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Ray Bradbury Loves Libraries, Hates the Internet

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the in-the-air-in-the-tubes-whatever dept.

The Internet 600

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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anonymous coward loves first posts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404355)

and rimjobs, hates slashfags.

How he could learn to love it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404707)

Someone just needs to show him how to download porn. Most libraries don't have porn.

Internet:1, Libraries 0!!

God Bless Him (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404365)

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.

Re:God Bless Him (5, Funny)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404421)

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

Re:God Bless Him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404451)

Dude, it's not in the air! It's in the tubes! The t00bz, d00d! Wot a n00b!

Re:God Bless Him (5, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404425)

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 (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:God Bless Him (2, Interesting)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404547)

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.

Hmmm.. (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404621)

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.. (5, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404745)

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.. (5, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404753)

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.. (5, Insightful)

Dr. Impossible (1580675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404801)

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

I wouldn't be so quick to that. (3, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404609)

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 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 Petzold bible.

If there's any problem with libraries, its more a lack of funding and a lack of societies attention to pay librarians seriously and to respect the field. A good librarian is a skilled position, somebody who can reach into all the various fields and find what's good, and gather it up into one spot.

Re:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404733)

> 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.

Re:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404755)

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:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404735)

There is so much crap on the internet that it undermines all the information that is out there.

You can't state that as an absolute, that sentence just cries out for a YMMV.

Just because you haven't figured out how to filter noise is your problem, not a universal one.

Re:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404761)

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 whole point of the library is that the noise tends to be filtered for you. Thus, the internet is a dump, not a library.

Re:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (2, Insightful)

Quackers_McDuck (1367183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404751)

And yet more and more books (especially computer science related textbooks) are becoming easily and freely available online (sometimes legally, sometimes via rapidshare or torrents) for anyone who knows where to look -- far more easily than taking a trip to a library and picking up a dead-tree book. Right now, of course, there are some books that you can't find online and should head to the library for instead (or order off amazon...), but the percentage in this category is dropping constantly, and it'd happen even faster if people like Bradbury wouldn't be illogically resistant to change. What people seem to forget is that the internet isn't just a collection of websites with short articles or videos, it can be a source for sharing actual books (many of which your local library would probably not have). So it's got a quickly-growing library in it, and then other stuff too (the other stuff just tends to get focused on more).

Re:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404795)

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:God Bless Him (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404647)

The internet isn't just a big library. It's a series of tubes!

Just one question... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404523)

Can I fuck her?

Re:God Bless Him (4, Informative)

tyrione (134248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404627)

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:God Bless Him (2, Insightful)

spoonboy42 (146048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404767)

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.

Why does he like libraries? (0, Troll)

SigNuZX728 (635311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404387)

Does he like them for the books? He knows you can read books on the Internet, right? Maybe he just doesn't know how to use the internet properly (he is old, after all) and it just confuses and scares him.

Re:Why does he like libraries? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404433)

He is right, its just a distraction. When my internet access goes down, I actually get something accomplished. All of our toys mean nothing. That said, I need to log onto warcraft and forget how sucky real life is.

Re:Why does he like libraries? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404479)

You can read text on the Internet, but it has none of the tactile assets of physical books. I've read classics on paper, and I've read them in plaintext on Project Gutenberg (being a student can be stupidly expensive), and I will always vastly prefer the hard copy.

Books are a bit easier to use when the power's out, or a router's down, as well. They also serve as better kindling than the Kindle, if it comes down to that, too. I think Mr. Bradbury wrote a story that touched on that, actually.

Re:Why does he like libraries? (2, Informative)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404495)

So instead of an intelligent point of view you are projecting a frightened and ignorant POV onto this man. Why? Because he is old.

Re:Why does he like libraries? (2, Insightful)

SigNuZX728 (635311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404711)

I am. A lot of people are scared by things they don't understand. Why should he be any different?

Re:Why does he like libraries? (5, Interesting)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404573)

Ray Bradbury, while one of the greatest living SF writers, is actually something of a technophobe. Not a luddite, as far as I know, just someone who doesn't care for technology outside the scope of fiction. He doesn't know how to drive a car (while living in LA!), and he was ... oh, I don't remember, but old when he first travelled by airplane. So most likely, he doesn't understand the internet much. Or he understands it differently.

Internet (2, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Internet (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404757)

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 (5, Insightful)

shma (863063) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Internet (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404521)

Yeah well, he's no Asimov, that's for sure.

Re:Internet (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404551)

Nor a Heinlein or Clarke.

Re:Internet (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404613)

Exactly. He's 'sci-fi' in the loosest sense of the word.

Re:Internet (1)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404797)

You're right; he's a far better writer than Asimov. Not that I don't love Asimov, but Bradbury's mastery of language is light years ahead, and his imagination is far broader. I think his attitude towards the internet, if it really is as stated here, is pretty limited - but I'd also like to hear him talk about the reasons behind his view before dismissing it as the rantings of a lunatic.

Re:Internet (3, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404533)

"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 that of a gnat he has a great point about simply wandering through stacks of real books that you pull of the shelf and leaf through. It's a different experience than Googling for something and is equally serendipitous. Not only that but books are way easier to read than a computer screen, and they're portable. Without batteries.

Re:Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404639)

Not only that but books are way easier to read than a computer screen, and they're portable. Without batteries.

Entirely disagree. Books can't be mass translated nearly instantly, have fonts changed or zoomed as needed, be text-to-speeched for the vision impared instantly for free, and books deteriorate over time. They're also infinitely less searchable, so if you need to find which book your favorite quote came from or look up something out of a set of reference books.. computers will have you beat easily.

Face it, the vast majority of time people spend on the internet is wasted in stupid, distracting ways.

And are we really any better off if these people are reading Maxim or romance novels?
Does it make a difference to you if they're reading Twilight or roleplaying as vampires in some aol chat?

The internet is just efficiency and power maximized. The fact that most people are worthless to you isn't changed by this, only amplified.

Re:Internet (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404677)

Face it, the vast majority of time people spend on the internet is wasted in stupid, distracting ways. Al,l that interaction and people in contact with one another? For what?

Yeah, before the internet we had to read crappy romance novels. Now we have fanfics. Technology changes... People don't.

Re:Internet (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404687)

Not only that but books are way easier to read than a computer screen, and they're portable. Without batteries.

That's debatable. I'm curious how old you are?

My parents swear that reading paper is better. My mother says she can't focus on the screen while absorbing the info, so she prints everything important and reads it on paper, to remember it.

I've been on computers since I was 2 years old, and have no such predisposition. I've read books, and I've read blogs and online articles. I remember equal amounts of info from both, but much prefer the speed of reading things electronically. Being able to search for specific words/paragraphs when reviewing stuff is great. :)

I totally agree with you that most everything on the internet is crap. I might even go so far as to say 99% of it is useless... ;) ...or just info repeated over and over.

Nostalgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404777)

On the other hand it's wonderful how wise and insightful his remarks are.

Yeah, but there is nothing like the internet for conducting research, especially scientific research. It saves a huge amount of time compared to libraries. Not to mention the amazing ease with which ideas can cross pollinate into major breakthroughs. Of course, Mr. Bradbury understands the power of the internet. The man is not dumb. He's just being old fashioned and nostalgic, that's all. Halls of books have a strong romantic side to them that the internet cannot replace. Forgive him and please let him have his library. He deserves it.

Sometimes change is good... (0, Troll)

tiger32kw (1236584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404391)

I wonder how he feels about African Americans... I have have a good guess.

Strange. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404405)

It's strange for someone so vehemently against censorship to be against propagating information to ANY media.

"It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere."
Sounds like hes boarding the firetruck as we speak.

Ray Bradbury? Really? (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404407)

I'm somewhat disappointed such a prominent SciFi writer is so hostile to the internet and new technology.

Location, location, location! (4, Funny)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

To misquote him (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404419)

"We are the librarians now"
   

And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (1, Troll)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404463)

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.

So like... (3, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404567)

How do you like L. Ron Hubbard's work then?

Re:Oh really? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404701)

You mean you would enjoy his works more if he was a staunch democrat?

This is absolutely possible. Books often share the worldview of their author, that is why I (for example) cannot stand books of Edward Elmer Smith or Robert Heinlein.

Whats wrong with respecting other peoples' opinions even if you don't agree with them?

Nothing wrong about that as long as the opinions aren't forced on others. In that way you being moderated as a troll only emphasises your point.

Re:And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (1)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404531)

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:And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404549)

Moore is kind of an ass, and will be forgotten long before Bradbury is, but I thought that film title was fair use. Nobody would confuse "Fahrenheit 911" with one of Bradbury's works, even before seeing the movie. It was a rather clever allusion to a classic work of fiction, whose author happens to be alive.

Re:And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (2, Insightful)

pankkake (877909) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404585)

You don't have to be a Republican to think that Michael Moore is a bullshit machine.

Re:And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404779)

You don't have to be a Democrat to think that political speech needs to be defended from people like Bradbury.

"Mutant of Omaha" belongs right next to "Common Sense".

Re:And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (5, Insightful)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404593)

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.

Re:And in other news, old man shouts at cloud (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404671)

Let's be fair. Writers of that that generation did not wait for someone to create a job. They created an industry. They used their talents and created work that had a positive impact on society. At the same time they supported a family. Like so many others they could have blamed the government for their ills, saying that some group of people took their jobs, with marches on Washington demanding legislation to insure the entitlement of work and wages that are given to you rather than earned.

One also has to consider that a science fiction writer is not necessarily pro technology at any costs. Fahrenheit 451 certainly shows a world destroyed by technology, the heros being bums who recite books to each other.

That said, Bradbury made his living in a world of relative opulence. There was a time when the library is what educates the educated, perhaps even more than formal education. However, one had to have a library near you. And the library had to be funded. The problem is that one well funded library might serve the few (hundred) thousand people that can get to it. A network of well funded libraries also support the thousands of authors that supply the books. As an author, Bradbury knows on which side his bread is buttered.

I think the current reality is both good and bad. The internet provides a order of magnitude greater learning opportunities than the average public library. Just being able to access something PLOS One is something that only those that had access to University libraries could dream of. OTOH, the ability of authors like Bradbury to make a living is going to become increasingly difficult.

Some might say an honest conservative would admit that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed, and the Internet might provide an better opportunity than the library. Certainly most kids have access for at least an hour or two a day, and some use it to learn. Most school libraries barely has books to last more than the freshman year, so the Internet provides a good supplement. The downside, that authors do not get paid as much, well, there is no entitlement to profit, only the pursuit of it.

All this is of no surprise. To get rid of the old ideas, such as woman's work is so simple that it will be computerized first, while men's work, like astronavigation, will still be done at hand, young people have to , sometimes forcibly, take control away from the old.

Wow (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404427)

"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.

Re:Wow (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404685)

I don't see why Bradbury's response surprises anyone. His writing in F451 and elsewhere has always been highly reactionary. Change in Bradbury's writing is almost always for the worse. We need people like him to warn us of that danger. But we should be surprised when such people then have trouble accepting new things.

In any event, we all go into future shock eventually. I've seen even computer scientists and programmers react negatively to new technologies. This is one of the advantages of humans having finite life spans. If we didn't, the eventual future shock would likely retard society's growth and developement. I'm sure in 40 years I'll be yelling at kids to stay off my lawn and whining about whatever the new technology. This week the current moral panic is "sexting." Maybe in 40 years I'll be all worried about kids engaging in telepathic sex?

Re:Wow (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404785)

"In any event, we all go into future shock eventually. I've seen even computer scientists and programmers react negatively to new technologies. This is one of the advantages of humans having finite life spans. If we didn't, the eventual future shock would likely retard society's growth and developement."

This is intriguing fantasy.

Root of all Evil: Ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404449)

The Internet has taught me far more than my college education ever could, and more than any one book for that matter.

It's amazing how people will so stereotypically judge an entire artifact without fully understanding its purpose or potential.

The Internet is distracting? I bet he uses Windows...

To hell with Ray Bradbury. (3, Funny)

kinabrew (1053930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404485)

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

The truth (5, Funny)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:The truth (5, Funny)

Arainach (906420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404629)

Loves the Internet, Hates Libraries: Most Ignorant Teenagers
Hates the Internet, Hates Librarites: MPAA

Re:The truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404717)

I hate the internet and libraries.

Why am I here?
I hate myself.

give him a break (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404499)

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!

Books are not real! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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

A series of tubes in the air? (5, Funny)

Nakor BlueRider (1504491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404525)

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

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

"In the air?" Come on! (1)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404527)

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 for the Internet.

Re:"In the air?" Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404561)

First time I read "the final question" or whatever its called - on da Internets. yep, and I even enjoyed it.

In fact, in my town many people only have access to the internet THROUGH the LIBRARY! ha!

Re:"In the air?" Come on! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404571)

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 for the Internet.

I disagree with that. The tactile feeling I get from reading a paper book adds much to my enjoyment, at least for me. I've never tried a kindle, but I can't stand reading text from sites like project gutenberg.

I can read a real book for 10 hours. I can only stand about 20 minutes of text on a computer screen.

Re:"In the air?" Come on! (2, Interesting)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404665)

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 computer and I just don't get it, probably a lot like Mr. Bradbury. I'm not slamming the alternatives and most people would know that just from reading what I have taken the time to write here, but on Slashdot there are some really dim people, so I'm stating this for them :)

I am curious as to why Mr. Bradbury is being ridiculed for his opinion though. Some of the opinions that I see on /. are far more ridiculous....

Re:"In the air?" Come on! (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404699)

"Enjoyment" is highly subjective. I enjoy the weight of a book. I enjoy opening a textbook to a random page and reading a quarter of a chapter. I enjoy the way a book smells. I enjoy being able to jot a note in the margin, or stick a receipt in to mark my place. I enjoy opening an old, cherished book to the front and reading a sentimental, handwritten dedication. I enjoy not having to spend several hundred dollars on an e-book reader in order to read a book wherever and whenever.

Mr. Bradbury's 'obsession' may have something to do with growing up during the Depression. He doesn't give a shit about the Internet-- there is no 'concern' evident anywhere in the article. His formative years were spent in the wake of the evaporation of a whole ton of ephemeral monetary value, which left people with little more than (wait for it) their material possessions. There may just be the slightest correlation there.

Above and beyond all that though, Bradbury is one of the most reactionary people on the face of the Earth. He's old and he's set in his ways.

What if... (1)

Drone69 (1517261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404537)

Someone explained to Mr. Bradbury that the internets is operated by a conclave of androids?

Geezer Award (0, Redundant)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404553)

>" 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.'"

Its amazing given the amount of sifi he's written that he takes this approach to the single most futuristic invention of mankind.

Bradbury is out of touch with reality (2, Insightful)

ring-eldest (866342) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Sort of related (3, Funny)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404557)

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.

Re:Sort of related-This Would Be Fun... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404723)

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.

1: Become a famous published author.
2: Sneak into libraries all across the country and secretly autograph all your books, thereby increasing their value.
3: Write a book afterwards about doing this.
4: GOTO 2

It's all "in the air" (1)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404569)

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, ideas, and people they would *never* have encountered in a real library. The Internet EXPANDS our knowledge; it does not replace books, it COMPLEMENTS THEM.

The summary missed a bit. (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404579)

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.

Sure it's a distraction but (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404581)

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.

Trying not to sound condescending... (1)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404595)

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 problems adapting to new situations, information, and the end result is often fear, confusion, or the dismissal of new ideas as irrelevant.

Re:Trying not to sound condescending... (1)

nobodyknowsimageek (218815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404655)

Oblig Simpsons:

I used to be "with it". But then they changed what "it" was. And now what I have isn't "it". And what is "it", is weird and scary to me!

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404599)

If he's so intelligent and hates the Internet so much, maybe someone should tell him to take down the website that bears his name (http://www.raybradbury.com/) and lists all his books for purchase (http://www.raybradbury.com/books/books.html). After all, it's just a waste of time!

ANOVWL.

Libraries (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404603)

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 experiences with each other and the world almost instantly. Now get off my lawn--I mean, LCD.

Re:Libraries (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404643)

Sorry for the typo in the second sentence. My girlfriend sat down in her bra and panties in front of the air conditioner as I was writing that. Yes, that's just as distracting for us as for you, guys. -_-

Re:Libraries (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404747)

Sorry for the typo in the second sentence. My girlfriend sat down in her bra and panties in front of the air conditioner as I was writing that. Yes, that's just as distracting for us as for you, guys. -_-

Woa. Not one, but TWO girls on Slashdot? And I thought a me being a teenage Slashdotter was strange enough.

I Respect Mr. Bradbury but... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404631)

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 iPod players.

Libraries are public, websites are (usually) not (1, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404633)

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 model) collapses, they're toast and their huge volume of books, videos, etc. will go offline. If their board of directors can demonstrate that Google (or whatever corporation that sells shares) would make serious bank in another industry (say, breakfast cereal or carpeting or concrete or maid services - whatever) the shareholders would vote for that product to get a better return on investment, and those jillions of books and videos would be reduced to essentially what they are: unwanted webservers that would be zeroed out and sold.

Bradbury's a bit of a cranky right wing dipshit, but even a stopped clock is right once a day.

RS

Re:Libraries are public, websites are (usually) no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404805)

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.

RTFA, moron--it's all about Bradbury raising money for physical libraries that are in danger of vanishing, just like a server with the plug pulled. Saying that websites vanish and physical libraries are permanent bastions of knowledge is monumentally retarded. Some libraries will wither and die, and some will survive. Some websites will wither and die, some will survive. Or do you honestly believe that archive.org is going to disappear anytime soon?

Re:Libraries are public, websites are (usually) no (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404809)

"What I am saying is: given adequate support, libraries can stay open indefinitely."

Given adequate support, websites can also stay open indefinitely.

What I am saying is: That's a pretty big "given".

LEARN WITH B.O.O.K. (5, Funny)

Solitonic (136324) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Is there ONLY one thing to be said about books? (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404663)

"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, friendly..." blah blah blah. Indeed, that usually seems to be the ONLY argument presented in favour. This is basically just re-hashing the same idea: that books and paper are emotionally better because they're tactile and look nicer than [insert technology under discussion]. Bradbury's attitude seems to be no exception.

While I don't dismiss emotional attachment as being insignificant, it would be useful to list something else about books or paper that give them an advantage over digital media. Here are a few I can think of:

1. Paper (and to a lesser extent books) fit a particular mode of use that digital media cannot yet fulfil: I can jot something down on paper, hand it to somebody who can then adjust that jotting if need be, and we can use it for high-level, fast communication. The recipient can then carry it around for a short while until its purpose is served, and then dispose of it. Similar use cases can be played out on walls with chalk or charred sticks, on sand, or on steamy windows.

2. Books and paper are robust within specific common parameters and don't need a power source. Properly stored, a book can last thousands of years. I can also abuse a book in a variety of ways and it will still be fit for purpose. Burn it, however, or tear it into tiny pieces, and I better have another copy or all the information in it is lost forever.

3. Properly produced, books and paper can be far more environmentally friendly than digital media, or at least the hardware that delivers that media.

4. Er, that's it. Every other property of books or paper I can think of are either disadvantages, or are matched by current digital media.

Any other suggestions for the objective advantages of books over digital media?

So what's the problem? (1, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404667)

Ray Bradbury hates the internet - or, I'm guessing, "hates the world wide web" would be the more accurate statement. And, apparently, he's also a Republican according to some posts here.

So what? Isn't he entitled to his opinions? Why do some people here think they can only enjoy the work of someone with whom they're in agreement on everything? Take this to the logical extreme: A lot of people really liked ReiserFS - does that mean they must think it's okay to murder someone?

Bradbury is even helping raise a bunch of money for a library. How much of your time and money do you put into causes you believe in?

C'mon, give the guy a break. Reading his comments, I'll admit I was half-expecting "and you kids get off my lawn!" included in there somewhere. But man, it never even occurred to me that I should change my mind about his stories because some of his opinions are different than mine.

Say What You Really Think (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404679)

Bradbury a Luddite - who woulda thunk?

Give him a Kindle! (2, Insightful)

yanguang (1471209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404703)

Give the man a Kindle preloaded with more books than his library. All that, in the palm of your hand.

I like the internet (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404709)

I like the idea that anyone can publish something, anyone can remark on something, and anyone can seek out your comments. People can communicate in a neutral medium without worrying about immediate personal repercussions because then they don't fear to speak their minds.

You don't learn a lot when you can only see one shade in the spectrum, but on the internet you have everything, and this feels like a more realistic representation of what people think. You can see peoples' arguments instead of a finished product that can never be changed. You see the etymology of peoples' thoughts.

We haven't really had much structure in society, in terms of interpersonal relationships. They are wildly different. Personalities are wildly different. We all have different goals and different reasons and different opinions. Everyone has to learn about being on this planet together, but you aren't really privy to everyone's personal process. You just hear whatever comes out of their mouth at one given time, even though what they think, and what think they know, is constantly evolving.

The fact that you can observe all perspectives can help people learn about all of the different ways of thinking about something, and different ways of dealing with ways of thinking that are different than yours, but the internet is like a social equalizer. You may have search rankings, and ad priorities, and certain computers will ship with a general default configuration, and you may have favorite bookmarks that you load up every day that may put a bias on what a given individual will be exposed to. Invariably, however, people will find their way into many different areas of interest, which will present them with many different groups of people who will speak about things that they have picked up from many other places, and points of view are dispersed widely and vary widely, yet they are all available.

On web sites, you can have discussion forums with different topics that have different posts and within them, different threads, and different arguments. On Wikipedia, you can move through any topic by clicking on the area of interest, and you can see how the article changed and why. On Slashdot, you have people writing stories and comments and voting each other up. On 2chan you have unmoderated discussions on a wide variety of interests. Anyone can step in and drop some heavy knowledge, or they can blurt out an off-the-cuff remark, but we get way more variety than our every day communications, and we can seek out any topic we can come up with to get such perspectives.

I think it makes us healthier that we can see all that and take it in in a more unbiased manner. It drives home the point that the truth is the truth no matter where it comes from, because bullshit is less tolerated and picked apart. Conclusions may be drawn, but topics are forever evolving and nothing really ever stays the same on the internet. Even though there's a lot of stupid shit on the internet, I feel like I'm learning a lot of important stuff that I couldn't in school or a library, and even a lot that I can. But it's all easy and accessible.

How real is the knowledge in your head? (4, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Need a termometer (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404791)

At how much Farenheit degrees a Kindle burns?

The internet is the biggest library ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404793)

Put your book on it, and the whole world can see it.

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