1984 Sales Rocket as Mass Global Paranoia Kicks in

By Gary Cutlack on at

The explosion in worry over what the government can and can't watch us doing has had quite the effect on the sales of George Orwell's surveillance society classic 1984, which has seen Amazon sales rocket by several thousand percent as well-read people quote their favourite Big Brother lines across the media.

However, scholar Daniel J. Solove reckons people might be reading the wrong book. The problems we're seeing don't see the public amending its behaviour due to the overbearing surveillance as featured on Orwell's book. Solove says the way most people don't seem to really care about the government potentially harvesting masses of mundane data on our web searches, travel habits and more is more akin to a Kafkaesque scenario.

Solove puts it like this: "I suggested a different metaphor to capture the problems: Franz Kafka'sThe Trial, which depicts a bureaucracy with inscrutable purposes that uses people's information to make important decisions about them, yet denies the people the ability to participate in how their information is used."

Just bear in mind that people caught buying such forms of subversive literature go straight to the top of the naughty list nowadays. [The Atlantic]