Re: DSM: Television and freedom?

From: Scott David Gray (
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 22:51:01 EST

On Thu, 6 Dec 2001 Alan@Klein.Net wrote:

> Here I disagree a bit. Often one CAN turn off public school by attending
> another school or homeschooling.

   No, a _parent_ can choose to turn it off. And
homeschooling is, in fact, simply the replacement of one
curriculum for another.

> If one believes some of the research, as long as one is watching TV, one is
> inextricably drawn into its clutches. We do not know we are being
> brainwashed by the messages, and so we do not even want to turn it off.

   Virtally all media is designed to convince (this message
and your message included). It's funny that when people
research whether/if/how opinions change or develop from TV
they use loaded words like "brainwash" but when they talk
about newspapers or books or conversations they tend to use
words loaded in the OPPOSITE direction like "inform,"
"convince," "inspire," "explain."

   I challenge you to do this: CITE the research which
demonstrates that "as long as one is watching TV, one is
inextricably drawn into its clutches." I'd like to see the
methodology of these studies.
   I'll tell you one thing, as a person who worked in the
field of research Psychology; much (though not all) of the
research in developmental and social psychology is deeply
flawed. Generally, the researchers are _aware_ of these
flaws and the recognition of how _little_ we actually know
about the mind and its development is central to responsible
research in the field. But when most magazines for
laypeople _report_ on Psych research, they oversimplify and
mis-state what was actually "found" by this or that study.
I know a couple researchers who, after making the cover of
this or that magazine, cried that their positions and
conclusions had been totally misrepresented and overblown.
   This is also the opinion of a dear friend of mine, who is
actively involved in current research on whether or not
there are links between TV viewing and violent action.

> Thus, I see the comparison as at least being plausible.
> That said, my kids have always watched what they wanted (my youngest
> daughter has loved scary films since she was very small). They have also
> always known my opinion (good, bad, or indifferent) of what they were
> watching.

  I bet that you and I have very different ideas of what TV
is good, and what TV is bad. :-)

  BTW, I saw Jaws and the Exorcist in the theater when I was
about age 6. I actually remember being sort of bored by
both movies. Did seeing those films have an effect on me?
Of course! And so did every other film I've ever seen,
every painting I've gazed at, and every mailing list post
I've read.

  It's funny that in media, most people consider it a good
thing when a book or film moves an adult to tears or shivers
-- but those same people are afraid of the notion that a
child might seek fulfilment by toying with media that
inspire bittersweet or negative feelings.

> ~Alan Klein
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ardeshir Mehta, N.D." <>
> > Re. just the matter of television and freedom, and in particular the
> > comparing of TV to public schools: I don't see the comparison. No
> > matter HOW manipulative TV is, one is always at liberty to turn it
> > off -- but if one is enrolled in a public (read: NON-SVS) school, one
> > is NOT at liberty to "turn it off", so to speak (read: not do what one
> > is told to do by the school's so-called "authorities".)

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that
someday they might force their beliefs on us. 

-- Mario Cuomo ============================================================


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