söndag 10 april 2011

Banned Books and Freedom of Information

Sweden prides itself with the best Freedom of Information Legislation in the world. This attracted Julian Assange to Stockholm (to where he may not
want to return, however).

After nearly 100 years, Sweden closed the agency charged with censoring films as of Jan 1st 2011.

Surprisingly, my not yet published e-version of BodyandSoul named Mathematical Simulation Technology (can be downloaded on top left of the blog) which had been selected by the teacher of the course Numerical Methods II at KTH, was banned at KTH by the Dean of the School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC) on the order of the Dean of the School of Sciences (SCI) at KTH, in the middle of the course without motivation against the will of the teacher responsible for the course and myself as author of the course material.

This story of censorship named KTH-gate is recorded on this blog with evidence of the following key actions:
Let us put KTH-gate into perspective and ask: Is it common that a mathematics book is censored, banned, deleted, made inaccessible? Against the will of teachers wishing to use the book in their teaching, students who want to learn by reading the book and and the author who wants the book to be read?

(If you don´t believe that book was banned, ask SCI-dean Gustav Amberg/Leif Kari and CSC-dean Ingrid Melinder, or simply read what they say according to the documents on my blog.
It is hard to believe, I admit, but it is true. Like Harrisburg, it was so unlikely, that when it did happen, authorities could for some time fool the people that it had not happened. Even for me it is hard to believe that something like this could happen, but it did.)

To get perspective, take a look at
We find no evidence of banning and censorship of math books after Kepler and Galileo; the ban on the heliocentric theory was lifted in 1743. It seems that the ban by KTH of my math book is unique in modern time.

Nevertheless, Swedish academics does not appear to object to the book burning at KTH by KTH accompanied by a media-storm. It appears that the political correctness in Sweden is so perfect that virtually nobody (except possibly Ingemar Nordin) is able to see what is going on.
As if no Swedish academic had ever written a book and thus could never imagine any negative aspects of censorship.

It remains to explain how this is possible...Check out yourself and see if you understand in what sense my book is "totally unacceptable". How would you react if your best science was banned because Metro doomed it to be "unacceptable"?

What is it in the book that triggered KTH to completely ridiculous censorship? Any idea?

Note, that what happened was not that the responsible teacher did not choose my material as course literature, but the opposite that the responsible teacher did choose to use my material in an agreement with me to deliver the material and with all due respect to the decision structure at KTH. The dean then clamped in in the middle of the course and banned the book from being used against the will of the teacher(s), and thereby upset both the planning and delivery of the course and caused the teachers considerable psychological stress and pain.

PS Books that were banned include
  • Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, censored in the US 1938 for explicit sexuality,
  • James Joyce's Ulysses: censored in the US 1920-33 for obscenity,
  • D. H Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover: censored in the UK until 1960 for unprintable words.
Clearly, a ban can increase the public interest in a text, and thus today when it is virtually impossible to prevent a book from being distributed and read, any author should happily welcome censorship, right?

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