'1984' Isn't Coming True In Real Life, Right?

The recent Wikileaks dump of classified U.S. Central Intelligence Agency documents has once again raised the debate over how the government should balance national security and Americans’ right to privacy. According to the leaks, the CIA has developed technology that can be used to hack into SAMSUNG SSNLF TVs, Apple Inc. AAPL iPhones and iPads, and PCs and other devices running Microsoft Corporation MSFT’s Windows operating system.

Of course, the government says it would never use any of its capabilities to spy on American citizens. However, privacy advocates often compare the ever-increasing government surveillance capabilities to the rise of “Big Brother” from George Orwell’s book “1984.”

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If the Wikileaks hack is, in fact, evidence that 2017 may be the real-life “1984,” perhaps the book can shed some light on what kinds of things Americans should be watching out for next. Here are a few plot points from the book that some argue may have already begun to come true.

  • In "1984," the Brotherhood Party watches citizens wherever they go. This part of the plot is seemingly the closest to reality, according to the Wikileaks documents. While the government says it doesn't monitor citizens’ personal activities in their homes or on their phones, it certainly seems to have the capability to do so.
  • In "1984," the government re-writes history and even manipulates the language in an attempt to stave off potential rebellion. While U.S. citizens still have full freedom of speech, the current administration’s use of “alternative facts” may be a red flag that the integrity of the media should be closely monitored.
  • In "1984," the government prohibits sex and discourages individuality. Like all other elements of the story, how closely it applies to today’s situation in the United States is open to interpretation. The groundbreaking 2015 Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage was certainly a step toward freedom of sexual expression and individuality. However, the recent bans on travelers from seven and then six Muslim-majority countries could be interpreted as a step in the opposite direction.
  • The dramatic conclusion of “1984” involves government brainwashing citizens to get them to conform. In the book, the government turns the protagonist’s biggest fears against him in an attempt to get him to abandon his personal ideals. Once again, applying this element to today’s America is a matter of personal opinion. There’s no question that politicians in both parties have used fear tactics regarding terrorism, immigration, gun violence, employment, healthcare and even socioeconomic class warfare to scare voters into choosing sides. While politicians throughout the ages have always recognized that fear is a strong motivator, Americans concerned about governmental power may have taken note of just how much of the 2016 campaign season was devoted to stirring up fears.

Is “1984” coming true in real life? Obviously there’s no way to answer that question definitively. But following the latest Wikileaks document dump, it seems reasonable for Americans to be concerned.

Image Credit: By Jordan L'Hôte - Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted In: 1984CIAGeorge OrwellVault 7WikiLeaksEducationPoliticsTechGeneral

11 Best Black Friday Deals on Amazon

11 Best Black Friday Deals on Amazon

The best Black Friday deals from Amazon are still coming hard and fast because the holiday is not yet upon us and the mega-retailer prefers to keep consumers on the hook for as long as possible—spending as much money as possible. 

To that end, here are some of the best Black Friday deals from Amazon that you might want to consider today.

Calphalon 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set

Regular Price: $172

Sale Price: $138.88

Calphalon’s 10-Piece Pots and Pans Set is designed with stainless steel, stay-cool handles along with pour spouts. The nonstick surface is PFOA-free and built with hard-anodized aluminum that is both durable and conducts heat extremely well. The set includes 2 fry pans, a sauce pan with cover, saute pan with cover and large stock pot with cover.

Apple AirPods 2nd Generation

Regular Price: $144

Sale Price: $85.49

The 2nd Generation AirPods from Apple connect to all Apple devices and give you an enhanced listening experience. Plus, they come with a case that keeps them safe and allows you to charge them in a secure environment. With over 24 hours of battery life, access to Siri and easy setup, you can start listening to your favorite tunes or podcasts today.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Running Shoes

Regular Price: $129.98

Sale Price: $89.98

The Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 21 running shoe is perfect for anyone who likes a short run, maybe a 5K, half marathon or more. Coming in several colors and styles, you can slip these shoes on, enjoy the cushioned outsole, sink into the supple insole and secure laces.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

Regular Price: $129.99

Sale Price: $97.83

The Ninja AF101 Air Fryer allows you to crisp, roast, reheat and even dehydrate food products faster and cheaper than ever before. It has a 4-quart capacity and offers a wide temperature range along with several time settings so that you can customize each dish to your needs. Plus, all the parts are dishwasher safe.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Regular Price: $199.95

Sale Price: $99

Beats by Dr. Dre are among the best headphones on the market, and the Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones include the Apple W1 chip, Class 1 Bluetooth and 40 hours of battery time. These headphones even have a built-in microphone and offer an adjustable fit so that you can be comfortable whether you’re listening to an Android or iOS device.

Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

Regular Price: $198.98

Sale Price: $175.98

The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner allows you to keep your home spotless and clean up after your pets. The cleaner comes with the Hoover Paws and Claws Deep shampoo and a storage mat to keep the floor dry once it’s put away.

LG CordZero Auto Empty Cordless Stick Vacuum

Regular Price: $999.00

Sale Price: $851.71

The LG CordZero Auto Empty Cordless Stick Vacuum and Wet Mop All in One Tower is designed to work in homes with several pets or children and clean up all the messes that life brings. The battery lasts up to 2 hours, and there’s an extra removable battery that gives you even more cleaning time and power.

Breville Fresh and Furious Blender

Regular Price: $278.60

Sale Price: $199.95

Breville, a top name in blenders and juicers, offers the Fresh and Furious Blender, featuring 50-ounce capacity, Vac Q technology, pre-programmed cycles, LCD display and lid with pull ring. With the Fresh and Furious Blender, you can make everything from a smoothie to a soup and everything in between.

Hot Tools Professional 2000 Turbo Ionic Hair Dryer

Regular Price: $89.99

Sale Price: $55.63

The Hot Tools Professional 2000 Turbo Ionic Hair Dryer is designed for professional use, but it works perfectly in the home. With 1875 watts of power, 6 heat and speed settings and a lightweight design, you can easily style your hair and utilize the diffuser, cut back on the frizz and stretch the 8 ft cord for maximum functionality.

Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket

Regular Price: $160

Sale Price: $97.38

The Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket from Columbia is designed to be light for everyday use, but it’s heavy enough to protect you from the cold. The plush fleece lining, security pocket, water resistant fabric, 2-way zipper, and zippered hand pockets make the jacket both protective and functional.

ConAir InfinitiPro Hair Dryer

Regular Price: $49.99

Sale Price: $29.99

ConAir is one of the biggest names in hair and beauty, and the InfinitPro is an 1875 watt hair dryer designed for professionals with ceramic technology. The dryer comes with a diffuser and concentrator, and it allows you to blow out your hair just the way they would at the salon.

Deals the Experts Are Hoping For

Experts believe that Amazon’s Black Friday sale could linger for quite some time. It all started with the Prime Early Access sale on October 11 and 12. Previously, Amazon has offered the “Epic Deals” sale that ran through late October. 

This is to say that any sale could come up at any time. 

Even so, those monitoring Amazon are looking forward to a few potential deals, including:

  • Apple Watch
  • AirPods (any generation)
  • MacBook Pro
  • Large, underpriced TVs
  • Amazon Echo
  • More small home appliances (Dyson or Shark vacuums, Instant Pots, etc.) 

While these predictions are based on last year’s Amazon Black Friday Sale, it’s important to remember that most Black Friday sales are fairly consistent and push the products that are most likely to sell.


Featured image sourced from Shutterstock

Posted In: Partner ContentGeneral