Science Fiction writer Ray Bradbury has died aged 91
Thursday 7 June 2012
Few books (and a subsequent film) influenced my desire for knowledge in the way that Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 did. The black and white film adaptation still holds much in my memory almost 30 years later. As a youngster I'd sat up late and seen original The War of the Worlds on TV and a few months later watched the 'madness' of Fahrenheit 451. The book drew an even darker picture of a world in which thought control took place by denial of knowledge - a well worn path taken by religions and ruling elite alike through the millennia. To a great extent, Ray's Martian Chronicles helped prime my brain in alignment for my future career - as a futurist! It certainly gave me an appreciation of books, reading and a thirst for knowledge.
Ray's book 'Fahrenheit 451' is perhaps one of the most prescient works looking at the rise of knowledge management and knowledge curation as practised by the political elite. This 'message management' theme extended on Orwell's 1984 'Big Brother' by adding a more sinister layer. Where Big Brother watched your every move and provided messages for consumption, the 'FireBrigade' in Bradbury's '451 actively sought to remove the existence of alternative knowledge sources.
In that way, Bradbury identified the wide spread practise of media manipulation not only by corporate entities, but also by Governments of all kinds who attempt to re-write history or deny it existed. Even today the mid 1960's film adaptation stacks up as chillingly bleak yet representatively familiar of today's times.
It is not surprising that Hollywood has not sought to remake the film for a modern audience. given tht Hollywood itself would be a likely central target of any update.
Thank you Ray; Vale Ray
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