More on Orwell – Morewell!

Through all my rambling in my last post, I never mentioned that 1984 is actually a pretty good novel once it actually gets going. I can see how a reader might be turned off at how slowly the pace moves until about half way in. Regardless of how boring it might seem at at the start, I still recommend that people read it simply to open their eyes to how easily we give up some of our most basic freedoms and the consequences of doing so.1984-front

My primary reason for reading 1984 in the first place was to discover the story behind “Big Brother,” a term that seems to be thrown around a great deal by the media and conspiracy theorists. It turns out that Big Brother is just a name and a face given to the concept of around-the-clock surveillance of the individuals of society.

In 1984, the government of Oceania monitored all citizens through devices called telescreens (televisions that watch you – yeah it sounds like a Yakov Smirnoff joke) to ensure they weren’t engaging in illegal activities, behaving erratically, or fostering anti-government tendencies. Since the government needed a friendly face under which to operate, they created Big Brother, their benevolent leader and protector.

Propaganda was also spread that stated, “Big Brother is watching you,” which is just a masked way of saying: “Be careful what you do, because the government always has its eye on you.”1984-Big-Brother-Poster

Knowing now what the concept of “Big Brother” is, I’ve come to realize that it is now used primarily by the media as a fear mongering tactic to shy people away from some new technological advance – especially technology that makes use of personal information or communications (i.e., Google’s GMail*).

1984 shows us that we should remain ever vigilant about what rights we surrender. In this day and age, by simply using certain technologies, we effectively waive certain privacy rights. Fueled by recent films such as The Matrix and I, Robot, fear of becoming slaves to our own technology is very real. Such films inspire us to ask one of the great philosophical questions of our time: What negative impacts are new and existing technologies making on our lives?

At first thought, it’s easy to say there aren’t any negative impacts. However, to consider the question further, perhaps it may be helpful to think of the state of our lives should certain technologies (e-mail or mobile phones, for example) become suddenly inoperable. In my opinion, over-reliance on technology is a negative impact.

So indeed we have already sacrificed pieces of ourselves for our modern conveniences. How many more sacrifices are we prepared to make in the name of technological advancement? More importantly, how close are we to the world of 1984 by making those sacrifices?what-is-right-is-often-forgotten-by-what-is-convenient-quote-1albert-einstein-quotes-appalingly-obvious-technology-exceeded-humanity-toxic-relationship-destroyer
*According to many misinformed people, someone working for Google is sitting at their computer, reading peoples’ e-mails, and deciding what advertisements to put up based each message’s content. In actuality it is a computer algorithm that scans for keywords from the text – not much different than anti-virus software scanning messages for viruses or software spell-checkers searching for misspelled words.

9 thoughts on “More on Orwell – Morewell!

  1. Austin

    I think you hit the publish button twice or something, there is 2 link showing up for the thread, yet one works, Just tell ya :)

  2. Austin

    Gah after looking in your old EQ screenshots, How fun eq was back when even i started playing, right when kunark came out, now it just turned to crap :( Sad Sad….:(

  3. Kody

    Thanks. I noticed that myself this morning. I believe the RSS aggregator was flipping out because I inevitably end up editing every post right after I post it because I always want to change something or didn’t proofread well enough.

    It’s fixed.

    I’ve been having EQ withdrawals myself. I was almost considering firing up an emulator server, but it seems like setting up an emulator these days is a whole lot harder than it used to be.

  4. Austin

    Yeah, mits just not as fun as it userdd to be, used to it used to be about just groups and making freinds, now its about soloing and MEH! lol, its went down in my rankings, if i could id just play with the original everquest no expansion or nething =/.

  5. Kody

    Well supposedly World of Warcraft fixes most of what was broken with EQ, and of course it has an extremely active playerbase.

    I’m really excited to see what Sigil Games Online will be coming out with. SGO is basically the old EQ development team reassembled. Only this time they have more talent, and since Microsoft is funding them, they have almost unlimited resources.

    Check out Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

  6. Austin

    Ive read up on it, and i hope it will be as good as the old eq, iono the old eq was crack, Iono but when you would login you would find yourself just telling it to hurry up. Ive been really wanting to play a good mmorpg for the past 4 months, but havent been able to find one, ive looked up into WoW alot but meh, its based on warcraft, and that doesnt strike me as a good platform for a mmorpg because it sends you to 1 path..and not as much freedom. But ive never played it so im not sure. If SGO makes a mmmorpg worth playing you can bet ill be playing day in and day out.

  7. Austin

    And another thing, alot of people are coming back to eq1 and eq2 from world of warcraft last time i logged on, like a month ago. ( no edit button :( )

  8. Brandon

    Wow, this is off-topic. Ah well. :) World of Warcraft is actually quite nice, but it goes by quickly if all you’re concerned about is leveling up. If you really take the time to get into the lore of it though, it’s quite complex. You could spend countless hours just finding all the books laying around that explain bits and pieces of the backstory and history of the world. It really is a MMORPG that’s geared more towards just having fun than making you work for it, and if you’ve only got a few hours a week to play online, it’s perfect. I liked EQ, but it took so long to get anywhere. I had so little time to play that, in the course of two years, I never got past level 26. It just depends on what kind of player you are. :)

  9. Austin

    I liked the dedication you had to put into eq, i guess thats just me. Actually striving to make my char. better, something to put all my time sitting around here doing nothing in. Probably cause i have alot of free time haha

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