It is as the father of the Encyclopedia that Denis Diderot merits eternal recognition. Guilty as he was in almost every relation of life towards the individual, for mankind, in the teeth of danger and of infidelity, at the ill-paid sacrifice of the best years of his exuberant life, he produced that book which first levelled a free path to knowledge and enfranchised the soul of his generation.
The technological landscape of the present day has enfranchised its own electorates – the inhabitants of the marketing zones in the consumer society, television audiences and news magazine readerships, who vote with money at the cash counter rather than with ballot paper at the polling boot. These huge and passive electorates are wide open to any opportunist using the psychological weaponry of fear and anxiety, elements that are carefully blanched out of the world of domestic products and consumer software.j. g. ballard