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Ray Bradbury Loves Libraries, Hates the Internet 600

Posted by kdawson
from the in-the-air-in-the-tubes-whatever dept.
Hugh Pickens was one of several readers to let us know that, according to a NY Times story, the 89-year-old Ray Bradbury hates the Internet. But he loves libraries, and is helping raise $280,000 to keep libraries in Ventura County open. "Among Mr. Bradbury's passions, none burn quite as hot as his lifelong enthusiasm for halls of books. ... 'Libraries raised me,' Mr. Bradbury said. 'I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.' ... The Internet? Don't get him started. 'The Internet is a big distraction,' Mr. Bradbury barked... '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. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere.'"
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Ray Bradbury Loves Libraries, Hates the Internet

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  • God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:14PM (#28404365) Homepage Journal

    There's a lot to be said for libraries. The other day, my wife came home with a new library card. Big internet a holic, but there's always something about halls of books.

    • by XanC (644172) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:21PM (#28404421)

      Who are you? Who's talking? Are you in the air somewhere? I'm confused!!!

    • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:21PM (#28404425) Journal

      Technically, the internet is the largest library of information ever known to man. To dismiss it only shows his inability to truly grasp it.

      • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Brian Gordon (987471) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:33PM (#28404507)
        I agree; what an idiot. There's more useful [mit.edu], educational [youtube.com] information [wikipedia.org] instantly available on the internet than any library in the world will ever hold. Just because he's too old and blind to find anything other than Yahoo games doesn't mean that the internet is distracting and meaningless. I'm sure Wikipedia alone has orders of magnitude more educational reading material than you could read going to the library three times a week for generations.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Adrian Lopez (2615)

          There's more useful information on the Internet? I think not.

          While there is plenty useful information on the Internet, a lot of the useful stuff you find there comes from primary sources (printed or digital) not easily found on the public Internet.

          • Re:God Bless Him (Score:4, Insightful)

            by someone1234 (830754) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:55PM (#28405155)

            The reason for a book not found on the internet is people like Mr. Bradburry.
            Why his book isn't on the net?
            Because he didn't want it.
            What can i say about this?
            MEH. Your wish.

            Eventually books will vanish, just like stone tablets did.

            • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Interesting)

              by rubycodez (864176) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:24PM (#28405449)

              How do you know our civilization's ability to produce personal computers isn't going to vanish. At least a book is good for three centuries on proper paper, is our ability to produce hard drives so robust?

              • by node 3 (115640) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:41PM (#28405625)

                How do you know our civilization's ability to produce personal computers isn't going to vanish. At least a book is good for three centuries on proper paper, is our ability to produce hard drives so robust?

                Well, as the number of computers dwindles from the billions to the millions and eventually the thousands, perhaps someone would be kind enough to hit 'Print' before things wind all the way down.

                • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by mellon (7048) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @08:32PM (#28406079) Homepage

                  Laugh if you want, but keeping digital data is hard. Really hard. Once you've printed a book on acid-free paper with good quality ink, you can pretty much assume it'll still be readable in a hundred years. The lifetime of most computer media is measured in years, not decades. And most printouts fade quickly, because they're done on laser paper, which doesn't last very long.

                  So I wouldn't accuse Mr. Bradbury of being senile just yet. I agree he's a curmudgeon, but we need curmudgeons to keep us honest.

                  OBTW... Get off my lawn!

                  Punk. :')

                  • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by iron-kurton (891451) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @04:02AM (#28408743)
                    The point isn't how hard it is to store digital data, or how long a single instance of digital data can last. The point is how easy it is to copy it. Replicating print can be time-consuming and expensive. Replicating bits on a drive is fast and cheap.
              • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

                by vic-traill (1038742) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:16PM (#28406837)

                How do you know our civilization's ability to produce personal computers isn't going to vanish. At least a book is good for three centuries on proper paper, is our ability to produce hard drives so robust?

                I'll echo this sentiment w/ a reference to A Canticle for Leibowitz [wikipedia.org], by Walter Miller Jr., as well as noting that although I have documents stored on 720k, three and a half inch floppies within arm's reach, I've got no similarly handy way way to retrieve those docs.

                Obviously the fact that they're orphaned on a media for which I have no required hardware is my own fault, but it does serve as an example to illustrate the temporal nature of contemporary storage. I have a hardcover book from the 1920's in great shape, very readable and physically robust; yet even a printout of my fourth year honours thesis (one of the docs stored on the aforementioned disks) would be in rough shape by now had I printed it using the 9-pin dot matrix printer I had 20 years ago.

                I can guarantee that there will be *no* post-apocalyptic need for anything I cranked out in 1989. But I take Miller's central question to heart - how to preserve man's scientific knowledge so that we're not doomed to rediscover electricity (or whatever) again and again? Forever is a long, long time.

          • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Workaphobia (931620) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:45PM (#28406639) Journal

            Open wikipedia in a tabbed browser. Go to a topic you're moderately interested in. Open every hyperlink you think you might like in a new tab. After about an hour, count up the tabs you have. If they're fewer than 10, something's very wrong with your sense of curiosity.

            Make a list of the topics, then go to the library and lookup appropriate physical books that describe the same subjects. See how much you can learn by reading those while allotting yourself only the same amount of time you give yourself to read wikipedia. Compare how much you learn.

            • yes, but (Score:3, Insightful)

              by manaway (53637) *
              Your way would win easily, until you consider how many of those wikipedia articles are what, 5-20 paragraphs? And how disjoint are your interesting tabs after an hour of browsing? It's mind-boggling how disparate the topics are after an evening of browsing. Then consider a single book, good luck finding one under 200 pages, and even a moderately focused book will bind your mind to a depth of thinking quite unlike most (though certainly not all) web pages.

              There is much to be said for your way of reading,
        • Hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:52PM (#28404621) Homepage Journal

          I agree; what an idiot. T

          Until you write Fahrenheit 451, I wouldn't be so quick to call Ray Bradbury an idiot, no matter what he says about the internet. Or, are you starting out with the Martian Chronicle instead?

          If anything, given the level of thought that the man has historically produced, you might find it instructive to understand what his criticisms are. If anything, it would only serve to improve the internet.

          • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:07PM (#28404745) Homepage Journal

            Farenheit 451 required a visionary. But I think that Bradbury simply lost his vision. It's not about the books. It's about the minds BEHIND the books.

            What to say about sites like fictionpress.net? What about webcomics with a deep story? What about Anime music videos?

            The internet is a primordial soup for art and culture. It doesn't matter if it's in the air, or the tubes, or whatever. People communicate with the internet. If the internet is a waste of time, that's because WE have turned it into a waste of time (mostly because media cartels are enforcing so many copyright policies that the internet is being stripped away from creativity world wide).

            Oh, and by the way... by the way... I wonder what Bradbury would think of his books being available on thepiratebay.

            http://thepiratebay.org/search/ray+bradbury/0/99/0 [thepiratebay.org]

            Not real anymore? Ray, I used to admire you, but you're losing touch with reality.

            • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by mellon (7048) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @08:35PM (#28406113) Homepage

              The internet is indeed a great gestational pool for new work. It's also a huge distraction, and a difficult place to concentrate. And once the new work is done, it's a dangerous place for it to live, both because it might be vandalized, and because the place where it is stored might go away. Sure, if everybody makes a copy it might work out, but people only copy what's popular and what's known. A system that depends on repeated copying over millennia to preserve a work for millennia is very vulnerable. Can you imagine getting something like the dead sea scrolls off of a two-thousand-year-old hard drive?

            • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@ear ... t ['hli' in gap]> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:30PM (#28406551)

              But the thing is, the internet is censorable from a central location. (Well, several central locations, actually, but the point stands.)

              Remember what W. Smith's job was in 1984? Now it's not necessarily. The information can be altered in situ without anyone having any awareness of it. Web pages are a re-writable medium, so you can't tell what's been censored, and what's just been updated. The fact that it isn't the same today as yesterday doesn't prove anything. And the wayback machine is no protection. They'll remove things on request.

              That's a part of the message that *I* took away from Fahrenheit 451.

          • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:08PM (#28404753) Journal

            Anyone so quick to dismiss the greatest communication tool man has yet devised as nothing but 'air' deserves harsh criticism, regardless of past accomplishments.

            • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Dr. Impossible (1580675) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:14PM (#28404801)
              Not to mention how sad it is for a science fiction writer to not understand the importance of the Internet.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by tjstork (137384)

                Not to mention how sad it is for a science fiction writer to not understand the importance of the Internet

                He didn't say it wasn't important. He said it sucked and he preferred libraries. For him, perhaps, the whole human face to face side of libraries, the visible comradery in a culture of learning and self improvement, outweighs the utility of search.

              • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:5, Funny)

                by risk one (1013529) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:58PM (#28405179)

                I'd really like to make some lofty comment on the grandiosity of the internet, and what a great driving force of intellectual progress it is, but I would be doing so on slashdot. I'm not sure the universe could take the irony.

              • Re:Hmmm.. (Score:4, Interesting)

                by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:09PM (#28405289) Homepage Journal

                Not to mention how sad it is for a science fiction writer to not understand the importance of the Internet.

                Bradbury isn't an SF writer the way Clarke, Heinlein and Asimov were. His work always had the thinnest possible skin of technology surrounding a story about people. We was one of the more humanist writers of the day and the technology in his stories often made little sense.

                I remember him ranting after the 2001 movie came out that it was 90% due to Clarke and 10% to Kubrick. His friend Clarke politely told him to shut up.

                I think this is just Ray being Ray. His contemparories wouldn't have acted the same way. In fact, Clarke was a strong advocate of communications technology to the end.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by beh (4759) *

                I think I would agree with his point, though:

                * a library is a place where you find books 'by chance', standing near the book you are looking for, but it may still catch your eye. A google search only gives you whatever your search terms give you, anything 'like' the stuff you're looking for will not be there, if it doesn't match the keywords you're looking for.

                * thanks to SEO guys, looking up '-insertrandomarticle- specs' finds *loads* of pages saying 'reviews, specs, infos about -insertrandomarticle-', the

          • The Veldt (Score:3, Insightful)

            by westlake (615356)

            Until you write Fahrenheit 451, I wouldn't be so quick to call Ray Bradbury an idiot, no matter what he says about the internet.

            Bradbury also wrote The Veldt. The first significant story about the hazards of deep immersion in interactive entertainment: particularly for children.

            Writers of Bradbury's generation have some very interesting and perceptive things to say about "cocooning -" social isolation and a pathologically extended adolescence reinforced by the new technologies of instant communication.

        • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:54PM (#28405151) Homepage Journal

          Certainly not an idiot. Out of his element, yes, but absolutely NOT an idiot. I'm almost two decades younger than Bradbury, but I can sympathize with him. The internet can confuse even the young bright boys - just start a discussion on internet security, and see how many really smart young people get lost real fast.

          Books. I find myself reading more and more of my favorites on the LCD screen, but books have something that the computer will never have. Books are solid, and real - the pixels on my screen are fleeting. A solid book and a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night, listening to the storm blow outside......

          Oh well, either you remember it and love it, or you don't.

          But, don't call the old dude an idiot. Bradbury may not rank with Asimov and Clarke, but he a bright enough star in the SciFi and fantasy firmament. Never an idiot.

        • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Informative)

          by RDW (41497) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:50PM (#28405721)

          'I agree; what an idiot.'

          The really idiotic thing would be to take one quote out of context and assume this represents the world view of a very thoughtful writer. It's pretty clear from what he's said elsewhere, as in 'Bradbury on the Internet':

          http://www.raybradbury.com/at_home_clips.html [raybradbury.com]

          that he recognises the net's value as an information resource and commercial tool, and relishes the irony of using it to communicate his own criticism of the medium. His main concern is the danger of people 'playing their lives away with too many toys' by wasting enormous amounts of time on the trivial, a criticism that extends to the output of the other mass media, and which any reader of 'Fahrenheit 451' will understand.

        • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Insightful)

          by westlake (615356) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @08:47PM (#28406231)

          I agree; what an idiot. There's more useful, educational information instantly available on the internet than any library in the world will ever hold. Just because he's too old and blind to find anything other than Yahoo games doesn't mean that the internet is distracting and meaningless

          The library organizes information. It attempts to separate the meaningful from the meaningless. It is outward looking - not inward looking.

          In following the threads here on the Thomas case -
          some things become painfully obvious:

          The geek doesn't understand the most basic distinctions between civil and criminal law.

          He doesn't understand evidence, the burden of proof.

          He doesn't know how a jury is selected.
          He doesn't understand the roles played by the plaintiff and defendant, the judge, the jury, the court of appeals.

          It is easier for him to find refuge in talk of conspiracies, in talk of corruption.

          The geek has access to infinite information - or at least thinks he does.

          But mostly he listens to himself. He tunes out dissenting voices. He doesn't ask the right questions - and again and again he makes the same mistakes.

          I'm sure Wikipedia alone has orders of magnitude more educational reading material than you could read going to the library three times a week for generations.

          But why are you sure?

          The geek likes big numbers. The geek trusts big numbers. The number of apps in his distro's repository. The number of pages in his Wiki....

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Acer500 (846698)

          I agree; what an idiot. There's more useful [mit.edu], educational [youtube.com] information [wikipedia.org] instantly available on the internet than any library in the world will ever hold.

          A simple question: I've seen basically everybody access Wikipedia, and a large fraction of the internet users I know have used Youtube... but I've never seen anyone use MITs Open Course Ware. Do you people have any success stories with that?

          I only tried once, and the material was not useful for what I wanted to learn (programming, it seems MITs courses are/were far different from the rest of the world. I will try to learn different paradigms someday...)

          BTW, I just visited it again, and I'm glad to see s

      • Technically, the internet is the largest library of information ever known to man. To dismiss it only shows his inability to truly grasp it.

        Hmmm, no, I would not be so quick to dispute that statement at all.

        There is so much crap on the internet that it undermines all the information that is out there. Conversely, if you go to the 500 and 600 sections of the library, you can be somewhat assured that you are getting at least -something- that is accurate.

        Also, there's really not anything that approaches the

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:05PM (#28404733) Homepage

          > Also, there's really not anything that approaches the value of a good textbook available on line.

          ????

          All it takes is a single suitable PDF on some guys laptop plugged into his mother's cable modem to make that claim bogus.

          Just because you can't seem to find your way out of the trashy romance novels, it doesn't mean that a particular "library" is complete trash.

          The net just makes it cheaper and easier for ANYONE to publish.

          • Just because you can't seem to find your way out of the trashy romance novels, it doesn't mean that a particular "library" is complete trash.

            That's rather the point of a library, is it not. The internet is not a library, because it does not have a librarian. The idea of a library is to have good material in it for a community to share in. The choices that the library makes are as much of a statement of humanity as anything else. When you use the internet, and filter noise yourself, you aren't getting the same level of service.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by fyrewulff (702920)

              I worked at the library.

              They had a bunch of romance novels. Yeah, they're smut, but they're also donated in droves and worth about 50 cents. We didn't even bother to catalog them - they just got the 'romance' sticker. If I remember correctly they didn't even get security tags put on them.

              When people checked them out, we just tallied the amount on a piece of paper, they didn't even go onto that person's record in any way, shape, or form. Ultimately, we didn't even care if the books came back, although we did

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jedidiah (1196)

              Libraries were never about pretense of the Librarian or even
              of the local community. They were about having a large
              collection of published works when acquiring suck works was a
              highly expensive prospect.

              Whining about the web or the internet is much like whining about
              TV. It's very popular among the pretensious but all it really
              demonstrates is that the whiners never really bothered.

              Modern technology makes searching and filtering rediculously easy.

              Beyond access to more information than you would have the money
              to

        • by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:13PM (#28404795) Journal

          Just wanted to add that while the signal to noise ratio my be high, the signal is so incredibly strong that the noise is easy to filter out.

          I could break down your arguments by saying things like, "Why rely solely on a book? If so inclined I could probably contact a few reputable PERL devs online and get real feedback and samples."

          Books are great and have their place, but they pale very quickly when compared to the possibilities the internet offers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by clarkkent09 (1104833) *
          Also, there's really not anything that approaches the value of a good textbook available on line. Seriously, how much will you google around before you spend a few bucks and go out and buy Steven's books before doing some sockets works. Would you monkey around with Perl and a bunch of fanboi sites with terrible examples, or why not just go out and buy the Camel book. Or, if you were doing Windows SDK work, would you wade through MSDN and all the Microsoft fanboi sites, or would you just go and get the Petzo
      • by Korin43 (881732)
        The internet isn't just a big library. It's a series of tubes!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blahplusplus (757119)

        "Technically, the internet is the largest library of information ever known to man. To dismiss it only shows his inability to truly grasp it."

        While some of that sentiment is expressed in hist post he has an overarching point: On the internet it's hard to get stuff done because you're just a mouseclick away from distractions (youtube, email, music, videogames, etc, etc)

        When you go to a library there is much less potential for distraction and so you focus on what you originally intended to go there for.

        While

    • Re:God Bless Him (Score:5, Informative)

      by tyrione (134248) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:52PM (#28404627) Homepage
      Agreed, yet his anti-colleges and universities speaks from a liberal arts major espousing the virtues of being deeply knowledgeable by just reading books. Sorry, but the Hard Sciences need labs, mentoring, professorships, research and more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spoonboy42 (146048)

      There's a lot to be said for libraries. Bradbury may not like it, but these days one of the most vital things libraries do is provide free Internet access to the poor, as well as the elderly and disabled who may require the assistance of a librarian.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by elashish14 (1302231)

      Big internet a holic, but there's always something about halls of books.

      Have to agree on this. Yes, information is much easier to find on the internet, and there is a lot more information on the internet than you can ever find in a single library (I've looked through all the libraries in my area for a physics GRE prep book and came up dry, but found information easily through Google). Yet nevertheless, reading a book is just much easier - having something physical, tangible, can be taken anywhere somehow just makes reading much much easier. I suppose that this is only true in s

  • Internet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmpeax (936370) * on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:17PM (#28404389)

    To hell with you and to hell with the Internet. It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere.

    It helps drive the economy forward. It helps people keep in touch. It allows people to access resources (such as Bradbury's works [raybradbury.ru]) they otherwise wouldn't be able to.

    It's a shame how foolish and ignorant his remarks are.

    • Re:Internet (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bsDaemon (87307) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:26PM (#28404457)
      It makes changes too easy, makes hiding what was there before too easy, and it makes telling what's an actual, factual authority and what is lies and deception too easy. I mean, come on -- if the guy actually believes what he wrote in F. 451, then how does this NOT make sense for him to believe? But then again, the Internet's ability to edit information for forge reality has been a major boon for the population of African elephants...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        The Gutenberg printing press and the Xerox machine makes changes easy.

        OTOH, being able to instantaneously copy something to every outpost
        of human existence (including a server that may be sitting on Mars)
        makes it a lot harder to completely destroy something.

        HELL, there's controversy over which version of Metropolis is the real one and that was a movie made 100 years ago.

      • Re:Internet (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hessian (467078) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:07PM (#28405265) Homepage Journal

        I mean, come on -- if the guy actually believes what he wrote in F. 451, then how does this NOT make sense for him to believe?

        The point of Fahrenheit 451, like the point of Brave New World before it, is that people choose an easy lie over complicated truth. They prefer their entertainment and their illusions.

        When I look at the internet, I see a lot of illusions, but very little that approaches the factual power of a good book. And I am a content publisher who has made the choice to put future writings into books, because I see how the internet has been progressively turning into television since 1996.

        I will still love those resources, including Slashdot, which are useful. But I'll pick a real encyclopedia over Wikipedia, ignore those forums and blogs, and pick up a quality textbook for factual information.

    • Re:Internet (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shma (863063) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:30PM (#28404481)
      To make an obvious point: You can ban books, you can burn books [wikipedia.org], but try to remove a literary work from the Internet and see how far you get.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        To make an obvious point: You can ban books, you can burn books, but try to remove a literary work from the Internet and see how far you get.

        Do it surreptitiously so as to avoid the Streisand effect and you may actually succeed, depending on the specific literary work in question.

    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      Yeah well, he's no Asimov, that's for sure.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "It's a shame how foolish and ignorant his remarks are."

      On the other hand it's wonderful how wise and insightful his remarks are. Face it, the vast majority of time people spend on the internet is wasted in stupid, distracting ways. All that interaction and people in contact with one another? For what? Mostly so people can write abusive and idiotic things in forums? (Go ahead and include this one in there if you like).

      Ray may be a bit over the top, but in an age where attention spans are roughly half t

  • by eyepeepackets (33477) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:20PM (#28404417)

    It's in the air, somewhere;
    In some tubes, with rubes.
    It's not in the back of a truck,
    It's not in the flack of some shmuck,
    It's in the air, somewhere.

    Thanks Dr. Seuss!

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:21PM (#28404423)

    Old Man Ray is also a flaming Republican. Sad to think of it since his work is so enjoyable but that's the long and the short of it. He went apeshit over Fahrenheit 9-11.

    "No. 1, he didn't ask (permission), and, No. 2, he took it - period," Bradbury tells PEOPLE. "Even if he did ask, what he has done is a crime."

    Speaking from his Los Angeles home Wednesday, the 83-year-old author says he never would have allowed Moore to use the name, "because it doesn't belong to him. It belongs to me. I have several new editions of the book coming out this summer. I have a new film version of Fahrenheit 451 with Mel Gibson starring, and it is going into production sometime in the next six months."

    Bradbury says that Moore, 50, contacted him only last Saturday - months after the controversial movie started making headlines.

    "He was embarrassed because he didn't want to call me," says Bradbury, adding that he felt Moore was "forced into" making the call and that the filmmaker hasn't offered to screen the film for him.

    "He didn't want to face me," says Bradbury. "He is supposedly a big fan of mine and read my work years ago. Now suddenly he has to call someone he has been reading for most of his life and apologize for what he did."

    • Oh really? (Score:2, Troll)

      by ArchieBunker (132337)

      You mean you would enjoy his works more if he was a staunch democrat? Whats wrong with respecting other peoples' opinions even if you don't agree with them? The world would be a much better place if people spent half as much time worrying about themselves instead of what others are doing.

    • Nowhere in that quote does it say he's a Republican. He was just upset that Moore didn't talk with him about appropriating the title of his book.

      Not that I much care what the demented old geezer thinks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pankkake (877909)
      You don't have to be a Republican to think that Michael Moore is a bullshit machine.
    • by fyoder (857358) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:47PM (#28404593) Homepage Journal

      Republicans weren't so bad way back when they believed in small gov't and fiscal responsibility. Even if one believed that gov't had a role to play in society beyond simply maintaining the courts and providing for defense, one could still get along with, and even appreciate the perspective of, the old Republicans. A lot of old folk who call themselves Republicans may not be whatever the fuck today's Republicans are.

  • by dcollins (135727)

    "I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money... 'To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.' It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere.'"

    Wow, someone's got a bad case of future shock [wikipedia.org]

    I grew up on newspapers & magazines, but I'm coming to grips with the fact that someday those will be effectively gone, too.

  • by kinabrew (1053930) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:30PM (#28404485) Journal

    We don't need libraries anymore. Let's just burn them all down.

  • The truth (Score:5, Funny)

    by zazenation (1060442) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:30PM (#28404487)

    Ray loves libraries but hates the internet...
    I love libraries and the internet...
    All we need now are someone who loves the internet and hates libraries and another who hates both libraries and the internet and we can have ourselves a fully populated 2x2 truth table.

  • The ideas he presented in his books have obviously stayed relevant across generations. So he's fallen behind part of the culture he helped to create, so what? I suppose Yahoo loses out, but he's really the one missing out here. Maybe the people close to him can change his mind, but it doesn't do any good to go bashing one of our philosophical heroes here just because he became an old man. Libraries are not bad, maybe they're even good, it's not like he's giving money to a controversial cause!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:35PM (#28404517)

    I don't believe in libraries. I believe in cave paintings because most students don't have any animal hides to cover their genitals. When I graduated from climbing in trees, it was during the first great ice age and we had no fire or language. I couldn't go to the library, so I went to the cave three days a week for 10 seasons. The library? Don't get him started. The library is a big distraction, Gieco Cavemen growled... The library called me eight moons ago, he said, voice rising. They wanted to put a calfskin of mine in the Library! You know what I told them? To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the library. It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the dead trees somewhere with that soulless invention called language.

    - Gieco Cavemen

  • by Nakor BlueRider (1504491) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:36PM (#28404525)

    So the Internet is a series of tubes in the air somewhere...?

    OMG... the Internet is in the Mushroom Kingdom!

  • âoeItâ(TM)s distracting,â he continued. âoeItâ(TM)s meaningless; itâ(TM)s not real. Itâ(TM)s in the air somewhere.â

    Many critics of digital media complain that the information is not tangible, like a book or a record is. That you can't hold it in your hands. But last time I checked, how a book physically felt in your hands wasn't important to enjoying and understanding a book. You read with your eyes, not with your fingers (braille notwithstanding).

    So really Mr. Bradbury, what's your obsession with being able to hold things? Sounds more like materialism and hoarding instincts or misguided nostalgia than a genuine concern

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Quantos (1327889)
      I can curl up in my easy chair with my dog(thank god he's a small dog) and a good book. It's incredibly awkward to do the same with a laptop. I do realize that smaller and probably far less awkward technology exists for reading e-books, but why would I purchase some piece of tech to do what the books I already own do. True, I could always just use it for new books, but I wouldn't. To be honest I prefer the way that an actual book feels in my hands.

      People talk about reading books online or on a compute
  • by ring-eldest (866342) <ring_eldest@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:42PM (#28404555)
    It is truly a shame that he feels that way and that he believes in such a false dichotomy. If he was a little less antagonistic about the subject he'd see the massive influx of new people into the libraries that the internet has helped spur. The poor especially benefit from free access to computers and their children are put in touch with a wealth of learning (books AND electronic information) that is truly unprecedented. Library usage is up across the board, from what I can see.

    The man is almost 90 years old, but he's younger than my grandmother who regularly uses email and praises it as a wonderful way of keeping in touch with her mobility-impaired friends. Age and stubbornness are not excuses for a man of his intelligence to hold such a myopic view of the world which HE HELPED CREATE. It makes me wonder if he has been to a library recently during business hours to see the throngs of people using the internet there to find jobs and better themselves.
  • by Rorschach1 (174480) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:42PM (#28404557) Homepage

    My girlfriend's mother is a school librarian, has been for decades. One day she was sorting through a stack of old books and came across a Bradbury book in which someone had scribbled across the title page in pen. I think it was actually as she was in the process of slamming her DISCARD stamp down on the book that she belatedly recognized the scribble as the author's signature.

    She's normally got a good sense of humor, but she does NOT like it when you remind her about that dang Bradbury kid scribbling in her books.

  • All knowledge is "in the air", whether printed on paper or stored magnetically or transmitted across the universe. Knowledge exists whther or not it has physical form; if all the math books in the universe disappeared tomorrow, 2 + 2 would *still* equal 4 and force would still equal mass times exceleration.

    My daughters have educated themselves though physical and digital media; they are home-schooled, something that seemes near and dear to Bradbury's heart. The Internet gives them access to knowledge, id

  • The summary missed a bit:

    "and get off my lawn!" he continued in a raised voice, waving a stick in what was presumably intended as a threatening manner

    He is entitled to his opinion, of course. But I think he is missing the point by a few lightyears on this matter. And wrong as he may be on this matter, that doesn't invalidate anything he said/wrote previously.

  • Yes, the Internet can be a distraction, and it can be a wealth of information. It's up to the person using it. Just as I could walk into a library intending to learn something valuable, but be waylaid by the periodicals section - ooh, look, the New Yorker! Bicycling Magazine! Road & Track! and suddenly my hours have wasted away on trivia.

  • I work with elderly folks and when people ask me about my job, I joke that the biggest thing old folks fear is change.
    As we age, our ability to absorb new information and get it to gel with existing preconceptions degrades. Elderly people aren't incapable of learning, but it takes much more effort to absorb and internalize new concepts that don't already fit into their world view or realm of experience.
    Its really un-PC to say, but the older we get, the more inflexible our thinking becomes. We have probl
  • I still go to the library-- Because I'm poor, and need to get my e-mail and stay in touch with friends online, search for jobs, and more. To the man who calls the internet less worthwhile than the internet: Sir, how does it feel being a dinosaur? Our generation is the first to realize that we will never be able to reach a point in our lives where we can afford to be out of date and set in our ways. The internet is largely responsible for that, because it ensures that we can share our collective insights and

  • I respect Mr. Bradbury and his contributions to the literature of SF a lot, but...

    His comments here are like JRR Tolkein famously proclaiming that his Lord of the Rings was "too good" to appear in paperback books. Fortunately Donald A. Wollheim proved him wrong, while making him rich and famous at the same time. I was introduced to LotR in paperback, and might not have found it otherwise.

    The Internet isn't going away, and the future of eBooks is as assured as the future of music as individual tracks on
  • anyone can go to a library, and assuming the locality is solvent and can pay the paycheques for librarians, acquisitions, and cleaning staff, the library can stay open indefinitely. This is not to say that libraries never close down. What I am saying is: given adequate support, libraries can stay open indefinitely. Two examples: NY Public Library. Library of Congress.

    The same cannot be said for a given website. Google (or any other commercial website) might be big today, but once the ad revenue (business

  • by Solitonic (136324) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @05:53PM (#28404637)

    LEARN WITH B.O.O.K.
              - R. J. Heathorn

              A new aid to rapid - almost magical - learning has made its appearance.
    Indications are that if it catches on all the electronic gadgets will be
    so much junk.
              The new device is known as Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge. The
    makers generally call it by its initials, BOOK.
              Many advantages are claimed over the old-style learning and teaching
    aids on which most people are brought up nowadays. It has no wires, no
    electric circuit to break down, No connection is needed to an
    electricity power point. It is made entirely without mechanical parts to
    go wrong or need replacement.
              Anyone can use BOOK, even children, and it fits comfortably into the
    hands. It can be conveniently used sitting in an armchair by the fire.
              How does this revolutionary, unbelievably easy invention work? Basically
    BOOK consists only of a large number of paper sheets. These may run to
    hundreds where BOOK covers a lengthy programme of information. Each
    sheet bears a number in sequence so that the sheets cannot be used in
    the wrong order.
              To make it even easier for the user to keep the sheets in the proper
    order they are held firmly in place by a special locking device called a
    'binding'.
              Each sheet of paper presents the user with an information sequence in
    the form of symbols, which he absorbs optically for automatic
    registration on the brain. When one sheet has been assimilated a flick
    of the finger turns it over and further information is found on the
    other side.
              By using both sides of each sheet in this way a great economy is
    effected, thus reducing both the size and cost of BOOK. No buttons need
    to be pressed to move from one sheet to another, to open or close BOOK,
    or to start it working.
              BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it.
    Instantly it it ready for use. Nothing has to be connected or switched
    on. The user may turn at will to any sheet, going backwards or forwards
    as he pleases. A sheet is provided near the beginning as a location
    finder for any required information sequence.
              A small accessory, available at trifling extra cost, is the BOOKmark.
    This enables the user to pick up his programme where he left off on the
    previous learning session. BOOKmark is versatile and may be used in any
    BOOK.
              The initial cost varies with the size and subject matter. Already a vast
    range of BOOKs is available, covering every conceivable subject and
    adjusted to different levels of aptitude. One BOOK, small enough to be
    held in the hands, may contain an entire learning schedule.
              Once purchased, BOOK requires no further upkeep cost; no batteries or
    wires are needed, since the motive power, thanks to an ingenious device
    patented by the makers, is supplied by the brain of the user.
              BOOKs may be stored on handy shelves and for ease of reference the
    programme schedule is normally indicated on the back of the binding.
              Altogether the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge seems to have great
    advantages with no drawbacks. We predict a big future for it.

  • "To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.' It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere."

    He doesn't explain why he doesn't like the Internet, but I think I can make a good guess based on the "it's in the air somewhere" remark.

    Whenever anyone discusses the merits of books over digital literature, somebody always saying something like "Nothing can beat the feeling of a nice book: the paper, the ink, the smell of it, the weight of it, the warm, frien

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AdamHaun (43173)

      There are some important tradeoffs between paper and digital media. I'm assuming we're talking about original works here and that e.g. transcribing a newpaper article doesn't count.

      * Books aren't just rugged, they're also non-ephemeral in a way that web sites aren't. Much of the efficiency of the internet comes from cheap communication with centralized storage. But this means that whoever controls the storage has the power to change history. You can't change a million books in people's houses but old web pa

  • by Weedhopper (168515) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:13PM (#28404787)

    Or is that in the air as well?

    Ray Bradbury wrote some good books. One book in particular was truly great, providing a social commentary on the value of information and what it means to have open and free access. This makes him a man who was forward thinking for his time and perhaps means future societies will remember him.

    Unfortunately, he's become a bit of a cranky old man. That's okay. I suppose he's earned the right to be one.

    The value of his works shouldn't be diminished but certainly, time has passed him by.

    Particularly ironic considering the events of the past week in Iran and the internet's enabling role in that continuing saga.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:13PM (#28404791) Homepage Journal
    At how much Farenheit degrees a Kindle burns?
  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @06:34PM (#28404951) Homepage

    ... young people today, with their loud hair and long music, and their propensity for lounging in a most insouciant manner upon his lawn.

    At this point in the diatribe, well known sci-fi writer and self-proclaimed "Master Storyteller" Mr. Harlan "I don't take a piss without getting paid" Ellison mounted his soapbox, two milk crates and a folding chair, thus barely getting his eyes above the seated audience. "You tell 'em, Ray! Fuck the Internet!" Mr. Ellison sputtered in a cracked and whiney voice.

    Mr. Bradbury inquired after the publishing date of "The Last Dangerous Visions", whereupon Mr. Ellison threw his false teeth at Mr. Bradbury, whereupon the two aged scifi writers began to box each other about the head and shoulders. The assembled crowd wagered upon who would be the first to fling the contents of their Depends at the other, while several witnesses used their iPhones to upload video of the struggle to YouTube. Others in the crowd were content to chant, "Codger Fight! Codger Fight!" at the geriatric combatants.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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