Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Distracted New World?

group of people in front of stage

What Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. 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.

- From Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, 1985

[Photo by Aditya Chinchure at Unsplash]

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