Logan T. Mckeown
Heather L. Jones
June 20th, 2013
Chapter 1 and 2 Summary
What has television done to us? A look back at the eras that led up to the TV generation shows the rise and fall of many communication technologies; the most recent being television. Neil Postman's book, Amusing Ourselves To Death, is about the underrated significance of one technology replacing another. Postman accomplishes this by providing perspectives from history, touching on technology and waking the reader to the changing world around them. To summarize chapter one and two, Postman believes that television is responsible for a negative trend in America’s public discourse. According to Postman, the change in technology to television has brought forth photogenic leaders in our country. Postman captured this by saying, "As I write, the President of the United States is a former Hollywood movie actor" (4). Postman writes that each medium allows a different way to orient public discourse (10). As one media takes over another, the stars of the media begin to change as well. According to Postman, to gain a proper perspective it’s better to see the significance of old technologies. Postman uses the example of the clock to illustrate how technology can change a culture saying, with the clock we have "learned irreverence toward the sun and the seasons" (11). He goes on to explain that even something as overlooked as a clock had a significant effect on how God was perceived (12). This change was in the past and we have long forgotten the groans of that transition. He then touched on the introduction of the alphabet and then writing saying that “writing freezes speech” (Postman 12). How do we know what is real and what is fiction? What if a known source of truth begins to become corrupt, like news outlets or learning channels? Each era of time had their way of communicating and all had a distortion. Postman notes this by saying "the concept of truth is intimately...
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