Monday 17th of June 2024

cosy small talk with electrostatic detritus collectors...


The prophets of gloom, H G Wells and George Orwell got it right but rather than be obviously submissive to a Big Brother government, we are now submissive to a big brother government that tells us to be comfortable and relaxed — while the MMMM pre-munches the news and the NSA spies on what we say in our communication... Meanwhile there are drugs designed to stimulate a "man's" imagination but most of them are illegal. The BIG Brother government does not want you to be over-stimulated or have any imagination...

you smell like a money chip, at the non-existent checkout...

Imagine it’s 2040.

You go to the grocery store, and when you look for the checkout counter there is none. There’s no place to pay for your groceries because you already did.

When you walked into the store, a sensor identified you, perhaps from a ring or watch you were wearing that transmitted the information. Or perhaps you didn’t need to wear anything special. Maybe a device in the store figured out who you were using a combination of facial recognition, 3-D body shape identification and your gait.

read more:

and talking of George, it could depend where you live...

Nibbling on finger-food at a low breakfast table in northern Myanmar, members of the Katha Township Development Committee sat and discussed the novel Burmese Days, George Orwell's caustic homage to the "dirty work of Empire". 

"I don't like the behaviour of the Burmese in the book. The way it shows Myanmar people," said Kyaw Swe, a baker, railing against one of the characters in the book, the scheming judge U Po Kyin. "The judge's character is most like the Myanmar character." 

It is no coincidence that Kyaw Swe and his colleagues are debating the once-banned semi-fictitious novel set in the 1920s. As residents of the quiet riverside town of Katha, they are successors to the "Orientals" reviled in the book by Orwell, the British satirist who went on to write Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. 

The remote town, thinly disguised as Kyauktada in the book, is the real-life setting of Orwell's first novel, which is no kinder to the "natives" than to the bigoted, brandy-soaked empire-builders of the British Raj. 

Orwell said the town had "not changed greatly between the days of Marco Polo and 1910", when the British established a railway terminus. 

A century later, horse-drawn Hackney carriages can still be seen whisking people past the colonial prison, school, hospital, tin-roofed church and pagoda, which "rose from the trees like a slender spear tipped with gold".

a call for a "total data dump"...

Correction from Chris Floyd

One last word on the recent contretemps here involving Glenn Greenwald. I want to own up to a misstatement I made in my reply to Glenn. It was, literally, a parenthetical comment made in passing, not a main part of the argument, but it did contain a misstatement of fact, for which I apologize, and which I can only ascribe to the failing memory of an aging brain. The comment was this:

... (I have never advocated a "total dump" of the data, by the way; in fact, I don't know anyone who has.) ...

This is not factual. A writer I've quoted very often here -- Arthur Silber, whose medical crisis was in fact the subject of the original post that sparked another post that eventually led to Greenwald's comment -- has indeed called for a "total data dump," and has done so for a long time. Being familiar with his work, I knew this, of course, but in writing my somewhat hurried reply to Glenn (hurried because, for god's sake, one can't spend untold hours chewing blogospherical cud when there is a real life to be lived out there in the real world), I forgot Silber's very powerful and penetrating arguments for, yes, opening all the secrets of the national security state -- or as he terms it, more accurately, the Death State -- to the eyes of the world.

Silber has usefully
 reminded us of this fact in a new post, which takes off from my erroneous statement and lays out once more his compelling case for exposing all of the corrupted innards of our national security apparat. In addition to his own arguments -- which directly address the various objections to this course -- he also brings in a searing quote from Hannah Arendt on the issue of "irresponsibility" when confronted with the implacable power of a state based on fear, violence, conformity and "projecting dominance." I recommend anyone interested in these issues to read Silber's piece in full.

Please keep in mind that we are dealing with a state that believes it has the arbitrary, unchallengeable right to kill any of its citizens, at any time, without any judicial process whatsoever, simply at the whim of the president -- or any of the innumerable agents he empowers to kill on his behalf as they see fit. This is the reality we live under -- a reality
 reconfirmed just this week by a federal judge, who ruled that the families of American citizens murdered by their own government have no standing to challenge this action in a court of law.  And of course, this system extends its arbitrary license to kill to every human being on earth. It claims the right to kill anyone, anywhere, at the order of the president -- who meets every week with his advisers to pore over hit lists, just as Stalin did with the Politburo, and decide which of the targets will live and which shall die. 

Now, you may be happy with such a system policing itself with a few "reforms" which are devised and supervised by the system itself. A system which remains, at every point, completely hidden to the public that pays for it, and which at every turn, day after day, year after year, exacerbates the very extremism, violence, instability and chaos it purports to combat. (When it doesn't just fund it and arm it outright, as it is is doing in its backing of violent, head-chopping, heart-eating extremists in Syria, for example.) You may be comforted by the thought that a small number of legislators whose careers are funded by this system -- and very often directly by war profiteers and "security" profiteers -- will be "overseeing" whatever "reforms" of the system eventually become law (assuming that any of them actually do). 

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prediction 1959: self-driving cars and fishy walls by 1984...

One has to wonder about our ability to dream about the future... For example this item about a way to stop an "approaching" ice age:

ice age

Yes, in 1959, the notion of global warming had not penetrated our brains and science was still going as if the "natural" rhythms of the climate was in charge. As I have mentioned before on this site, science believed rightly that the earth's climate was going towards another ice age. This had been part of the calculations investigating past recent geological times and the estimates were correct but for one thing. The EXTRA CO2 factor added by the industrialisation of humanity burning fossil fuels. Thus now we're going to warmer climes at a rate of knots. 

Meanwhile a "mammoth project" to bring fresh water to inland of Australia was another dream of many, including C Y O'Connor in Western Australia... Considering that we're still unable to manage our scarce water resources from our river systems and considering THE SALT IN MOST OF THE AUSTRALIAN DESERT soils, this "mammoth project" would have been a disaster in waiting, like that of our Idiot-in-Chief wanting to develop the wild north of the country for agriculture... And of course, we would need the means to fill 100 Olympic swimming pools (the "mad-As-Hell" standard unit for filling dams and swimming pools) just to counteract evaporation alone daily for every Olympic swimming pool of water used for irrigation. Desalinated water is expensive and already a necessity just to supply a city like Perth year after year — and a city like Sydney, should there be another drought like ten years ago. In regard to mining under the Antarctic ice cap, one must be aware that by 1959, the US were planning to implant a few nuclear power stations, including Nukey Poo, on this frozen continent to supply electricity to the 24/7 activities below and on top of the ice...

Other predictions included the complete plastic house with odoriferous illuminated picture walls by 1984:




But the killer prediction was that we'd all live to 100 average, with advancement in organ replacement medicine  — but possibly die of boredom by age 45.



Now this is AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM to the extreme...


Please read more at:

of gambling, concrete zoos and nukey poos...

zoo and nukey poo

Sir Edward was panned a bit for building Taronga zoo with concrete pens for the animals... In regard to Nukey Poo read article above... (Nukey Poo leaked and leaked and leaked...)


And, in regard to the nuke energy rort (swindle using officialdom) don't go pass the Pommy experience:


The UK’s anti-competitive plan to subsidise nuclear power may be the final straw that breaks the renewable industry’s back, say critics. Paul Brown from the Climate News Network reports.

THE UNITED KINGDOM’S PLANS to build heavily subsidised nuclear power stations have come under withering attack from a coalition of politicians, academics, energy industry experts and environmental groups.

Evidence has poured into the European Commission, which is investigating whether the deal with the giant French nuclear company EDF breaks EU competition rules. The evidence from many objectors, whose submissions had to be made by yesterday (Monday, 7 April), claims that if the contract goes through it will wreck Europe’s chance of building up renewable energies to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

They say renewables will have to compete in an unfair market where one generator ‒ nuclear ‒ is guaranteed to be able to sell all its electricity at a stable price and with a built-in profit until 2058.

The UK Government has agreed a minimum price of £92.50 (AUD $137) a megawatt hour from a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in the west of England from 2023 — roughly double the existing price of electricity in Britain. The price will rise with inflation and runs for 35 years — a deal unprecedented in the energy sector, and not available to renewable energies like wind and solar. The guarantee will continue for all future nuclear stations too.

And the Government has gone even further — guaranteeing loans for construction, and providing insurance and compensation payments if policies change for any reason.

It claims that the deal will save £75 (AUD $111) a year on the average consumer’s bill if electricity prices rise by 2023, as it forecasts. But if they do not, then consumers will be paying far more for their electricity than they would otherwise.,6361


Please note that one of the ways government "used to" subsidise the nuclear industry was to buy 'WEAPON GRADE PLUTONIUM" from nuclear power stations once the uranium had been spent and the plutonium produced by the process is "getting too hot".... At about $4000 per GRAM, and knowing that a nuclear power station can produce more than a thousand tonne of the stuff in a lifetime, plus knowing that it only takes 5.8 kilograms of plutonium to make a basic atom bomb, I let you do the sums... One of the problem is that "disarmament" has placed the lid on this former form of "discreet" subsidy... Thus now they are quite open about it... I have in the back of my mind that some countries like the UK are restocking on nuclear fuel for undisclosed atom bomb making... Let me know...

the have chin and the have not — if we last that long...

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.


Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

Race 'ironed out'

But in the nearer future, humans will evolve in 1,000 years into giants between 6ft and 7ft tall, he predicts, while life-spans will have extended to 120 years, Dr Curry claims.

Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will improve, he says, while men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.

Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.

However, Dr Curry warns, in 10,000 years time humans may have paid a genetic price for relying on technology.

Spoiled by gadgets designed to meet their every need, they could come to resemble domesticated animals.

Receding chins

Social skills, such as communicating and interacting with others, could be lost, along with emotions such as love, sympathy, trust and respect. People would become less able to care for others, or perform in teams.

Physically, they would start to appear more juvenile. Chins would recede, as a result of having to chew less on processed food.

There could also be health problems caused by reliance on medicine, resulting in weak immune systems. Preventing deaths would also help to preserve the genetic defects that cause cancer.

Further into the future, sexual selection - being choosy about one's partner - was likely to create more and more genetic inequality, said Dr Curry. 


The have chin and the have not — if we last that long in the human zoo... An Opera in three act where a horse falls in love with a donkey, while global warming is trending hot.


Please pay attention to all the gems from 1959 above...


and by 1984, royalty will be a thing of the past...

The British royals are in Australia and our mainstream media have never been more excited; it's time to get real, says Dr Benjamin Thomas Jones.

ANOTHER ROYAL VISIT is upon us and the media is in its customary spin cycle.

There is wall to wall coverage of Will and Kate shaking hands with politicians, waving at relatively small crowds of royal watchers and giving dull and predictable speeches about the mutual love and respect Britain and Australia have for one another.

The odd article or sound bite will be given to a token republican trying to spoil the party by pointing out the sheer lunacy of it all. In this case, Australian Republican Movement national director, David Morris wrote an excellent piece for the Herald.

And then we are back to normal. Gushing colonials eager to name another road or hospital after our British betters.

I don’t want to be a Grinch.

If Australia was an independent republic and people wanted to fawn over the royals and follow every minute detail of their celebrity lives, I would be all for it. People love gossip and celebrity culture and making heroes out of people who can kick a ball well, sing a song or in this case live in a castle and help charity (by turning up at expensive dinners and such).

It’s all fine with me.

read more:,6402

See also: waiting for little godot... and Wouldn't It be Nice

What a mindfuck...


As George Orwell forewarned, writes John Pilger, advanced societies are being gradually depoliticised and political language is being turned on its head.

THE OTHER NIGHT, I saw George Orwells’s Nineteen Eighty-Four performed on the London stage.

Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece — remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said:

'... to be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.'

Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned.

What a mindfuck,” said a young woman, lighting up her phone.

read more:,6662


See picture and articles at top... See also: 

the bibliophiles...

playing with ourselves...

What will be the 100 most important objects of the next 100 years? That’s the question neuroscientist and games developer Adrian Hon attempts to answer in his new book. From smart pills to a government-provided minimum income, Adam Zwi takes a look at the objects and ideas that could dominate the next century.

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Meanwhile, back in them days, before Joe Hockey's poor:

not the valiant...

yes but what about the unloading?....

Boris 2’: the robot that takes the drudgery out of loading the dishwasher – video...




Here we can see that greed and laziness rule inside the human brain. We spend more energy on making things that will do what we should be doing ourselves... I know I jest, this robot is there to develop further the art of robotic thingy.


Yes one can create a robot who hates itself, like that on a Hitchhicker's Guide to The Galaxy.


But I think the scientific forces are at play to replace our idiotic leaders with clever smart robotic programs... I can't wait.


Read this line of blogs from top...

we're still crawling...

In this episode of IT Support, Vanessa looks at the long-held dream of the home of the future.

With both Apple and Google entering the market of fully integrated, wirelessly controlled automated home systems - will this vision of domestic life mean more convenience or less?

And what are the security and cost implications?


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See image and stories from top...

epitome of ignorance...

Banning people from reading George Orwell's novel is the 'epitome of ignorance', academic says

LAST UPDATED AT 12:25 ON Mon 10 Nov 2014

An Egyptian student has been arrested near the entrance of Cairo University for carrying a copy of George Orwell’s 1984, the Egyptian newspaper Egypt Independent reports.

A security official involved in the case, Major General Mahmoud Farouk, said the 21-year-old student, who police referred to as Mohamed T, was arrested after he was caught in possession of two cell phones without batteries, two USB drives, a hard disk and a copy of the novel 1984. 

The Egyptian ministry of internal affairs issued a statement explaining the arrest, Arabic newspaper Al Araby Al Jadeed reports: "[The novel] talks about military regimes which rule in corrupt countries." The student also had with him notes about how the Islamic Caliphate could be established in Egypt, the security source said.

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captain turdy's double-speak crookery is a masterpiece...

Although Abbott’s people smuggling and Bernardi’s halal fear-mongering appear vastly different on the outside, they emerge from Government agenda built on 'doublethink', writes Alex Jones and Celeste Moore.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell outlined the concept of “doublethink”:

'... to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them.'

If true, allegations which broke on Thursday that an Australian official named “Agus” paid six people smugglers US$5,000 each to take 65 asylum seekers to the Indonesian island of Rote demonstrate an Orwellian turn in the Government’s hardline approach to “stopping the boats.” Just last month, Prime Minister Tony Abbott unequivocally stated that it was essential to turn back the boats “if the scourge of people-smuggling is to be beaten”.,7827

the crap we have to deal with...


Media frenzy over 'mini Ice Age'

The media went into a frenzy over a report that a 'mini Ice Age' could be on the horizon.

ALAN JONES: Well, we’re now told by scientists at the University of Northumbria in Northern England that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to produce conditions last seen during the Little Ice Age that began in 1645, in other words, global freezing. Ha. 

— 2GB, The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 15th July, 2015

Hello, I’m Paul Barry, welcome to Media Watch.

And what better news could Alan Jones have had for listeners on returning to the airwaves last week? 

Yes, all those global warming nuts are wrong and we’re hurtling back to another Ice Age, which, 
as Australia’s most popular news site had told us two days earlier, could be just around the corner. 

EARTH faces a new “mini ice age” in the next 15 years, bringing year-round snowfields and turning normally ice-free waterways to sleet, scientists predict. 

—, 13th July, 2015

What? Even in Australia?

It must be that Antarctic Vortex again.

Those chilling Ice Age warnings were based on a presentation to an astronomy conference in Wales by mathematics Professor, Valentina Zharkova. 

And her predictions of a sharp decline in sunspot activity from 2030 had already sent Britain’s media into a frenzy.

With the Daily Mail naturally leading the chorus

Backed up by similar refrains in the UK Telegraph.And the Independent, all of which plumped for pictures of London’s River Thames frozen solid in days of old. 

In England during this "Little Ice Age", River Thames frost fairs were held. In the winter of 1683-84 the Thames froze over for seven weeks ...

— The Telegraph (UK), 11th July, 2015

Yikes. Is this really going to happen again? 

Well, in short, the answer is no ... 

As TV scientist Dr Karl pointed out to a relieved Sonia Kruger on Channel Nine’s Mornings

SONIA KRUGER: So, so just to, just to clarify then, no ice age in 15 years?

DR KARL KRUSZELNICKI: The chances of it happening are sort of the chances of the sun not rising tomorrow morning. It is possible, but microscopic. 

— Channel Nine, Mornings, 14th July, 2015

What Professor Zharkova was actually predicting was a new Maunder Minimum, which describes a period of exceptionally low sunspot activity that occurred between 1645 and 1715.

And while that was last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ as the 
Royal Astronomical Society told us in an ill-worded media release ... it certainly did not cause the mini ice age to occur 

The first frost fair on the River Thames was in 1608, almost 40 years before the Maunder Minimum began 

And the river was freezing over centuries before that. Because the mini Ice Age—which only affected the Northern Hemisphere—began in 1450 or even earlier. 

And lasted till well after the Maunder Minimum had gone

Indeed, as the Royal Astronomical Society admitted to Media Watch:

No one is seriously suggesting the world is about to enter an ice age.

... The lesson for us is that even having that phrase in quotation marks was a mistake. 

— Dr Robert Massey, Royal Astronomical Society, 15th July, 2015

But like so many others in the media, Channel Seven’s Daily Edition didn’t do its homework before getting ‘environment commentator’ Joel Hurrey to give his expert views

MONIQUE WRIGHT: Looking way ahead, Joel a really interesting report out by some scientists who have predicted a mini ice age in about 15 years. 

JOEL HURREY: How cool’s this. I’m a massive fan of ice age the movie and I watch it with my daughter all the time and I figure that if it’s going to happen, then, you know, let’s embrace it ...

MONIQUE WRIGHT: But couldn’t that have huge flow on effects for agriculture and so on? 

JOEL HURREY: Oh, of course, definitely. Look, it is going to affect a lot of problems, but in the same sense, it’s something truly special. You know, there was one that did happen in 1645-1715 in London known as the Me-unda [sic] Minimum, so it has happened before. People survived that, I’m sure we’ll be able to survive this one. 

TONY WILLIAMS: Gee he knows his stuff Joel, doesn’t he? 

— Channel Seven, The Daily Edition, 14th July, 2015

Well, Yes. Apart from getting the name and gender of the scientist wrong and calling it a ‘Me-unda’ Mininum. 

But why wouldn’t he know his stuff? Seven’s Environment commentator is an actor, model and experienced TV presenter. 

But back to that ‘Ice Age’. 

And exactly how much colder could the Earth become if the Maunder Minimum does return? 

Professor Zharkova doesn’t know, because she’s not a climate scientist, but most predictions put it at around a very modest 0.2 degrees, which would be easily exceeded by ... predicted global warming ... 

Which means temperatures will keep on rising without a new Maunder Minimum—according to the Potsdam Climate Institute

And only marginally less if there is one. 

Yet this hasn’t stopped some who really should know better from joining the hue and cry. 

Chances of little ice age on rise

— The Australian, 26th June, 2015

Two weeks before the latest ice age frenzy, The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd sounded the alarm on another British prediction of falling solar activity, 
and issued this frosty warning to his readers: 

The sun’s power is weakening at its fastest rate in 9300 years, doubling the odds of a return to little ice age conditions by mid-century, according to research by the British Met Office.

— The Australian, 26th June, 2015

Lloyd went on to warn about the rising odds of the Big Freeze returning:

The chance of a repeat of conditions that last occurred between 1645 and 1715 when London’s Thames River regularly froze over and became the scene of winter fairs, was now rated at between 15 and 20 per cent, up from 10 per cent in 2010.

— The Australian, 26th June, 2015

But once again, that is not what the scientists had said.

The Met Office was also discussing the odds of a Maunder Minimum returning and predicting that if it were to happen—one could expect the Earth to cool by little more than 0.1 degrees.

And while the regional impact would be larger—between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees even that would be:

... small compared with the modelled global warming.

— Nature Communications, 23rd June, 2015

Which, as the study’s lead author 
Sarah Ineson explained, meant: 

“... even if we were to see a return to levels of solar activity not seen since the Maunder Minimum, our winters would likely still be getting milder overall.” 

— Met Office, News Release, 23rd June, 2015

Lloyd did include the temperature figures in his story and the Met’s belief that global warming would be more powerful.

Yet the Oz still kept the headline ‘Chances of Little Ice Age rising’ and Lloyd’s two opening paragraphs—which is what everyone reads—about a return to little ice age conditions. 

And The Australian’s Deputy Editor Peter Fray defends that unreservedly:

For the life of me, I can’t see how Graham’s reporting here is a cause for alarm: it cites legit scientific research, contains legit news reporting, puts in the right amount of new information at the right time to assist readers, is presented in a classic news structure and contains context ...

— Peter Fray, Deputy Editor, The Australian, 19th July, 2015



Add your comment

  • Dennis Bird :

    21 JUL 2015 9:42:41AM

    Both the warmists and deniers should admit that no one knows exactly what will happen.

  • Liz b :

    21 JUL 2015 6:51:01AM

    Oh how the warming alarmists go on the attack when the scientific facts do not fit their theory. If they want to be scientific, why has there been no warming for 17 years while at the same time there has been a cumulative increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The global warming hypothesis has not been supported . More worrying than any rise in temperature is.any drop in temperature, particularly when there will be only very expensive renewables to keep us warm. Climate change is real, what causes it and what to do about it is the question.


    Well Liz B, should a mini ice age hit us on the head, we can still quickly dig those naughty mountains of coal, but preferably we'd have the wind turbines spinning faster... But in the mean time, climate change is real and is associated to THE RISE OF CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE. Even the few "real scientists" who are denialists know that the relationship is strong. More CO2 in the atmosphere means higher temperature or vice versa. 

    Meanwhile as 2015 in on track to become the warmest year on record and considering that most of the warmest years have been in the 21st century contrary to what you state, even should a "mini-ice-age come along, this would only retard the inevitability of the massive warming we are facing. It would only make things far worse. Please read from top. Especially about the dam between Greenland and Iceland to stop the ice advancing  to the predicted Ice Age in the 1940s. 

    And to Dennis Bird, let me say we might not know PRECISELY what will happen with warming, but we know statistically that flooding, drought and storm activity will be more "intense" and that the sea level will have risen by a minimum of 45 cm by 2100. The top figure from computerised analysis for the sea level rise by the end of this century is around 6 metres. The insurance industry is already on the level.

And by the way, you might notice some "inventions" that make the "Back to the Future" movies a bit pale in the gill.


The haunting genius of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is that it suggests how some ideas can become literally unimaginable when the language that describes them is destroyed. He wrote of freedoms that political power could make simply impossible to talk, write and think about – because there was no language in which to do so.

It’s a brilliant idea with multiple applications in every age – suggesting that we need always to be ready to interrogate the reasons why ideas are being reconfigured, compromised or destroyed.

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no escape from the thought police...

70 years ago, the British writer George Orwell captured the essence of technology in its ability to shape our destinies in his seminal work, 1984. The tragedy of our times is that we have failed to heed his warning.

No matter how many times I read 1984, the feeling of total helplessness and despair that weaves itself throughout Orwell’s masterpiece never fails to take me by surprise. Although usually referred to as a ‘dystopian futuristic novel’, it is actually a horror story on a scale far greater than anything that has emerged from the minds of prolific writers like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. The reason is simple. The nightmare world that the protagonist Winston Smith inhabits, a place called Oceania, is all too easily imaginable. Man, as opposed to some imaginary clown or demon, is the evil monster. 

In the very first pages of the book, Orwell demonstrates an uncanny ability to foresee future trends in technology. Describing the protagonist Winston Smith’s frugal London flat, he mentions an instrument called a ‘telescreen’, which sounds strikingly similar to the handheld ‘smartphone’ that is enthusiastically used by billions of people around the world today.

Orwell describes the ubiquitous device as an “oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror” affixed to the wall that “could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.” Sound familiar? It is through this gadget that the rulers of Oceania are able to monitor the actions of its citizens every minute of every day. At the same time, the denizens of 1984 were never allowed to forget they were living in a totalitarian surveillance state, under the control of the much-feared Thought Police. Massive posters with the slogan ‘Big Brother is Watching You’ were as prevalent as our modern-day advertising billboards. Today, however, such polite warnings about surveillance would seem redundant, as reports of unauthorized spying still gets the occasional lazy nod in the media now and then.

In fact, just in time for 1984’s anniversary, it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has once again been illicitly collecting records on telephone calls and text messages placed by US citizens. This latest invasion of privacy has been casually dismissed as an “error” after an unnamed telecommunications firm handed over call records the NSA allegedly “hadn’t requested”and “weren’t approved” by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2013, former CIA employee Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA’s intrusive surveillance operations, yet somehow the government agency is able to continue – with the help of the corporate sector – vacuuming up the private information of regular citizens.  


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Read from top.

already beyond the future...



Technology, too, has played a crucial part over the years – shifting from luxury to the new necessary. 

 “Tech has been great for our buildings,” says Tobias. “It’s allowed us to design a much more integrated and bespoke experience when it comes to light, sound, heating, cooling, access, security and entertainment.”

 Whereas before technology was expensive and often prominently displaced, today it is “getting simpler, less expensive and more available to more clients”, says Tobias.  

 “Nearly all of the houses we work on can largely be controlled from an app on a mobile device, whether the owner is in the house or on the other side of the world. This can include turning lights on and off, opening and closing blinds, curtains and awnings, controlling heating and cooling, surveillance on CCTV and even letting people in remotely,” Tobias explains.

While control of a house or apartment off-site has become “a new normal”, Tobias believes that seamless lighting and sound are equally important when it comes to creating the right ambience. “For me the successful use of tech is really about getting maximum utility from a simple system that largely goes unnoticed,” he says.

One waterfront home in Sydney that Tobias just finished is a case in point. The house has all the usual draws: a breathtaking view and spacious rooms finished with stylish furniture and one-off artworks. “At the same time the lighting responds to any mood or occasion, the blinds, curtains and awnings are all automated and pre-programmed to respond to the sun and light at different times of day,” says Tobias.

“The client travels overseas a lot and can see who’s coming and going and what they’re up to,” he says. “All of this happens seamlessly, effortlessly and goes largely unnoticed. The magic all just seems to happen!”


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