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image Ray Bradbury, 89, a brilliant writer but proud Luddite in some ways, hates the Internet and electronic books, not just television.

TV was the target of his wrath in a 2007 video.

“The Internet?” yesterday’s New York Times says.  “Don’t get him started. ‘The Internet is a big distraction,’ Mr. Bradbury barked…

“’Yahoo called me eight weeks ago,’ he said, voice rising. ‘They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? ‘To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.’

“’It’s distracting,’ he continued. ‘It’s meaningless; it’s not real. It’s in the air somewhere.’”

More moderate about the Net, earlier

imageIn a past video, this science fiction immortal sounded more moderate, saying he hoped that the Net would be “an experiment that worked” and was used properly. Did the NYT use the just-offered quotes in context? I don’t know.

OK, gang, while remaining civil, how would you respond to Bradbury?

More positively: The NYT piece correctly depicts Bradbury as a big library booster—the major reason the paper interviewed him. Good on Bradbury for that!

Too bad Bradbury can’t grasp the potential of e-books for helping libraries stretch their resources and reach Net-oriented young people, some of them cash-strapped—just as he was as a young man. Besides, when today’s young or their descendants do make it to Mars, what are they going to read? E or P? E-books are a lot more compact for space travel.

And also on the plus side: The existence of a Bradbury Web site. In fact, his e-followers have even posted a Martian Chronicles excerpt. Is the site Bradbury-authorized? I don’t know. But it does carry at least one message from him, and if you follow the links, you’ll find some to Amazon, which does carry at least a few Bradbury works in Kindle form.

Revised for clarity at about 10:30 a.m.

 
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