Book burning is old hat for Kindle

The Amazon KindleAwww, the “Gift of Reading.” Wasn’t that something we gave ourselves for free in public school? And look at the e-book with which Amazon expects to separate readers from viewers –the latest movie.
Holy Schnikies Amazon picked a whopper of a name for its e-book reader! Is the “Kindle” supposed to inflame our gone-digital hearts to the warm fuzzies of reading? Because kindle wood and books have always been combustible dance partners. Firelight was something man used to have to read by, but kindling was also indispensable for book burnings. Which role most likely foreshadows this Kindle’s potential?

I think the answer lies not too far from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s celebrated promise to never again remotely tamper with their readers’ Kindle libraries. Earlier this year, online customers bought digital books to which Amazon then discovered its merchant partner didn’t have the intellectual rights. Amazon refunded the purchases and erased the already downloaded files, revealing what technology experts already suspected, that the Kindle’s software permitted more than a hands-on eavesdropping capability.

In response to the outcry, Bezos promised never to do it again. Fine. His assurance is good enough for me. The truth is, Amazon won’t have to.

The burning of e-books will not be about destroying your and my electronic files. It will happen at the file’s creation or un-creation. And I suspect the censorship will be a lot more clever than a publisher conspicuously sitting on its exclusive rights to release or not release a title. All that need happen to disenfranchise a public from a familiar inflammatory tome is to buy the publishing right and excise the offensive material. Why not– it will be their right. And Jeff Bezos will probably be able to justify amending already sold copies under the guise of issuing corrections, or redistributing free updates to the original editions.

Can you imagine a world void of its disturbing literature? That’s the vision which has guided book burners. The only thing standing between mankind and the more equitable distribution of knowledge are the revolutionary armadas launched by Gutenberg. At which the Kindle is aiming its broadsides.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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5 Responses to Book burning is old hat for Kindle

  1. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    Yeah, those pictures of Clowns and Puppies are too sad and scary. They must be BURNED!

    The clowns and puppies, that is, merely burning the pictures would be too Liberal.

    What would be really horrifying is if the rights to the book Fahrenheit 451 were done in like that. The movie sucked. But the book was excellent. Present Tense: Is excellent. I watched the movie before reading the book and almost didn’t read the book. Ok, that’s not entirely true, if I see a really bad movie I try to find the book simply from experience. Sometimes I wonder what percentage of the people in the world have the same reaction?

    It seems like a minority, just judging from the way they normally act.

    Ah well. Education is the ONLY cure for Ignorance. Keep on plugging it, eventually it makes a noticeable difference. A lot of the killings done by the Klan were of schoolteachers, teaching people to read. There’s still a spark.

  2. Avatar BillyKzov says:

    I don’t think that’s quite what the kindle is about…

    the road isn’t the latest movie, it’s the latest book made into a movie… an extremely excellent book that people should read in whatever form they can find it in… blah blah…

    as for publishers controlling literature, check this out. i’d imagine that getting books out, be they illegal or whatever, is going to be way easier through a digital medium than through a physical one… like illegal downloads… easy easy easy…

  3. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    On the other hand to that, the software used to blank out the Kindle book from the machines of every user who had bought it, can be used to track down “illegal downloaders” and, is being used for exactly that purpose. It was also used recently to persecute people who “illegally” modified their own hardware with the XBox gaming network.

    Disney’s production company has been prosecuting people for almost a decade with a version of that software. It’s software which can trace not only the SOURCE of an electronic transfer, but also the destination.

    There’s other implications to it… Remember when “some unknown person” on the White House LAN emailed Scooter Libby and blew the cover off a CIA operation? Not only outed Valerie-Plame Wilson but, more importantly, every informant who had been supplying her operation with data. People who lived among and broke bread with al Qa’eda on a daily basis.

    Scooter Libby and his Trash-ass Coward Crew, including George Bush and Richard Cheney, all got smooth away with it.

    Homeland Security under the direction of the Guilty Parties made a sham investigation into the incident. And reported that they couldn’t trace where on the Very Limited White House network the email originated. They lied. As usual. And as usual with their murderous crew, people DIED.

    The Bu’ush Regime did it in a fit of pique because Ms Plames husband stood up and defied their LIES about WMDs.

    Even though this same software was available to the Homeland Gestapo Administration, it wasn’t used. Instead, it gets used to suppress the rights of The People to read what they want.

    There’s a pattern here. A Dictator who said he’s above all laws (Richard Cheney) and wants to regain power, and whose Demented Disciples are trying to restore him to Power even BEFORE the next Election, condones and even commands the use of such software to harass and even KILL citizens.

    It goes beyond “mere” censorship. Eric didn’t go too far with that train of thought, he stopped short.

    What else can it be used for…? Erasing evidence of Governmental Wrongdoing, been there, done that.

    Fox News using it to erase any traces of their Proven Lies? They’ve just gotten a concession from Google.
    My suggestion, grab every cached transcript of Fox and Clear Channel’s propaganda, the ones they change daily on their own website in order to make themselves look good… Google has the ORIGINALS cached. But not for long now. Snarf them and burn them onto DVDs. They’ve got close to the power to make History disappear.

    Their Regime has shown that they’re not above lying, they’re not above murder and they think of themselves as being above all human law. Damn right they’re going to use that technology against Americans and anybody else in the world.

  4. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    Back to Eric’s main theme, remember the OTHER Orwellian story?

    Where the “10 points of Animalism” were painted on the barn wall…

    And those animals who could read, noticed that the precepts kept changing. But couldn’t prove it, because the Pigs controlled the writing. Comrade Snowball is wounded in a battle with the Humans from the two neighboring farms, then as soon as Comrade Napoleon declared Snowball to be a traitor, the history was re-written. The “common people” didn’t have access to any evidence that the story had changed.

    The Kindle has only a limited scope in making history disappear. It can be used in conjunction with other technologies available to The Dictatorship. Like their mastery of LYING. Declaring George Bush’s Discharge Papers to be “forgeries” leaps to mind. Which experts declared them to be forged? Why, the ones who Worked For The Regime.

    What else would they declare to be Forgeries when the time comes for them to do so, if there’s a truth they can make into a lie just by publishing a revised version of it?

    In other news, Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.

    Kind of ominous that particular book was chosen as the test case for Dropping Information into the Memory Hole.

  5. Avatar thyncnichelle says:

    check for more detail for less

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