By Dina Brands, Golden Age of Gaia, June 19, 2015
It’s the Medium, Not the Message
The effects of television on humans is causing physiological changes, according to a large amount of scientific evidence. Regardless of what you choose to watch, generally, our favorite pastime takes up more of our time than any other activity except work and sleep. The scientists examining the findings are set to recast the role of the television screen as the greatest unacknowledged public health issue of our time.
General guidelines recommend that children of all ages should not have a television in their bedroom and children under the age of two should not have any form of screen entertainment at all. Studies show an increased risk of developing attentional problems for every hour of television watched. The dynamic stimulus of stylistic techniques such as cuts, edits, zooms, criticism and sudden noises, do indeed trigger involuntary physiological responses that are designed to capture our attention.
Television portrays life in fast forward by stimulating our attention with fast rates of edits and camera angles that are increasingly associated with unfavorable biological and cognitive changes. Autism, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, type two diabetes, myopia, and sleep disturbances are among the many disorders identified with television exposure.
“To be sure, there has been some lack of political will to take on the enormously powerful and influential entertainment industry to be recognized as a major public health issue”. Hence, far too little attention is being paid to the biological and cognitive research that clearly recognizes television as a potentially dangerous health issue.
The Arecibo Message
Carl Sagan and some colleagues sent a message into space via powerful radio waves in 1974, which was known as the, “Arecibo” message. This pictorial messaged depicted our planet’s location in our solar system, the core principles of our math and science, as well as as our physical appearance and DNA code.
A response to this message, twenty one years later seems to have appeared in the form of a crop circle depicting a different solar system, an image of the sender, non-human DNA, and a microwave antenna. The comparison of the two images is remarkable, as is the series of circumstances surrounding the crop circle’s appearance and location. The extraterrestrial ‘selfie’ crop circle that appeared days before the message is one of my favorites. And even though these crop circles were made in 2001, the question one must ask is, why did we not continue this communication? Or did we?
With much light and joy,