kakaze wrote: Jan Van Quirm wrote:
Setting fire to books is the
most heinous crime in civilised cultures
worse than murder, torture, and rape.
Well the thing with those crimes is you don't have
to be civilised or living in a supposedly enlightened and reasoning culture to commit them. They're of course terrible physical outrages, though usually as a result of some kind of intellectual justification on an emotional im pulse of some kind. Within a 'civilised culture' ideally physical crimes against the person ought to be unheard of.
That is the insidious horror of this practice of 'thought theft' as practised in Orwellian nightmare and in incendiary acts as per the example I gave of Kristallnacht in 1930s nazi Germany (not just in Berlin). Neither of those situations are physical acts against the person - what they are is an ultimate rejection and attempted extermination of human endeavour and striving to rise above our genetics as animals, to something more cerebral and aspirational. That
is why it is so obnoxious, because it seeks to destroy ideas that are precious and add to the accumulated knowledge and creativity of the human race as sentient and self-determining beings.
With Orwell's visionary fiction this phenomenon is far more effective (in 1984 in particular) in achieving the permanent destruction and callous negation of independant thought. Kristallnacht of course couldn't eradicate the brilliance of Goethe or Marx and the other literary works that they destroyed, but it was nevertheless, like other hate crimes, a terrible brutish act of rejection, denial and domination which is the intellectual equivalent of what happens in the physical outrages of murder, torture and rape, which along with book burning was a part of that other great crime against the human condition that took place during the Spanish Inquisition and no doubt other instances in other places down the years in our glorious career as a learned enlightened species.
Kindle's nothing like that of course, unless you want to see it in a petty way, but it does aesthetically go against the spirit of human sensitivity in some ways by removing some of the sensory elements that us paper freaks enjoy. Aside from the aspect of theft and invasion of personal space - if Amazon had sold hard text and not soft they wouldn't have recalled anything they'd already sold would they? Legally they're absolutely right to take it off their Kindle catalogue as the supplier wasn't entitled to sell it. Morally they're wrong to remove information/thoughts without permission and that they have sold to people in good faith (although maybe this is a condition of sale when you purchase books on this system - but I bet it's in very small print that isn't