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Thinking. The Heart of the Media

Jacek Dabala

In a unique, and at times highly polemical way, the author demonstrates how the media generally influences thinking and what kind of content they put into peoples’ heads. He aims to encourage a better understanding of oneself, one’s environment, and the world but above all, a better understanding of freedom, the condition of democracy - or dictatorship. This is probably the first book in the media and communication studies which, through scientific provocation, makes the readers delve deeply into their intelligence, teaches them how to use it, and allows them to decide whether they have a weak, average, or insightful mind. The book sets one of the most important trends: it tells how the media think and how they shape their audiences.

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Freedom, community, civilisation

When Witold Gombrowicz was writing about “innate stupidity,” everybody knew that the intention was not to insult anyone, but to state a fact. There is no point being angry about the fact that some of us are intelligent and others are not, or not very. One simply needs to know this.

When Professor Marcin Król writes that people may regard community as more important than freedom, and Tomasz Terlikowski places civilisation above freedom, we have a head-on crash between matters of fundamental importance for humankind: our understanding of freedom, community and civilisation. It turns out that a media message may at times touch on matters demanding a deeper reflection. Is Król being ironic? Is Terlikowski manipulating the concept of freedom, reducing it to a mere belief? What is the hierarchy here? Is freedom at the top, with community below and civilisation even lower? Or perhaps it is community that should be at the bottom, because that guarantees the existence of civilisation and keeping it in good shape? Does community without freedom provide happiness? Or perhaps it produces happy mindlessness and threatens civilisation? Understanding this relationship should be constantly drip-fed through play, through readings, films, programmes, discussions, lessons, lectures, historical examples. Memory is fleeting, education often poor, and propaganda so strong that it is difficult to resist in the midst of problems, obligations, family and social life. This is a recipe for the Stockholm syndrome, for giving...

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