Author Topic: Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning  (Read 6417 times)

Idem

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Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning
« on: April 20, 2009, 02:33:58 am »
http://www.lists.opn.org/pipermail/local_activists_lists.opn.org/2008-August/000261.html

Chapter 11 of "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman.  On modern media.  Whole book was an informative read, I thought.

Honey

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Re: Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 03:18:26 am »
That one part was an interesting read.  I've never read any of his books, makes me want to.  Made me also want to re-read Huxley's Brave New World to revisit.  Below is from “Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection” by Neil Postman (a speech delivered at the National Convention for the Teachers of English [NCTE], November 28, 1969, Washington, D.C.)

Quote
...There are so many varieties of bullshit I couldn’t hope to mention but a few, and elaborate on even fewer. I will, therefore, select those varieties that have some transcendent significance.

Now, that last sentence is a perfectly good example of bullshit, since I have no idea what the words “transcendent significance” might mean and neither do you. I needed something to end that sentence with and since I did not have any clear criteria by which to select my examples, I figured this was the place for some big-time words....

Reflections on one’s mortality curiously makes one come alive to the incredible amounts of inanity and fanaticism that surround us, much of which is inflicted on us by ourselves. Which brings me to the next point, best stated as Postman’s Third Law:

“At any given time, the chief source of bullshit with which you have to contend is yourself.”

The reason for this is explained in Postman’s Fourth Law, which is;

“Almost nothing is about what you think it is about–including you.”

http://criticalsnips.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/neil-postman-bullshit-and-the-art-of-crap-detection/
Fuck the status quo!

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure & the intelligent are full of doubt.
-Bertrand Russell

Cain

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Re: Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 03:34:56 pm »
I have this book. I should probably read it.

Idem

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Re: Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 02:04:28 pm »
I thought it was really informative on the relation of technology to culture.  How cultural revolutions have been caused by the mere presence of certain technologies, etc.  Then specifically goes into television as a cultural ideology.

Cain

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Re: Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 03:55:58 pm »
I was surprised to see its about 25 years old.  Still, that probably just makes it even more prescient.  Do you want an upload of it?  Its no problem, easily done.

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Re: Amusing Ourselves to Death - The Huxleyan Warning
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 06:38:07 pm »
I heard him speak at my college (he's an alum of SUNY Fredonia, where I graduated if any one cares) and he was obviously a very intelligent guy with a very precise analysis of mass media:

"The medium is the message..." is one of his better arguments.

A theist though. With all the respect I offer the guy, I was never able to get past that.
If I had a million dollars, I'd put it all in a sensible mutual fund.