8 Orwell's predictions from 1984 come true

1. Surveillance Devices

George Orwell.


The voice came from an oblong metal plate embedded in the right wall, like a cloudy mirror. [...] The Telekran worked for reception and transmission. It caught every word if it was not whispered too softly; moreover, as long as Winston remained within sight of the cloudy plate, he was not only heard but seen.


In his novel, Orwell describes what are known as TV screens, large televisions in homes and public places. They carry government messages and through them the thought police watch the citizens. Television screens are able to recognize people and their facial expressions.


We don't have TV screens in this exact form in our lifetime, but there are analogs. For example, modern "smart" TVs recognize speech, i.e. they "eavesdrop" on their owners, and some even transmit "Smart" TVs have been accused of transmitting personal data to Netflix and Facebook / Kommersant / their personal data to big companies.



Plus, we have computers and smartphones that can be hacked - and monitor our actions. And ISPs, even without hacking, get information about where we are, what we are looking for on the Internet, what we are writing and to whom we are writing. Facial recognition software is developing at an enormous rate.

Of course, all these technologies benefit us, simplify our lives and automate tasks. But in doing so, our personal data and ethical standards are also at risk.


2. speech-to-text technology

George Orwell


A pen was an archaic instrument, even used rarely, and Winston got his own on the sly and not without difficulty [...] Actually, he was not accustomed to writing by hand. Except for the briefest of notes, he dictated everything in his speechwriter's...


The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, used a device called a speechwriter at work. It recorded what was said and displayed it as text on a TV screen.


Today there are many apps and services that do the same thing. Google Docs, Google Keyboards and Yandex, for example, have speech-to-text functionality. As Orwell predicted, this useful technology is in high demand.


3. huge military bases.

George Orwell.


A floating fortress, for example, absorbed as much labor as it would have taken to build several hundred cargo ships.


In the world described in the book, there are floating fortresses. They are huge military bases "defending strategic points of maritime communications" that are virtually impossible to sink.


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The modern embodiment of this idea can partly be considered aircraft carriers, although they are far from as large in size. Most of all on the floating fortresses similar to artificial islands. They are created to house airports, tourist facilities and other purposes. And the closest to what Orwell described, Chinese islands, which are designed for both industrial and military needs.


4. Creating Art with Artificial Intelligence

George Orwell


1984 was a place where low-brow newspapers were made, with nothing but sport, criminal chronicles and astrology, five-cent novels, dirty movies and sensitive songs, composed in a purely mechanical way on a special kind of kaleidoscope, a so-called verification machine.


The novel describes a versioning device that creates music and literature without human involvement. In essence, it is artificial intelligence.


Recently, works created by machines have also begun to appear in reality. In 2017, Hello World is the first music album composed by AI / Hello World is the first music album written by artificial intelligence.


That same year, in a tribute to the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac, writer Ross Goodwin sent an AI Goes Full Jack Kerouac / The Atlantic his laptop in the car from New York City to New Orleans. Attached to the computer was a camera, GPS navigator and microphone, which recorded the information, and neural networks on the laptop processed all incoming data and wrote a book based on it, published under the title 1 the Road.


5. Big Brother and Propaganda

Jorge Orwell.


At each site, the same face looked out from the wall. The portrait was made so that no matter where you went, the eyes wouldn't let you go. THE OLD BROTHER BROTHER WATCHING AT YOU," the caption read.


In the "1984" universe, posters of Big Brother, the leader of the state, hang in every city. It's as if he's watching the inhabitants and keeping them from disobedience. And the image is made in such a way that from any point of view it seems as if Big Brother is looking right at you.


Modern politicians use similar tactics. For example, in 2018 in North Co.

6. Word Games to Control Thinking

George Orwell.


The vocabulary was divided into three classes: vocabulary A, vocabulary B (basic words) and vocabulary C. [...] Vocabulary B consisted of words specially constructed for political purposes, in other words, words that not only had political meaning but also imposed a certain position on the person using them.


In the book, politicians create a new vocabulary, a new language to govern people. It retains the general rules of English grammar, but removes negatively colored words in order to minimize thought-crimes - thoughts that do not correspond to the party ideology. For example, instead of the word "bad," it says "bad. The bottom line is that the neo-language is similar to familiar language, but different enough from it to direct thought the way it should.


The media today uses roughly the same techniques to indoctrinate audiences with certain views. With the right words, they reinforce positive or negative opinions about events and phenomena. For example, they mention religion if a crime was committed by a Muslim, which createsR. Gardner, Y. Karakaşoğlus, S. Luchtenberg. Islamophobia in the Media: A Response from Multicultural Education / Intercultural Education in Society Islamophobia.


7. Permanent wars

George Orwell


In one combination or another, the three superpowers have been engaged in a constant war that has been going on for twenty-five years. The war, however, is no longer the desperate, deadly confrontation it was in the first half of the twentieth century. It is warfare with limited objectives, with the adversaries unable to destroy each other, with no material interest in war, and with no ideological opposition to each other.


In Orwell's future, there are only three states left: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. At any given time, two of them are at war with each other. The wars go on nonstop, but as soon as a new one breaks out, everyone forgets about the previous one. The battles usually take place in disputed territories, and the world is constantly in a precarious state of flux.


Sounds pretty similar to the description of the real situation in today's world.


8. Rewriting History

George Orwell.


An issue of The Times, which, because of political misdirection and Big Brother's erroneous prophecies, has been reprinted maybe a dozen times, is still dated in the filing with the former number, and not a single rebuttal copy is in existence. Books, too, have been rewritten over and over again and come out without any mention of being rewritten.


In the novel, the government regularly rewrites history, removing what has become objectionable and falsifying data. This is handled by the Ministry of Truth.


These days, Bush's 'Coalition of the Willing' - or Orwell Comes to Iraq / The New York Times has been known to rewrite at least official press releases to remove unjustified statements from them. And the lawFederal Law No. 264-FZ of July 13, 2015 "On Amendments to the Federal Law 'On Information, Information Technology and Information Protection' and Articles 29 and 402 of the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation" on the "right to be forgotten" allows ordinary citizens to demand the removal of defamatory and unpleasant data about themselves, thereby giving them the opportunity to be "reborn."


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