I realized recently that I was having an e-mail
conversation about the Truman show and literary
prophecies. I had never seen the movie and he
had never read Brave New World Revisisted. I
sent him the FoRK recommended link and he accused
me of trying to get kickbacks, so I ended up just buying
it and sending it anyways. BNWR was written by
Huxley himself. Some of the mechanism that he
claims society will willingly or unknowningly submit
to haven't panned out as behavioral technologies,
but the one single one that can make a very
strong case about is television.
Tell me what extent this relates to all FoRK posts
or society at large and I will tell you how
far we've gone.
Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985):
We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't,
thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal
democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not
been visited by Orwellian nightmares.
But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another -- ...
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.... Orwell warns that we will be overcome by
an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is
required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it,
people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their
capacities to think....
Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those
who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.
Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth
would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a
captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied
with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal