Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Imagine the Possibilities on Television

What if you could be anything you've ever wanted, just by turning on the television or surfing the web. Imagine if you could do whatever someone else is doing simply by watching them do it. Would you watch your favorite TV shows to socialize with the stars? Or turn on a karate flick and kick the crap out of your brother?

As strange as the question sounds, scientists are learning the phrase "Monkey See, Monkey Do" is a lot closer to how our brain functions than we originally thought. The act of watching a baseball game fires off the same areas of our brain than if we were actually swinging a bat or catching a ball. We learn to do by watching others do it.

But imagine if learning was as simple as Rainman counting toothpicks on the floor. By studying the brain activities of savants such as Kim Peek and Daniel Tammet, Scientists may one day learn how to simulate the effects in our own minds. In other words, you might seriously want to consider what you're watching!

Let's take a look at the latest National Nielsen ratings to see what Americans are learning to do:

1. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Flip on the switch and tune in the worst of human depravity. Whether by field examinations or intensive lab work, most Americans would choose to dissect human cadavers in an effort to uphold the law. Sounds pretty intense to imagine everyone taking samples everywhere they went.

2. Dancing with the Stars - Suddenly life explodes into a hot and sexy, twisting, turning parade of people dancing to and from work and school; to the dentist, at line in the bank; a slow waltz for funerals, and a Cha-Cha-Cha before dinner. This might just be a solution to the Obesity Epidemic!

3. Grey's Anatomy - Two things are apparent: America wants Drama, and America wants Health Care. While I admit the idea of a Nation of Doctors would come in handy, I'm not entire sure I understand the Soap Opera. It does make sense, however, for a healthy life to follow a life that is healthy.

4. Desperate Housewives - At this point we've fallen into the realms of pure decadence, where we are all free to live life like a Hollywood movie. The lights are bright, the pace is fun and exciting, with twists and turns around every bend. I'm just thankful to have an Off button on our current technology.

5. House - A final look at what American's are learning to do reveals more Doctors, more Drama, more Mystery, more Romance; more of a good story that takes you on an Adventure with a beginning, middle, and an end (with a whole lot of commercialism thrown in-between).

Unfortunately, it seems that relatively few of us are doing exactly what we'd rather be doing. Instead, we're staring into a television tube which promises the impossible, as if we are seeking comfort in the dreams we're being sold. Though ultimately unobtainable, the dream is so much better than reality.

Fortunately, along with the advances in technology comes an evolution in the way we think. As the old world showed us promises to lure us into buying the dream, the new world is built on our own dreams. Through user created content and direct audience participation, we're building a new world in our image.

This means that the next time you flip on your screen, and adjust your learning capabilities to maximum potential, you'll enter a world filled with guides to build green houses, and videos that show you how to nit. In no time at all you'll be a master of your world, with a single press of the button.

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