Kill Your (my) Television (and similar).

I don’t believe anyone really holds television watching as a noble pastime, rich with empirical or moral value. It doesn’t often fill bellies or pockets, my town (Los Angeles) notwithstanding. It holds our attention, but.. does it do much else? Are we even using our imagination, watching it? Or our we being used by it?

Regardless of it’s lack of tangible benefits, we do a LOT of it. The average American watches around 3 hours a day. Heavy watchers trend above 8 hours a day.

This has a huge impact on our culture and us as individuals. First consider the marketing/socialization angle. As a nation, TV has defined our culture with increasing impact over the past 50 years. From products to politicians, it’s invented what matters to us as a nation. In today’s shift to things like TiVo and bittorrents, the overt marketing is stripped out, though of course, the non-overt comes through full strength as we watch the stories, the “information”, the values and experiences on the screen.

Unfortunately, it appears that we are pretty much built to be compelled by the television watching experience. Our brains respond preferentially to multi-modal integrated stimulus stream of a visual/auditory media. Arguably this is because a rich stream is closest to what we experience and interpret in real life. Because of this, functional brain nodes used to process reality and learn about it are activated by tv-watching. It’s not a complete activation, though, the way “reality” is – there is little action on the viewer’s part. TV watching is passive – it is difficult to do unless you are watching passively, and you immediately miss stuff when you start talking or attending to much else.
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Gear Acquisition Syndrome

It’s a guilty pleasure, habit, joy, and probably sickness, but I buy, play, occasionally sell Reverend Guitars, basses, and amps. I’ve got various photos scattered around my hard drive, of various Reverends, and more than a few ways of posting them online. Time for that to end – from now on the majority of my Reverend collection photos will end up on a new section of Paradigm Pusher, so I’m announcing: Reverend Love

 Stage Al Fish

Let me know what you think 🙂 I’m also trying to figure out a Ruby on Rails application framework to adopt into a Reverend Guitar Gallery, and that will be open to the public at large. Stay tuned for more details.