“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.” — Neil Postman

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In 1985, Neil Postman published “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business”. Seeing that the world had not become what George Orwell speculated it might in the infamous 1984, Postman instead warns against Aldus Huxley’s predictions in Brave New World. Rather than fearing an overtake by an ultimate totalitarian government, he believed society was much more likely to fall victim to it’s own technological advances, just like Huxley imagined. Postman already saw the beginnings of this fate in the evolving television news industry slowly melding fact with fiction and becoming more focused on entertaining than informing. Nothing in history compares to the rapid development of technology we’ve witnessed in our lives. Smartphones, social media, and even the internet are by all comparisons new and novel, though it’s already hard to remember a time before them. That is why it has never been more crucial, as Huxley long foresaw, to not let ourselves be lost to our own innovations. Technology has begun to fill almost all of our waking time, offering unlimited entertainment at our fingertips. You may not think so, but almost everyone today will spend tens of thousands of hours in their lifetime staring at a screen. This is because intelligence without humanity, and without the regulation of humans, wins over our intrinsically flawed judgement. Waiting any longer to address technology and social media development with legislation will bring the U.S. …

Lindsey Batista

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