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Amusing Ourselves To Death
 

Amusing Ourselves To Death

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    Amusing Ourselves To Death Amusing Ourselves To Death Presentation Transcript

    • BOOK BY NEIL POSTMAN REVIEW ESSAY BY NICOLE RHOADS Amusing Ourselves To Death
    • Introduction
      • Media ecology: the medium shapes the message
      • Historical framework
      • Assessment of the Age of Television
        • Information as entertainment
        • Implications for a democratic society
        • Religious implications
        • Educational implications
      • The rise of the Age of the Internet
    • Media ecology: The medium shapes the message
      • Communication theory introduced by Marshall McLuhan in 1977, Marshall McLuhan said that media ecology: ...means arranging various media to help each other so they won't cancel each other out, to buttress one medium with another. You might say, for example, that radio is a bigger help to literacy than television, but television might be a very wonderful aid to teaching languages. And so you can do some things on some media that you cannot do on others. And, therefore, if you watch the whole field, you can prevent this waste that comes by one canceling the other out.
    • Media ecology: The medium shapes the message
      • Inspired by McLuhan, Neil Postman founded the Program in Media Ecology at New York University in 1971. He described it as: Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival. The word ecology implies the study of environments: their structure, content, and impact on people.
    • Historical Framework
      • Age of oral culture
        • Truth is perceived as most authentically conveyed through discourse
        • Discourse as entertainment
      • Age of print
        • Introduction of the alphabet
        • Printing press was originally intended to spread the word of the Bible
        • Books introduced a logical structure and organization for conveying information and stimulating reflection
    • The Age of Television
      • Implications for a democratic society
        • Information is decontextualized
          • Presented in small chunks
          • Little of it is useful or affects our daily activities
          • Sense of historical significance is lost
        • Politics as news
          • News industry blames government and demands solutions
          • News industry creates crises as news
          • News as entertainment
    • The Age of Television
      • Religious Implications
        • Television evangelism
          • Priests become celebrities
          • Religion becomes entertainment
          • Loss of sense of sacredness
    • The Age of Television
      • Educational Implications
        • Entertainment disguised as education
          • What’s lost in the translation?
          • Do students learn how to learn or how to be entertained?
          • Discerning quality education from quality entertainment
    • Postman Suggests…
      • He knew it was impractical to suggest that people stop watching television
      • He suggested that media as a metaphor be included in educational curriculum
      • We should still watch less television and acknowledge that television provides entertainment, not education
    • The Decline of the Age of Television
      • I agree that television previously encompassed all mediums
      • I will not continue to do so as we are seeing the rise of the Age of the Internet
    • The Rise of the Age of the Internet
      • All communication technologies have some kind of instantiation on the Internet.
      • On the Internet, one can:
        • watch television programs
        • listen to and download radio programs
        • create new programming
    • The Rise of the Age of the Internet
      • It is the end of passive consumption of information
      • The Internet now encompasses television
    • The Rise of the Age of the Internet
      • The Internet won’t solve television’s problems of decontextualized, superficial information presented as entertainment
      • A new Faustian Bargain arises
        • Rise in informationalism
        • Decline in community and epistemological interaction
    • Amusing Ourselves to Death
      • As communication technologies change, so do our cultural metaphors.
      • Social institutions are adversely affected:
        • Trivialized
        • Decontextualized
        • Informationalized
      • It is up to us as communicators to consider the implications of our work.
    • References:
      • Griffin, E (2006). A First Look At Communication Theory . San Diego, CA: McGrawHill.
      • Media Ecology. (2009, January 28). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Retrieved January 31, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_ecology
      • Postman, N (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death . New York, NY: Viking Penguin Inc..
    • References:
      • Postman, N (1990, October 11). Neil Postman: Informing Ourselves to Death . Retrieved February 8, 2009 from http://www.mat.upm.es/~jcm/postman-informing.html
      • Sommerville, C. John (1999). How the News Makes Us Dumb: The Death of Wisdom in an Information Society . Dovers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.