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From The New York Times:
Mr. Chris Mr. Grayling is Britain’s secretary of state for justice, and last November, his department tightened the rules on privileges granted to inmates. One of the changes was to restrict the flow of books into prisons, with a ban on packages of books brought or sent by friends and relatives. Mr. MacShane’s case suggests that some guards have interpreted the policy as a broader ban, though the Ministry of Justice says books should be confiscated only on admission for logistical reasons or if the books are considered inappropriate.
Either way, the effect is to move toward a system under which prisoners must borrow books from prison libraries or earn the right to buy them through good behavior. The debate over access to literature in prison has put Mr. Grayling at the center of an acrimonious dispute over crime and punishment, rehabilitation and whether receiving books is a right or a privilege for a prisoner.
It has also made him some very creative enemies. Novelists, including Kathy Lette and Margaret Drabble, are threatening to name some of their most villainous and unfortunate fictional characters after Mr. Grayling. Ms. Lette said her coming novel, “Courting Trouble,” will feature a corrupt lawyer named Chris Grayling who ends up in a prison where he is deprived of reading matter and goes insane.
“For Britain to be punishing people by starving them of literature is cruel and unusual punishment,” Ms. Lette said as she took part in a protest last month outside the prime minister’s office. “We are going to impale him on the end of our pens. Poetic justice is true justice.”
Book published in 1985. Very interesting read because it was looking ahead to the problems high tech could cause. When you read the warnings you know how good they are because the time has passed and you can judge the quality of the prediction/warning. Book warns that computers could monitor our phones. Glad that did not happen.
Find the book at a library.
Used copies of the book - The high cost of high tech: The dark side of the chip
If you like your summer reading to take you beyond the beaten path, librarian Nancy Pearl is here to help. NPR's go-to books guru joins us once again to share "under the radar" reads — books she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Pearl talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about some of the titles she picked out for the summer reading season — several of which will make you reconsider the way you think about maps.
Listen on NPR.
Worldreader, headquartered in San Francisco but with offices in Barcelona, Accra, and Nairobi, was co-founded in 2009 by former Amazon.com executive David Risher and Colin McElwee. The genesis of the non-profit was predicated on two simple notions:
Everyone should have access to books.
Technological advances are quickly making digital books cheaper and easier to distribute in more scalable ways than physical books.
David and Colin spent a year or so preparing, gathered some Kindles, and in March 2010 went to Ghana to test the idea with twenty students.
At the core of Pollen is an argument:
First, that digital books should be the best books we’ve ever had. So far, they’re not even close.
Second, that because digital books are software, an author shouldn’t think of a book as merely data. The book is a program.
Third, that the way we make digital books better than their predecessors is by exploiting this programmability.
That’s what Pollen is for.
“Anyway,” I said, when we were finished, “Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote an ornery letter to his editor complaining about popular fiction. He went on and on about all the ‘scribbling’ women who sold hundreds of thousands of copies while he sold none. He thought they were dumb simply by virtue of being popular. Don’t you understand?” I scooped a lock of hair behind her ear in a way that said I would support her if she decided to have our baby. “You don’t gain credibility by being widely read, Ruth, you gain credibility by being accepted by rich, white, men.”
Post at BoingBoing: Why I'm sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a high-school in Pensacola, FL
The three-finger salute from the Hollywood movie "The Hunger Games" is being used as a real symbol of resistance in Thailand. Protesters against the military coup are flashing the gesture as a silent act of rebellion, and they're being threatened with arrest if they ignore warnings to stop.