Comparative Analysis Of Essays “What defines A Meme?’ by James Gleick And ‘Welcome To Dataland’ By Ian Bogost

From environments to princess kits, technology is being utilized as a method to spread information and ideas from place to place. For instance, in ‘What defines a Meme?,’ by James Gleick, and ‘Welcome to Dataland,’ by Ian Bogost, both authors utilize their credentials as a means of credibility for their essays. Gleick appeals to his audience through scholarly vocabulary and structure. With this structure Gleick is able to convey, to his audience, how important memes are in society and their impact now and in the future. Bogost, on the other hand, appeals to his audience by creating a conversational and relatable essay, for the common person to understand and relate to. Through this method, Bogost conveys to his audience how technology has advanced over the last century into a matter of everyday life.

Simultaneously, Bogost and Gleick emphasize how the spread of information is, in big part, due to the evolution in technology; but, now is the time to realize its impact. Although Gleick and Bogost worry about the spread of technology, they go about explaining it in different ways; but, it seems Bogost has the most effective approach when conveying his message to any audience. When referencing Gleick’s essay, it is important to point out how he utilizes specific, scientific, analogies to convey his message. For instance, Gleick frequently compares the idea of a meme to that of a gene, in the body (Gleick, 2). According to this analogy, genes and memes are similar in the aspect that there impacts can go from international to national and it still have a powerful effect. Another analogy used was comparing the meme to that of a disease or infection, in regards to how it spreads, based on its host.

To someone with a non-scientific background the tone of Gleick’s this essay would be boring and a little difficult to comprehend. The essay is structured in a way that jumps from idea to idea, without a solid following or order of events. Gleick utilizes ethos and logos throughout his essay, in order to reach a more scientific audience, when referencing Dawkins, Hofstadter, and other prominent scientists. Based on Gleick’s background, of being an author and historian in science, it explains his need to target a more sophisticated and scientific audience. On the contrary, Bogost’s essay is displayed as an easier read because of its structure and tone. Bogost takes the approach of using a personal experience, to appeal to the reader on a personal level. In Bogost’s essay, he structures it to mimic an elaborate conversation with visual aids, wit, and commonality.

Bogost starts the essay with a reflection on his trip to Disney, references the evolution of Disney’s technology, and, in the end, ties it all back to the use of the technology and the Disney experience. The tone of the essay, starts out, in astonishment, that he could be found easily by the staff, simply through the MagicBand, provided by the resort. This astonishment, quickly, turns into a curiosity, about Disney’s intentions with his information and what the parameters of the data collection were. Finally, after some research and background, Bogost ends with an indecisive tone. This tone ultimately, describes Bogost’s unease with the methods of data collection by Disney; but, he also understands Disney’s advancement in technology comes with the new age that is technology and big business. When one takes into account Bogost’s credentials, as a professor (computer school) and an author, it is evident that he has a genuine interest in the technological part of Disney and explains it in a way that anyone can understand his fascination. Therefore, Bogost’s purpose, of exploiting how far technology has come as a means of data collection and to spread information quickly and efficiently, is evident when he mentions Disney’s background in technology versus where they are now.

When comparing the two essays it is evident that Gleick’s essay was written for a more acquired taste, while Bogost’s essay was written for anyone to understand. Although both essays have similar messages, about how technology has advanced overtime and has a significant impact on daily life and communication, it is easier to identify in Bogost essay. In his essay he structurally guides you to his conclusion from start to finish; but, in Gleick’s case, he seems to ‘beat around the bush’ when it comes to his message. The overall persuasion methods used by Bogost that makes his stand out, between the two, is his use of ethos, logos, and pathos. Unlike Gleick, Bogost utilizes pathos when referencing his trip to Disney, with his family, and overall makes an emotional connection with the reader. Both essays convey their messages to their intended audiences; but, between the two, Bogost essay has a more relatable and comprehensible approach.

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