In this age of information, most knowledge, ideas, or concepts are open for everyone. To restrict some of them would feel like turning back time. Knowledge leads heads to many places. For some, it leads to the brighter side of education, observation, and understanding. However, some people take it to the dark way by raiding and banning books, limiting those who are having the desire to learn, taking them to the dark age.

Even though some books are still banned here and there, the ideas inside them are no longer so easy to control. With accessibility granted by the internet, at least the main idea of most books is easily spreadable. People can find obscenity and controversial ideas in many corners of the internet. Without our discretion, it is fairly easy for us to get swayed, even corrupted by these ideas. Some people might carelessly agree that learning Marxism and Leninism is practicing and destructing. This epic misunderstanding story comes from anti-communist vigilantes in Makassar who think that the books that are actually critical of Marxism are communist only because they are talking about Karl Marx.

Reading a part of a book’s introduction and then decide that it was corrupting is the most forbidden type of all knowledge.

In the name of free speech and freedom to think, less and less things are being censored. Dangerous views can spread like wildfire, and the society found itself in a confusing state. Are we being immoral by stopping ideas from entering some people’s mind? Is it right to refrain people from having their own judgment towards a certain work or concept?

When it comes to concepts and ideas, it is fair to keep questioning morality. But I believe in the future, we will come to a time when some knowledge needs to be banned, or it will mean doom for all of us.

Nowadays, skills like bomb-making, weaponry production, or gene editing are limited to the mass due to its production complexity, rare materials, or the time needed to actually master the skill. But we all see how technology makes production easier every day. From convection to printing, things that used to be made in factories can now be made in home-shops. Following the simple observation, we will soon have the tools to print sturdier objects, produce chemicals, even high-grade lab equipment within our reach. Not only that, the skills needed to operate the tool will be lessened, making even a kid can do simple production or experiment.

Imagine when we have this technology, and people post “how to make bombs” in Youtube, upload machine gun blueprints in Reddit, or post a blog about an elementary version of CRISPR-Cas9 to alter influenza. Before we know it, kids will have the skill and knowledge to build hand grenades, machine gun, and bio weaponries. The only thing stopping them from conducting a massacre is the necessary means, and it will take one bad day to motivate these unstable adolescents to start building their own arsenal.

How to prevent this? Knowledge and tools restriction. We should start to be aware of what our society is capable of, how fragile it is from corruption, and start to use our technology responsibly. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in one of those sci-fi premises, where humanity has planted the seed of its own destruction.

Sutansyah Marahakim