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“Surrounding every technology are institutions whose organization—not to mention their reason for being—reflects the world-view promoted by the technology.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“New technologies alter the structure of our interests: the things we think about. They alter the character of our symbols: the things we think with. And they alter the nature of community: the arena in which thoughts develop.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“خشي أورْوِل من الذين سيحظرون تداول الكتب. أما هكسلي فقد خشي ألا يضطروا لمنعها، إذ لا أحد سيرغب في قراءتها.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“What we need to consider about the computer has nothing to do with its efficiency as a teaching tool. We need to know in what ways it is altering our conception of learning, and how, in conjunction with television, it undermines the old idea of school. Who cares how many boxes of cereal can be sold via television? We need to know if television changes our conception of reality, the relationship of the rich to the poor, the idea of happiness itself. A preacher who confines himself to considering how a medium can increase his audience will miss the significant question: In what sense do new media alter what is meant by religion, by church, even by God? And if the politician cannot think beyond the next election, then we must wonder about what new media do to the idea of political organization and to the conception of citizenship.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“They”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“Thomas Jefferson. . . knew what schools were for--to ensure that citizens would know when and how to protect their liberty. . . It would not have come easily to the mind of such a man, as it does to political leaders today, that the young should be taught to read exclusively for the purpose of increasing their economic productivity.”
Neil Postman, The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School
“in oral cultures proverbs and sayings are not occasional devices:”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“The mechanical clock,” as Lewis Mumford wrote, “made possible the idea of regular production, regular working hours and a standardized product.” In short, without the clock, capitalism would have been quite impossible.4 The paradox, the surprise, and the wonder are that the clock was invented by men who wanted to devote themselves more rigorously to God; it ended as the technology of greatest use to men who wished to devote themselves to the accumulation of money. In the eternal struggle between God and Mammon, the clock quite unpredictably favored the latter. Unforeseen consequences stand in the way of all those who think they see clearly the direction in which a new technology will take us.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“The God of the Jews was to exist in the Word and through the Word, an unprecedented conception requiring the highest order of abstract thinking. Iconography thus became blasphemy so that a new kind of God could enter a culture. People like ourselves who are in the process of converting their culture from word-centered to image-centered might profit by reflecting on this Mosaic injunction.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“Every medium of communication, I am
claiming, has resonance, for resonance is metaphor writ large.”
Neil Postman
“We attend to fragments of events from all over the world because we have multiple media whose forms are well suited to fragmented conversation.”
Neil Postman, 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. I am using this word almost in the precise sense in which it is used by spies in the CIA or KGB.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“A bureacrat armed with a computer is the unacknowledged legislator of our age, and a terrible burden to bear. We cannot dismiss the possibility that, if Adolf Eichmann had been able to say that it was not he but a battary of computers that directed the Jews to the appropriate crematoria, he may never have been asked to answer for his actions.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“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? Here”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“You cannot avoid making judgements but you can become more conscious of the way in which you make them. This is critically important because once we judge someone or something we tend to stop thinking about them or it. Which means, among other things, that we behave in response to our judgements rather than to that to which is being judged.”
Neil Postman
“Cassirer”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“In tabulating the cost of technological progress, Freud takes a rather depressing line, that of a man who agrees with Thoreau’s remark that our inventions are but improved means to an unimproved end.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“The written word is assumed to have been reflected upon and revised by its author,”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“To every Old World belief, habit, or tradition, there was and still is a technological alternative. To prayer, the alternative is penicillin; to family roots, the alternative is mobility; to reading, the alternative is television; to restraint, the alternative is immediate gratification; to sin, the alternative is psychotherapy; to political ideology, the alternative is popular appeal established through scientific polling. There is even an alternative to the painful riddle of death, as Freud called it. The riddle may be postponed through longer life, and then perhaps solved altogether by cryogenics.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
“And, in the end, what will the students have learned? They will, to be sure, have learned something about whales, perhaps about navigation and map reading, most of which they could have learned just as well by other means. Mainly, they will have learned that learning is a form of entertainment or, more precisely, that anything worth learning can take the form of an entertainment, and ought to.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“There being no international copyright laws, “pirated” editions abounded, with no complaint from the public, or much from authors, who were lionized.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“For instance, Thamus warns that the pupils of Theuth will develop an undeserved reputation for wisdom. He means to say that those who cultivate competence in the use of a new technology become an elite group that are granted undeserved authority and prestige by those who have no such competence.”
Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology

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