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Topic: Communication Rhetorical Studies



(CRS 338)



5) What discussions in Peter Gray’s book (Free to Play) did you find to be most relevant to you, and why?

6) The movie “Les Miserables” (I would recommend that you use the movie version starring Liam Neeson) challenges the notion that human beings are animals with no moral capacity. In this regard, how do you understand the distinction between the priest and the captain, and which role (priest versus captain—Captain Javier) reflects your position and why?

7) How does Peter Gray’s book speak to the primary themes (such as Alienation, Infantilization, and Institutionalization) found in the movie “Fight Club”?

8) “Pan’s Labyrinth” deepens our understanding of how fear of death (literally and otherwise) promotes submission and oppression. In this regard, how do you identify with the willingness of the main character to die (note how this plays out also with the doctor) rather than submit obediently and hand over the child?

9) In the movie “Gattaca” the Ethan Hawk character speaks about saving “nothing for the trip back.” What do these words mean to you as regards your own willingness or unwillingness to save nothing for the trip back, and thus being unafraid to die? In other words, how do you know—really know—whether you will swim courageously to the other side or be paralyzed by fear and drown like a coward?

10) Human oppression and subordination can be seen in the limiting, suppressing, and undermining of communication. For instance, colleges suppress communication through various codes and regulations, such as “speech codes,” “trigger warnings,” and “microaggressions.” Such codes are assumed necessary to maintain order, civility, and diversity—that is, to protect you from being hurt and harmed. How is this suppression of communication—as in the inability to speak your true mind and be your true self in any organizational or institutional setting—promoting alienation, human dysfunction, and subordination?

11) Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpxd3pZAVHI

is a critique of our education system in terms of how it cultivates conformity and homogeneity by playing upon our fear of death. How do you identify with this critique, and how do you understand the wall as a metaphor in this case?

12) What does Laura Dekker’s story reveal to you about how institutionalization succeeds by making you complicit in limiting your own imagination and all that you capable of becoming? (If interested, but by no means necessary, NETFLIX has a documentary about her.)

13) How does Amy Morin’s book challenge you to look at your own Theory of Mind in terms who and what you are fully capable of becoming and being, and how all of that can insidiously sabotaged by your Theory of Mind?

14) Organizations are increasing operating on the notion that “Information equals Control.” That is, if you wish to gain control over your employees, your competitors, your consumers, your markets, information is supposedly vital. Supposedly, the more information you have on something, the more control you have over it. This is captured nicely in the new movie Anon (Netflix). How do you see yourself being subject to information and increasingly being reduced to information (ones and zeroes rather than flesh and blood)?

15) In the end, the most effective way to control another human being is by making that person afraid of themselves. This involves playing upon a person’s fear of death and dying. A person who is afraid of themselves will always be afraid of others, and thus will always submit obediently. How does the movie Equilibrium deepen your understanding of this truth?


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