In his harbinger novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Bradbury predicted the rise of “alternative facts” and an era of “post-truth.”
“…in “Fahrenheit 451” Bradbury was warning us about the threat of mass media to reading, about the bombardment of digital sensations that could substitute for critical thinking…
In the novel, he imagined a world where people are entertained day and night by staring at giant wall screens in their homes. They interact with their “friends” through these screens, listening to them via “Seashells” — Bradbury’s version of Apple’s wireless AirPods — inserted in their ears. In this world, people would be crammed “full of noncombustible data” — words to popular songs, the names of state capitals, the amount of “corn Iowa grew last year.” They will “feel they’re thinking,” Bradbury wrote, “and they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.”
*Ramin Bahrani is a writer, director and Guggenheim fellowship recipient whose films include “Chop Shop” and “99 Homes.” His adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451” will air on HBO on May 19.