In light of the PRISM revelation and the government's collaboration with private industry in its efforts to collect data, we can't help thinking about literary master George Orwell, author of such dystopian achievements as "Animal Farm" and "1984." The more we recall Orwell's writings, the more we wonder how he saw all this coming, as long as 60 years ago. Here are three examples of his seeming prescience:
1. Big Brother Is Watching You
Repeated throughout "1984," this iconic phrase refers to the all-seeing, all-knowing entity that dominates the minds of the populace in Oceania, where "1984" takes place. If the PRISM revelation is any indication, Big Brother certainly is watching us.
2. Prevalance Of Cameras
Telescreens dominate the Oceania landscape. Essentially TVs with cameras embedded in them that can never be switched off, the telescreens are everywhere -- in people's homes, out in the street and other places as well. Now take a look at our world; it goes even further than that. Many of us have cameras in our pockets and purses (on our smartphones), webcams are embedded into virtually every laptop, and some televisions ship with cameras built in. Orwell saw this coming too, except it's even worse than he imagined.
Another concept Orwell explored in "1984" was Thoughtcrime, which refers to an ordinary citizen thinking what the government considered to be dangerous thoughts. Given that the government flags certain keywords, we know that Thoughtcrime is a reality.
Do you agree that Orwell saw our world coming? Why or why not? Did we leave out any other examples that prove that 1984 and George Orwell were prophetic? Sound off in the comments below.
I cover video games, tech, privacy issues and more for IBT. Prior to joining the staff, I wrote for Major League Baseball, Computer Shopper and other publications. I earned...
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