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James Burke (science historian)

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Television tells us everyday that we live in a world we don't understand. And yet in the main it does little to explain that world. It tells us of new products that make the products we have either old-fashioned or obsolete. Above all, if today we are aware of how fast the world around us is changing, it's because television acts as a relentless reminder of that fact.

 
James Burke (science historian)

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I used to think that television could be potentially the most powerful medium for the dissemination of knowledge that the world has ever known, it could be a very rich and rewarding thing if handled properly and that the problem was in the execution. I've now come, after ten years in the business, five years of which was as a television critic, to taking the very extreme view point. I think television itself is bad.
The idea of television, the act of watching television kills the imagination. It's not like radio, with radio you had to listen, had to make things, you had to build things in your mind. Movies do that. Television is something else again. Television lays it all out there in a very prescribed way and the bare minimum of imagination on the part of the viewer is needed and I really fear for all of us.

 
Harlan Ellison
 

Part of America's industrial problems is the aim of its corporate managers. Most American executives think they are in the business to make money, rather than products or service...The Japanese corporate credo, on the other hand, is that a company should become the world's most efficient provider of whatever product and service it offers. Once it becomes the world leader and continues to offer good products, profits follow.

 
W. Edwards Deming
 

The order and harmony of the Western world, its most famous achievement, and a laboratory in which structures of a complexity as yet unknown are being fashioned, demand the elimination of a prodigious mass of noxious by-products which now contaminate the globe. The first thing we see as we travel round the world is our own filth, thrown into the face of mankind.

 
Claude Levi-Strauss
 

Today the percentage of female judges, college professors and detectives seen on television is a pretty good reflection of the actual world. (In the case of judges, I wouldn't be shocked to find out the number on television exceeds the number in real life what is it about those black robes that makes us think ovaries?)
But merely thrusting more women into more prestigious on-screen jobs doesn't necessarily make the working world a better place for women. If you were to show people images of two real-life professionals, one a man, one a woman, and ask them to rate their competence knowing nothing but job and gender I bet people still give the guys the edge.
It's not television's fault, exactly. But television can help fix the problem. Not by writing women into better professions, but by more accurately showing them as complex people contending with the sort of snide, generous, ambitious, incompetent, sad and hilarious co-workers who populate real workplaces.

 
Jane Espenson
 

I like violence. I love violence. I hate the weak person who won't do art and say "OH! That hurt me; that image." Huh? Why do you make pictures for that person? They are blind. Poetry is violence. It is reality. They are so much in a violent world--so much, so much that they don't want to see that. I am in the middle of violence. I am in the middle of the screen of television now. There--I am in the middle of the screen of that television who is showing everyday the violence of the world. And the person is saying to me: "Oh, you are violent.""

 
Alejandro Jodorowsky
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