Today’s Technology and Fahrenheit 451: No More Books?


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Internet Changes Everything

Mobile technology makes it possible to read on the go. Image by Scott McLeod

One area that Fahrenheit 451 never contemplated was the development of the Internet. To completely control the information society has access to, the Internet would need to be changed or abolished. Think that isn’t possible? Well think again. Internet scrubbing is now used to remove multiple pages at once based on the information they contain, and many countries maintain a shut-off ‘switch’ to block all Internet access within the country at a moment’s notice.

China is one country that has used Internet scrubbing technology to remove posts and websites that contain sensitive information that could be harmful for society. The people in charge could remove all instances of certain parts of history and replace them with content that they want to share, similar to the way that the television and radios tell the citizens everything in Fahrenheit 451.

Technology’s Great, But – No More Books?

The technology in Fahrenheit 451 seems simple today, but for its time it was a major advance. TVs were not in every household and were not yet large enough to take up a whole wall in the house. Our technology has adapted far beyond this with the ability to watch shows on the go and read multiple books from the same device. It begs the question as to whether physical books are still necessary, and what will happen when we give them up entirely.


Bradbury, R. Fahrenheit 451. (1991). Ballantine Books

Weisburg, J. Barnes & Noble To Close More Stores: Would You Miss North Haven’s B&N?  (2013). North Haven Patch. Accessed February 5, 2013

Kan, M. China Scrubs Online Rumors From Internet, Shuts Down Sites. (2012). PCWorld. Accessed February 5, 2013.

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