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Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985)

por Neil Postman

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
4,499601,945 (4.16)33
In this eloquent and persuasive book, Neil Postman examines the deep and broad effects of television culture on the manner in which we conduct our public affairs, on how "entertainment values" have corrupted the very way we think. As politics, news, religion, education, and commerce are given expression less and less in the form of printed or spoken words, they are rapidly being reshaped and staged to suit the requirements of television. And because television is a visual medium, whose images are most pleasurably apprehended when they are fast-moving and dynamic, discourse on television takes the form of entertainment. Television has little tolerance for argument, hypothesis, or explanation it demands performing art. Mr. Postman argues that public discourse, the advancing of arguments in logical order for the public good-once the hallmark of American culture-is being converted from exposition and explanation to entertainment.… (más)
  1. 40
    Un mundo feliz por Aldous Huxley (jstamp26)
  2. 00
    Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another por Matt Taibbi (themulhern)
    themulhern: Neil Postman's book is so much better, but Matt Taibibi's is so much more recent. Neil Postman is more interesting, more educated, and avoids the wierd cheap shots and obscenities directed at person's I've never heard of that Matt Taibibi enjoys. I guess Taibibi's is worth it for the supporting facts, which apparently he has the inside scoop on.… (más)
  3. 11
    Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America por Scott Adams (themulhern)
    themulhern: There is a surprising amount of overlap between the views of the news that both books have.
  4. 00
    Anathem por Neal Stephenson (themulhern)
    themulhern: Stephenson himself remarked that Anathem was a book about how people don't read books anymore. Moreover, there is a delightfully satirical sequence in which the characters are discussing serious things over food at a rest stop, and the narrator is repeatedly distracted by images on the speelies that are incoherent yet commanding. Later, the protagonist realizes that one of these images was relevant, and there is another bit of satire.… (más)
  5. 00
    The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom por Yochai Benkler (chiudrele)
    chiudrele: Explains how today's world of internet is different from the old world of television. Society is not merely consuming information and culture, it can also participate in creation of it.
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» Ver también 33 menciones

Mostrando 1-5 de 60 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
And why didn't I read this in graduate school? This is a brilliant, almost prophetic, study of the death of discourse. Thoughtful, academic, and worth your time. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
Postman brings a tremendous amount of insight and awareness to how technology has shaped us at a human level. I wish he were still alive to share his take on the technological trends of today. Much of what he says, though extremely pertinent then, is even more applicable now. ( )
1 vota joshcrouse3 | Sep 17, 2021 |
It's half brilliant and prescient, and half naively idealistic and curmudgeonly. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
A very interesting read. It amazes me that it is still relevant almost 30 years after it was written. ( )
  HLWard94 | Jul 7, 2021 |
Very entertaining read, ironically. Very much agree with the fact that most of the educational programs they make are isolated, simplistic and don't go into detail, that is they are mostly entertainment than education. Even more relevant is the fact that the large amount of information people are consuming is so irrelevant that they have to make up things to put it to use, like crosswards or quizzes, a problem not seen before in human history, as education was mostly undertaken for a more practicle purpose or as an end in itself. The trivialisation of news is worse than ever.
I liked reading about the 18th-19th century, the typographic America, when people had such attention spans that they could listen to two political speakers debating for 6 hours continuously. That is in such contrast to the "debates" they have on tv, where more often than not its just personal attacks for debates.
The biggest impact of things outlined in this book that I have felt personally is that I have been guilty of expecting education to be more or less entertaining. This book made me think about this bias that I didn't even notice I had. I have been guilty of branding more or less average professors as "boring", well maybe I will keep in mind that education isn't supposed be entertainment to begin with, it is something that requieres conquering of the desire to be constantly entertained.
I am glad I read BNW earlier, I have read so many books lately that I was able to understand much better because of that book.
1 vota Sebuktegin | May 25, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 60 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
The dismal message of this landmark book is that, while we've kept our eye out for Orwell's world all along, we have smoothly moved into living in Huxley's. Through our own compliance, our implicit assent, and our endless desire to be entertained, we have allowed the television to behave as our soma and let happen unto us what, were it made an explicit part of the social contract, we would never have accepted. Orwell was a cartoon, while Huxley is our reality—and we don't even know it.
 
A lucid and very funny jeremiad about how public discourse has been degraded.
añadido por ArrowStead | editarMother Jones
 
He starts where Marshall McLuhan left off, constructing his arguments with the resources of a scholar and the wit of a raconteur.
añadido por ArrowStead | editarChristian Science Monitor
 
A brilliant, powerful and important book...This is a brutal indictment Postman has laid down and, so far as I can see, an irrefutable one.
añadido por ArrowStead | editarWashington Post Book World, Jonathan Yardley
 
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You may get a sense of what is meant by context-free information by asking yourself the following question: How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve?
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In this eloquent and persuasive book, Neil Postman examines the deep and broad effects of television culture on the manner in which we conduct our public affairs, on how "entertainment values" have corrupted the very way we think. As politics, news, religion, education, and commerce are given expression less and less in the form of printed or spoken words, they are rapidly being reshaped and staged to suit the requirements of television. And because television is a visual medium, whose images are most pleasurably apprehended when they are fast-moving and dynamic, discourse on television takes the form of entertainment. Television has little tolerance for argument, hypothesis, or explanation it demands performing art. Mr. Postman argues that public discourse, the advancing of arguments in logical order for the public good-once the hallmark of American culture-is being converted from exposition and explanation to entertainment.

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