Even as I was talking about how people have trouble with change as they grow older, The Huffington Post published an article a few days before that proved my point beautifully. It also manages to highlight a technique that’s often used to cover up a lack of a cohesive argument: ratchet up the rhetoric of fear and threat so far that people are helpless in the face of it.
Here’s an example of the babbling hysteria contained within:
So that now, sixty four years after the Holocaust, the Nazi disdain for the book has become the feel-good Hi-Tech campaign to rid the world of books in place of massive easily controlled centralized repositories of book texts downloadable on little hand-held devices and from which a text can be dissapeared with the click of a mouse: in Nazi terms, a dream come true.
If you think that’s silly and hyperbolic, read the rest of it. I was no great fan of the Kindle when it launched, but there’s no reason to this rant beyond the formula of claiming that if you can find any twisted way to equate something modern to something the Nazis did it must therefore be the same. It’s silly and childlike, and it’s the kind of thing that destroys our ability to reason our way into the future.