Is our world becoming a utopian nightmare? Some experts and some not-so experts believe we might have to start worrying. In this project we began by reading about what a dystopian further might look like. Then we did some investigation ourselves. Overall I felt like the project was the perfect way to kick off our year and I feel like it put be in the right mindset to work hard until the end. Let me show you what I learned.
Reading “1984” by George Orwell
Out of a selection of four books I chose to read 1984 in the project. I had already read Brave New World this summer so I was interested to see the kind of dystopia George Orwell had imagined compared to his pier at the time, Aldous Huxley. To summarize, Orwell imagined a world where surveillance was the tool used to control the power over the people. This was quite different to Huxley, who imagined drugs and human conditioning as a way to control people. In 1984 there is no free thought or speech permited. Although I found the book interesting, I thought that the control the government had was un-realistic. If humans were running the party, All humans make mistakes. The way that the book implied nobody would ever overcome the government made me feel like Orwell had overlooked the power of the human spirit.
After building a better understanding of what dystopia could be from my reading, I did some of my own research to try and identify if we could already be in a dystopian world. During this research I found most of my attention being brought away from Canada and the US and towards China. I learnt that China had already implemented the most impress surveillance system in the world. Millions of cameras to monitor the 1.4 billion of their citizens. As I dug further I was alarmed at many of the similarities I was finding between 1984 and modern day China. Free speech is limited in both. Freedom of expression as well. Even the way people disappeared seemingly out of nowhere was very much like 1984. I’m not sure if Xi jinping and his advisors have read 1984, but they were on the same path. There were two big differences I found between the two country’s. The first was that China hadn’t reached the same scale of coverage that 1984 had. There isn’t a camera in every home. The most camera dense cities have a ratio of 110 cameras to every 1000 people. Obviously this is good for the citizens of China because it means there is a way the can still find privacy. This is one of the reasons that there are still protests against the CCP. The more worrying difference is the way that the cameras are being monitored. Instead of millions of people who make mistakes and are slow, China is using an AI. Some sources claim that the AI can face scan all 1.4 billion people in China in 1 second. With this kind of perfection my biggest problem with Orwells idea would be resolved. China has the potential to have unwavering control of the people who live within its borders.
The Final part of this project was to put what I had discovered into a video. Personally videos are my favourite media because of how many options I have when I make one. For this video I went with a documentary style. I tried to encapture the shorter style of documentary where they use sounds and quick transitions. Although I would have liked more time to work on the editing and planning for my video I still think it was very successful.
In conclusion, Throughout this project I gained a much better understanding of both dystopian literature but also the real world implications that dystopian policy’s can have. I believe my Research and final video helped me demonstrate my success in this project.