15th 2010

Class Notes:

No class Wednesday.

Wednesday – March 31st.

Next chapter to read is Chapter 10

SF Express – read on APA Style

The Rhetorical Triangle – the point is to use our language and writing to understand what we say, to capture their interests.  First thing is where you are coming from and where you are.  When writing a research paper, you need to know where you are coming from.  Some of the ways you can use to make people interested in you; sense of being sure, not using phrases like, “I think.” 

Parts of the Rhetorical Triangle:

Ethos – establishing yourself.  Your sense of understanding of the subject.  Using specific terminology and language of how you speak.  You will get a sense of personality from your writing.

Pathos – you are trying to figure out the emotions that your audience empathizes with.  Arguing for certain emotions that your audience has.

Logos – using facts to make an argument.  Using logic with facts to make an argument.

The best way to describe things is using the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

Chapter 8 Notes

Writing a Classical Argument

The goal of the argument is to persuade your audience, to adopt your position.

The thesis of an argument is called a claim.

There are two components of an argument, truth seeking and persuasion.

Truth Seeking – Finding the facts, and verifying the sources of the facts.  Regardless of your stand on the issue, which may mean that you need to change your opinion.

Persuasion – making your point, and defending it with facts, not opinion.  Need to stick to our position and our understanding of the facts, in order to convince others.

An argument is not a fight or a pro/con debate.  In an argument there is no winner or looser.  In a debate it is an answer of who won vs was a best solution derived. 

An argument should be thought of as deliberations.  An argument becomes both a process and a product using this method. 


Exploring Classical Argument

An initial position on an argument is sometimes called your personal ideology.  A set of basic values, beliefs, and assumptions, that makeup who you are.  Ideologies that are not firmly bound by facts can be changed.  As you evolve your argument, you may decide to change your opinion.

Understanding Classical Argument

Five Stages of Arguers

1.  Argument as personal opinion.

Typically this person argues with deep passion.  They will typically have circular arguments.  The facts will be little to none, and most likely unsubstantiated. 

2.  Argument structured as claim supported by one or more reasons.

This person is able to form a list of reasons that validate his argument.  They can now create structured sentences that have logical statements, but may or may not be grounded with facts.

3.  Increased attention to truth seeking.

This person forms and acts on a process of understanding of the issue.  They listen and take in account other student’s ideas and possibly change their stance on the issue, based on different viewpoints.

4.  Ability to articulate the unstated assumptions underlying their arguments.

This person reads his audiences and his own understated assumptions. 

5.  Ability to link an argument to the values and beliefs of the intended audience.

This person is able to apply assumptions of belief and values of his target audience and form his argument to be sympathetic to these things.

Creating an Argument Frame: A Claim with Reasons

The structure of your argument should be a question that focuses on the argument, your claim, and one or more supporting reasons.  Supporting reasons should start as because clauses. 

Finding an Arguable Issue

An issue can be defined as a question that invites more than one reasonable answer.  This excludes arguments based on personal tastes.  Apparently you can frame the issue question as either yes / no or as an open ended question.  Even if the question is framed as yes / no it will be more complex than a simple pro / con evaluation.  How you pose your question will structure the argument.

Stating a Claim

A claim is the side you choose to be on.  It should be a concise one sentence answer.  As you work on your argument, your claim may change.

Articulating Reasons

A claim should be supported by reasons and evidence.  A reason is defined as a subclaim that supports your main claim.  Reasons should use words like “because, therefore, so consequently and thus”.  These will allow you to break up your argument into multiple sub parts. 

Articulating Unstated Assumptions

An unstated assumption is a silent assumption that links your reasons with your claim.  The statement: The family was justified in killing the starlings because starlings are pests. has an understated assumption that killing pets is justifiable.  This is important because your audience has to believe your assumption. 

Using Evidence Effectively

Evidence is facts, examples summaries of research articles, statistics, testimony or other relevant data.  Personal experience can be used but might require additional facts. 

Factual data:

Facts are good for providing support for an argument; however some people might bring up counterfacts.

Examples / Personal Experiences:

Sometimes it is ok to use hypothetical situations, to convey examples of your claim.

Summaries of Research:

This is a very common way to justify your claim.


Another common form of evidence.


Expert testimony is another good way to advocate your claim.

Sub Arguments:

Subarguments can develop a persuasive analogy, hypothesize about consequences, or simply move the argument forward, through a list of points.

Evaluating Evidence: The STAR Criteria

the STAR criteria was developed by rhetorician Richard Fulkerson.  STAR Stands for: Sufficiency, Typicality, Accuracy and Relevance. 

Sufficiency: Is there enough evidence?

Typicality: Are the chosen data representative and typical?

Accuracy: Are the data accurate and up-to-date?

Relevance: Are the data reveant to the claim?

When using evidence, you must understand your audience and decide whether or not they will credit or discredit the source.  Interpreted data is most often skewed and smart audiences will know that. 

Addressing Objections and Counterarguments

Anticipating Objections: An Extended Example

You need to try to figure out what objections people have with your argument.  Almost like playing devils advocate, arguing for the sake of arguing the other side.  You should then support your argument in response to the counter points someone may bring up.

Using a Planning Schema to Anticipate Objections

A Planning Schema works well to anticipate objections, by allowing the writer to look at his paper and try to imagine some possible counter points the audience will form.

Responding to Objections, counterarguments and Alternative Views

One of the best ways to defeat a counterargument is to summarize them fairly.

Rebutting opposing views – calling into question the counter arguments and their supporting evidence or underlying assumptions or both.

Conceding to Counterarguments – it is not weak to concede to an argument.  Conceding to an argument may allow the reader / audience to trust you more.  However, you should shift to a different field of values where your argument is stronger, and continue on with those values. 

Qualifying your claim – Adjusting the scope of your claim, using a limitation will make your claim stronger.  If you say “All boys are good at sports” anyone can argue this, but if you say “Almost All boys are good at sports”  this is a limitation.

Appealing to Ethos and Pathos

There are three proofs in an argument:

Logos – The appeal to reason

Ethos – The appeal to the speaker’s character

Pathos – The appeal to the emotions and sympathetic imagination.

Appeal to Ethos

A reader’s trust will increase the persuasiveness of an argument.  Whenever you present yourself as a credible and trustworthy source, you are appealing to ethos. 

Appeal to Ethos:

1.  Demonstrate that you know your subject well.

2.  Be fair to alternative points of view

3.  Build bridges toward your audience by grounding your argument in shared values and assumptions.

Appeals to Pathos

Appeals to the emotions are often irrational and irrelevant.  Some believe that appealing to pathos is undervalued on the grounds that arguments should be rational rather than emotional.  However, they can play to your audience and deepen their understanding of the human element within your argument.  One of the best ways to think of pathos is an appeal to the audience’s values and beliefs.

1.  Use vivid language and examples – humanize your argument / appeal.

2.  Find audience-Based Reasons – Know your audience and their background, appealing to this may swing your argument in to favor in their eyes.

A brief primer on informal fallacies

Informal fallacies are instances of murky reasoning that can cloud an argument and lead to unsound conclusions.

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (“After This, Therefore Because of This”) – Mistaking a sequence for a cause. 

Hasty Generalization – Claims based on insufficient or unrepresentative data.

False Analogy

Either/Or reasoning – when a complex, multisided issue is reduced to two positions without acknowledging the possibility of other alternatives

Ad Hominem (“Against the Person”) – Attacking the arguer instead of the argument.

Appeals to False Authority and Bandwagon Appeals – support for the fact that a famous person or “many people” already support it.

Non Sequitur (“It Does Not Follow”) – when no connection is made between the claim and the reason.

Circular Reasoning – When you state your claim and then state it again as a reason (typically re-worded).

Red Herring – raising unrelated or irrelevant points, to throw the audience off track.

Slippery Slope – fear that one step in a direction we don’t like inevitably leads to the next step with no stopping place.

English 111 – March 10th 2009

Class Notes:

Rhetorical – meaning picking a side and sticking with it.  Thinking about your opinions and articulating them.  Analyzing why you believe things, and when you figure that out, you can think about what others are thinking, and use that to continue an argument.  Reading doesn’t necessarily mean physical reading words, but reading or interoperating other peoples bodily actions.  How you can understand what someone is saying, and how you can argue a point or your opinion across.

Opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one and they all stink.

The way you think is the way you feel.  You have feelings that you justify by thought.  Think and know facts before you express an opinion.  Thinking is balancing facts and emotions.

Rhetoric is similar to making an argument with your perpetrator. 

Clarity and mechanics – the way to make your writing clear, and understandable.

Looking for a coherent structured argument.

Focus – is basically if you should write about something and going off topic.

Developing your argument, is where you start from one point and build your argument.  You can start from either general or specific. 

Not having class next Wednesday or the Monday following spring break.

Rough Drafts are very important.  This is to make sure that something is not plagiarism.

Documentation Exam is open book, and is on APA.  You have two chances to take it.  The second test is the same test.  APA – American Physiological Association, and MLA – Modernization Language Association.  Noted in a parenthetical manner, with a person’s name and year.  At the end of your paper you have a reference page.  APA only uses initials, does not use a persons’ first name.

Must be weary of the source of your information.  Verify the quality of the reference. 

Previously ungraded documented paper, everyone get’s the same topic.

Monday’s Assignment:

1’st paper is something that you don’t have to document.  A narrative of something in your life that changed you.  Examples: why they became a Buddhist, having a kid, or going to war.

Three Paragraphs.  Double Spaced.  Final Paper / Rough Draft.  About 2 / 3 Pages.  Read Chapter 8

The bible cannot be used by a reference.

Rhetorical Triangle


So the webcomic has a series going on about a program called hopscotch. This app is a parody of Foursquare. I find it interesting this little app. I downloaded it for my phone and setup an account. I will link it to my facebook account here when I get done with this little bet with my girlfriend. It’s similar to google’s latittude in the idea that it’s a great little stocker app. You can see where people have checked in. There are rewards for checking in to new places, and places that you’ve been before a certain ammount of times. You can also become “Mayor” of a location, and aparently you can get discounts in some big cities. All of this I’m sure you have heard about but I think it’s kinda neat.

Riding Coors

This past weekend we had Keith Schafer come out and look at my horse.  He brought his saddle and decided that it would be ok to get on him.  We saddled him there at the trailer and then took him to the “round pen” that we have at the trailer park.  We had a nice round pen setup in the north west corner of the arena.  Aparently there’s people there who think they own the place and setup a calf roping chute there.  I can understand that when the team ropers get in there, that they can rope for hours… but there’s already 1 roping chute, why do we really need two, can’t you learn to share.  Oh well.  So the solution is to adjust some of the pannels in a corner, by some cow stalls and an alley way from the stalls to the ropin’ chute.  Keith worked with coors for a little while and then got on… almost as simply as that.  After Keith worked him and rode him for a while, we ended for the day.  The next day Keith called and wanted to ride him again, so we repeated the proccess.  Keith got on him quicker that day, and it was quite awesome to see.  Coors ran down the alley way there for the ropin’ chutes, and then ran back.  This happened several times.  Finally he decided it was ok to walk down the alley way and Keith decided that it would be ok for Jessi and I to ride him.  He asked who wanted to go first, I said hell yeah it’s me.  So I hopped up on him.  It was a great feeling to know that the ground work we had done (Mostly Jessi) was paying off.  I was sitting on top of my horse and that was quite nice.  We rode around in a circle a little bit, and then coors stopped.  He did this little hop and I sat down, pushed my heels down, and started to pull on the reigns to stop him.  I did everything right and I stopped him and it was awesome.  One of those “I’m a real cowboy” moment.  I got off, cause Jess had come back with her helmet, and she hopped on him.  She rode around for a while and then got off, and our lesson ended.