Daily Archives: May 5, 2001

May 5 2001

It’s even worse…

Garret posted two interesting links concerning Channel One. One is The Facts About Channel One, written by Ken McNatt, a sophomore at Oil City High School in Pennsylvania who does “not believe that commercialism in the classrooms of schools is ethical.”


Scott wrote:

“An awful lot of webloggers have admitted to watching ‘Survivor’. Could one of you please explain to Andrea what it is? She says that without a TV of her own, she hasn’t been able to keep up with how low the niveau of modern television has fallen. (Then again, maybe she doesn’t really want to know.)”

For the non-German speakers: He is referring to what I wrote the day before yesterday, when I commented on a new trick that a German TV station has introduced to keep people from zapping to other stations while watching a programme.

I understand it is a sticker that you put on your TV screen while watching certain shows on this TV station. The sticker is sensitive to light, not unlike a photo film, and “records” what you watch. You can then send the sticker to the TV company and win something. If you are interested, the concept for this thing was thought up by tv miles (site in English and German).

To me, this sounds like the perfect big brother scenario, and I find it hard to believe that people are actually participating. But as I read in a Zeit article (in German) that some families wrote to tell the company how much they liked the sticker because they have seen a whole programme for the first time in ages. Now this is really disturbing!

Not only do people watch too much TV, they need a stupid sticker in order to keep them at a show for half an hour. Sad.

Ge ahead and read Amusing ourselves to death by Neil Postman, as Craig suggested.

Okay, back to Survivor. I may not be a TV expert, but at least I know the basic idea behind Survivor. And I’ve gathered from several posts that the winner has been declared a few days ago.

I also know there are similar shows on German TV. I have even watched one episode of the first Big Brother series while visiting my parents. [Gasp!] I had heard so much talk about the series that I had to watch it myself. And I have to admit that I find it unbelievable that people actually watch an hour of this crap every day, plus some extra shows on the weekends. Don’t they have more important or interesting things to do? Or at least more interesting things to watch on TV?

And while I’m ranting about TV, let me add that I find this article (link via Garret) very disturbing: The Phenomenon of Channel One. And although Channel 1 sends advertisement, which is supposed to finance the programme, it still costs tax money. See The Hidden Costs of Channel One. The authors of this article estimate that it costs the taxpayer US$1.8 billion annually, $300 million of which are for the two minutes of commercials they send each day.


In case you were wondering, it’s 5616 miles or 9038 km from Bonn, Germany, to San Francisco, CA. And Bonn is located at 50:43:12N 7:04:48Em while San Francisco is at 37:47:36N 122:33:17W.

How do I know? I looked it up at this distance calculator that calculates the distance between virtually any two places on earth. Neat little tool!