Brave New World

Partial Quote: “When cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes baby-talk, when a people become an audience and their public business is a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk — and culture-death is a clear possibility.

The ideology happening in America is an unintended consequence of a dramatic change in the mode of public conversation. We have a way of life with a set of relations among people and ideas about which there has been no consensus, no discussion and no opposition — only compliance.

Public consciousness has not yet assimilated the point that technology is ideology.

Americans believe that history is moving us toward some preordained paradise and that technology is the force behind that movement — and not everyone thinks America is in the danger Postman proposes.

2 Postman solutions to combat the influence of television on American culture:
1) Make programs about how TV ought to be viewed and that ask what TV is doing to our culture. (This would be co-opeted in the end by TV)
2) Rely on schools [and education] to ask the question: “How can we use education to control TV?” (It is an ackowledged task of schools to assist the young how to interpret the symbols of their culture.)

(He also expressed doubt about them, calling the first, nonsensical, and the second, desperate.)

Citing Huxley, Postman says we are in a race between education and disaster — and need to understand the politics and epistemology of media.

“For in the end he [Huxley] was trying to tell us that what afflicted the people in ‘Brave New World’ was not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking.”
end quote.

If one knows one’s mission, there is little time for chit chat and empty laughter. Though, the opponent is extremely comical. Finding one’s mission and sighting the objective is all one needs to do to obtain some innoculation against the mad herd disease Huxley foresaw. In terms of the goals one sets, the folly of the cultural controls (via whatever mode of transmission) become ludicrous and a real cause for mirth on a very deep level.

It’s pretty safe in the desert riding a horse with no name. Groups are always a hazard.

this is a global issue, not naturally an American one, the same problem exists down here. Problem is, the boundary riders and solitary investigators rely on some form of mass transmission – without it we become like the Lady of Shalott.

sorta, I guess. Rough as bags.

It is enunciated with clarity by a psychological warfare script writer from the Korean war.

“I only own myself, but all of me is mine.”
Rod McKuen. Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows,
(I wonder how many lives were saved by thoughts like that
among the captives in North Korean POW camps in the 1950s.)

People with a mission, unlike their computers, are highly resistant to being hacked.

One Response to “Brave New World”

  1. CaptD Says:

    Greed is our newest enemy, since those that run nuclear reactors now think more about profit than safety!

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