Frases de Neil Postman

15   10

Neil Postman

Fecha de nacimiento: 8. Marzo 1931
Fecha de muerte: 5. Octubre 2003

Neil Postman fue un sociólogo y crítico cultural estadounidense. Fue discípulo de Marshall McLuhan, director del Departamento de Cultura y Comunicación de la Universidad de Nueva York, y profesor de Ecología de los medios o Media Ecology. Wikipedia

Obras

„La inteligencia se define fundamentalmente como nuestra capacidad para captar la verdad de las cosas.“

—  Neil Postman, libro Amusing Ourselves to Death

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

„La ignorancia es siempre corregible pero, ¿qué pasaría con nosotros si llegáramos a aceptar que la ignorancia es conocimiento?“

—  Neil Postman, libro Amusing Ourselves to Death

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

„Los estadounidenses ya no hablan entre sí, sino que se entretienen recíprocamente. No intercambian ideas, sino imágenes.“

—  Neil Postman, libro Amusing Ourselves to Death

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

„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

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985)
Contexto: Henry David Thoreau told us: "All our inventions are but improved means to an unimproved end." …Goethe told us: "One should, each day, try to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it is possible, speak a few reasonable words." …Socrates told us: "The unexamined life is not worth living." …the prophet Micah told us: "What does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?" And I can tell you... what Confucius, Isaiah, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, Spinoza and Shakespeare told us... 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.

„In order to understand what kind of behaviors classrooms promote, one must become accustomed to observing what, in fact, students actually do in them.“

—  Neil Postman

Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)
Contexto: In order to understand what kind of behaviors classrooms promote, one must become accustomed to observing what, in fact, students actually do in them. What students do in a classroom is what they learn (as Dewey would say), and what they learn to do is the classroom's message (as McLuhan would say). Now, what is it that students do in the classroom? Well, mostly they sit and listen to the teacher. Mostly, they are required to believe in authorities, or at least pretend to such belief when they take tests. Mostly they are required to remember. They are almost never required to make observations, formulate definitions, or perform any intellectual operations that go beyond repeating what someone else says is true. They are rarely encouraged to ask substantive questions, although they are permitted to ask about administrative and technical details. (How long should the paper be? Does spelling count? When is the assignment due?) It is practically unheard of for students to play any role in determining what problems are worth studying or what procedures of inquiry ought to be used. Examine the types of questions teachers ask in classrooms, and you will find that most of them are what might technically be called "convergent questions," but what might more simply be called "Guess what I am thinking " questions.

„The relationship between information and the mechanisms for its control is fairly simple to describe: Technology increases the available supply of information. …control mechanisms are strained…“

—  Neil Postman

Technopoly: the Surrender of Culture to Technology (1992)
Contexto: The relationship between information and the mechanisms for its control is fairly simple to describe: Technology increases the available supply of information.... control mechanisms are strained... When additional control mechanisms are themselves technical, they in turn further increase the supply of information. When the supply of information is no longer controllable, a general breakdown in psychic tranquillity and social purpose occurs. Without defenses, people have no way of finding meaning in their experiences, lose their capacity to remember, and have difficulty imagining reasonable futures.

„Eliminate all restrictions that confine learners to sitting still in boxes inside of boxes.“

—  Neil Postman

Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)
Contexto: If every college teacher taught his courses in the manner we have suggested, there would be no needs for a methods course. Every course would be a course in methods of learning and, therefore, in methods of teaching. For example, a "literature" course would be a course in the process of learning how to read. A history course would be a course in the process of learning how to do history. And so on. But this is the most farfetched possibility of all since college teachers, generally speaking, are more fixated on the Trivia game, than any group of teachers in the educational hierarchy. Thus we are left with the hope that, if methods courses could be redesigned to be model learning environments, the educational revolution might begin. In other words, it will begin as soon as there are enough young teachers who sufficiently despise the crippling environments they are employed to supervise to want to subvert them. The revolution will begin to be visible when such teachers take the following steps (many students who have been through the course we have described do not regard these as "impractical"): 1. Eliminate all conventional "tests" and "testing." 2. Eliminate all "courses." 3. Eliminate all "requirements." 4. Eliminate all full time administrators and administrations. 5. Eliminate all restrictions that confine learners to sitting still in boxes inside of boxes.... the conditions we want to eliminate... happen to be the sources of the most common obstacles to learning. We have largely trapped ourselves in our schools into expending almost all of our energies and resources in the direction of preserving patterns and procedures that make no sense even in their own terms. They simply do not produce the results that are claimed as their justification in the first place — quite the contrary. If it is practical to persist in subsidizing at an ever-increasing social cost a system which condemns our youth to ten or 12 or 16 years of servitude in a totalitarian environment ostensibly for the purpose of training them to be fully functioning, self-renewing citizens of democracy, then we are vulnerable to whatever criticisms that can be leveled.

„All reading, in truth, is reading in a content area.“

—  Neil Postman

Language Education in a Knowledge Context (1980)
Contexto: All reading, in truth, is reading in a content area. To read the phrase "the law of diminishing returns" or "the law of supply and demand" requires that you know how the word "law" is used in economics, for it does not mean what it does in the phrase "the law of inertia" (physics) or "Grimm's law" (linguistics) or "the law of the land" (political science) or "the law of survival of the fittest" (biology). To the question, "What does 'law' mean?" the answer must always be, "In what context?"

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