TV: MINDWARP FACTOR - ? - Chapter 6

The term 'warp factor' is related to science fiction space travel but mindwarp is very much a down to earth concept even though it may not yet be part of common literature. Unfortunately, we do not have any known scientific research on the degree of mindwarp related to the various deceits practiced on the human mind by those corrupted with dreams of absolute power. Nor is information available on mindwarp factors related to distortions of reality generated by the mind manipulative devices that are part of modern political action or, in fact, by television itself as a social medium.

There is no doubt that TV deforms our ability to appreciate the nature of the reality in which we exist. There is a damage of the ability to appreciate reality which will take place irrespective of the nature of the programs viewed. The unreality of the programs themselves will add their own warp.

Now or Never!

There is a certain progression in mind development which must take place at an early age or it will never take place at all. Given natural stimulation this happens automatically.

Mankind has made some very fundamental changes in its environment during recent years and we do not know what effects these changes are having on our ability to experience reality. We do know that if one is watching TV then one is not experiencing and reacting to a real-life situation. We do have reasonable evidence that TV is quite debilitating. What we do not know, because no one has been encouraged to research and publicize the information, is just how much harm is done to our reasoning ability if we spend a large part of our early years watching TV.

Watching a child assemble a jig-saw puzzle one may notice that, after a frustrating period of searching for the correct piece, an attempt may be made to force a piece that is 'something like'. What does that behaviour mean? It means either that the child has not disciplined his perceptions sufficiently to recognize minor differences of shape and colour or, that the mind has not been disciplined to accept reality.

Now that kind of behaviour was present long before TV, but it seems to me that if we could test people before TV was invented and again today, we would find a vastly increased inability to cope with reality.

Such attitudes can apply to many situations. Young children learn very rapidly if they have a reasonable chance; they also encounter many problems. They have many opportunities to fit together pieces of information which they may not properly understand and which, lacking the perseverance of a disciplined mind, they will 'fit in' somewhere.

You see the problem! Dribbles of information at the beginning of life, like the dribble of water at the top of a mountain, may, by small deflection, go to the ocean and to unity, or to the barren desert and evaporate. In schools today children are forced to fit information in somewhere before the mind is developed to an appropriate maturity.

If maturity may be delayed or even aborted by spending excessive time in artificial situations, such as watching TV, then our ability to relate in a rational manner to our world is depleted.

If a child is forced to make decisions too soon or if the ability to make decisions is reduced, then the child will suffer a lifetime of making too many mistakes. As time passes, the grip on reality becomes less sure and self-confidence erodes; reality becomes a burden. One day this young person will have to make a decision between the reality it cannot properly relate to and some escape - drugs, political fantasy, sex, some form of religious clap-trap, or participation in crime.

If sound decision-making is to take place then the simple realities of life should be learned by direct experience until they are second nature; they should be learned by experience of nature because nature is the only unbiased tutor we will ever have. We need a secure foundation to support the structure of all our reasoning throughout our mature life.

Having acquired such a foundation for reason, only then does it become easy and natural to fully appreciate that a community cannot make use of more goods than it produces; take advantage of more fools than it produces; suffer from more hate and injustice than it produces.

The Truth about Television:

Late in 1976 word came from the U.S.A. of an experiment by Redbook Magazine. Just a small experiment of four weeks duration during which young, well-cared-for children, who had seemed NOT to be excessively watching TV, were limited to one hour of TV a day. The result of even this small experiment was considered significant to the belief that seemingly 'normal' TV viewing by children is harmful.

A more serious study was made in 1975 by two researchers at the Australian National University. As a result of their study, Professors F.E. & M. Emery made the claim that T.V. viewing turned people into zombies.

They based this claim on experiments in which brainwave measuring equipment was used to measure the activity of various areas of the brain before, during, and after, watching television. Their reported findings showed that the part of the brain evaluating and sorting incoming information, 'shut down' during viewing and often did not re-activate for some time (even hours) after viewing finished.

They also brought up the fact that a large U.S. study had found TV virtually useless as a medium for teaching, although very effective as a familiarizer; that is: good for things such as advertising and influencing behaviour.

TV by-passes the decision making intellect. It is good for placing ideas in the collective mind of the community and possibly excellent for mass mind manipulation.

The problem of TV goes much further than reducing the human right to discriminate between incoming signals. As indicated earlier, it also reduces the ability of the brain to make valid judgments regarding life situations because of its inevitable reduction of real-life experience.

We do not have to be scientists to appreciate this, nor do we have to be mathematicians to work it out. So long as we can appreciate that 2+2=4 and we can agree that people are capable of learning, it follows that:

(a) Assuming a child has XY hours of awake-time each week and, (

b) spends half of this time at school, doing homework, traveling and other mundane chores and,

(c) that it spends the other half of this time watching TV then, (

d) obviously it will have no time left over for real-life experience.

Of course no child fills all of its awake-time in this manner no matter how fanatical the TV watching, but surveys have shown that the average child spends about as much time watching TV as it spends in school. We also know that TV is normally used as a child-minder for very young children, and surveys show that the average pre-school child spends one third of its awake-time watching TV. So if the average spend a third of their time watching TV, a lot of children spend even more of their time absorbing that mind-deadening junk.

To put that into perspective let us assume that a child of nine years has spent 33% of his real-life experience time watching TV. This child will then have a real-life experience equal only to that of a six year old pre-TV child.

This is a great tragedy because this is the time of life when real-life experience is essential to complete mind development. Today most people grow up very deprived of real life experience.

So a twelve-year-old may know all about sex in all of its deviations; may be able to program a computer and argue strongly in favour of a nuclear-free Pacific, but his lack of real-life experience means that he may not appreciate that naming a zone nuclear-free does nothing to stop the bombs dropping; or that holding up a sign of peace will not help keep him alive if his enemy wants him dead.

Manipulators Don't Lose a Chance:

An interesting point brought up by Marie Winn in her book The PLUG-IN DRUG, is that mass media is enthusiastic about praise for TV but quite uninterested in evidence which exposes that the TV is useless as an educator, or that it is harmful to mental development.

That should not surprise anyone who has read to this point.

When some media magnate has a vested interest in both print and electronic communication, it does not mean that all concerned - owners, operators and reporters - will be prepared to sacrifice the welfare of a nation's children merely for their own small self-interest. Human nature, of its own volition, is not quite so shallow. There has to be another explanation.

A Case Study:

Grant Noble, assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, University of New England, conducted a study financed by two Sydney TV stations. Naturally they were not seeking to expose television.

Indeed, in the Philosophy of the Study, which was confined to the TV series Happy Days, it is stated that the question was not "what Happy Days does to teenage audiences but rather ... what do adolescents get from the programme."

In this report the 'reality' of the show was stressed and it is apparently taken as a good point that only half the young viewers realized that the characters were acted out in front of camera even though the show is set in the 1950s, and the scene the U.S.A.

It was also found that the viewers were not so inclined to identify with the characters but generally played 'opposite roles' which lead to "illusions of intimacy" and "confusion between the reality and fantasy". The children were, "impressed by the parenting style" and thought the show taught them how to relate to life situations such as sex role, peer group relationships, parental and family relationships. They compared their own parents with those in the show. The author's comment:

"It is easy to see why, when a fictional death or marriage occurs in a serial programme, large numbers of the audience send wreaths or wedding presents ..."

Although overall the children seemed to see real-life people, such as their parents and friends, as more important than the Happy Days characters, it is made clear the findings indicate that much socialization is absorbed from TV shows.

Now the professor and his assistants may be content to see this as a good thing but I wonder if the professor has any children and if so, does he encourage them to watch TV? Have the implications of these findings been considered in any depth?

Can it be considered as less than a disaster that children are getting so little real-life experience that they have to 'adopt' their basic socialization from the 'telly'? Can any conscientious parent be content, knowingly, to allow sons and daughters to adopt a mindless socialization from the near imbeciles portrayed by the second-rate fantasy of TV?

Unfortunately the young parent of today has also obtained a good measure of social indoctrination from the TV and mass media generally. All other things being equal the damage caused by TV must play a large part in the inability of our society to cope with day-to-day reality. It certainly goes a long way to explaining our naive reactions to international events.

We have little reliable hard evidence of precise TV effects on young children, but there is a great deal of evidence that the effect it has is very harmful. Children of a socializing age do accept mental programming through the TV set. As members of the human family are we prepared to hand over the mind, the individuality and the humanity of mankind to those who control television?

It may seem sad, unjust, or even unreal, but nevertheless it is very well established that once a person has passed the age when certain foundations of learning experience need to have been laid, it is very difficult, probably impossible, to recover that which was lost.

The Plug-in Drug:

Much of this chapter is taken from my Even Gods Err books but just to expand a little let us refer again to Marie Winn's The PLUG-IN DRUG. Here are some of the questions she asks at the beginning of her book:

"What are the effects upon the vulnerable and developing human organism ... How does the television experience affect a child's language development ... How does it influence his developing imagination, his creativity? ... Is the child's perception of reality subtly altered by steady exposure to television unrealities?" and so on.

Marie Winn also mentions the parent-lobbyist organization, Action for Children's Television and how it grew into a national organization of considerable influence. She tells that, in its early days, there was a concern for how much TV children were watching, but later the attention became directed almost exclusively at program content.

Again let us remember that we have powerful people working to abort any movement that may interfere with internationalist plans. Naturally these vested interests infiltrate any group that may act to enlighten the public and delay their plan.

By turning the attention of people to content and away from exposure, the subversives involve the resistance group in endless argument about content. By this means they know well that any improvement in content will satisfy parents and increase the viewing time allowed children. So we see again the possible infiltration of a parent group, and again parental innocence being used as a way of enlisting parental aid in the mindwarp of their own children.

Back to Winn:

"The needs of young children are quite different. The developing child needs opportunities to work out his basic family relationships, thereby coming to understand himself. The television experience only reduces these opportunities.

"The child needs to develop a capacity for self direction in order to liberate himself from dependency. The television experience helps to perpetuate dependency."

Now some may argue about that! They may say that the pre-school child is sent to kindergarten and is encouraged to break away from parental dependency. True, but there is somewhere else it can direct its need for dependency - the infamous peer-group. Again we see the things working out to suit the manipulators. The authority of the family reduced and the authority of the peer group, tight in the influence of educators, increased.

Marie Winn again:

"The child needs to acquire fundamental skills in communication - to learn to read, write, and express himself flexibly and clearly - in order to function as a social creature. ...

"The child needs to discover his own strengths and weaknesses in order to find fulfillment as an adult in both work and play. Watching television does not lead him to such discoveries; it only limits his involvement in those real-life activities that might offer his abilities a genuine testing ground.

"The young child's need for fantasy is gratified far better by his own make-believe activities than by the adult-made fantasies he is offered on television.

"The young child's need for intellectual stimulation is met infinitely better when he can learn by manipulating, touching, doing, ..."

Winn brings up the important points very well but let us reaffirm the three main faults that are part and parcel of the electronic media:

(1) it drastically reduces exposure to the only modern means of communication precise enough to enable a proper understanding of, and continued development of, a modern culture; i.e., the written word;

(2) it drastically reduces real-life experience and therefore affects the development of the mind at that time of life when biological development is taking place;

(3) it reduces the child's real-life experience and therefore reduces its chance to collect the information it needs for coping with future relationships.

Do Manipulators Know?

Those disadvantages suit the aims and plans of manipulators.

Now some may think, how would manipulators know so quickly that television would be helpful to them? Although these people were playing their games long before television was even thought of, their past experience would not help them.

In reply to that we may say that living is an art bounded by simple rules. Any normal person if given a fair chance can pick up enough to get by. Many principles may be worked out by logic and observation by intelligent people but do not need to be formally set out before being used by normal people. Forgive my memory but I think it was the ancient philosopher Plato who made a remark something to this effect:

'If you chain them so that they see only shadows of reality on a wall, then, in time, they will believe that the shadows are the reality. If you should then come to them and say that these images are only shadows, then they will laugh at you and call you mad. If you should persist in offering proof of what is the reality then they will turn on you and try to kill you.'

Today we see the proof of that ancient philosopher's wisdom. People are not physically chained to watching TV but many are, nevertheless, chained to a degree which they will be unwilling to either admit or even consider. People are very jealous of 'their' reality. To face the truth, and to change their way of thinking, will probably require a change in the mental structure of the mind that may now be difficult to make.

The above remarks about the social damage caused by TV does not cover the possible harm that may be done to children from viewing the kind of TV generally considered unsuitable - porn violence. Nor does it cover the effect on health of an immobilized staring at a flickering image. Damage may be done by immobility or by the message itself, such damage is simply an additional bonus to insanity. aonc07.htm

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