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Sensory Overload: the obscenity of TV in the information age

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posted on May, 14 2006 @ 05:20 AM
I often marvel at the incredible amount of knowledge that I can access from my home. Can you even begin to imagine what Socrates would have said about the internet?

Because I have Ebscohost passwords I can access the professional journals of practically any discipline as easily as I get up for a midnight snack.

I don't even have to peruse them to find what I need- I can use google to find citations on the subject I want, then go to the cited article.

I can correspond with dozens if not hundreds of people in mere minutes, and I can quickly separate the wheat from the chaf because its in writing rather than one-to-one conversation.

Just about every newspaper on the planet is at my disposal. Unless you were at the stadium, I'll know the sports scores before you do. Unless you work in the intelligence community, I know who is going to war before you do.

Freaking amazing stuff. I love my computer. If civilization began to crumble, I'd collect books on the design of simple computers and phone systems so that when the rebuilding came we'd have this benefit. I'd do that before I stockpiled ammuniton infact.

What's beautiful about it? I have to ask my computer for the information. Asking questions is the indispensable key to learning. Ask a question, get an answer, question the answer, grow wise.

You can't ask the TV anything. The TV just tells you. It tells you A LOT. 15-30 minutes of TV gives you a broader base of information than an hour on the internet would give me. This disgusts me.

I don't think it's any mistake that TV news runs the way it does. Afterall, they could easily omit the fact that OJ Simpson hit some guy in a parkinglot, or that "Bennifer" broke up, or that nothing new has developed in the Natalie Holloway case. They could give us 5-10 minutes on each of the days top 5 events, and give us upside down and inside out understanding of the stuff we really want to know about, and what's more that opens up the industry for specialization- the political news channel, the entertainment news channel, etc etc inf.

Nope, every channel, every story, repeated every hour, every vital nuance ignored, every glittering generality distilled to its most vile, useless form. Why? People will say it sells. Yes, it sells. Do we have anything to suggest that it sells better than GOOD COVERAGE would sell? Afterall, people are still buying news paper subscriptions when in the age of instant communication there is really no reason that the print media should be able to survive as a news source. Imagine how much more successful that approach would be in the easy form of TV. They aren't overloading us because the overload sells.

They are overloading us because that makes it too big to react to. When they want us to act, they talk about the same thing again and again and again and eschew other stories. Chaos in Iraq: runs constantly, and if by chance another story should break, they wont cut to it, they'll scroll it on the bottom of the screen and keep looping the same Iraq story, because that's actionable- they want you to make noise and vote against somebody etc.

But if the WTO is reaching some decision that we should be peeved about- quick blurb, then on to 10 other minor annoyances and by the end of it if you even remember what WTO stands for, let alone that they did something, they've convinced you that there's so much crap going wrong that you can't stop it.

Happens every day. I've had the talk many times.
"That's BS!"
"What happened?"
"Yada Yada"
"Yeah, yada yada etc... and look on top of that the they killed Terri Schaivo and didn't arrest Kennedy and that Cindy Shehan is at it again. This country is going to hell."
"Oh well, if the president ever asks us we can tell him that."

Do yourself a favor: trade your TV for more internet time. It makes you ask questions, even if only simple ones. You will grow smarter.

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 06:10 AM
Good post, I agree wholeheartedly, the television is simply a vehicle with which the establishment may program us with their ideas....this is why it is called television programming....

One thing I have to say however, is that the general level of education is falling, I can't speak for America, but here in Australia this is definately the case, as a result of this, people are finishing school who are not able to read and write correctly, even in their native language.

Resulting from this, lots of people in my agegroup (18-23) never acquire the love of reading, not only are schools failing their students, but society even seems to press on people that its cool to be shallow and unintelligent....

In other words, its cool to be a fool.....

How do you break this vicious cycle?

As AntiHero stated............Turn your TV off.......

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 06:24 AM
I can speak for my corner of America... dumber than a box of rocks. Even the sharp ones around here couldn't cut the mustard with a ginsu. Not because they were born that way though. Only beacuse they were raised that way.

In college I keep noticing that 9 out of 10 of the truly bright students are in their late 20s-early 30s and starting school late.

The other 1 will generally outshine them- that's the one who was taught primarily by college-educated parents or by personal curiousity.

I'm both- I started school late and I never relied on my schooling for my education (plus, though neither of my parents ever finished their degree, they're both brilliant people). Lucky me I guess.

But you know, I look at others and I ask myself how these people feel and how they cope, because they are in school and obviously value knowledge, but they've been failed as children and it's extremely hard for them, and I don't think I can relate. But then I step off of my high horse and realize that I went to the same schools they did and I ask myself what I could have been like if America had a better public school system. Then I kind of wonder how I cope... because there's a lot of stuff I wish I understood, and that I'm dang well smart enough to understand, and I could have learned it in highschool if the system had tried to teach me.

It makes you wonder about a lot of things. In all probability I am not the smartest person in my country, in my state, or even in my city. Is guy who was supposed to reinvent physics as we know it and solve our energy problems at a trade school learning how to rebuild an engine, because nobody ever bothered to introduce him to the field he could have been brilliant in?

Education... that pointless talking point that we all care so much about during election years, and maybe when our kids get a bad report card. Most people never stop and think that the world could be a radically better place if we just had the moral courage to place a big wager on the ability of our young people.

[edit on 14-5-2006 by AntiHero]

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 06:48 AM
I agree with turning off your tele...I hardly watch tv at all and when I do, its ABC.
People who lived across the road from me years ago got the shock of their lives. There daughter and her fiance had been killed in an accident. It was a collision between a bus and a car and it was one of the worst accidents at the time. (they had to scrape the road... urgh!) They had been told but soon after, there was a pic of their car on the news...really graphic scenes. Who needs that? I think the media need to stop and think before showing some images.

Another image that has stayed with me was the live footage from the race riots in America, where the truck driver got pulled from his truck and was beaten to death. It was so shocking to see that. But, the news team kept rolling and even commentating.

The other thing that pees me off is when 9 11 happened, it was on tv 24 7. Parents were allowing their kids to watch it. In Aust, they put counsellors into the schools to help the little primary kids cope. Farout, I tend to agree with Rudolph Steiner philosophies with respect to not allowing kids to watch tv. My Son watched a little of it/heard about it. Yanno, cos it was everywhere. We were at the airport a while after and a Muslim walked past with the big beard and head gear and he was scared...yelling out and pointing.."theres Bin Laden"... lol

There is a fine line with education and I feel the news especially needs to be reeled in. Sure, you want to educate your children but I think the visual side of it is at times unnecessary.

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 07:02 AM
Our TV is the monitor for the DVD...that's about it (well, and Ghost Hunters and BattleStar Galactica).

And you made such a wonderful point with the question "but is there any proof it sells better than GOOD COVERAGE would sell", there's not.

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 12:29 PM
I stopped watching tv years ago, and I feel so much better. Before I felt like I never had any free time cause I was too busy trying to keep up with my favorite shows. Now, I just use my tv to watch dvds and my playstation.

Also, I went to college right out of highschool , and I failed miserably. While I was going to college I noticed that many of the older students were doing much better. Well, years later I joined the Air Force, and the Air Force is all about "testing." In order to get promoted into the mid and senior tiers of the enlisted core you have to test. Well, I noticed that studying just seemed easier. Well, when I got promoted I was sent to Airman Leadership School. That was a lot of studying as well. Once again studying just seemed easier. I used to believe that one should go to college after high school. Now, I believe that people should either take a one-year break or wait til thier late 20's early 30's to go back.

posted on May, 14 2006 @ 01:59 PM

I often marvel at the incredible amount of knowledge that I can access from my home. Can you even begin to imagine what Socrates would have said about the internet?

It's pretty freakin' amazing, agreed. I thought it would be funny to use the internet to see what Socrates would say about it though.

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.

Wisdom begins in wonder.

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.

I suspect the man would be enamored with the technology, and cynical about the ability of common people to utilize it to good ends. I feel the exact same way, as it stands, do you suppose I'm channeling Socrates?

What's beautiful about it? I have to ask my computer for the information. Asking questions is the indispensable key to learning. Ask a question, get an answer, question the answer, grow wise.

You're channeling him too!

The key to the golden shackles is there, for anyone who wants it. You can't force people to be virtuous, it's a struggle they have to win for themselves.

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