Reddit Reddit reviews Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

We found 59 Reddit comments about Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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59 Reddit comments about Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business:

u/JamesMercerIII · 237 pointsr/news

Many of them are Baby Boomers or Gen Xers who were exposed to plenty of education and critical thinking as they were growing up. However, there's the idea that in the information age, we are bombarded with so much information and stimulation that it is hard to begin to filter out the junk. It becomes much easier to simply pick a single source of information and label that as "trusted", than to be constantly scrutinizing all the information you get from everywhere.

This phenomenon was predicted as far back as the 80s, with the rise of cable TV and mass media advertising. There's an interesting part of a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death (https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X) where the author proposes that modern governments don't need to limit the amount of information their citizens have access to in order to control them. All they have to do is overload them with nonsense, making them unable to effectively process the quality information they do receive.

I am hopeful for the future, because our current generation was raised in the Information Age, and we've been exposed to this environment since our early years. We are more adept at navigating the internet, and therefore investigating the reliability of our sources of information. Our relative youth makes us less stubborn than people in their 50s or 60s.

u/Konwayz · 43 pointsr/politics

"The media" no longer exists to inform, it exists to entertain.

I highly recommend this book on the topic: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business .

> What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of 'being informed' by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information--misplace, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information--information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing. In saying this, I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?

u/hufnagel0 · 19 pointsr/politics

If you're not already a fan of Amusing Ourselves to Death, you would be. Postman really lays out how form dictates content, and the depth of that content. And he was hitting this nail on the head decades ago. Great read, if anybody hasn't read it.

u/subcypher · 16 pointsr/scifi

Read Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman. It's an excellent book that looks at both Huxley and Orwell and then compares the messages.

u/ThisSiteIsDumbAndBad · 14 pointsr/GamerGhazi

>e "/I/ am too smart to be affected by media, unlike all the rest of you"

It's this one, and this is the greatest.

Because half of all the advertising/propaganda out there has the easily seen subtext of "I know you think advertising is ridiculous because you're so smart and this will never work, but (INSERT AD HERE.)"

Neil Postman wrote a whole book about it in the 80s
http://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418335118&sr=8-1&keywords=Amusing+OUrselves

He called it "The Hipness Unto Death," which is awesome.

In the time since he wrote this, this advertising style has become nearly universal, and much more sophisticated. After you read this book, you will not be able to stop seeing it.

u/DrunkHacker · 14 pointsr/badphilosophy

Yep. I've been recommending Postman's book for years:

>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.

https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

u/a_bearded_man · 11 pointsr/circlebroke

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4003531/entire-jon-stewart-interview/

I absolutely love this interview. Sadly, people don't take the time to watch things and get the full context. The exchange at 9:30 is pretty funny.

There's a great book that I'm working through right now called Amusing Ourselves to Death which gets into a lot of problems that we see with news media - namely that the ease of information transfer has been a double-edged sword. While we can disseminate more, there are certain things you lose when you transition to new media. In the case of tv - it was that more of the message is transmitted through how things look/soundbites/etc. You don't get good debates - you get a series of soundbites. You don't get topical news - you get whatever draws eyeballs for ads. Etc, etc, etc.

u/Twerty · 8 pointsr/QuotesPorn

Whoops. Good catch, thank you for the gentle correction.

It seems the issue of attribution in regard to this particular piece isn't entirely a new confusion.

The quote is from the prologue of Niel Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.

u/ladiesngentlemenplz · 6 pointsr/askphilosophy

The Scharff and Dusek reader has been mentioned, but I'd like to put a plug in for the Kaplan reader as well.

The following are also worth checking out...

Peter Paul Verbeek's What Things Do (this is my "if you only read one book about Phil Tech, read this book" book)

Michel Callon's "The Sociology of an Actor-Network"

Don Ihde's Technology and the Lifeworld

Andy Feenberg's Questioning Technology

Albert Borgman's Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life

Martin Heidegger's "The Question Concerning Technology"

Lewis Mumford's Technics and Civilization

Jacques Ellul's The Technological Society

Langdon Winner's "Do Artifacts Have Politics" and The Whale and the Reactor

Hans Jonas' "Technology and Responsibility"

Sunstein and Thaler's Nudge

Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death

Nicholas Carr's The Shallows and The Glass Cage

u/dontblamethehorse · 6 pointsr/TrueFilm

That sounds like the exact opposite of a book I read and thoroughly enjoyed:

http://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

This is the same book that the famous Orwell vs. Huxley comparison comic was based on.

u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/NoFap

Hmm. So much for original content. two-thirds is from the foreword in the book Amusing ourselves to death by Niel Postman (see amazon Look Inside here and go to the foreword).

It even had a comic adaption for quite some years.


I don't mind the fact that you want to provide us with some good insight and stuff. But please cite your sources and don't pass it off as original content. 1984 and Brave new World (or the even earlier "We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin) have nothing to do with fapping in their original context.

Other than that yes, what we love will ruin us, because we are only busy with what we love that we lose everything around us.

EDIT: Fixed a sentence.

u/cynognathus · 5 pointsr/AskReddit
u/sjmdiablo · 5 pointsr/business

First, this Archer video is my new go-to commentary for this sort of inanity.

Second, I encourage everyone stopping by to comment to pick up and read Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neal Postman. It was written in the mid eighties about the rise of the 24 hour cable news networks but it's critique is even more relevant given the explosion of distractions on the internet.

u/Hojalu · 5 pointsr/politics

And then read Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, which compares the two and analyzes our communication environment..

u/dmix · 5 pointsr/opieandanthony

Such original ideas Joe! Rehashing the same luddite old-man ideas from a book that came out 32 yrs ago...just replace "TV" with "Social Media":

https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X/

u/SpreadsheetAddict · 4 pointsr/JordanPeterson

Definitely go read Neil Postman - Amusing Ourselves to Death. I read this a decade or so ago (after I first saw this comic) and I still think about it. Just picked up another copy at a thrift store recently. Time for a reread.

u/RolandSchlopendorf · 4 pointsr/videos

The problem with Crossfire, and all other news shows, is that they pretend to be serious and thoughtful, when in reality they are just partisan hackery for entertainment purposes. At least when you are watching Duck Dynasty, you don't think of it as being of any importance, it is just there for amusement; a show like Crossfire comes with the expectation of honest debate.

Instead of informing you to make you a better citizen, you get non-functional information. Instead of knowing the differences in policy that two candidates have, or what are the causes and consequences of certain events in the world, you become more focused on a politician's personality and sensationalized information. When things like this become "newsworthy", our democratic processes suffer because the news media is the nervous system of a democracy. It's even worse on shows like Crossfire, because the emphasis is on winning, not on etching out a clearer picture of the truth. So instead of asking a politician to explain a claim they made about a substantive policy issue, you get things like swiftboating. We get hung up on the battle between right and left that we forget about discerning right from wrong. And then people who watch things like CNN and Fox News and MSNBC pat themselves on the back, thinking they are doing something to aid in their civic duty, instead of wasting their time with that tripe on reality TV. But cable news is worse than those reality TV shows, because it has the same function (I like to see my guy beat up on the other guy) but the pretension of being important and thoughtful. So who is worse off? The fool or the fool who doesn't know he is a fool?

If you want a good book on why all this is, you should read this

u/veldurak · 3 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

I was very recently reading Amusing Ourselves To Death, which is a great book about how the transfer from print to television changes our discourse. It explains how entertainment is put above all else, and the relevent is increasingly lost in a sea of trivial. I'd highly recommend it.

u/Kit_L · 3 pointsr/books

For anyone who find this sentiment interesting but wants a less immature medium, read Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

u/mrthirsty15 · 3 pointsr/videos

Neil Postman could answer this one. Despite his book [Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business] (https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X) being written in 1985, it's pretty much 100% on point with the direction main stream media has gone over the last few decades.

Essentially television is one of the worst mediums to deliver important information due to it's reliance on imagery and entertainment. It's easier to become distracted as flashy, interesting, images will trump the any verbal/written content. This isn't always true, and when done properly it can still handle serious topics... however, the majority of the people enjoy the headlines and breaking news. Long form discussion is just too boring for modern television, and that's not to say people don't want it, but they're by far in the minority. Additionally, all the visual cues will subtly influence your opinion. Attractiveness and confidence heavily influence credibility.

Podcasts are actually a decent medium for this type of thing, because it removes the reliance on imagery from television. The listener has to actively listen in order to follow the discussion and extract useful information. Written text goes a step further in that it presents the content in a slower pacing and it strips the entire discussion down so it can be judged purely on content.

u/dude_pirate_roberts · 3 pointsr/hillaryclinton

Galifianakis : We chatted about a book I didn’t expect her to know about. We kind of bonded over this book called “Amusing Ourselves to Death” [by Neil Postman].

Now I feel bonded to the two of them!! I read Amusing Ourselves to Death about 30 years ago! TV IS BAD, IIRC. ;)

u/sleepybandit · 2 pointsr/videos

How the hell...

No, not really. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. I just read a chapter this morning where he argues that political discourse has significantly changed in our culture, so that how a candidate "plays" on screen is the criteria for selection.

He believes that TV, at it's core, is a machine for entertainment and not information transfer. In his view, the sitcom is not problematic since it is unashamedly entertainment. It is the news shows (or "serious" TV) which should trouble us, since it disguises itself as informative but ultimately is for entertainment just as much as a sitcom.

u/iwishiwaswise · 2 pointsr/news

This is very similar to the prologue to "Amusing Ourselves to Death". You should read it. http://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

u/HegPeg · 2 pointsr/books

I'm in the same boat in that I haven't read 1984, but I felt BNW had some very strong points.

I won't argue against BNW being weak as a story/plot (setting aside social commentary). It was not particularly engaging but there were a few things that I don't think get mentioned as much as they should. The first being the cyclical symbolism and nature of religion. I felt that this was something that more people should take away from the book. That a religion is something that should change with the times.

I also agree with Huxley in that irrelevance and entertainment would drive us from truth and knowledge. I think if you read BNW you should read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves To Death. It also gives a strong argument about today and how we are losing any real knowledge to trivial knowledge.

I think I will go read 1984 now....

u/ElGuapo50 · 2 pointsr/television

Thirty years ago, now-deceased NYU Professor Neil Postman wrote a book entitled "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business". In it he argues--amongst other things--that people eventually will not be able to distinguish what is supposed to be serious and informative as opposed to what is supposed to be entertaining. A fascinating read. He was way ahead of his time.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business https://www.amazon.com/dp/014303653X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_Pjy2wb7X111T9

u/BeautifulNectarine · 2 pointsr/politics

Folks lost their critical thinking ability when they switched from reading (active thinking) to vegging out in front of the TV (brain shut-off).

https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

I watched it happen to my parents.

u/jimmyharbrah · 2 pointsr/politics

You may not see this, but I completely agree with you. As an information medium, television is built for propaganda. This is a great read on the subject.

Democracy was far better off when we read our news and opinions.

The internet, in my estimation, is a good alternative source for information--at least for the time being. However, there is some concern about bias due to the fact that information consumers tend to only consume information that confirms--rather than challenges--their viewpoints.

u/tronj · 2 pointsr/politics

Amusing ourselves to death.

Worthwhile read discussing the medium of communication and why television isn't good for communicating complex ideas.

https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

u/asm2750 · 2 pointsr/worldnews

No, unfortunately. Google gave me this as the first link when I searched for it: https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

u/DeepThrombosis · 1 pointr/AskReddit

After seeing Brave New World and 1984 listed here many times, have a look at Amusing Ourselves To Death. Not too long and you will get a whole new perspective on TV and all our little disruptions in our lives.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/014303653X

u/rakoo · 1 pointr/BlackPeopleTwitter

A good read on the topic

Why it's relevant

One of the most interesting point of the book: if you won't do anything with it, a piece of news isn't as important as what you think it is. If it is really important, then you'll end up learning it through some other channel anyway.

u/notonredditatwork · 1 pointr/AskReddit

You should really consider reading "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman. It was written in 1985, but I think it is exponentially more true today because of the addition of the internet.

u/Backslashinfourth_V · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

Absolutely - I think they're fairly close. The only real difference it the perceived effort involved.

Although, if I can go off on a tangent quickly about "some TV shows are more intellectually engaging than others", you might want to check out [Amusing Ourselves to Death] (http://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X) by Neil Postman. He would argue (and I would tend to agree) that TV is a poor medium to engage in intellectually. His point is basically that the way the medium works (i.e. you sit back and "soak it in" with almost no cognitive participation required) is ill-suited to deliver almost anything other than entertainment. It's bad for politics, news, information, etc. With the written language, if someone is trying to make a point, they have their introduction, they state their premises and then they make their conclusion. All the while you're brain has to run the numbers - you have to withhold your decision on whether this guy is right or full of shit until you've reached the end of his argument and determined, logically, whether his points add up to the conclusion or not. There is a mental exercise going on here, and it's crucially important to the medium itself. Go watch the nightly news tonight from one commercial break to the next and see if you can remember, without writing anything down, all of the stories they covered. You'll likely forget a ton - because you're in passive mode, simply soaking it all in. That's fine if you're watching sports for entertainment, but if you're looking for answers or information, you're doing yourself an injustice. As he would say, smoke signals are a medium - they aren't used much today, but they were used a lot not so long ago, and they served a very important purposes, but you couldn't have a philosophical conversation with them. They're just not suited for the task. Postman would argue the same goes for TV.

u/errantventure · 1 pointr/neoliberal

Cosign the Postman book rec, here's the Bezos link.

u/Elliot_Loudermilk · 1 pointr/TrueReddit

Some generations are guilty of accelerating this decline more so than others. And in our modern age we've accelerated this trend with all the forms of visual media we're able to distract ourselves with. Half of American adults aren't able to read beyond an 8th grade level.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business | Neil Postman

u/rockmosh · 1 pointr/mexico

Exactamente esto que mencionas y un poco mas.
De hecho el libro Amusing ourselves to death es una especie de ensayo un tanto relacionado.
Entre varias cosas, menciona que el cambio de una sociedad de "imprenta" a una sociedad "televisiva" nos ha convertido en sociedades que aprendieron a ser entretenidas primero y despues a ser informadas. Pero que en esta transicion perdimos nuestra capacidad critica, de asociacion de ideas y de retencion.

u/Amalgamation · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/ToadstoolBeTrippin · 1 pointr/reactjs

This is actually a highly debatable topic that has strong arguments on both sides. Most of the time people would like topics to be fun and entertaining, but sometimes that can't always be the case.

There was a topic in /r/Teachers that talks about this. Some things in life can't be taught in fun ways. It's unrealistic to make every topic engaging.

There's also a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death that talks about the possible negative consequences of incorporating too much entertainment into all aspects of our lives, including education.

As I've gotten older, I've strayed away from things being fun in my learning process. It adds a layer of extra fluff that lengthens the time it takes for me to get through the material, and in some cases actually dumbs down the material. I like to understand the topic quickly and in depth so I can start using the knowledge to make cool stuff right away.

This is different for a student that has been living in classrooms since they were 5. That student yearns for an interesting and fun lecture because they have to live through them everyday. Their end goal is learning the material instead of doing something with that material.

u/novusmutatio · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Ah, The Giver is a good one.

I'd say Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. A lot of people compare it to 1984, but there are some fundamental contradictions between the two that can't be ignored. 1984 proposes that people are destroyed by what they fear(e.g. Big Brother), while Brave New World emphasizes that people are destroyed by what they love(e.g. soma).
In modern society, surrounded by the comfort of our developing technology and ever-increasing communication, I'm more and more inclined to believe the latter. It really is a wonderful book, though.

If you're interested in reading more about it, I'd highly recommend taking a look at this. Postman describes the phenomenon far more eloquently than I could ever hope to.

u/leftwinglock · 1 pointr/reddit.com
u/DeviousManul · 1 pointr/politics

Again, I don't think the constituencies interests are necessarily the concern of the representative. They are not elected to be a benevolent caretaker. They are elected to execute their will, not provide for their welfare. If welfare is the concern, I, frankly, find democracy to be a piss-poor solution to that problem. I guess you could call me fiercely Madisonian.

>I'm still in the infancy of learning about politics, but it seems that a big impediment to effective or responsibile democracy is an ignorant electorate.

It absolutely is. Which is one of the reasons that the American founding fathers wrote extensively about the need for an educated populace. It's also the entire reason for the creation of the Library of Congress. What they failed to anticipate is that the public may simply lack a thirst for knowledge. We have a world-class library and education system that people either ignore completely or minimally avail themselves of. If you haven't, I highly recommend you read the entire set of federalist papers for a lot of discussion on these subjects.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Postman also has a good modern analysis of where we're at with these sorts of issues.

u/anoncatholicreddit2 · 1 pointr/Catholicism

>The gist of it is that computer tools, and the skills to use them well, are becoming more and more crucial.

I think this is overrated, but for the sake of argument I'll grant this point.

>Students aren't born with those skills. Even if we aren't working on anything as titanic as a new bridge, we need to model those situations and lay a foundation so that when they do enter those situations, they're prepared and have some experience.

Perhaps your school is different than the ones I've taught at, but I see almost nothing in the experience of my students (except a few bright kids who might join the robotics club, or work on an engineering project with a science teacher) that leads me to believe that they are being taught any of the skills that are necessary to even prepare them to do the kind of work that you describe.

>Phones, tablets, and computers are ultimately just content delivery tools; I doubt we'd label it a habituation problem a student if they spent their weekend engaged with an ebook, audiobook, or some kind of learning course. They're going to be consuming something; part of my job is exposing them to other avenues and resources that are both interesting and beneficial.

Of course not. I use my devices for that kind of stuff all the time, as do most of my colleagues and friends. The problem is that students don't use the devices in order to consume those kinds of things. Instead, they use it to consume content that blunts the imagination, and is damaging to their souls and harmful to the intellect. Just yesterday, I watched a student playing a game on his iPad where the goal (the only goal) was to tap the screen as many times as possible in a given amount of time. He played this game for almost an hour. Experience tells me that this is not far from the norm. Again, perhaps your school is different from the ones I've taught at.

>A better alternative is doing nothing/banning everything? I just can't subscribe to that kind of defeatism. These devices are going to play a huge role in my students lives whether they use them in my class or not, and they're not going away. Knowing that, I'd rather be on the front lines trying to do something about it, trying to form healthy use mindsets, than just wiping my hands and saying it's hopeless.

I'm skeptical that it's possible for children and teenagers to learn how to use these devices in healthy and responsible ways. Their brains simply aren't developed enough, and the devices are too addictive. The very clear risks (addiction, pornography, video games, distraction, etc.) outweigh the potential benefits to the kind of "positive-use" program that I've heard teachers and administrators advocating for almost a decade now. Maybe we just haven't hit on the right way to teach our students the proper way to use these devices, but the problems appear to be widespread enough (just read the comments in this thread) that I'm just not sure that it's possible. Though, if you know of schools where this has been done successfully, I'd love to read about them.

>Two decades into the 21st century, we're still grappling with how these emerging tools influence us. The process of recognizing how they affect us is certainly imperfect, but we can't put the genie back in the bottle. We learned how to live with books, radio, and TVs; I'm sure we'll come around to smartphones and computers, too.

You're establishing a false equivalency between those things (books, radio, TVs and the Internet) because they are all a form of technology. The Internet is magnitudes more addictive, dangerous and toxic than books and radio. The deleterious effects of TV on the brain are well-documented. The very fact that "we're still grappling with how these emerging tools influence" us doesn't give you pause about putting them in the hands of young people? You say that we can't put the genie back in the bottle, and you're probably right about that, but we can limit the access that children have to these devices until: (1) we're sure how they are affecting our brains; and (2) they have cultivated the necessary virtues required to use this technology responsibly.

>These have been classroom issues since the dawn of time. The responsibility of student motivation and engagement falls on the teacher and their ability to design captivating lessons.

There is absolutely no lesson plan that you or I could design that would be more captivating than the Internet at their fingertips. None. The best we can hope for is to provide incentives (either positive or negative) to coerce them into doing what we want them to do with the devices.

>I'm not naïve enough to say that technology hasn't impacted students learning habits at all, but to claim that teaching a great lesson has become impossible because of computer use is both lazy and false. And not for nothing, it also conveniently shifts all the burden of your student's performance/success and what you could be doing to counter these issues onto your colleagues.

Technology advocates love to talk about "solving" the problems with technology in the classroom in the abstract, but when pressed with the question, "Okay, so what specific things could I be doing to counter these issues?" they are strangely silent or they fall back on the old standby of "Well, this is just how the world is now and we need to learn how to adjust," which is a non-answer. Or they love to talk about how technology makes learning more "democratic" (as if that's a good thing) and which, while true, is completely antithetical to both Catholic anthropology and a coherent and robust vision of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. We owe our kids more.

>If you don't take anything else away from my post, at least know that I also don't want to harm my students, and that was all my initial objection to what you posted was about. I think I've said about as much as I can on all this, so if you choose to respond, I will read it, but likely not reply back. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to engage with you and your ideas and express my thinking. Now it's time to get off Reddit and enjoy my weekend!

Thanks for sharing your viewpoints. I hope you're right; I fear that you're not.

u/OMGROTFLMAO · 1 pointr/gaming

Redditors are also heavily invested in screens and more likely to be antisocial introverts with poor socialization skills. Video games and screens are awesome in moderation, but if a kid can't go a single day at an amusement park without being entertained every single second, that's a real problem.

https://smile.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

u/Robothypejuice · 1 pointr/LifeProTips

But having discussions on important events is something we do far too little in our society. We need to encourage discourse and critical thinking so as to better ward ourselves against things like the recent Catholic Schoolboys VS Indigenous peoples march ruckus.

We already avoid political conversations, at least in the US, far more than we should. We even have large sections of the population that claim their ignorance on politics like it's a badge of courage and not one of shame.

The Greek root of the word idiot is very relevant to todays age. I've known several idiots who will tell you their political ideas followed promptly by an exclamation that they don't follow politics and don't want to discuss them as a defense of having their lacking values scrutinized.

So yes, have debates with strangers online. Encourage rational discourse. Push into uncomfortable topics that put people on edge because we do that far too infrequently and the human brain is very much like a muscle. We don't exercise our mental capabilities enough. We indulge in worthless mental sweets like reality television and shy away from behaviors that are healthy for our mental faculties. We are literally Amusing Ourselves to Death. We as a people don't benefit from not talking about real issues.

u/davidnik · 1 pointr/todayilearned

And if you'd really like a comparison between the two predicted futures and how they compare to what we're dealing with today in the age of infotainment and "reality" television, read Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman.

https://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Business/dp/014303653X

u/CerinLevel3 · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

If you need something that you can mention at a party or in an interview that'll make you feel smart, I'd suggest Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. It's the kind of book you can bring up to make yourself seem smart, but unlike Atlas Shrugged it's actually interesting to read and has some (largely) insightful ideas about technology.

Alternatively, if you need something more fun to read, I would suggest Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series. It's a pretty fun fantasy romp that is largely enjoyable to read if you want to turn off your brain.

u/Rebuhl · 1 pointr/conspiracy

I'm just going to leave this here.

u/z3r05pac3 · 1 pointr/books

Orwell is a better writer, but Huxley's genius is more true to reality. I recommend Amusing Ourselves to Death, which is about just that.

u/Bartleby1955 · 1 pointr/inthenews

Because it's a lot more Amusing

u/suburban_monk · 1 pointr/AskTrumpSupporters

...and that is the current state of America. I didn't make it this way, but it is the situation. People want to be entertained and amused ('ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!'), even when it comes to serious matters like government. Neil Postman said it already, we are 'Amusing Ourselves to Death'.

u/MaxManus · 1 pointr/funny

I just got all my questions answered about the american society by a thread about a SIX year old, watching all of the LOTR movies.

I don't want to come off arrogant, but seriously... Try a book for a change... maybe by an american author... lets say... Neil Postman

u/rapscalian · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

>So if I link to a bunch of books peripherally related to a topic at hand, and you refuse to read them, does that make you willfully ignorant?

First, those books look to me to be more than merely peripherally related to his points. He was talking about Paul's attitude toward the law, and he linked you to scholarly studies of Paul's attitude toward the law. Second, and to reply to your question, yes. If I refuse to make myself at least provisionally aware of the information you are giving me, I am being willfully ignorant.

>His books do not begin to answer the question of the OP.

Yes they do. They address the hermenuetical assumptions made by OP.

>Then, by your own admission, you are here for meaningless debate.

Correct. I peruse this sub from time to time, but rarely, if ever, feel intellectually challenged or satisfied by it. That's what I read books for. This just isn't the medium for discussing such matters.

>"The issues you raised cannot be settled by a few short comments."

>I disagree.

You don't really think an anonymous internet forum will have more success than professional biblical scholars, do you? You can't be serious.

>Read the following books about debate before you respond. Otherwise, I will have to assume you are willfully ignorant.

Have you read all of those books? (I'm assuming you haven't.) They don't address the issue of online mediums and their impact on meaningful debate, which is the matter currently under discussion.

I can't speak for /u/ses1, but I only link to books that I either have read, at least in significant part, have read numerous reviews such that I am aware of the argument, or know that they are highly regarded by experts in the field. I doubt any of those conditions pertain with regard to the books you linked to. Not that you'll ever read it anyway, but if you truly are interested in the effects of mass media on communication and discourse, I would highly recommend Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in an Age of Show Business.

u/J_E_L_L_O · 0 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

If you think catching up on world news is a worthy use of your time, you should try reading a book.