Sunday, October 12, 2003

Neil Postman

I just read today that Neil Postman has died. I'm sorry to hear that.

Postman, if you don't know, wrote a lot of books about society and education. Very smart guy. At one time I worked with Andy, one of his sons, at a children's software company called Knowledge Adventure. One day Neil Postman came by to visit Andy, and after lunch I was surprised to be called into the boss's office.

I found myself in the office with my boss, my boss's brother, and Neil and Andy Postman. It turned out that they had all been out to lunch, and it had come up that I believed the Genesis account of creation (Perhaps because we were working on a program called Dinosaur Adventure), and Neil wanted to talk to me about it.

I look back with some amusement on what ensued; me, a Gentile, being called into the boss's office to defend before four Jews the validity of the Jewish scriptures.

Anyway, it was absolutely the most engaging and intellectually stimulating conversation I had had in ages! Neil Postman was charming, thoughtful, pointed, challenging and respectful, always letting me finish my thoughts without interrupting, like he really wanted to hear what I had to say. And I got the feeling that he enjoyed our conversation, too, which doubled my pleasure.

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