Language: Personal voice & Essay structure: CA-R structure

17 05 2011

This piece illustrates a strong “you’re wrong” personal voice, which works well for the CA-R structure that is adopted. The parts in bold highlight how this strong personal voice is achieved.

Does the modern world place too much reliance on technology? (2003)

It is not true that far too much reliance is on technology in the modern world today. One can only say that we rely on technology too much if this reliance has detrimental effects on us. Two cases come to mind, one, if technology fails, we are helpless. Two, we use technology to do even mundane tasks which we can do by ourselves, and technology can fail us in this aspect.

First, saying that we are helpless if technology fails us, such as being unable to contact people if we lose our phones, is flawed. This is akin to saying that if planes did not exist, we would not be able to travel to other countries [1]. It is merely a cause and effect statement, since in no conceivable way can technology fail us to such an extent that we are truly helpless. Lose a handphone? Ask to borrow someone else’s. In essence, it does not matter since it will not happen.

Next, if people say that we use technology too much because we are using it for mundane tasks, like farming, it is because it is better than us at doing this. Yes, it can fail, but so can humans, often to a larger degree and therefore having larger, more dangerous ramifications than if a machine fails. For example, a combine harvester versus fifty men. It would not be unreasonable to say, the fifty men would tire out way before the harvester breaks down. Therefore, we do not rely too much on technology, instead using it to augment and improve ourselves

– Joel Ng, 2T28

Additional comments:

[1] The use of an extreme example shows the author’s attitude – that he disagrees strongly with the previous argument. This adds to the strong personal voice.


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