Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not a bad prediction for 1982

"The major battle of the 1980s will be over the control of microprocessors. The techno-managerial elite, the American Civil Liberties Union and those scientists who are true to the spirit of science will unite to attempt to accelerate the flow of information with these marvelous new tools. All conspiracies, and all scientists working for conspiracies, will attempt censorship, blockage, legal restrictions. Marshall McLuhan long ago predicted that we are entering the age of information; it is now happening. How much freedom of electronic 'speech' we are allowed in the next ten years will determine whether conspiracy or the Bill of Rights is going to dominate our future."

That's the last paragraph of the article "Neurogeography of Conspiracy" in RAW's book, RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE SITTING NOW.

Nowadays, it's a commonplace to talk about the Internet's importance in the free flow of information, how it provides a refuge from government repression, etc., but I wanted to point out that RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE SITTING NOW was published in 1982, before the rise of the Internet. Cory Doctorow, the well-known science fiction writer and Internet freedom activist, was 11 when the book was published.

Of course, these days there is an ACLU of cyberspace, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, founded in 1990.

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