Neil Postman had a periscope that saw into the future. I know this, because I read his book, and while he nowhere gives away the existence of said periscope, it’s the only way he could have seen how technology would have corrupted us from way back when he wrote it. This was ’85, see, before computers were chomping at our teenagers’ souls and iPods were making our lives into Broadway musicals, sans dancing. This was before technology was ubiquitous.
Postman expresses his fears that moving from an age of print (books) to an age of imagery (television) has warped the way we think, learn, and analyze data. We can only absorb thirty-second segments of information. We have trouble formulating and comprehending arguments, because nothing out there challenges us to understand it. We have demanded that everything from our news to our religion be entertaining, and refuse to acknowledge anything that might bore us, and so we have been given entertainment in the place of substance.
This is not an Orwellian world where the government has taken away our freedoms. This is a Huxleyan world where we are so shallow and so silly that, as long as we are amused, we are happy to watch our lives scamper on by without us. This is scary.