Future Schlock by Neil Postman

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Kamaria Hill
10/2/12
“Future Schlock” Essay
The year is 2012 and the technologically advancement now compared to previous centuries is remarkable; however, with that increase of technological advancement came a decrease of society’s intelligence. Neil Postman, author of “Future Schlock,” points out how mediocre American human intelligence is due to all the technology around us. According to Postman, America was once called “the empire of reason” because it was founded by intellectuals; Henry Steele Commager was the gentleman who coined this phrase, however, he was aptly referring to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Postman denotes an absolute truth, that mass media is diminishing human intelligence.

The author calls human intelligence “among the most fragile things in nature.” He’s referring to the fact that humans get distracted so easily. This can be seen on a daily basis where two people are having a conversation, one of their electronic devices goes off, and the conversation is suddenly non-existent. Recently Apple® released its latest achievement, the iPhone 5. Within the first 24 hours, the pre-orders for the phone were over two million. The lines outside of the Apple® stores for this piece of metal were ridiculous. Among this generation, more and more of the youth are willing to stand in lines for “the latest” whatever, than to go out and do something that will actually make a difference, like voting. It’s a sad reality where tangible things rank higher than knowledge. Postman also says that Americans rely heavily on television “not only for their light entertainment but for their news, their weather, their politics, their religion, their history─all of which may be said to be their serious entertainment.” He goes on to point out how news and politics are entertainment-oriented so Americans could not possibly get “any intelligent understanding of public affairs.” A perfect example of this would be The Onion, a popular news source, satirizes...
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