Document (#34399)

Author
Laughlin, R.B.
Title
¬The crime of reason : and the closing of the scientific mind
Imprint
New York : Basic Books
Year
2008
Pages
186 S
Isbn
978-0-465-00507-9
Series
Edition Unseld ; 2
Abstract
The Nobel prize-winning author of "A Different Universe" argues that ours is an age of disinformation and ignorance, in which access to knowledge is becoming increasingly restricted and even criminalized. We like to believe that in our modern, technologically advanced world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before, and that this free flow of ideas is behind our remarkable creativity. The second part is right: the free flow of ideas is indeed essential to creativity. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, many forces in the modern world conspire to make acquiring information a danger or even a crime. More and more of the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result being that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security.Within the past ten years it has become illegal to circumvent anti-piracy measures (i.e. to understand encrypted communication) or to distribute code-cracking devices; it is now legal for corporations to monopolize certain forms of communication; and it is possible to patent sales techniques, hiring strategies, and gene sequences. Broad areas of two sciences, physics and biology, are now off limits to public discourse because they are national security risks. Our society is sequestering knowledge more rapidly and thoroughly than any before it.Thus we find ourselves dealing more and more with the bizarre concept of the Crime of Reason, the antisocial and sometimes outright illegal nature of certain intellectual activities. The increasing restrictions on such fertile scientific and technological fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark Age: a time characterized not by light and truth but by disinformation and ignorance. This short, passionately argued book, by a Nobel laureate in physics, offers a stern warning and protest against our apparent collective decision to relinquish our intellectual rights.
Content
Inhalt: The end of reason -- Dangerous knowledge -- The master cryptographer -- Games of chance -- Patently absurd -- The nuclear precedent -- The facts of life -- Clone wars -- Spam spam spam spam -- The troubled utopia.
Field
Wissenschaftstheorie
Kommunikationswissenschaften
LCSH
Freedom of information
Information policy
Academic freedom
Communication of technical information
Intellectual freedom
Knowledge management
RSWK
Informationsfreiheit / Informationspolitik / Akademische Freiheit (BVB)
DDC
323.44/5 / dc22
LCC
JC598 .L38 2008

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