Thinking As a Hobby

Golden-Franklin leopard2 Rodin-Thinker venus_de_milo

1. What are the three levels of thought, according to Golding?

2. What percentage of the population does Golding assign to each category?

3. Why are Grade Three thinkers so dangerous?

4. Who are the grade one thinkers in the world today, in your opinion?

5. What is the significance of the three statuettes? What do they symbolize? How would you arrange them to reflect your own moral, coherent, logical system of living?



Now…This numbered page 99 of the book, page 118 of 203 of the pdf pages

“Now…This” by Neil Postman was published in 1985 as a chapter in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

1. Please research the Latin phrase “panem et circenses“.  Where did you find your information?  What does “panem et circenses” mean and what was – briefly – the historical context?  What examples of “panem et circenses” do you see in Brave New World?  What was “panem et circenses” in 1985?  What examples can you think of in 2014?

2. Explain fully what Postman means by “discontinuities.” You should cite some of the examples Postman presents. Also, indicate what wider impact on the viewing/listening/reading audience such discontinuities create, according to Postman.

3. Why does Postman think that the younger audience is more affected by this phenomenon?

4. Briefly describe Postman’s theory of anticommunication.

5. How many newscasters over 50 do you find on your local news? How many do you find on the national news you watch?

6. Explain what Postman means when he says, “Big Brother turns out to be Howdy Doody.”

7. Would the audience Postman defines as typical of news shows or magazines like People be inclined to read this essay? Why or why not? What does that say about Postman’s thesis?

8. Have you ever listened to a talk or call-in show? Do you think they merit the description applied to them by Postman? Offer one or more examples from your own city/town.

Recognizing Bias – The Aggressive Egg

David Freedman -“The Aggressive Egg” Questions

1. Account for Freedman’s title. How does he expect his reader to read that title? Does reading the essay change your sense of the title’s meaning?

2. Explain the strategy behind Freedman’s lengthy account of Emily Martin’s background.

3. Find two examples of an appeal to authority. Demonstrate how Freedman handles this strategy and what it adds to the success of his essay.

4. Choose the three facts you found most striking in the essay and suggest what they add to it.

5. Choose two examples of humour in the essay. What do these examples add?

6. Isolate the central claim of the essay and three or more examples of grounds presented to support that claim.

7. What does the essay add to your understanding of the presence of gender bias in our society.

8. How might the gender bias in the presentation of the fertilization process affect something like abortion legislation. Consider the different forms that legislation takes in your response.

“The Surveillance State” on CBC’s “The National”

There was a 20 minute report on CBC’s The National last night entitled “The Surveillance State”.  We are doing an in-class write today drawing comparisons between the report and predictions in “V for Vendetta“, “Brave New World“, our Snapchat vs Facebook discussion, and Margaret Atwood’s BNW introduction, “Everybody’s Happy Now“. Atwood’s article/intro

CBC’s Report

V for V, BNW Questions

  1. What historical and literary allusions did you see in V for Vendetta?
  2. What meaning do you think that this movie and novel should have for present day readers/viewers? Write at least 300 words.
  3. 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.  V (and 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.  V (and Orwell) feared that the truth would be concealed from us.  How similar methods of control do you see in both V for Vendetta and BNW?  What instances do you see of different methods to achieve the same results?