Neil Postman Quotes

24 of the best book quotes from Neil Postman
  1. #1
    “What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of ‘being informed’ by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplace, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing.”
  2. #2
    “Form will determine the nature of content.”
  3. #3
    “What shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?”
  4. #4
    “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.”
  5. #5
    “Television is the command center of the new epistemology. There is no audience so young that it is barred from television. There is no poverty so abject that it must forgo television. There is no education so exalted that it is not modified by television.”
  6. #6
    “With television, we vault ourselves into a continuous, incoherent present.”
  7. #7
    “The concept of truth is intimately linked to the biases of forms of expression.”
  8. #8
    “Words ... assemble a context in which the question, Is this true or false? is relevant.”
  1. #9
    “For in the end, [Huxley] was trying to tell us what afflicted the people in ‘Brave New World’ was not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking.”
  2. #10
    “No medium is excessively dangerous if its users understand what its dangers are.”
  3. #11
    “When news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed.”
  4. #12
    “We are by now well into a second generation of children for whom television has been their first and most accessible teacher and, for many, their most reliable companion and friend.”
  5. #13
    “Liberation cannot be accomplished by turning [television] off. Television is for most people the most attractive thing going any time of the day or night. We live in a world in which the vast majority will not turn off. If we don’t get the message from the tube, we get it through other people.”
  6. #14
    “Commercials ... provide a slogan ... that creates for viewers a comprehensive and compelling image of themselves.”
  7. #15
    “How television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged.”
  8. #16
    “Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us . . . But what if there are no cries of anguish to be heard? Who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture’s being drained by laughter?”

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  1. #17
    “There is nothing wrong with entertainment. As some psychiatrist once put it, we all build castles in the air. The problems come when we try to live in them.”
  2. #18
    “There is no subject of public interest—politics, news, education, religion, science, sports—that does not find its way to television. Which means that all public understanding of these subjects is shaped by the biases of television.”
  3. #19
    “Television does not extend or amplify literate culture. It attacks it.”
  4. #20
    “Tyrants of all varieties have always known about the value of providing the masses with amusements as a means of pacifying discontent. But most of them could not have even hoped for a situation in which the masses would ignore that which does not amuse.”
  5. #22
    “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; a culture-death is a clear possibility.”
  6. #23
    “TV news has no intention of suggesting that any story has any implications, for that would require viewers to continue to think about it when it is done and therefore obstruct their attending to the next story.”
  7. #24
    “Spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face.”
Book Topics › culture
Children's Books About Culture