David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Tag: George Orwell

The Gamification of Consent

Gamification

In what is one of the more frightening uses of cloud computing, big data, data science, and data analysis, China has been working on what can only be described as the gamification of consent (a twist on the title of Edward Bernay’s book The Engineering of Consent). Via a new social media scoring system that rates your submission to the party line (though currently only running in numerous pilotprojects), the communist government will give incentive rewards for “appropriate” behavior in the light thereof, and take those rewards away for a dissenting score. This has huge implications as it relates to the study of mass psychology and the use by governments of tools like this to manipulate and coerce their populations into submission.

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Huxley Versus Orwell’s Vision of the Future

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. 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. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. 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, Orwell added, 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.”

Excerpt from the book Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.

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