From writer Neil Postman about the future (with my thoughts in parentheses): What George Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Aldous Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. (TV?) Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. (Google?) Orwell feared
that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. (Twitter? Facebook? “Breaking news”?) Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with feelings instead of facts. (Oprah? Dr. Phil?) As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions. In 1984, Huxley added, that people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
We must face the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
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