A Critique of Chapter 11 in Neil Postman's Technopoly Essay

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A Critique of Chapter 11 in Neil Postman's Technopoly In chapter 11 (The Loving Resistance Fighter) of the book Technopoly, published in 1992, Neil Postman focuses on a solution to the problems created by Technopoly. A "Technopoly" (a word postman capitalizes throughout the book) is a society that no longer merely uses technology as a support system but instead is shaped by it. Postman proposes that we become "loving resistance fighter(s)" who retain "the narratives and symbols that once made the United States the hope of the world"(p.182). He believes education is to lead the resistance against technology by changing the curriculum to help restore a sense of meaning and purpose lost to the Technopoly.…show more content…
In chapter 11 Postman gives examples of people who resist the American Technopoly. An example of a resistance fighter is a person who ignores a poll unless they know the questions asked and why. As Postman introduced in chapter 8 ("Invisible Technologies"), the form of a question can produce many different answers. It may also restrict us from seeing solutions to problems that may become visible through a question worded differently. Postman shares the story of two priests who write the Pope asking if it was allowable to smoke and pray at the same time. One priest phrased the question "Is it permissible to smoke while praying?" and the response was no because praying should be the focus of ones attention; the other priest asked "Is it permissible to pray while smoking?" and the response was yes, since it is always appropriate to pray. The opinion of almost any issue is a function of the question asked. In the American Technopoly the opinion poll is a strict yes or no answer to an unexamined question. One is therefore unable to share their knowledge and is easily mislead to answer a question in a certain way. Another example of a resistance fighter is a person who does not allow psychology or any "social science" to pre-empt the language and thought of common sense. This example clearly relates to chapter 9 ("Scientism"), in which Postman expresses his annoyance of the many people who have a strong

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