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[personal profile] mtbc
Following on from my recent journal entry about increased divisions between Republicans and Democrats I continued investigating and stumbled upon discussion of Edward Luce's The Retreat of Western Liberalism. One of many things I enjoyed about living in the US is well-stocked libraries but since returning to Britain I am back to being surprised if the local library does stock a book rather than if it does not. I certainly do not have the money to be buying them myself: the book I read on the airplane back from Ontario was a creased, yellowed paperback that I had picked up in a charity shop. (An annoying thing about book clubs is that they typically choose recent books available only as new hardbacks rather than used paperbacks.) I have four library systems within reach: our local one in Perth and Kinross, the Dundee city one with branches within an easy walk of work, then the Angus one to the north-east and the Kingdom of Fife's south of the Firth of Tay: none of them appear to offer Luce's book.

Now I hear of Jon Snow (not of Westeros, but available on YouTube nonetheless), in delivering yesterday's James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture in Edinburgh, speaking of an increasingly fractured Britain and a terrible divide as one can easily be disconnected from the lives of others; he also spoke of fake news stories (i.e. lies) posing a vast threat to democracy. I do not think that here in Britain we yet have such a deep division among mainstream sources of news but it is nonetheless interesting to compare these local themes with my thoughts on American politics and there may be lessons to be learned.

Date: 2017-08-24 10:17 am (UTC)
aldabra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aldabra
The Berkeley public library (libraries?) have recently discarded 35,000 books, against user protests, and including the black and feminist sections. I hear tales of the Koch brothers funding a Library Institute in Texas which lobbies for the destocking of public libraries. Do you hear of any of this going on in Ohio? My theory is that they relaunch them as Internet access facilities, and then either close them because "everybody" has internet access at home, or just turn the internet off, at which point the population has no access to non-broadcast information sources.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

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