Are We Amusing Ourselves to Death or Just Being Told We Are?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By iloveme
Words 2232
Pages 9
After the year 1984 passed the world breathed a sigh of relief that Orwell’s prophecy of oppression by government or a “big brother” did not come true. In 1985 Neil Postman published Amusing Ourselves to Death in which he describes a takeover of a passive society using Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World as the prophecy. Postman describes imminent death by comparing Orwellian fears to those of Huxley’s:
“We had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing…What Orwell feared were those who 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 who 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, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy…In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World they are controlled by inflicting pleasure” (vii).

With entertainment and technology surrounding the population everyday is it possible the world is passively floating along, unaware of a hostile takeover that is anything but hostile? It could be considered important to point out the definition of technology according to John Street: “What determines status as ‘technology’ is the deliberate and conscious use by human agents” (8). Information could be considered either an inescapable captivity or a road to…...

Similar Documents

Human on the Death Sentence: We Pay What We Done… or Not

...On the Death Sentence: We Pay What We Done… or Not Introduction For most Americans and around the world, the automobile is an essential part of daily life especially for “every second is money” and hate waiting type of people. Cars have shaped our culture, landscape. Moreover, the industries that build and serve cars form shaped our economy. The automobile is not without its faults, but they often are concealed by the styling, performance and other features that make today’s vehicles so desirable. However, when a product is so widely used, its faults can add up to massive unwanted side effects. For example, global warming is one of the side effects that motor vehicles play a major part in what scientists call the most serious environmental problem the world faces which is the carbon dioxide (CO2) that emitted as the engine burns fuel. However, people might argue that greenhouse gas pollution which causes global warming comes from numerous sources that any single contribution seems small in proportion to the world total; collectively it becomes a vast problem especially automobile is everywhere around the world. To address a problem of such scale requires international agreements and national, states and local policies. However, making good on such commitments will require changes in how we manage every activity that contributes to the problem. For example, how much should we cut and where, and/or promo what programs to save ourselves? To answer this question, we need......

Words: 2237 - Pages: 9

We Are

...organization to help children with maltreatment. The purpose of child protection services is to help protect children from physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse, and to help families get the services for their children’s needs. Strength of the Public Health approach is its focus on primary prevention and education and its emphasis on the health not only of individuals but of families, communities, and society. The weakness on “Promotion of Children’s Rights and Prevention of Child Maltreatment” is the difficulty of using human rights approaches inside the U.S. and their strong focus on state responsibility. While laws and enforcement policies do need to change, even if the U.S. would recognize its own human rights violations we as a nation do not necessarily see the state as the primary means for ending child sexual abuse. A weakness in this article is the use of isolation of family violence from broader backgrounds of economic or cultural stress and the difficulty many family violence services continue to have in identifying and responding to child sexual abuse specifically. In conclusion, the emotional scars of both types of maltreatment are often deep and no child deserves to be maltreated. While most of us want nothing but the best for our children, child maltreatment are too common. While the words abuse and neglect are often used interchangeably, each type of maltreatment is distinct. Abuse is the intentional maltreatment of a child and can be......

Words: 987 - Pages: 4

We Don't Sell Just One Glove

...Topic: We don’t sell just one glove When we are going in a department store to buy gloves, you don’t ask for one glove because you lost or just you want to buy one!!! The sales person will look at you and first think she is kidding and second call the police she is crazy… The store offers to you a package that contains the pair. The problem now we are selling one glove, question: what is happening with the rest the package? (It’s not all the time, but it’s happening). Example: I went to TMHS and I had a chance to meet my treatment team, and that day I was very angry. I looked the therapist and asked for her to be brief, and that I didn’t want therapy, care coordinator, no nurse, and just wanted to see my doctor. The therapist looked me, no question and told it was fine. You could come back in one week to sign your IPOS. Red Flag!!!! ONE GLOVE WAS SOLD!!! WHERE’S OTHER PART OF THE TREATMENT PLAN???? Same scenario with realistic and happy ending for everybody, I hope. I went to TMHS and I had a chance to meet my treatment team, and that day I was very angry. I looked the therapist and asked for her to be brief, and that I didn’t want therapy, care coordinator, no nurse, and just wanted to see my doctor. The therapist was surprised, but decides at the moment just listen me and waited for more details. After she ask for my goals I would like to work on and maybe help my with my anger issues. The CPSS asked me why I was so angry, and she shared that for her recovery......

Words: 411 - Pages: 2

We Can, but Should We?

... We Can But Should We? Dara Shalom Chamberlain College of Nursing NR361-65561: Information Systems in Healthcare March 2013 We Can But Should We? “As healthcare embraces technology to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and lower costs, the technologies with the most impact are the ones that make things simpler” (Why and How). Various companies are trying to simplify the process of obtaining essential patient information with the use of quick response, or QR codes. These codes are placed on stickers, bracelets, and cards for wallets. When paramedics scan the QR code, they gain access to the patient’s health profile, which contains basic personal information, allergies, medications, and emergency contacts. With instant access to this vital information, medical errors are reduced, and the time that they would otherwise spend obtaining this information is cut. Some people believe that this is a wonderful advancement, and it “could benefit so many folks” (Davis), while others are concerned and skeptical about this new technology. Benefits One advantage of utilizing QR codes in emergency response situations is the shortened time spent obtaining vital patient health information. By cutting down time, paramedics are able to make treatment decisions more quickly. “Every second counts during medical emergencies, and quick access to medical information can be the difference between life and death” (Rich). Immediate access to the individuals medical......

Words: 1446 - Pages: 6

We Can but We Should

...We Can But Should We: Quick Response Codes Quick Response (QR) Codes What is a Quick Response code? It’s a two- dimensional matrix/bar code. QR codes can provide a wide range of information to patients or family members on ones condition, or treatment. QR codes in turn can assist EMTs, or other healthcare providers with information about an individual such as allergies, blood type, DNR, emergency contacts, as well as other vital information that pertains to an individual (QR Codes in Education, n.d.). QR codes can be scanned or decoded by using quick response software or a scanner to access an individual’s information. With this easy process of accessing information it allows healthcare providers to be more efficient and more attentive with care provided to patients. Impact on Patient Care Delivery In the healthcare field time is of the essence when it comes to life and death situations. With QR codes medical responders are able to access important health information on individuals which in turn makes crucial health decisions simple. For example let’s say an emergency responder comes upon an individual who is not responsive (a diabetic but unknown to responders) as a result medical history such as allergies, medical problems or even current use of medication is now unknown. If this individual has a QR code then the responder is able to access all medical information allowing the responder to provide the best care possible without any major difficulties. Therefore these...

Words: 1118 - Pages: 5

To What Extent Is the Book ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ by Neil Postman Relevant Today? Be Specific. Give Details and Examples.

...To what extent is the book ‘Amusing Ourselves To Death’ by Neil Postman relevant today? Be specific. Give details and examples. As William James rightly said, “Man can alter his life by altering his thinking” (James). Our lives are shaped by the way we think which, in turn, is highly influenced by the things we do. Hence, I would attribute most of my shy and quirky behavior to my involvement in technology from a very young age. Though the various mediums of communication persist, the dominant medium changes with generations and this medium influence our ways of thinking. As a result, it changes our habits, our perceptions and our lifestyle as a whole. The arguments made by Postman in his book in 1985, ‘Amusing Ourselves To Death’, are mostly persuasive. However, taking into account the advancement in technology and the cultural differences since, there has been a tremendous change in the culture that some aspects may not apply today. In the nineteenth century, around 12,000 people watched a seven-hour debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas (Neely). “These were people who regarded such events as essential to their social lives, and who were quite accustomed to extended oratorical performances” (Postman 44). It is impossible to imagine anybody in the modern world doing anything for seven hours. The attention spans of humans have drastically descended since. Although, in the most modest sense, I am a gaming addict, I believe I lack the patience to game for......

Words: 1290 - Pages: 6

Cant We Just Get Along

...Why Can't We All Just Get Along? I recall an incident back in my Middle school days, when I was on the playground during an afternoon recess. My friends and I were intensely involved in an emotional game of basketball. I had been playing miserably, so after my fourth brick, I spiked the ball, super bowl touchdown style against the solid pavement. It began a long process of ricocheting off the walls of the covered area and amidst its air born flight it somehow managed to collide with the jawbone of a rather thuggish looking 8th grader. At this time, an ominous dark cloud of rage began spouting from the disgruntled upperclassmen's nostrils. A large crowd began chanting, "Fight! Fight! Fight!" That was slowly forming around us like vultures circling to pick at the bones of the unfortunate loser. Realizing that the odds of me emerging alive from this mess weren’t very good, I began to think of a strategy that would enable all my major organs to remain intact. I decided to use humor to defeat this barbaric beast. I must have ridiculed and made fun of myself over 200 times. I told him that even if he passed out, in a full body cast, and suffered from leprosy, he still could wipe the floor with my feeble body. I told him if he didn't disfigure me, that I would offer to be his own personal reusable toothpick for as long as he wished. Violence and nonviolence are two very effective ways to solve problems, but for people like me whose brains are stronger than their......

Words: 807 - Pages: 4

We Are What We Choose

..."We are What We Choose"
Remarks by Jeff Bezos, as delivered to the Class of 2010
May 30, 2010 As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas. I helped fix windmills, vaccinate cattle, and do other chores. We also watched soap operas every afternoon, especially "Days of our Lives." My grandparents belonged to a Caravan Club, a group of Airstream trailer owners who travel together around the U.S. and Canada. And every few summers, we'd join the caravan. We'd hitch up the Airstream trailer to my grandfather's car, and off we'd go, in a line with 300 other Airstream adventurers. I loved and worshipped my grandparents and I really looked forward to these trips. On one particular trip, I was about 10 years old. I was rolling around in the big bench seat in the back of the car. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. She smoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell. At that age, I'd take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I'd calculate our gas mileage -- figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I'd been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can't remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been two minutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother. I estimated the number of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette...

Words: 1370 - Pages: 6

Can We All Just Get Along

...Running Head: Can We All Just Get Along? Setting the Tone with Dialogue and Discourse: Can we all just get along? Dawn Trickett Azusa Pacific University TESL 537 Professor Michael Chamberlain In 1992, following the acquittal of officers tried for the beating of Rodney King, parts of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Atlanta erupted in riots. On the third day of the melee, Rodney King appeared in public before the television cameras to appeal for peace and voiced his now famous line, “Can we all just get along?” Little did he know this would become one of the 25 most memorable quotations (usatoday, 2010). Since that time this quotation has been referenced by the Young Turks calling for an end to the arguments about genocide, Asian communities calling for peace in their neighborhoods, and 1,260,000 other occasions noted on the web. I propose “Can we all just get along?” as the overarching question offered by Wong (2009) when she states, “I posit that a reconstructed identity from a ‘missionary who is teaching to gain access’ to a ‘global Christian professional language teacher’ has the potential to redress the concern raised while enhancing many of the benefits that can occur when teachers align their spiritual and professional identities” (p. 91, emphasis mine). I don’t think Mr. King will mind if we borrow his phrase one more time for application to this discussion of how Christian English language teachers integrate their......

Words: 3326 - Pages: 14

'We Are Basically Physical Beings.' to What Extent Do You Agree?

...Ideas of how we are not just physical beings but also have non-spacial elements to us, is an idea that has existed for thousands of years. Nearly all major world religions have ideas about this; from the Hindu ideas of atman, to the Judeo-Christian ideas on the soul. The main argument I'm using to examine us being 'basically physical beings' is dualism and the connection between the mind, body and the soul. One of the first recorded forms of dualism was platonic dualism. Plato (429-347 BCE) believed that the body was physical and is rooted in the four dimensions of space and time which is subject to change, he called this the 'sarx'. But a 'being' also had another part, a soul, which existed in the world of forms and was made up of three distinct elements; reason, emotion and appetite. These three instincts in Plato’s view are what animates us. This therefore makes us not just physical beings. Plato though, saw the soul as pure or 'simple' and therefore the body was inferior something which trapped the soul until death. Plato appears to believe that the soul will be reborn in a new body after that. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) at the time also agreed that we had a 'soul'. But he believed that the body and soul were inseparable, this is the earlier monist ideas. Due to the soul and body not being able to separate this mean that the idea did not allow the soul to survive death. Aristotle did rethink this at times wondering if we did have non-physical elements to us, but it's not...

Words: 1123 - Pages: 5

Amusing Ourselves to Death

...Amusing Ourselves to Death - Paper November 11, 2012 Amusing Ourselves to Death – Paper “At different times in our history, different cities have been the focal point of radiating American Spirit.” This is how Neil Postman begins his book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. He opens the book by discussing how different cities have represented the core values and focus of our nation at that time. The first example he used was Boston. At the beginning of America’s split from England, the spirit of our country was rooted in the patriotism of Boston. Acts that motivated the nation, such as the Boston Tea Party, are examples of the truth of this statement. Today, however, Postman says that we are represented by the nature of the city of Las Vegas. Pictures of huge slot machines and promiscuous women fill our mind at the thought of Las Vegas. These pictures represent how our main focus and goal in life has shifted toward entertainment. We must be entertained at all times. This attitude has effected many areas of society such as; religion, politics, news, and education. Postman, however, looks simply at how television has played a vital role in this cultural transformation in these areas. He discusses how, through television, our society has propelled itself into, “the age of show business.” I agree with Postman’s view on how television has turned our culture into one that is centered on entertainment. Postman’s main thesis is...

Words: 1678 - Pages: 7

Why Cant We Just Be Friends

...Why can’t we just be friends It was the spring of 2015. Fifteen year old Zenda and Wendi were walking along the beach in Sydney, Australia looking for a good spot to spend the day. Once they found a spot, they began to unpack their towels, sunscreen and the volleyball for the day. Once they both are unpacked they agree to tan for about 30 minutes. While they are tanning, Zenda smells hot dogs. Zenda tells Wendi, “Dude! We should go get some hot dogs when we finish tanning.” “But Zenda, i want to go swim when we finish tanning. Can’t you wait like an hour and a half?” said Wendi “No, I didn’t eat before we came” said Zenda "Please??????" "No it's not my fault you didn't eat before you came. I told you to eat before we left." said Wendi “I know but i thought i could get away with it. But obviously not.” “You know sometimes i wish i could see thing from your point of view, but i can’t get my head that far up my ass.” Said Wendi “My head is not up my ass, but your head is up your ass.” said Zenda Wendi did NOT like that remark once so ever. “Can’t we just work this out the proper way and talk like normal human beings?” said Zenda “NO!!!!” said Wendi “I HATE YOU” “WHY JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO EAT BEFORE WE GO SWIMMING?” said Zenda “Why can’t we just be friends and work through this?” “NO, I’m going swimming.” “Fine then i’ll go get myself some food” said Zenda “Actually you know what, Zenda?” “What Wendi?” “Why don’t you go and your food and ill tan for......

Words: 410 - Pages: 2

Who We Are and What We Make of Ourselves

...Sabrina Kenney October 24, 2014 Who We Are and What We Make of Ourselves Existentialism and Humanism was first introduced as a public lecture at the club Maintenant in Paris in October 1945, at the end of WWII. Paris had just been freed of Nazi occupation, and French people were trying to rebuild their destroyed nation. Citizens, leaders, and philosophers were questioning the foundations of society and reexamining the meaning of morality. The horrors of the concentration camps and the atom bomb had just been brought to the surface. Evidence of the human capacity for evil and destruction was everywhere. Jean-Paul Sartre, like many other philosophers at the time, wrote his own essay, Existentialism, in an attempt to answer these moral and ethical questions about human nature and free will. Sartre is correct to say that people are free and must choose their own path in life, but also contradicts himself and fails to appreciate people’s diversity. Sartre begins his essay in a very confusing way. He brings the reader into a very complicated argument over the meaning of Existentialism. He says that the word has lost its meaning and needs to be redefined, “…by this time the word has been so stretched and has taken on so broad a meaning, it no longer means anything at all” (343). Sartre begins clarifying existentialism by focusing on the individual. He says, “Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself” (345). Here Sartre explains how human beings have no pre-determined......

Words: 1376 - Pages: 6

Overcoming the Internal Limits We Impose on Ourselves

...There is a dungeon we are in – a dark prison with no physical walls to keep us in, no guard to watch us day and night. And yet, we are serving our time in solitary confinement in there this prison… Each one of us has particular aims, and as we move forward in life, our ambitions change, and we set ourselves certain goals. But more often than we realize, we restrict the goals we set for ourselves. We suffer from self-doubt, and our insecurities of which we are not even aware instill inhibitions that spread roots and branches in our minds. The result? Self-imposed internal limits – on ourselves, our goals, ambitions, potential, imagination. We lose faith in ourselves, and at times, we don’t even realize it. At times, our inability to take risks and go beyond the defined boundary becomes so internalized that we do not even realize how we clip our own wings. Like a reflex action, our instantaneous response to any challenge is to evade the situation altogether, because it is too risky. It is almost as if in our own little world, the word ‘risky’ is synonymous to ‘bad’. Our inability to do something new and tough becomes an absolute truth for us. We even lose the capability to think it through, measure the pros and cons, and then arrive upon a decision like an intelligent being with a fully functioning cognition. As a result of living in fear for too long, we manage to condition ourselves to play safe, without evaluating the reason behind reaching this negative conclusion. And...

Words: 2127 - Pages: 9

Child Molesters, Rapists and Sex Offenders, Who Are They, How They Operate and How Can We Protect Ourselves and Our Children.

...asdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjk lzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjkl zxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmq wertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuio pasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghj klzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbn mqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwwerty uiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdf ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm Child molesters, rapists and sex offenders, who are they, how they operate and how can we protect ourselves and our children.Final Project.Moises Sandoval.Instructor: Miranda Saake.College Composition II.Bachelors in Science in Legal Studies. | Thesis Statement. Because the rate of recidivism for sex offenders is so high, and because of the devastation this particular form of violent crime has on its victims, the penalties for even first time offenders should be dramatically increased in the interest of public safety. Origins of the problem of sex offenders. Most people think the sex offender registries were only recently established. However, the registry of today is the direct descendant of a program that started in the 1930s. Originally intended to keep Mafia gangsters from setting up shop in......

Words: 4372 - Pages: 18