Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk: How We Defeat Ourselves by the Way We Talk and what to Do about it

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"In his most important book since Teaching as a Subversive activity, Neil Postman makes visible the structure and causes of the two of the oldest nemeses of the human race: crazy talk and stupid talk. Stupid talk is language that does not work because of the inappropriateness of its tone or vocabulary or assumptions. Crazy talk is talk that gets its work done but, in working, promotes purposes that are unreasonable or trivial, or finally -- and most dangerously -- evil. We are all burdened by such self-defeating ways of talking, and by learning to recognize them we can take the first step to defuse their power. By bearing in mind that crazy talk and stupid talk are learned responses, Professor Postman explains how we can unlearn them as well. In straightforward language, Professor Postman presents a philosophy of everyday language, and identifies and explains the most important varieties of crazy and stupid talk, thus opening our awareness to a new way of thinking about the way we talk, and talking about the way we think."--Back cover.

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About the author (1977)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at the State University of New York and Columbia University, Neil Postman is a communications theorist, educator, and writer who has been deeply involved with the issue of the impact of the media and advanced communications technology on American culture. In his many books, Postman has strongly opposed the idea that technology will "save" humanity. In fact, he has focused on the negative ways in which television and computers alter social behavior. In his book Technopoly, Postman argues that the uncontrolled growth of technology destroys humanity by creating a culture with no moral structure. Thus, technology can be a dangerous enemy as well as a good friend. Postman, who is married and has three children, currently is a professor of media ecology at New York University and editor of Et Cetera, the journal of general semantics. In addition to his books, he has contributed to various magazines and periodicals, including Atlantic and The Nation. He has also appeared on the television program Sunrise Semester. Postman is the holder of the Christian Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching from New YorkUniversity.

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