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Neil Postman and paranoia

So I just finished the book "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman today. It basically sets forth Postman's idea that television, as a visual, non-language-based medium, should be used only as a medium for entertainment, because (he says) the very nature of the medium inhibits rational/logical discourse and argument (not fighting kind of argument, premise and conclusion type of argument). A lot of what he says makes solid sense, but sometimes he goes a little overboard, in my opinion, and begins to sound like a paranoid monomaniac.

Now, he is not a paranoid monomaniac, understand. Like I said, he makes a lot of good points, that ought to be seriously considered. He first makes his case, logically, with historical background information and reference to several studies. Then, he furthers his case by discussing how TV integrates with several areas of life... politics, education, and so forth. I do recommend reading it.

Much of what he writes about in this book refers to two other books--Orwell's "1984" and Huxley's "Brave New World", and he contends that Huxley's vision of the future is much more probable under the (then-)current circumstances. I've read Orwell's book, but I have yet to read Huxley's. I do intend to someday.

I wish Postman had lived past 2003 to see the real coming-of-age of high-speed Internet. What would he say about blogs?


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