Blog Archives

#CBR4 Maneuver #30 – Everything Bad is Good for You

Target: Steven Johnson’s Everything Bad is Good for You

Profile: Non-fiction, Sociology, Neuroscience

Summary: From goodreads.com, “Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day—from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons—has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. You will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again.”

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#CBR4 Maneuver #23 – Amusing Ourselves to Death

Target: Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Profile: Non-fiction, Epistemology, Sociology

Summary: From goodreads.com, “Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.”

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