June 08, 2019

When a Picture is Worth a Thousand Ampersands

What can we trust?


Image Via
This sums up a lot of the concerns regarding ChiCom infiltration of our tech industries and its implications, especially in light of the Social Credit System being implemented there.

But we don't need China for this sort of thing, they are just a worrying bonus.


While scraping up links for the last entry, I blundered into this post from 2014, that revolved around Amazon and  iTunes editing the RWBY soundtrack. I urge you to read it in full.

 The post also links to this 2009 story about how Amazon erased copies of...wait for it...Animal Farm and 1984 from the Kindles of the customers who had bought them.
 

"Ha! That's funny.....Oh...Wait."



In a recent, fairly inconsequential post, mention was made of the loss of my access to the Windows partition on my iMac. It was noted in the comments that the software as a subscription model is intensely worrying.

This model, is, increasingly the standard for most media and the implications for our history and therefore our future are troubling. I lack the technical expertise to begin to conceive of how to cope with this challenge. The sheer volume of data created by the information revolution makes hard copies only practicable for a small percentage of knowledge. Even if we printed all the E-books out on microfiche it would represent an impossible volume and mass. Yet the digital storage, as compact and wondrous as it is can be, is susceptible to something far more insidious than burning. Books can be rewritten to tell the stories the totalitarians want to tell.

Imagine if the great libraries of Alexandria and Nalanda had instead of being burned, been edited to remove all thoughts considered discourteous or problematic to established doctrine and edited to sing the praises of their conquerors. We are richer for the few scraps that we have than we would be inheriting such a castrated  travesty.

We live in a world where Fahrenheit 451 becomes a best case scenario in the event of a real  shift to totalitarianism. At least then knowledge can be hidden from the book burners and preserved.

 
But fear not. Um....

[ optimistic platitudes and constructive suggestions go here ]

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