2010 IS 1984 PROPHECY
To Orwell Today,
re: 3-D TV DANGER-DANGER-DANGER!
Dear Ms Jura,
My story for the Mexican newspaper Excelsior was printed with one of your photos: the copy of the draft of the 1984 manuscript where Arthur Blair forecast the Internet.
2010 is 1984, by Carmen Alvarez, Excelsior, July 8, 2010
The story talked about Orwell's prophecies and gave a series of examples of the prophecies that have come true.
Muchas gracias for sending the link to your Excelsior article 2010 IS 1984. No doubt Orwell would be pleased that you're spreading his word to Mexican readers.
Orwell spoke Spanish fluently, having spent time in Spain in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. See ORWELL'S HOMAGE TO CATALONIA & SPAIN REMEMBERS ORWELL'S CENTENNIAL
Actually, Orwell spoke 8 (eight) foreign languages fluently - which I think is pretty amazing - proving he's brilliant in more ways than one. He spoke Greek, Latin, Burmese, Hindustan, Shaw-Karen, French, Spanish and Catalan.
I don't speak Spanish but was able to read your article using Babel Fish and Google to translate, as transcribed below.
All the best,
PS - I'm glad you were able to use the image of the page from Orwell's 1984 manuscript (where he describes the internet) that you found on ORWELL TODAY - it looked great.
2010 is 1984
Published 61 Years Ago
The Technological Prophecies
Described in the Work of George Orwell
Warning of Authoritarian Control
A futurist world, chaotic and automated that George Orwell described in his 1984 novel became a reality during the last decade, at least as relates to technology. According to Jackie Jura, an independent researcher for ten years researching this literary work, today there are all these futuristic everyday tools and services described in the text of Eric Arthur Blair (Orwell was his pseudonym), which was published on 8 June 1949.
Then, more than six decades ago, concepts such as Telescreen, Big Brother allowed one to imagine a world where technology has a major role and helped to exercise strong government control and authoritarianism. Currently, we rely on internet and screens (computers, laptop devices, refrigerators, washing machines, cameras, mobile phones and so on), we trust our security to systems of video surveillance and blindly believe what we read in Wikipedia and social networks, to name three examples of many that Jura gave Excelsior.
A not inconsiderable feat for the eccentric visionary who on June 25 would have celebrated his 107 birthday and grew up in an impoverished village in India called Motihari.
A detail that few know is that a description of the Internet is found in the draft of the book Orwell began writing in August 1947 but not in the final version which only mentions the telescreen.
"Orwell described the internet, but for some reason removed the passage from the finished version," says Jura, who in 2001 published the Orwell Today website, which keeps track of the technologies that the author mentioned more than half a century ago.
The amazing thing, says Jura electronically from [Canada], is that the writer made these changes in 1948, when he was so sick he had to work lying on his bed. The work came to the public in 1949. To demonstrate, Jura shared a photograph of Orwell's original manuscript that the publisher Harcourt just published in 1984, 34 years after Orwell's death, which occurred on January 21, 1950.
Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript
"Every day I speak through the telescreen with people in Melbourne, Durban and Washington.
This whole thing is a miracle of coordination", says the document
But unlike the novel, apparently the internet, computers, networks and satellite systems today fail to be under the power and in the service of a universal order, though many companies would like it to be.
As reported from London, Stephen Graham, Professor of Global Urban Research Unit, University of Newcastle, the Internet, which was created by the military to facilitate financial and civilian monitoring, it is also being used toward much more positive ends.
"The new culture of digital surveillance requires not simply oppressed citizens in an Orwellian Big Brother. Often, as with the webcam and tracking cell phones with global positioning systems, it is being used to express mobility, identity, sexuality, and even for the resistance", he said.
Therefore, according to Graham, it is crucial that society becomes aware that when the language of politicians is reduced to issues such as "crisis", "insecurity" and "emergency" it is very easy to make society sleep walk into a new era where democracy is increasingly damaged.
"With the development of television and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit information simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Any sound Winston made, above the level of a whisper, would be picked up by the telescreen; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard", recalled Jura on the plot of 1984.
"Every citizen", again Jura paraphrasing the original text, "important enough to be worth watching, could be kept twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed"..."A single flicker of the eyes could give you away" is another excerpt from the novel.
"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself - anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime it was called."
"He could not help feeling a twinge of panic. It was absurd, since the writing of those particular words was not more dangerous than the initial act of opening the diary; but for a moment he was tempted to tear out the spoiled pages and abandon the enterprise altogether. He did not do so, however, because he knew that it was useless. Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed - would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper - the essential crime that contained all others in itself, Thoughtcrime."
"Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles in The Times were written in it, but could only be carried out by a specialist. It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English) by about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech."
Developed as a military project in the late '60s, the Internet is a tool that allows communication from anywhere in the world and demands only a screen and a connection. Unlike most of the mass media then known, this tool allows interaction; that is, receiving information and replying. Recently created is a new phenomenon named Web 2.0, where the authors of the content available in cyberspace, and not the media owned portals, give way to networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blogs.
Connected to data centers sophisticated, capable even of recognizing a face in the middle of a crowd, surveillance cameras are becoming increasingly popular. London, England in particular has been a pioneer in this trend. Mexico City initiated the proposal, supposedly as a measure to expedite traffic. But the current administration announced a plan to install eight thousand CCTV cameras. Currently many points of the nation's capital may see yellow signs announcing "CCTV crossings", the thinking being that the very fact of having them inhibits. Some record audio.
Today, all information queries are done from this site "wiki" considered the encyclopedia of the century. The term refers to web sites that can be edited by multiple volunteers through the browser, an idea that at first seemed even Utopian, as it allowed sharing information. However, the birth of a tool capable of identifying IP addresses of computers where changes were made, created by Virgil Griffith in 2007, revealed that the tool was held by commercial enterprises, governments and security agencies. Perhaps language will not be simplified to the point of the novel, but the "truth" is no longer in our hands.
-by Carmen Alvarez, Excelsior, Jul 8, 2010
3D-TV DANGER-DANGER-DANGER!!! (reader Carmen is writing a story for the Mexican newspaper Excelsior about very young computer users...)
ORWELL DESCRIBED INTERNET
To Orwell Today,
Thank you so much Jackie!
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~