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Thread: Orwell's '1984' Book Sales Skyrocket In Wake Of NSA Surveillance Scandal

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    Default Orwell's '1984' Book Sales Skyrocket In Wake Of NSA Surveillance Scandal

    On June 8, 1949, George Orwell published a novel describing a fictitious world gripped in the vise of constant war and a society held captive by the ever-watchful gaze of a shadowy totalitarian dictator known as "Big Brother." The book has since found relevance again and again in our modern world.

    This week, in the wake of the ongoing National Security Administration surveillance scandal, dystopian classic 1984 is again experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3423185.html

    This book needs to be taught in high school.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
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    So it was written and so it must forever be

  2. #2
    Consul Luisss's Avatar
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    Stupid book.
    "Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit."

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luisss View Post
    Stupid book.
    Haaaahahahhahahahhahhalololozololololololzhahahhah ahaharolflol

    You have to be trolling. That was funny. Really, really funny. Oh, you crack me up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Philosopher Jacana's Avatar
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    It is taught in the High School I went to. Not by the English Teachers though, by the CWI Teacher.

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    Consul Luisss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    Haaaahahahhahahahhahhalololozololololololzhahahhah ahaharolflol

    You have to be trolling. That was funny. Really, really funny. Oh, you crack me up.
    ..
    "Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit."

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacana View Post
    It is taught in the High School I went to. Not by the English Teachers though, by the CWI Teacher.
    Not fair. I had to find it on my own. We had to read things like Gatsby and Farewell to Arms. I did enjoy being forced to read Things Fall Apart. That book was amazing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Consul Kurtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacana View Post
    It is taught in the High School I went to. Not by the English Teachers though, by the CWI Teacher.
    English lit for me.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacana View Post
    by the CWI Teacher.
    What is CWI?

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    Philosopher LuckyGurrl's Avatar
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    I was home-schooled and my mom made it and animal farm part of my curriculum. I found it hard to read (dry and stilted) but even I can see some shades of it in our current government policies.
    or
    It's the luck of the draw.

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    Such a powerful book. Some parts of it are seared into my mind.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Philosopher Jacana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
    What is CWI?
    Current World Issues.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacana View Post
    Current World Issues.
    I thought it stood for

    Chilensk Walisisk Ilandføring

    Btw, Kurtz, most of your words are just English cognates...God, I should learn Norwegian.
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    Senator gebne's Avatar
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    The pinelet had to read it for English here. I think they were studying dystopian novels at the time. I remember reading it when i was in school but that may of been because it was 1984 or approaching 1984 at the time. I forget. Joys of being OLD.
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    What the pineappleh's going on, and where are my reins?

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    We had to read 1984, animal farm, and brave new world, among others. Did they stop doing that after the late 90's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshyyy View Post
    There is some serious misquoting potential above.
    The rep system should be abolished.

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    Philosopher Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    We had to read 1984, animal farm, and brave new world, among others. Did they stop doing that after the late 90's?
    We had to read those well into the 2000s
    Quote Originally Posted by Rokchick View Post
    OMG, Wodey found a woman who agrees with him. He must be right, cos all women are always right all the time.

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    Senator sugarbritches's Avatar
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    Pretty sure I read this in 6th or 7th grade. It was for the academic competitions I was in though not for a class. I can't remember if I read it again after that. I liked it, I loved reading pretty much anything they threw at me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3423185.html

    This book needs to be taught in high school.
    I think it's taught in most these day. I had read it for either honors or AP English. Also had to read Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Atlas Shrugged, and The Martian Chronicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Probability Indigo View Post
    I was home-schooled and my mom made it and animal farm part of my curriculum. I found it hard to read (dry and stilted) but even I can see some shades of it in our current government policies.
    I reread all my lit classes books just recently. Hated them at the time, but damn I loved them this time around. Especially Clockwork Orange, but Orwell was excellent too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapient View Post
    Btw, Kurtz, most of your words are just English cognates...God, I should learn Norwegian.
    Wrong way around. We taught the English.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    We had to read 1984, animal farm, and brave new world, among others. Did they stop doing that after the late 90's?
    Quote Originally Posted by Belladonna View Post
    I think it's taught in most these day. I had read it for either honors or AP English. Also had to read Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Atlas Shrugged, and The Martian Chronicles.
    I graduated in '97. The only one we read was Brave New World.

    I have yet to read Atlas Shrugged but I do want it. Is it good?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
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    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Philosopher Jacana's Avatar
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    I haven't actually read 1984, despite that it was taught in my school. I really need to sometime.

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    This book is taught in a lot of high schools, but there's so many books that could cover our future. Orwell's book has shed light to our future for several years now, so I don't know why everyone is thinking that is a big deal now. There's so many books that schools skip out on, it is sad.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davion View Post
    This book is taught in a lot of high schools, but there's so many books that could cover our future. Orwell's book has shed light to our future for several years now, so I don't know why everyone is thinking that is a big deal now. There's so many books that schools skip out on, it is sad.
    And yet schools think that Silas Marner is ever so important. That was the one assigned book I didn't read. I fell asleep every time I tried.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacana View Post
    I haven't actually read 1984, despite that it was taught in my school. I really need to sometime.
    You can easily find pdf versions online with a little google-fu. It was written so long ago you would think that it would have no meaning in todays world, but there are so many similarities between the fiction world he wrote about and todays world its a little bit eerie.


    Of course my little public schools wouldn't have us read it, as well as it not being in the school library. Not even in the search database which would pull up almost anything as long as you spelled it close, including most things not in the school library.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I proceeded to call him a noob, not knowing that he was the head dev.
    Jono
    I would have done the same.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Random-Villain View Post
    You can easily find pdf versions online with a little google-fu. It was written so long ago you would think that it would have no meaning in todays world, but there are so many similarities between the fiction world he wrote about and todays world its a little bit eerie.
    That's because our government adopted it as a guide.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Consul Kurtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random-Villain View Post
    You can easily find pdf versions online with a little google-fu. It was written so long ago you would think that it would have no meaning in todays world, but there are so many similarities between the fiction world he wrote about and todays world its a little bit eerie.


    Of course my little public schools wouldn't have us read it, as well as it not being in the school library. Not even in the search database which would pull up almost anything as long as you spelled it close, including most things not in the school library.
    There are plenty of torrent sites dedicated to books and sheet music and so on out there. Much better formats than PDF out there for reading.

  26. #26

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    That's because our government adopted it as a guide.
    Lets not get silly here. There's no doubt that a very serious discussion about what level of privacy and surveillance we as a citizenry think is a good balance, but to say that Orwell's 1984 is even remotely similar to what Americans currently live in is a joke. The book is great, ahead of its time, and something to keep in mind. But we do not have people being persecuted or prosecuted for "thoughtcrimes" in an at all similar way to the book so please don't attempt some tortured analogy of particular state curriculum trying to ban books or whatever. We do not have anything even remotely close to omnipresent surveillance, particularly of the intimate nature as was present in the book. Public mind control? And I mean REAL public mind control, not the political rhetoric we have seen for decades. And at least for now we do still have a 2 party system which, as corrupt as it is, is so completely different than the complete control of a single elite caste engaging in single-minded nation-wide propaganda and and historical revisionism without any opposing view points?

    There may be very specific examples of similarities, but on the whole the book is a vastly different world than what America currently embodies. That being said, don't let that stop anyone from reading it! Good literature is good literature!

    As for your other question Ms. Evil, about is Atlas Shrugged a good book, that is highly subjective, depending on the worldview of the person you are asking. Paul Ryan thinks its one of the most important books ever read and he has based his political career in large part based on it. I personally think its a piece of trash, shallow, based entirely on non-existent character archetypes to the point of absurdity. At the time, it was trashed by literary critics, but enjoyed massive public success. So at pretty much every level, it depends on who you ask.
    Last edited by Babalu; 06-19-2013 at 09:03 PM.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    There are plenty of torrent sites dedicated to books and sheet music and so on out there. Much better formats than PDF out there for reading.
    Does it really matter how you read it? Maybe I don't hate pdf reading due to years of D&D books being easy to obtain as pdf.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    I proceeded to call him a noob, not knowing that he was the head dev.
    Jono
    I would have done the same.

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    Atlas Shrugged is mind-numbingly boring. Soooooooooooooo boring. Boring boring boring.
    Boooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrringgg gggggggggggggggggg.

    And Kurtz, of course the Norwegians taught the English english. Sometimes I think of the Norwegians as the stuck up elves in the Lord of the Rings novels. Just wanna go all orky on 'em!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Random-Villain View Post
    Does it really matter how you read it?
    If you want to find it easily PDF is fine. If you want an enjoyable read on e.g. a tablet.... PDF isn't so good.

    So in other words, yes. But really that's all I was alluding to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    If you want to find it easily PDF is fine. If you want an enjoyable read on e.g. a tablet.... PDF isn't so good.

    So in other words, yes. But really that's all I was alluding to.
    I know a great site for finding nonpdf books but it's not so legal and shouldn't be named...


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  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    We had to read 1984, animal farm, and brave new world, among others. Did they stop doing that after the late 90's?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    We had to read those well into the 2000s
    It wasn't in our curriculum, then again I only took two years of HS English. My junior year we took Brit Lit which included the Beo, Paradise Lost, Portrait of Dorian Grey, Gully's Travels, The Frankster, Twelfth Night, and maybe some others.

    Senior year, it was contemporary literature which included Black Like Me, The Joy Luck Club, The House on Mango Street. There was a really great narrative about the Vietnam War, only I can't remember the title nor the author's name, but it really went into the horrors of war from a soldier's point of view.

    Although Orwell's 1984 wasn't in the curriculum, I did read it anyway, personally I preferred Brave New World when it comes to political distopias.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    Lets not get silly here. There's no doubt that a very serious discussion about what level of privacy and surveillance we as a citizenry think is a good balance, but to say that Orwell's 1984 is even remotely similar to what Americans currently live in is a joke. The book is great, ahead of its time, and something to keep in mind. But we do not have people being persecuted or prosecuted for "thoughtcrimes" in an at all similar way to the book so please don't attempt some tortured analogy of particular state curriculum trying to ban books or whatever. We do not have anything even remotely close to omnipresent surveillance, particularly of the intimate nature as was present in the book. Public mind control? And I mean REAL public mind control, not the political rhetoric we have seen for decades. And at least for now we do still have a 2 party system which, as corrupt as it is, is so completely different than the complete control of a single elite caste engaging in single-minded nation-wide propaganda and and historical revisionism without any opposing view points?

    There may be very specific examples of similarities, but on the whole the book is a vastly different world than what America currently embodies. That being said, don't let that stop anyone from reading it! Good literature is good literature!
    You're right. No one is ever arrested on thought crimes. Our government doesn't use surveillance on it's citizens. The mind control thing- ask Sappy about that one. I can't think of the search terms to use.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

  33. #33

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    Thank you for proving my point Ms. Evil. Unfortunately when making your post, you apparently failed to read what I actually wrote.

    But we do not have people being persecuted or prosecuted for "thoughtcrimes" in an at all similar way to the book so please don't attempt some tortured analogy of particular state curriculum trying to ban books or whatever.
    Notice that the Grand jury refused to indict, despite the fact that they are " famously accused of a propensity to indict a ham sandwich if a slick D.A." So even the supposed rubber stamp for the D.A. refused this ridiculous case.

    We do not have anything even remotely close to omnipresent surveillance, particularly of the intimate nature as was present in the book.
    Does that Drone have parabolic listening capabilities that allow it to listen to your actual conversations, wiretap your phones with impunity, or read your mind? Are those drones used all the time across the country? Don't bother looking, the answer is no, no, no, and absolutely not.

  34. #34

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    My English classes were into Shakespeare and Odyssey and stories of the Trojan War. We didn't read Orwell's books except War of the Worlds..*shrugs* This book is not one that I have read, sadly. We did spend a lot of time on how to write our own stories.


    I agree that the government oversteps it's bounds sometimes. But, I can't pretend to know what you guys are arguing over.
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    Villager Mr. G&W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    There was a really great narrative about the Vietnam War, only I can't remember the title nor the author's name, but it really went into the horrors of war from a soldier's point of view.
    Was it 'The Things They Carried'?
    "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor." -English Proverb

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babalu View Post
    Thank you for proving my point Ms. Evil. Unfortunately when making your post, you apparently failed to read what I actually wrote.

    Notice that the Grand jury refused to indict, despite the fact that they are " famously accused of a propensity to indict a ham sandwich if a slick D.A." So even the supposed rubber stamp for the D.A. refused this ridiculous case.
    He was still held, against his will, on the charges until they set him free. Arresting someone for "thought crime". They didn't take him to room 101, but they did put him in a cell. It is similar.

    Does that Drone have parabolic listening capabilities that allow it to listen to your actual conversations, wiretap your phones with impunity, or read your mind? Are those drones used all the time across the country? Don't bother looking, the answer is no, no, no, and absolutely not.
    The NSA listens to conversations on phones and by snooping through email. The drones are for video surveillance. The cameras they have put up on streets everywhere are their "all the time" video surveillance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Eb0l is the alpha and the omega
    The eternal pumpkin queen, and mother of gerbils
    So it was written and so it must forever be

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    Consul Kurtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrcat View Post
    I know a great site for finding nonpdf books but it's not so legal and shouldn't be named...
    Exactly what I was alluding to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    It is similar.
    Indeed.

  38. #38

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    Actually the NSA doesn't listen to calls. They record the number that was called and the length of the phone call, but they have absolutely no idea what was said. The drones may be for video surveillance but they are almost never used at all within the U.S. unless its for border security, which I am absolutely in favor of. Only under very special circumstances does a drone ever get used, or you'd see them flying over towns all the time. As for video surveillance on the street.....who cares? Are you worried about being on camera walking down the street? And also, many of those cameras you see are security camers that belong to the businesses you are passing by. Besides, its not like all this video is ever actually watched. If you think about the manpower it would take to actually watch all of the video of every camera in the country running 24/7, you would need 10 NSA organizations and I doubt even that would be enough. The government cameras that are in those areas help solve crimes that happen in the area, they are not watched 24/7, it simply isn't possible.

    As for that teen, he referenced the Boston bombing and then claimed he was going to commit a whole bunch of murders and get away with it. So police brought him in and questioned him. When it was established what was going on, the grand jury shut it down. That's the system working. That's ENTIRELY different than having a whole organization solely dedicated to the constant surveillance of the entirety of the country's population, complete with view screens directly into every single house quite literally watching your hand motion and facial expressions, and which further specializes in hunting down and arresting, then torturing, someone for having thoughts against the values of the ruling party, violent or not. So no, its not even remotely similar.

    If nothing had been done and that kid had suddenly shot 27 children at an elementary school, people would be screaming bloody murder that nobody looked into all the hostile, murderous posts he made on social media. Just like has happened previously.

    I'm not saying I agree with everything that's being done. I'm saying that what is actually going on is not even remotely comparable to the world of Orwell's 1984. That's pure sensationalism.

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    Consul Kurtz's Avatar
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  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Evil View Post
    The mind control thing- ask Sappy about that one. I can't think of the search terms to use.
    That was a study in the Army back in the 90's, where they were able to put sounds into people's heads using radio waves, they showed it with numbers. And the radar on the F-22 and F-35 look very similar to the design used in the experiment (in output patterns), except obviously more advanced. But, there's no proof that it was ever used beyond R&D, against civilian or hostile.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mod Dark Tower View Post
    *Sigh*, I'm such an idiot.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blazin1 View Post
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