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Step 1: Read the following passage.
In it, the author addresses anyone who might doubt his claim that "our culture has begun to go through what promises to be a total metamorphosis":
I would ask these same people to conceive of a time-lapse view of American domestic life—a vast motion study that would track a citizen or group of citizens through, say, four decades of American life. Let them watch what happens to the phenomenology of living; how since the 1950s countless technologies have been introduced and accommodated and how the fundamental transactions of existence have thereby been altered. At midcentury the average household had a radio and a rotary phone, and a small group of pioneers owned black and white televisions. In the 1990s, looking to the same sample milieu, we find several color TVs with remotes, with VCRs, with Nintendo capacities; personal computers, modems, fax machines; cellular phones, answering machines, car phones, CD players, camcorders. . . . When the time-lapse is sufficiently accelerated, the drama of the transformation stands revealed.
Step 2: In order to engage his reader in reflection, Birkerts suggests a "thought experiment" of sorts—a kind of "imagine this" scenario. In the box below, identify his "thought-experiment":
•In written work, we reflect for a purpose.
Have you received an assignment that calls for reflection? Do Your Own is a section that can help you get started. We also have some samples of CUNY assignments that ask for quotation.
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