I don’t think television makes people stupid. It seems to me that the more people watch television, the stupider the television becomes. I hate to sound like a cranky, old man complaining about the way things are these days, but T.V. just isn’t as good as it used to be.
Self Aware Paterns recently did an interesting blog post about the Science Channel. The quality of educational television has dropped, with only a few niche channels (like the Science Channel) holding out. And even in that case, the Science Channel might be starting to slip.
I can’t really say whether I agree or disagree with Self Aware Patterns’ assessment of the Science Channel. I canceled my cable subscription several years ago, right around the time when the Discovery Channel was starting to lose my interest.
When I want to learn something about science—or any other topic—I turn to other resources than television. Such as:
- TED Talks.
- YouTube shows like Sci Show and Smarter Every Day.
- Lecture series from The Great Courses. They can get pricy, but they are definitely worth the money.
Meanwhile, it seems educational television continues to try to increase its viewership by dumbing down its programming: a trend that may apply to television in general.
So what resources do you use when you want to learn something? Are there any educational T.V. shows right now that are worth watching?