Ulmer’s Eight-Point Pitch: On Being a HEUretic* … (*n. “one who practices heuREtics”)


This is only the beginning (the first three points of eight …) of my re-articulation/analysis of Ulmer’s Eight-Point Pitch, which he delivered at the University of South Florida on Friday, March 25. Constructive Criticism and Commentary is absolutely welcome! Deconstructive Criticism also welcome …

John Batman meets Eliza Callaghan 1971. By Albert Tucker. Courtesy Barbara Tucker and the National Library of Australia, NLpf759.994T891

John Batman meets Eliza Callaghan 1971. By Albert Tucker. Courtesy Barbara Tucker and the National Library of Australia, NLpf759.994T891

“The only one who can really change your mind is you.” This primary insight is followed by an even more impressive, insightful, and entertaining eight-point pitch addressing the issue Ulmer wants us – pleads with us – to take up. The issue at hand, for Ulmer – and for us, the “consultants”- pertains to the changing of minds (which, per Ulmer, begins with opening up lines of communication between “I” and “me”) within the apparatus (Ulmer explains the apparatus in terms of electracy, in that electracy is the apparatus of digital technology (i.e. “technology” is not just equipment) but technology with the rhetoric/practices of electracy that citizens invent and use; the practices of electracy are INVENTED just like the equipment is, just not by the same people …).  This constitutes the first point. The line of communication that really needs to be opened up is the line of communication between “I” and “me”; because the only one who can really change your mind is you.

Ulmer’s second point pertains to an applied case, in which he posed specific questions about an “accident” (would this qualify as an accident for Ulmer? I’m unsure …) and the decision-making process that led to the accident, like: “Which individuals contributed to the occurrence of this accident?” “Who were the decision-makers involved?” Our question (as consultants in Ulmer’s EmerAgency) is “What does electracy bring to the question?” Ulmer’s consultants, participating within the apparatus of electracy, want to know what new angle or dimension of understanding we can add to what we already know in order to further thrive.

The third point pertains to our research goal: Ulmer posits that what needs to be invented is a strategy to guide policy and decision-making on matters of public good. He claims that in order to understand public policy (as it pertains to the address of accidents like the site of poisoned trees in Gainesville, FL, he mentions …), it’s important for us to keep in mind that our policy debates today are structured by the existing apparati (a very fun word to say out loud, by the way … “apparati” … ). Per Ulmer’ there are two existing apparati: orality and literacy …

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About klangbehn

Doctoral Candidate: Rhetoric of Science University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL 33620-5550 View all posts by klangbehn

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