Carl Sagan quote from 1995

Started by flybynight, May 28, 2022, 03:19:21 PM

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"I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance"

Carl Sagan 

"Hey idiot, you should feel your pulse, not see it."  Echo 83


Carl Sagan was a smart, prescient man. Sadly this prediction is spot on.
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I don't want this to be happening, but it is. As an English/Communications major, then as a journalist, I used to inwardly (sometimes outwardly) roll my eyes every time someone said "This is just like 1984!" or "What is this, Fahrenheit 451?" but so many of those cautionary lessons in those books are staring us in the face. Particularly Fahrenheit 451. 

The internet and our tablets have fundamentally changed the way that we absorb information, and in a pretty creepy way. Our attention span, individually and collectively, is a fraction of what it used to be. 

How many times have you seen people asking a poster to break up their post into smaller paragraphs?

How many times have you clicked a link (like in Wikipedia) that opens a new tab before you're done reading the original "article?"

How many times have you realized that someone in the comment section didn't read beyond the headline? Or notice that a headline is a question, that is immediately answered in the first line of an article? 

How quickly did we go from camera phones to phones that allow you to enable "focus mode," or a mode that disables "distractions," and turns the screen into grayscale?

I'll stop here for now, but it's pretty alarming.


This reminds me. I need to finish Demon Haunted World.
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