quote for today

"Neil Postman on the Listserv" "From Lance Strate: "We all know about Neil being identified as a neo-Luddite, and his criticisms of our use of computers, e-mail, and the Internet. But many of you may be unaware that Neil did once send a post to the media ecology listserv. This happened during the very early days of our list. It was only about a month old, there were only a dozen or two subscribers, and most were from NYU. Neil was not subscribed to the list, of course, not having e-mail, but his colleague Chris Nystrom was on the list, and showed him the messages we had been exchanging. Neil's response, which I have pasted in below, was classic Postman--witty, imaginative, a brilliant bit of writing. And there is also something ironic now, reading it after his passing, in his put on of a voice from another world. As he was channeling McLuhan, through the Internet we can now channel Postman: ============================================================================= Archive-Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 15:37:46 EDT Subject: Observing the Law 'This is the Ghost of Marshall McLuhan speaking to you. I don't have to tell you from what world I come. I am using Chris Nystrom's facility in order to reach you. I will say what I have to say only once. You will not hear from me again unless you persist in your foolishness. 'Does the word "books" mean anything to you? Do you have so much time on your hands that you can afford to waste yourselves on this infernal machine? Have you already accumulated so much wisdom that you no longer need to read the best that has been thought and written? Is this the way you honor the work and life of my great friend and disciple, Neil Postman? Do any of you actually know how to spell? 'I have now read all of your idiotic messages. Hear, now, The Law: Every medium taken to its furthest extent flips to its opposite. Thus the written word, which is the source of all the intellect we have, when used in this unholy fashion becomes a medium for the expression of all our stupidities. This, you have demonstrated amply. Enough, I say. 'I must now return from whence I came. Remember what happened to the Hebrews when they did not follow the Law. Ghost" --from this site


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