Farenheit 451, 1984 or Brave New World, take your pick. It is ironic but not surprising to learn that the educational institutions in California, the global capital of crazy, whose denizens like to proclaim it is the most liberal and progressive state in the Union, is the place where book burning in the free world has begun. Now let me say at this juncture there is nothing intrinsically wrong with burning books if they are damaged or surplus to requirements but when the book burning is an effort to destroy a document of record that once commited to print cannot be changed, the initiative takes on a more sinister aspect. Anybody who has even a competent amateur's understanding of how the internet's storage and retrieval systems work will understand that digital media is not a suitable means of ensuring a definitive and unalterable record of information exists.
A few years ago Californian universities were caught removing and even destroying library books after digitizing them, a process critics warn leads to 1984-style censorship in which only “corrected” copies of books remain. UC Berkeley in particular was found to have removed 135,000 books from its school library, claiming that by digitizing the books, library space can be reused for meeting rooms and “nap pods.”
Putting aside the fact that libraries have existed since the Middle Ages as vaults of knowledge safe from tampering; in comparison, the way universities are disappearing books after digitizing them allows anyone with a “politically correct” agenda a way to alter books during digitization – including important texts on history, science and humanities – without anyone ever knowing. Academics and supporters of the political left (where the virtual book - burning mentality seems to reside,) may protest that the people who run universities would never do such a thing, but stories like this give the lie to such self - righteous bollocks:
An Iowa State University instructor has issued a warning to students that if they express opinion that isn’t in line with support for Black Lives Matter protesters, or if they hold pro-life opinions they could be dismissed from the institution.
“No arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter, etc.”
Clark added “The same goes for any papers/projects. You cannot choose any topic that takes at its base that one side doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as you do (i.e. no arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter, etc.)”
The Daily Caller notes that the YAF was alerted to the warning through its Campus Bias Tip Line.
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Exposing the bigotry and hypocrisy of the left in such stories makes no difference however, these people are so full of their own virtue they see what they are doing as righting history's wrongs rather than suppressing free speech and other inalienable human rights.
The removal of 60% of the physical collection at the science library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, for instance, caused an uproar after it was reported that many of the books removed had been destroyed, a story reported the Christian Science Monitor revealed. “A campus spokesman said that nothing had been lost from the scholarly record, since duplicates were retained in other libraries or available online.”
“Given the short timeframe and seeming lack of consultation of the faculty, however, many critics expressed doubts that this was actually the case.”
This, of course, draws parallels to the novel 1984, in which the protagonist, Winston, works at the Ministry of Truth altering books and important texts while sequentially destroying the original sources to hide the evidence of tampering. In reality, it’s certainly plausible that SJW student-workers digitizing books at a university could “correct for history” by altering or downright removing passages from books that don’t conform to their world view.
Remember, these are the same activists who demand restrictions on free speech if it “offends others” and demand the removal of historical war memorials if they trigger “micro-aggressions” – and college campuses are now breeding grounds for this ideology.
“Suppose they do scan or digitize entire libraries. What then? Will it not be far, far easier for systems of authority to control or manipulate access to historical information?” Asked attorney Quintus Curtius.
“How can we be sure that the University of California will not one day decide to prevent access to all works written before 1950 as being ‘offensive’ or not in tune with political correctness?” “When it comes to our precious cultural heritage, we cannot place our faith in the same institutions that have been betraying that same heritage for the past 40 years.”
On a similar note, Google’s Vint Cerf warned we are heading into a “digital dark age” because digitalized documents will eventually be lost or lack compatibility with new formats. The latter is already more-or-less the case with eBooks which suffer problems converting between different formatting standards.
“Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed,” said Cerf.
“And so what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is.”
The far left, in the USA and Europe are embarked on a very dangerous project, one that can only end in blood or fascism. If they had any sense they would take a long hard look at who is bank rolling this project and they will understand that neither option is a good outcome for the working classes and the poor, the very people leftie virtue signallers claim they are fighting for.