Found in 10 comments on Hacker News
starkd · 2022-10-01 · Original thread
Neil Postman came to much the same conclusion about modern entertainment.

bps4484 · 2016-05-20 · Original thread
"but about creating want in the user" reminded me of a quote, but it was about television advertising, which I think may be a more apt comparison:

Indeed, we may go this far: The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products. Images of movie stars and famous athletes, of serene lakes and macho fishing trips, of elegant dinners and romantic interludes, of happy families packing their station wagons for a picnic in the country -- these tell nothing about the products being sold. But they tell everything about the fears, fancies and dreams of those who might buy them. What the advertiser needs to know is not what is right about the product but what is wrong about the buyer. And so, the balance of business expenditures shifts from product research to market research. The television commercial has oriented business away from making products of value and toward making consumers feel valuable, which means that the business of business has now become pseudo-therapy. The consumer is a patient assured by psycho-dramas.

I highly recommend the book

vikingo · 2014-10-24 · Original thread
I think Neil Postman wrote the most concise examination of this topic in the foreword to "Amusing Ourselves to Death"[1]:

"We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."


ochiba · 2013-08-18 · Original thread
For further reading on this topic, I can highly recommend Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman.

dmix · 2013-04-16 · Original thread
It's not even a corporate conspiracy... it's the markets demand for politics to be entertainment... not something based on empirical data.


chollida1 · 2013-01-15 · Original thread
Not sure why the above links were obfuscated/minimized but this is what they point to:

dmix · 2012-11-21 · Original thread
There's a good book on this subject from 1985, where the author explores how the requirement in politics is no longer real action/results it's entertainment.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

If you liked the cartoon, you'll probably like the book that it's based on:

It's from 1985 and a little bit dated, but still I think highly relevant

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