We are very excited about today’s interview with Cirro. He usually works from home due to the long commute; but today we are honored to have him in person.
Hello Cirro, thanks so much for coming down.
You’re welcome C.J., thanks for having me.
Well I wanted to pick your brain on something real quick today… It’s regarding television,,, I wanted to get your perspective on it.
We have been monitoring Earth’s over the air televised transmissions for many of your decades; it is how we first learned about you and your people’s habits. It’s why I decided to take Earth Studies in what you would call school.
Wow, well as you know, television is a sort of wacky dumbed-down version of human life; you must have been quite impressed when you finally interacted with real humans.
Umm, OK… Anyway, what are your thoughts on T.V.
I think it is the most significant waste of life I have ever encountered. And I have seen some bizarre things in my time,,, I mean, I’ve met creatures that have to stare into the sun for a thousand years in order to attract a mate. But never in my life have I seen something as absurd as your television.
What is so absurd about it? I think it’s a great way to get news, current events, things like that?
Really? We think it is a terrible way to gather news. We monitor all Earth’s data in real time using our organic computing systems and your television news media is wrong almost all of the time, about pretty much everything. Your “news media” continuously monitored, researched, and reported on the largest presidential election on the planet last year, yet gave the wrong candidate a 90% chance of being elected. Your “news media” has been predicting a market crash for months now, and it has reached all time highs instead. No, television is stupid, and I don’t understand why your people are ruining their lives watching it.
Oh, come on now… T.V. isn’t ruining anyone’s life. Sure, maybe the news isn’t all that great but most of us watch it for entertainment value. Surely you appreciate entertainment.
Yes, I appreciate entertainment,,, but let me just make sure we are talking about the same thing here. Earth’s people sit in front of a box for approximately 25% of their waking life, either absorbing fake news, fake life, or watching other people chase balls around a field, on fake grass? Does that pretty well describe your television?
OK, OK, I get it… you don’t have to get all snippy.
We see so many of your people limiting their happiness, ignoring their callings, and not living up to their potentials. There is an opportunity cost associated with sitting in front of that box.
What sort of cost?
Just imagine what humans could do with the 4 hours a day they consume of television. They could spend time with their friends and family, they could start businesses, they could acquire new skills to make themselves more valuable in your marketplace, they could exercise, they could explore their planet, they could spend time with loved ones, the list goes on and on.
Well what you don’t understand is that T.V. is a very cheap form of entertainment, so many people just can’t afford to do other things.
Perhaps they can’t afford other forms of entertainment because they sit in front of a box all day getting dumber, instead of using some of that time to make themselves more valuable. Becoming knowledgeable about key subjects is quite valuable on your planet. By my calculations the average human could read 240 average sized books per year if they read instead of watching television.
I don’t know about that… I think you added a zero somewhere.
Let me break it down into terms even a human can understand. The average human watches over 4 hours of television a day, that’s 28 hours a week, which is nearly 1500 hours a year. The average Earth book takes 6 hours to read. That’s 240 books per year!
Holy Crap, you’re right.
We can look at the same thing in regards to income potential. Instead of complaining about how little money you have, and watching TV to pacify yourselves; you could trade that time for money. I believe that is how most of your economy works correct? If you are worth $20 per hour in the workforce and you invest your 1500 TV hours a week into earned income, you will have $30,000 in additional money at the end of your lap around the sun.
Good Lord, that’s an insane increase in earning potential.
Yes, the keyword there is potential. And in that instance you could retire decades before your TV watching peers.
Well this has been enlightening. I didn’t realize just how much extra time I had on tap. If I cut out the TV I will have more time to spend with my family and more time to make my dream of early retirement a reality.
You could absolutely do that.
Why hadn’t this dawned on me earlier?
Two reasons. First of all you aren’t a hyper-intelligent lifeform from a civilization 2 million years older than yours. Secondly, you were under the impression T.V. was made for you.
I don’t get it?
My intelligence is clearly higher than yours by at least a factor of……..
No, No,,, I get that… Well,,, I get that you’re kind of a dick anyway… But, I didn’t get the part about TV not being made for me?
Yeah,,, the programming is clearly made for me to consume right?
Oh you’re getting programmed alright, and yes indeed, it was certainly made for you to consume; but it wasn’t made for you. What I am trying to say is that television is made to profit shareholders, that’s it, that’s the only reason for its existence. It caters to advertisers and shareholders, and it will do whatever it takes to keep you staring at that box for as long as possible to make a profit off of you. This all revolves around money of course, but in reality television is paid for with your unfinished dreams. The dreams you could have made true are deposited into someone else’s account, instead of yours.
Wow, that’s pretty heavy…. I am seriously going to try and cut back on TV and see what else I can do with that time.
Well it was,,, umm,,, mostly good talking to you Cirro. The times you weren’t being a dick, or talking down to me, were very helpful.
Sure thing… Well, I’m going to head back to my planet now, where there is no television, no work, no money, no disease, no poverty, and no death.
God, you are such an ass.
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C.J. is the blogger behind the Vow of Practicality. “Let’s grow your wealth, increase your productivity, and maximize your happiness.”