Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A War of the Words - But Who's Words?

Facebook, Orwell, Time Magazine, Rapportive, Huxley, American, Stuart McMillen, China,  Vietnam,  Rapleaf, Fresh from a week's worth of Facebook blackouts, the helicopters of the resistance flew over the CBD dropping leaflets with reverse propaganda decrying the propagation of the other propaganda. A ballsy move for sure but a move aimed at infecting the masses with the new media message that the more the powers that be try to suppress and control information, the more information will behave in the manner of a thousand one-celled animals and simply multiply - exponentially.

This cartoon by Stuart McMillen juxtaposes the views of Aldous Huxley & George Orwell. In short, Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information (The Chinese model) whilst Huxley feared those who would give us so much information, that we would just drown in our own bullshit (The American model). And who's to say who's right? Both models suck - and in a perfect world we would get all the information that is valuable to those of us chasing the pursuit of happiness with all of the chaff filtered out from the wheat of knowledge that we need. But it's not a perfect world, is it? See the ministry's circular below.
Ministry of Manifestos. Distopian Soup

For all those in the intelligencia here in Vietnam who decry the blocking of Facebook every time the party convenes for some important meeting, there are a few million more who cry out over Facebook's apparent lack of concern for our privacy in the US. So who's to blame? "We have seen the enemy and it are us", it is said.

Facebook, Orwell, Time Magazine, Rapportive, Huxley, American, Stuart McMillen, China,  Vietnam,  Rapleaf, For all the 'freedom of speech' rhetoric we are like to hear from our liberal comrades in the west, we never thought that freedom would extend to people whom we do not know, and who care not a goddamn about our privacy but are more interested in the area of exploiting our information towards the dissection of a market that can then be sold to the highest bidder. Yes, people will actually pay to reach brains dumb enough to let all of their private parts hang out on the digital clothesline for all to see. "Hello moron. Need some washing powder - fabric softener?"

And so, all of a sudden, the protection of that information, that we so willingly put out there, becomes of paramount concern. I Tweet, therefore I am - vulnerable. And I am also a member of who knows how many other services, that I may not have daily activity with, but they're still distributing my information - like Freindster, Gravatar and MySpace. For all the countries that are trying their damnedest to suppress information, the greater lot of us are just throwing it out there like there's no tomorrow. It's a Brave New World all right. But none of us should be so brave as to go into it naked.

So get out your keyboard and type the following: Rapportive & Rapleaf. See what they've got on you, and then go back and do a little revisionist history. It will certainly be no worse than what the communist states are doing by not letting it out in the first place. Orson Welles envisioned a War of the Worlds where aliens would come and envelope the human race - and what it seems to have come down to is his title, minus the letter "l", where the world envelopes itself by the words it chooses to use or not use. Just remember, we all decide which words are used about us.
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