Book Blog.*


Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
January 25, 2010, 5:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

In 1984, Huxley  added,  people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared what we love will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.

Image from Barnes & Noble
Book cover

As if the above excerpt, which came from the introduction, were any indication of the eye-opening potential contained within, take a look at the cover! I chose this book out of three I felt were readable and possibly enjoyable. I’m glad I did.

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a book that was not nearly as relevant when it was first published twenty years ago as it is now. Neil Postman’s son, Andrew, maintains this point in his foreword by making some seriously accurate connections between what his father feared and what has arguably come to pass in recent years.
     This book claims to be a ‘call to action’, something that many of the news programs, reality shows, and trash TV aren’t.  It also expects to serve as a wake-up call for a world that has become so engrossed in the instant gratification that comes from television (computers, the internet, and cellphones) that it has lost its ability to think.
     The author (and his son) expected to receive grand overtures that defended the world’s need for all of the technology in our world today, but as the foreword also explains, this has not been the case as time has gone on – it has actually been the polar opposite. Many people who read this book not only understood Postman’s fears, but agreed with them.
     This has become especially true among the group of people, Andrew feels, who are the most unbiased and uncorrupted group – people who grew up in this age and therefore aren’t held ‘captive’ by an older generation’s logic: Us. College students. We, more than anyone else, have our minds the most open to the fact that all the things that have become our lifeline could potentially ruin us. Weird, huh?
     I think this will be an interesting read.
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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i think i need to agree with the authors fear of letting our world and day be occupy by the technology. Manny people don’t even have real conversations anymore… all they do is talk online and have virtual friendships.

Comment by Tusti

I agree with the author fear to a point. We as a people have to learn to control these systems.if a frienship is online does that make it anyless real.if you have a friend you have never seen how do you speak. At the end of the day it is a matter of perspective.

Comment by anubis265




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