Response 7

Thomas Frank- “Why Johnny Can`t Dissent.”

Frank`s thesis is that corporations use capitalism to get everybody to be the same by being the reason for us wanting “never-ending self-fulfillment.” Tom Peters calls the world we live in “A World Turned Upside Down” (321) where we should show defiance against rules, rebel, destroy all forms of reports etc. and by doing all this, we will somehow get what we want. Jerry Rubin said, “Whenever we see a rule, we must break it.” (317) This is another act of rebellion to show us that our wants and needs should be met but aren`t being met because some people don`t care. This, however, is a trick to get us to rebel against others while helping these mass companies to expand on their own productivity and profit. They just want to use us to make their companies even larger, and through the use of mass media and advertisement on television, we are all subjected to this constant idea that all the companies want to do is to help the consumer. This is why Johnny can`t dissent, because Johnny is following what everybody else is doing and saying, just to conform to the public instead of focusing on his/her own diverse, individual lifestyle.

This ad supports Frank`s thesis by showing that companies use capitalism to make their own profit and in the process, take advantage of the consumer. In this ad, it says to “Enjoy Capitalism” using a Coca-Cola logo which represents this huge corporation and how it works to manipulate others for their own profitable use.

I think that Frank is on point with stating the lengths in which corporations are willing to go in order to promote business for themselves. They give a lot of talk about how beneficial these products are to the consumer but in reality are tricking them to gain money for the corporation. I think that he is very thorough in explaining what corporations are capable of. He is also very clear in his argument and supports it with several examples.

Nicholas Carr- “The Vital Paths”

An example of neuroplasticity that Carr discusses was in Doidge`s 2007 book “The Brain that changes itself,” whereas a man suffered a stroke and lost movement on the left side of his body. After he enrolled in a program of experimental therapy, he was able to regain movement in his hand and leg. Through the constant use of the damaged side of his body, he was able to get his right side of his brain to trigger the sensory neurons on the left side of his body in order to gain movement again. This is similar to how the internet and associated technologies can influence how our brain reacts and adapts to newly gained information. It can change how we think and behave in society in difference to how we were before we got introduced to technology. When we use the internet, the neural pathways in the brain connect to each other and create new or advanced maps to control our behavior reflecting what we learned through the internet. When we do not use the internet, the neural pathways remain the same, not moving or attaching to each other due to the absence of new information.

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