May 20, 2013
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
August 3, 2011
/ 3 Menachem-Av, 5771
The End of Books
News item, July 19, 2011: "Borders book stores, which employ about 10,700 people, scrapped a bankruptcy-court auction scheduled for Tuesday amid the dearth of bids. It said it would ask a judge Thursday to approve a sale to liquidators. The company said liquidation of its remaining 399 stores could start as soon as Friday, and it is expected to go out of business for good by the end of September. The chain's demise could speed the decline in sales of hardcover and paperback books...."
"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."
The robotic voice, recorded on an endless loop, droned on in the C Level cafetorium, explaining the dangers represented by that dangerous artifact of an earlier civilization, the book.
The bored work crews filed in and out of the bare hall for their prefabricated rations, pausing now and then to use their OCDs, or Online Communications Devices. Each of the small accessories, just the right size to fit into a pocket of their government-issue coveralls, was licensed, limited, and certified to have no more links than necessary to barracks, work station, National Public Agitprop, and the current Top Ten beatmusiks.
Jaws masticated, thumbs clicked keyboards, knees jerked in time with the rap. There was no melody. It had been proscribed by the Prole Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2041, Title XI, Subsection A. The same clause mandated continuous lectures on the danger of preserving any "shards, pottery, ornaments, and/or books, scrolls, inscriptions or fragments thereof which archaeologists, geologists, sewer workers and affiliated trades might encounter" in their excavations.
The crew at lunch was working on the next big transmission tower in the vicinity. The towers by now had largely replaced the forests that had once stood across the countryside, for trees were suspect, too, being possible sources of paper. More towers were constantly being built to keep the public uninformed.
In the background Frequency 24/7 never ceased. "Remember the three As," it was saying. "Beware of keeping any Artifacts, Antiques, and/or Adornments, or anything else, you might come across in your dig. Any item containing words or numbers is especially dangerous. All are to be destroyed on-site or turned in to the Central Depository of Hazardous Materials by 1800 of the daycycle they are discovered. Violations will be punished beyond the limits of the law...."
Martin Smith, 0550788A, was listening only now and then. He tried not to think of the little souvenir he had picked up yestercycle when the telescreens were momentarily out of order. Better not to think at all lest one be discovered at it. It was remarkable how the Thought Police and their informers could read faces and detect badthink.
"What traitors books can be," the Inspector 2nd Class seated across the table from him was saying. "You think they're backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives." Martin nodded in agreement, which was always the wisest thing to do when addressed by a noncom.
He noticed how emotionless the inspector's voice was. Long training will have that effect. Even the droning voice on the loop seemed to have more conviction. "Ignorance is strength," it was saying in perfectly enunciated, utterly dead syllables. It never stopped. Party slogan followed party slogan.
Then it was time for the standard history lesson: "Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three layers of humanity, the High and the Low and the Classless. The first two work together, giving and receiving direction, exploiting and being exploited, consistent in their role, but the third is the most dangerous to the established order of any society, for they have no loyalty but to their own intellectual delusions. They may differ over ideas but all share one trait -- an antisocial addiction to reading, for which purpose they have used a variety of instruments through the ages, of which books, because of their seductive tactile and olfactory attraction, are the most insidious. In the beginning was the word, and it is the root of all evil, which flowered into books. The classless associate the solitary act of reading with a perverted fulfillment. They may at times be useful to the other, productive classes for limited technical purposes, but they tend to believe ideas have consequences and seek to develop their own, however subversive. This remains a mindset that must be crushed, for...."
Martin had stopped listening long ago, having heard it all before, and paying less attention each time. How strange, he thought, that the latest Breaking News should sound so antiquated, dated even before it was transmitted, while the silent words on the little slip of paper he'd hidden in the ventilator shaft of his cubicle still spoke to him. It was as if the tattered words were alive, the voice of an old friend from another century and different world:
To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations -- such is a pleasure beyond compare....
Paul Greenberg Archives
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