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Today's quote:

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Moving wallpaper


Do we really use television — and so many other "benefits" and "tools" of our technological age — or does it use us? Jerry Mander speaks the unspeakable and asks the unaskable in his remarkable book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.

Most criticisms of television have to do with the television program content. People say if there is less violence on television or less sexism on television, or less this or less that, television would be better. If there were more programs about this or more programs about that, then we'd have "good television".

Jerry Mander says that that is true – that it's very important to improve the program content – but that television has effects, very important effects, aside from the content, and they may be more important.

They organize society in a certain way. They give power to a very small number of people to speak into the brains of everyone else in the system night after night after night with images that make people turn out in a certain kind of way.

It affects the psychology of people who watch. It increases the passivity of people who watch. It changes family relationships. It changes understandings of nature. It flattens perception so that information, which you need a fair amount of complexity to understand it as you would get from reading, this information is flattened down to a very reduced form on television. And the medium has inherent qualities which cause it to be that way.

Switch off the 'idiot box' and read the whole of this thought-provoking book here:

Click here to open the book in a separate window

If you're the Reader's Digest Condensed Books kind of reader and television has already taken away your ability to read a book from cover to cover, let me help you by quoting from Jerry Mander's last chapter:

"Imagining a world from of television, I can envision only beneficial effects.

What is lost because we can no longer flip a switch for instant 'entertainment' will be more than offset by human contact, enlivened minds and resurgence of personal investigation and activation.

What is lost because we can no longer see fuzzy and reduced versions of drama or forests will be more than offset by the actual experience of life and environment directly lived, and the resurgence of the human feeling that will accompany this ..."

This book should be read by all addicts and anyone contemplating participation in the desertification of the mind to which TV leads.