In a modern society, controlling the voice and content of information and dialogue is often seen by power-brokers as a vital component of their plans to maintain control over the rest of the world. How does one go about achieving this? It’s no small feat.
In George Orwell’s 1984, everything written down by members of society is submitted for peer review and destroyed, if it doesn’t meet standards of political correctness. That means everything.
Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 imagines a world in which the possession of books is a crime, and books and their owners are actively sought out and burned by an oppressive police force.
How close to the truth are these dystopian settings? Are they accurate depictions of human belligerence, or the closeted fears of writers and intellectuals?
In fact, there are numerous ways to achieve the goal of denying information to a public forum, some simple, and some grandiose. Here are just a few:
The Tried and True
- Find book
- Destroy or remove book
The Old Switch-a-roo
- Find book
- Rewrite content
- Replace original book with fake book on shelves
- Find author
- Oppress them until they are compliant
- Force author to recant, rewrite or reissue content
The Modern Touch
- Scan book electronically
- Destroy the physical copy, leaving yourself in sole possession of the work
- Provide high-cost access to crippled, technologically-limited, single-use copies that can be updated remotely or revoked at any time
The Time-Traveler’s Gambit*
- Make a time cable that transfers bits from faster-than-light particles
- Load the time cable with information from winners and winning methods
- Press the “I Win”, button (do literally anything you want with zero consequences)
What can you do to maintain your culture in the face of all this loss? Simple. Speak your mind and write about what you think is important. Positivity will always outweigh negativity if everyone adds their voice to the mix.
*If you try to accomplish something, the chances are that someone is trying to accomplish it with you. If a group is working on a project, modern group sizes ensure that the project will be completed almost instantaneously. Even taking into account enormous group sizes, individual accountability is a factor in the calculations of the speed with which a group will accomplish its task. If individuals are accountable for too much, or not enough, the efficiency of the entire organization suffers, and it risks losses to competitors.