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Philo of Edu Final Paper

Philo of Edu Final Paper

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Published by: Alexander on Dec 14, 2010
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05/12/2014

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Alexander FauqueConsume. Conform. Obey.December 11
th
, 2007“The medium is the message.” This quote, which has come to stand for Marshall McLuhan’s philosophy, willserve as the basis for this assessment of how the medium affects the transmission of knowledge and information.Defining medium as anything that serves as an extension of the self, McLuhan proved prophetic in his analysisof where the western world’s newfound dependence on media was leading. He saw that the message was not thestory as it was being told, it was the change it brought about in the receiver. For example, a news story’smessage is not the specific and particular event; rather it is contained within the reaction of the listener. It is my belief that media can transmit information and knowledge as two distinct entities. In the common conception omedia as vessel for information, the message is often indoctrinating, serving the specific interests of its propagators. Contrarily, media has also been employed to reach out to individuals and connect humanity so bothsides will be discussed. North American society takes after Nazi Germany in a number of ways while building upon and reshaping someits’ inherent flaws. As long standing business partners, corporate America and fascist Germany became intimateduring the Great War. It was during this time that the military industrial complex first took off. One of the main parallels between the two governments has to be the elaborate and highly effective propaganda machines. InAmerica, this incarnates in the form of Fox News Network that controls much of what the populace is exposedto. Television is its’ medium of choice to the point where even music and information are chiefly televised andimage oriented. It serves many goals at once as it offers the semblance of choice in the variety of availablechannels, it incapacitates the viewer, sucking out creative energies that could be directed elsewhere. It also provides all the answers, doing the thinking for you. Most significantly though, it slows neural activity. Theresult of this equation is a population whose cognitive faculties are dulled as they are pumped with informationcarefully chosen and presented by corporate networks while they are further incapacitated in the very act of sitting transfixed by the screen and all this under the guise of a variety of choice and well earned leisure time! Never mind the fact that half of what is shown is an advertisement; television itself is all that is needed to subdueand program the population. Its use in education is especially detrimental as it has particularly harmful effects onchildren, so much so that the Swedish government has banned the showing of advertisements to children under the age of twelve, and this since 1991.
 
Cell phones represent another aspect of corporate state control. Again it has been shown that these devices aredetrimental to one’s health, take up time that could be used constructively, are causing problems in classroomsand serve primarily as a way for companies to suck money out of teens and adults alike. Cell phones onceseemed as though they were an option for those who might need them or for emergencies. Now, most studentscarry one at all times and pay well over 20$/month in fees. Referring back to McLuhan, it is not the content of television or cell phones that is disturbing, though it often is. It the alienation among citizens they cause thatconcerns me most. In relying on all these media, we are ever putting something between ourselves and the actualexperience we are supposedly having. Conversations are had through the intermediary of a phone or computer,learning through a film, traveling in a car. A nation so divided cannot organize itself cohesively to instigaterevolution, discuss legislation or make decisions concerning tax resources or foreign policy, rendering itextremely vulnerable to further mental and physical oppression. We must always ask whose interests our worldview serves and it is quite clear that corporations, who in effect are the government, are the only ones whostand to benefit from our apathy and separation. The widespread sophistry of the west is a facet of this in that ithas people believe that what is good for one is not necessarily good for another. Following this logic, we cannotunite under one idea and carry it out because any one view is as good as another. There is no motivation toexchange ideas in any sort of dialectical process because we have already understood that no matter the amountof thoughtful discussion that ensues, all is ultimately a matter of opinion anyway.If we look at the language used, it is clear that the corporate utopia has each person consuming one of each unit;thereby selling the most possible units while keeping everyone firmly entrenched at arm’s length from oneanother. iPod, iPhone, Ford Escape, Myspace, Personal Computer, Home Office are all examples of this. MaxWeber warned against the disappearance of the individual at the hands of the bureaucratization of mass societyand the film “The Matrix” expressed something similar. Humans are being converted into generators of capital,divided, confused and solitary, they hop on the first bandwagon that passes. Suburbia is the ultimate expressionof this. Walls of concrete and silence are erected around each individual, sheltering them from the hostile outsideworld. We lock our doors at night, use video surveillance and install convoluted alarm systems, keeping our treasured bits of paper in safes; all to keep the bad guys out. This atmosphere of hostility again serves corporateinterest by filling the populace’s mind with delusions of outside enemies. A population that is afraid is easilycontrolled and lured with the promise of security. The trained killers are called “defense ministry” and anymodern political platform will boast safety as a top priority. Never mind that it is the nation we live in that is thenumber one source of terrorism, environmental degradation, GMO loaded foodstuffs, arms sales and slave labor 

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