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Sui Generis book club #4

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, by Neil Postman

This was an interesting read. A book about the dangers and drawbacks of the medium of television, written twenty years ago. It's well done, and a lot of it is still relevant and interesting, but a lot of it is really out-of-date. All I could really think about as I was reading was how much things have changed since then. He talks about the impact of television on education before Channel One had moved into classrooms. Computers are only mentioned peripherally, and he writes, "I believe the computer to be a vastly overrated technology". It would be interesting to read a book written by him today, exploring the ways that Internet has eclipsed television, and in some cases even allowed for more of the rational discourse and logical reasoning that television was supposed to have stamped out. But I guess that overwhelmingly, it's just more of the same. Just with more potential, and infinitely more freedom of discernment... I don't know. The book felt like it was missing something, but that's not the author's fault; just the inevitable effect of time.

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