Photo from Amazon.com
I just received Al Gore's Book, The Assault on Reason, from my local library, and it has brought many feelings and notions to mind. I cracked the book this afternoon, and looked at the clock a while later to discover that two and a half hours had gone by. He had me hooked in the introduction. The feeling I got from the first couple of pages, until a put the book down a few minutes ago was, "This guy should have been President after all."
Reason, logic and justice are the three most important guiding forces in my life. They have a lot to do with the creation of this blog. All three concepts are in peril in this country, and I fear we have not reached the bottom yet. What Mr. Gore has done with this book is crystallize where we've fallen down in this country in regard to these concepts, how we got here, and what it is doing to us. This book dovetails neatly with other books I've read lately on media consolidation, media misinformation, religion and politics, and the conservative effort to permeate all media and politics.
Of particular interest to me were scientific differences between reading the news and watching the news. Reading requires active participation, and stimulates the reasoning centers of the brain. Watching television is passive, and actually represses reasoning. Fascinating, and yet obvious. That's the stunning thing about this and the other books I've mentioned. All of this evidence is out there, and it isn't hard to find. We've gotten so conditioned to being spoon-fed, we don't even notice anymore when something is unreasonable, illogical and unjustifiable.
Dick Cheney or George Bush will say one thing on Monday, and on Wednesday deny he's ever said it--and the news media dutifully report the new "reality." Thank goodness for people like Jon Stewart (who Gore calls brilliant) and Bill Maher who point out that there is such a thing as video tape, proving their lies. Sadly, they are largely preaching to the already converted choir.
Al Gore proved with An Inconvenient Truth that he can make a successful documentary that effectively sways public opinion. I implore you, Mr. Gore, do the same with The Assault on Reason. Americans are proving daily that they don't much like to read. Put THIS in front of them, so that their eyes are glued to something worthwhile.
Though I'm only part way through this book, I can already tell you, it is highly recommended.