Amusing Ourselves to Death
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|Author||: Neil Postman|
Examines the ways in which television has transformed public discourse--in politics, education, religion, science, and elsewhere--into a form of entertainment that undermines exposition, explanation and knowledge, in a special anniversary edition of the classic critique of the influence of the mass media on a democratic society. Reprint.
|Author||: Julia Schubert|
|Editor||: GRIN Verlag|
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1, Martin Luther University (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik), course: Orality and Literacy, 17 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The central topics of the works of the writer, educator, communication theorist, social critic and cultural commentator Neil Postman have always been the media, their different forms of communication and their meanings to people, society and culture. Any of his books was built around the McLuhan-question: “Does the form of any medium of communication affect our social relations, our political ideas, or psychic habits, and of course, as he [Marshall McLuhan] always emphasized, our sensorium” (Postman: 07/30/05)? Postman was aware of the fact that a new technology and therefore a new medium may have destructive as well as creative effects. During the history of mankind there have been tremendous changes in the forms, volume, speed and context of information and it is necessary to find out what these changes meant and mean to our cultures (Postman: 1985, 160). For him, it is a basic principle that “the clearest way to see through a culture is to attend to its tools for conversation” (Postman: 1985, 8). In the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death - Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” Postman examines, from a 1980s viewpoint, the changes in the American culture caused by the shift from the Age of Reason with the printed word at its center to the Age of Show Business with television as the central medium - or in simplifying terms the shift from rationality to triviality. Twenty years later, the situation has changed again. This term paper will make an attempt to answer the question what the new media, especially the internet, did to the modern (American) culture and to its public discourse. Obviously, Postman’s provocative title “Amusing Ourselves to Death” was just the beginning of a fast moving development since nowadays the modern media world seems to shape our lives under the title “Informing Ourselves to Death” (Postman: 07/30/05) or to use one of the latest terms “Infotaining Ourselves to Death”. ..First of all, the following chapters will examine the line of Postman’s argumentation which led to the conclusion that television has significantly transformed the American society into an amusement and entertainment culture. What has happened and what was the role of the media? Was this the beginning of a “Brave New World”? As a matter of fact, Postman ́s theories and statements are not to be taken as unreflected truth. Subsequently,some critical remarks are to be made from a 21 st -century viewpoint. [...]
|Author||: Neil Postman|
In this comprehensive response to the education crisis, the author of Teaching as a Subversive Activity returns to the subject that established his reputation as one of our most insightful social critics. Postman presents useful models with which schools can restore a sense of purpose, tolerance, and a respect for learning.
|Author||: Victor S Navasky|
A lavishly illustrated, witty, and original look at the awesome power of the political cartoon throughout history to enrage, provoke, and amuse. As a former editor of The New York Times Magazine and the longtime editor of The Nation, Victor S. Navasky knows just how transformative—and incendiary—cartoons can be. Here Navasky guides readers through some of the greatest cartoons ever created, including those by George Grosz, David Levine, Herblock, Honoré Daumier, and Ralph Steadman. He recounts how cartoonists and caricaturists have been censored, threatened, incarcerated, and even murdered for their art, and asks what makes this art form, too often dismissed as trivial, so uniquely poised to affect our minds and our hearts. Drawing on his own encounters with would-be censors, interviews with cartoonists, and historical archives from cartoon museums across the globe, Navasky examines the political cartoon as both art and polemic over the centuries. We see afresh images most celebrated for their artistic merit (Picasso's Guernica, Goya's "Duendecitos"), images that provoked outrage (the 2008 Barry Blitt New Yorker cover, which depicted the Obamas as a Muslim and a Black Power militant fist-bumping in the Oval Office), and those that have dictated public discourse (Herblock’s defining portraits of McCarthyism, the Nazi periodical Der Stürmer’s anti-Semitic caricatures). Navasky ties together these and other superlative genre examples to reveal how political cartoons have been not only capturing the zeitgeist throughout history but shaping it as well—and how the most powerful cartoons retain the ability to shock, gall, and inspire long after their creation. Here Victor S. Navasky brilliantly illuminates the true power of one of our most enduringly vital forms of artistic expression.
|Author||: Neil Postman|
At a time when we are reexamining our values, reeling from the pace of change, witnessing the clash between good instincts and "pragmatism," dealing with the angst of a new millennium, Neil Postman, one of our most distinguished observers of contemporary society, provides for us a source of guidance and inspiration. In Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century he revisits the Enlightenment, that great flowering of ideas that provided a humane direction for the future -- ideas that formed our nation and that we would do well to embrace anew. He turns our attention to Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and Franklin, and to their then-radical thinking about inductive science, religious and political freedom, popular education, rational commerce, the nation-state, progress, and happiness. Postman calls for a future connected to traditions that provide sane authority and meaningful purpose -- as opposed to an overreliance on technology and an increasing disregard for the lessons of history. And he argues passionately for specific new guidelines in the education of our children, with renewed emphasis on developing the intellect as successfully as we are developing a computer-driven world. Witty, provocative, and brilliantly reasoned, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century is Neil Postman's most radical, and most commonsensical, book yet.
|Editor||: John Wiley & Sons|
This hilarious cast of star philosophers will make you laugh while you think as they explore the moral conundrums, ridiculous paradoxes, and wild implications of Saturday Night Live Comedian-philosophers from Socrates to Sartre have always prodded and provoked us, critiquing our most sacred institutions and urging us to examine ourselves in the process. In Saturday Night Live and Philosophy, a star-studded cast of philosophers takes a close look at the “deep thoughts” beneath the surface of NBC’s award-winning late-night variety show and its hosts’ zany antics. In this book, philosophy and comedy join forces, just like the Ambiguously Gay Duo, to explore the meaning of life itself through the riffs and beats of the subversive parody that gives the show its razor-sharp wit and undeniable cultural and political significance. Our guest hosts raise some eyebrows with questions like: Is Weekend Update Fake News? Does SNL upset dominant paradigms or trap us in political bubbles? When it comes to SNL, how can we tell the difference between satire, smart-assery, and seriousness? Is the Ladies Man too stupid for moral responsibility? What is the benefit of jokes that cause outrage? The Church Lady has a bad case of moral superiority. How about you? What can Wayne and Garth teach us about living a happy life?
|Author||: Neil Postman,Steve Powers (Ph. D.)|
|Editor||: Penguin Paperbacks|
A guide to interpreting television news discusses how news programs are presented and the difference between what they say they present and what they actually deliver.
|Author||: Andrew Strom|
|Editor||: Revival School|
Andrew Strom is an international author and speaker - as well as a bass guitarist with a long history of involvement in Christian music, video, promotion, recording, and Youth ministry. In this hard-hitting book he asks some very pointed questions about today's Christian music and Youth culture. For instance: When Christianity becomes just like the world is it still Christianity? When we feel we have to entertain and entertain in order to get people into our meetings, is Jesus still at the center? When we become desperate to be seen as "cool" or 'relevant' to the worldy culture all around us, does it affect the gospel we preach? When we feel we have to tone down the use of the word "Jesus" in our music or the word "sin" in our preaching, isn't this blatant compromise? And when our Christian Youth seem to care just as much about fashion, extreme sports, looking 'cool' and being entertained as the worldy kids around them, is it true Christianity at all? If you care about these issues and the answers to these questions, then you need to read this penetrating book.
|Author||: Neil Postman|
In a series of feisty and ultimately hopeful essays, one of America's sharpest social critics casts a shrewd eye over contemporary culture to reveal the worst -- and the best -- of our habits of discourse, tendencies in education, and obsessions with technological novelty. Readers will find themselves rethinking many of their bedrock assumptions: Should education transmit culture or defend us against it? Is technological innovation progress or a peculiarly American addiction? When everyone watches the same television programs -- and television producers don't discriminate between the audiences for Sesame Street and Dynasty -- is childhood anything more than a sentimental concept? Writing in the traditions of Orwell and H.L. Mencken, Neil Postman sends shock waves of wit and critical intelligence through the cultural wasteland.
|Author||: Roberto Simanowski|
|Editor||: Columbia University Press|
Facebook claims that it is building a “global community.” Whether this sounds utopian, dystopian, or simply self-promotional, there is no denying that social-media platforms have altered social interaction, political life, and outlooks on the world, even for people who do not regularly use them. In this book, Roberto Simanowski takes Facebook as a starting point to investigate our social-media society—and its insidious consequences for our concept of the self. Simanowski contends that while they are often denounced as outlets for narcissism and self-branding, social networks and the practices they cultivate in fact remake the self in their image. Sharing is the outsourcing of one’s experiences, encouraging unreflective self-narration rather than conscious self-determination. Instead of experiencing the present, we are stuck ceaselessly documenting and archiving it. We let our lives become episodic autobiographies whose real author is the algorithm lurking behind the interface. As we go about accumulating more material for the platform to arrange for us, our sense of self becomes diminished—and Facebook shapes a subject who no longer minds. Social-media companies’ relentless pursuit of personal data for advertising purposes presents users with increasingly targeted, customized information, attenuating cultural memory and fracturing collective identity. Presenting a creative, philosophically informed perspective that speaks candidly to a shared reality, Facebook Society asks us to come to terms with the networked world for our own sake and for all those with whom we share it.
|Author||: Frank Bettger|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
A business classic endorsed by Dale Carnegie, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling is for anyone whose job it is to sell. Whether you are selling houses or mutual funds, advertisements or ideas—or anything else—this book is for you. When Frank Bettger was twenty-nine he was a failed insurance salesman. By the time he was forty he owned a country estate and could have retired. What are the selling secrets that turned Bettger’s life around from defeat to unparalleled success and fame as one of the highest paid salesmen in America? The answer is inside How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling. Bettger reveals his personal experiences and explains the foolproof principles that he developed and perfected. He shares instructive anecdotes and step-by-step guidelines on how to develop the style, spirit, and presence of a winning salesperson. No matter what you sell, you will be more efficient and profitable—and more valuable to your company—when you apply Bettger’s keen insights on: • The power of enthusiasm • How to conquer fear • The key word for turning a skeptical client into an enthusiastic buyer • The quickest way to win confidence • Seven golden rules for closing a sale
|Author||: Neil Postman|
A no-holds-barred assault on outdated teaching methods—with dramatic and practical proposals on how education can be made relevant to today's world. Praise for Teaching As a Subversive Activity “A healthy dose of Postman and Weingartner is a good thing: if they make even a dent in the pious . . . American classroom, the book will be worthwhile.”—New York Times Book Review “Teaching and knowledge are subversive in that they necessarily substitute awareness for guesswork, and knowledge for experience. Experience is no use in the world of Apollo 8. It is simply necessary to know. However, it is also necessary to know the effect of Apollo 8 in creating a new Global Theatre in which student and teacher alike are looking for roles. Postman and Weingartner make excellent theatrical producers in the new Global Theatre.”—Marshall McLuhan “It will take courage to read this book . . . but those who are asking honest questions—what’s wrong with the worlds in which we live, how do we build communication bridges cross the Generation Gap, what do they want from us?—these people will squirm in the discovery that the answers are really within themselves.”—Saturday Review “Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner go beyond the now-familiar indictments of American education to propose basic ways of liberating both teachers and students from becoming personnel rather than people . . . the authors have created what may become a primer of ‘the new education’ Their book is intended for anyone, teacher or not, who is concerned with sanity and survival in a world of precipitously rapid change, and it’s worth your reading.”—Playboy “This challenging, liberating book can unlock not only teachers but anyone for whom language and learning are not dead.”—Nat Hentoff
|Author||: James Dale Davidson,Lord William Rees-Mogg|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
Two renowned investment advisors and authors of the bestseller The Great Reckoning bring to light both currents of disaster and the potential for prosperity and renewal in the face of radical changes in human history as we move into the next century. The Sovereign Individual details strategies necessary for adapting financially to the next phase of Western civilization. Few observers of the late twentieth century have their fingers so presciently on the pulse of the global political and economic realignment ushering in the new millennium as do James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. Their bold prediction of disaster on Wall Street in Blood in the Streets was borne out by Black Tuesday. In their ensuing bestsellar, The Great Reckoning, published just weeks before the coup attempt against Gorbachev, they analyzed the pending collapse of the Soviet Union and foretold the civil war in Yugoslavia and other events that have proved to be among the most searing developments of the past few years. In The Sovereign Individual, Davidson and Rees-Mogg explore the greatest economic and political transition in centuries -- the shift from an industrial to an information-based society. This transition, which they have termed "the fourth stage of human society," will liberate individuals as never before, irrevocably altering the power of government. This outstanding book will replace false hopes and fictions with new understanding and clarified values.
|Author||: Neil Postman|
In this witty, often terrifying work of cultural criticism, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death chronicles our transformation into a Technopoly: a society that no longer merely uses technology as a support system but instead is shaped by it—with radical consequences for the meanings of politics, art, education, intelligence, and truth.
|Author||: Brad Stulberg,Steve Magness|
|Editor||: Rodale Books|
The coauthors of the bestselling Peak Performance dive into the fascinating science behind passion, showing how it can lead to a rich and meaningful life while also illuminating the ways in which it is a double-edged sword. Here’s how to cultivate a passion that will take you to great heights—while minimizing the risk of an equally great fall. Common advice is to find and follow your passion. A life of passion is a good life, or so we are told. But it's not that simple. Rarely is passion something that you just stumble upon, and the same drive that fuels breakthroughs—whether they're athletic, scientific, entrepreneurial, or artistic—can be every bit as destructive as it is productive. Yes, passion can be a wonderful gift, but only if you know how to channel it. If you're not careful, passion can become an awful curse, leading to endless seeking, suffering, and burnout. Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness once again team up, this time to demystify passion, showing readers how they can find and cultivate their passion, sustainably harness its power, and avoid its dangers. They ultimately argue that passion and balance--that other virtue touted by our culture--are incompatible, and that to find your passion, you must lose balance. And that's not always a bad thing. They show readers how to develop the right kind of passion, the kind that lets you achieve great things without ruining your life. Swift, compact, and powerful, this thought-provoking book combines captivating stories of extraordinarily passionate individuals with the latest science on the biological and psychological factors that give rise to—and every bit as important, sustain—passion.