Amuse ourselves to the next level


Neil Postman didn’t see the rise of game online when he penned “Amuse ourselves to death”.

But he was on to something worth discussing: we are heading toward becoming a couch-potato nation

or in China, Internet-addict camp.

When Chinese kids get sent to these internet addict camps, we witness another unintended consequence of our high-tech living.

This puts Mr Watson in the early days of IBM to shame. He said the world market could use a few, but no more than a dozen machines.

Nobody could foresee the fall-below-the-line price of the chip, maybe except for Gordon Moore who predicted the doubling of chip speed every 18 months.

My kid watches her cartoon on Hulu. Asked why she didn’t want to watch it on TV. She said on broadband, she could watch it when she wanted it.

This kid even wants control, and not waits for a scheduled time by the network.

I will have to put a cooking alarm clock next to her desk just to limit her screen time.

Or let her “amuse herself to the next level”, the highest of which is at the Internet addict camp. Long way from Florida. And she will have to speak Chinese to

understand guard’s command. Maybe it’s not a bad idea, the unintended consequence of it all: internet addicts from the West get sent to Chinese internet-addict camps,

thus picking up a foreign language.

Neil Postman built his premise on the 4-hour average  (TV watching). Now it’s 5 hours, not counting the many hours online.

No wonder advertising appears in most unlikely places: pop up (download wait), stand-on (beer aisle), stare at while in a moving elevator or taxi cab.

We are living on New York minutes, even if we are  not physically there. Because New York is now more than a New Year countdown. It’s every day’s ticking, a state of mind. No more Crocodile Dundee coming to New York.

New York is now in Dundee’ Australian back waters. Hello, hello, hello…..

Luckily, we have a built-in alarm clock : it’s our bladder. Nature break. Machines will have to wait. Human will survive and be adaptive. Continuous re-invention.

To the next level of distraction and anesthesia.

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