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York University
EN 1700

Professional Writing: Process and Practice EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner Lecture 17 – Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death – Feb 22 Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death - Beginning and end – contrast two more vision of the future – 1984, Brave New World. - Thesis: in the US, there is no need to oppressive measures of 1984. - Orwell: Deprive us of information. - Huxley: too much of information. - Orwell: truth concealed. - Huxley: drowned in a sea of irrelevance. - Orwell: fear of captive culture. - Huxley: fear of trivial culture. - Orwell: inflicted pain - Huxley: inflicted pleasure. - We will willingly surrender from a threat within, when not seen as one. The Age of Typography - The word of the printed word has been replaced by the televised word. - You must be able to follow rational sequences. - Books are organized, when you read it, you are internalizing those structures and how they work. - Huxley: feared no one would want to read books. - Orwell: feared books would be banned. - The world of the word is one which is very rational. - The printed word and the press, model of rhetoric and discourse. - Press created reason and rational discourse. - Debates were transcribed word to word. Printed in full in newspaper. - Telegraph, conquer space. From one side of the country to the other. News became national, less impact in local communities. - Photograph, images. Records the world, rather than comments on it. ‘A peek-a- boo world’; the picture lacks context. A glimpse into something then pulled away. - Postman believes to comment, you need language. - The world of the photograph is concrete. (You can’t take a picture of an idea). - According to Postman, you cannot say anything without the written world. - Huxley feared what we love will ruin it. - Destroyed by our own self-inflicted pleasure of mindless activity (example tabloids). - Age of typography = printed word. - World of the word very rational has structure and reasoning. - Listening to speeches in 1800s audience would have historical knowledge and understand context. - Undermined by new inventions – telegraph and photograph. - News became national and had less immediate impact. - Records a moment in time, r
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