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Avatar Samantha Ai

Sorry, We're Not Living in Orwell's "1984"

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Posted (edited)

...the cynical pseudo-realism of the Stalinist era as exposed by Orwell.

Pseudorealism

Nineteen Eighty-Four was written in Nineteen Forty-Nine.

It was not written about America but to expose how a Westerner believed life was like in the Soviet Union of that era.

It was not written about the future but was set in the future to expose a current reality just as Star Trek was also set in the future but was about The Cold War too. The Cold War is over now.


Book sales go up during any controversy as in the recent case of Paula Deen's books.

  • During the financial crisis sales of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (1957) went up.
  • After Glenn Beck;s ranting sales of Friedrich Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom (1944) went up.

Comparison's to 1984 are not new or unique but a bit overused.

  • in 1996 the Daily Telegraph published, "To some, it was as if Winston Smith had willingly cooperated with the Thought Police in 1984," after it was revealed George Orwell himself snitched out "Communists" to the British Foreign Office.
  • In 1959 the Soviet Union propaganda claimed America was already living in 1984 even as the book was outlawed there.
  • East Germany who also made the book illegal claimed 1984 was about American "multinational firms".
  • The New Yorker magazine characterized our government similarly.
  • Sarah Palin has labeled Washington D.C. as seeming "Orwellian".
  • Al-Jazeera questioned if Obama was "going beyond Orwellian."

Other exaggerations are frequently made.

  • Liberals during the Bush-era claimed American fascism.
  • Tea Party has claimed Obama is a clone of Castro.

A few points of similarity, like the monitoring of huge amounts of data without sufficient congressional or legal oversight, do not establish the literary analogy. The rule here is simple: If you are invoking 1984 in a country in which 1984 is available for purchase and can be freely deployed as a rhetorical device, you likely don’t understand the point of 1984.

*snip*

Indeed, 1984 is a book not only about surveillance but also the full-spectrum dominance of Stalinist totalitarianism, from the government-directed corruption of language (“WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”) to absolute control of information and historical inquiry. Such states exist, like the truly Orwellian slave state of North Korea, where all apartments are fitted with radios offering a single government station and no off switch, but they bear little resemblance to contemporary America.

In his 1941 essay “England Your England,” Orwell took pains to highlight this distinction. While identifying the United Kingdom’s numerous “barbarities and anachronisms”—and even declaring the country not a “genuine democracy”—he argued that these defects meant that ideas like “democracy is ‘just the same as’ or ‘just as bad as’ totalitarianism” were colossally wrong, employing fallaciousarguments [that] boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread.”

Sorry, We're Not Living in Orwell's "1984"


Below is an abstract from Northwestern University's The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology which reveals how our government's upgraded security and intelligence efforts are only the result of society's upgraded privacy. A balance is maintained. We are not living in 1984.

Technological advances have generally been seen as the enemy of privacy, giving the government advanced tools to monitor our most intimate activities. This Article takes a broader look at the effect of new technologies and privacy, and comes to the opposite conclusion:

over the past one hundred and fifty years, new technologies have for the most part enhanced our privacy, and many of the invasive surveillance technologies that the government now uses are simply a response to this enhanced level of privacy--that is, an attempt to return to the former balance between individual privacy and law enforcement needs.

The Article first examines the ways in which new technology has enhanced our privacy, and then examines the effect of new technology on government surveillance, dividing surveillance technologies into three categories: those that allow government agents to do what was previously impossible; those that allow government agents to conduct traditional methods of surveillance more efficiently; and those that the government has developed in response to privacy-enhancing technologies. The Article then reviews the current statutory and constitutional law regarding surveillance technology in light of these categories, and critically examines that law--and the balance or imbalance that it creates between the two competing goals of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

Why 2007 Is Not Like 1984

Edited by The world needs you

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Posted (edited)

They litteraly brag about how every new appliance, combined with smart meter's spy on you in every room of your home.

CIA director David Petraeus has said that the rise of new “smart” gadgets means that Americans are effectively bugging their own homes, saving US spy agencies a job when it identifies any “persons of interest”.

Speaking at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s technology investment operation, Petraeus made the comments when discussing new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously ‘dumb’ home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.

Wired reports the details via its Danger Room Blog:

Funny part is the only difference between what Petraeus revealed, and what Snowden revealed, is one say's its good, the other says its bad. That alone is the difference between promotion, and prison.

This is how the government "balances enhanced levels of privacy"? By watching and listening to you in your own freaking living room? In your own damn BED ROOM?

But move along sheeple, nothing to see here

Edited by preacherman76
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One day you'll be watching TV and they'll be watching you back.

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One day you'll be watching TV and they'll be watching you back.

That device is not called TV, it is called iPad or laptop... or whatever else has a camera built in it.

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It's definitely the smart phones Preacherman, it's also all the dumb people online, providing every detail about their lives and location every day. It's like a free bug on half the population and the government needs no other skill set than to know how to surf the internet to deploy it. The visits we get from spy agencies would feel a lot closer to home if it wasn't for all this technology keeping us insulated and unaware.

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That device is not called TV, it is called iPad or laptop... or whatever else has a camera built in it.

Well unless they put a small camera somewhere in your TV out front. I guess it would depend on the TV exactly where they would put it.

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Well unless they put a small camera somewhere in your TV out front. I guess it would depend on the TV exactly where they would put it.

Why do they have to waste the money on that? 90% of the people carry one with them all the time... it even has a GPS device so everybody can always know where they are.

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Why do they have to waste the money on that? 90% of the people carry one with them all the time... it even has a GPS device so everybody can always know where they are.

Good point! Aaaah technology, don't ya just love it.

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1984 was written about the soviets, sure. But it doesnt mean that the idea is not far off from the road we are traveling down.

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Some of the dumb people who let big corporations know what they are interested in and what they might like to buy every now and then get an offer they can't refuse.

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HD Filming in Lowlight, Moonlight & Starlight

The innovative use of image intensifying technology in our High Definition starlight camera features both HD resolution and an HD-SDI recorder in one package. Footage in moonlight and starlight can now be captured at unsurpassed resolution on the move thanks to our camera operator friendly design, including a standard Sony HD viewfinder, V-Lock battery compatibility, Arri Bridge plate and docked Nanoflash recorder. FEATURES

  • HD-SDI Output
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  • Sensitivity to Clear Starlight:0.0001 LUX
  • 1920X1080 Pixels

  • 30FPS 1080PSF Format
  • P&S Technik IMS Mount System
  • Sony HDVF20A HD Viewfinder
  • CanonEF/FD/Nikon/PL/C-mount

link

Many thinks this is 'new' tech and many are still not aware that these cameras are readily available in the open market ... what does 0.0001 LUX mean ?

It means even when there is no moon on the night ... these cameras can 'see' for miles ...

n_main_1390390a.jpg

The Lunax HD Starlight camera is an exciting new development in night filming.

It is now possible to capture the true essence of the night and film people, animals, places, illuminated only by the moon and stars.

The camera delivers full resolution high definition images in an ergonomically designed camera system that is simple and easy to use.

link

Does one thinks only NatGeo uses them ?

The best thermal imaging equipment on the net! Featuring thermal imaging cameras, infrared cameras and thermal weapon sights by FLIR thermal imaging, ATN Thermal Imaging and Thermal Eye Imaging. Our thermal imaging products are the latest in search and rescue technology. We supply these thermal devices to the military, search & rescue teams, and fire & law enforcement departments. Unlike night vision devices that rely on amplification of light, heatseekers and thermal imagers rely on detection of human and animal heat. Our thermal imaging equipment is used in a wide array of applications, such as in military scouting or detecting heat loss in buildings.The technology of thermal imaging has been around for some time and is used to display the relative heat levels of a given target area. This thermal technology is especially useful during night time applications, where one needs to find an individual or an animal. Thermal imaging technology is often used in thermal security cameras, in order to detect intruders. If you have any questions about our thermal imaging devices & equipment, call OpticsPlanet today!

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YOu can even just buy them online just with a click of the mouse nowadays ... how long does one think the 'authorities' have been using them ?

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Posted (edited)

Top 10 federal abuses since 9/11

10asks-landingpage-no1.png

USA Patriot Act Abuse

The recent revelation about the FBI using the Patriot Act's "business records provision" to track all U.S. telephone calls is only the latest in a long line of abuse. Five Justice Department Inspector General audits documented widespread FBI misuse of Patriot Act authorities (1,2,3,4,5), and a federal district court recently struck down the National Security Letter (NSL) statute because of its unconstitutional gag orders. The IG also revealed the FBI's unlawful use of "exigent letters" that claimed false emergencies to get private information without NSLs, but in 2009 the Justice Department secretly re-interpreted the law to allow the FBI to get this information without emergencies or legal process. Congress and the American public need to know the full scope of the FBI's spying on Americans under the Patriot Act and all othersurveillance authorities enacted since 9/11, like the FISA Amendments Act that underlies the PRISM program.

10asks-landingpage-no2.png

2008 Amendments to the Attorney General's Guidelines

Attorney General Michael Mukasey re-wrote the FBI's rulebook in the final months of the Bush administration, giving FBI agents unfettered authority to investigate people without any factual basis for suspecting wrongdoing. The 2008 Attorney General's Guidelines created a new kind of intrusive investigation called an "assessment," which required no "factual predicate" before FBI agents could search through government or commercial databases, conduct overt or covert FBI interviews, and task informants to gather information about people or infiltrate lawful organizations. In a two-year period from 2009 to 2011, the FBI opened over 82,000 "assessments" of individuals or organizations, less than 3,500 of which discovered information justifying further investigation.

10asks-landingpage-no3.png

Racial and Ethnic Mapping

The 2008 Attorney General's Guidelines also authorized "domain management assessments" which allow the FBI to map American communities by race and ethnicity based on crass stereotypes about the crimes they are likely to commit. FBI documents obtained by the ACLU show the FBI mapped entire Chinese and Russian communities in San Francisco on the theory that they might commit organized crime, all Latino communities in New Jersey and Alabama because a street gang has Latino members, African Americans in Georgia to find "Black separatists," and Middle-Eastern communities in Detroit for terrorism investigations. The FBI's racial and ethnic mapping program is simply racial and religious profiling of entire communities.

10asks-landingpage-no4.png

Unrestrained Data Collection and Data Mining

The FBI has claimed the authority to secretly sweep up voluminous amounts of private information from data aggregators for data mining purposes. In 2007 the FBI said it amassed databases containing 1.5 billion records, which were predicted to grow to 6 billion records by 2012, or equal to "20 separate ‘records' for each man, woman and child in the United States." When Congress sought information about one of these programs, the FBI refused to give the Government Accountability Office access. That program was temporarily defunded, but its successor, the FBI Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, currently has 360 staff members running 40 separate projects. Records show analysts are allowed to use data mining tools to establish "risk scores" for U.S. persons. A 2013 IG audit questioned the task force's effectiveness, concluding it "did not always provide FBI field offices with timely and relevant information."

10asks-landingpage-no5.png

Suppressing Internal Dissent: The FBI War on Whistleblowers

The FBI is exempt from the Whistleblower Protection Act. Though the law required it to establish internal mechanisms to protect whistleblowers, it has a long history of retaliating against them. As a result, a 2009 IG report found that 28 percent of non-supervisory FBI employees and 22 percent of FBI supervisors at the GS-14 and GS-15 levels "never" reported misconduct they have seen or heard about on the job. The FBI has also aggressively investigated whistleblowers from other agencies, leading to an unprecedented increase in Espionage Act prosecutions under the Obama administration, almost invariably targeting critics of government policies.

10asks-landingpage-no6.png

Targeting Journalists

The FBI's overzealous pursuit of government whistleblowers has resulted in the inappropriate targeting of journalists for investigation, potentially chilling press freedoms. Recently, the FBI obtained records from 21 telephone lines used by over 100 Associated Press journalists, including the AP's main number in the U.S. House of Representatives' press gallery. And an FBI search warrant affidavit claimed Fox News reporter James Rosen aided, abetted, or co-conspired in criminal activity because of his news gathering activities, in an apparent attempt to circumvent legal restrictions designed to protect journalists. In 2010, the IG reported that the FBI unlawfully used an "exigent letter" to obtain the telephone records of seven New York Times and Washington Post reporters and researchers during a media leak investigation.

10asks-landingpage-no7.png

Thwarting Congressional Oversight

The FBI has thwarted congressional oversight by withholding information, limiting or delaying responses to members' inquiries, or worse, by providing false or misleading information to Congress and the American public. Examples include false information regarding FBI investigations of domestic advocacy groups, misleading information about the FBI's awareness of detainee abuse, and deceptive responses to questions about governmentsurveillance authorities.

10asks-landingpage-no8.png

Targeting First Amendment Activity

Several ACLU Freedom of Information Act requests have uncovered significant evidence that the FBI has used its expanded authorities to target individuals and organizations because of their participation in First Amendment-protected activities. A 2010 IG report confirmed the FBI conducted inappropriate investigations of domestic advocacy groups engaged in environmental and anti-war activism, and falsified public responses to hide this fact. Other FBI documents showed FBI exploitation of community outreach programs to secretly collect information about law-abiding citizens, including a mosque outreach program specifically targeting American Muslims. Many of these abuses are likely a result of flawed FBI training materials and intelligence products that expressed anti-Muslim sentiments and falsely identified religious practices or other First Amendment activities as indicators of terrorism.

10asks-landingpage-no9.png

Proxy Detentions

The FBI increasingly operates outside the U.S., where its authorities are less clear and its activities much more difficult to monitor. Several troubling cases indicate that during the Bush administration the FBI requested, facilitated, and/or exploited the arrests and detention of U.S. citizens by foreign governments, often without charges, so they could be interrogated, sometimes tortured, then interviewed by FBI agents. The ACLU represents two victims of such activities. Amir Meshal was arrested at the Kenya border by a joint U.S., Kenyan, and Ethiopian task force in 2007, subjected to more than four months of detention, and transferred between three different East African countries without charge, access to counsel, or presentment before a judicial officer, all at the behest of the U.S. government. FBI agents interrogated Meshal more than thirty times during his detention. Similarly, Naji Hamdan, a Lebanese-American businessman, sat for interviews with the FBI several times before moving from Los Angeles to the United Arab Emirates in 2006. In 2008, he was arrested by U.A.E. security forces and held incommunicado for nearly three months, beaten, and tortured. At one point an American participated in his interrogation; Hamdan believed this person to be an FBI agent based on the interrogator's knowledge of previous FBI interviews. Another case in 2010, involving an American teenager jailed in Kuwait, may indicate this activity has continued into the Obama administration.

10asks-landingpage-no10.png

Use of No Fly List to Pressure Americans Abroad to Become Informants

The number of U.S. persons on the No Fly List has more than doubled since 2009, and people mistakenly on the list are denied their due process rights to meaningfully challenge their inclusion. In many cases Americans only find out they are on the list while they are traveling abroad, which all but forces them to interact with the U.S. government from a position of extreme vulnerability, and often without easy access to counsel. Many of those prevented from flying home have been subjected to FBI interviews while they sought assistance from U.S. Embassies to return. In those interviews, FBI agents sometimes offer to take people off the No Fly List if they agree to become an FBI informant. In 2010 the ACLU and its affiliates filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10 American citizens and permanent residents, including several U.S. military veterans, seven of whom were prevented from returning home until the suit was filed. We argue that barring them from flying without due process was unconstitutional. There are now 13 plaintiffs; none have been charged with a crime, told why they are barred from flying, or given an opportunity to challenge their

!984 almost looks like a good time compared to reality

Edited by preacherman76
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Posted (edited)

1984 was written about the soviets, sure. But it doesnt mean that the idea is not far off from the road we are traveling down.

I'm with Than. We curtail literary meaning and application when we say a book "is about" or "isn't about." Each time I read 1984 I garner something new, evocative and prescient. It was Orwell's concern that "Ingsoc," English socialism, could evolve (devolve?) into such a dystiopia. I believe the book has many frames of reference, over both time and space.

For example:

WAR IS PEACE (could describe the North Korean system; constant USA war footing since, at least, 9/11; the continuous violence in the Middle East)

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY (materialism; consumerism; environmental decline partially due to recreational abuse of wilderness)

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (the appalling condition of US public education)

Edited by szentgyorgy
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One day Orwell will be remembered for more than just being an author ... in any other day and age he would be regarded as a visionary ...

HIs work on Animal Farm is nothing short of prophetic ...

MAybe that's why they tried to ban his works ...

Banned and Challenged Classics

The titles below represent banned or challenged books on that list ( see the entire list here). For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.

link

~

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Posted (edited)

Repeating the most relevant portion.

If you are invoking 1984 in a country in which 1984 is available for purchase and can be freely deployed as a rhetorical device, you likely don’t understand the point of 1984.

And Orwell's own view which would disagree with anyone labeling our own democratic society as 1984-like.

In his 1941 essay “England Your England,” Orwell took pains to highlight this distinction. While identifying the United Kingdom’s numerous “barbarities and anachronisms”—and even declaring the country not a “genuine democracy”—he argued that these defects meant that ideas like “democracy is ‘just the same as’ or ‘just as bad as’ totalitarianism” were colossally wrong, employing fallacious “arguments [that] boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread.”

Sorry, We're Not Living in Orwell's "1984"

Edited by The world needs you

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Great ... why don't we ask what Mr Orwell thinks of it today ?

Oh right ...

Let's see what Mr Eric Blair, aka George Orwell said then ...

Orwell's ambition as a political author was to "make political writing into an art" ('Why I Write'). He saw his duty as being to "attack the Right, but not to flatter the Left". His political views were shaped by his experiences of Socialism, Totalitarianism and Imperialism all over the world. In his essay 'Why I Write' (1946) he admitted that "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly against Totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism, as I understand it".

link

I think Mr Eric Blair alias George ORwell understands ...

~

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Great ... why don't we ask what Mr Orwell thinks of it today ?

Oh right ...

Let's see what Mr Eric Blair, aka George Orwell said then ...

link

I think Mr Eric Blair alias George ORwell understands ...

~

Problem is that most Orwell invokers don't, bet half of them have not read 1984 but seen that cheap Hollywood flic about it.

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Problem is that most Orwell invokers don't, bet half of them have not read 1984 but seen that cheap Hollywood flic about it.

That has always bugged me the most ... and the fact that many reads it but because it is 'just' a fictional title ... they disregards the points raised totally ... as if it was all a fantasy ...

The point is nothing in the books were made up .., only the 'story' is ... the sentiments and conditions provoked by Orwell has always been that way with politics and ruling governments or monarchies ... only the tools and technology available were vastly different in character ... for example Tolkiens 'all seeing eye of Sauron' now that is fantasy ... but the underlying principle is the same ...

~

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Posted (edited)

Trivia: George Orwell and Ian Fleming were born 5 years apart and both went to Eton.

They had opposing views regarding intelligence gathering and spying. Both were off the mark but it was fiction after all.

Here is a U-M thread regarding Eton and other schools although I do not share the anti-elitism sentiment that plagues that thread.

Edited by The world needs you

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James Bond ... great ... what's next ... mutant ninja turtles ... nice job turning Orwell over in his grave ....

~

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Posted (edited)

Well unless they put a small camera somewhere in your TV out front. I guess it would depend on the TV exactly where they would put it.

Have you read into the new X-Box 1? It's a real piece of work! It has a built in camera that is always on and for the console to function, the thing MUST be connected to the internet for at least a certain amount of time everyday to upload and download info. One clever thing that it has is "facial recognition software" so the unit knows the different players...how nice is that?

Microsoft has since started making back steps because people were outraged. The PS4 was almost guaranteed to blow it away in sales. Because of the speculated sales, Microsoft has apparently said they are making changes.

I do not trust them. I have always preferred Playstations over Xbox's anway but initially, Microsoft was so arrogant in their replies to people's concerns...I doubt they changed anything, just stated they did.

Edited by Jeremiah65
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Well...

If one cannot extrapolate the dark fantasy world of Orwell's vision of 1984 technology capabilities and the capabilities of today's technology...you're not worth arguing with.

I personally have never said the book was an accidental prophecy. My position when I have made comparisons... is the scary fact that YOU CAN make comparisons!

If you think about what the technology in his nightmare vision was capable of and what we can do today (if someone were to choose to do so)...it's a concerning thought.

I think what many people are concerned with is that there will always be someone like "Herbert Hoover" in power somewhere. There is little doubt they will use this technology in dark ways as long as they can get away with it...and they will to some measure.

What amazes me is how some folks just cannot even imagine their "wonderful leader" would ever stoop into darkness and do bad-bad things...yet they all can, do and will again.

If you think your progressive heroes do not have a dark streak...well...

daffy_jacking_zps4912bdba.gif

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Posted (edited)

Well...

If one cannot extrapolate the dark fantasy world of Orwell's vision of 1984 technology capabilities and the capabilities of today's technology...you're not worth arguing with.

I personally have never said the book was an accidental prophecy. My position when I have made comparisons... is the scary fact that YOU CAN make comparisons!

If you think about what the technology in his nightmare vision was capable of and what we can do today (if someone were to choose to do so)...it's a concerning thought.

I think what many people are concerned with is that there will always be someone like "Herbert Hoover" in power somewhere. There is little doubt they will use this technology in dark ways as long as they can get away with it...and they will to some measure.

What amazes me is how some folks just cannot even imagine their "wonderful leader" would ever stoop into darkness and do bad-bad things...yet they all can, do and will again.

If you think your progressive heroes do not have a dark streak...well...

daffy_jacking_zps4912bdba.gif

Having not read Orwell is what makes you extrapolate. If you had reads it you would know that it hardly was about technology, but about propaganda people swallow set into a forbidden love drama.

During the whole piece he is poking fun at Stalinist propaganda, not at technology, and technology hardly plays a role in the whole plot.

Propaganda is not new... it is as old as the world cares to remember... therefore: we are not living 1984... we have always lived it.

Edited by questionmark
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One day you'll be watching TV and they'll be watching you back.

The new Xbox One :whistle:

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