Friday, September 11, 2009

1984 And Beyond

I'm not entirely sure why the article I saw the other night on the local news was worthy of a spot in the local news segment of the show I saw this on, but the other night there was a thought-provoking comment made by the subject of one of the pieces.

The man, Josh Harris, was an internet entrepreneur of the dot-com madness of the later part of the last century. He is the subject of a new movie. Harris developed a website in the nineties that was basically a web feed of a house that had cameras in every room. Volunteers lived in the house free-of-charge and in exchange had every aspect of their lives broadcast to the web audience. This was in 1993 four years before the show Big Brother was conceived of by a Dutch television production company.

What he said that caught my attention was this: "Orwell was wrong. Big Brother is not something that will be forced on us by some overbearing government. It is something that the viewing will demand."

And think about it... it's true! Our taste as a whole can be described as avaricious, prurient, and rapacious. We lust for entertainment. Where we take it is unimportant. And some of the most puerile material is what we seem to have developed a taste for. How else can you explain the popularity of Big Brother, Survivor, and Temptation Island?

So, yeah, I have to admit... it does appear that Mr. Harris had it right. The logical extension of this is that one day the Orwellian Big Brother will come to pass... but we will be doing it to ourselves... it will not be forced upon us from above.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will think about the entertainment you partake in.

Don Bergquist - September 11, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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