Essay Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

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Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman alerts us to the dangers brought about by the way television conditions us to tolerate the brevity of visual entertainment. His message is that with each new technological medium introduced, there is a significant trade-off. His primary example was the medium of television. TV is structured to provide information to the viewer on a platform which is both quick and entertaining. This discourages any viewer subjectivity, allowing television to shape and dictate [politics, education, religion, and journalism] the essence of our discourse. Except for a few pages of "enlightenment", the entire book was a conglomerated resource of evidence to support his
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More specifically my report will stress the merit of chapters six through eleven. The Age of Show Business is essential to the development of Postman's primary example of how the structure of television influences American culture. "The problem is not that Tv presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining..." (Postman 87) Plainly stated, American television is devoted entirely to supplying its audience with entertainment. Television has made a profound impact on the American society. Postman claims that due to the influence of television as a medium, Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. In chapter six of Amusing Ourselves to Death , Neil Postman goes on to point out that because of television we do not exchange ideas; we exchange images. I found this to be a valid hypothesis when considering if and how television had been an influence on my styles of learning. While performing an in-class questionnaire, I discovered that the exercise both identified and defined several characteristics of what seemed to be a trend set in my learning pattern. Of the five categories mentioned in Kathleen McWhorter's Study & Critical Thinking Skills in College, collectively they revealed that I was a social, visual, and pragmatic [but not opposed to creative] learner. Bibbs 3 McWhorter defined a social learner as one who prefers to work closely with others and

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