RE: [xmca] American Values

From: Karen Wieckert <wieckertk who-is-at>
Date: Wed May 07 2008 - 06:49:51 PDT

In 1984, I spent a year working on the Science Research and Technology
Subcommittee of the Science and Technology Committee in the US House.
During that year, many policy makers were concerned about what would happen
if the TV protocols were updated. The issue had been around for a number of
years even before 1984. The protocol was over 30 years old at that point.
The major concern was the change and the effect upon the public, that is,
instantaneously making all TV sets obsolete, and therefore requiring their
replacement. In 1984, there was no cable of course, but the importance of
TV for the US was pretty clear. I do not know the differences in numbers of
TV sets from then until now.

I can tell you that I bought my first TV set in 1985 for a cost of $250 1985
dollars. It was a 9 inch or some such tiny thing. In 2003, we needed to
replace our TV set, and could not fathom paying for a flat screen. We paid
less than $250 in 2003 dollars for a 21 inch screen.

I agree that when put into the context of our budgetary decisions, it looks
horrible. But, that is probably more of an issue because of our federal
spending priorities in general as well as some pretty substantial changes in
governmental revenues. Even under Reagan, taxes were substantially higher
than now.

Karen Wieckert

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Tony Whitson
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 5:22 PM
Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] American Values

I don't know about a common thread between ideology & profiteering. The
latter could be no more than cynical opportunism. Nobody cares if the
folks at Halliburton are themselves neo-conservatives.

The links between ideological commitment to phonics, fundamentalism,
abstinence-only, etc. are more interesting.

Some would suggest genetic factors. See

On Tue, 6 May 2008, Mike Cole wrote:

> What is the common thread?
> Fundamentalism in one case, hedonism in the other?
> Maybe a new social formation? Fundamentalist hedonism?
> mike
> On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Tony Whitson <> wrote:
>> Besides which, the "Reading First" program is now shown to have been
>> ineffective, after it's been known that this was driven by ideology and
>> profit interests of Administration cronies.
>> On Tue, 6 May 2008, Mike Cole wrote:
>> Passed from a local source:
>>> Interesting fact . .
>>> The U.S. government has allocated $1.5 billion to inform 17 million
>>> citizens
>>> about the digital TV transition. The total proposed budged for literacy
>>> education in 2009 stands at a paltry $574.6 million.
>>> Source: (5-6-08)
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>> Tony Whitson
>> UD School of Education
>> NEWARK DE 19716
>> _______________________________
>> "those who fail to reread
>> are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
>> -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)

Tony Whitson
UD School of Education

"those who fail to reread
  are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
                   -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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