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Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Orwell was partially right

George Orwell was often right or even prophetic with the wind in the right direction. So when I heard about the new shouting CCTV cameras in the media, I thought, "He's done it again!" Of course, predicting something nearly 60 years ahead is small beer compared to biblical prophets but George did prophesise on a much smaller budget!

Anyway, I was walking home when an iron voice barked "Oi! You on the bike, you're going the wrong way!" I looked, and sure enough, there was a cyclist riding against the traffic in one way street. He lifted a lazy arm, waved two fingers in a nonchalant manner at the camera and rode on.

Now, had the camera operator been backed up by Orwell's Thought Police, all would have been well. A helicopter would have been despatched to take the miscreant to Room 101. In the real world, the operator may have been offered feedback from his line manager. Perhaps asked to consider the use of more respectful language to encourage compliance with the law?

Or maybe, just maybe, he and his boss had a subversive chat about the limitations of technology? I don't think so though. That would be
Thoughtcrime.

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