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[2b2k] Harry Lewis on ways the Net is making us stupider

Harry Lewis has begun a series of posts on how the Net makes us know less, rather than more. Apparently, it’s not just Google that’s making us stupid. His first post is about the astounding French criminal libel prosecution in which the editor of a scholarly journal could conceivably go to jail for publishing a negative review of a book.

I’ve read the editor’s reasonable and reasoned response [pdf], and that the case has gotten as far as it has is bottomlessly awful.

5 Responses to “[2b2k] Harry Lewis on ways the Net is making us stupider”

  1. This sounds, and reads, like a real nightmare for people who have even only a slight belief in freedom of speech and writing. It certainly would have a chilling effect on consideration of articles for publication.

    It seems like the French law runs on autopilot once a suit is filed, in that it apparently requires a trial without, as the Car Talk boys would, say the use of the thought process. (My apologies for the misquotation, and I hope they don’t sue me).

  2. Guys, doing business there, I know France quite well, and their culture and way they think of business and of law. Of course – not all of them – I know many people who are just great and open and sincere and free-thinking. These are my friends.

    But – there is indeed something that can be described as a sparkle of communism in the dusk of French-style capitalism…
    So, I was not specially surprised by this prosecution and the demands to remove the review, however shocking they were ….

    Does Net make us stupid? Of course.
    Our civilization makes us more and more stupid.
    My friend used to tell me that the XVI century sages were far more advanced in their knowledge and wisdom than we are.

    sorry for bad mood – it happens…

  3. The movie Idiocracy is not a comedy, but a premonition.

  4. Agree wholeheartedly…..civilization is not only making us stupider but greedier…especially those in power. If you bite, the “all greedy powerful ones” are likely to bite back harder. So be careful in what you say on the net.

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