April 04, 2006

4th April, 1984

Winston wrote in his diary, some 22 years ago:

4th April, 1984

as he stumbled into the immoral task of pouring his overburdened thoughts onto paper. I say approximately, because there are a number of uncertainties in the source, not least the date. A bit later on, Winston meets an editor of the new dictionary in the canteen, who has this to say:

"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take 'good,' for instance. If you have a word like 'good,' then what need is there for a word like 'bad'? 'Ungood' will do just as well -- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of 'good,' what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like 'excellent' and 'splendid' and all the rest of them? 'Plusgood' covers the meaning, or 'doubleplusgood' if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words -- in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s idea originally, of course," he added as an afterthought.

George Orwell's 1984 remains the definitive word on how a population is suppressed for the benefit of a ruling class, for one agenda or other. The techniques that he describes are so powerful that they literally cut across ideologies, and it seems, across time and experience.

The message of 1984 rose in public consciousness as the year itself approached - recall the film, the songs? But then it started to fade, almost immediately afterwards. Choosing a year in the future as the title might have seemed like a brilliant literary device 40 years earlier, but are we paying the cost now?

Posted by iang at April 4, 2006 01:53 PM | TrackBack

I consider my recent rant about digital certificates has some similarities with regard to various kinds of corruption of what something actually means.

digital certificates are a type of certificate/credential that is just one way of representing some certification of some fact or other information.

however, in some situations the meaning of certificate/credentials have been corrupted to the point that they take on a meaning all by themselves ... as opposed to just being one form of representing something. I've frequently used the phenonama of diplomas cranked out by diploma mills as one such example. The possession of a piece of parchment can take on a life of its own, totally independent of what the piece of parchment was originally intended to represent.

this may be a major contributing factor behind the existing browser SSL compromise scenarios, any valid SSL certificate and the associate closed padlock appears to have taken on meaning totally independent of the actual certified information/facts/process that the certificates supposedly represent.

recent posts
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006f.html#15 trusted certificate and trusted repository
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006f.html#16 trusted repository and trusted transaction
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006f.html#17 trusted certificate and trusted repository

Posted by: Lynn Wheeler at April 4, 2006 04:12 PM


"Other examples of information war listed in the report include the creation of “Truth Squads” to provide public information when negative publicity, such as the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, hits US operations, and the establishment of “Humanitarian Road Shows”, which will talk up American support for democracy and freedom."


Posted by: Daniel A. Nagy at April 4, 2006 05:46 PM

I suppose I should point out that what inspired me to type in the above quote was the discovery of 100% bona fide doublespeak in a case somewhat close to FC.

Although I try to keep politics out of it, it is becoming harder to ignore the, er, leadership being shown in some political circles. If trends are any guide, we are entering a new age of doubleplusunreality, and we'll be back to the good old days of selling trust in bits and certificates of your own personality back to you.

Posted by: Iang at April 4, 2006 06:13 PM

I leave because i want to say to you,and to all the world,that the reality of 1984 is now our awful truth...
Please visit my web(it is in spanish because that's my native language, OPEN YOUR EYES, the big brother has no particular preference for any language or country,it is in Spain,also in Germany,also in U.K, it's in Chile, and in Mexico,my country...)

Posted by: LIORETT etàge at April 29, 2006 01:06 AM
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