I trust many people have at least heard of George Orwell, the prolific author, and (even if you don’t read) his prophetic novel, 1984. I hope so; if not, then this society is fucked.
The invention of print, however, made
it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the ﬁlm and the radio carried the
process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance
which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same
instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen
important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twentyfour hours a
day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of oﬃcial propaganda, with all
other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only
complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion
on all subjects, now existed for the ﬁrst time.
Excerpt: 1984, George Orwell
November 2012: Verizon registered a patent that makes Big Brother, the ‘reality TV’ show strangely apt in its name alone (which was inspired by the character Big Brother in the novel), look like LEGO blocks to a civil engineer.