Thursday, February 24, 2011

Orwell Predicted Big Brother, but nobody said anything about "Little Brother"

Yesterday at the Pentagon, I unwittingly took out my cell phone and snapped a photo of the sign that says "Welcome to the Pentagon". Within seconds I was apprehended by a guard and asked to delete the photo. This is what we have come to! Its at the point now where if I acted fast enough I could have streamed an Image of the interior of the Pentagon over the internet in SECONDS! Generational debates over technology are always spewing from newsrooms, colleges, and the courts, but it is also interesting how, like this article suggests, "little brother" will affect the way people do their jobs.


Maggie said...

This article reminds me of a chapter in Clay Shirky's book, "Here Comes Everybody", that talks about the power of the media to galvanize the public, particularly by the invention of flash mobs. Shirky's example of the "ice cream mob," a group assembled in Minsk's Oktyabrskaya square simply to eat ice cream illustrates the clash of "big brother" and "little brother." Threatened by this display of public coordination, the Lukashenko government arrested innocent ice-cream eaters. In this example, both sides displayed a certain power over the other. The public, in their ability to share information via the internet, organize among themselves, and gather with a common goal all in a short amount of time represent the power of "little brother". In contrast, the government still had the authority to detain their citizens for a seemingly innocent act. Yet as the article suggests, it seems that "little brother" may prevail in the long run. Images of the ice cream mob arrests emerged all over the internet, drawing international attention to Lukashenko's oppresive regime. As Shirky puts it, "nothing says 'police state' like detaining kids for eating ice cream."

Maggie said...

PS- I read this book in APP!