persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


RAY BRADBURY: over the years has been writing about computers and why they are not creative and why they restrict creativity...

He wrote, in his little collection of essays, BRADBURY SPEAKS: "To test my notion, plant me in a room with two hundred chaps, at two hundred computers, give me a number two Red Ticonderoga Pencil and ten cent Red Mowhawk pad and I will out think and out create the whole Goddamn bunch."

Of course, this is a lot of Hoo! Hah! So Ray Bradbury with his pencil and paper is going to sit back and knock off a work of art that will rival SHREK? I'll venture that a man who cannot drive a car, refuses to drive one, is not competent to discuss technology. If he doesn't know how to turn on a computer, he should not criticize what he fails to share and experience.

Of course, a Bradbury fan will applaud this weird statement without thinking. It would sound good on a stage, delivered to a crowd (which it was), get a thunderous round of applause, move the crowd and make everyone nod in approval, but this kind of rabble rousing doesn't carry far, and doesn't reach out on cold print. It just sounds absurd. A computer helped create the book that was published that has this message in it. And when you see it in print, it sounds real dumb.

There are times when being a Luddite isn't worth it. Perhaps in days gone by, the poets complained that when epics were written down, they lost the life they contained. But they were not forgotten. The Maori of New Zealand were disappointed that the young wrote down the names of the elders, instead of committing them to memory. They were not lost or forgotten.

Time will go on, the passions for art will change and how it is created.

And the luddites who cling to old ways of creating may be really losing the thrust that their writings could give because they cannot change.

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At 8:24 AM, Blogger Mark Baldridge said...

i was looking for the bradbury quote and found it here. amused to find his body of work compared to Shreck. let's see: in the race toward the death of the sun, which will live longer? pixar's grumpy green giant? or dandelion wine, the martian chronicles, something wicked....
i think you may also have missed his point. i don't think he's claiming his tools are better, but his mind. it's the personal boast of a man who says: tools don't matter at ALL. so i can't use, and don't like, your computers, so what? can you rival Fahrenheit 451?
no tool is worth genius


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