Are friends electric?
Phonlamai Photo via Shutterstock
The revolution in AI harbours dangers for humanity – here’s why.
With the third national lockdown under way, how can E.M. Forster’s neglected masterpiece help us survive the next few months?
The icon of Houseparty, a “user-friendly” application that rose in popularity during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In the current health crisis, authorities use our need for security and private firms our desire for entertainment to encourage us to give up our civil rights.
Eric Blair (better known as George Orwell) in characteristic pose.
When two of Britain’s most influential voices clashed over allied bombing of Germany, Orwell took an unusual line.
State police officers during a “Reopen Virginia” rally around Capitol Square in Richmond on April 22, 2020.
Getty/Ryan M. Kelly / AFP
‘Dystopia’ is a term that’s gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s not a synonym for ‘a bad time,’ and a government’s poor handling of a crisis does not constitute dystopia.
Wade Watts becomes a better global citizen when he reconnects to the real world in Ernest Cline’s novel ‘Ready Player One.’ Tye Sheridan stars as Watts in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation.
(2018 edition of 'Ready Player One'/Penguin Random House)
The bestselling novel turned film exposes paradoxes of fixing a broken system with its own tools. As we collectively meditate on the world’s problems, why not imagine better worlds?
The dominant reading of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984” has been that it was a dire prediction of what could be.
Denis Hamel Côté
In the year 1984, there was self-congratulatory coverage that the dystopia of the novel had not been realized. However, an expert argues that the technologies described in the novel are here and watching us.
Written as the Cold War became entrenched, 1984 was meant as a warning on the nature of state power. Understanding this power is even more important today.
George Orwell’s dystopian classic can tell us a lot about contemporary politics and power, from Donald Trump to Facebook.
Renato Musolino is the beating heart of a new production of Animal Farm.
An impressive solo performance of Orwell’s classic novella by Renato Musolino portrays a world not so far from our own.
EPA-EFE/Larry W. Smith
Why don’t politicians just say what they mean? Because we might not like it.
A day after Donald Trump met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, he told lawmakers the U.S. should have more immigrants from places like Norway and not “shithole” countries like Haiti.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Donald Trump’s language has disturbing similarities to the words and verbal tactics used by fascists, including his cries of “fake news” and his obsessive exaggerations about his achievements.
‘Man Combating Ignorance’ – what’s science’s role?
Century of Progress Records, 1927-1952, University of Illinois at Chicago Library
There’s no shortage of problems facing humanity. Science’s role in how to tackle them has long been debated – including memorably by two of the 20th century’s greatest literary figures.
aradaphotography via Shutterstock
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove may not be the stuff of Orwell’s dystopian nightmare, but they clearly know how to talk in ‘doublespeak’.
Is speaking some evil really so bad?
We gave four scholars from different disciplines a chance to offer their opinions on this important question.
Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is famous for having been called wise in part because he wouldn’t label himself wise.
It is a tall order to try to become wise. And the bad news is that it appears harder than many philosophers have thought.
A painting of Alex played by Malcolm McDowell in Stanley Kubrick’s film of A Clockwork Orange.
On the centenary of Anthony Burgess’s birth – A Clockwork Orange had a profound influence on the cultural and political landscape.
Alternative facts owe more to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World than Orwell’s 1984.
Every crystal ball has a shelf life, even the most prescient.
The best selling book on Amazon is ‘1984’ – which was originally published in 1949. A historian from Case Western Reserve University considers how the novel helps us think about our present moment.
Protestants hold a Sunday service in the open air in Jakarta. Their efforts to erect their own church buildings have been blocked by hardline Muslim groups.
Truth’s victory over hate propaganda is neither automatic nor preordained. It requires a commitment to equal rights and norms of tolerance.