Quote note (#291)
Sailer gets philosophical (and does it well):
The technology of power is moving from the past’s emphasis on privacy and concealment toward more contemporary techniques of diversion, bias, misconception, and willful stupidity. The crude methods that George Orwell summed up in his image of the incinerator-chute “memory hole” are growing into more sophisticated devices for providing the public with misleading frameworks for mentally organizing (or rationalizations for simply ignoring) the overload of available facts, thus making it harder to remember or understand politically inconvenient knowledge.
[…] … erasing facts and even people from history could sometimes work because in the past, information was scarce since reproducing it was so expensive. […] Even without political ill will, simply maintaining the knowledge already existent was difficult: Libraries, for example, might catch fire and texts (and thus knowledge) could be lost forever. […] With the invention of the movable-type printing press in the West in the 1400s, redundancy began to win the war against knowledge decay. Eventually, there were enough copies of books that knowledge was unlikely to be fully expunged. […] In modern times, the urge to retcon reality is no doubt as strong as in the past. But information storage and communication are so cheap that old techniques such as book burnings can hardly be counted upon anymore to root out all copies of data. …