I first discovered the science fiction novels by Ray Bradbury when I was 10 or 11 years old. In retrospect I’m certain that many of the themes of his books went way over my head. But when I read Fahrenheit 451 I got it immediately. In some ways, Bradbury helped to radicalize me very early on.
The novel imagines a future where “firemen” don’t extinguish blazes, but burn books instead. The short animated TED-Ed video below from the University of Wisconsin explains the dystopian world of Fahrenheit 451 in which Bradbury presented an eerily prescient vision of a culture governed by an intrusive surveillance state, censorship, frightening robotics, and scary AI. For a novel published in 1953, it still raises alarms for our dangerous times.