Calvin and Hobbes

America is, in fact, the leading case in point of what may be thought of as the third great crisis in Western education. The first occurred in the fifth century B.C., when Athens underwent a change from an oral culture to an alphabet-writing culture. To understand what this meant, we must read Plato. The second occurred in the sixteenth century, when Europe underwent a radical transformation as a result of the printing press. To understand what this meant, we must read John Locke. The third is happening now, in America, as a result of the electronic revolution, particularly the invention of television. To understand what this means, we must read Marshall McLuhan.

—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, (New York: Penguin, 1985), 145.

I like this so much! It reminds me of reading in an on-line personals ad that among her favorite movies and books a woman listed Calvin and Hobbes. My immediate reaction was excitement, followed quickly by the realization she and I meant quite different works.

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