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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Addicted to Distraction: Psychological Consequences of the Modern Mass Media

Addicted to Distraction: Psychological Consequences of the Modern Mass Media
Originally published: July 2, 2014
 Front Cover

The Media just grows and grows, and progressively takes-over control of all the functionally useful social systems from politics to religion, from education to the arts. Yet the Mass Media is a system like no other - it has no function of its own, so it can just keep growing. It has no positive aim for society, and regards all knowledge just a matter of opinion. Therefore the Mass Media subverts all that is useful, and everything that gives meaning and purpose to life. Since the Media works like a drug, the first step is withdrawal, and a 'detox' program. Having escaped addiction, we may become free of the lies and lunacies of life in the Media bubble, and return to the realities of direct personal knowledge, actual experience and common sense.


"In this groundbreaking study, Bruce Charlton sheds brilliant light on fundamental features of our current situation. He develops Marshall McLuhan's insight that "the medium is the message" into a deeply illuminating account of the mass media as a self-sustaining techno-cultural system that absorbs the whole of human life into a virtual world of willfulness and unreality. Like Plato in his Myth of the Cave, he calls for each of us to turn away from flickering images and toward realities. We need to heed that call."James Kalb: author of The Tyranny of Liberalism and Against Inclusiveness

"Addicted to Distraction by Bruce G Charlton is a brilliant, pithy, and incisive analysis and condemnation of the modern mass media and its semipurposeful agenda of permanent revolution, permanent hysteria, and permanent chaos. His comments are as cutting as the scalpel of a surgeon performing an autopsy, and his insights a bright and clear as the merciless lights in an operating theater. Can a fish drown? Can it even notice the waters in which it lives and moves? No more than can we notice the totalitarian relativism of the modern mass media. The Mass Media is a roaring, grinding attention-grabbing machine which operates with no set purpose; except the purpose to subvert, uncreate, mock and destroy. It does not matter what the media destroys. Pointless subversion is the point of the media, and the medium is the message. By all means read and understand this book ... and then go out by yourself into the calm and silent wilderness for a year."John C Wright

About the author (2014)

BRUCE CHARLTON is Professor of Theoretical Medicine, University of Buckingham, UK and Reader in Evolutionary Psychiatry, Newcastle University, UK. Prof Charlton researches widely in evolutionary psychology and psychiatry, and on the role of scientific consensus and social mechanisms in biomedical research. From 2003 to 2010 he was editor of Medical Hypotheses. He is also an editor of The Journal of Hypotheses in the Life Sciences.

Bibliographic information