Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] tv and thinking

From: Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com>
Date: Tue Dec 6 16:52:00 2005

Hmm. Before you write even more later...this is enough for me to respond to in one sitting :-) ( Maybe I just watch too much tv and I have a lazy mind, or ADD, or....)

Jesse, don't you think people were enjoying and talking about make-believe people, problems, triumphs, romances and more, way,way before tv? It's wonderful ! Some of it may be pure fantasy. Great! A lot of it is metaphorical, or analogous, to real life that people relate to. That's why they like to talk about it, probably.

And, sorry; but I just don't wholeheartedly accept that tv has such evil, powerful influence over us. Sure it has some influence. People will always find something to be influenced by, don't you think? Before tv, people were influenced by radio, evangelists, priests, the bible, books ( otherwise, why have books been banned and burned in times past?), and so on. The extent to which we let it influence us is up to us. We watch tv, and we have minds of our own. We talk about what we watch, and what we read, and what we experience. Is it only me who has more faith in the power of our human brains/minds? Now, for children whose only influence in their lives are tv and public school teachers.....now, then I'd be concerned. I'd also be concerned if a child only had books, and public school, and no one else.

Again, I think there's just more to it than the tv causing this and that.

Lastly, just to clarify what I was trying to say: I do not totally dismiss all research. I just question it, take it with a grain of salt. And, I wasn't trying to say the effects of tv are technological or sociological. I was trying to say that all the bad stuff that people are blaming on tv is probably due to something more sociological, not due to technology. If kids are becoming more violent, or more ADD, or more dull-minded, or whatever....I really think we should be looking further than tv and video games. Good chance, in my opinion, that public schooling has a lot to do with it! But you won't read that in the research !

Gotta go watch my shows ,
     (just kidding)
Ann Ide

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jesse Gallagher
  To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
  Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 12:34 PM
  Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] tv and thinking

  Hi Scott and Ann,

  I'm on my way out the door and can't deliver the thorough responses that your emails require, but let me just address two small points now. I'll get to the rest later today, I hope.

  Scott, I totally agree with you in one respect. Our culture *is* heavily grounded in television programming. I can't spend time with many people, adults or children, whose language and archetypes have not been bequeathed them by the gods of the TV. I also can't count the number of conversations I have overheard (but been unable to participate in) that were concerned solely with the make-believe problems and make-believe triumphs of make-believe people. That point demands further elaboration, but later.

  Unlike you, I think, I am deeply disturbed by the profound influence that television programming has come to have in our society in such a short period of time. It's powers are of a differrent degree altogether than th! e powers of print--poetry or prose. You'll have to concede that as a misleading and inaccurate comparison, or we'll be unable to discuss the matter any further.

  The ubiquity of television-created and television-delivered realities and values is, to me, an ominous development and not at all evidence that television viewing is an important aspect of the healthy development of children.

  Ann, though I agree that "research" must constantly be questioned and evaluated, your post seemed to dismiss research out of hand as being unreliable. I don't think you meant to make such a general accusation, particularly with a technoligal marvel at your fingertips that owes its very existence to said unreliable research. That small point aside, I wonder how it is you can confidently determine that TV's effects are simply technological and not sociological. Even devices with a far less direct impact on human culture--such as the blender--exert a sociological i! mpact that really can't be measured in any meaningful way. For the televison's impact to be limited to its technological operation is simply unthinkable to me.

  OK, I'm pushing tardiness, so I'm off.

  Jesse

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Received on Tue Dec 06 2005 - 16:51:33 EST

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