AK Haart raised the question of how over-entertainment and superinformation are changing us. I think it's at least as serious an issue as the phoney drugs war.
Mentally Addictive Devices (MAD) seem to me to be shortening attention span, overstimulating and exhausting the mind with trivial and repetitive tasks, and fostering a hazy expectation of instant gratification in other aspects of life.
They also divert attention from pursuing action that furthers one's real long-term interests - there are students flunking college because of their addiction to computerised role-playing games.
And they override alertness to real physical risk. Look at those who walk blindly across a road while on their cellphones; and the poor girl murdered on a Birmingham bus last year had previously noted the strange behaviour of what was to be her killer, but had merely commented on it on her phone - I think the phone gives the illusion of society and so misleads one into a false sense of security.
What if Orwell's eternally ruling Party had realised that you could subjugate the people with endless dreams?
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