'ONE side,' said the caterpillar mysteriously, 'will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.' And when Alice, figuring out the reference, nibbled a piece from one side of the mushroom, she did indeed grow taller-and at a disconcerting pace. Her counterpart in our modern Wonderland has done the same, but, to the dismay of all concerned, it has not yet found its way to the mushroom's 'other side.' Television grows and grows and gets 'curiouser and curiouser.' To point at it is like pointing at a jet plane-it has passed out of sight while you raise an astonished finger.
All that follows, then, is written in water. We are concerned with a precocious, modern prodigy, whose vital statistics, here laboriously compiled, are out of date even as they are recorded. Television's present is already past; it has only a future. Prodigies, moreover, are notoriously unpredictable. Prognosis, therefore, is little better than idle speculation. 'Norms' of development are hilariously irrelevant. 'The simple but elusive fact is that it [television] is neither stable nor mature. Television is young, fluid, and unpredictable.'1____________________