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Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto | [Mark Helprin]

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto

World-renowned novelist Mark Helprin 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.
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Publisher's Summary

World-renowned novelist Mark Helprin 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.

Mark Helprin anticipated that his 2007 New York Times op-ed piece about the extension of the term of copyright would be received quietly, if not altogether overlooked. Within a week, the article had accumulated 750,000 angry comments. He was shocked by the breathtaking sense of entitlement demonstrated by the commenters, and appalled by the breadth, speed, and illogic of their responses.

Helprin realized how drastically different this generation is from those before it. The Creative Commons movement and the copyright abolitionists, like the rest of their generation, were educated with a modern bias toward collaboration, which has led them to denigrate individual efforts and in turn fueled their sense of entitlement to the fruits of other people's labors. More important, their selfish desire to "stick it" to the greedy corporate interests who control the production and distribution of intellectual property undermines not just the possibility of an independent literary culture but threatens the future of civilization itself.

©2009 Mark Helprin; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

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  •  
    mosselyn Campbell, CA USA 10-20-10
    mosselyn Campbell, CA USA 10-20-10 Member Since 2002

    colemanka

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ranting, raving, and rambling"

    I purchased this book because I'm interested in learning more about the copyright debate. Who better than an author to argue the pro side? Almost anyone, apparently.

    Though Helprin has some good points to make, they're hard to filter out from the stream of invective. In much of the book, he comes across as no better than the "mouth-breather" army of internet "ants" he decries. There are also significant chunks of the book that seem to have nothing to do with the topic, such as a long, rambling discussion of convergence, near the end. Helprin rarely uses one word when 10 will, with a few asides thrown in for good measure.

    All in all, very disappointing. Seek elsewhere for a reasoned discussion of the pro-copyright argument.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-10-09 Member Since 2006

    Dr Doug

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "An writer makes his own case"

    This book is written with all of the brilliance in language and turn of phrase thak characterizes his fiction. Good thing, too, because as such it is an illustration of the improtance of supporting literary creativity. More than simply advancing his cause, he makes you think about where we are headed with the digital revolution. Now that I've read it, I'm going to get the book so I can slowly savor some of his brillaint insights.
    Listen to your Grandpa, you might learn something.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryden Mt nasura, Australia 05-31-09
    Bryden Mt nasura, Australia 05-31-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Self Indulgent Rubish"

    The auther fails to asemble any coherant arguments to support his position and reguarly falls into nonsensical rants that give the whole book a "get off my lawn" feel.

    Sadly quite dissapointing

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Wilson 05-01-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Grandpa rants about copyright"

    Vivid descriptions and colourful storytelling kept me listening despite my disagreement with the main argument.

    3 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rishard Chapoteau hawthorne, nj USA 05-04-09
    Rishard Chapoteau hawthorne, nj USA 05-04-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Didn't like it"

    I was really looking forward to reading this book and hearing good arguments about Anti-Piracy, but thats nto what this book was about. It was more about why copyrights were important. In doing so thought it did not give a good impression on why Piracy was a real issue. The book spent a lot of time going over things that didn't seem to have anything to do with the argument at all. I'd say it felt like 75% of the book felt unnecessary.

    Also the author stoops to the pirates level and does some name calling when reffering to them. I understand that he might have been a little hurt by all of the negative comments he had previously recieved in his articles, but it doesn't look good to me when your trying to take the moral high road, and still trying to insult others with immature name calling.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
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