Saturday, 25 February 2012

Google revives Newspeak (?)

We have heard about Esperanto, Interlingua and all kinds of constructed languages. It's said except for a dozen of them, no one ever learned any conlang except its creator. Newspeak is certainly one of those that have found an appeal among people other than its creator.

I am not overly cynical here. It's just for amusement. Nonetheless doesn't this sound like Newspeak, an epitome of what it would be like to doublethink if you were to believe in what Google says:

"Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression...while...complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law."

If one were to translate it into Oldspeak, what Google is essentially trying to say is: they will keep on (pretending to?) helping people speak out their mind while at the same time conniving (too harsh?) with the state to shut people away so that ideas that are deemed dangerous by those in power can't reach them.

Contradictory? In Oldspeak, yes. But it certainly makes sense in Newspeak. After all: 

Freedom is slavery.
War is peace.
Ignorance is strength.

In short,  you can shout out your mind and the system will make sure no one gets to hear you. The new system ensures at least in theory that information is not to be found exactly where it's the most needed. If rulers of Baharin were to outlaw protests then our don't-be-evil obedient Google will simply cut access so that people inside Baharin can't read anti-regime blogs. Of course the blogs will remain accessible outside the country but in all likelihood they will go unnoticed unless the rulers happen to be anti-American or anti some big power.