In Bao Tran-Phu’s paper titled, iSmart: The Commodification of Intelligence he discusses how in today’s capitalistic society everything, even knowledge, has a monetary value. Tran-Phu opens his paper by correlating money to education. He talks about how on average, in our country, people with higher levels of education make more money, however, this education is tied to having money in two ways. One is the expense of post-secondary education. Tran-Phu discusses how “children from wealthy families receive a better education than do children from poor families and access to higher education is passed down lineages as a family treasure.” Many people are prevented from attending post-secondary institutions because they do not have the means to pay for it and are virtually stuck in a low-education tier and therefore a low-earnings tier. The second way is the wealth of your secondary school. Even the level of education given by public schools in America varies greatly across the country and it has a lot to do with the money in a certain location. Areas that are wealthy (i.e. places that are expensive to live in) tend to have better public schooling whereas the opposite is also true. Tran-Phu writes about how this pattern has commoditized intelligence and is leading to a society where the people who have access to or people who have intelligence also have control over people who are less educated or less wealthy.
Tran-Phu was able to utilize images and metaphors in striking ways that made his paper more effective and his ideas more easily conveyed. His paper was written in such a way that gave him credibility and his presentation of evidence made his ideas clear and his position effective. He incorporated many techniques in his article that I see throughout all scholarly articles and that I try to use in my own writings. Tran-Phu had a central idea that he carried through the entire paper and utilized colorful metaphors, supporting evidence, and carefully planned organization to get his point across. In my papers I always try to make sure that I not only write in a matter that is easily understood and that flows from one idea to the next in a logical manner but that I also incorporate various examples and metaphors to help explain my main arguments. I saw all of these things in Tran-Phu’s article. He successfully wrote a paper that convinced the reader of his main point because his evidence and logic were well organized and explained. In academic writing, people are always synthesizing the work of others and using them to help support one’s own ideas; Bao Tran-Phu did an excellent job at this. He was able to use a scholarly paper to support nearly all of his examples and pieces of evidence. I believe that I could improve my literature review by incorporating more examples of this kind into my paper and that if I were to do that, my paper would be stronger and would more effectively convey my main arguments. Overall, Tran-Phu was able to utilize all of the major “writerly moves” of Writing 20 and present his idea in a very clear and organized fashion using means that are found throughout all types of academic writing.
Tran-Phu, B. 2010. iSmart: The Commodification of Intelligence. Deliberations 11: 16-20.
I agree that Tran-Phu did a good job of mixing in examples and supporting evidence to back up his arguement. Also, good job in summarizing the article.