Friday, January 9, 2009


Parasitic brain-sucking device. You don’t need it!

In the modern age, video is unavoidable. It’s everywhere, but you don’t need to invite this parasite into your home.

Television CAN be educational. It CAN give you access to other people’s lives and parts of the world that you might not otherwise experience, but it is also a powerful addictive substance that can quickly become a substitute for real life.

Television force-feeds us a steady stream of emotional images, so many that we don’t have time to process them. Even an “educational” show needs time to sink in, and if you move immediately to the next show and the next, you’re never going to have the time to derive any nutritional value from what you have seen.

Television promotes a sort of information obesity. It’s junk food for the mind. Like having a refrigerator full of goodies, having a TV in your home invites bingeing. You won’t just consume one show a week; you’ll take in dozens—with the same queasy feeling like you’ve eaten too many Twinkies.

For the health of your brain, television is something best taken in very small doses (like a half-hour a week), and the best way to control it is to not have one.

Don’t worry, you won’t be missing anything! You’ve already seen plenty of TV, right? You can just extrapolate from your past experience to imagine the current season. There will be drama. Characters will get themselves into messes and then get out of them, but you will have gained nothing by watching.

Television exploits the same emotional circuitry use for real relationships, except it is only a pseudo-relationship. These characters can’t really interact with you, and you have no influence over them.

Why not interact with life FOR REAL? Every hour spent in front of the TV is not being spent on real pursuits.

If you don’t have a TV yourself, you’ll still see plenty of it, since your friends probably have it, and it is everywhere in public places. All those movies you’re missing? You can catch them in the theater or play them on DVD on your computer—when you are ready. One good movie a month ought to be enough to keep you stimulated without overstimulation.

In spite of TV’s educational potential, the primary conveyance for ideas is still the written word. If what you read leads you to a piece of video that you really must see, you will find a way to view it.

Even educational shows can be an addiction. Like dramas, they are non-interactive and non-responsive. You are not really using the knowledge for anything, just collecting it obsessively.

Television should not be guiding your experience of the world, because it is a highly distorted reality. If you experience the world through television, you may think you know what life is like but you really don’t have a clue. When you eventually have to deal with real life, you’re going to fall flat on your face.

Television is not reality but an artificial simulation of it. It’s better to break out of the simulation and experience life directly.

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