“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
When John Dvorak visited my workplace, I was introduced as “the Mac guy.”—the split second double-take on his part was funny. But he was amused that a coworker had programmed an old Apple //c we had lying around to generate ASCII art so it’s all good. He did tell me to read his blog.
I can’t keep up with him. He’s the Steven King of the tech world. But every so often I click on a random entry from him to see what is interesting out there.
Today it was this entry listing “the most harmful books” as nominated by the apologists for the wingnuts who have taken over the conservative movement. I love John Dvorak’s dig about Men are from Mars,Women are from Venus. You have to read the readers’ digest-like summaries the article linked gives of these works—what a riot of ignorance.
What I want to pillory in this entry is this comment left by Tom McMahon, a reader of Dvorak’s blog:
Number 1: The Communist Manifesto
Number 2: Mein Kampf
Millions upon millions of people were killed by the followers of these two books, so they definitely meet the harmful standard. Really, what’s so sad and pathetic about pointing this out?
By Tom’s criteria, had it been eligible, how would the Bible have fared?
Now that is sad and pathetic.
7 thoughts on “Blog comment logic…”
Hmm, it appears John Dvorak had the same reaction (though he was more direct).
Apple moves to Intel and I agree with the Devilâ€™s Advocate of MacUser Magazine. It must be mighty cold in Hell right now…
These analysis-experts neglected just one thing:
THE HISTORICAL TIME BASE OF QUASI SIMILAR EVENTS!
For all the huffing and puffing, I noticed that nobody’s really responded to my question yet.
I’ve been reading Dvorak forever it seems. I’m still waiting for OS/2 to become The Next Big Thing, like he predicted . . . 🙂
It seems most of the comments on Dvorakâ€™s website responded directly to your question. I assumed that any reader of this article would be intelligent enough to infer my answer.
I was wrong.
The quote at the beginning of the article implies that what is “pathetic” about an organization publishing a list of â€œharmful booksâ€ along with misleading two sentence summaries of them: it is a thinly disguised attempt at virtual book-burning.
What is â€œsadâ€ is the promoters of this list are no different than the â€œfollowersâ€ of Mein Kampf, who engaged in actual book-burning. Had they actually bothered to read some of the titles that were listed tempered with study of history theyâ€™d might have realized the irony. Actual vs. virtual book-burning is the difference between 1984 and Brave New World. Sure one is masterminded by a â€œBig Brotherâ€ and the other is driven by social and political apathy, but the resulting society is the same.
Of course, like the followers you mention, these advocates never actually read the â€œmost harmful booksâ€ they warn us about. Thatâ€™s why they are the ones who end up â€œhuffing and puffing.â€
P.S. Iâ€™m not addressing the ad hominem, because I think Dvorak can be an idiot sometimes too.
What evidence do you have for your assertion that “the promoters of this list are no different than the â€œfollowersâ€ of Mein Kampf”? Especially when they have a convenient link to Amazon for each book!
I suggest you read Brave New World (or reread the Ray Bradbury quote).