“The pace is slower. You don’t have a new visual image to process every 3.5 seconds, and people watch and apparently listen and then go back and watch again. So I’m very encouraged by that. It may be that there are limits to how much the human psyche can take of this fast-moving imagery that has been a characteristic of American television for many years. The Nielsen people tell us that television is on about close to eight hours a day in the average American household, so maybe there are limits to how much imagery people can process.” — Neil Postman, 30 August, 1992
There’s a limit to how much fast-moving imagery I can watch – the onset of nausea; and not in some airy existential sense. Is there a limit to how much humans can take? Maybe. But Postman said that in 1992. Today there is more blinking, flashing screen-trash than ever, and now TV includes pop-ups, pop-unders, pictures within pictures bracketed by scrolling text, all in gigantic high-definition. A noisy bar with a disco ball seems charmingly old-fashioned.