Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are we going???

So I have just read a marvelous book entitled Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman and as a reader of the book, and an English Education major with approximately 4 years of experience in dealing with this kind of information, I feel I am credited to make a brief summary followed by my take which (with the credentials listed above have shown) I feel is a relatively educated collection of thoughts. The book can briefly be summarized in several aspects. The start of the book is a comparison of two of the most influential dystopian novels of Postman’s time: A Brave New World, and 1984. Just as a brief explanation of these books I will include this comic strip:

In conclusion of this section of the book Postman comes to the conclusion that we are much more like the world of Amusing Ourselves to Death in the sense that the things that we love are destroying us, and that we are drowned in a “sea of irrelevance”. The book than goes on to discuss how as humans we have evolved past a typographical way of thinking and have and become an “image-based” society. The fear of this is that, by becoming a society focused on images, we have vicariously become a society focused on entertainment. And through this action politics, media, and even religion have become centralized around our new medium of “technology”.
In short and Lamen’s terms, that is the brief, very brief, explanation of Amusing Ourselves To Death.(the book was filled with so much information. I HIGHLY recommend reading it!). However, as it is in most books like this, outlooks may appear differently than what is presented in the novel. My views are simple. I entirely see the predictions Postman has made, and see his “future” coming to fruition. But, it’s almost illogical to assume that these changes are bad. They may be different, and even scary, but change is always scary. As I have mentioned in a comment on another blog ( ) as humans we have gone through this before already, and we came out still succeeding in the end.  History always repeats itself, and all we can do is set back, and let it change. Because, in the end, all we can do is sit back, wait, and hope.

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