Reading The Obligation to Endure, I see that it actually ties somewhat to my group's reading The Ends of the World as We Know Them. They both relate to the downfall of humanity. It's just that one goes about it with the collapses of societies, and the other goes about it with the self-destructive nature of mankind's endeavors in the chemical field with insecticides. I really see where he's coming from with his mentioning of "resurgence", for it is indeed true that insects are very adaptive. It kind of goes with the territory of having a generation lasting no longer than a few days or weeks. The only issue I have, is that his opening is more focused on the problems faced by people due to insecticides, but he ends up spending the rest of the excerpt focused on the insects and the way society has been targeting them. However, his point really made me recall a presentation I watched on PBS about a certain chemical contained in such stuff as colognes and perfumes to help them last longer, that has actually been found to reduce the "ano-genital distance", or the distance between your bung-holio and your genitalia. Considering how modern youth are so into such things as Axe & Tag and other body sprays, I shan't be surprised if, in a few generations, we'll end up evolving to have a cloaca.
Meanwhile, I enjoy the points put forth by Television: The Plug-In Drug, the effect that the "tele" has on small children is astonishing. It doesn't help that sometimes exasperated parents decide that a brilliant and easy solution to taking care of children is to throw them to the television. Also, looking at television, things like Sesame St. and the like from classic children's shows actually had some educational value to them. However, nowadays I see more and more shows that merely seem to be heavily influenced by drugs and crazy trip-outs. And the point of the multiple-set family is a good one. In the old days you had shows like "The Andy Griffith Show", which was definitely a family-oriented show. But nowadays, the television shows are more focused, aiming towards the men, women, OR the children. And it really does affect the peer group as the reading says, people are often using things such as television as a way to connect to their friends, and some of the impressions that may be given by television are inappropriate for the younger viewers. But then, without television there wouldn't be shows such as Nature or NOVA, which were a big part of my life as a child, and I even find myself still very much partial to such shows. The television is very important to the spreading of news and knowledge. As Caleb points out, the imagery that is made possible by television makes things such as news that much more of an impact on our lives. If a picture is a thousand words, just how many words is a reel in a newscast worth?