Thursday, 29 December 2011

Big Brother

The potential for intellectual liberation through literacy came into its own with the advent of printing. Anyone could express their ideas on a previously inconceivable scale to an unlimited audience, and literacy took off. Of course the same can be achieved far more efficiently online. We've seen this happen recently with the Arab uprisings and, less impressively, with the London riots.
But the printed word can't be controlled, except through legislation, in the same way that online providers could so easily be censored at the flick of a switch. That's what bothers me. Yes, 1984 has been and gone and Orwell's dystopian warnings proved hugely misplaced. But if he were alive today, I suspect he might be issuing the same kind of dire warnings.

1 comment:

  1. As long as people enjoy reading, they'll be a market for books. I know that's a duh statement, but movies, or eReaders of the future that may have moving pictures, built-in audio, or digital smell-o-rama - whatever, can never replace a book. It will simply be a different format. Hopefully.

    Someday, a direct hook-up into my brain may exist, this way whatever the author is thinking, or maybe even feeling, will magically transfer into me. I can see a new society addicted to "Emota-porn."