Entertainment media tends to undermine rational discourse

1 Nov

Paraphrased fromĀ Neil Postman – Are We Amusing Ourselves to Death on YouTube:

“I don’t want to claim that American television executives or networks
set out in some sort of organized and systematic way to alter
the way people will express themselves in politics religion education and so on.

I think rather, what has happened is we have a new technology that in its American expression
tends to suppress, undermine and otherwise degrade what we call literate, analytic, rational discourse.

I think for example when political campaigns in America are conducted largely by
30 second TV commercials, it must be obvious that candidates can no longer
spend the time – or will no longer have the time, even if they had the wit and syntax –
to explain in any sort of complex way the issues that the voters have to face.

I don’t say that this is a conspiracy on anyone’s part.

If you or I am running for office, I am going to try to beat you through the 30-second television commercial.

If you decline to use the commercial and instead choose to publish intelligently written position papers
on all these issues, you will lose.”


The search for Identity through violence

1 Nov
Audience member:
“If we ever could afford violence,
as weaponry becomes more efficient
we can no longer afford violence;
so what do you suggest as alternatives instead?”
Marshall Mcluhan: “Dialogue”

Marshall Mcluhan lecture: The medium is the message – 1977 on YouTube

Left brain Right brain

1 Nov

Right brain:

  • point of view, the “I”
  • logical, connected estimates
  • bottom line
  • quantity

Left brain:

  • no bottom line is interested only in quality
  • not in quantity and so the
  • interested in the way of life rather than in the amount our product

In some cultures the one or the other gets much stress”

From Marshall Mcluhan: The medium is the message – 1977 on YouTube