A review of neil postmans book amusing ourselves to death

Moreover, modern television commercials are not "a series of testable, logically ordered assertions" rationalizing consumer decisions, but "is a drama—a mythology, if you will—of handsome people" being driven to "near ecstasy by their good fortune" of possessing advertised goods or services.

Postman argues that commercial television has become derivative of advertising. The only realistic suggestion he offers for how to turn this tide admitting that getting everyone to stop watching television is completely hopeless is to educate people about its effects.

What sort of culture does it produce. Because television must present its content through images, it is in the nature of the medium to suppress the content of ideas to accommodate the requirements of visual interest. Neil Postman Read May Intwo new books shook the world with their visions of the future.

The more information that one receives, the more irrelevant it all becomes. Add to this the juxtaposition of commercials in between serious news stories, and the result is the cultivation of an insane epistemology whereby we are conditioned to believe that gruesome stories of horror and death are all greatly exaggerated and not to be taken too seriously.

Most effective learning is done in stages, with one lesson building on another, which is almost never the case for a television program. Even though it was written inthe news stories and the media formats and the nature of what passes for analysis and conversation all seem so current as to feel banal, until you remember when this was written.

But in examining the form and content of televised news, and questioning the acceptance of any media, Amusing Ourselves To Death makes itself an essential tool for an informed audience.

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To talk seriously about television, one must therefore talk epistemology. Second, there can be no perplexity, meaning even if there are unanswered questions and difficulties within the topic being explored by the program, they must be brushed over or ignored entirely, as a confused or perplexed audience is likely to change the channel.

What does news story A, a viral video, and news story B have in common, aside from the fact that all three were shared by the same user. The medium, contends Postman, is the metaphor. But once information could be transmitted at the speed of light from one part of the country to another, the Age of Exposition began to crumble and give way to the Age of Show Business.

The meaning of the phrase above refers to a situation. But like TV ratings, if it gets enough likes, we can be sure of its importance. It is also a blueprint for regaining controlof our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.

The part of its subject matter that is relevant here is the interest it takes in definitions of truth and the sources from which such definitions come. Accordingly, reading, a prime example cited by Postman, exacts intense intellectual involvement, at once interactive and dialectical ; whereas television only requires passive involvement.

Amusing Ourselves to Death

The question of how television and the tsunami of information that comes to us through its airwaves affects our minds has never lost its importance, but it has receded into the background and become almost invisible.

What matters is how much an argument provokes you to think. We now had access to scores of information, but it was all mostly useless information.

First, the program can have no prerequisites. Prior to the invention of telegraphy, news was mostly local because the speed of information was only as fast as the fastest train.

There is no longer any real need for censorship, as information is not around long enough to have a real effect. Words express the peculiar understanding the Romans had of being immersed in something, as opposed to observing a situation from afar, or having related some condition that has ceased to exist.

Andrew Postman, author of more than a dozen books, wrote the introduction to Amusing Ourselves to Death ( edition).

Amusing Ourselves to Death…

Thu 2 Feb EST Last modified on. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.

Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves To Death examines the effect of television on American society, with two main conclusions. The first, that television has changed the way Americans think and react to events, is persuasive and well argued.

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a work that aims to both explore complicated ideas and market itself to the general public.

Neil Postman - Amusing and Informing Ourselves to Death

Its basic thesis is that television has negatively affected the level of public discourse in contemporary America, and it considers media in a larger context to achieve that. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman PENGUIN books AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH Neil Postman--critic, writer, educator, and communications theorist--is.

A few months ago, I picked up the Neil Postman book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show olivierlile.com book was recommended on a couple of blogs I follow and by a friend, so I figured it was a safe read.

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