Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sendak and Cyberspace

In The Sunday Times, as Spike Jonze's film of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are opens, I, write about children's movies and I discuss censorship of cyberspace.


  1. Bryan, only just got round to monitoring your output on cyberspace; very struck coming back that there are no comments on this or the other piece. (One problem I submit with focusing on the likes of PZ Myers: there are many more important things to be talking about.)

    Anyhow, an awesome summary, thank you. I think for example you get both the temporariness yet the substance of the Iranian situation in June pretty much exactly right. It was a golden opportunity, partly because it may well have been such a temporary one. And we still don't know its effects, I would argue - I still pray that the fault lines mercilessly exposed then will have their effect in bringing more genuine freedom to that ancient land and people, before too long.

    Another cute manifestation of the blogscape since my birthday last week - I now consider it quite a cool present - has been the leaking and widespread discussion of the 'climategate' .zip file, containing not just unflattering emails but (probably far more significant) much of the source code from inside the Climate Research Unit in East Anglia. The strange thing for me is that late in the evening of my birthday I'd finally decided to make the point how such openness is needed in climate science to one of the UK's main protagonists of open government, open source, open everything, Glyn Moody. I knew Glyn was a believer in the conventional global warming pitch so I was pleased that he at once agreed with me on the principle (all in the relative privacy of his own blog.) What neither of us knew on 17th was that the very same day someone had taken the law into their own hands, making pretty skilled use of the internet in the process, including nefarious anonymizer sites in Turkey and Russia by the look of it.

    However one views global warming and the forthcoming summit in Copenhagen, in which the neo-Enrons try hard to push carbon trading on the whole world, I think this piece of creative whistleblowing provides another nice picture of the good and the bad mixed up in this novel and, it seems, always unpredictable area of human activity, which you captured so well.

  2. Damn, damn damn. I filed a piece for Standpoint before Sunday on censorship on the Internet which is not as good as this but it won't be out until end of this week. Now everyone will think that I have ripped off your piece!