Sunday, October 25, 2009

Orwell and the Internet


In Orwell's description, Winston and other drones had to continually "update" books and newspapers to conform to the current Party narrative.

But in our day, such effort is not nearly as necessary.  In these days of the Internet, it's easier than ever to change content at will, and it's not as if there's 300,000 incriminating copies of the original in print that you have to track down and destroy!  In fact, much of the Internet's content exists only as bits and bytes -- there's no paper trail at all!

And, as Google has handily shown in China, censorship doesn't even have to be a matter of destroying content.
It can be a matter of manipulated search results, or outright denied access.

This point arose poignantly in my mind when I saw a clip from the 2008 presidential election where Bill-the-Impeached-Clinton told an audience about content that B.O. had removed from his website.  It struck me all of the sudden how little accountability there is in an Internet-based-world where content can be continually morphed or deleted.  Can a single pdf screenshot of a website that's since been changed hold up in a court of law?  Even if it can, who's going to spend their life archiving websites to preserve material that may later become incriminating?
As a follow-up, I think it is very important for Americans to realize the amount of oppression brought on by Communism.  Recently I asked a Chinese friend if his country had an equivalent of India's Bollywood and America's Hollywood.  He said no, that he avoids the theaters when he goes home.  Why?  I asked, dumbfounded.  He said it was because all the movies kowtow to the Party.

We must not only think about what might happen in our country if Marxism takes over.  We must also work to free those who are currently oppressed body-and-soul by Marxism.

No comments: