Thursday, May 1, 2014

Final blog post

Summarize the focus of your essay on GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. Why is this subject interesting or important to you?

Your response is due before midnight Sunday.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mighter Than the Sword #2

Please post a response to the following question by midnight this coming Wednesday.

After reading the first article below, describe how Smythe's analysis of the causes of press sensationalism differs from Streitmatter's in MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD. Also, read the second article and be prepared to discuss whether the conditions described there are analogous to those described by Smythe and must inevitably contribute to the same consequences. (I may give a quiz if I'm not satisfied that people have done the reading.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lanier #2

Discuss how the developments described in the article linked below might be viewed by Lanier (positive? negative? invasive? neutral?), given what he writes in Who Owns the Future? Your response is due before midnight, Sunday, March 30.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lanier #1

Below please find a link to article on privacy. Would Lanier agree with the author's perspective? Do they have the same explanation for the crisis in privacy? Do you agree with either or both?

Your response is due before midnight, Sunday, March 23.

Also of interest:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Who Owns the Future? Interviews With Lanier

Are You Being Followed?

And other links of interest:


Monday, February 24, 2014

Going Deep

Read the handout from the book Deep Ecology. Now apply the questions it asks of technology to  screen -- TV, laptops, portables, etc. Based on Postman's analysis in Amusing Ourselves. . . and your own experience, do screen media meet the criteria for a "fully informed, appropriate technology"? Please post your comments before midnight this coming Sunday.


Monday, February 17, 2014


What do you think is the main point of Chuck Klosterman's essay, "Fail"? (Or, to put it another way, why is the essay titled "Fail"?) Can you relate to his predicament vis a vis technology?  How so? (Or, conversely, why not?)

Please respond  no later than midnight, Sun., Feb., 26. No late or superficial responses will be accepted.  Further food for thought:

Monday, February 10, 2014

TV, Evening News

Below please find links to two poems. Relate one or both to Postman's theories about TV as a way of knowing. Your response is due by midnight, Sunday, Feb. 16.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Electronic Book Burning

After you have read chaps. 1-4 in Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, please respond to the following question:

Would Postman agree or disagree with the author of the essay below? Why or why not? Draw directly on the reading to support your interpretation.

In addition, do you agree with the essay? Why or why not?

Your response is due by midnight Sunday, Feb. 9.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The 10 Most E-mailed Stories

Examine the list of the 10 Most E-Mailed Stories on the home page of the New York Times Web site for   Friday, Jan 31. When you consider them as a whole, do any consistent themes or preoccupations (on the part of journalists or readers or both) emerge? What does the list suggest is the primary function of the press in America today (informing, entertaining, rumor-mongering, counseling, editorializing, marketing, etc.)? Why do you think this function predominates (ideological reasons, economic reasons, cultural reasons, political reasons)? How does that make you feel (optimistic, dizzy, despairing) about the direction of the press and the society it serves? Your response is due -- remember, no late or inadequate responses are given credit -- by Sunday, midnight.

 For further provocation, click on links below:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Free Marketplace of Ideas? Objectivity? Truth?

Read the article linked below. Respond to the following points:

1) What seems to be function of the "press," given the incidents described in the article?

2) Do you believe a press that would function this way serves the public interest? Why or why not?

Your response is due no later than midnight Sunday, Jan. 26.

Pandora's Box