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Neil Postman

I know of Neil Postman primarily as the author and critic of technology from his book Amusing Ourselves to Death. His theory from the 1986 book is that television makes everything show business. It’s not really much of a theory any more as the proof is so overwhelming as you see it all around as soon as you turn on the television set. Jay Rosen writes PressThink and today he posted his remarks Remembering Neil Postman where he talks about Postman as a person and mainly as a teacher. It made me think about teaching and the powerful and unintended effects that it has. What is particularly interesting to me is how Rosen writes about how Postman would disturb his students so learning could occur. I like that. It’s not how I teach, but I love being able to see things in a different way and it’s fascinating to see how you can make that happen. Cognitive dissonance is a good thing. PressThink is a great place to keep track of what is happening in the mass media and I’m glad that I read it and was able to find out a bit more about Neil Postman from someone who knew him as a colleague and a student.

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