Week #2 Michael Kohnert


It shows an exceptional level of ignorance to claim that mass media is a vast wasteland. Quite the contrary I believe it represents a vast expanse of conflicting ideas, different cultures, and knowledge. By tapping into such a resource with an unbiased approach we are able to better our understanding of the world in its entirety.

The type of media that I voluntarily partake in most often is documentary series. The shining example that I think proves the legitimacy of modern media is the series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. This thought provoking series explores, well, everything. The entirety of the universe, quantum physics, astrobiology, geological history, human biology, and recent scientific history are all presented for individuals of all levels of understanding to enjoy. It’s amazing that it is able to so effectively explain such vast concepts of existence, and remain entertaining while doing it.

One aspect of the show that is particularly relevant to the actions being taken by political action committee is the recent scientific history of mankind. The show reflects of the damage that restrictions placed on scientific understanding by the church, and small minded individuals in positions of power. Sadly, in the past there have been martyrs in the realm of science. Brave people who challenged the group think of society and gave their lives to the dedication to the expansion of human knowledge. So, despite these sacrifices made in the distant past there are still people conspiring to limit the power of the First Amendment. A limitation on the First Amendment has one purpose, to limit knowledge, and by doing so, limit the power of the people.

The show also looks to the future, and teases that all of the knowledge we’ve obtained is just the tiniest fraction of what is out there. The next big discovery may be right around the corner, or it may be years away at the hands of someone who is watching Cosmos right now. The point is, placing a limitation on the sharing of knowledge could have an adverse effect on the optimistic future painted by the show. We’re on fertile grounds for knowledge sharing as it sits now and we need to strive to preserve and improve the ability to share.

In short, Cosmos is all about knowledge, and mass media is about the distribution information. A limit on mass media is a limit on the distribution of knowledge. It’s not a surprising conclusion to make, but I’m a bit surprised I was pushed to it by a show about the universe.