I made a connection with both Stephen Duncombe’s “Learn from Las Vegas” and Thomas Frank’s “Why Johnny Can’t Dissent” to Neil Postman’s “The Judgement of Thamus.” Postman discusses the conception of winners and losers. There are three quotes that I connect to both readings. When Postman talks about technology he explains how the use of computers has influence a society. When talking about the winners who are considered the elite and who have the power to control and manipulate the use of technology especially in the lives of the general public he says, “The computer has increased the power of large-scale organizations liked the armed forces or airline companies or banks or tax-collecting agencies” Postman goes on to say for the losers “They are easy targets for advertising agencies and political organizations.” lastly the third quote Postman says, “This is the sort of change Thamus had in mind when he warned that writers will come to rely on external signs instead of their own internal resources, and that they will receive quantities of information without proper instruction. He meant that new technologies change what we mean by “Knowing and truth; they alter those deeply embedded habits of thought which give to a culture its sense of what the world is like— a sense of what is the natural order of things, of what is reasonable, of what is necessary, of what is inevitable, of what is real.”
All three quotes connects to Duncombe because it shows how with certain technology in this case television, can have the power to put on a spectacle like what the bush administration did to show case their so called “accomplishment” in Iraq. Since television has been made as a media that tells and displays the “truth.” The bush administration fits the criteria of being a winner; they were in a position of being in politics which means having power and having money which allows them to stage a spectacle which they show what regardless if was the truth or not. The losers in this case would be the general public and the few people in society that actually believe what the administration was trying to show. With the use of television, architecture, or some other technology, it could be used to put on a spectacle and convey any message regardless if it’s the truth or not. The message being conveyed will also depend on who is in control, who is the “winner” in society.
The connection I made for Thomas Frank’s, “Why Johnny Can’t Dissent” I used Postman explanation of how the winners encourages the losers into technologies by promoting or advertising things that they think the public want or need in their lives. In the case of Thomas Frank’s essay which questions how one draws the line between being rebellious to make strides in a society or being rebellious to only be marketable. In the 1950s and 1960s, the corporations which can be considered the winners, they controlled the public by forcing images and behaviors of how a family in America should be. The losers were the people who just simply went along with what they were told. Even after the 1950s suburban type of images was over, being a rebel and go against the grain was beneficial in the 1960s. The corporations are still the winners because they took that rebellious idea and made it marketable. The corporations are still doing business as usual and instead of white picket fences it’s promotes individuality .The people are still losers because they still going along with what the corporations.
For my exploratory paper, I plan on focusing on subjects that are currently taking place in the world today. I would like to write about environmental racism, transgender rights and abortions. I have to think about how I’m going to narrow these topics, especially the abortion issue. I think I’m going research the latest legislation for these social issues, and take it from there.