A definition is the start of an argument, not the end of one.
A metaphor is not an ornament. It is an organ of perception. Through metaphors, we see the world as one thing or another.
A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided.
About the last place any of us can expect to learn anything important about the realities we have to cope with in our wistful pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness is a classroom.
America was founded by intellectuals, a rare occurrence in the history of modern nations We might even say that America was founded by intellectuals, from which it has taken us two centuries and a communications revolution to recover.
Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and comercials.
An educated mind is practiced in the uses of reason, which inevitably leads to a skeptical outlook.
At its best, schooling can be about how to make a life, which is quite different from how to make a living.
Certainty abolishes hope, and robs us of renewal.
Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.
Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods.
Computers are merely ingenious devices to fulfill unimportant functions. The computer revolution is an explosion of nonsense.
Cultures may be classed into three types: tool-using cultures, technocracies, and technopolies.
For the message of television as metaphor is not only that all the world is a stage but that the stage is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If parents wish to preserve childhood for their own children, they must conceive of parenting as an act of rebellion against culture.
If students get a sound education in the history, social effects and psychological biases of technology, they may grow to be adults who use technology rather than be used by it.
If we may say that the Age of Andrew Jackson took political life out of the hands of aristocrats and turned it over to the masses, then we may say, with equal justification, that the Age of Television has taken politics away from the adult mind altogether.
In plain, what passes for a curriculum in today's schools is little else than a strategy of distraction
In Russia, writers with serious grievances are arrested, while in America they are merely featured on television talk shows, where all that is arrested is their development.
Information is now a commodity that can be bought and sold, or used as a form of entertainment, or worn like a garment to enhance one's status. It comes indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, disconnected from usefulness; we are glutted with information, drowning in information, have no control over it, don't know what to do with it.
It is a mistake to suppose that any technological innovation has a one-sided effect. Every technology is both a burden and a blessing; not either-or, but this-and-that.
It is inescapable that every culture must negotiate with technology, whether it does so intelligently or not. A bargain is struck in which technology giveth and technology taketh away.
It is not necessary to conceal anything from a public insensible to contradiction and narcotized by technological diversions.
Most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action.
Nothing could be more misleading than the idea that computer technology introduced the age of information. The printing press began that age, and we have not been free of it since.
One of the insidious facts about totalitarianism is its seeming 'efficiency.'
Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.
Our priests and presidents, our surgeons and lawyers, our educators and newscasters need worry less about satisfying the demands of their discipline than the demands of good showmanship.
People in distress will sometimes prefer a problem that is familiar to a solution that is not.
Printing links the present with forever. It carries personal identity into realms unknown.
Public schooling does not serve a public; it creates a pubic.
Reading is the scourge of childhood because, in a sense, it creates adulthood.
Remember: in order for a perception to change one must be frustrated in one's actions or change one's purpose.
School has never really been about individualized learning, but about how to be socialized as a citizen and as a human being, so that we, we have important rules in school, always emphasizing the fact that one is part of a group.
Technological competition ignites total war, which means it is not possible to contain the effects of a new technology to a limited sphere of human activity.
Technology always has unforeseen consequences, and it is not always clear, at the beginning, who or what will win, and who or what will lose.
Television is altering the meaning of 'being informed' by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information- misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information- information that creates the illusion of knowing something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing.
The effects of technology are always unpredictable. But they are not always inevitable.
The key to all fanatical beliefs is that they are self-confirming... (some beliefs are) fanatical not because they are 'false,' but because they are expressed in such a way that they can never be shown to be false.
The shock of twentieth-century technology numbed our brains and we are just beginning to notice the spiritual and social debris that our technology has strewn about us.
The way to be liberated from the constraining effects of any medium is to develop a perspective on it- how it works and what it does.
The whole problem with news on television comes down to this: all the words uttered in an hour of news coverage could be printed on a page of a newspaper. And the world cannot be understood in one page.
The world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact... that will surprise us for very long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world which would make the fact appear as an unacceptable contradiction.
The written word endures, the spoken word disappears.
There is no escaping from ourselves. The human dilemma is as it has always been, and we solve nothing fundamental by cloaking ourselves in technological glory.
Through the computer, the heralds say, we will make education better, religion better, politics better, our minds better- best of all, ourselves better. This is, of course, nonsense, and only the young or the ignorant or the foolish could believe it.
Voting is the next-to-last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge, of course, is giving your opinion to a pollster.
We are more naive than those of the Middle Ages, and more frightened, for we can be made to believe almost anything.
We can make the trains run on time but if they are not going where we want them to go, why bother?
We do not measure a culture by its output of undisguised trivialities but by what it claims as significant.
We no longer have a coherent conception of ourselves, and our universe, and our relation to one another and our world.
What might have been politically therapeutic at one time may prove politically fatal at another.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.
What's worth knowing? How do you decide?
When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.
You cannot avoid making judgments 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.
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