Fahrenheit 2.0

September 18, 2009

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury illustrates the life of Guy Montage, a fireman whose job it is to start fires. The lifestyles of the people in this world are over-stimulated with infinite television and radio programming and advertising. The people have grown hostile to printed materials because it is so overwhelming it leads to mood fluctuations that are not favorable.  They want knowledge that is simple and easy going. A war is going on but they are more concerned with watching their programs on their televisions, which are tailored specifically for them.

The book was written in 1953 more than fifty years before the web 2.0 era, the rise of Myspace and YouTube. But it provides a  perfect illustration of the people today within a different medium: The Internet.

Instead of firemen that burn the illegal books, we have spam filters and safe searches, moreover a Google algorithm that makes decisions for us. Instead of concerning over the wars in the world we are concerned for Taylor Swift.

In the book television programs are tailored to the viewer, on the internet our facebook pages administer only sites and information that would best suit ourselves.

The internet users neither care nor value knowledge, they only want what interests themselves: a fast connection and an awesome YouTube video.

The once mighty ethical newspapers will be gone, slain by the hands of Perez Hilton and his TMZ ilk.

In Bradbury’s book some resist and continue to read the printed materials only to become punished by the law or forced to become outcasts from society by running away from civilization. So too will people who neglect maintaining their facebook page.

I would much rather escape this mess than become entangled in the internet.

 “Don’t face a problem. Burn it.” – Guy Montage                    


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