Re: Cohousing and Televison: a Classic Clash of Values
From: Racheli&John (
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 10:56:01 -0700 (MST)
** Reply to note from Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> Fri, 01 
Feb 2002 09:54:37 -0500
>From Racheli

Sharon wrote (in part):  
> Because of television we have a much greater understanding of people who are
> not like us -- people who do not live across the street or invite us to
> their houses. We are less bound by local prejudices and freer to make
> individual choices. We have greater access to information at a much lower
> cost. One does not have to be in the top 3% of income levels and make the
> European Tour to know something of European life and peoples, for example.
> Without television would the Berlin wall have fallen? Would China be a more
> open or a less open society? What would we know of Afghanistan women?

I guess I strongly disagree with the above statements regarding the positive
value of TV.
I don't agree that people have a "greater understanding" of other 
people, thanks to the tv.  I don't agree that we are less prejudiced (or that 
China is a better place!)  As to Afghani women, I've had access to some real
information from reading Katha Pollitt column in the Nation, knowledge which I'm
sure didn't see the light of day on TV (until such time that it was necessary
to justify bombing innocent civilians).   
Most TV and cable channels are controlled by a small number of corporations.
This limits the availablity of information to what's acceptable to those in
power - yes, including the history channel, PBS, etc.
The one major exception I know of is "Free Speech TV", which
almost tempts me to have cable installed...


> While I love living in cohousing I am anything but a schmoozer -- and was
> not before there was television either (remember books?). While my social
> interactions have increased and I value those, I'm not convinced that most
> meetings are a productive use of time or space. Certainly not more
> productive than what I choose to watch on television.
> The Amish are an excellent example of the sharp edge of information
> restriction. "Close-knit" is a two edge sword. It keeps knowledge in and it
> keeps knowledge out. Gangs are terribly social.
> The issue is not access to television but how television is perceived and
> used.
> Sharon
> -- 
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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