Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death
I have just read Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death. Postman states that the age of typography has been replaced by the age of television. This has changed the way we look at the world and the way we think, which in turn has almost made us less intelligent. Postman speaks his opinions freely, and really gives the reader a new perspective on media, and the effect it has on society. To often we think nothing of what we see and read in the media, but after reading this book you see things a lot differently.
Postman believes that the culture is shaped by how its media is conducted. In the age of typography, for example, politicians spoke of how people wrote. In today?s society the news is broadcasted in bits and pieces, and the unrelated topics are all thrown up and tied together with the phrase 'Now and This'. Our culture, he states, now functions best when focused on tiny bits of unrelated material.
We believe that things should come in unrelated bits, continuously, and with lots of flash. To us it doesn't seem weird that commercials interrupt our programs every few minutes, though to someone who has never seen television, it would seem very odd indeed.
Postman says that televisions have changed everything in our culture; politics and teaching. Politics have conformed to the ways of television. An example is how debates are conducted in modern politics. Before debates lasted many hours and contained many long thought out responses and counter-arguments. Today?s debates last an hour and a half at most. They each have about 2 minutes to speak. Teaching is also different.
Children now think that we should learn by watching television. Postman believes that the only way to really learn is through the traditional methods. Shows such as Sesame Street cause more harm than good. They make the classroom seem even less exciting. I agree...