10
   

Was Orwell or Huxley right?

 
 
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 11:17 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:

Both of 'em; but Huxley's cautions resonate more with me personally.


What both of them do not seem to realize is that people know what is going on... We all want some one else to do it... We want some one else to put their life on the line for change, and to pick the direction... We will put off the moment of decission to the last possible moment of our lives and even if death catches us first we can pat ourselves on the back and say: good job avoiding a commitment in your own lives... Life on means something, and the loss of it only means something if we lay everything on the line for something better... Taking the sting out of death is taking the sting out of life... Sure we lose, and all lose; but losing only hurts those who really try, who give back what life gives, and push back against the fears, the frustrations, the anxiety, even the anger of it all...

We could slip into a dark age as humanity, all agreeing together to avoid thought and responsibility by a variety of methods.... What is that to all the many who have already thought their last thought, who spend they lives wishing their lives away, feeling through the medium of cable tv the feelings of others, rejecting originality and risk???We hide in our forms and dare not tear them down to see their inner workings, because it is all us, people driven... None of us realize that time can only move forward if people are willing to tear down their forms and live for a moment in pure relationship though it is the most frightening, demanding experience of life that anyone can hate and crave... We want our forms real so we will not have to be, but if we cannot take on our own reality with others even for a moment we will never be able to find a new form to replace the old... History is littered with dead forms, and all people everywhere once faced that moment of crisis when exchanging new for old... There is no way around it if we will survive...
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 01:20 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
Why is that Khet?

Well, both have good cautionary themes that are fertile ground for pondering society's direction. But Brave New World hits upon themes that - for me - strike very poignantly with current-day trends that I find alarming, disturbing or destructive.
  • Reliance on Soma for feeling good. We all want to feel good, but our "Soma" has become immersion in television, gadgetry, computers & the internet. All sitting on our asses because its SO much easier to 'feel good' this way than to get out and interact.

  • Substituting actively living your life for the "Feelies"; which were akin to movies but with the sensation of "feeling". Its another example of how selling "feeling good" makes money and keeps us in line, dumb, numb and indolent.

  • "In the year of our Ford": Literally deified for his innovations to mass produce, the whole society worships consumption. Because it keeps the wheels turning

  • Regarding your personal goods and daily necessities, "Ending is so much better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches...". Don't mend it silly! Throw it out and buy another; Capitalism run amok - repair and reuse nothing; toss it all and buy more!

  • That we must keep consumping, producing and relying on the machines because, "... the corpses of a thousand thousand thousand men and women would be hard to bury or burn".

Of course, there are a lot more insightful themse and allegorical references, but these are a few that strike me particularly hard these days.

Thanks for asking

PS: For anyone who hasn't read it, its a fantastic book; smaller and easy to read. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 01:26 pm
@Khethil,
I as well tend to be more directly affected by the Huxley (future/present). As I attempt to raise two kids, in order to get them to do anything but sit and passivley be entertained I have ditched cable and not bought a converter, Internet at home is restricted to an hour a day, we have no gaming console. In doing so there has been more imaginitive play, more art, more craft, many many few discipine problems etc... But of course they are still young enough to control in this way, we'll see what happens later.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Aug, 2010 01:31 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

I as well tend to be more directly affected by the Huxley (future/present). As I attempt to raise two kids, in order to get them to do anything but sit and passivley be entertained I have ditched cable and not bought a converter, Internet at home is restricted to an hour a day, we have no gaming console. In doing so there has been more imaginitive play, more art, more craft, many many few discipine problems etc... But of course they are still young enough to control in this way, we'll see what happens later.

Bravo! Your children will grow with more independent thought, ability to interact with their physical world, be more robust of stature, more easily adapt to new situations and much, much more.

I wish I had restricted my children's access to the boob tube (and toys that require little-to-no imagination) more when they were little. Had I known then when I know now, they'd be so much better off.

Kudos
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 12:57 am
@Khethil,
you may or may not be amazed at how many parents have almost outright accused me of abuse for my having the means to buy these things and not doing so. It seems I am damning the children to be different and not fit in. lol
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 12:16 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

I as well tend to be more directly affected by the Huxley (future/present). As I attempt to raise two kids, in order to get them to do anything but sit and passivley be entertained I have ditched cable and not bought a converter, Internet at home is restricted to an hour a day, we have no gaming console. In doing so there has been more imaginitive play, more art, more craft, many many few discipine problems etc... But of course they are still young enough to control in this way, we'll see what happens later.

Many few... That's like my dollars before payday, and not much better after... I suppose I would have said, far fewer, or less by far...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 12:22 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

you may or may not be amazed at how many parents have almost outright accused me of abuse for my having the means to buy these things and not doing so. It seems I am damning the children to be different and not fit in. lol

It worked for me... My father believed when television was new that it was only a source for propaganda.... We went for years without it, and wonder of wonders survived... Where I lived it was rare to get more than two and a half stations...I learned to look at books as a major part of my entertainment...It is a puzzel to some... They can't figure out how to get them open or stay awake long enough to read one....
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 12:50 pm
Its rather amazing...

I think Imagination doesn't grow nearly as much when its not 'needed'. By feeding images, scenarios and characters directly into a kid's head, he lives childhood dreams feed through the tube - rather than conceived with his own mind; rather than child's play being an "endeavor", its fed zombie like.

But this is SO appealing to today's parents who'll take any opportunity to not have to spend time with them, or monitor their independent play. "Sit down, shut up and drool quietly while I <whatever>". Sad

This is to say nothing of commercials, inculcating morality, installation of hero figures and the litany of children's programming that aims at marketing toys and gadgets; all which have an end result of reducing the need for imagination and creativity. Growing the perfect stupid consumer.

Ugh... I gotta stop now
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 01:05 pm
@GoshisDead,
Quote:
you may or may not be amazed at how many parents have almost outright accused me of abuse for my having the means to buy these things and not doing so. It seems I am damning the children to be different and not fit in


Not only that, but technology is not going to go away, kids need to be educated on how to make it work for them. To deprive them of the chance to learn is bad for them for sure, to teach that technology is bad for them is almost certainly also.

I have rarely seen any good to come from early childhood deprivation, be it technology, food, or trying to surround kids with only the "right" ideas or influences. People are going to be exposed to what was kept from them eventually, and for the same reason what ever it is is desired by many it is likely to be desired by the one who was deprived. Only the deprived one will not have learned to use it, will not have learned self control, will not have ever experienced the damage of too much and so will instinctively always want more.

Also, the socialization costs of deprivation are huge, as you mentioned. Unless your kids are going to grow up and join and anti technology cult not being fluent in technology will hurt them. It might interest you to know that even at the Yearning for Zion Ranch both the women and men get a lot of computer time, have the latest cell technology, and even have global positioning systems in their SUV's. They have made the decision that not doing technology is bad for their businesses, and that not teaching technology to their kids will set them back.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 07:01 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
you may or may not be amazed at how many parents have almost outright accused me of abuse for my having the means to buy these things and not doing so. It seems I am damning the children to be different and not fit in


Not only that, but technology is not going to go away, kids need to be educated on how to make it work for them. To deprive them of the chance to learn is bad for them for sure, to teach that technology is bad for them is almost certainly also.

I have rarely seen any good to come from early childhood deprivation, be it technology, food, or trying to surround kids with only the "right" ideas or influences. People are going to be exposed to what was kept from them eventually, and for the same reason what ever it is is desired by many it is likely to be desired by the one who was deprived. Only the deprived one will not have learned to use it, will not have learned self control, will not have ever experienced the damage of too much and so will instinctively always want more.

Also, the socialization costs of deprivation are huge, as you mentioned. Unless your kids are going to grow up and join and anti technology cult not being fluent in technology will hurt them. It might interest you to know that even at the Yearning for Zion Ranch both the women and men get a lot of computer time, have the latest cell technology, and even have global positioning systems in their SUV's. They have made the decision that not doing technology is bad for their businesses, and that not teaching technology to their kids will set them back.


Not letting kids watch cartoon network 6 hours a day is a far cry from technology deprivation. Not letting them virtually blow random crap up is a far cry from technology deprivation. No one is advocating sticking them The socialization cost is nil, I mentioned what other parents said. In fact watching Cable and playing video games for hours in their house is counter social. Not having access to them in the house actually increases valuable social skills, as they must actually socialize. Wow imagine that good socialization skills from socializing. And from what I have read you seldom see good in anything, so its not that much of a cry of warning to me when the boy who cries wolf cries wolf
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 07:59 pm
@GoshisDead,
Quote:
Wow imagine that good socialization skills from socializing
A good chunk of modern socialization for kids now happens via technology. If they are being deprived of technology and regular access to technology then they are stunted. This is what the other parents are trying to tell you, and they are correct.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:16 pm
@plainoldme,
It was Tuesday, 24 August. Here is a link:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129384107
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:19 pm
I haven't read either book in years. They don't seem to be part of the current high school curricula anywhere.

I am teaching ENG 101 this fall and, rather than have the entire class read a book together, I put together a list of eight projects to be worked in small groups of 2 - 4. Members of the group will use the group's project to generate three papers, including their research paper. One 'project' is Brave New World while another is 1984.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:22 pm
@Fido,
Was Orwell or Huxley right? Huxley=soma=peyote.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:22 pm
@plainoldme,
i tried to get copies at a used book store and was told that there is at least one request for both titles made daily.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:32 pm
@plainoldme,
Quote:
I haven't read either book in years. They don't seem to be part of the current high school curricula anywhere
even way back when I was in school a lot of the books that we were supposedly reading often did not get read. Now I think that teachers have mostly given up, no longer pretend that their students are reading whole books and thus no longer assign them.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:40 pm
@hawkeye10,
Via the NEA:

Quote:
Getting Students to Do the Readings

By Linda B. Nilson, Clemson University


Imagine what you could do in class if almost all of your students did the readings!


It may seem too obvious to mention, but the first thing you must do if you want your students to do the readings for your class is to get your students to buy the required books. At the first class meeting, tell them that they will have to read and possibly even mark up the books daily for a chance at a passing final grade. If they can’t or won’t buy the books, they should drop your course.


Be realistic in selecting the books, articles, Web pages, and other materials that you assign. Don’t choose a reading because you like it. As an expert in the field, you’ve internalized all the cognitive shortcuts that make it easy reading for you. Consider that your average student’s reading ability is probably marginal at best, and his or her love of sophisticated nonfiction less than passionate. Look for readings with graphics and pictures that reinforce the text, and pare down the required pages to the essentials. The less reading assigned, the more likely students will do it. If you’re uncertain about the reading level of an assignment, get a quick analysis at
http://www.nea.org/home/34689.htm

The chances of a student getting assigned either of these books and actually reading them through in 2010 is about nil.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:42 pm
@hawkeye10,
I'm not saying whether they're read but pointing out the fact that they are not assigned.

The only book I never read was a terrible prose redaction of The Iliad. Just awful. I tried to read again at 25 and again at 40. Could not stomach it.

Why The Iliad and not The Odyssey is still beyond me. Why a dreadful prose redaction? I read the Fitzgerald translation when I was 41 along with his Odyssey and thought they were "bravure science fiction novels." My ex-husband and my two older kids also read them after I finished.

I always read the assigned work but then, I was an obedient child.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:57 pm
@plainoldme,
Quote:
I'm not saying whether they're read but pointing out the fact that they are not assigned
there are old, are written by white men, and did not originally come with lots of pictures......HELLO! Oh, and to get anything out of these books one needs to think, that is so not happening.
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Aug, 2010 08:59 pm
@hawkeye10,
Then why are you on this thread? You are so lame.
 

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