tvSmarter – Life in a TV Nation


There are numerous excellent Anti-TV websites out there (see my blogroll), the reason I decided to create was because I felt there were some facts about TV and arguments that needed to be more widely known.  Namely:


1. The fact that TV, by continually evoking the “Orienting Response” slows down the viewer’s brainwaves.

People often argue that TV is no different from reading or watching a play, but at a neurological level, it is very different.


2. It is human nature to enjoy storytelling and entertainment. But there are huge advantages to getting your entertainment from books (reading for pleasure) and huge disadvantages from getting your entertainment from TV.


3. But, did TV cause the huge crime increase starting in the mid 1960’s? There is no way to prove this.  But TV proponents often argue that the reduction in crime to early 1960 levels by the year 2000, is proof that TV is not the culprit. They fail to mention that the U.S.A. has had to more than quintuple (increase by 500%) the rate of incarceration to accomplish this reduction.


4. It has commonly been noted that excessive TV watching is often a symptom of depression. But there are a number of reasons to believe that TV watching also contributes to depression.


One thought on “About

  1. Isn’t television essentially the most primary and ubiquitous cultural masseur in the techno inundated nations (primarily urban centers) of our world? As such, television is our primary dispenser and reinforcing agent of cultural norms(?). I suspect this is possible due to the human animal’s facility with verbal behavior. It allows the passing on of highly involved information linguistically, not requiring the reinvention of technical advances of all sorts. A difficulty arises in that, that very strength is also the greatest weakness, to wit, verbal behavior also increases the probability of adopting superstitious affects. The a fore mentioned results from my understanding of symbolic interaction, behaviorism, and performance art. Due to the innate human characteristic of empathy, if a story writer ties a tragic out come to a definable, inferentially causal stimulus/condition/circumstance, a hearer or viewer could become more likely to presume a causal link. If the causal assumption is invalid, a superstitious affect may be established. (Superstition, defined as assigning a causal link to simple random temporal and/or spacial coincidence: presuming, that coincidence constitutes a correlation… A regression analysis testing might be illuminating.) As counter intuitive as it seems, I suspect we are inundated with a cultural tendency toward what amounts to a ‘superstitious rationalism’, in that,that which is accepted as ‘rational’ might be little more than a facile construct with a superficially logical appearance, as a syllogism built upon a false premise. Visual/auditory media make it possible to chain imagined events and assign interpretive reasoning to those chains which are unwarranted, and this can establish expectations in the ‘at large’ population… establishing a reinforcing dynamic. As the presence of a TV schedule with a large proportion of cop shows solving violent crime, might induce viewers to believe that violent crime is on the rise, when in statistical fact it is declining. Performance art elicits an empathetic response making it conducive to establishing a sort of vicarious experience, not quite as powerful as the actual, but a film of a threatening condition will induce the release epinephrine (fight or flight hormone) and stimulating the viewer’s amygdala, hippocampus, temporal lobes and other neurological structures, the essential ‘escape’ dynamic on a observer releases dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters, and so forth. I’m just describing one dynamic of a complex, comprehensive, intra and interactive system. to paraphrase Stratford-upon-Avon Willy,” More intelligent television ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished,” Consequences drive behavior. Short-term consequences are inherently produce the most powerful consequences. The best human qualities are the result of attending to longer term consequential relations. This is NOT the relationship being fostered by the present day evolution of mainstream media. Your 4 points are surely valid.


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