1) Postman asserts that the Constitution, Federal Communications Act, and the Bible “make no mention” of the ideas that “fat people are now effectively excluded from running for high political office,” “those without public appeal are excluded from addressing the public,” and “God loves those who make people laugh,” respectively. He makes these allusions so as to appeal to authority, whether to old laws (Constitution), modern laws (Communications Act of 1934), or the laws of religion (Bible). Postman puts these in this order so as go in an order of importance (God, family, country), with the Bible going last to add emphasis and the Constitution going first to introduce the idea of media’s influence on all three.
3) Postman uses smoke signals as an example for his claim that some modes of communication are insufficient or incapable of being used to convey certain idea. This is something he does often throughout the book, a similar example being the use of poetry. Just as smoke signals cannot carry philosophical ideas, and poetry translated into different languages loses its meaning, television cannot transmit, or at the least loses the meaning, of the written word.
4) Postman uses a paternal, knowing tone when referring to Aristotle, in that he sees some of Aristotle’s methods as flawed, at least if they had been in the same context of our world. He cites Aristotle’s beliefs of women having fewer teeth than men, and that babies are healthier when conceived when the wind is in the North. Postman looks at Aristotle’s claims as unfounded and childish, especially when he remarks that there is no record of Aristotle ever using scientific methods such as surveys, or counting either of his wives’ teeth to see if they truly had fewer than his own. However, Postman understands the reality that “we moderns” have plenty of our own gaps in logic, and that is the reason why he mentions Aristotle to begin with. He uses the ridiculousness of the beliefs of even a respected man of history to show that we are truly no