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Old 03-14-2009, 09:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Richard the Lionheart View Post
I think that is my point, though. Right now the free market is the thought police. Market shares determines what airs, people love money, sex, violence, shouting matches, and entertainment which doesn't require hard work or serious thought. Voila! There's your television lineup!
But most people don't want serious thought, and I think that's the biggest problem. You can't force (or even convince) people to turn off Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews and start reading Rousseau, Locke, Proudhon, Marx, etc.

What would be nice is if Fox News, CNN, etc. aired stuff on those guys and their relevance to today, but, again, there's no market for it. You can't force people to do any critical thinking.

In Praise of Idleness by Russell adds a suggestion; if people worked less hours, they would have more energy and time, which would lead them to read and think more. That may help, but, again, I don't think that would necessarily make anyone want to pick up a book.

but most parents today are nothing more than giant-sized children.
True, true.

And while I agree with you that reading isn't necessarily good in itself...I think you would have to work hard to find a book that is quite as stupid and mindnumbing as the average reality tv show. Plus, almost any form of reading requires more suspended concentration and active thought than any television program, which is literally projected at you even as you sleep. I mean, I'm no fan of trash novels, and I think people should be reading the classics instead, but even the worst paper back novels are a little better than television, IMO.
I agree with you, although i still think that you would have to weed-out a lot of books, as a lot of people who have or produce garbage on TV also have their garbage in book form. But you're right: at least reading the garbage instead of watching it helps your attention span, reading comprehension ability, etc.

I read parts of a book (I'll have to pick it up sometime) called Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter. It documents (if I remember correctly, he thought the anti-int. movement started with the Republican Party to try and make Adlai Stevenson look out-of-touch with the average American) how reading and intellectualism became "unfashionable" in the U.S.

Last edited by Ellis; 03-14-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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