Back when we lived in Brazil, we did not use the television other than as an output device for the video-games and the DVD/blue-ray players. I got rid of tv channels around 12 years ago, for there is not much television add to our lives and there is so much that it takes from us.
It is far too easy to spend many hours, not having fun, not learning, not resting, just burning through time with absolutely no benefit, being spoon-fed with needs we don’t really have and having our brain slowly turned off.
Cable channels are even worse than open channels for they charge you for the disservice.
Now that we moved in to Montreal, we have the need to learn french, and so we figured that it would be good to have the television to rise the language immersion. So we now watch tv, mostly Baby TV, as we thought it would maximize learning for our son and for ourselves.
I would give it, there are some good sketches with some educational value, but I am starting to figure it is targeted more as baby’s time sink than as proper educational.
In particular, there is a sketch that, in my opinion, actively does harm for it helps even that early in the baby’s life to inculcate this wicked culture of the only one right answer and fear of being wrong.
The sketch is named Eggbirds and it is about a flock of painted eggs with feet and beaks, they walk in formation following a boss, differentiated by having hair, as he is the boss, he is “special”, he goes a little further in the front but sometimes he stops and let the flock pass by as he inspect the others.
There is a bland one that is the “intern”, he is an unpainted smaller egg lagging behind the group, walking alone. At some point they find hanged cloths and the boss decide it is time to play, he announces which will be the play from a podium, and he order someone to be the puppet in the play, which of course is thrust upon the intern egg by the others.
The intern then hides behind the clothes and reveal himself slightly painted or with some part of a costume, at which point the others try to guess what is his intended costume, they guess something that always is perfectly plausible and acceptable given the bits shown, the boss looks and patronizingly refuses the answer.
Then the intern hides again and add a little bit more to the custom, show himself again, someone gives another good answer, and this time the boss straight laugh at his/hers face humiliating him/her for not having it “right”.
For the last time the intern hides, and somebody hazard a guess just after he comes back and he is identical to the guess, the boss audits the answer to see that it is EXACTLY the same and then approves it.
All along the sketch reinforces the bad stereotypes that the group must follow and be controlled by the boss, unable to decide on theirs own what to do, with him having the only right answer to the problems, micromanaging people and auditing every single act and trampling those that do not conform to the expected norms and solutions, destroying the very source of creativity and rewarding sameness.
It is even factually wrong for birds flying in formation do that through an emergent pattern with no single bird controlling it and the head of the flock changes over time, as the front birds get tired they fall back and others become the front.
Much more likely to a team where each member is independent and has skills to add to the group and does when the skill is required by the situation than the command and control view imposed.