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1984

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Post Number:#31  Postby Eric Tolevsky » 16 Sep 2011, 13:20

Fran - Haha....there is plenty of room in here.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#32  Postby Bighuey » 22 Sep 2011, 09:07

I just heard a few interesting things on the news. Those onstar things they have in GM (goverment motors) cars they can tell if you are speeding, using a cell phone, have your seat belts fastened, and exactly where you are. Probably they will even know if you are knocking off a peice in the back seat. The news said even if you dont subscribe to Onstar it will still be in effect. I also heard just a few minutes ago, some city, I didnt catch where, wants you to put up a 500 dollar bond to have bible study in your home. Heres more, in St. Louis they are going to require you to pay a 200 dollar tax on your dog, I dont know if its yearly or just a one-time tax, and require you to have a location chip in your dog. This is in just one newscast. You hear stuff like that happening every day, 1984 is on its way.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#33  Postby Cal Trask » 22 Sep 2011, 09:34

I enjoyed 1984 and I think its themes are still relevant, but I think Orwells post-war essays are frighteningly more predictive of how Westeren civilisation has evolved. I think 1984 is a great book, but I consider Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 more on the money regarding the stupification of the masses with trinkets and technology in order to stop their questioning of how they are governed.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#34  Postby anu_ » 21 Oct 2011, 09:24

This thread has generated enough curiosity in me about a book that seems to be a book set in 1984, but is somehow predicting the political and social realities of present world. I have already marked it on my must read list.
"Children were playing when Holston climbed to his death" Wool by Hug Howey
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#35  Postby Bighuey » 21 Oct 2011, 10:30

I read it in 1955 in high school, and even back then it was a frightening book. Even more so now. I think you will like it.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#36  Postby LifeinTN » 22 Oct 2011, 18:06

I read this book back in middle school. Good book. He has a wild imagination.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#37  Postby Artdude » 27 Oct 2011, 19:23

LifeinTN wrote:I read this book back in middle school. Good book. He has a wild imagination.


I don't think he has a wild imagination. I just think he could visualise his rather tedious socialism well.
It's not hugely imaginative - that would be too far. I think he just puts his ideas across quite well, if a little tediously in places due to his matter-of-fact documentary style: but that adds to it I suppose.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#38  Postby Fran » 28 Oct 2011, 05:07

Not sure was it 'wild imagination' or excellent predictive skills. IMO Orwell saw what was happening in the 1930's and took it to it's logical conclusion. But that's probably easy to say with benefit of hindsight.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#39  Postby anu_ » 10 Nov 2011, 09:09

I have just finished reading 1984 and I must say that I was numbed by Orwell's sadistic view. Thankfully, 1984 has not as yet become a reality,but I am sure some of his predictions did come true, particularly the one regarding making language more restricted and abbreviated. Don't you find Newspeak almost similar to SMS lingo, though, may be the reason for its use is not as orthodox as proposed by Orwell.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#40  Postby Fran » 10 Nov 2011, 10:03

anu_ wrote:I have just finished reading 1984 and I must say that I was numbed by Orwell's sadistic view. Thankfully, 1984 has not as yet become a reality,but I am sure some of his predictions did come true, particularly the one regarding making language more restricted and abbreviated. Don't you find Newspeak almost similar to SMS lingo, though, may be the reason for its use is not as orthodox as proposed by Orwell.


Sadistic is a strange word to use ... I'd be interested in why you chose that word.
Do you honestly not think though that a lot of what Orwell predicted in 1984 has actually come to be ... I refer, for example, to the manipulation of truth or as it is generally called - SPIN! By chance I just happened to hear an interview yesterday discussing the amount of info Google (to name but one) is gathering on all of us & the way that info is used to limit our access to information ... under the guise of providing more relevant info, of course.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#41  Postby Bighuey » 10 Nov 2011, 10:14

Wasnt it Walter Cronkite who used to say at the end of his broadcast this is the news you need to know or words to that effect?
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#42  Postby anu_ » 11 Nov 2011, 13:20

Fran, I found the novel sadistic in many ways. Firstly, I agree that Orwell wrote the novel in turbulent times, when
World War and Cold War had made people as well as nations insecure. It is understandable that he predicted nothing but doom keeping in view the madness to grab power prevalent in the politicos of those times.

But, I also think that George imagined the situation ten times worse than probably it was in reality. And, thus predicted total failure of family and social life in future. He showed us a world full of heartless, cruel people, where kids could have no affection for their parents, and man and wife would have nothing in common more than being the creator of another generation of brainwashed spy kids.

Add to it the torture endured by Winston at the hands of O'Brien, a man whom he trusted as revolutionist. The brainwash techniques used for rendering Smith incapable of expression, communication and thought was another point that forced me to define Orwell's views as sadistic, and here I am using the word in the meaning of a person, who deliberately imagines and creates a stressed situation, and then derives pleasure out of his being the first to predict the worst. Now, it is upto a reader to interpret this attitude as belonging to just a character, or to identify as the actual voice of author.

I must say that though I found the novel a bit too negative, but in a way I am impressed with 1984 because the author remained true to his agenda. He did not try to dilute the morbidity. Though, at one time I thought that Orwell would declare Winston as a crazy man and the entire novel would be then called hallucination experienced by a psychologically ill person. However,thankfully, nothing of the sort happened and Orwell remained totally committed to the negative world he created. My heart went out to the man, who believes himself to be insane as he is the only sane man in a society full of automated human robots. And,I am nevertheless impressed by George Orwell's fertile imagination.

As far as the manipulation of truth or the supposed control exercised by Google is related, I think that we are reading too much into a general enhancement of technology. Even in 1984, not all the residents were subjected to surveillance 24/7, it was just fed into their minds, that they are being watched all the time. This fear was sufficient to restrict their thoughts and emotions, and to convert them to Big Brother Loyalists. So IMHO it would be better if we do not succumb to tall claims of unknown monitoring and invasion of privacy and live without fear, so that 1984 remains in the literary fiction world without tumbling out into a dreaded reality.
"Children were playing when Holston climbed to his death" Wool by Hug Howey
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#43  Postby Fran » 11 Nov 2011, 16:04

@ anu_ Ah yes I see where you are coming from using the word sadistic .... an interesting perspective.

I think there are lots of people who lived in Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Mao's China (to name but a few) who would probably disagree with your assessment of Orwell as outlining a situation ten times worse than probably it was in reality. Many of these totalitarian regimes also used children to spy and report on their parents & neighbours & children are regularly used as a means of controlling & keeping in line parents.

The point I was making about Google was not that they were keeping info on us (although that is a worry) but that by constantly offering you choices based on your previous history they are limiting your access to information ... how do you get to know about totally new things if all their offerings are based on info you are already aware of. Rather in the way Amazon offers book choices based on your previous purchases whereas if, for example, I pick up the Weekend book reviews in my local paper I may find books by authors I didn't even know exist on subjects I know nothing about and I choose whether I'm interested or not ... not a machine making that choice for me.

I do agree 1984 is a dark, depressing and negative read but IMO it still serves an important purpose in keeping us aware of the threats to freedom and the risks inherent in taking it for granted. As Thomas Jefferson said 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance'.

I enjoyed reading your post ... thanks. :)
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#44  Postby anu_ » 11 Nov 2011, 22:43

Fran wrote:@ anu_ Ah yes I see where you are coming from using the word sadistic


I did not get you :?

Fran wrote:I think there are lots of people who lived in Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Mao's China (to name but a few) who would probably disagree with your assessment of Orwell as outlining a situation ten times worse than probably it was in reality. Many of these totalitarian regimes also used children to spy and report on their parents & neighbours & children are regularly used as a means of controlling & keeping in line parents.


Really! That's horrible. I think, I should read more about these oppressive regimes, right now, my historical knowledge is not upto mark. Can you suggest some good books on the topic? :)

Fran wrote:by constantly offering you choices based on your previous history they are limiting your access to information


Yes, I agree with you Fran. And not just search engines, at times, I think media also creates hype on certain issues, just as a publicity stunt for promoting a certain movie or book. And, in such times, it does become difficult to distinguish make-believe from reality. I think, we should really use our common sense, and keep an open attitude so that technology remains an aid to live life easily, instead of governing our choices. Though, it is easier said than done.

But, at times, I do believe that we get short sighted, and miss the larger perspective. If one starts complaining that Mozilla is forcing him to go to a particular site, just because the browser suggests the name of that site on typing the first related letter. I think, the person is not using his own freedom to overlook the suggestions, and type out the entire site he really wishes to browse. If in 1984, Winston dared to challenge Big Brother, we in 2011 should be stronger enough to avert any such dangers to our freedom :)

I absolutely agree that every person should have the freedom to choose. And, to tell you the truth, I joined forum, because I really wanted to know what people really think about different authors, without being succumbed to any paid publicity stunts. And, I am enjoying the diverse opinions. If we keep voicing our choices, utilizing the intellect God has mercifully provided us with, the machines and artificial intelligence and Telescreens ( :wink: ) would definitely remain where they belong to - Virtual world, and we would always be able to shut them off at our own will.
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Re: 1984

Post Number:#45  Postby Mel Carriere » 29 Nov 2011, 00:52

I think Orwell brilliantly exposed the dangers in political correctness and how it strangles human thought and liberty. Wasn't there an entire Ministry devoted to creating meaningless Euphemisms in order to prevent the creation of thoughts that were dangerous to the regime? Some criticize Orwell for getting the year wrong, but I think that is beside the point. He was pointing out political realities that already existed in his time, and that have continued to exist since, to varying degrees everywhere in the world. We would be wise to pay attention to his warnings.
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