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When Science Fiction Becomes Reality

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Ray Bradbury anticipates earbuds

Ray Bradbury

Published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 is more than an obligatory high school English text. It happens to be a blueprint for Millennial society. OK, burning books never really caught fire as a civic duty, but Bradbury predicted a zoned-out society where people plugged ‘seashells’ into their ears to enjoy white noise, and focused their critical faculties on an early form of reality TV. Half a century later, and the sidewalks are swarming with tuned out teenagers nodding to their headphones, and Kim Kardashian has 47 million followers on Twitter.

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