Karl points us to an interview with Ray Bradbury where he rails against the internet
"The Internet is a big distraction," Mr. Bradbury barked from his perch in his house in Los Angeles, which is jammed with enormous stuffed animals, videos, DVDs, wooden toys, photographs and books, with things like the National Medal of Arts sort of tossed on a table.
"Yahoo called me eight weeks ago," he said, voice rising. "They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? 'To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.'
"It's distracting," he continued. "It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere."
Tell us what you really think, Ray. Though, actually, this isn't a surprise. Way back in 2001, we wrote about another interview
with him, where he called the internet a "scam" perpetrated by computer companies. If all this seems strange for the guy who wrote Farenheit 451
about the evils of book burning and the wonders of being able to access all kinds of information... it turns out that's because we all (including his biographer) misunderstood Farenheit 451
. In an interview a couple years ago, Bradbury explained that the book wasn't
about censorship at all. It was really about the evils of technology such as television
Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature.
"Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was," Bradbury says, summarizing TV's content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: "factoids." He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.
So it turns out he just loves books. That's it. Not the ability to get more content or be able to read more. Books. Physical books. None of this "air" stuff and those annoying "factoids." Perhaps, as he gets close to being 90 years old, he's simply proving the point that fellow science fiction author Douglas Adams once wrote
1) everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
I would imagine that point 3 gets worse over time... even if you're an acclaimed science fiction writer.