38. "In the age of television, reading books is not as important as it once was. People can learn as much by watching television as they can by reading books."
1. Admittedly, television holds certain advantages over books for imparting certain types of knowledge.
2. However, the speaker overlooks several respects in which books are inherently superior to television as a medium for learning.
3. The speaker also ignores the decided tendency on the part of owners and managers of television media to filter information in order to appeal to the widest viewing audience, and thereby maximize profit.
4. Another compelling argument against the speaker’s claim has to do with how well books and television serve their respective archival functions.
60. "The media--and society in general--mistakenly expect an individual to speak for a particular group, whether or not that individual truly represents the views of the entire group."
There is high risk that the media and society may place unrealistically high expectation on an individual’s ability to represent a particular group.
1. The interviewees, usually chosen by chance to present through the media, cannot represent either the whole public of a particular group.
2. Even in a so-called democratic country, the representative chosen by a particular group on the basis of majority rule are not supposed to speak for the majority of the group.
3. It is necessary for society to remain sensitive to the limitations of representatives to represent the public.
109. "The purpose of many advertisements is to make consumers want to buy a product so that they will 'be like' the person in the ad. This practice is effective because it not only sells products but also helps people feel better about themselves."
This assertion actually consists of two claims: that this advertising technique is used effectively in selling many products, and that consumers who succumb to this technique actually feel better about themselves as a result. While I agree with the first claim, I strongly disagree with the second one.
1. As for whether the many, many ads portraying models are effective in selling products, I am not privy to the sort of statistical information required to answer this question with complete certainty. However, my intuition is that this technique does help sell products; otherwise, advertisers would not use it so persistently.
2. Consumers lured by the hope of "being like" the person in an ad might experience some initial measure of satisfaction in the form of an ego boost. However, this sense of optimism is ephemeral, invariably giving way to disappointment that the purchase did not live up to its implicit promise.