Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business [Pdf or kindle] By Neil Postman – Kindle eBook, TXT and Epub Download

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Sive book Neil Postman alerts us to the real and present dangers of this state of affairs and offers compelling suggestions as to how to withstand the media onslaught Before we hand over politics educati You there Are you finding it difficult to make it through this sentence without glancing at social media Take a moment to consider this book Have you while under the enormous strain of way too much speed found your attention flitting about in a hellish staccato rhythm of non comprehending but acutely paranoid foveal saccades Breathe Follow these linesHere s the skinny This prescient book bemoans the corrosive effects of television specifically infotainment on public discourse It was originally published in 1985 and largely concerns the idiot box but the concepts extrapolate just fine into our age of compact idiot screens where long form personal conversations have been replaced by character limits where talking heads compress complex information into facile morsels and concentration is a difficult resolution than getting in shape Postman suggests that Huxley s dystopian vision bludgeoned its nearest competitor Orwell s to death with a cathode ray and played an infectious advertising jingle over it s archaic corpse Why control the content of books when no one is reading them Why would people struggle with difficult material when pure pleasure is a button press awayHell you may find that you re already skimming this review because you re anxious to see that raccoon eating an avocado I can t blame you because that s pretty awesome and maybe you can send me a link Hey Enough of thatThe author is actually pretty careful to point out that he has no problem with entertainment as entertainment It s the entertainment with pretensions of intelligently informing public conversation that gets his goat why is it always a goat But the message dovetails nicely with my tirade against nefarious attention grabbing technologies so I m going to continue to co opt his thoughtfulness in my future rantsNeil you were a prophet and I m glad you didn t have to see it all reach critical mass Dear reader exercise your vanishing powers of concentration before they ve atrophied beyond repairDon t skim this bookI just looked up the origins of the phrase to get someone s goat Wow Technology isn t all bad

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Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Television has conditioned us to tolerate visually entertaining material measured out in spoonfuls of time to the detriment of rational public discourse and reasoned public affairs In this elouent persua As I sit down to write this President Trump has just described Frederick Douglass as someone who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by and people February 1 2017Frederick Douglass was an African American abolitionist writer and reformer who died in 1895 Apparently the President of the United States has no idea who Frederick Douglass was since he is referring to Douglass in the present tense I have been struggling to understand how Trump got elected Not just because I disagree with his political views but because he is uite frankly woefully uneducated Not only is he woefully uneducated but he apparently also has no desire to educate himself now that he is President not even with intelligence briefings What happened How has this country gone from Founding Fathers who were intellectual giants including Jefferson Hamilton and Madison to someone who literally cannot be bothered to read a book And why exactly does so much of this country find this to be a perfectly acceptable state of affairsNeil Postman s Amusing Ourselves to Death offers a deeply compelling thesis as to how and why America has slouched so pitifully towards ignorance As he puts it We might even say that America was founded by intellectuals from which it has taken us two centuries and a communications revolution to recover Postman argues that in the early America of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the printed word had a monopoly on discourse attention and intellect because that was all people had Most Americans never even laid eyes on their leaders they knew them only by their printed words That is to say Americans only knew their leaders by their public positions their arguments and their knowledge as codified by the printed wordToday we don t know our leaders by their words so much as by their faces thanks to the modern monopoly of visual media the television and internet In early America participation in public life reuired the capacity to negotiate the printed word and mature citizenship was not conceivable without sophisticated literacy Now Who cares As long as you look good on TV and can speak in easy to understand 30 second sound bites you re good In fact Postman writes modern public discourse does not and really cannot appeal to the public s reason as it did in early America because the disjointed nature of television does not allow for such a sustained level of discussion Can you imagine a modern American cheerfully listening to a presidential debate for between 5 to 7 hours as they did in Lincoln s time Can you imagine them doing it in person without pictures of any kind Visual media has transformed us from a typographical and deeply literate society to one in which we are dazzled by a constant stream of flashing pictures and music that instructs us how to feel There needn t be much coherence in this visual world because we are endlessly entertained by it and it is so adept at eliciting our emotions Visual media has such a monopoly in modern America that many Americans don t end up voting for leaders whose knowledge and reasoning appeal to them but for those who make them feel a certain way This book was written in 1985 so obviously it didn t discuss the most recent US presidential election Its theories however were easily extended It explained to me at least why so many Trump voters cannot articulate the political philosophies that convinced them to vote for him but rather they point out how he made them feel Trump never even fully articulated any of his political philosophies during the campaign But people had seen him be a successful business man on a reality TV show in which he hired and fired people even celebrities he obviously has lots of money and his stump speeches appealed to their feelings of dissatisfaction with how the world had treated them so they felt he must be a good leader who understood them Many of Trump s voters also didn t trust Hillary although I rarely heard it explained why The explanations I did hear almost always had less to do with her political philosophies and everything to do with their feelings about her A far cry from the intellectual discourse of eighteenth and nineteenth century AmericaThis was one of the most fascinating and illuminating books I have read in years I believe it gave me an understanding of current events that I desperately wanted and neededFive massive stars An all time favorite Most highly recommended

Neil Postman È 7 Summary

On religion and journalism to the show business demands of the television age we must recognize the ways in which the media shape our lives and the ways we can in turn shape them to serve out highest goa I think this was my introduction to Postman and I read this book in a day it s 163 pages Yes I like to read but even so back then with two little kids I rarely read that much in month much less a day I had two nearly hyperactive okay yes they were girls kids of four and five I only mention this so you know just how big an impression this book made on me at the time Up until then I freuently resorted to letting the kids do videos several hours a day not that they would ever sit still for them they just had them playing in the background Like many parents I suppose I figured what was the harm Not after I read this book I also stopped watching the news and stopped despairing over the world situation We shut off the TV Period Life got much uieter around our home In fact we reclaimed our home Postman shows you chapter by chapter how the media runs our lives and how our professional entertainers are the least amusing people in our countryI cannot stress strongly enough how profoundly grateful I am for this book for showing me and teaching me all it did when it did There s no doubt in my mind that it s because of changes we made in our home then that our daughters are the good students and strong readers they are todayThanks NeilPS And I love the cover picture There are better sources for finding out what is actually going on in the world than the nightly network news I m not advocating dropping out of society andor becoming a total recluse


10 thoughts on “Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

  1. says:

    This really is a book that needs to be read I’m going to start with the uote that got me to read this book “We were keeping our eye on 1984 When the year came and the prophecy didn't thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves The roots of liberal democracy had held Wherever else the terror had happened we at least

  2. says:

    As I sit down to write this President Trump has just described Frederick Douglass as someone who has done a terrific job that is bei

  3. says:

    ‘ What Orwell feared were those who would ban books What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who wanted to read one'The modern era is an age of endless information and entertainment Media looks to the public for what they want and then sells it back to them wrapped up in the most irresistible packaging they can create and we eat it up However if entertainme

  4. says:

    Well yes Mr Postman You're undoubtedly right in much of your analysis And I suppose it was prescient of you to be so right way back in 1985 when you wrote this bookBut having said that I'm not sure what else to add Here we are in 2009 Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor of the state I live in But the republic hasn't fallen The barba

  5. says:

    Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business Neil Postman Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business 1985 is a book by educator Neil Postman The book's origins lay in a talk Postman gave to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1984 He was participating in a panel on George Orwell's Nineteen Eigh

  6. says:

    You there Are you finding it difficult to make it through this sentence without glancing at social media Take a mo

  7. says:

    I think this was my introduction to Postman and I read this book in a day; it's 163 pages Yes I like to read but even so back then with two little kids I rarely read that much in month much less a day I had two nearly hyperactive okay yes they were girls kids of four and five I only mention this so you know just how big an impression this book made on me at the time Up until then I freuently resorted to letting the kids 'do' videos several

  8. says:

    Disappointing Read it if you have to it is considered to be an important book for media folks but otherwise just read the following and skip the book Mr Postman is obviously a well read person and the book claims the values logic and argument but his arguments are off kilter This is especially disappointing because the t

  9. says:

    If someone held a gun to my head and asked for a precise and concise definition of irony it could happen I would say only this Neil Postman died two days before Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor thus narrowly missing out on the single

  10. says:

    This book is about the possibility that Huxley not Orwell was right Neil PostmanIn 1854 Stephen A Douglas presented a three hour speech against Abraham Lincoln's ideas and in return on that same night Lincoln responded wit

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