Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Postman and Weingartner

Teaching as a Subversive Activity Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner

My review (rating: 4 of 5 stars)

This is an amazing book — written in 1968 by always smart Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, it’s ostensibly a book about education reform — and it’s a very good one to read about that. But it also reads like it could have been written in the last year or so, about what we’re all experiencing with the incredible pace of change on the connected Internet. Postman’s ability to see what the future had in store — along with great minds like McLuhan — is totally astounding. The first couple of chapters of this book, in particular, are of huge relevance to everyone working on the Web today. (Thanks to Jared Kopf for the recommendation & book loan!)

A couple of quotes for today from 40 years ago:

Change occurs so rapidly that each of us in the course of our lives has continuously to work out a set of values, beliefs, and patterns of behavior that are viable, or seem viable, to each of us personally. And just when we have identified a workable system, it turns out to be irrelevant because so much has changed while we were doing it.

As the number of messages increases, the amount of information carried decreases. We have more media to communicate fewer significant ideas.

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One comment

  1. that second one is so important I think to make sure that either 1. the sum of increased # messages with decreased information = more than just parts
    or 2. we create somethingS that make sure that long form information still often draws individual minds/people in to break through complex problems. imho