28 April
2006

What can you or should you put on your web site?

In the novel 1984 George Orwell had a prescient vision of the risks posed by information technology to society. It was published by in 1950 when TV barely existed and the world supply of computers could be counted on the fingers of one hand. On one hand, the fact that Orwell could envision oppression via technology shows how visionary and brilliant he was, on the other hand, it shows how natural and obvious the oppressive instict is in human beings. Long before the computers, surveillance and data mining, people could see where things might lead. Considering this natural tendence to impose control, we must remain constantly on guard against the tendency to oppress and limit freedom, especially as it becomes easier with technology. What makes this intersting and challenging, however, is that in our desire to avoid oppression we must also be careful not to swing the other way towards nihilism, anachy and a loss of values -- a charge equally apt in today's world. Some "oppression" is a good and necessary force. Each one of us must constantly suppress various urges every moment, starting with the simple bilogical imperatives.

That middle ground between self expression and freedom on one hand, and quality, taste, value and coherence on the other is impossible to determine in a universal manner. To find that middle ground should be a constant struggle. I believe that if you believe you have really found it, then you gave given up thinking about it and now risk going too far one way or another. The culture we live in has developed values and judgement partly as a distillation of many years of reflection, and these are often glibly discarded without much reflection. On the other hand, the quite below is also quite apt.

"However, the most important resistance to 1984 is that of each citizen in his own life. The repudiation of conformism, of the rampant complacency, of the fear of offending, and of political correctness and a skeptical attitude toward the received truth of our times will go a long way in distancing us from 1984.

Ultimately, 1984 is a society that negates the ideals of freedom of thought, personal independence and conscience. These are precisely the values each of us must adopt. The repudiation of conformism, of the rampant complacency, of the fear of offending, and of political correctness and a skeptical attitude toward the received truth of our times will go a long way in distancing us from 1984.

Ultimately, 1984 is a society that negates the ideals of freedom of thought, personal independence and conscience. These are precisely the values each of us must adopt." -- Julius Grey


By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
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