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George Orwell

George Orwell

Paranoia. Big Brother is watching you. With the proliferation of technology and its misuse, 1984 is science ficiton, but has somehow risen above the genre. Only a few years ago, this cautionary tale was starting to look dated, but then the Internet arrived. Now in this wired age 1984's fears are easy to imagine if a little behind schedule. History is always rewritten by the winners and those who do not conform are descencitized, incarcerated or flat-out ignored. Individual thought that is too extreme (or at odds with the ruling oligarchy) is labeled subversive.

Thanks to cable and the Internet, even more of our lives are easily observed by those in power. They are also new ways for propaganda to be disseminated. A recent movie Wag the Dog was about staging a war to bolster a politician's popular support in the wake of his personal scandal. 1984 moves beyond the science fiction genre because it's not about technology, but about ideology, society and the individual. If you can use a little paranoia about Big Brother watching you, then this is a great read for you.

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