Peek-a-Boo-World is the title of Chapter 5 of Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death. The author starts by explaining how American culture has changed in recent years as a result of the invention of the telegram. According to the author, the invention of the telegram resulted in a profound change in the way correspondence is done, to the point where non-contextualized knowledge is made available. Geographical irrelevance has also arisen as an issue in the document, as the author claims that the telegraph has become a hindrance in the process of disseminating information from one place to another especially considering the vastness of the planet. According to the author, “The telegraph made a three-pronged attack on typography’s definition of discourse, introducing on a large scale irrelevance, impotence, and incoherence” (Postman and Berman 68). It thus follows that the telegraph has changed the manner in which information is perceived because the current comprehension is that of a non-contextualized, prepackages and easily-digestion that is quickly losing its touch. Telegram is thus presented as an abundance of information that does not deal with those with whom it is addressed. The result has been a flow of information that has little value to the parties to whom it is addressed as t has been thee problem with telegram.
The analysis also takes the form of a rhetorical question in the process as the author engages the reader in thoughtful analysis of their perception of the theme. He asks the reader how much they tend to be compelled when they get news of a certain kind and how they end up acting in a manner that they would not have taken initially. He then creates a feeling where the reader gets the impression that they tend to absorb information and never realize that the information is impotent. The author advises the reader to focus in the fact that the information that they get rarely has any major effect apart from capturing their attention at that time and is lost in the process (Postman 66). The short period that it has any meaning is what qualifies the use of telegraph as impotent as it does not ignite the deeper senses. It is what the author refers to the case of knowing a lot of things but in real sense one does not know much about what they claim to know.
Postman also presents a new subject of the photograph where he argues that it is defined as a writing with light. He, however, think that there is an element of irony in the manner in which he conceives photography as it is defined based on the reality that writing and photography have nothing in common. The impression is that photography tend to focus on concrete particularities as opposed to the supposedly non-tangible objects in the range of remote and abstract values. According to him, the comparison with the telegraph is relevant at this point because outside the frame of a photograph, there is nothing else that is visible. It is presented in a way to attack the concept of written language. The author covers the argument and he asserts that telegraph and photography have since established a pseudo effect. They are thus both characterized by overwhelming irrelevance, impotence and lack of coherence (Postman and Berman 68).
The author, however, presents a new problem that has risen in the past as the television sector has grown immensely. The effect has been the creation of a scenario where children are born and all they know is sharp graphic that are illustrated on the television and laptop screens. The author argues, “In the novels and stories of Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Hemingway, and even in the columns of the newspaper giants—the Herald Tribune, the Times—prose thrilled with a vibrancy and intensity that delighted ear and eye. But this was exposition’s nightingale song, most brilliant and sweet as the singer nears the moment of death” (Postman and Berman). The technology is, however, described to be in its early years but already has a huge impact. The effect is that humans now cannot do most of what they could do the past such as running a business of keep an organized system unless they have a computer.
To sum the chapter up, the author presents a case of a clash between culture of the image that has been dominated by the lack of relevance and substantive value. It is difficult to ignore the fact thatthey have been a part of the human generation for a long time and it is not natural to think of them as positive effects. The fact that television and the computer age have been invested has resulted in a more complex setting that needs the users to be careful when they are using them (Postman and Berman 71). Overall, the chapter is focused on the fact that while telegraphy, the computer, television nd other gadgets were invented for communication purposes they are having adverse effects on users.
Postman, Neil. “The Word Weavers/The World Makers.” The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School. n. pag. Print.
Postman, and Berman. “The Peek-a-Boo-World.” 1985. N.p. Print.