-- Janet Emig, “Inquiry Paradigms and Writing”
You know those people who believe everything that they see online? My grandma struggles with this. She once stumbled upon The Onion and nearly had a heart attack. Not that this only applies to people that are older; I have many friends who are constantly convinced of silly things that have appeared on Facebook or Twitter.
Though Emig's article, “Inquiry Paradigms and Writing,” is written regarding more of an academic standpoint, it is important to note the connection between her writing and the internet. Rather than simply believing that everything on the internet is fact, take initiative and check information for authenticity.
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“. . . rhetoric creates all of what there is to
know. Discourse does not merely discover truth or make it effective. Discourse creates realities
rather than truths about realities . . . no reality that humans experience exits apart from
human values, perceptions, and meanings.”
-- Barry Brummett, “Three Meanings of Epistemic Rhetoric”
Another concept that is difficult for people to grasp is the sheer amount of knowledge available on the internet. The internet has caused our realities to change; to have such a ginormous amount of information available at our fingertips changes our views of the world. We have the ability to be aware of so many more things than we used to. Instead of demonizing the changes that the internet has caused, we should celebrate the knowledge that it has made available to the public.
These concepts are relevant in today's education because no longer do students have to take a professors' or texts' words as a b s o l u t e. There is a constant rebuttal of information and this promotes an environment of learning that is brand new. It fosters a setting of constantly changing realities creating new discourse and allowing knowledge to prevail in ways that it never has before.