|Apparently, amongst other things, television induces an alpha state in the brain, akin to sleep or, more interestingly, a hypnotic trance. Unlike most people, after reading this my reaction is not one of "what tosh" or "oh no, the evil government/corporations are out to get me", but rather "oh, it induces a trance state - that probably explains why it helps with programming, then." But then, coffee also helps; coffee tends to bring one out of an alpha state. I think the thing is that I need to have the ability to switch between two, maybe even three states; one for ideas, one for structure, and one for the drudgery. Sleep, TV, coffee, sleep, TV, coffee.