Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television

( 6 )

Overview

A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable. Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous -- to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democratic processes -- that TV ought to be eliminated forever.

Weaving personal experiences through meticulous research, the author ranges widely over aspects of television that have rarely been examined and never ...

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Overview

A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable. Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous -- to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democratic processes -- that TV ought to be eliminated forever.

Weaving personal experiences through meticulous research, the author ranges widely over aspects of television that have rarely been examined and never before joined together, allowing an entirely new, frightening image to emerge. The idea that all technologies are "neutral," benign instruments that can be used well or badly, is thrown open to profound doubt. Speaking of TV reform is, in the words of the author, "as absurd as speaking of the reform of a technology such as guns."

Argues that television is a technology so inherently dangerous that it should be considered taboo and done away with forever.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688082741
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1978
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 599,631
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Mander holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Economics, spent 15 years in the advertising business, including five as president and partner of Freeman, Mander & Gossage, San Francisco, one of the most celebrated agencies in the country. After quitting commercial advertising, he achieved national fame for his public service campaigns, leading the Wall Street Journal to call him "the Ralph Nader of adevertising." In 1972 he founded the country's first non-profit ad agency, taking leave of that in 1974. Mander is co-author of The Great International Paper Airplane Book.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
I The Belly of the Beast 13
Adman Manque
Engulfed by the Sixties
The Replacement of Experience
The Unification of Experience
II War to Control the Unity Machine 29
Advancing from the Sixties to the Fifties
Style Supersedes Content
Television at Black Mesa
The Illusion of Neutral Technology
Before the Arguments: A Comment on Style
Argument 1 The Mediation of Experience
III The Walling of Awareness 53
Mediated Environments
Sensory-Deprivation Environments
Rooms inside Rooms
IV Expropriation of Knowledge 69
Direction Education
Motel Education
V Adrift in Mental Space 86
Science Fiction and Arbitrary Reality
Eight Ideal Conditions for the Flowering of Autocracy
Popular Philosophy and Arbitrary Reality
Schizophrenia and the Influencing Machine
Argument 2 The Colonization of Experience
VI Advertising: The Standard-Gauge Railway 115
The Creation of "Value"
Redeveloping the Human Being
Commodity People
Breaking the Skin Barrier
The Inherent Need to Create Need
Buying Ourselves Back
The Delivery System's Delivery System
VII The Centralization of Control 134
Economic Growth and Patriotic Consumption
The Trickle-Down Theory
Beneficiaries of the Advertising Fantasy
The Effect on Individuals
Flaws in the Fantasy
The Depression Never Ended
Domination of the Influencing Machine
Argument 3 Effects of Television on the Human Being
VIII Anecdotal Reports: Sick, Crazy, Mesmerized 157
Invisible Phenomenon
Dimming Out the Human
Artificial Touch and Hyperactivity
Television Is Sensory Deprivation
IX The Ingestion of Artificial Light 170
Health and Light
Outdoors to Indoors
Seeking the Light
Serious Research
X How Television Dims the Mind 192
Hypnosis
Television Bypasses Consciousness
Television Is Sleep Teaching
Television Is Not Relaxing
XI How We Turn into Our Images 216
Humans Are Image Factories
The Concrete Power of Images
Metaphysics to Physics
Image Emulation: Are We All Taped Replays?
Imitating Media
XII The Replacement of Human Images by Television 240
Suppression of Imagination
The Inherent Believability of All Images
All Television Is Real
Scientific Evidence
The Irresistibility of Images
Argument 4 The Inherent Biases of Television
XIII Information Loss 263
Bias against the Excluded
Fuzzy Images: The Bias against Subtlety
The Bias away from the Sensory
XIV Images Disconnected from Source 283
The Elimination of "Aura"
The Bias toward Death
Separation from Time and Place
Condensation of Time: The Bias against Accuracy
XV Artificial Unusualness 299
Instinct to the Extraordinary
The Bias toward Technique as Replacement of Content
In Favor of "Alienated" Viewing
The Bias to Highlighted Content: Toward the Peaks, Away from the Troughs
XVI The Pieces That Fall through the Filter 323
Thirty-three Miscellaneous Inherent Biases
Postscript: Impossible Thoughts
XVII Television Taboo 347
Acknowledgments 359
Bibliography 363
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

    Still Powerful

    This book has haunted me since I first read it over 20 years ago. When recent election coverage on TV sent me over the edge, I went in search of it and was delighted to find it available still in this new reprint. A new generation can see Mander's predictions come true in the 24/7 news cycle that so distorts issues of our day and manufactures events for our insatiable consumption. Hauntingly current still, although it would be great for a modern commentator to revise/append it with observations drawn from the past 20 years of TV/media developments.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2003

    Everyone should read this book

    A fascinating read especially seeing it was written over 20 years ago. This generation is seeing some of Mander's predictions come true. What a better world this would be if we could beat the TV addiction and learn to think for ourselves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    Strong convictions against an astronomically influential communications medium in American society

    Though published in 1978, Mr. Mander's thoughts are enlightening in respect to today's media culture of reality television.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2000

    Required Reading for Everyone!!!

    Jerry Mander's threating, one-sided analysis of the medium of television sent me to bed with nighmares. When I woke, I had an understanding of the poison the mind-draining light box does. Can the human race survive? Yes. But at what costs?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews

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