11 December 2011

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?

Not me.

I am not attending Roots Tech nor an Official Blogger for Roots Tech so I don't have any status or standing with Roots Tech to be concerned about.  Yeah, what I am about to say may come back to bite me in the ass later.  But it wouldn't be the first time.

When I heard about Roots Tech's decision to ban book publishers, genealogical studies and any kind of arts and crafts from the vendor hall the first thing that came to mind was author Ray Bradbury.  In his vision of the future, firemen start fires to burn books; and the title of his book, "Fahrenheit 451" stands for the temperature at which books burn. Often mentioned in connection with books like George Orwell's "1984" (Big Brother and the Thought Police), characters in this novel commit the contents of the great classics to memory, because it's illegal to own a book. What would you do if you couldn't own a library of books?  How would you react to Big Brother and the Thought Police deciding what is good for you and dissidents are erased from history?

I realize  this is an extreme comparison.  Roots Tech certainly does not run the country nor make laws.  But are they setting precedence?  

We all bring a different dish to the genealogy community table. Book publishers, educators and artisans are vital contributors.  Technology has made every ones lives easier to work and play.  Roots Tech's ban on vendors who sell or publish books, who represent genealogical studies or artisans makes no sense to me at all.

As a blogger I have a voice.  If only one person reads this, then I have been heard.  With over 2000 Geneabloggers out there who also have a voice  I imagine the sound would be deafening. 


Greta Koehl said...

What a change has taken place - what was once a highly anticipated event may now have become irrelevant. Check out Tamura Jones' spoof - ouch!

Jenny Jones said...

Well said, Sheri! If I couldn't stock books, my house and office would be quite empty.

I agree with Greta's comment above, they may have just made themselves "irrelevant."

It will be interesting to watch the outcome here.

Cathi at Stone House Research said...

Excellent post.

DianaR said...

You know we ALL listen to you Sheri! This whole thing just has me stunned - I mean I LOVE my iPad (and yes, I would marry it;) but books are so important for so many reasons. Why wouldn't we want to take advantage of ALL the options we have?

Thanks for posting this!

CMPointer said...

Yes, yes, and yes. And? Absolutely love your literary references.

BDM said...

Couldn't believe my eyes this morning when I saw the news, and all the comments, of course. What brainiac thought this was a good idea?? Unreal.

Cheryl Cayemberg said...

I posted too, Sherri (although not as eloquently!). Hopefully they will change their minds!

Geder Genealogy said...


Your voice to my ears - I HEAR YOU!
Your words to my eyes - I READ YOU!

In the words of Zora Neale Hurston; "Speak so You can Speak Again"

Peace & Blessings,
"Guided by the Ancestors"

Jacqi said...

I read this. You have been heard.

Well said.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I'm still so astounded that I'm unable to process the information. It's so inconsistent - RootsTech invites people to speak on technology who have written books on the subject or they invite someone to speak on topics to help you publish your own books. Then RootsTech doesn’t allow the sale of those very items their speakers presented on. Go figure!

Deborah said...

I hear you, Sheri!

Kale Liam said...

Hi, Sheri:
Your point is well taken, and I stand with you.
But I wonder, have the organizers of this event publicly stated why they have banned these particular vendors? Were they aware of the conic (rippling-wave) after effect this ban would cause by implementing it? Evidently not.
And why this year? The vendors were present last year? (I call upon your powers of recollection, as I was not in attendance - never heard of the event until this poor managerial move) If the vendors did attend, last year, were they a disrespectful and destructive lot? If they were, publicly address this and the matter is closed. Plain and simple.
RootsTech may want to stress the importance of technology, but there are two special things to remember when you want to market the future of your product: (1) do not forget your past: when mashing out ideas, you sketch them on paper to help visualize, shape and remember, by filing the paper away. (2) do not rely completely on technology: it goes obsolete quickly, is more temperamental then you are and can hurt you with a total meltdown/ system crash.
This ban was not a bright move. Technology has closed the door on its oldest relative, Paper.
Hopefully, they haven't lost the key to the lock.
"Montag gazed beyond them to the wall with the typed lists of a million forbidden books. Their names leapt in fire, burning down the years under his axe and hose which sprayed not water but kerosene." -- R. Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
So, with this unexpected opening in your calendar, Sheri, do you feel like travelling to Canada?
All the Best
Liam (the Leprechaun Rabbit)

Sheri said...

Kale - A trip to Canada? Sure, I've never been to Canada! Is there a special occasion or something?

Greta - I did check out Tamura's post and ouch is right!

George Geder Baby! Where have you been hiding?