Pattison's Perspectives, Television

Amusing ourselves into addiction precedes amusing ourselves to death.

img_1692When Neil Postman set out to pen what would be his magnum opus regarding the medium of television, he had no idea that the internet was on the horizon.

Reading Amusing Ourselves to Death several years ago, I couldn’t help but wonder how Postman would have responded to the trappings of our current technology (including the internet and social media). Surely, if he were alive today, readers would be expecting a sequel to that book.

It’s in this vein that I wanted to share the following five-minute video clip with you about how excessive smartphone usage is transforming our minds. This video is not only timely, eye-opening, and convicting, it is downright troubling. I encourage you take five minutes out of your busy day and watch this video with an open mind.

In addition to the internal brain-altering side effects that the above video illustrates, if you have just 27 more minutes, I challenge you to watch the following terrifying video about the external dangers our smartphones present as we find ourselves living in the Brave New World that our nation’s forefathers tried to prevent.*

* For those people out there, or at least that one person (you know who you are) who is/are incapable of understanding that someone can critique the overuse or misuse of certain tools or technologies without being completely against the existence of said tools or technologies, I request you refrain from erecting any further straw man arguments, namely, claiming that if I criticize a negative effect of a tool/technology, then it must mean I’m completely against that tool/technology.

Did you know, I can oppose guns being used in the commission of a crime, and still support the 2nd Amendment? Did you know, I can be opposed to people driving their cars recklessly, causing death and injury to other motorists, but still believe motor vehicles are a great tool?

And I can do all that while simultaneously carrying my gun and driving my car, and this does not make me a hypocrite.

See how this works?

For everyone else, please watch these sobering videos in the spirit they’re intended, and I pray they will be edifying to you. 

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Bonus video:

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Pattison's Perspectives

Remembering a true American hero.

Regardless of your politics, Mark Lane was a good, noble man. A man who sought truth and justice above all else.

Reflecting on his long life (this past week marked 2 years since his passing), I wish to honor his many accomplishments by sharing this fascinating and well done biography of the man who should be a household name, but sadly (thanks to government education) few people of recent generations have ever heard of him.

 

Pattison's Perspectives, Writing Advice

An open letter to indie authors.

img_9461As an indie author myself, there’s few things that make me cringe more than when other indie authors publish books rife with errors that would have been caught and fixed had the author employed a professional editor. This lack of concern for the professionalism of their book, the writing craft, and indie publishing, hurts the rest of us.

Every time a reader of traditionally published books boldly ventures into the indie market only to find themselves holding a book containing page after page of grammatical errors, structural issues, and plot holes, indie authors everywhere lose credibility. Those discerning readers oftentimes make a resolution right then and there to never waste their time—or their money—on another indie published book. I’ve even made that same resolution myself.

It’s because of this ripple effect that I plead with my fellow indie authors to stop chasing after the glory of how many books you put out (and how fast you put them out), and start focusing on the quality of those books. Your readers will appreciate it and the collective body of indie authors who take their craft seriously will thank you for it too.

The writing profession is a marathon, not a sprint. If you can’t afford a professional editor, then wait. Practice a little patience and save up your money until you can afford one.

You can also try raising the funds to pay for a professional editor.

I currently have a Kickstarter campaign for my book, The Island, in order to help pay for its professional editing and cover design. And I’ve resigned myself to the fact that if that campaign fails, then I’ll need to wait a little longer to publish The Island in order to save the money necessary to hire an editor. Publishing my book without professional editing is not an option.

We’re all in this together. What one indie author does in the publishing world—good or bad—ripples throughout the entire indie publishing community. A poorly edited book not only hurts your own sales, but it negatively effects sales for the rest of us.

Please publish responsibly.

Sincerely,

J.L. Pattison