Amusing Ourselves to Death Essay

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“Amusing Ourselves to Death”, I believe is the ideal title for not only Neil Postman’s book but his over all premise of technology as a whole. In my essay about Postman’s 1992 article in Tecnos, I am going to take the approach of arguing on the side that goes in opposition to his beliefs. The reason I choose to be on the away team in a sense is not that I do not agree with him, rather that I want to give another angle of this argument since I am assuming most of the papers you have read or are about to read from my fellow classmates will be agreeing with Postman. Although this approach by myself might not be a shock since I used the same tactic in my last essay, which was in favor of Mustapha Mond’s ideals.

In the Tecnos article, Neil Postman wrote. “What we too easily call progress is always problematic…”. When I read this I asked myself what is the true definition of progress because after reading the book I realize how meticulously he chooses a word that perfectly fits the point he is trying to make. Webster Dictionary defines progress as gradual betterment. This I find very amusing since later in the article he says basically technology is given to us only to be taken away, by newer forms. What comes to mind when I think of gradual betterment is progressive improvement, so how can Postman say that it is taken away. Cell phone, mp3 players, DVDs, smart phones, etc are all improvements to previous technologies that we are already accustomed to. One of mankind’s greatest technological revelations would have to be the invention of the wheel. It was revolutionary, yet as helpful as it made life for our ancestors; did they not already have other tools for example that could have done the job of moving objects around? For example objects such as stones could have been rolled on top of logs to a destination, but we as a species always try to improve on the present to assure we will survive. Horses can get us from place to place just fine,...
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