Book #11: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Neil Postman
How information is conveyed has a huge impact on how we see the world and how we understand it. As we have transitioned through from an oral culture to print culture to television based culture, the discourse of society and society for that matter have changed. In this book, Neil Postman discusses the transformation from print to television based information exchange. He talks at length about the negative effects this has on our society. He warns that our society is not necessarily at risk of an Orwellian “Big Brother” degeneration but a Huxleyan degeneration brought about by amusement. Though published in the 80’s, it is an interesting discussion on the pros and cons of a rapid, compartmentalized and amusement driven information conveyance system. The message of this book still rings true in an era where ideas are being shared and conversations are being had with 140 characters or less and cataloged by witty hashtags.