Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto

Mark Helprin

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0061733113

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto

Mark Helprin

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0061733113

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“A strange, wondrous, challenging, enriching book….Beautiful and powerful…you will not encounter another book like it.”

National Review online

 

In Digital Barbarism, bestselling novelist Mark Helprin (Winter’s Tale, A Soldier of the Great War) offers a ringing Jeffersonian defense of private property in the age of digital culture, with its degradation of thought and language and collectivist bias against the rights of individual creators. A timely, cogent, and important attack on the popular Creative Commons movement, Digital Barbarism provides rational, witty, and supremely wise support for the individual voice and its hard-won legal protections.

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book), I would propose that orphan revenues be shunted into a general fund employed to prosecute the violators of copyright. I myself will not benefit from the positions I advocate, as I do not write fashionable books. Nor likely will my children or grandchildren benefit, given the present currents in fiction. Nor am I likely to be harmed—except in a general sense, as will everyone and everything—by the destructive proposals in regard to copyright, its abolition, or truncation, now just gaining

for which you have labored and sacrificed. These are the workings of statist compassion: the idea as applied to the collective always trumps the individual person. Thus, it is possible, in pursuit of the “principle” that all children should have milk, self-righteously to create conditions in which no children have milk. With collectivism, it’s the thought that counts. What law, in what system, would obstruct the most natural thing in the world—the desire to help one’s children, and their children,

luftmenschen and café revolutionaries, they are capable of elevating a theory, notion, idea, or dogma above reason, fact, practicality, and experience. Given that they are able to do this even at the cost of their own destruction, when their own interests are unaffected or advanced it becomes especially easy. Fixed on the idea that the good of the people would be served by a White Sea Canal, Stalin ordered its construction, and was apparently forever undisturbed by the corpses of tens of

cadenzas. I paid for the CD, as I would rather honor Alfred Brendel than steal from him. How often I have dreamt that I might play like that, and sadly reminded myself that, even if I had the pure musical talent, twelve hours of practice every day for the next twenty years Death on a Red Horse 79 would not do it. I have a wonderful piano, can play the first fifty-two bars of “Für Elise,” my rendition of which drives away rats and snakes. Given a few hundred years, I might eventually hit every

were generally comprehensive and indiscriminate. The cotton gin goes through all the cotton and blindly removes the seeds: it does not identify them. Nor does it miss them. Its action would be exactly the same if the cotton were infested with seeds or had not a single one. In fact, its action would be the same if it were combing through polyester or wool. The combine does not seek out and identify an ear of corn, it takes in everything and because of their characteristics the ears of corn are

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