“Amusing Ourselves to Death” Foreword, Chapter 1 and 2 Summarized
In Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death", he suggests that our society has become dependent on gathering our information from media and we are becoming powerless. He goes on to show that television is the primary means of information and is converting it into entertainment.
Postman begins with a foreword that’s summarized as the comparison of views written about in “1984” by George Orwell and in “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. Both authors write about two different imaginary Utopian societies. Orwell fears a dictatorial state prohibits information (i.e. books) from reaching to public to keep it powerless. Whereas Huxley, writes of fearing that society will be amused by distractions, overwhelmed by loads of information and not realize that they are powerless. Postman’s foreword continues to show the correlation between his views and the possibilities of Huxley’s views.
In Chapter 1 "The Medium is the Metaphor", Neil Postman (1985) writes about the decline from “ the Age of Typography" to ascended to the "Age of Television" (p.8). He expresses concerns about the media and how since the creation the television, we have begun to simply amusing ourselves with entertainment rather than thinking reasonably. He has used Las Vegas, NV as a metaphor for America because it “proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment.” (p.3). Postman has used the term medium as a device through which we are able to create, communicate, and understand meaning. He uses metaphor for the way in which we think. He explains a metaphor for thinking reasonably was once the tool of writing that people could apprehend. In summary, Post believes that because of technology (media), we are unable to think for ourselves and we believe simply what’s being presented to us because of the media.
Postman writes in chapter 2 "Media as Epistemology” his plans for the...