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Watching TV Makes You Smarter

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by TomWithTheWeather, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. TomWithTheWeather

    TomWithTheWeather Die Paper Robots!

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  2. TossMonkey

    TossMonkey brown bread?

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    It depends what TV you watch. If you watch soaps then you'll turn into a woman, if you watch comedy you'll probably get funnier etc...

    We say that TV or video games do not influence us but who are we kidding? If TV didn't influence me then why did I feel the need to watch my diet after seeing "Supersize Me"? If Video Games didn't influence me then why did I feel like I could murder people and not get caught after playing Hitman 2? Not that I ever murdered anyone...

    /me stays firmly on the rug with the unusual trap door contour showing through.
     
  3. O.S.T

    O.S.T <img src=http://img349.imageshack.us/img349/9838/e

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    watching TV makes you smarter?
    the author says yes, because "The kids are forced to think like grown-ups: analyzing complex social networks, managing resources, tracking subtle narrative intertwinings, recognizing long-term patterns. The grown-ups, in turn, get to learn from the kids: decoding each new technological wave, parsing the interfaces and discovering the intellectual rewards of play."

    well, I don't think so, because there's a difference between watching complex social networks and understanding them(it lacks the exchange, see below)
    if it's about the infromation you can get through the TV: TV loses again, this time against newspapers and magazines
    you've to read the stuff(brain training) and if they're serious newspapers or magazines you've to make yourself an opinion to events: TV manipulates you more(music, pictures, sound of the voice of the anchorman, etc) than a newspaper
    still both medias lack the conversation: you've to exchange your views with another person, you've to discuss things to improve your knowledge and standpoint
    that's what makes you smarter
    a monkey doesn't learn how to open a nut only by watching, the monkey learns it, because it tries itself and the mothermonkey helps with it(which is in some way an exchange)

    it's a mixed bag: if you don't use the internet or communicate with other people, the TV will make you smarter(if you watch the right things), but compared to the other medias, TV doesn't make such a good figure

    imo TV could be so much more
    the best german TV show(next to satire-shows) is a show called alpha-centauri, where a professor of physics explains physic stuff understandable
    nearly all my physic knowledge is based on that show(though I read a lot of stuff too, which I do alot)
    if there were more shows that explain the world or how things work(not like galileo in the "that's how a football is made"-way, more like explaining how our state and legislation work or other stuff most people have no clue of), it could contribute much more knowledge and reasons and topics for conversations and maybe it could wake sleeping interests in some people
     
  4. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    I'm unconvinced.

    By linking backwards to shows like Murphy Brown and MASH (and apparently ignoring real genre-busters like Star Trek and All in the Family), it undercuts its own point. Back in the day, plot lines were simpler and story arcs covering fewer (often one) episode. Point.

    But it highlights the fact that in the past there were dumb shows and smart shows (All in the Family and Mash vs Newlywed Game and Love Boat... and *shudder* Gilligan), and in the present there are dumb shows and smart shows (24 and West Wing are sharply written and the characters develop over time, but the article itself points out that Law & Order episodes are generally self-contained, and is not only a successful formula but has spawned countless spin-offs and knock-offs. Not to mention American Idol and something like a billion failed sitcoms every season).

    Again, I agree with the author to a certain point, but I also think there's a driving force behind the complexity. For example, a producer may feel the need to arc the character development in order to keep an audience coming back to his show repeatedly rather than floating through stations depending on how good a particular episode is (see also: Enterprise). Also, 24 as the prime example takes place completely in real-time, within the span of a single day. The formula NECESSITATES multiple ongoing and intertwining storylines because everything has to be developed and resolved in a severly compacted time frame. There's no time to develop characters and stories slowly over several episodes. You can't cliff-hang and come back later to mop up. It's a huge departure from the norm, which makes it sub-optimal template for what's going on in TV these days.

    One point I totally agree on: shows that are smartly written keep you coming back. Which is why I'm getting sucked into House. And why the Simpsons are approaching their 350th episode. On the other hand, boobies and explosions seem to continue to be big draws on TV and in movies. Hmmm..... maybe I don't agree so much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2005
  5. 8-4-7-2

    8-4-7-2 New Member

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    When you reduce television to dramas, the article is spot on.
    That genre has become more complicated, with story arcs, character arcs, moral ambiguity or the questions it poses.
    Even 15-20 years ago standalone episodes with clearly defined morals of the week were the norm.

    Of course there is still lots of trash on TV (soaps, reality shows) or also the mentioned information/documentation shows
     
  6. Sam_The_Man

    Sam_The_Man I am the Hugh Grant of Thatcherism

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    "Watching TV makes you smarter" sounds like a no-brainer to me. Is there any 'artform' that actually makes you stupider?
     
  7. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    It's not the form, it's the application. I think the "TV makes you dumber" concept hearkens back to the idea that it rots your attention span in exchange for unenlightening entertainment, which imo is still the case for at least 3/4 of what's out there.

    On the other hand, I guess even the worst shows makes one smarter by default, if one decides never to watch them again (apparently one wasn't smart enough to pass on the show the first time ;) )
     
  8. fist_mlrs

    fist_mlrs that other guy

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    since two years i only watch tv for maybe one or two hours a week, if im visiting my parents, an to be honest im much more able to partivipate in a discussion now then i were two years ago.

    i fully agree. the style of alpha centauri just can't be compared with any random science magazine. unlike gallileo or welt der wunder/whtever it is called right now it acctually makes you think about the topic, achiving a much greater effect. since i stoped watching tv more then twice a month i only watch phoenix and arte (documentations and cultural progr. for the majority of you) nymore, and im more happy then before.

    imo average tv may teach you a few things, but if you actually spent the time you sit infront of that stupid box walking by walking in the forest/park you learn far more. since i've sold my tv i've started/restarted
    -oil painting
    -drawing
    -photography
    -rading
    -model building

    tv does teach you something, but it is far less effecitive then real interests in doing so.
     
  9. ilkman

    ilkman The Outcast God

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    I do believe there are some things that will make you smarter when watcing, such as Discovery Channel, Food network and the like and there are also things that make you dumber such as oh...MTV.
     
  10. W0RF

    W0RF BuF Greeter, News Bagger

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    That's an excellent point. I didn't think about it from that angle.

    Art that allows for interaction is much more engaging. Granted, people can listen to music and be engaged, but to get into it up to their elbows and create it themselves is far more rewarding. It's also a quality TV can never provide (short of calling in to vote for your favorite pubescent crooner). At least video games are interactive by definition, TV programming is completely monodirectional.
     
  11. Mozi

    Mozi Zer0 as a number

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    My Cog Psych Teach sent the same link last night.(just before the hard ass midterm this morning)

    Hopefully watching TV last night instead of reading my notes helped take that exam :lol:
     
  12. Airmoran

    Airmoran Construct

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    Old news?

    TV is culture production. In all likelyhood it's always possible to extract some sort of wisdom from culture, even if it's as pathetic as "This is what entertains you if you're stupid." Of course, there are... costs, mostly the already-mentioned "rots the brain" and whatnot. For that, you still have other mediums.

    So yeah, partaking in a communal sex orgy will also make you wiser, as long as you read books n stuff.
     
  13. Kaligraphic

    Kaligraphic Charles leChaud is my hero

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    So #bu does have a redeeming feature!
     

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