Writing Prompt Paper 3
Bill Wasik’s “My Crowd Experiment: The Mob Project”
Richard Restak’s “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era”
Sam Anderson’s “In Defense of Distraction”
“Mystery Text of Your Choice”
- There is no doubt that technology extends our ability to perform certain actions, and in “My Crowd Experiment: The Mob Project,” Bill Wasik describes his experiences using the internet to organize some of the first flash mobs. He remarks on the internet’s unique ability to link, track, search and quantify archives for the purpose of conversation which can lead to “bandwagonesque” decision making.
The purpose behind the Mob Project was ironic, to say the least: Wasik organized purposeless crowds, audiences without shows, and buzz without real content. Bloggers termed the flash mob a meme, and I find it interesting that that the idea for these transient, seemingly meaningless mobs emerged from what Bill Wasik describes as the “boredom…of the constantly distracted mind.”
Keeping in mind the different ways that Wasik describes and uses the internet, choose either Restak or Anderson and one other text (your choice!) to write a 5-page essay that discusses the uses and/or disadvantages of using the internet as a tool for meaning making and/or pursuing purpose.
This prompt is intended to inspire and get you started. Please use the parameters as you find them helpful. Remember: The more specific you are, the better. There’s no right answer and no right approach. Try to choose an angle that best interests you.
Remember: Use the texts to support your arguments, but don’t forget to drive! This is your paper, your voice in the conversation. Try to approach Bill Wasik and other texts as raw materials. It’s your job to make something new.