Hackney Conspired – George Orwell

George Orwell’s 1984 and Hackney

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Studies that date back as far as 2007 have indicated that Britain has an overwhelming 4.2million plus CCTV cameras.  That’s like more-or-less a camera for every family in the country.

Although this count is not official, it is however the figure cited through academic research and as mentioned in House of Commons documents.

Big Brother is Watching You.

Some will say modern-day Britain is increasingly echoing George Orwell’s1984’ where he tells the story of a World governed with surveillance…

…But why ?

Didn’t Orwell already paint a dark enough picture of what life could be like under such a regime ? And yet we proceed down that very same route… Where do you think it will all end? And most of all why do we need to be watched anyway?

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Tackling Crime with CCTV

Well you have to admit CCTV has been at the centre of capturing many an entertaining moment, where criminals have been foiled, but not necessarily caught, whilst in the act of committing a crime in the most funniest of ways – real comedy.

The thing is, in spite of being caught on camera, catching these criminals is another story… ….just watch the video below (or here), you’ll see what I mean.

1984 Revised – Mobile Phones and Video

One thing that may not have been considered in George Orwell’s fictional World is how the public will also become mini-big-brothers if you get my drift. Everyday people carrying Smartphones and other hand-held devices with a built-in video camera is certainly NOT uncommon these days. The other day whilst waiting for a bus heading towards Hackney, I made note of the number of people carrying a smartphone, or at least had their heads poised as if looking at some form of hand-held electronic device. It all looked very weird to say the least. And especially as I had been living abroad for a considerable number of years. Here are my notes from that exact day;

So there I stood in the cold weather at a bus stop which must have had at least 50 people or so, also waiting. 

There was something very common about each and every individual, they all had at least 1 smartphone between the party in which they were travelling, and if they happened to be alone the chances of that individual having a smartphone was more likely. 

You see, there were those that, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were talking to themselves..,

Finally, the number 30 bus arrives and there is a mini stampede towards the entrance as the door opens. Followed by a mixture of attitudes, from courteous glances of ; “After you…”  to wild agitated glances of ” I just got to get on that bus right now” 

Anyway, so automated and reliant on digital technology has the infrastructure developed that a recorded female voice narrates the journey, updating passengers at each bus stop as to the current location.

And if that is not enough the recording prompts passengers to;

“Please move down inside the bus” 

I wondered whether the pre recorded instructions was present in order to avoid any confrontation amongst passengers and the driver?

After all I do recall hearing of drivers being attacked by disgruntled passengers on the odd occasion.

As the journey progressed It became more and more apparent that this voice was obviously controlled by the driver especially when the voice started repeating itself and then adding “no standing on the upper deck”.

Unless there was some kind of sensor that was able to detect non moving passengers occupying the head room of what could only be a standing passenger.

As I was saying; of the 36 or so available and occupied seats  on the upper deck of this particular bus, only a handful of people seemed not to have a smartphone at the ready.

So what was it with the smartphones popularity?

Some people were having conversations, some playing games or engaged in other forms of entertainment whilst the odd few smiled, bemused by the text message they had just sent or received.

By the way you should have seen how many cameras were on the bus itself… 

Images: realbigenvelope.com

 

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