[ExI] Amusing ourselves to death
pharos at gmail.com
Fri Jul 23 11:34:31 UTC 2021
I interrupted my hours of clicking on 'must-read' news and
'must-watch' videos when I came across this article about how media
triviality is taking over civilisation. Excellent read!
We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy
didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of ourselves. But
we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision was another
–slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous
Huxley's Brave New World.…
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared
was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no
one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us
of information. Huxley feared those would give us so much that we
would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth
would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned
in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive
culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.
There is no prize for guessing who was right.
When we look around at the world today, how can we not say that we
have become a captive society, controlled in the very manner that
Postman and Huxley predicted? What’s more, instead of resisting this
control, as we would under a fascist regime – we have succumbed to it.
As Postman wrote:
People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies
that undo their capacity to think.
Postman's book can be downloaded or read online (197 pages) here:
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