This was sneaking up on us, beginning early in the 20th Century with the Movies. That gave the viewing public something to distract them from the horrors of the Depression. And anyone who remembers this, will agree that it was horrible. They will not remember that going to the movies was their solution.
Much later, during my adolescence, we got Television – which completely changed who we were – we became consumers. Entranced by the screen in from of us – which gave us endless entertainment – for free. While, behind the scenes, the advertisers picked our pockets!
People everywhere learned how to be controlled by their Television viewing. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere!
There was some awareness of this at the time, by people like McLuhan, but the vast majority, the mass of the people – were not aware of it at all.
The importance of this awareness gap – cannot be overestimated. Most people have no awareness (or a very distorted awareness) of what is going on. This is easily seen in the political movements everywhere, but especially in America and Europe. Although violent developments in Asia and Africa are not far behind.
My pessimistic outlook turns off most people – who want to feel good, no matter what! But at the same time I continue to study Software Development – where amazing developments (by people) are going on.
People are not stupid – just overwhelmed – and when they get over that – things will look better again.