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Rhetorical Analysis on David Gelernter’s “Computers and the Pursuit of Happiness” By Ashley Jones

David Gelernter is a professor of Computer Science at Yale University. He used his intellect to write a very effective essay on Computers and the Pursuit of Happiness to explain to us that we are not living in an “information age”. He helps us to understand by explaining that people living now are no happier than people living in the 50’s, solely because we have the use of computers in everything we do. Sure, computers make everything easier and more efficient, but it does not deliver us from our basic instinctual needs. One of his points that had a large impact was that if you find yourself in need of more money, or more information, you do what is necessary to obtain what it is that you are longing for. Once you reach this goal, you are no happier than you were before and you might even find yourself in need of more still. This article, among many since 1945, was published in the premier monthly magazine “Commentary Magazine”. This magazine has published some of America’s most controversial and intellectual articles of our time. Their website says “To read it is to take part in a great American discussion”. Gelertner’s intended audience would be anyone interested in Democracy, controversy, intelligent discussion, and maybe a bit of debate as well. His intended audience would clearly be looking for a topic that sparks a conversation on the matter and brings forth many different ideologies, opinions, and perspectives.

Gelernter uses ethos by using things we are familiar with like U-Haul trucks and simpler machines like a thermostat, the radio and the television. His most effective form of ethos is himself. Being a professor of Computer Science really gives validity and credibility to what he is trying to convey, whether you agree with him or not. His use of ethos allows us to have faith and trust in what he is saying, and gives us the opportunity to connect to...
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