And last year when I wrote my first post about the book, entitled, appropriately enough, Amazing Ourselves to Death, I explained how, when I was first approached about writing a book that follows up on the classic work by Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, I already had the perfect title for it, having used for a public lecture I gave at Medaille College on November 6th, 2007.
Going back to the first nine months of Blog Time Passing, I posted an announcement about the lecture on November 1st, 2007, in an entry called Shuffling Off to Buffalo (which is where Medaille College is located). The lecture was recorded at the time, and I finally got around to uploading the video onto YouTube. You can watch it over there on my own personal channel, the video's called Amazing Ourselves to Death 2007, or right here on my blog of record:
And to give a little more background, I was invited to give the talk by Medaille College's professor of philosophy Gerald Erion. Jerry is a fine media ecology scholar in his own right, and as he explained it to me, Medaille has its incoming first year students all read the same book before beginning their first semester, and that book was Amusing Ourselves to Death. And that was why they wanted me to come up to Buffalo and give a talk about the book and its author.
In addition to, and prior to giving the big lecture, I also met with a group of the students for an informal conversation about Neil Postman:
And that's how it all began. An amazing lecture laid the groundwork for an amazing book, and I use amazing here not to make any claims about the quality of either one, but rather to recognize how amazing it all is, doing the lecture back in 2007, never at all really thinking about turning it into a book several years later (I was first contacted by Peter Lang and subsequently contracted by them in 2011).
Anyway, I think the lecture still stands up on its own, I hope you like it, and if you do, that it motivates you to get a copy of the book, if you haven't got one already!