(I do have ideas floating around in my head for another food-type post for tomorrow and a yummy GAPS recipe for Wednesday's post. However, today I just don't feel like writing them out, so I'm pleased to present another guest post from my dear husband. - Janice)
How many of us, during high school or college, read the book “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell? If not, or if your memory has faded over the years, here is a quick review:
The novel, written in 1949, predicted what life could be like by the year 1984. Every aspect of life was dominated by Big Brother, an all powerful dictator who literally watches your every move via surveillance systems. Mind control and propaganda were administered by the Ministry of Truth, who revised history, altered documents and photos and insured every aspect of society was molded to support the agenda of Big Brother. The book basically expressed a fear of totalitarianism by an all powerful government with the ability to control not only people’s actions, but their thoughts as well.
Now, keep the theme of that book in mind as I describe a recent discussion of college instructors on the value of e-books. During a discussion concerning rental verses purchased text books for students, the option of e-books came up. Immediately, many instructors began praising this new technology, sparking a brief conversation on the subject. As I listened to the comments and descriptions, I heard some predicting the end of physical paper books in the future and how “green and environmentally friendly” that would be. Some spoke of how wonderful e-books are in relation to the immediate ability to edit the books, correcting mistakes and adding updates as needed. No one would even know the mistake or update was made, as the corrected version immediately replaces the old version online.
As usual, I found myself to be the lone wolf, the only person in the room who did not seem to view this latest technological advancement as anything other than manna from Heaven. I could not help but think how much easier censorship will be once all books are electronic. You don’t have to physically go door to door and collect the books like the Nazis did, all the government would have to do is hit the DELETE button on some master system and poof, no more book. How soon until the latest version of the Ministry of Truth searches e-book by e-book deciding what we should or should not read? “This book is offensive to ….” and “That book promotes anti-government views.” and so on. What isn’t deleted would be modified. I would predict the Holy Bible would be a prime target of selective editing. Within a few generations, no one would even know the original version anymore.
You may call me paranoid, but I can see this becoming reality. Even George Orwell didn’t predict the ease to which the e-book could make his nightmare come true. Take some time and read “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, and get the e-book version, you have to love irony.