Season 2,
45 Min

Episode 59: Are we living in Orwell’s 1984?

June 25, 2017

“To the past, or to the future. To an age when thought is free. From the Age of Big Brother, from the Age of the Thought Police, from a dead man – greetings!” In honour of George Orwell’s birthday on 25th June and the relevance of many of the ideas about personal privacy, mass surveillance and ‘alternative facts’, Clay and Sarah discuss to what extent our we living in Orwell’s 1984

George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 gave us a lanuage to talk about the systematic abuse of power, the calculated invasion of personal privacy and mass survellience as a way for governments to control individual citizens.  Big Brother. The Thought Police. DoubleThink. Orwellian. These have become common terminology that we all are familiar with, whether or not we remember the plot of the story in 1984.

In this episode, Clay and Sarah discuss:

* Privacy – do we still have it?

* How companies use our personal data & algarythms to predict our behaviour

* Jennifer Lyn Morone Inc – the individual who became a company

* Surveillence and technology

* 1984 slogans – “War is Peace”, “Freedom is Slavery”, “Ignorance is Strength”

* Progaganda and our world of ‘alternative facts’

* the internet as the main ‘uncontrolled’ space for information exchange

*Hacking and the ‘dark web’


Some great shows we discuss include the new TV Series Mr. Robot about the world of hacking and the dark side of the web, and Hunted, a reality TV show where individuals try to avoid surveillance.

Other articles to check out include ‘The government just admitted it will use smart home devices for spying’ and Privacy Violations – the dark side of social media.

We had a great discussion in which Clay did his best to scare me with his reality checks about how close we are to a real 1984. But in the end, it’s up to us as individuals to decide where to draw the line, and how far we feel we want to go to protect our privacy and personal data.


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