Thursday, January 1, 2009

Burning Books in the 21st Century

There are more books being published now than ever before, and I mean the paper ones. Still, the most urgent forum for public discussion, the central Agora, if you will, is the electronic media, and the Internet is a major part of that. Which is why the urge to repress information, to ban understanding, and thereby to control knowledge and power, is most obvious there. Burning books, even if one were to try, would be futile, since so long as one copy remains to be scanned, it can be put online for everyone everywhere to see. (Well, most everyone, most everywhere. China and Iran come to mind, don't they).

It may no longer be worth the effort to burn books, but the impulse is still there, obviously: human nature doesn't change just because human technology does. It merely adapts. The good folks at Powerline are onto the unfolding story of how the book burners of yore are now doing their worstest in a concerted effort not to let anyone see what the Israelis are doing in Gaza unless it be through the authorized version of the Moral Idiocy Brigades (in earlier ages it was called the Index, and was run by the Inquisition).

Specific relevant posts are here, here, here, here and here, but since the story isn't over you should be visiting Powerline periodically. (Now, and always).

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