FAHRENHEIT 451 (1966)
Sometime in the near future, Guy Montag works as a fireman — starting fires, rather than putting them out, burning the last few books in a society that views reading as dangerous. After his wife half-heartedly attempts suicide and an inquisitive young neighbor is killed, Montag begins to question his life’s work. He keeps a stash of volumes away from the flames, and before he quite knows what is happening, he’s taking huge risks to save what he once destroyed.
FAHRENHEIT 451 is based on the classic science fiction novel and a powerful commentary on humankind’s urge to suppress what it doesn’t understand. The shadow of the Cold War looms over the plot, but the truths Ray Bradbury unearths are timeless. The novel won the National Book Award and has been adapted for film, radio, stage, and graphic novel, and it’s likely to be read widely for a long time to come unless of coarse, the current book & digital burning of information catches up with it’s own insights.
Ironically, the novel’s inclusion in schools and libraries is frequently opposed by various special-interest groups.
The film isn’t an indictment of our society’s addiction to sensation, but rather an inadvertent symbol of it. The firemen of the novel were staid proletariats who were understood to be partaking in their own oppression while their wives sat at home addicted to increasingly immersive television programs. (Bradbury even predicted the rise of the self-cocooning earbud.) While the novel’s domestic scenes belong very much to the 1960s, the notion of oppressors as drab every-people looking to get through the day hasn’t aged one iota.
“Journalists” are increasingly difficult to distinguish from the firemen in Fahrenheit 451. People argue about whether Brave New World or 1984 was the more prescient dystopian novel, but for my money, Bradbury was the great prophet of Information Age totalitarianism. Simply for the fact that the censorship didn’t come from the top- down, but from the bottoms up.
Things were censored in order not to offend. Bradbury nailed that.
Enter the HathiTrust Digital Library For The 21st Century
HathiTrust was founded in October 2008 by the twelve universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the eleven libraries of the University of California. The partnership includes over 60 research libraries across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is based on a shared governance structure.
The Emergency Temporary Access Service makes it possible for authorized member library patrons to obtain lawful access to specific materials in the corpus, specifically digitized items in HathiTrust that correspond to physical books held by their own library when that book is not currently available due to the temporary disruption in service.
These items may be protected by copyright law but are made available as Temporary Access due to involuntary closure of your library. No further reproduction or distribution is permitted by any means without the permission of the copyright holder.
And Then They Came for the Books…
For Rebecca Knuth, the author of two books on book burnings and the destruction of libraries, books are the targets because they “are the embodiment of ideas and if you hold extreme beliefs you cannot tolerate anything that contradicts those beliefs or is in competition with them.”
Book burnings “are highly symbolic. When you destroy a book you are destroying your enemy and your enemy’s beliefs,” she said in an interview with CBC News. Knuth’s latest book is Burning Books and Leveling Libraries: Extremist Violence and Cultural Destruction.
In her research Knuth found that book burnings are seldom isolated barbaric acts. She explains that there are patterns and the book burners “are following out some kind of logical game plan.”
Restricted Access to Library Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
Libraries are a traditional forum for the open exchange of information. Restricting access to library materials violates the basic tenets of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.
Some libraries block access to certain materials by placing physical or virtual barriers between the user and those materials. For example, materials are sometimes labeled for content or placed in a “locked case,” “adults only,” “restricted shelf,” or “high-demand” collection. Access to certain materials is sometimes restricted to protect them from theft or mutilation, or because of statutory authority or institutional mandate.
In some libraries, access is restricted based on computerized reading management programs that assign reading levels to books and/or users and limit choices to titles on the program’s reading list. Titles not on the reading management list have been removed from the collection in some school libraries. Organizing collections by reading management program level, ability, grade, or age level is another example of restricted access. Even though the chronological age or grade level of users is not representative of their information needs or total reading abilities, users may feel inhibited from selecting resources located in areas that do not correspond to their assigned characteristics.
Physical restrictions and content filtering of library resources and services may generate psychological, service, or language skills barriers to access as well. Because restricted materials often deal with controversial, unusual, or sensitive subjects, having to ask a library worker for access to them may be embarrassing or inhibiting for patrons desiring access. Even when a title is listed in the catalog with a reference to its restricted status, a barrier is placed between the patron and the publication.1 Because restricted materials often feature information that some people consider objectionable, potential library users may be predisposed to think of labeled and filtered resources as objectionable and be discouraged from asking for access to them.
Federal and some state statutes require libraries that accept specific types of federal and/or state funding to install content filters that limit access to Internet resources for minors and adults. Internet filters are applied to Internet resources in some libraries may prevent users from finding targeted categories of information, much of which is constitutionally protected. The use of Internet filters must be addressed through library policies and procedures to ensure that users receive information and that filters do not prevent users from exercising their First Amendment rights. Users have the right to unfiltered access to constitutionally protected information. Continued
Why New Restrictions on Library E-Book Access Are Generating Controversy
In the coming months, library patrons will likely experience extended wait times for new e-books. Readers can thank Macmillan Publishers—a “Big Five” publishing house with imprints including Picador, Henry Holt and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux—for the delay: As of November 1, the company only allows library systems to purchase one electronic copy of a book during the first eight weeks following publication.
The publisher’s new policy has generated widespread outrage among librarians and book lovers alike. Macmillan, however, argues that the moratorium is necessary to ensure the publishing industry’s survival in lieu of digital lending’s increasing popularity.
The Censorship of Alternative Media Is Virtual Book Burning
Recent discussions about an executive order that would “help protect” conservatives from bias on social media have brought a bone of contention to the forefront. Are alternative and conservative media actually being censored or are non-mainstream journalists and bloggers just whining?
As the owner of a website that is demonstrably facing censorship, I can tell you that from my point of view, we the people are currently in the midst of a virtual “book burning” akin to the ones we look back on in shame.
These days, as more and more people turn to the internet for essays and news, dissenting views are more often found online than in paperback. And there are people in power who want this to stop because particularly after the last election, they’ve seen the power the internet has to change the entire course of a country.
Big Tech and Big Media hold most of the microphones and they like it that way. They tend to be united politically and they’ve been busily working toward silencing opposing views on the internet, branding them as “dangerous” or “ignorant.” Members of the alternative media, writers of alternative health news, and opinion bloggers are being censored at a rapid clip.
How is silencing opposing views on the internet any different than burning a library filled with inconvenient information? It isn’t!
An Emergency Injunction against Google is ready to go, we just need to fund it. Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies and Facebook whistleblower Ryan Hartwig have hired an experienced & seasoned California-based attorney and she is already working on it. The injunction, to be filed in the Ninth Circuit and it would force Google to restore all of the conservative YouTube channels that were PURGED on October 15th. If you want to help us fight big tech and the shadow powers that want to steal the November election, this is the FIGHT. Here’s the link, help is get this funded: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-big-tech-whistleblowers
ANOTHER YOUTUBE DIGITAL ASSASSINATION – CAUGHT IN REAL TIME
- Common Sense Media
- Restricted Access to Library Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
- HathiTrust Digital Library
- Why New Restrictions on Library E-Book Access Are Generating Controversy
- The Censorship of Alternative Media Is Virtual Book Burning
- Truthstream Media
- Amazing Polly
- Google Plus Alternatives and Similar Software – AlternativeTo.net
- Operation Mockingbird Style Alternative Media CIA Infiltration? | Alternative
- Russia will launch ‘alternative internet’ only in worst-case scenario – Foreign Ministry — RT Russian Politics News
- Evil Google Pushing ‘Final Solution’ to Eradicate Independent News from the Web… FOREVER | Humans Are Free
- Google & Facebook Censorship Only Draws More Attention To Alt-Media & Galvanises Its Producers! – RichieAllen.Co.Uk