The internet was supposed to liberate knowledge

The internet was supposed to liberate knowledge, but in fact it buried it, first under a vast sewer of ignorance, laziness, bigotry, superstition and filth and then beneath the cloak of political surveillance. Now…cyberspace exists exclusively to promote commerce, gossip and pornography. And of course to hunt down sedition. Only paper is safe. Books are the key. A book cannot be accessed from afar, you have to hold it, you have to read it.

Ben Elton

5 thoughts on “The internet was supposed to liberate knowledge”

  1. I actually like e-books. A wrist injury makes reading physical books a thing of my past.
    Nonetheless, the ephemeral nature of the e-world has made me – reluctantly – accept that physical possession is the only defense against disappearing e-books/videos/other media.
    For example, I recently ordered a VHS copy of Wag the Dog. And, I will, while I can, order a VHS of Blazing Saddles.
    Why VHS?
    Because the medium isn’t as easily accessible to a top-down refusal to play “ungood” media.

    • Neither are the players.
      Nor the magnetic tape.

      My solution is commercial DVD-ripping software combined with upscaling software to create an HD-like digital version I can store on multiple forms of media. All using safe, commercial software from OfficeMax.

      I even have my own archival copy of SONG OF THE SOUTH. Great songs. 😉
      (Freely available online as abandonware.)

  2. As to the OP; no, the internet was not intended for any such thing. Nor what he claims now what it bears.
    The internet, much like the universe at large, doesn’t care.
    It doesn’t care about content, commerce, or mores.

    All it was created to do was/is to move data around.
    That’s all it ever does.

    Have a gripe? Take it up with the humans.
    Or leave. Nobody is going to show up at your doorstep to kneecap you if you leave.
    Nobody will even miss you.

  3. A book cannot be accessed from afar, you have to hold it, you have to read it.

    I wonder if this guy ever uses the telephone?

  4. I forgot to note that I don’t always agree with items I post.

    The internet has become so widely-used that it has become a reflection of humanity. Yes, destitute Indians and Africans don’t have easy access, but in Western countries, even the poor quite often don’t have much problem getting online.

    Smartphones (purchased or stolen and fenced) are ubiquitous in large American cities and PG suspects a similar situation exists in first-world and second-world cities elsewhere. Free hotspots are not difficult to locate in most cities of any size. In apartment settings, large numbers of people still use “password” to sign into their home networks.

    I keep making the mistake of purchasing used physical books online only to realize (for the umpteenth time) that I much prefer ebooks for a great many reasons. I regularly borrow books from the local library, but haven’t set foot in the place for at least ten years. 100% ebook borrowing.

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