Tony Lien's Wiki Page

This will be my fourth year in college. From 2007-2009, I attended Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. Then, I dropped out for a year and wrote a first draft of a novel--which ended up being terrible. After that, I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and attended University of Nebraska from 2010-2011. Upon dropping out for the second time, I began working full-time as a barista at a shop called "The Coffee House" near campus. Soon enough, I became a co-manager and helped keep the shop running for the majority of my time there. From January of 2015 to June of 2016, I worked as a barista/kitchen manager at "Cultiva Espresso and Crepes"--also in Lincoln, Nebraska. I consider the last five years to be the most meaningful years of my life so far.

I have been a musician since my single digits. I love recording music, and I hate playing live. Here is a link to some of my tunes:

Also, I love writing/illustrating comics. I'm currently working on the first volume of a sci-fi epic that I hope to complete by the end of this year.

My email address:

And here's a funny meme I found:


Chapter One
-The popular view of rhetoric is generally negative (examples include car salesman trying to sell you a shitty car, a politician trying to talk his way out of blame for a failed policy or destructive decision, and a group of pretentious friends trying to outwit each other with quips and snide remarks).

-The authors concede alternately that rhetoric, the art of persuasion, is one of the most important aspects of a functional, peaceful society (hopefully a healthy alternative to violence/war).

Kenneth Burke's definition of 'rhetoric': "The use of a language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols."

-Rhetorical analysis always points outward rather than inward. It "cautions us against absolute convictions". This means it is more important to understand an argument in its entirety (both sides) than to form your own opinion.

Chapter Two
Kairos: a moment in time (contextual
spanning from mere minutes to centuries).

-Rhetorical persuasion consists of two distinct parts:

rhetor: speaker, writer, etc. (the person attempting to persuade)
rhetorician: analyst, theorist (the person receiving the argument)
In an ideal world, rhetoric is primarily utilized publicly (in a preordained place--where people who are already interested in the subject at hand will convene and receive the rhetor's message). Here, the speaker is connected directly with the audience, and the context of the message is universally apparent (being that whatever the issue is, it has direct ties to the current state of life in general).

There are 3 types of rhetorical discourse:
1. Judicial (the legality or justice of an action in the past)
2. Deliberative (addresses future policies/actions)
3. Epideictic (praise or blame in present [attitudes, beliefs, convictions])

Rhetoric gets more difficult when the message is printed as text. This means it was written to be read by individuals at different times (possibly even centuries later). The context may be misunderstood or alien to a person reading it so many years later. And words on a page, even if written eloquently and concisely, may not have as strong of an effect as if they were spoken orally at a formal occasion (especially if the issue at hand is no longer relevant centuries later).


A description of the artifact:
--The tweet itself is a singular sentence fragment without proper punctuation (not uncommon with tweets, and ultimately acceptable in Twitter format). The tweet states that the author was apparently attempting to organize his bookshelf, but became distracted by a number of books that he either hasn't read yet or wants to reread. Following the tweet is, of course, a hashtag (#eclectic). The hashtag points to the fact that the collection of books in the photograph vary in subject.

--The image itself illustrates the author's failed attempt to organize his bookshelf. Some of the books are stacked horizontally instead of vertically (disorganization). They are not at all organized by author or subject or alphabetically or any such means. Only this particular level (or shelf) is photographed. We have no way of knowing how big the book shelf actually is or what other books exist in the book shelf. The author intends for us to ascertain all we wish to know from this one particular section of his book collection.

The implied rhetor:
--It can be inferred that the rhetor is an educated person (although it's not possible to tell whether or not he is self-educated or classically-educated). However, it's also possible that the rhetor hasn't read any of these books (since these books 'do need attention' as he puts it) and knows next to nothing about the subject matter within them. Assuming he is educated, it looks as though he is educated in various aspects of design (graphic design/architecture/digital design). It's also fair to mention that someone who works in the field of design (especially that of architecture) should be well-versed in various levels of organization and structure--and this tweet hints to the possibility that he has problems with organization and time-management.

The intended addressee:
--Based on the tweet itself and the replies that follow it, it seems that the primary addressees are meant to be friends or acquaintances (either close friends who know and care about him and will take interest in his scholarly endeavors, or acquaintances [like work colleagues or professors or potential employers] who would be impressed or amused with his stack of books that 'need attention'). Other addressees could include anyone who shares the same interests (in design or networking or social issues), or perhaps even someone who might offer him advice (on how to properly organize his shelf) or simply commiserate with him. Altogether, the intended addressee is someone who cares about him/his interests/or both.

The occasion:
--The occasion is most likely a weekend or a vacation (being that the rhetor has time to both take the organization of his bookshelf into consideration and take subsequent action). Also, it seems that (based on the replies on the tweet) that the rhetor is yearning for social interaction (both online and in the physical world [since he is going to meet up with some folks at a coffee shop]).

--Also inferred in the specific occasion is the rhetor's desire for progress. This can apply to both educational progress and social progress (meaning in his social life). These two aspects can either be separate from each other or intertwined (being that it's possible those he wishes to socialize with [instead of organizing his book shelf] share similar educations/desires in the field(s) he wishes to delve into. Or, if it's merely social progress he desires, the people he means to meet at the coffee shop have no interest in the subjects within the books he has taken a photo of--and they will serve as nothing more than a temporary distraction from his studies. If the latter is true, then the rhetor possibly does not even enjoy studying design/networking/social issues himself.

The exigence:
--When it comes to exigence, some of the points I mentioned in the previous bullet points may apply. The issue/problem presented in the rhetor's tweet can be a number of things:
1. The obvious one is that his study is disorganized. He states this within the tweet itself.
2. The rhetor could have a problem choosing a subject in which to focus his studies.
3. The rhetor has a need to study, but an even greater need for social interaction. Thus, he is torn.
4. The rhetor is having trouble taking action utilizing his convictions alone, so he is reaching out to others to help push him in the right direction (by giving him praise, or commiserating, or simply by acknowledging his existence).

The kind of discourse:
--The text itself could be epideictic (being that the text of the tweet itself both praises and blames his actions [praising his initial intention of organizing his bookshelf, and blaming himself for becoming distracted enough to stack a number of seemingly unread books on top of each other and photograph them and post the picture of Twitter]).

--The text could also be deliberative (being that the text implies that the rhetor is attempting to take action and give attention to these books that he apparently has neglected--which is an action that will take place in the future [especially considering he is attempting to meet up with some people at a coffee shop instead of taking said action immediately]).

--I think it could also be judicial (when you take into account that the rhetor is judging his past self for both letting the organization of the book shelf fall into disarray and ignoring the books he felt the need to photograph). And the photograph itself also points to this (being that the photo represents the layers of disorganization that have built up over a period of time--thus illuminating the past).

The forum and genre:
--The forum, by an large, is social media. This is obvious, being that the tweet was meant to invoke some sort of response from other people. Specifically, it was posted on Twitter--but it would have accomplished the same thing had it been posted on Facebook or Instagram. The text and photo highlights a specific aspect of the rhetor's personal (and possibly professional) life--and beckons for a response. This is one of the most common reasons why people use Twitter and the like; they want validation for mundane facets of their personal lives. External stimuli give new/extended meaning to actions people usually take alone in the privacy of their own dwellings.

--The genre is very informal (hence the poor grammar and lack of punctuation), personal, and born of self-interest. Like I mentioned above, the rhetor is searching for validation of some kind. By using Twitter (or any form of social media), the ultra-personal/mundane events that people experience alone (physically) become another experience altogether when these moments in time are captured by a camera and by simple text and thrown into the infinite digital pool of the Internet for all to see.

The physical material:
--As things go with Twitter, the original text resides above the photograph (and the subsequent replies are listed below the photo). However, I assume that most people's eyes will fall on the photo first; mine did. The books on the shelf in the photo are centered and well-illuminated (but some of the text on the bindings is unreadable [unless you can zoom in on your iPhone or iPad or whatever device you happen to be viewing it on]). After the first step of viewing the content presented by the rhetor, the option to "like" or "reply" is presented to the addressee. The replies posted by others are visible, and thus may have an impact on subsequent replies.

The presuppositions:
--Historically and culturally, this takes place in the present or the near-present. Instant communication and the sharing of digital photography is a phenomenon that has come to fruition within the past ten years (perhaps a little more than ten--but in regards to the vast majority of the civilized population of the world, I feel this is fair number). Within the presented Twitter page (including the rhetor and his photo/text AND the replies of those who added to it) it is fair to say that, culturally, it takes place in a society where it is normal to have an abundance of books and a study (most likely in a house or a nice apartment--in a town or city where these things are available [the mention of meeting at a coffee shop by means of public transportation also hints to the likelihood that this is taking place in a well-populated, 'with-the-times' area).

The issue or question:
--Ultimately, the tweet responds to the rhetor's issue of 'how should I go about organizing my bookshelf?' and 'which of these books need my attention first and foremost?' and even 'who cares enough about this very personal endeavor of mine to take the time and comment on the situation?'.

How this tweet responded to/managed kairos:
--I think it's fair to say that the rhetor managed kairos by posting this tweet at a specific time during the day (as I mentioned before, by the light in the photograph, it seems he took the photo during the middle of the day) so as to capture the attention of as many individuals as possible. And, going along with the idea of kairos, the people he hoped to alert of his situation were most likely like-minded people who shared the desire for education (whether it be self-education or classical education) and self-improvement (in the form of organizing a bookshelf in a study).

--Also in regards to kairos, I feel it's not wrong to say that by traditional standards of today, it is perfectly acceptable to be both invested in self-progress/betterment AND easily distracted and dissuaded from such progress/betterment. Knowing that posting such a tweet on Twitter would both elicit positive feedback from like-minded individuals AND commiseration (in regards to how easy it is to become distracted and wish to go out and socialize and merely TALK and DISCUSS self-progress [instead of actually staying home alone and carrying through with it]), the rhetor successfully illuminated both aspects of the reality of gaining knowledge and pursuing an education in a society where distractions are inevitable, welcomed, and accepted.






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