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Published: 29-11-2019

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Neil Postman's book, Amusing ourselves to death: Changing the medium

The ideology that society will cease searching for information because of the several distractions that exist, is what Neil Postman recommend will occur in America. Postman begins the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death” with a comparison in between Orwell’s 1984 dystopia which recommend that tyranny and oppression will obscure society by taking away its supply of details, and Huxley’s “ Brave New World” dystopia contemplates the opposite. Postman argues that Huxley’s dystopia will take place due to the fact of the exponential growth of show enterprise that has replaced print culture.

Postman begins with the thought that media is the metaphor, the media (the way) in which information is discussed or transmitted within a society is component of the society and it limits the tips that the society can communicate. The media it’s not the message but the metaphor since a message is clear, a metaphor has to be interpreted primarily based on the way it was delivered and expressed. Smoke signals are a great example of this, Native Americans had been limited to their media( smoke signals) their ideas have been as massive as was their medium. According to Postman, this is critical due to the fact the predominant media in our society shapes who we are and how we feel. In typographic America males, girls, and children had been prepared to seat seven hours through a debate and come back if needed. In today’s America the presidential candidates have one minute to answer the questions in the presidential debate, in contrast to the 1800s when debates have been approximately seven hours long. The medium adjustments the identity of a society, in Typographic America- men spoke the written word, in present America- men speak as the tv host speaks.

Pamphlets have been the way americans spread the news in Typographic America. The news have been local and had an effect of each civilians daily life. Electricity and Television changed this practice forever. The news of the day had no effect on the everyday life of americans, a huge quantity of irrelevant information flooded the streets. Everyone became interested not in what mattered but on what was new. Advertisement arose and the news became nothing at all but a vibrant and large title. America had lost it’s interest in validity, and adopted rarity. The years in which men deemed books to be 1 of their most valuable asset, as noticed in the Mayflower embarkation, was forgotten. America’s values and morals were changed and with that America changed. Las Vegas came to be the most iconic city in the United States. Show company replaced books and with that it replaced the value of truth.

Postman used Huxley’s dystopia to show the reader or the audience what America has turn into. The values and morals of the typographic era are gone, they have been replaced by the amusements of tv and irrelevant yet fascinating news that fight for interest daily seating on every corner, and specially on every single screen. Postman’s goal is not to derogate televisions usefulness, he basically proposes that televisions objective is to entertain only. The truth of a society is transmitted through its media and television is incapable of transmitting complicated and abstract concepts because it has no context. Postman desires to modify the way individuals think of communication by showing the value of the medium used, he shows America that we have grow to be a replica of Huxley’s dystopia. For that reason, we as a society should correct our error, and transform our media since when we transform the medium, we transform the truth, we in the end transform ourselves.
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