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(Ars Technica)   School principal cancels entire summer reading list program, because it contains a book that has a "positive view of questioning authority" and "lauds hacker culture." Pick up that can, student   (arstechnica.com ) divider line
    More: Florida, Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, hacker culture, Booker T. Washington, novels  
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5996 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jun 2014 at 8:14 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



79 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-06-10 05:29:39 PM  
Watch your mouth, pig, I've got my crowbar.
 
2014-06-10 05:29:49 PM  
Ummm...wasn't questioning authority one of the reasons why this country was founded?

/loves me some double standards
 
2014-06-10 05:34:21 PM  
New reading list:  The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
 
2014-06-10 05:43:59 PM  
Hacker culture is about deconstructing things to understand them and then using what you learn to come up with your own solutions to problems. I can see why schools would want to nip that sort of thing in the bud. Children might learn something useful.
 
2014-06-10 06:30:24 PM  
Yes, lets not teach critical thinking, than kids might questions what the hell is going on in Pensacola

//also their airport is PNS
///hehe PNS
 
2014-06-10 06:49:24 PM  
Well, the best way to make people read books is to ban them.
 
2014-06-10 07:10:07 PM  
So, the kids aren't allowed to read on their own?
 
2014-06-10 07:50:10 PM  

Rwa2play: Ummm...wasn't questioning authority one of the reasons why this country was founded?

/loves me some double standards


The country has already been founded. Authority no longer needs to be questioned, citizen.
 
2014-06-10 07:58:10 PM  

h2ogate: New reading list:  The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey


Great book. Probably the only book I've read twice in my adult life.
 
2014-06-10 08:12:45 PM  
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
 
2014-06-10 08:17:56 PM  
Weird. Everyone's comments are blank here on the mobile site.
 
2014-06-10 08:18:20 PM  
Whoever put the book on the list should of been fired.  Not because of 'laud's hacker culture'. But because Doctorow is an awful writer and a complete ass.
 
2014-06-10 08:20:08 PM  
Guess he doesn't want the students finding out they are smarter than he is.

On a side note, Fark Admins, the mobile update really sucks. I can't see any posts from anyone. I see the names but not what they have written.

/Sorry if I repeated anyone else's comment.
 
2014-06-10 08:20:48 PM  
"A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion" is the worst tagline ever.
 
2014-06-10 08:22:07 PM  

gingerjet: Whoever put the book on the list should of been fired.  Not because of 'laud's hacker culture'. But because Doctorow is an awful writer and a complete ass.


Well, yes. I'd only point out that the simpering kowtowing to authority is no less a disease of the liberals than it is of conservatives. I just had a discussion with someone whose entire argument was "I'm the authority and you are not, so there!". This person fancies themselves as a leftest radical.
 
2014-06-10 08:26:19 PM  
It should be banned. Not because of its ideas, but because it is one of the worst pieces of shiat ever written. Seriously, it's a collection of paranoid blog posts interspersed with software manuals and each chapter begins with a page-long author self-fellation.
 
gja
2014-06-10 08:27:57 PM  
'Hacking'www.decodeunicode.orgphreaking
Maybe the principal should try, I don't know, learning the difference?
 
2014-06-10 08:29:36 PM  
On the other hand, Doctorow is an attention whore who got read because he gave away his books for free before anyone else did. His books all start with a cool concept, but he doesn't have the talent to pull off the execution. By the time you are a quarter of the way through, you realize he's lost interest in whatever story he thought he was going to tell.

He's like a Kardashian of speculative fiction - all PR and no substance.
 
2014-06-10 08:33:48 PM  
Wait
who is

john
gault?
 
2014-06-10 08:35:29 PM  
Considering book's title, the protagonist's online handle, and the plot outline, is this just a Young Adult ripoff of 1984?
 
2014-06-10 08:36:29 PM  

narkor: On the other hand, Doctorow is an attention whore who got read because he gave away his books for free before anyone else did. His books all start with a cool concept, but he doesn't have the talent to pull off the execution. By the time you are a quarter of the way through, you realize he's lost interest in whatever story he thought he was going to tell.

He's like a Kardashian of speculative fiction - all PR and no substance.


And this incident has undoubtedly fed his relentless craving for attention. He's probably got a boner that could cut glass.
 
2014-06-10 08:38:03 PM  
Principal is just protecting the kids from really awful writing.
 
2014-06-10 08:41:56 PM  
This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies
 
2014-06-10 08:45:50 PM  

Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies


Atlas Shrugged
 
2014-06-10 08:46:32 PM  
I think the author has an interesting view of educators. We all know they exist to teach kids to pass standardized tests.
 
2014-06-10 09:03:32 PM  

some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged


So did I.
 
2014-06-10 09:05:22 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-06-10 09:08:42 PM  

Rwa2play: Ummm...wasn't questioning authority one of the reasons why this country was founded?

/loves me some double standards


Well you just need to makes sure you are questiong the things the authority wants you to question.


And remember service guarantees citizenship.
 
2014-06-10 09:12:53 PM  
Its a good book, and I recommend its sequel "Homeland"

Oh, and you can "buy" a book (since it is Freely available) and have it sent to the library or school of your choice, or one from a list who has asked for a copy.
 
2014-06-10 09:16:13 PM  

Deep Contact: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 720x704]


In other words, it prepares them for every single interaction they are likely to have in the western world.

You think that's not how it is, but it do.
 
2014-06-10 09:23:46 PM  
And if any "Authority Figure" needs to have his authority questioned, it's this guy, and those like him.
 
2014-06-10 09:27:19 PM  

jaylectricity: h2ogate: New reading list:  The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

Great book. Probably the only book I've read twice in my adult life.


Interesting. Off to the library ('s web site)


Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies


I read all those in high school.
 
2014-06-10 09:31:22 PM  
Did they hack the Gibson?
theblot.com
 
2014-06-10 09:32:07 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Deep Contact: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 720x704]

In other words, it prepares them for every single interaction they are likely to have in the western world.

You think that's not how it is, but it do.


"They don't think it be like it is, but it do." - Galileo Galilei, 1633 (translated from the Italian)
 
2014-06-10 09:32:17 PM  

Deep Contact: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 720x704]


Good, as long as we are clear on that.
 
2014-06-10 09:33:03 PM  
ishootthepictures.files.wordpress.com

cootys rat semen?
 
2014-06-10 09:33:11 PM  

gunther_bumpass: Deep Contact: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 720x704]

In other words, it prepares them for every single interaction they are likely to have in the western world.

You think that's not how it is, but it do.


Sometimes, until an authority figure makes you do something you know is not right, but they have a nice suit  or lab coat on.
 
2014-06-10 09:35:43 PM  
 
2014-06-10 09:37:25 PM  

gja: 'Hacking'[www.decodeunicode.org image 27x27]phreaking
Maybe the principal should try, I don't know, learning the difference?


Maybe he used to subscribe to 2600, and mixed up Emanuel Goldstein with Winston Smith

/that'd be double-plus ungood
 
2014-06-10 09:41:25 PM  
As someone who has actually had to teach people after they complete public education here I the things your crotchfruit need to be taught:

1) You will fail, nobody give a flying fark that you're failing, you are not special, second chances are available to those with exception ability and exception dedication.
2) Intelligence is a combination of rote memorization and synthesis of knowledge and the speed at which both can be completed.  (also there will always be someone smarter; and a better way of doing things)
3) Bucking authority is acceptable when its done for a reason that brings a definite benefit; eg break rules that are dangerous or a detriment but you have to PROVE they are so.
4) Non-compliance is punished with failure, loss of money, life and/or liberty depending on severity of the non-compliance.
5) You will be judged constantly, in appearance, performance and action

And yes, sometimes someone says something so monumentally stupid that it literally boggles the mind of the faculty and we will bring up your stupidity with the dean.

/still hates med students.
 
2014-06-10 09:50:08 PM  

gingerjet: Whoever put the book on the list should of been fired.  Not because of 'laud's hacker culture'. But because Doctorow is an awful writer and a complete ass.


CSB: I have been in a relationship with Doctorow's ex-girlfriend, so I'm one removed from farking him.

Met him once, he's a bit extremist in his views, but he's not acting (or if he is, he keeps it up 24/7).
 
2014-06-10 09:52:47 PM  
Welcome to PS 17. You have chosen, or been chosen, to relocate to one of our finest remaining urban schools...
 
2014-06-10 09:58:00 PM  
c. summer reading programs suck dog balls
 
2014-06-10 10:09:07 PM  

real_headhoncho: Well, the best way to make people read books is to ban them.


It is a great way to make sure all the students read the book!
 
2014-06-10 10:20:57 PM  
Anyone else tasting the irony of the schools name?
 
2014-06-10 10:23:16 PM  
It's "Little Brother", isn't it?

[click]

calledit.jpg
 
2014-06-10 10:23:48 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Hacker culture is about deconstructing things to understand them and then using what you learn to come up with your own solutions to problems. I can see why schools would want to nip that sort of thing in the bud. Children might learn something useful.


What's with your 1970's and early 1980's culture references?  It doesn't mean that anymore.
 
2014-06-10 10:38:05 PM  

Hickory-smoked: It's "Little Brother", isn't it?

[click]

calledit.jpg


I was guessing "Ready Player One".
 
2014-06-10 10:49:52 PM  

Rwa2play: Ummm...wasn't questioning authority one of the reasons why this country was founded?



Actually it was a bunch of whiney, bootlegging deadbeats upset that the British asked them to pay for their part of inciting the French and Indian War
 
2014-06-10 11:59:19 PM  

Ashelth: As someone who has actually had to teach people after they complete public education here I the things your crotchfruit need to be taught:

1) You will fail, nobody give a flying fark that you're failing, you are not special, second chances are available to those with exception ability and exception dedication.
2) Intelligence is a combination of rote memorization and synthesis of knowledge and the speed at which both can be completed.  (also there will always be someone smarter; and a better way of doing things)
3) Bucking authority is acceptable when its done for a reason that brings a definite benefit; eg break rules that are dangerous or a detriment but you have to PROVE they are so.
4) Non-compliance is punished with failure, loss of money, life and/or liberty depending on severity of the non-compliance.
5) You will be judged constantly, in appearance, performance and action

And yes, sometimes someone says something so monumentally stupid that it literally boggles the mind of the faculty and we will bring up your stupidity with the dean.

/still hates med students.


I'm going to assume you did not teach in the U.S., Canada, or any other country where English is spoken fluently.
 
2014-06-10 11:59:31 PM  
Jeansus farkers. There is some real Doctorow hate in this thread. I like the guy. A lot. "extremist?" Really. I think he's rather sedate. Stallman is extremist. I'm sure there others.
 
2014-06-11 12:06:13 AM  

some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged


Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye
 
2014-06-11 12:08:45 AM  

Hickory-smoked: It's "Little Brother", isn't it?

[click]

calledit.jpg


I might have been impressed if it was Neuromancer.
 
2014-06-11 12:43:53 AM  
I dunno ab "Lolita". As a mature adult, I see no harm in it, but in some school, someone in a real or imagined role of authority will decry it's promoting pedophilia.
All in all, I weep for Mankind.
 
2014-06-11 01:07:35 AM  

Dangl1ng: Jeansus farkers. There is some real Doctorow hate in this thread. I like the guy. A lot. "extremist?" Really. I think he's rather sedate. Stallman is extremist. I'm sure there others.


I'm sure he's a great guy in person, but in his writing he comes across like a whiny petulant twatbomb. Plus there was a period of about three weeks on BoingBoing where every single one of his posts was self-promotion of his crappy little novel. Literally. His ego is huge, his talent is not. He writes a lot -- I respect his discipline -- but sadly his output ranges from intolerable to just mediocre.

The main problem with Doctorow is that his self-confidence surpasses his talent to such a large degree. His prose oozes this. I could tolerate and even enjoy a writer with Doctorow-level talent but who was not so very, very in love with the smell of his own farts.
 
2014-06-11 01:16:59 AM  

DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye


Naked Lunch
 
2014-06-11 01:51:54 AM  

some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged


Atlas Shrugged needs to be tempered with The Illuminatus! trilogy.
 
2014-06-11 01:54:59 AM  

WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch


Breakfast of Champions
 
2014-06-11 01:58:08 AM  

I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984: Considering book's title, the protagonist's online handle, and the plot outline, is this just a Young Adult ripoff of 1984?


Sorry to say I didn't make that connection. Thanks for pointing it out. Given your handle I suppose you had to notice.
 
2014-06-11 01:59:30 AM  

some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged


Ugh. Atlas Shrugged? I suppose as an example of poor writing that completely ignores reality?
 
2014-06-11 02:05:42 AM  

rockforever: Kurt Vonnegut's response to his books being burned

Obligatory


I'm curious: how did that letter become public?
 
2014-06-11 02:43:58 AM  

DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye


Why do you hate high school students?
 
xcv
2014-06-11 05:25:04 AM  

Hickory-smoked: WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch

Breakfast of Champions


The Chocolate War for younger students, no later than middle school.
 
2014-06-11 06:53:53 AM  
www.commentsyard.com
 
2014-06-11 07:20:30 AM  

gopher321: Watch your mouth, pig, I've got my crowbar.


Remember, when you're asked to pick up the can, you're helpless.  But considering the ensuing city-wide one-man slaughter, you probably kill that guy at some point in the game.
 
2014-06-11 08:31:40 AM  
The school's principal, E. Cartman, cited reviews that emphasized the novel's "positive view of questioning authority

He needed reviews for that? It says that it's a rousing tale of rebellion right on the cover.
 
2014-06-11 08:48:53 AM  

WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch


pics.imcdb.org
 
2014-06-11 09:17:25 AM  

fusillade762: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Why do you hate high school students?


I would think they would get a giggle out of 10 page sections about chics shiatting in generals mouths.
 
2014-06-11 10:01:23 AM  
You know who else questioned authority and disapproved of "old fashioned" values?

Booker T. Washington.
 
2014-06-11 10:18:11 AM  

tom baker's scarf: Rwa2play: Ummm...wasn't questioning authority one of the reasons why this country was founded?

/loves me some double standards

Well you just need to makes sure you are questiong the things the authority wants you to question.


And remember service guarantees citizenship.


Can I know more?
 
2014-06-11 10:18:57 AM  

ManateeGag: So, the kids aren't allowed to read on their own?


I was just thinking "what a great way to get kids to read: tell them this book is bad and they shouldn't read it!"

Worked in the 80s with 'satanic' albums.
 
2014-06-11 11:05:26 AM  

xcv: Hickory-smoked: WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch

Breakfast of Champions

The Chocolate War for younger students, no later than middle school.


Steal This Book
Principia Discordia
 
2014-06-11 11:17:46 AM  

Deep Contact: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 720x704]


#4 is wrong. Non-compliance is treated with psychotropic drugs.
 
2014-06-11 11:41:06 AM  

Duane Dibbley: xcv: Hickory-smoked: WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch

Breakfast of Champions

The Chocolate War for younger students, no later than middle school.

Steal This Book
Principia Discordia


Today is Boomtime, the 16th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3180
 
2014-06-11 12:26:01 PM  
In my progressive high school days (ca 1974), my teacher actually assigned us a book to read called, "Coup d'etat", which was a how-to book on overthrowing a government.

http://www.amazon.com/Coup-dÉtat-A-Practical-Handbook/dp/0674175476/ re f=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402503821&sr=8-3&keywords=Coup+de+Etat
 
2014-06-11 12:56:12 PM  

Duane Dibbley: xcv: Hickory-smoked: WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch

Breakfast of Champions

The Chocolate War for younger students, no later than middle school.

Steal This Book
Principia Discordia


Outdated and dangerous. Abbie Hoffman was a smart guy who did cool things, but that book is no longer pertinent for the vast majority of the public. Too much time has passed for the methods, organizations, and laws in there to be relevant any more. Now, if somebody were to update it ("Torrent This Book"), then yeah, make every 11th grader in America at least look at the cover. But making them read "Steal This Book" will just get them arrested and/or shot, for all the wrong reasons.

Also, the rest of this list looks like the bookshelf of "college anarchist whose parents bought him a car". It just screams pretentiousness. No kid is going to want to read that sort of thing in high school, and no teacher is going to want to teach it. Bukowski was an ass; nobody needs to read more than one Orwell novel, so drop Animal Farm as outdated; Pynchon is incomprehensible at best, so let's pick his most obscure and difficult work; teenagers aren't sexually weirded out enough, so let's talk about pedophilia; William S. Burroughs was the worst of the Beats; and what American high school student is really going to care about the invasion of East Timor, especially now that they've gained their freedom?

The Chocolate War, 1984, and Breakfast of Champions are good. Lord of the Flies is okay. I think everybody would benefit from reading some of Mark Twain's satire, if they have the vocabulary to get the joke. And if you want a surprisingly good book on alternate social and economic viewpoints, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (probably the only Heinlein I have ever re-read for enjoyment's sake) has some intelligent discussion about how to stage a revolution on the Moon.
 
2014-06-11 01:20:46 PM  
The follow on to the article, about snooping on the internet, is quite interesting.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/06/what-the-nsa-or-anyone-can-l ea rn-about-you-from-internet-traffic/
 
2014-06-11 01:39:46 PM  
There were two things I was taught in every grade of public school...conform and fear authority.
 
2014-06-11 07:25:57 PM  

phyrkrakr: Duane Dibbley: xcv: Hickory-smoked: WillyChase: DubtodaIll: some_beer_drinker: Strobeguy: This ought to be required:
1984
Animal Farm
Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita
Gravity's Rainbow
The Redundacy of Courage
Ham on Rye

Naked Lunch

Breakfast of Champions

The Chocolate War for younger students, no later than middle school.

Steal This Book
Principia Discordia

Outdated and dangerous. Abbie Hoffman was a smart guy who did cool things, but that book is no longer pertinent for the vast majority of the public. Too much time has passed for the methods, organizations, and laws in there to be relevant any more. Now, if somebody were to update it ("Torrent This Book"), then yeah, make every 11th grader in America at least look at the cover. But making them read "Steal This Book" will just get them arrested and/or shot, for all the wrong reasons.

Also, the rest of this list looks like the bookshelf of "college anarchist whose parents bought him a car". It just screams pretentiousness. No kid is going to want to read that sort of thing in high school, and no teacher is going to want to teach it. Bukowski was an ass; nobody needs to read more than one Orwell novel, so drop Animal Farm as outdated; Pynchon is incomprehensible at best, so let's pick his most obscure and difficult work; teenagers aren't sexually weirded out enough, so let's talk about pedophilia; William S. Burroughs was the worst of the Beats; and what American high school student is really going to care about the invasion of East Timor, especially now that they've gained their freedom?

The Chocolate War, 1984, and Breakfast of Champions are good. Lord of the Flies is okay. I think everybody would benefit from reading some of Mark Twain's satire, if they have the vocabulary to get the joke. And if you want a surprisingly good book on alternate social and economic viewpoints, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (probably the only Heinlein I have ever re-read for enjoyment's sake) has some intelligent discussion about how to stage a revolution on the Moon.


Well yeah but that's just like your opinion man.
 
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