Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why paper books are the best

Letting corporations, no matter how bound by the law and by good intentions, into your home is dangerous. The equivalent of the following with a paper book would require a search warrant.

In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.”

On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by

In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.

An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function. “When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers’ devices, and refunded customers,” he said.

Amazon effectively acknowledged that the deletions were a bad idea. “We are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances,” Mr. Herdener said.

Fortunately, I only have to resist the almost inevitable trends of the future, with corporations increasingly owning the digital me (via patents on genes they in a sense already own the genetic me; and well-intentioned idiots who keep pushing for organ donation to be the default unless you opt out, they will own the physical me, too), for a finite span of years.

Increasingly, apart from the people who run companies or own significant portions of them, we are all just human fodder to corporate economic machines. Who was fearful that we would be ruled by machines one day? We already are! The only purpose regular people have is to satisfy the appetite of these machines. If I endanger in a miniscule way, the bottom line of my health insurance company, my physical existence will be at risk - they will end their coverage.

We are taught in corporate courses about the value of good character - because it affects the bottom line! Something like "Leaders who were perceived to have outstanding character and empathy achieved stronger bottom line results." If some study found that being malicious promoted the bottom line, you can know what the business books would be purveying. The correct response to the above is that if studies found that bad character went with good business results, then the business is immoral.

That is the future, to become the ever-smiling, well-dressed automata who decorate corporate brochures. Y'all are welcome to it!

1 comment:

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Don't worry Arun. The Robots that replace you will have no such qualms. Just relax and let the Borg assimilate you!