1984 vs Brave New World

1984 vs Brave New World

Culture

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D
incipit parodia

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"In October of 1949, a few months after the release of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he received a fascinating letter from fellow author Aldous Huxley — a man who, 17 years previous, had seen his own nightmarish vision of society published, in the form of Brave New World. What begins as a letter of praise soon becomes a brief comparison of the two novels, and an explanation as to why Huxley believes his own, earlier work to be a more realistic prediction."

From the excellent 'Letters of Note'.

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/03/1984-v-brave-new-world.html

Zellulärer Automat

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It's the Hegelian dialectic innit.

Gaddafi's Libya: 1984.

California: BNW.

UK Plc: A queasy hybrid.

Zellulärer Automat

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DrKF do you read China Mieville.

D
incipit parodia

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Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
DrKF do you read China Mieville.
Never got round to it - but I might be going abroad with work for three months or so and need some reading to take with me - where should I start?

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Originally posted by DrKF
Never got round to it - but I might be going abroad with work for three months or so and need some reading to take with me - where should I start?
I think in your case - The City and the City.

You might dig up his Marxist thesis take on international law while you're at it.

D
incipit parodia

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Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
I think in your case - The City and the City.

You might dig up his Marxist thesis take on international law while you're at it.
It's on the list, thanks.

But another Marxist take on Il..? (A very good friend just returned to teach IL at the Uni where I live: his first assignment was to read 'On the Jewish Question'. Cue student bafflement...)

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Originally posted by DrKF
It's on the list, thanks.

But another Marxist take on Il..? (A very good friend just returned to teach IL at the Uni where I live: his first assignment was to read 'On the Jewish Question'. Cue student bafflement...)
I'd go for the novel first, to be honest. It knocks other crime thrillers into a hatted cock, to purloin Will Self's immortal coinage.

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09 Mar 12

Originally posted by DrKF
"In October of 1949, a few months after the release of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he received a fascinating letter from fellow author Aldous Huxley — a man who, 17 years previous, had seen his own nightmarish vision of society published, in the form of Brave New World. What begins as a letter of praise soon becomes a brief comp ...[text shortened]... planation as to why Huxley believes his own, earlier work to be a more realistic prediction."
I'm not sure that seeing 1984 as a prediction of the future is not a fundamental misunderstanding of the book. I read it rather as a dire warning for (at least parts of) the present.

Richard

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Originally posted by Shallow Blue
I'm not sure that seeing 1984 as a prediction of the future is not a fundamental misunderstanding of the book. I read it rather as a dire warning for (at least parts of) the present.

Richard
Like a Shakespearian drama, it borrows contemporary props to flesh out a classic (power) structure.

Ming the Merciless

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Originally posted by DrKF
"In October of 1949, a few months after the release of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he received a fascinating letter from fellow author Aldous Huxley — a man who, 17 years previous, had seen his own nightmarish vision of society published, in the form of Brave New World. What begins as a letter of praise soon becomes a brief comp ...[text shortened]... lent 'Letters of Note'.

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/03/1984-v-brave-new-world.html
"The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency."

That is the key quote from the letter. The perceived need for ever greater efficiency causes people to submit themselves to ever greater losses of personal freedom. In effect they have become their own jailers by accepting that their enslavement to technological processes is for their own good. What is needed is not ever greater efficiency, but considerably less efficiency. Efficiency and freedom are mutually incompatible. A gain for one is necessarily a loss for the other.

rc

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1 edit

Originally posted by rwingett
"The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency."

That is the key quote from the letter. The perceived need for ever greater efficiency causes people to submit themselves to ever greater losses of personal freedom. In effect they have become their own jailers by accepting that their enslavement to technological proce ...[text shortened]... ncy and freedom are mutually incompatible. A gain for one is necessarily a loss for the other.
Is this why many technologies which are meant to save us time in fact consume our
time, like the car (sitting in traffic for hours) or the computer (endless hours of surfing
and blogging)

Ming the Merciless

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1 edit

Originally posted by robbie carrobie
Is this why many technologies which are meant to save us time in fact consume our
time, like the car (sitting in traffic for hours) or the computer (endless hours of surfing
and blogging)
It's not just that you waste time in traffic, or blogging, but that your entire life is reshaped to conform to the dictates of the technological processes that make the production of cars and computers possible in the first place. Taken to its extreme, the people in 'Brave New World' themselves have literally become products of the assembly line. They are bred and conditioned as tools for keeping that process functioning smoothly. It has become a case, not of humanity using technology to satisfy their needs, but of technology using humanity to satisfy its needs.

rc

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Originally posted by rwingett
It's not just that you waste time in traffic, or blogging, but that your entire life is reshaped to conform to the dictates of the technological processes that make the production of cars and computers possible in the first place. Taken to its extreme, the people in 'Brave New World' themselves have literally become products of the assembly line. They are b ...[text shortened]... hnology to satisfy their needs, but of technology using humanity to satisfy its needs.
ok, its worse than i thought, but you can always opt out, buy a cottage in the Scottish
highlands and forget the world.

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Originally posted by rwingett
It's not just that you waste time in traffic, or blogging, but that your entire life is reshaped to conform to the dictates of the technological processes that make the production of cars and computers possible in the first place. Taken to its extreme, the people in 'Brave New World' themselves have literally become products of the assembly line. They are b ...[text shortened]... hnology to satisfy their needs, but of technology using humanity to satisfy its needs.
You are but an hypostasis of the technological sublime.

Ming the Merciless

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Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
You are but an hypostasis of the technological sublime.
Sez you.