Pamda's summary of the Neil Postman interview
When asked whether we were better informed, Neil Postman said that while yes, we are better informed, we are in fact less coherent in understanding the new information. The interview was filmed in 1990, and while technology is improving everyday, we believe his opinion still stands, and in a way he predicted the future of our generation where we are overwhelmed with information everyday yet the new information doesn’t hold any meaning. In order to prove his point he mentions a story about the murder that had happened in Brooklyn and how after these news there is a commercial about jeans.
It doesn’t allow us to get the true meaning of these news, they just slip into the next one, without letting us take in the previous news and let us feel them.
He also mentions, when it comes to news how before action was associated with information, and how people sought information in order to solve the problems they were faced with. He continues it by saying how it became a commodity and something that you can buy and sell and action began to diminish, how we just consume the information and don’t do anything to solve the problems.
He talks about how people believed for over 200 years that America was not an experiment but part of God’s plan which is not true. He mentions Bush and how he attached himself to the story, and the fact that he was a free market extremists rather than a conservative.
In their conversation Neil brings up an important subject which is how the government uses the technology to gain more power and money and use it to their advantage.
He also says people feel that through technology they will gain happiness which is absolutely not true, however throughout education we can actually show people how wrong they are. The interviewer asks him whether he thinks if we for example showed people how cars are actually bad for the environment and overall health of the people, how it pollutes the air, whether Americans would still decide to use them the pros and cons, they would still use them even if there were more cons, however they would try to find a way to minimize the damage.