Neil Postman Quotes

In Russia writers with serious grievances are arrested while in America they are merely featured on television talk shows where all that is arrested is their development.

By itself photography cannot deal with the unseen the remote the internal the abstract it does not speak of Man only of a man ; not of Tree only a tree.

A metaphor is not an ornament. It is an organ of perception. Through metaphors we see the world as one thing or another.

The price of maintaining membership in the establishment is unquestioning acceptance of authority.

Once you have learned to ask questions - relevant and appropriate and substantial questions - you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know.

Our priests and presidents our surgeons and lawyers our educators and newscasters need worry less about satisfying the demands of their discipline than the demands of good showmanship.

Reading is the scourge of childhood because in a sense it creates adulthood.

What the advertiser needs to know is not what is right about the product but what is wrong about the buyer.

We are more naive than those of the Middle Ages and more frightened for we can be made to believe almost anything.

When media make war against each other it is a case of world- views in collision.

The making of adaptable curious open questioning people has nothing to do with vocational training and everything to do with humanistic and scientific studies.

If politics is like show business then the idea is not to pursue excellence clarity or honesty but to appear as if you are which is another matter altogether.

I believe I am not mistaken in saying that Christianity is a demanding and serious religion. When it is delivered as easy and amusing it is another kind of religion altogether.

A definition is the start of an argument not the end of one.

If students get a sound education in the history social effects and psychological biases of technology they may grow to be adults who use technology rather than be used by it.

It is inescapable that every culture must negotiate with technology whether it does so intelligently or not. A bargain is struck in which technology giveth and technology taketh away.

We can make the trains run on time but if they are not going where we want them to go why bother?

I mean to suggest that without a transcendent and honorable purpose schooling must reach its finish and the sooner we are done with it the better.

You can only photograph a fragment of the here and now. The photograph presents the world as object; language the world as idea.

The idea of taking what people call the 'entertainment culture' as a focus of study including historical perspective is not a bad idea.

I am not a Luddite. I am suspicious of technology. I am perfectly aware of its benefits but I also try to pay attention to some of the negative effects.

Printing links the present with forever. It carries personal identity into realms unknown.

It is not necessary to conceal anything from a public insensible to contradiction and narcotized by technological diversions.

Certainty abolishes hope and robs us of renewal.

Remember: in order for a perception to change one must be frustrated in one's actions or change one's purpose.

If parents wish to preserve childhood for their own children they must conceive of parenting as an act of rebellion against culture

We do not measure a culture by its output of undisguised trivialities but by what it claims as significant.

TV serves us most usefully when presenting junk-entertainment; it serves us most ill when it co-opts serious modes of discourse - news politics science education commerce religion.

The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products. (128)

Nothing could be more misleading than the idea that computer technology introduced the age of information. The printing press began that age and we have not been free of it since.

Computers are merely ingenious devices to fulfill unimportant functions. The computer revolution is an explosion of nonsense.

[M]ost of our daily news is inert consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action. (68).

Public schooling does not serve a public; it creates a pubic.

The written word endures the spoken word disappears

People in distress will sometimes prefer a problem that is familiar to a solution that is not.

The shock of twentieth-century technology numbed our brains and we are just beginning to notice the spiritual and social debris that our technology has strewn about us.

Build an "inclusive narrative" that goes beyond race class religion etc. so that all may participate in the "the great debates".

At its best schooling can be about how to make a life which is quite different from how to make a living.

There is no escaping from ourselves. The human dilemma is as it has always been and we solve nothing fundamental by cloaking ourselves in technological glory.

Typography fostered the modern idea of individuality but it destroyed the medieval sense of community and integration.

Watching television requires no skills and develops no skills. That is why there is no such thing as remedial television-watching.

An educated mind is practiced in the uses of reason which inevitably leads to a skeptical outlook.

The effects of technology are always unpredictable. But they are not always inevitable.

Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods.

. . . Americans are the best entertained and quite likely the least well-informed people in the Western world.

Voting is the next-to-last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge of course is giving your opinion to a pollster.

Everything we know has its origins in questions. Questions we might say are the principal intellectual instruments available to human beings.

For the message of television as metaphor is not only that all the world is a stage but that the stage is located in Las Vegas Nevada.

As a culture moves from orality to writing to printing to televising its ideas of truth move with it.

It is a mistake to suppose that any technological innovation has a one-sided effect. Every technology is both a burden and a blessing; not either-or but this-and-that.

Technology always has unforeseen consequences and it is not always clear at the beginning who or what will win and who or what will lose...