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Orwell's Revenge: The 1984 Palimpsest

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  154 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
George Orwell's bleak vision of the future, one in which citizens are monitored through telescreens by an insidious Big Brother, has haunted our imagination long after the publication of 1984. Orwell's dystopian image of the telescreen as a repressive instrument of state power has profoundly affected our view of technology, posing a stark confrontational question: Who will ...more
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published November 15th 1995 by Simon & Schuster Ltd
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Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
An entertaining case for the value of connectivity, framed through the world of 1984's Oceania.

Although the chapters set in Oceania are very well written and the overall case for connectivity is strong, Huber lets himself down in a couple of ways.

First, a large part of the book is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of Orwell's brand of socialism, as well as socialist ideology. Orwell was no simple-minded statist - along with many proponents of socialism in the 20th century, he distinguishe
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
The only reason I liked this book is that it gives you another version of 1984 which is fun for a 1984 lover. However he is fighting a deadman and by the time you approach the end of the book you get bored of his repetitive ideas and extra technical specifications.
I believe that Peter Huber wanted to write a book about technology and its effect on politics and he named it after Orwell to gain publicity!
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I am so disappointed in Orwell’s Revenge. I read this book for A Year of Books, I was looking forward to it and had to wait to read it until new copies of it were made, sadly not worth the wait or anticipation. It’s part sequel to 1984 and part analyzing of George Orwell’s views. Apparently Orwell had varying opinions about socialism and capitalism. Peter Huber used this book to point out Orwell’s difference of stated views at various time and how they contradicted 1984. He also goes on to argue ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: zuck-s-books
I was happy when this was announced for A Year of Books: it's something different, and a little more artsy than the previous texts. I can't say that I loved it, though.
I like the concept, and I agree with Huber's immediate argument-- that technology can be a force for freedom -- BUT I wasn't crazy about
- the clunkiness of the writing, especially in the "fiction" sections of the book
- his uncritical embrace of free market capitalism
-his simplistic rebuttal of Orwell: he seemed to seize on certai
Alla Eissa
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Ruru Ghoshal
Dec 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
The rosy-eyed view of the in-universe Internet-analogue is distressing, at best.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The telescreen.

In George Orwell's 1984 (, the telescreen is mentioned 119 times, significantly more times than is Big Brother himself. It is central to the story in a way that is not true of, say, the Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty) or even Newspeak, the diminished form of English invented by Oceania's overlords to gradually eliminate the possibility independent, free thought among members of the Party, those ruling over Oceania. The telescreen made priva
Michael Shaw
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book took the optimist view on Orwell’s technology inspired future. Huber argued, through a narrative and essay-style criticism, that the telescreen would end up aiding the revolution, not stopping it. He wrote this in 1994, and did a great job prognosticating the internet of 2015 (outside of China), but he and Orwell share this conceit—that technology drives all. Why can’t the technology just help whomever is otherwise in charge? Why must technology be deterministic?

It was a good idea for
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the odder books I’ve ever read. It’s half an imagined sequel to George Orwell’s 1984 (that mostly negates it), and half an extended literary critique, in the style of those Harold Bloom edited editions, but longer. Both are surprisingly good. In particular, the criticism is really insightful as to Orwell’s background and state of mind when writing the novel: deeply distrustful of technology, which he feels will inevitably lead to centralized state control. There’s also interesting insight ...more
Karel Baloun
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An ambitious and important book.

Orwell was wrong about technology and socialism, yet few people know that, or understand why and how. If we are going to fear Big Brother as he is enabled by technology, we should impulsively do it just because Orwell painted a fictional picture.

In 1994, as Netscape was just launching and the Internet was new, it was already clear that telescreens would empower the masses and the market, and this is only accelerating. The NSA can spy, the police can abuse, but thi
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
(1) an essay that argues that Orwell's totalitarian nightmare would crumble under the foot of enterprising free markets and the abuse of telecommunication (2) that uses as a framing device a novel which mirrors our beloved 1984 following the events of 1984 in which the proles use Orwell's telescreens to enact a capitalist system of rule (3) constructed using extracts of 1984 and other texts written by George Orwell compiled, cut, and paste from via an electronic record of his bibliography.

I woul
Jun 26, 2016 marked it as to-read
* 20 books Mark Zuckerberg thinks everyone should read

Huber, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, published this unofficial sequel to George Orwell's "1984" in 1994, a time when internet and telecommunications technology was opening up new methods of communication. The novel imagines a world in which citizens use the technology that once enslaved them to liberate themselves.

"After seeing how history has actually played out, Huber's fiction describes how tools like the interne
Oct 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Tedious, mix of fiction, 1984 thesis and ends with a history of telecommunications. Most of this is repetitive and pointless and just a fight with a dead man. In 1994-5 the internet was in it's infancy and you would think a guy that researched telecommunications so thoroughly would be aware of this approaching technology and it's capabilities but Huber at this time seems oblivious. Curious when he spends most of the time deriding Orwell for not anticipating the real use of the "telescreen".
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great idea, somewhat on a par with the original 1984 style, not the plot and the layered meaning of Orwell's. The outdated techno-rubbish ending was a waste of time. Thank's we all know enough about underlying technology and history of communications, at the very least enough to understand the technology of telescreen.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as part of the Mark Zuckerberg Year of Books. One of the most enjoyable ones, and it definitely helped that I just happened to have read 1984 a few months before this one. I enjoyed it far more than 1984.
Alex Devero
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology
George Orwell viewed machines and capitalism as the fundamental enemies of humanity, believing that these forces could encourage and support totalitarian regimes. But in fact, technology and the free market actually foster collaboration, protect individual liberties and support freedom of choice.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This book mixes Orwell's fiction updated and the author's commentary about pertinent biographical details, as well as commentary and criticism. It was an interesting read and unusual format.
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Wes Patterson
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“Freedom includes the freedom to be foolish, to be sick. Free choice includes the freedom to choose badly.” 0 likes
“But sharing the wealth threatened power-hungry elites in every nation, and these reactionaries blocked society’s natural progress toward humane socialism. Capitalist societies became fascist; socialist ones became communist.” 0 likes
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