Blog Post #8

Stasis theory helps the reader or writer break down what they are evaluating. This is done through determining the facts, definition, value, and policy of what they are evaluating. In “On Autopilot,” the facts that Carr claims revolves around pilots. The Q400 spun out of control, slammed into a house at a Buffalo suburb, and killed all forty-nine people on board. The Air France Airbus A330 flew into a storm which led to faulty readings and the jet hit the ocean and killed 228 crew and passengers. In recent years, the rate of deaths per passengers was two for every hundred million passengers. Prior to 1970’s, that rate was 133 deaths per every hundred million passengers. The facts are that there was a time when flying wasn’t safe. And once flying was safe, new issues arose. As Carr mentions, “automation degrades pilot performance.” Carr mentions the issues on how even though flights can virtually fly themselves now, it is causing pilots to loose piloting skills. Carr states that “more than three-fourths reported that their skills have deteriorated; just a few felt their skills had improved.” This is the biggest issue in “On autopilot,” and is the most relevant issue because it is an issue in today’s society. This effects the pilots and virtually anyone who flies. If the autopilot malfunctions and the pilot has to fly the plan manually, chances are that the pilot will not be 100% sure what they are doing. Though the chances that the autopilot malfunctioning are slim to none, it is still possible. In terms of policy, Carr does not state a certain policy to change the issue but it is clear that he is aware of the issue and he believes that pilots need to change the fact that “the computers wear the pilots,” and that pilots need to take more control in the flights. In “On Autopilot,” and throughout all of Carr’s other pieces that we have read, it is clear that Carr has a strong stance in terms of automotive technology and he does not agree on how it is taking away people’s experiences and abilities. A strong rhetorical move in the chapter was when he listed three different pilots in a row who died while flying their plan then discussing pilot and passenger deaths. Carr also mentions how now, all pilots really do is help the plane take off and land, the rest is all on technology. “On Autopilot” also consists of numerous examples of plane incidents, which helps with credibility and pathos.


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