John Lilly's Reviews > Teaching as a Subversive Activity

Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman
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May 12, 2009

really liked it
Recommended to John by: Jared Kopf
Recommended for: everyone

This is an amazing book -- written in 1968 by always smart Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, it's ostensibly a book about education reform -- and it's a very good one to read about that. But it also reads like it could have been written in the last year or so, about what we're all experiencing with the incredible pace of change on the connected Internet. Postman's ability to see what the future had in store -- along with great minds like McLuhan -- is totally astounding. The first couple of chapters of this book, in particular, are of huge relevance to everyone working on the Web today. (Thanks to Jared Kopf for the recommendation & book loan!)

A couple of quotes for today from 40 years ago:

Change occurs so rapidly that each of us in the course of our lives has continuously to work out a set of values, beliefs, and patterns of behavior that are viable, or seem viable, to each of us personally. And just when we have identified a workable system, it turns out to be irrelevant because so much has changed while we were doing it.


As the number of messages increases, the amount of information carried decreases. We have more media to communicate fewer significant ideas.
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