Do you watch tv?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby BlackBird » Tue May 28, 2013 10:33 pm

Sorry Viscid but when I'm talking about action, I'm talking about it in the phenomenological, Buddhist sense of the word, where the Buddha describes action as involving intention, not the modern scientific rendering. Rightly so you state that breathing doesn't involve consciousness. You're right, but for the purposes of this discussion I would relegate breathing from the realms of action, as action implys a choice, and it is not our choice to breathe, but simply something that is bound up with the body.

So I reiterate that action involves intention, and one cannot turn on the television unconsciously, by it's very nature - intention is implicit, and so is the presense of consciousness. Therefore - I am not wrong.

metta
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"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Viscid » Tue May 28, 2013 11:11 pm

I don't think the Buddhist 'intention' and the phenomenological 'intentionality' are actually compatible, so I don't know why you bring up phenomenology at all. It's just confusing.

Watching television requires little deliberation when you're habituated into the act. In fact, it probably would require more intentional effort to get yourself to not watch television than to watch it. And there are lots of actions I do with little to no intent behind it-- during my morning routine, I regularly forget if I put on shampoo or deodorant because those actions are so automatic for me. It is insufficient to describe an act as either intentional or unintentional, as some actions (such as buying a car) require much more intentional effort than others (like putting on your socks.)
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby BlackBird » Wed May 29, 2013 12:51 am

You're welcome to disagree with me, which is all I can see in the above post. Nothing much to dissuade me from what I believe to be quite self evident.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Viscid » Wed May 29, 2013 2:13 am

But this is a potentially fruitful discussion about television watching (and more generally, habitualized action.)

Ben said people choose to watch TV, and that it's good for them.

Firstly, I think we have different definitions of what we mean when we say 'TV.' I gather Ben's concept of 'TV' is a device which receives and displays transmitted sound and video. The television itself is a benign technology (it doesn't harm us directly in its operation) but the habitual behaviour by which we engage with it is potentially harmful: if you watch for over 4 hours a day, you're probably at greater risk of developing health issues due to the sedentary nature of excessive television watching. Another concept of 'TV' is the body of programming that is transmitted and consumed by a receptive audience through that device. Most people don't watch documentaries and enriching content on television. If we were to survey what people are watching on TV at any given time, I believe we'd see more people watching sitcoms, reality shows and other empty programming which presents the world in a distorted way. This is in no way 'good' for people.

Secondly, we have different perceptions of what it means to make a decision [to watch television.] Kim said that some people (those that are habituated into watching television) aren't making a choice when watching television. Ben says, and Jack confirmed via Buddhist Phenomenology, that there is indeed a choice. Now, while I agree one can say that a decision to watch television is being made (ritualistically) every time the television is turned on, it is not as if that decision wasn't made under the incredible pressure of the past. If someone holds a gun to your head and tells you to do something you don't want to do, can you really say it was your decision to do that act? Well, yes in one way and no in another. It's the same with habit: yes, theoretically you can opt-out of committing the habitualized action, but it's quite unlikely you will, unless there is substantial pressure to alter it.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Vern Stevens » Wed May 29, 2013 2:28 am

Ben did not say TV was good for them, Ben said TV is a medium that can be good or bad based on how people choose to use it.
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 29, 2013 3:08 am

Greetings,

I watch a TV show called House Husbands because my niece is in it, and I watch the cricket when it's on.

Otherwise the only other times the TV will be on are if I have guest over. Generally speaking, it doesn't do much for me... personally I'd prefer to listen to music.

Metta,
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby BlackBird » Wed May 29, 2013 3:29 am

Viscid wrote:But this is a potentially fruitful discussion about television watching (and more generally, habitualized action.)

Ben said people choose to watch TV, and that it's good for them.

Firstly, I think we have different definitions of what we mean when we say 'TV.' I gather Ben's concept of 'TV' is a device which receives and displays transmitted sound and video. The television itself is a benign technology (it doesn't harm us directly in its operation) but the habitual behaviour by which we engage with it is potentially harmful: if you watch for over 4 hours a day, you're probably at greater risk of developing health issues due to the sedentary nature of excessive television watching. Another concept of 'TV' is the body of programming that is transmitted and consumed by a receptive audience through that device. Most people don't watch documentaries and enriching content on television. If we were to survey what people are watching on TV at any given time, I believe we'd see more people watching sitcoms, reality shows and other empty programming which presents the world in a distorted way. This is in no way 'good' for people.

Secondly, we have different perceptions of what it means to make a decision [to watch television.] Kim said that some people (those that are habituated into watching television) aren't making a choice when watching television. Ben says, and Jack confirmed via Buddhist Phenomenology, that there is indeed a choice. Now, while I agree one can say that a decision to watch television is being made (ritualistically) every time the television is turned on, it is not as if that decision wasn't made under the incredible pressure of the past. If someone holds a gun to your head and tells you to do something you don't want to do, can you really say it was your decision to do that act? Well, yes in one way and no in another. It's the same with habit: yes, theoretically you can opt-out of committing the habitualized action, but it's quite unlikely you will, unless there is substantial pressure to alter it.


I don't really disagree with anything you're saying here.

:anjali:
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 29, 2013 3:59 am

Not nearly as much as I did when I was much younger (before the internet). :tongue:

When my kids were younger, we all watched The Simpsons but stopped several years ago when they outgrew it and the writers changed (not so good anymore).

Today, about the only things I watch are the news, some documentaries and sports. And not all sports, primarily just NBA basketball playoffs, some American football, soccer but only the World Cup, no league competitions, and a few sports of the Olympics (World Cup & Olympics are only once every 4 years).
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Mindstar » Wed May 29, 2013 8:13 am

I´m not watching the news as i`m pretty much aware who has the biggest influence on them...
http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/economics/item/15473-world-bank-insider-blows-whistle-on-corruption-federal-reserve

I don`t like to be brainwashed except for positive buddhist brainwash :lol:
I´m just focusing on everything that is positive.
Wherever he goes, there he is unafraid.. Wherever he sleeps, there he is unalarmed!
The nights and days does neither touch nor burn him. He sees nothing in this world
that is to be kept or lost.. Therefore his mind dwells in goodwill and gentle kindness
towards all beings until he falls asleep.
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 29, 2013 8:56 am

I think we need to extend the discussion to all forms of media, and the extent to which they can be a distraction. I've met people who proudly announced they got rid of their TV, but it turns out they are spending hours on the internet instead, which includes watching films, and yes, you guessed it, TV programmes. :tongue:
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Ben » Wed May 29, 2013 9:38 am

Hi Vern,

Vern Stevens wrote:Ben did not say TV was good for them, Ben said TV is a medium that can be good or bad based on how people choose to use it.


I actually did say that "TV is good for you" on the first page of the thread. However, I was being a bit cheeky and facetious.
However, I maintain that TV is no better or worse than other household objects.
What we choose to watch on tv, and how we choose to interact with the content, is ultimately our own responsibility.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Fluke » Fri May 31, 2013 2:50 pm

I watch very little TV but do sometimes watch a movie; I've a fairly large DVD collection. Practically the only television I watch is sports programmes - I'm not interested in all the sex, violence and rhetoric shown on many movies & TV shows.

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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Helyron » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:59 pm

I do not watch TV, the most time it is just spoon-feeded stuff and advertisement.
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:32 pm

Do you watch tv?

tv watches me.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:02 am

Ben wrote:
Do you watch tv?

tv watches me.



Image
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Ben » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:08 am

BlackBird wrote:
Ben wrote:
Do you watch tv?

tv watches me.



Image


Indeed.
Hence, I better get back to work.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby Buddhe » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:03 am

Good for you Digity!
Im completely with you. No t.v means more free time to do other things more in touch with reality. I gavr up t.v this year and i have never looked back. Im so happy i did. Any news i need to can aquire on my mobile. I too have a subscription with love film not netflix i use the light use package so as not to go overboard.

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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby PadmaPhala » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:13 am

yes, but kinda. it can be replaced by streaming of sport events (mostly Calcio/soccer) and downloading of series (mostly anime, but there's quality in many other countries besides Japan).

won't miss it if it went kapput.
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Re: Do you watch tv?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:33 am

Buddhe wrote:Good for you Digity!
Im completely with you. No t.v means more free time to do other things more in touch with reality. I gavr up t.v this year and i have never looked back. Im so happy i did. Any news i need to can aquire on my mobile. I too have a subscription with love film not netflix i use the light use package so as not to go overboard.

Xx


Thats almost what I was going to say, since going to digital, I haven't watched TV, and Ive never looked back, in fact I consider deciding not to pay for cable and having no TV was one of the better decisions in my life, Why, because in my history Television has addictive potential, I've wasted an incredible amount of time watching nothing, Cheers, Seinfeld, the Simpsons, Frasier,etc etc with the exception of the Simpsons maybe, complete garbage, and over the years I noticed in my most productive periods, very little TV, when I'm depressed and lazy; tons of TV, practically half the day, and all the night!!

So I had already made up my mind that for me, at least, TV wasn't healthy, Then along comes digital, I'm too far from the transmitter to pick it up on antenna, and someones telling me I've got to pay for TV, I'd rather pay for DSL and use a computer, remember the old joke you can't talk to the TV unless you're crazy, well on internet forums and email, the computer talks back, you're actually having online conversations with interesting real people, not movie stars, all over the world, now that's my idea of a slightly, at least, more healthy addiction.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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