10 January, 2022

The Great Distractor


Edward Palmer and the Children’s Television Workshop built the distractor in order to improve their real work. That work, as described by the New Yorker’s film critic Renata Adler in 1972, was “to sell, by means of television, the rational, the humane, and the linear to little children.” Google and its ilk have instead concentrated on improving the distractor, and the result is the triumph of the irrational, the inhumane, and the non-linear. And it has made them very rich indeed.