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Monday, January 10, 2011

Lord of the flies vs. 1984

Rick Bookstaber has an interesting post on facebook, which makes you think about the world. It reminded me of the lines: But there's gonna be a meter on your bed / That will disclose / What everybody knows. We used to think of that as a dystopian vision where we collapse into an authoritarian regime, where the liberal project fails. What is surprising is that people are wilfully walking into this surveillance arrangement. In all fairness, what's come about is closer to Lord of the Flies (monitoring by peers) than to 1984 (monitoring by the State). But it's creepy all the same.

He ends on an optimistic note:
So my bet – a long term bet because it will take the force of cultural change to accomplish – is that Facebook will become marginalized. It will not disappear, it will remain a repository for factoids about one's collection of friends, but the reality of what Facebook friends really are will become evident, as will the effects of standardization of the individual, the cost to individuality of giving up privacy, and the frustration with having Facebook friends that are increasingly fictionalized and flattened versions of their real selves.
I would like for this to be true but I fear this is not the world that we live in.


  1. Reminds me of this cartoon: Orwell vs Huxley

    Perhaps, Huxley and Orwell converge in The Lord of the Flies (haven't read it).

  2. A related article on the "need" for social networking. Eminently readable

  3. it should happen,,

    how long and how often can one remain 'narcissitic'!!


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