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Sci-Fi Author Ray Bradbury Trashes the Web

There may not be a more prescient, or dichotomous, living author than Ray Bradbury. The sci-fi writer has foretold of numerous modern gadgets and gizmos; in his classic 1953 novel 'Fahrenheit 451,' he wrote of flat-screen interactive televisions and headphones eerily similar to ear buds. His story 'The Veldt' describes in great detail "Happy-life Homes," a remarkable precursor to technologically driven "smart homes."

Despite his firm grasp on evolving technology, Bradbury, who is now approaching 90-years old, has lived almost his entire life in Los Angeles and has never had a driver's license. He believes in drawing inspiration from libraries rather than universities, and prefers a pad and pen to computers.

Speaking to The New York Times about saving California's indebted public libraries, he lamented our increasing dependence on the Internet, saying, "It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere" (Wait, we thought it was a series of enormous tubes...). Although this view might sound old-fashioned and over-the-top, he does believe classrooms should be wired for technology after the third grade. Bradbury's main fault with the Web is that he believes it depersonalizes relationships, saying that people need to "make personal contact" and "stop talking on the Internet. It's a waste of time."

While some may laugh his comments off as the blustery nostalgia of an ornery old codger, his history of accuracy and foresight should add weight to his words. In an interview with Wired, he said, "Put me in a room with a pad and a pencil and set me up against a hundred people with a hundred computers -- I'll outcreate every go$#%mn sonofabi!@# in the room." That, we don't doubt, at all. [From: The New York Times, via bookofjoe.com]

Tags: fahrenheit451, internet, literature, luddites, ray bradbury, RayBradbury, sci-fi, top

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