Amazing Ourselves to Death MOBI ¹ Amazing Ourselves

Amazing Ourselves to Death MOBI ¹ Amazing Ourselves

Amazing Ourselves to Death ➼ [Reading] ➾ Amazing Ourselves to Death By Lance Strate ➱ – Neil Postman's most popular work Amusing Ourselves to Death 1985 provided an insightful critiue of the effects of television on public discourse in America arguing that television's bias towards enter Neil Postman's most popular work Amusing Ourselves to Death provided an insightful critiue of the effects of television on public discourse in America arguing that television's bias towards entertaining content trivializes serious issues and undermines the basis of democratic culture Lance Strate who earned his doctorate under Neil Postman and is one of the leading media ecology scholars of our time re examines Postman's arguments updating his analysis and critiue for the twenty first century media environment that includes the expansion of television programming via cable and satellite as well Amazing Ourselves ePUB ↠ as the Internet the web social media and mobile technologies Integrating Postman's arguments about television with his critiue of technology in general Strate considers the current state of journalism politics religion and education in American culture Strate also contextualizes Amusing Ourselves to Death through an examination of Postman's life and career and the field of media ecology that Postman introduced This is a book about our prospects for the future which can only be based on the ways in which we think and talk about the present.

  • Paperback
  • 170 pages
  • Amazing Ourselves to Death
  • Lance Strate
  • 06 January 2015
  • 9781433119309

3 thoughts on “Amazing Ourselves to Death

  1. Zachary Zachary says:

    Stepping back from the book a slight grin plays at the corners of my mouth This is definitely the sort of book I enjoy and its exploration of our culture and technology's transformative effect upon it was insightful and illuminating It was intriguing reading this book after having just finished Postman's Technopoly which is referenced rather freuently in this book though not as much as Postman's Amusing Ourselves to DeathI would encourage teachers and educators to read this book just be prepared it's a mouthful The research is rich and the analysis incisive No uarters are spared and almost every corner of society is touched upon I think pastors would also benefit from reading this especially if they find themselves utilizing or wrestling with transmitting their services or sermons The relationship between medium and message is nowhere poignant than in the churchIn the end I greatly enjoyed the book and found its contents uite thought provoking I'm looking forward to picking it apart and discussing it in an upcoming seminar There are some interesting implications liturgically and societally which I'd love to toss around But I think the book does good justice to Postman's work in decades past and Strate does a good job helping update the conversation and draw the contribution of other voices in alongside Postman'sHere are my chapter by chapter thoughtsreactionsStrate starts his first chapter with a nod to the story of Nero fiddling while Rome burns noting that the poignancy of the saying lies in the inappropriateness of the Emperor's actions to the situation at hand This he argues is Postman's thought in his seminal book Amusing Ourselves to Death With a nod towards Postman's Technopoly Strate points out that Postman was very concerned with the overwhelming nature of data and information and media modern technology was providing mankind It is overwhelming in its totality And Postman's fear was not that humanity would fall prey to a totalitarian government such as Orwell portrayed in his 1984 but rather that we would succumb to the trivialization of all of life such as Huxley conveyed in his Brave New World Strate takes time in his second chapter to attempt a brief biography of Neil Postman As the book is both an analysis and furtherance of Postman's work this is appropriate It also helps the reader gain an appropriate respect for and appreciation of Postman's contribution to the conversation surrounding media and its medium Strate continually comes back to the term 'media ecologist' and 'media ecology' throughout the chapter It would seem that his perspective is that is the arena in which Postman ultimately maneuvered and postulated What I appreciated the most about the chapter was the subtle revelation of Postman's sense of humorIn the third chapter Strate works towards defining what a media ecology is and how that concept has been situated in conversations and the works of scholars Ultimately it is a wide and pervasive area of study As he is broaching a general definition of 'media ecology' Strate writes The re are no clear boundaries that separate subject matter studied within the field from subject matter that is considered outside of the field's area 43 In other words the boundaries are there but they're not that clear and kind of fudgeable Strate does offer a good conversation on medium and what it is and the boundaries of defining it as well as how it relates to technological advance The latter is the final exploration of the chapter touching on how technological advance andor change has repercussions many of which cannot be anticipated and often fall against the intent of the initial technological advanceThe fourth chapter explores the changes which have occurred culturally because of the advent of the printing press and everything which has followed since then There was a sense of perverse fascination in reading through his summary of what has occurred like re watching a train wreck one knows is going to be pretty bad But the details of the transition always fascinate me That the advent of electronic communication and media would have such a drastic impact upon western society and especially American is just amazing In chronicling all the different transitions and changes which occurred Strate regularly comes back to the principles and technological age which birthed America and highlights Postman's piercing uestion of whether America can survive the transition from technocracy of its birth to the Technopoly it is becoming todayNow this begins the fifth chapter and so Strate turns his attention to the news More generally this chapter is about the flow of information in a culture specifically critiuing how the flow of that information affects the populace's capacity to interpret prioritize and engage the information He upholds Postman's and Ellul's critiues of information overload There is a sad irony as he recognizes that many currently as of the writing of his book receive the most newsworthy information from the essentially comedic shows of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report The ultimate result of this entertainment orientation of the 'news' media is a populace poorly euipped to engage the issues at hand and fulfill the obligations of citizenship in a democracy Working through the impact of the media revolution which has occurred over the past century Strate focuses upon the intersection of politics and television in the sixth chapter His exploration unfolds largely as a degenerating tendency in political leadership as political leaders learn the lessons of presenting themselves appropriately through the medium of television and ultimately utilizing the Internet well also He traces how the entertainment orientation of television has effectively transformed political campaigns into extended public celebrity contests with the prize the presidency going to the one who can best convince the American public that he can be the best President He starts the chapter with a short exploration of the show Survivor and closes with the uestion of whether or not we have through the rise of the medium television and the internet effectively voted ourselves off the islandWhat about religion? This could have been the title Strate chose for his seventh chapter Yet he chose the incisive phrase Neon Gods The narrow focus of the chapter is an analysis of the impact of the rise of electronic media upon religious culture in America He notes the rise of the televangelists where the entertainment orientation of electronic media has given rise to religious leaders who utilize the medium well He also almost as an aside notes that the rise of electronic media also gave rise to 'stars' which is what the ancients also called their deities 119 In places his analysis of modern culture's intaraction with electronic media bears echos or resonances of James K A Smith's liturgical analysis He closes the chapter with the sad point that all of the information and 'noise' brought about by the rise of electronic media may be preventing us from hearing that 'still small voice of God'In his penultimate chapter Strate focuses a little directly upon education Up to this point he had indicated or implicated educational ramifications for this transition to electronic media that has taken place In the eighth chapter he focuses upon the impact upon education In short his argument which seems to be essentially Postman's argument is that the modern practice of eagerly jamming new technological trends into education we are unknowingly teaching children things which essentially undercut the education we actually want to give them As an interesting side note I almost wonder if he or Postman would want an education that 'walks' a child through technological development In other words first the child learns to write papers out in handwriting and then the child is taught about word processors Additionally Strate raises up Postman's critiue that there is no metanarrative for education no story to situate the education within there is no god or moral purpose driving education And that is was must be regained for education to have a chance of adeuately educating and discipling childrenThe title of Strate's last chapter is The Tempest and it is both a meteorological reference as well as a literary one The chapter is a call to action Or specifically a call to an intelligent discussion in the midst of the tempest of our technopoly He holds to Postman's claims that there is a way for us to be a 'loving resistance fighter' of the transformation electronic media is unleashing upon modernity Like Postman he upholds education as the most important arena to rescue and get right in relation to technological advance But there is hope he affirms if we work in the areas we can and strive to illuminate those changes and transformations technology is working in and around us We don't have to blindly accept the changes it wroughts and we can work towards a better tomorrow

  2. Paul Paul says:

    A highly intelligent lucidly reasoned and written assessment of Neil Postman's work Postman died on the doorstep of the social media age and Strate's book brings Postman's thinking to bear on the media world now burgeoning around us Well balanced clear supported by copious pertinent references Amazing Ourselves to Death will be the book that I'll point to when people ask me where they can learn about Neil Postman

  3. Mills College Library Mills College Library says:

    30223 S8981 2014

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