The reading of the three essays along with the documentary The Corporation, the recurring theme seemed to be communication through media and getting at the truth in its totality.
Postman’s “Media as Epistemology” resonates or echoes McLuhan’s “Reversal of the Overheated Medium” because Postman makes it a point to inform readers that “we” as a society “are getting sillier by the minute” (Postman 24). He suggests that the decline of a print-based knowledge and the increase of television-based knowledge has put consequences upon our lives which McLuhan can attest to when he says, “individuals began to be held responsible and accountable for their private actions” (McLuhan 21). Because of the vast enhancements in technology, social media has become a full-time job for most of society in which they rely on these platforms to communicate. Nine times out of ten, communication through social media may not be intellectual or overflown with knowledge but with nonsense. Nowadays, what people perceive to be private on their social media accounts are not so private. Information put out for the world to see always comes back to “haunt” an individual so to speak, especially in a professional setting. Postman also condones knowing the truth based upon the influence of communication through media. “Truth is the product of a conversation man has with himself about and through the techniques of communication he has invented” (Postman 24). Again, we live in a society where people are either telling the truth or spewing lies and the truth may never be revealed. Hence, the ideology of Public Debt, making an individual accountable for a whole action associated to a group in McLuhan’s essay.
Postman and McLuhan’s essay similarly make note of the truth when watching The Corporation. The documentary itself focuses on the way corporations are systematically forced to behave in different ways which include: disregard for the feelings of other people, the incapacity to maintain human relationships, the reckless disregard for the safety of others, the continual lying to deceive for profit, the failure to conform to social norms and to respect the law. Corporations uses media to falsify advertisements thereby not telling the truth to make a profit which Postman made a point to inform his readers in a different respect but ultimately getting at the point. In our culture People learn to “play the game” so in the end they succeed. Like Postman says, ” lawyers do not have to be wise; they need to be well briefed” (Postman 20). Likewise, corporations simply find out what is currently popular or unpopular in our culture today so they know how to sell and market their products.
The Corporation makes note of the fact that corporations themselves do not respect the law and that was one of many goals the Zapatistas had in mind when they took on their oppositions. They wanted a better government system for the people instead of disregard for the commons.