Chapters 1 and 2 Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Topics: Communication, Television, Epistemology Pages: 3 (995 words) Published: August 2, 2013
Summary Essay of "Amusing Ourselves to Death"
This is a breakdown of Neil Postman's "Amusing ourselves to death"(1985), which must be written to explain the effects that high volume of emails, text messages, video games, and internet television has on the human race and the way we think. In the first chapter of the book "The Medium is the Metaphor" Postman (1985) begins his argument that he presents through out the book. Postman (1985) explains how knowledge is no longer gained from print, but from visual. This change is dramatic and irreversibly and the two print and visual can not accommodate one another. In chapter 2 Postman (1985) lays out a plan for the book. Postman (1985) rants and raves about how television is evil and has destroyed our minds and way of thinking. "The Medium is the Metaphor" is the beginning chapter which Postman (1985) expresses his concerns about the media and the damages it has caused in our lives. Postman (1985) suggests that different American cities have served as the primary metaphor for the United States at different times. Boston once was central for its revolutionary significance. Then, New York became the fundamental design because of its reputation as melting pot. Chicago had its day during the industrial expansion. Postman (1985) proposes that Las Vegas due to its devotion to entertainment is best symbolized. This is where Postman (1985) discloses his main thesis "all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment", which is how we are "slowly amusing ourselves to death" (p.3-4). Postman (1985) speaks about Ronald Reagan who at the time was the President, naming him a Hollywood actor and touches on other political figures that worry more about their appearance than their ideas and respect. Postman (1985) introduces his hypothesis by presenting the pure notion that the ideas any society expresses will be dictated by the forms in which it communicates them. He defines cultures as "conversation"...
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