Television is limited to only two of the six senses. These two senses are sight and sound. And that sight is limited to the T.V. screen's small area of low definition imagery. Within this boring environment, as you watch attentively without any real desire to watch, television produces the deception that something unusual is going on. To fix your attention, television uses artificial Highlighted Moments. It should be noted that, because of the survival instinct, our attention is held involuntarily. To illustrate; when the phone rings, on the screen or in your kitchen, you can not avoid paying attention! Television producers use two techniques to produce artificial Highlighted Moments:

bulletThey outrageously fool around with the imagery. 
bulletThey choose content impossible in ordinary life.

    Have you noticed that television supplies you with images that are utterly impossible in nature. The camera can circle the subject. It can rise above it or go below it. It can zoom in or back away. The image can be made to change in size or fade and reappear. Editing can make it possible for a scene in one room to be followed instantly by a scene in another room or at another time, or another place. Words appear over images. In the background music rises and falls. Two images can appear at the same time. Motion can be speeded up or slowed down.

    Now lift your eyes from this paper and look around the room. Did the room become some other room at some other time? It could not possibly do so. Did your room circle around you or zoom away from you? If it did that, you would certainly pay a great deal of attention! You might even feel about to faint or fear that you are having a heart attack. In real life the only time a room appears to circle around or zoom away is during a medical emergency. You would pay serious attention then, just as you would to anything new, unexpected or unexplained that suddenly appears.

    Through Highlighted Moments, television alters the usual, natural, slow and boring. Through visual deception television makes it seem like you are looking at the unique, the unusual and the extraordinary, but nothing unique, unusual or extraordinary is going on. All that is happening is that you are watching television. Television that shows the same thing you saw an hour ago. The same thing you saw last night. The same thing that you saw last week. You have seen it before.

You have been tricked!

    Now it's time to make an experiment to get an idea of the extent to which television is dependent upon Highlighted Moments to maintain your interest and attention.

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The great time thief.