In “Education Unplugged”, Floyd Allen argues that our society has become so reliant on technology to do its thinking that if we don’t stop and revert to methods of learning and living previously practiced before the technological revolution, that we are leaving ourselves susceptible to ignorance and dependence as well as leaving ourselves vulnerable to attack by enemies who would only have to “unplug” us to dominate us.
Allen uses cause and effect most dominantly in his essay to prove his point. He makes very dramatic statements about a cashier not being able to count. He blames her troubles on “pseudo – intelligence,” (par. 5) which he says is caused by “digital watches, calculators, computers, video games, and VCRs” (par 5). He blames the effect (pseudo-intelligence) on education and parents for “only teach[ing] our children to operate an “on” button” (par. 6). He furthers his cause/effect argument by stating all of the things we cannot do when technology fails us, such as being unable to shop or bank.
At first read, Allen seems to have an effective argument, but at a closer look, he uses fear tactics by ultimately threatening demise if nothing is done to change our current methods of functionality “pseudo-intelligence will run rampant in our society, until eventually any foe can simply unplug us and grind society to a halt” (par. 15). He draws his own personal practices in to the essay, stating that he allows technology, but only as a treat, and mandates reading in his household. There are no statistics to prove his argument. Allen is not effective in this particular argument.
Allen, Flyod. “Education Unplugged”.