If regular TV was functional in 1950’s in the western world then why did they not use it for mass education and vocational training

I have just sat down after a long haul of work related stressful day and really started thinking on the thoughts blurring barely below my consciousness today.

We have had TV  and before that cinema invented at least half a century ago. Both are powerful mediums in their own rights in their ability to reach people in the remote corners of the villages. Both of these could have been easily employed to teach our kids science, arts, maths and other professional courses much better than third rate institutes and private schools who thrive on expensive tuition and their rigorous entry procedures ( mentality which instills discipline through humiliation, intimidation and general nastiness ) churning out blue blooded white collars demanded by an industrial world.

So, the question today is not why can’t they? The question is why didn’t they?

A few answers spring to my mind?

1. TV programs are dimmed down to only the level of general entertainment to make them easy for manipulation.

2. The private school thrive on providing access to an elite education; a format which would be rendered ineffective if TV was used to start teaching people (Mass education reaching millions of homes at the same time.)

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6 thoughts on “If regular TV was functional in 1950’s in the western world then why did they not use it for mass education and vocational training

  1. jeromeyers October 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I don’t think the question is “why didn’t they”. Who’s “they”? We’re the one’s who didn’t. I mean, unless, of course, there really is a “they” who actively opposed the emergence of some creators’ products (in the medium of TV). We’ve had inventors for a couple hundred years now, but originally, they were often pretty mechanical in nature. I think it’s a newer thing, these artist inventors. Social invention vs. material invention. Social invention is very powerful. http://jeromeyers.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/social-wizard/

    And even more to the point, “why didn’t they” isn’t the best question because “why aren’t we”? The internet is to the TV what the TV is to an illustration. We haven’t yet come even close to tapping the potential of education through the internet. Gamifying education through regional “teams” or “classes” in a national “school system”, kinda like all the Halo players online at once, is a highly likely next big step. It’d be hard to be worse than the current education system. Which is truly a massive expenditure of money for a rigid waste of potential energy.

    • Sasha Hunter October 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Politicians only give people what they want. The trick is to not let people find out that there are others things which can make their life easier, less expensive and more comfortable. That is the true threat of internet. It has given people a medium easy and cheap to get their voices heard across the continents.
      TV was confined to licenses and expensive equipment which effectively restricted creative use of TV to educate people. Look around you; every news media is rigidly controlled to control the perception of people, their subsequent desires and demands.

      • jeromeyers October 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        I don’t disagree, necessarily. But I think that there’s much less a “they” and much more a “we”. People seek out the news. They actually like commercials. The get swept up by brands. It’s as much natural selection as outright manipulation.

        What we have, rather than a “they” is a social human nature expressing itself in an environment of symbols and technology that have all come together in a very new way in space and time.

        Humans have impulses which serve to bind individuals together into larger groups. Commercials trigger these impulses, oftentimes. They are researched to and designed to and they are sophisticated. I avoid them unless I study them.

      • Sasha Hunter October 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        Thank you for your input, Jeromyers.

  2. Jetta October 20, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Generally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

  3. kiwidutch October 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Sasha,
    I think you have to look at how shallow society has become as a whole, it’s not just “lite TV” It’s become “light” in lots of areas of life.
    Too many people in the western world are scared of getting their hands dirty: but they complain when immigrants come into their countries to do the work… what nationalities are cleaning the toilets at your institutions, or the rooms in your hotel, or the offices at your work?
    Ask why so many young people in western society thing that starting at the bottom of the ladder is beneath them, They don;t think they should work their way up, they have the sense of entitlement that makes them think they really *should* be walking into the management positions.
    There’s too much of the “because I deserve it” and “what’s in it for me” and “I want to be rich and famous” attitude around these days, it’s all a reflection of a “:taking” attitude instead of a “giving” one … i.e. What can I do to make the world a better place? And then DOING something.
    Education? You final year of school should be spent roughing it in a developing country, doing manual work and with no access to TV, hairdryers, X-box etc.
    It wouldn’t solve the ills of the world but it might be a start…

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