24 September 2012

Imagine if Jonah Lehrer Disappeared

Via Andrew Sullivan (hat-tip), Maria Konnikova pens a sequel regarding the Lehrer fall from grace (discussed here), with horrible and frankly frightening implications.
An e-book is not a physical book. That point might seem trite until you stop for a moment to think how much simpler it is, in a certain sense, to destroy electronic than physical traces. There's no need of inciting mass cooperation in book-burning enterprises. No need for secret police or raids or extensive surveillance. The power to remove a book from a device, to remove all traces of it from retailers' websites, to expunge it from a publisher's online record: It would simplify the work of a would-be Soviet Union or Oceania multifold, would it not? It's ugly. For all kinds of reasons.
Let me repeat this again: Lehrer had a media empire behind him. What more evidence do people need that they are missing the story here?

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