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Shattuck_Foreward - Warning Concerning Copyright...

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Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction not be "used for any purposes other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
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1. A re there things we should not know? Can anyone or any institution, in this culture of unfettered enterprise and growth, seriously propose limits on knowledge? Have we lost the capacity to perceive and honor the moral dimensions of such questions? Our increasingly bold discoveries of the secrets of nature may have reached the point where that knowledge is bringing us more problems than solutions. Contrasting threats like overpopulation and AIDS appear to be traceable to the effects of "progress." One powerful reading of history points out that the most advanced nations on Earth have produced unthinkable weapons of destruc- tion at the same time as they have developed a media culture that revels in images of destructive violence. Can such a combination fail to propel us toward barbarism and self-annihilation? In contrast, our most truly miraculous accomplishments as hu- man beings take place unwittingly and privately, fae removed from laboratories and studios and electronic screens, almost in another universe. For we learn to do certain things before we know what we are doing and in ways that no one can adequately explain. In twenty-four months, an infant learns to recognize and discriminate the elements of the world around it, learns to pull itself erect and to walk, learns to hear language and to talk. Is it possible that we accomplish these feats better for our lack of knowledge about how we do them? Can we know anything unwittingly? To ask the ques- tions does not demonstrate that one has become a know-nothing and a Luddite. Proverbs in every language tell us that it is possible to know too much for our own good. Many great myths and legends explore the perils of knowledge. Fortunately, infants continue to learn to walk and talk. But many of us feel apprehensive about the future of our booming culture. These exploratory remarks provide one path into my subject. I
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,- 2 I FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE do not believe they exaggerate the picture. We have finally waked up to the dangers to our physical environment brought about by the depredations of human beings. But we have taken less notice of potential threats to our intellectual, artistic, and moral environ- ments. It is to those three areas that I shall be referring constantly.
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