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March 26, 2007

Technology, Stress, Drugs, and Behavior

My own comparatively small 5 year birth cohort was born between 1930 and 1934; we grew up in the Thirties during the Great Depression.Thus most of us were in Grade School  druing World War Two and High School between VJ Day  (1945) and the Korean ‘police action’ provoked by North Korea’s surprise invasion in June, 1950.

Breaking news from Korea wasn’t disseminated widely by TV in 1950 because the medium was still in its commercial infancy and transcontinental cable didn’t exist. It would be 1960 before a Presidential  debate could be transmitted live to TV audiences at  home.

Thus, neither those members of my birth cohort who remained safely in college during Korea, nor those killed there between the invasion and an armistice signed in the Spring of 1953 grew up with TV; nor did we receive the educational advantages being optimistically predicted for the new medium as it was being aggressively exploited after the enforced hiatus of World War Two.

What we know in retrospect is that the TV broadcasting industry was dominated by commercial interests that quickly focused on its potential for passive  entertainment of mass audiences. Not only did its educational benefits remain relatively undeveloped, but TV’s potent influence over the dissemnation of news and opinion has became increasingly packaged as a commodity and concentrated in the hands of a few media conglmerates, even while the Earth’s human population was exploding during the second half of the Twentieth Century and an economic ‘Cold War’ raged between rival political and economic ideologies.

From our early Twenty-First Century vantage point, a number of clues with the power to challenge traditional views have come to light. They also suggest that changes which  didn’t become prominent until the  second half of the last century will assume even greater significance for our entire species between now and 2100.

Central to this particular post is the degree to which human emotions affect the behavior of both individuals and political units. Coupled with that is the degree to which ‘drug’ use reflects the increasing role of emotional stress in everyday life...

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at March 26, 2007 04:40 AM