A Futuristic Author and Speaker as well as an Advocate of Transhumanism. She is a Founder of Transpire publishing platform and contributed a chapter in Springer Nature Transhumanist Handbook. Currently, Kate is working on a new Transhumanist book as well as a Sci-Fi Novel.
Kate is passionate about an infinite human potential and the role of technology in uncovering this. Loves controversy, adrenalin, parallel times hypothesis and people who make their dreams a reality. Afraid of mediocrity, aging, and stupid TV shows.
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While there is reason to fear aging and, to an extent mediocrity, but what is it that is to be feared about terrible television? It is a waste of time to be sure which only means you are that much older having wasted time watching it and one could argue it is itself a bastion of mediocrity but for the most part they don’t cause significant damage. The greatest harm would be that people en masse waste their time on such trivial entertainment and there is less support for more constructive material. However the point of such television is to entertain and there are wide audiences out there with a whole range of preferences. Is it necessarily a negative that some choose corny, campy, or simply badly written entertainment?
In an oppositional response to Athena, I am obligated to agree with Kate for several reasons. (1) I also find much television programming to be inane and intended for consumption by adults by structured for a child, thereby reinforcing and encouraging and maintaining the United States poor (relative to our potential) global educational ranking. (One of the biggest cross-national tests is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which every three years measures reading ability, math and science literacy and other key skills among 15-year-olds in dozens of developed and developing countries. The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science. Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/). (2) television (along with social media) has become an increasingly dishonest and manipulative medium, whether the context be politics, product quality, OTC pharmaceutical presentations, and so on; and (3) a distributor of barbaric violence in both factual and fictional programming, the result being such violence being seen increasingly as normative. Given the above, “stupid” was is not only accurate, but nearly a compliment.
As TV and much of social media run on ad revenue, and ad revenue is the business of manipulation, it is reasonable to expect that an unethical business model will usually produce net-harmful results at any scale. The content of TV also runs opposite to creativity, with a majority of shows being so predictable that they could have been procedurally generated by a very poorly trained Machine Learning system. Availability Heuristic and Availability Cascade both mean that cognitive biases would be reinforced with that manner of repeated exposure to low quality content, which is part of why I’ve been without a TV for well over a decade.